Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool that you can use to help your law firm get found online. By improving your rankings in organic search results, your business can stand out from the competition, generate more traffic and attract more customers.
However, ranking at the top of Google often doesn’t happen overnight. You need a smart SEO strategy to improve your technical SEO, create compelling content, and improve your local search visibility.
This is where “The 4 Essentials” comes in. In this guide, we cover the key elements every law firm – and business owner in general – needs to be successful with their SEO and generate more leads from search engines.
Technical SEO is the foundation of any website SEO strategy as it ensures that your website is “indexable” for search engines. In other words, if you have technical problems with your website, these may prevent search engines from finding your website, analyzing its pages, and ranking your website in search results.
The most common technical SEO problems are:
If some of these sound like you are reading another language, don’t worry. Working with a technical SEO specialist should be enough to put you on the right track. An SEO professional will likely do a review of your website, report on the results, and set the right plan of action for you.
However, if you’d rather check out your own website and take a DIY approach, additional resources are available online.
It is a common misconception that legal content is boring. In fact, there is a treasure trove of topics to cover on your law firm blog that will be of interest to both your audience and search engines.
The key to these SEO-worthy engaging topics lies in conducting keyword research. Tools like SEMRush.com or Ahrefs.com are two freemium tools that you can use to identify searchable keywords, topic ideas, and even link building opportunities (more on that 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 that your target audience may be interested in. This can only be a braindump of ideas as 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 the ones that have sufficient search volume and low competition. Your goal is to find the sweet spot of terms that have a high search volume, a low competitive score and are of interest to your potential customers. Then you can turn those into blog post ideas.
Finally, write engaging blog articles or websites that appeal to your target audience. Follow SEO best practices to write SEO-friendly content that search engines can find. You may also want to include a call to action to encourage readers to get in touch if they need legal services.
Link building is one of the most underrated areas of search engine optimization, possibly because many business owners are unaware of its importance. In reality, links are one of the most important criteria considered in Google’s website ranking algorithm. As such, they should be an integral part of your law firm’s SEO strategy.
However, not all links are created equal. Many law firms make the mistake of buying poor quality links in hopes of improving their SEO but hindering their website’s growth. It is best to invest in authentic link building tactics to gain valuable, high quality links that will improve your website’s authority over the long term.
One tactic is to post “why” posts, “what” posts, and infographics to attract links from other websites. The aim is to publish informational content that is highly searchable and likely to offer immense value to the reader. This type of content received 25.8% more links than how-to videos and articles.
It’s also worth writing long content to attract links. This is content that is more than 1500 words and, in turn, offers the reader considerable added value. The same study above found that long-form content attracted an average of 77.2% more backlinks than short articles.
Another important way law firms can use link building is building online quotes. This includes submitting your law firm’s information to reputable directories. The most popular legal directories are:
Since most lawyers target a local area of service, local SEO is an essential part of any legal SEO strategy. This is because it is best to target the areas where your potential customers live rather than target a larger area where you are likely to be more competitive.
Local search engine optimization involves targeting geospecific keywords in your website’s content and building your local listings in directories like Google My Business, Bing Places, and Yelp. It is also recommended that you create localized backlinks (i.e. links from companies in your service area) and run geographic pay per click advertising campaigns (PPC).
For example, a Los Angeles personal injury attorney is better off using keywords like “PI LA attorney” or “LA personal injury attorney” than general terms such as “personal injury attorney” or “LA attorney”. On the Jacoby & Meyers website, for example, you will find the menu item “Areas in which we operate”. In each of the served areas (Los Angeles, Sacramento, etc), a wide range of location-related topics are listed in the sidebar, including amputations, spinal and spinal cord injuries, bicycle accidents, car accidents, and 30 more activity areas and types of injuries – written for that city. Posting content for specific cities will limit competition and make it more likely to attract visitors who: 1) are in your destination city; and 2) are interested in legal personal injury services.
Implement local SEO to improve your rankings in local Google search and attract the right types of customers online.
Start with your SEO action plan
Every successful SEO strategy consists of 4 components: technical SEO, engaging content, link building and local SEO. When you have all 4 of these elements, you are already well on your way to SEO success.
If you want to improve your law firm’s SEO and get more clients online, you should implement these elements yourself or work with a trusted SEO expert. Either way, it’s important to stick to it, monitor your results and tweak your process until you have an SEO action plan that works well for your website.