SEO for Lawyers: How to Dominate Search Engine Results Pages

It has become a staple for people who need a lawyer’s services to go online and look up the law firms nearby. Although word of mouth is essential, most prospective clients use social media and search engines to find the best lawyers in the area. So, ensuring that your website follows the SEO (search engine optimization) best practices is a must!

If SEO for lawyers is crucial, don’t you need to learn more about it? Here are some of the things that you need to know:

SEO, Explained

SEO for lawyers involves making use of strategies, tactics, and techniques that can help gain more prospective clients to a website run by a law firm. Your website’s main goal is to get the top positions on the first page of search resultsleading to a stark increase in prospective clients.

Aside from getting more clients after optimizing the website, SEO’s benefits can also increase over time. A high-quality content produced for a law firm’s website can have two effects; one is the chance of ranking first for other keywords and the potential for organic link building.

How SEO Can Get You More Clients

Growing your website’s organic traffic through SEO is very significant in marketing your law firm, and it shouldn’t be overlooked. Based on the 2019 Legal Trends Report, around 17% of people who have availed of legal services researched online search engines. The same number of people found their lawyers through the lawyer’s or law firm’s website. 

Although SEO might be a bit complicated, especially if you have never delved into this kind of marketing, now is the perfect time to start incorporating it into your marketing strategy. Focusing on your website and optimizing it goes a long way to gain more clients.

Important Lawyer SEO Factors

Now that you know why SEO is important for lawyers, you should also learn what factors will lead to a successful website. You can achieve this by following these criteria:

Content

The content that you produce should answer the client’s questions or cover the search term/keyword that they use. For example, you want your website to cover “indecency with a child in Texas.” In that case, you need to have a blog discussing the topic and your experience as a lawyer with expertise in dealing with indecency with a child offenses in Texas. Your website’s content must also provide some cursory answers to the potential questions that the client would have. 

Backlinks

Your content needs to stand out in a sea of never-ending information that may or may not be relevant to the client’s question. One way search engines determine your content’s relevance is by the quality and quantity of backlinks. They are referral links positioned on other websites that direct traffic to your website. 

When it comes to SEO, the race to get backlinks is like a popularity contest. If your website manages to snatch multiple links from popular websites, it’s essentially a vote that indicates you or the lawyers in your law firm are experts in their fields. But you still need to produce high-quality content that answers the clients’ questions with links from credible websites in order for search engines to view your website as a reputable source.

Keywords

Giving the answer to a prospective client’s questions is great, but it won’t matter if the search engine thinks that your content is not doing a great job to answer them. 

Keywords are one of the most critical factors that can make or break your website. Search engines determine if your website’s content is relevant by using bots to read and understand what it is about. To make the process more seamless, you need to use keywords targeted for each page on your website. This gives both the bots and the clients a clear signal about your area of expertise.

Mobile-friendliness

In 2019, Google revealed that they would focus on mobile-first indexing, which means their algorithms prioritize a website’s mobile version first instead of the desktop. This move is unsurprising since more people use their smartphones to look things up online instead of the desktop. By 2025, 73% of people will be accessing the internet by using their phones. 

User-experience

If your website is easy to use by people from all demographic groups (eg. seniors and people with disability), then it’s more likely for Google’s bots to rank your website better. Your website needs to have intuitive and simple menus and frequently place links to important pages.

SEO Services for Lawyers

Optimizing your website by yourself can be a very daunting task, especially if it’s your first time, while hiring a dedicated SEO team can be very costly. So, working with an experienced SEO agency will be a great boon for your website. 

Here are the usual services that SEO agencies offer to lawyers:

On-page SEO

The on-page SEO services that an agency offers must be comprehensive, and it must include analysis, optimization, and maintenance of your website. So, they must focus on these areas to improve the ranking of your webpages:

  • Site structure: The agency must audit your website’s technical structure to see if some parts can be tweaked to yield better results. 
  • Content: Most SEO agencies also have a dedicated team of writers that will create high quality, optimized content that already has targeted keywords to improve your page rankings.
  • Meta tags: The agency must determine if the current title tags you’re using need improvement and tweak them to achieve greater results.
  • Internal linking audit: Another factor that SEO agencies should focus on is to analyze your website’s internal linking (how your pages link to one another) to improve user experience and web page rankings.

Local SEO

Organic search can contribute greatly to your website’s performance. By optimizing your website to adhere to local SEO best practices, prospective clients can easily find your website.

Winning the “popularity contest” is not limited to having links, but you should also optimize them to specify your location. Your contact information should be placed in the content, in several places on your website, and the web. Most SEO agencies get more backlinks from websites that show the contact information of different businesses.

Since obtaining these backlinks can take some time, working with a reputable SEO agency is vital. Not only are you saving on costs, but it is also one of the strategies that can yield great results.  

Reviews/reputation management

Online reviews are not only meant to see the best restaurants or films; they are also used to judge the performance of professionals like doctors and lawyers nowadays. So, a simple negative review on rating sites can significantly affect your reputation. A lot of people also rely on these reviews to determine which lawyers to book an appointment with. 

In a report published by BrightLocal, 93% of people went online to look for a local business in 2020, and 34% of them did this every day. Also, 87% of consumers read reviews about local businesses online. This means that maintaining a good reputation on online review sites, social media, and forums is a crucial element in SEO for lawyers.

Red flags that signal a lackluster SEO agency for lawyers

  • No one can deliver instant results, so you should not ask for or expect an SEO agency to do so. If they do offer this to you, you should look elsewhere as it’s most certainly a scam.
  • Beware of SEO agencies or consultants who will commit to increasing your clicks, traffic, and leads immediately without doing an SEO audit. Before believing in their suggestions, you should ask them to explain their process and walk you through the possible timeline and strategies that they will employ 
  • Hiring an SEO agency is not the same as paying them to do paid search advertising. They are very different from each other but combining both strategies can potentially lead to more clients.

Final Thoughts

SEO for lawyers is more akin to running on a marathon rather than a sprint. So, don’t expect to see immediate results in a brief period of time on your website’s ranking. Instead, you should be more patient and divert your attention to producing more high quality, optimized content that can cater to your potential clients. Besides that, you should also build backlinks, follow the latest best practices for SEO, and generate raving client reviews to ensure that the effort succeeds. 

Although you can always do the optimization by yourself, it’s still best to hire an SEO agency with expertise in this field because they offer more pros than cons. Also, what’s important is your website’s rankings will eventually improve once you’ve employed the right strategies.

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