Do Law Firms Really Need SEO?
Lawyers provide a necessary service to clients looking for honest and effective legal counsel. Whether it’s a familial dispute, combatting a DUI, or resolving a personal injury case, law firms are needed to help clients achieve justice for themselves and their families.
So, with such a high demand for lawyers, one might wonder whether digital marketing is even needed to grow your firm. Is word of mouth enough? Do you really need to invest in services like SEO?
The short answer is yes - law firms need SEO in order to grow organically and reach more clients online. But there are many benefits to law firm SEO that go beyond traffic and leads.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a type of digital marketing that involves driving organic (unpaid) traffic to one’s website and online profiles via search engines - namely, Google. SEO allows law firms to drive target traffic for the long-term, whether to their website, directory listings, or blog.
Many lawyers use SEO as their primary source of marketing due to the nature of the services they offer. Potential clients most often go to Google to find lawyers in their area, as opposed to searching on social media.
This makes SEO the go-to method for law firm marketing.
5 Benefits of SEO for Law Firms
SEO for law firms reaps many benefits. Since clients are using Google to find lawyers near them, your firm will want a presence in the search results. This often does not happen naturally, but rather requires an intentional SEO strategy.
Here are a few reasons why SEO is necessary for law firms.
1. Reach clients who are searching for your services in your area.
Few marketing methods offer you the precision of being able to reach users who are actively searching for your services in your service areas. In fact, most methods (like social media) simply allow you to post and attract untargeted followers.
SEO allows you to target the terms (“keywords”) users are searching for to find law firms like yours. In the end, this allows you to rank in Google for terms like, “Seattle PI attorney” or “NYC job attorney”, or whatever is relevant to your business.
2. Drive organic traffic for weeks, months, or even years.
Once your website ranks in Google Search, it has the potential to attract organic traffic for weeks or even years to come. This is because as long as people are searching - and as long as you are ranking - your presence attracts new users to you.
SEO is an “organic” method because you can implement many of the strategies on your own without paying for ads. Of course, you’re encouraged to work with a professional to get the best results, but you can often start driving traffic even on your own.
3. Increase your law firm’s brand visibility.
While other marketing methods (like social media or email) often require users to already know of and subscribe to your brand, SEO allows you to reach people who have never heard of your before. This is done by ranking for “unbranded” keywords.
For example, say you offer family law services in Los Angeles. With the right SEO strategy, you can rank for “LA family law”, “family lawyer los angeles”, “LA family attorney”, “divorce attorney LA”, and the like, even for users who have never encountered your law firm before.
Whether you are brand new or have been in business for years, SEO can help you get found by users searching for your services every day.
4. Attract authority-boosting backlinks.
Backlinks (links from other websites to yours) are essentially votes of confidence that your website is legitimate and offers value to users. And the more high-quality backlinks you have, the more your own site’s authority will improve.
SEO empowers you to create content and website experiences that attract backlinks. These backlinks can improve your SEO, which in turn can improve your Google rankings. Plus, links from other sites have the potential to drive additional traffic to your website.
5. Provide a better, more interactive website experience.
There are many aspects to SEO, but the main aspects are On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical SEO. And Technical SEO is all about optimizing your website speed, user experience, and infrastructure to create a better experience for your potential clients.
With SEO, you will improve your website load speed, URL structure, internal linking strategy, site security, and more. All of these have SEO impact, but they also ensure that users view your site as fast, safe, and professional.
In implementing SEO, you’ll want to find a trusted web developer to apply these technical optimizations so your site not only looks good but has a strong SEO foundation.
The Results of SEO for Lawyers
A 2022 research study found SEO to be the top-rated most effective marketing channel by 79% of law firms. And this is no surprise, as Google is the primary driver of organic traffic for businesses in the legal industry.
In fact, SEO can drive many results for law firms, including:
Increased organic traffic
Increased conversions on site
Improved content marketing
Improved site speed
Earned website authority
Increased referral traffic
Increased directory traffic
Increased local traffics
In short, law firms can’t afford to miss out on the many results SEO can bring. And while there are many law firm marketing strategies, SEO remains at the top.
Grow Your Law Firm with Search Engine Optimization
Law firms need SEO in order to incentivize their visibility in Google Search - the primary place users are going to find legal services in their area. Without SEO, lawyers are at risk of being trumped and outranked by the competition.
While it’s always recommended that you have a holistic marketing strategy, SEO is one channel you don’t want to miss out on. Simply following SEO best practices can improve your content, site foundation, website security, and other factors Google looks at to rank your site high in the search results.