What is law firm SEO and why should you care?
If you are a lawyer or you own a law firm, you need more clients.
This ultimate guide to SEO for Lawyers and basic considerations of SEO for lawyers, attorneys, and law firms will teach you everything you need to know about why lawyers should care about SEO and how to get started fast.
If you wish to get more clients from Google, then you should read on.
What is Law Firm SEO?
Law firm SEO commonnly called legal SEO or Attorney SEO is the practice of increasing your law firm visibility for your target keyword in search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo to help you attract more prospective clients to your law firm website.
This happens when you appear higher especially within the first 3 positions in search engines.
This position is known as the “Holy Grail of SEO”.
Why Every Law Firm Should Consider SEO
Most law firms are at a loss if they should be doing SEO.
SEO is great because it can help your law business:
- Get You More Client
- Free Website Traffic
- Build Authority
- Build Trust
And because people trust results on Google, it means that if you are able to successfully rank for your keyword, people will believe that you know your stuff and trust you with their issues.
Such unfortunately is life.
This is why Google spends a lot of time making sure that whatever business they are ranking on their result deserves the position it is given.
Unfortunately, we know some of the Google ranking factors that are being used so it is also easy to manipulate.
SEO or PPC: Which is Better for Your Law Firm?
SEO vs PPC is a chicken and egg conundrum in which the debate will always be which should come first.
When it comes to growing your business, I believe that businesses should do what they think best helps them to grow.
A lot of people have ridden on the back of PPC to go their law practice while others depend solely on SEO. Whichever one you choose, just make sure that you do it very well. Here is a guide on the SEO vs PPC conundrum. You can give it a look if you are still undecided on how to approach your Search Engine Marketing strategy
As a law firm, you should invest in PPC if you are:
- If you want an immediate result
- You are new
- You have a time-sensitive offer such as a research document
- Your website is not designed for SEO
How to Get Started with SEO for Attorneys and Law Firms
If you have finally decided to go with SEO for your law practice, then below are the steps you should follow so you can implement the best SEO practice for your business, rank for your industry target keywords, and grow your business.
- Step 1: Pick the right keyword
- Step 2: Conduct a comprehensive Onpage Optimization
- Step 3: Don’t forget Technical SEO
- Step 4: Start Blogging
- Step 5: Local SEO – A Game changer you need
- Step 6: Building the right backlinks to drive the need
- Step 7: Measure, Rinse, Repeat
Step 1: Pick the right keyword
The foundation of any good and successful SEO project is keyword research. The process of keyword research is fairly complex.
But when you conduct keyword research, you are looking to picking the right keyword for your business. This is important because if you pick the wrong keyword and you successfully rank for it, you will attract the wrong audience to your law practice.
That is why I encourage you or your team to spend enough time on proper keyword research. You want to totally understand how people in your location, industry are searching for your product.
Remember when people go to Google, they go with a set or list of keywords that they feel describe their problem.
Our goal is to appear when they do that.
So how do you go about conducting good keyword research?
- Make a list of 5-10 topics that you feel best to describe your business
- Go to Google Keyword Planner. Enter the keyword.
- Download the result that Google shows you.
- Now go through them one after the other.
When doing this, you want to pay attention to the following criteria which you will use to pick the right keyword to focus on
- Search Volume: Does the keyword have enough search volume
- Relevance: Is it relevant to your business. Ranking for “Law firm” is good but if you are a personal injury lawyer, then maybe it is much better to rank for that rather than a generic law firm
- Competition: How competitive is this keyword. When you go to Google, what type of website do you see?
Once you identify your keywords which maybe 5 or 100, you want to do what we refer to as keyword mapping.
This process entails that you identify and bucket your keywords into categories and then assign them to a particular page.
Step 2: Conduct a comprehensive Onpage Optimization
Once you are done with your keyword research and have mapped your keyword to pages on your website, you want to start fixing your on-page site issues.
These include working on Meta SEO issues such as:
- Title tag – This is the main title of your website. Most times, the naming convention is usually
Target keyword | Brand Name
So if I am a specialist divorce lawyer, then the title tag on one of my page will be
Divorce Lawyer in Location | Fictitious Brand Name
- Meta description: This is the part that is often overlooked by most people but very important when it comes to influencing click to your website from Google.
Here is how Meta description looks when Google shows it.
That is why it is important to write a good Meta description as this can be the difference between ranking on Google and getting that traffic you deserve.
- H1 tag
- Image Naming: Every page on your website must contain an image that reflects the name of that image
- Image Alt tag: Every image on your website must contain an alt tag. This is important as Google is a machine and cannot read the names of images. Adding an alt tag helps them understand the image
- Internal Linking: Ensure proper linking between articles and pages on your website. Navigational links are good but so also are proper internal linking especially from blog posts to service pages or other blog posts on the same site.
- External Linking from Blog Articles
Step 3: Don’t forget Technical SEO
One of the often-overlooked areas of SEO is technical SEO.
And this area is usually forgotten because the most law firm is not every large website that has millions of pages.
Despite this, it is more of an SEO practice to ensure that you take care of the technical side when it comes to implementing your SEO strategy. This is because a thing can really get tricky if you do not. Some of the things you need to pay attention include:
- Page Speed: How fast your website can be a determinant between a website that ranks on the first page and one that ranks position two. These are because in an ever-increasing mobile world with most of your target audience in haste, you want to make sure that your website loads fast
- Secure Website: Implementing https on your website is important. This is because Google will usually show users a warning when they are trying to access a website that does not run a Secure Hyper protocol. Since most users do not understand the difference, they will assume that your website is hacked and may bounce away
Step 4: Start Blogging
There are two types of audiences every business has. These audiences are aware of their problem and know the solutions. These sets of the audience are likely going to just Google your service keyword and choose the provider they want.
However, there is a second set of audience that is aware of their problem but not aware of the solutions. This audience will likely Google around a while before finally become aware of the solutions and then start looking for someone to solve the problem.
That is where business blogging comes.
Blogging for your law firm have a lot of advantage. It enables law companies to
- Education their audience
- Build a relationship with their audience
- Become a thought leader in their industry
- Build the reputations of their lawyers
There it is important that you create a blog or resource center of your website and start blogging. Blogging is an important step as it enables you to drive TOM traffic, acquire free backlinks to your website, and become an authority in your niche.
Does that not sound interesting?
Step 5: Local SEO – A Game changer you need
Do you want to get more real estate space on Google search results? Then you need to consider local SEO.
Local SEO or local pack as some people will call it is what you see when you Google a local business such as what you see below:
To ensure that your business appears in this location, you need to do some of the following:
- Register your website on Google My Business
- Get customers to give you reviews
- Get listed in location and industry directories
- Ensure that your location appears in your title tag
- Build more backlinks which we will discuss below.
Step 6: Building the right backlinks to drive the need
When it comes to building a backlink for your law practice, you need to understand that sometimes you do not need to build millions and thousands of links before you can rank.
However it is has proven over and over again that backlinks are important. In fact in this study, it was established that most of the articles ranking on #1 on Google are doing so because they have better links than their competitors.
So the next question you want to be asking is how do I build the right type of backlinks that can guarantee an increase in your ranking?
Before you jump ahead, I want to clarify that you should remember that two rules that should guide all the backlinks you might or will be building in the future.
These factors are:
- Quality: When it comes to backlinks, more is not always better. In fact, in some cases, you can easily and quickly outrank your competitors, if you focus on quality links. When I talk about quality links, I am talking about links from the website you can be proud of.
- Relevance: In link building, relevance is the name of the game. Any website you get links from that is not relevant to your website, business or industry is usually a waste of time.
If you want to learn more about our link building strategy and process, I recommend that you check out this beginner’s guide to link building that we created.
Okay, so what type of backlinks should your law practice be thinking of building.
- Content Link Building: These are links that you get as a result of the content that you are creating on your blog. This is one of the most passive types of link building hat seems to work well. All you need to do is create content, get it to rank on #1 and bam, you can forever drive links to these articles which in turn will help you build the overall authority of your website.
- Infographics Link Building: Infographic link building is a favorite of mine. This is because if you create just a single piece of a good infographic, you can use it to get a large number of links. The challenge comes with knowing what to create and creating something quite useful.
- Industry Directory: These include links you get when you submit your website to the law-related directory listing. There are tons of these so I recommend that you make a list of 10-100 directories that are super related to your field, well maintained and get listed on them
- Competitor Link Building: Competitor link building can be acquired by simply looking at the links your competitors are having and reverse-engineering them. Your competitors have already done a lot of work. Just get an unfair advantage by analyzing their strategy and replicating it. However, if you are creative, you can see and understand their footprint and even beat them at it.
Step 6: Measure, Rinse, Repeat
What you do not measure cannot be improved. If you are doing this by yourself, I will recommend that you set up Google Analytics for your website. Setting up Google Analytics is beyond the scope of this article but here is a link to follow.
Once you have your Google Analytics setup, I have created a dashboard that you can use to see the result of your effort.
What you measure might be peculiar to your website, stage of your business, and what you think is important to you.
However, the following metrics are metrics that I believe every business either you are a law firm or not, should be measuring when it comes to SEO.
- Leads: How many people are filling your contact form or calling your business
- Ranking Position for Important Keywords: When you Google some of the keywords that are relevant to your business, what is your ranking positions
- Growth in the number of Keywords: Are the number of keywords you are ranking for an increasing day in day out
- Organic Traffic: The total number of organic traffic that is coming to your website MoM or YoY.
As I said, just click on the Google Analytics Dashboard link and these metrics will be automatically created for you in an easy to read dashboard.
As you can see, Search Engine Optimization can help you grow your business. Now, go ahead and implement one of these in your strategy or simply check this law firm SEO case study of one of our clients.
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