Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool when it comes to helping your law firm get found online. By improving your rankings in the organic search results, your firm can rise above the competition, generate more traffic, and attract more clients.
But ranking at the top of Google often doesn’t happen overnight. You need a smart SEO strategy in order to improve your technical SEO, create compelling content, and improve your visibility in local search.
This is where having “The 4 Essentials” comes in. In this guide, we are covering the key elements every law firm – and business owner in general – needs to succeed with their SEO and generate more leads from search engines.
Technical SEO is at the foundation of every website SEO strategy because it ensures that your site is “indexable” by search engines. In other words, if you have technical issues with your site, these may be preventing search engines from finding your site, analyzing its pages, and ranking your site in the search results.
The most common technical SEO issues include:
Missing or incomplete sitemap
Slow website load speed
Mobile optimization issues
Duplicate content errors
If some of these sound like you’re reading another language, don’t worry; working with a technical SEO specialist should be enough to set you on the right path. An SEO professional will likely perform an audit of your site, report on the results, and determine the right action plan for you.
If, however, you prefer to audit your own site and take a DIY approach, you can find additional resources online.
It’s a common misconception that legal content is boring. In fact, there is a treasure trove of topics you can tackle on your law firm blog that will both be of interest to your audience and to search engines.
The key to coming up with these SEO-worthy, engaging topics is to conduct keyword research. Tools like SEMRush.com or Ahrefs.com are two freemium tools you can use to identify searchable keywords, topic ideas, and even link building opportunities (more on this later).
How to Create SEO Content for Your Law Firm
First, brainstorm a list of topics that may be relevant to the services you offer and/or what your target audience may be interested in. This can just be a braindump of ideas because you will then use this list to identify keywords and narrow down your topics.
Next, use your chosen keyword research tool to search for these terms and identify those that have ample search volume and low competition. Your goal is to find the sweet spot of terms that have high search volume, a low competition score, and are of interest to your potential clients. Then you can turn these into blog post ideas.
Finally, write engaging blog articles or web pages that appeal to your target audience. Follow SEO best practices to write SEO-friendly content that can be found by search engines. You might also want to include a call-to-action to encourage readers to reach out if they are in need of legal services.
Link building is one of the most undervalued areas of SEO, perhaps because many business owners are unaware of its importance. In reality, links are one of the top criteria considered in Google’s website ranking algorithm, so it should be an essential part of your law firm’s SEO strategy.
However, not all links are created equal. Many law firms make the mistake of purchasing low-quality links in the hopes of improving their SEO but actually end up hindering their site’s growth. It’s best to invest in authentic link building tactics to attract valuable, high-quality links that will improve your site’s authority for the long-term.
One tactic is to publish “Why” posts, “What” posts, and infographics to attract links from other sites. The goal here is to publish informational content that is highly searchable and likely to provide immense value to the reader. This type of content received 25.8% more links compared to videos and “How-to” articles.
It’s also worth writing long-form content to attract links; this is content that’s over 1500 words and, again, provides significant value to the reader. The same study above found that long-form content attracts an average of 77.2% more backlinks than short articles.
Another important opportunity for law firms when it comes to link building is building out online citations. This involves submitting your law firm’s information to reputable directories. The most popular legal directories include:
Since most lawyers target a local service area, local SEO is a key part of any legal SEO strategy. This is because it is best to target the areas in which your potential clients reside rather than targeting a wider area where you’re likely to face more competition.
Local SEO involves targeting geo-specific keywords in your website content and building out your local listings in directories like Google My Business, Bing Places, and Yelp. It’s also recommended that you build out localized backlinks (i.e. links from businesses within your service area) and run geo-targeted Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaigns.
For example, a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles is better off targeting keywords like “PI attorney LA” or “LA personal injury lawyer” than broad terms like “personal injury lawyer” or “LA attorney.” For example, at the website for Jacoby & Meyers, see the "Areas We Serve" menu item. Each of the areas served (Los Angeles, Sacramento, etc.) lists a broad range of location-focused topics in the sidebar, including Amputations, Back & Spinal Cord Injury, Bicycle Accidents, Car Accidents, and 30 other practice areas and injury types -- written for that city. When you publish content for specific cities, this narrows down the competition and is more likely to attract visitors that are: 1) located in your target city; and 2) interested in personal injury legal services.
Implement local SEO to improve your rankings in Google local search and attract the right types of clients online.
Get Started on Your SEO Action Plan
Every successful SEO strategy consists of 4 components: technical SEO, engaging content, link building, and local SEO. If you have all 4 of these elements, you are already well on your way to SEO success.
If you’re looking to improve your law firm’s SEO and attract more clients online, consider implementing these elements on your own or working with a trusted SEO expert. In either case, it’s important to stick with it, monitor your results, and fine-tune your process until you have an SEO action plan that works well for your site.