What is law firm SEO?
The premise of the law firm SEO revolves around maximizing your law firm’s online visibility by capitalizing on tried-and-true techniques to rank higher in the search results. Utilizing these techniques involve creating high-tier content, engineering a proper structure for your website, and promoting your sites on every channel possible.
The legal landscape is a competitive place. Optimizing the online rankings requires a fair investment of time and effort to build a well-structured online image for your law firm.
We're going to provide you with a lot of information. We'll try to teach you all the necessary details to help your law firm rank higher in the online search results.
How to Find Your Law Firm’s Google Position
More than 90% of people looking for a service say that they prefer to search for it online. Therefore, it becomes imperative for any enterprise to rank higher in the search results, and yes, that includes law firms, as well.
Before opting on an SEO strategy, it is crucial to evaluate your existing online position and ranking. Your position can help you get a clear idea about your current performance on various keywords and might help you highlight areas that require improvement.
Techniques to Find Your Google Positions for Free
You can check your search engine ranking position quickly and easily with SERPROBOT. Although the tool is new on the market, it can assist you in evaluating your online ranking on any search engine. It provides you with all the necessary details about the keywords you can rank for as well as the ones for which you already rank.
Keyword Position Checker
Small SEO Tools
Absolute simplicity is what defines the design of this tool. It allows you to check your site's ranking on 20 different keywords in a single check. You need to type in your website’s URL, your desired keywords, and select the search engine on which you wish to rank. Keyword Position Checker will then run its analysis and provide you with reliable and comprehensive data about your ranking on specified keywords. The user-friendly design allows this to be done with a simple button click.
The Hoth is another important free search-engine-ranking analysis tool. It also performs the dual function of calculating your website’s overall ranking on a search engine while also assisting you with your keyword ranking position.
How Can Lawyers and Law Firms Benefit from Search Engine Optimization?
When someone has a legal problem and needs a lawyer, they often begin their research on a search engine like Google. Around 90% of searchers won’t go past the first page of search results, so it is of critical for your law firm’s website to rank on that first page. Getting there requires the help of search engine optimization.
“Around 90% of searchers won’t go past the first page of search results”
Employing SEO best practices on your law firm website can help you stand out from the rest of the crowd and give you an edge against your competitors in the legal market. To help you better understand the benefits of lawyer SEO, we have listed a few of its perks.
Benefits of Ranking High in the SERPS:
Increase In Overall Market Position
The higher you rank in the search results, the more established your law firm becomes in the market. People often perceive higher-ranked law firms as more reliable, trustworthy, and professional than those ranking lower or on the second page. So, how can you achieve this sought-after market position for your law firm? Through efficient and effective SEO tactics.
More Relevant And Targeted Traffic
While some people use search engines for solving a general query or are unsure what to search, many search engine users know what they’re looking for exactly. By accurately optimizing your website for specific targeted keywords in your niche, you will make yourself available for this kind of targeted traffic. By effectively optimizing your website for search, you can surpass your competition and reach the right people. Remember, there’s traffic, and there’s relevant traffic. It’s the latter that you must always seek.
Rise In Prospective Clients
Efficient lawyer SEO gives you access to prospective clients that reach out to you. This significantly increases the chances for you to convert them into paying clients. Not to mention, with SEO bringing the right business to you, you can invest more time on other areas of your business, such as in-person client interactions, formulating case strategies, etc. With legal SEO at your side, you can focus on your law practice rather than your marketing efforts.
The legal space is fiercely competitive, so a half-baked marketing strategy can prove fatal to your firm. But with a systematic investment in SEO, you can get ahead of your competition by a fair margin. A comparison between offline and online marketing (including law firm SEO) reveals that the former is much more expensive and has limited returns, while the latter offers a higher ROI at a meager cost.
Difference between SEO for Lawyers & Law Firms and Regular SEO
As opposed to a generic SEO, legal search engine optimization targets areas unique to the legal industry. Understanding this difference can help in formulating a good marketing strategy for your law firm as it will assist you in emphasizing the areas specific to law.
Legal SEO Contrasted With Regular SEO
The first difference between the two varieties is that legal SEO is a local effort. To explain this, a law firm would have a physical location, a functional office, to be precise. So, the efforts of a law firm’s search engine optimization incline towards attracting the local populace as potential customers. The same cannot be said for general search engine optimization since it favors an international outlook. Although local search is a part of regular SEO, it isn’t emphasized in the same way.
The other major difference between legal SEO and generic SEO is the area of knowledge in which it operates. The search engine optimization for law firms not only must closely adhere to legal subject matters, but it must also follow certain legal requirements regarding advertising for law firms. The result is a sophisticated and well-targeted version of an SEO.
The Complexities in Employing Law Firm SEO
In the previous section, we learned how law firm SEO differs from regular SEO. Now, we will learn about the various complications and difficulties involved in this form of search engine optimization. Here, we will also look at how the difference that sets it apart from regular SEO can hinder its application.
It may sound easy, but implementing a concrete lawyer SEO is no cakewalk. There are several aspects to consider and various areas that require thorough and meticulous planning. Without taking any of these into account, our legal SEO efforts could end up as a failure.
Consider the following:
Anyone who is even faintly acquainted with the law industry would be well-familiar with its highly competitive nature. Gaining an edge in this market can be termed easily as herculean labor, and it is easy to see why.
Every law firm is comprised of a group extremely smart and highly educated individuals. So, if you own a law firm, you are up against every other highbrow lawyer in town. To beat this level of competition, you must equip yourself with the finest trailblazing lawyer SEO techniques that you can get your hands on.
Earlier, we studied how law firm SEO emphasizes local marketing more than international marketing. Here, we highlight how this aspect might limit the scope of lawyer SEO. A regular SEO strategy involves influencing the entire online community. Under regular SEO, we assume the entire web as a potential client.
The case is different with law firm SEO. For instance, any law firm or agency located in the United States won’t hunt for clients in the United Kingdom. Its potential customer-base is in the United States, so its advertising efforts should focus on U.S. residents. For most law firms, the potential customer-base is even further geographically limited — by state, and even by county and city.
The Niche Restriction
Of course, law firm SEO is going to focus on legal topics and how the firm can help someone solve his or her legal issues. While not quite as narrow, general SEO must also concentrate on topics within the niche or industry in which the business operates.
On top of subject restrictions, there are also legal restrictions on how and where law firms may advertise their services. For example, no law firm may make promises of a certain outcome concerning claims or lawsuits. In the same vein, law firms must be careful with including settlement amounts in testimonials regarding their services.
How to Analyze the Backlinks of a Law Firm Website
Many factors play a role in a law firm site’s ability to rank well in the search results. One such factor is the backlink. Essentially, backlinks are links from another site pointing to your website. Search engines like Google use these links as a metric to evaluate your website’s quality and authority; the more links you have from other reputable and authoritative sites, the higher you’ll rank. Alone, this highlights the importance of having a strong backlink structure. But building links without having a clear understanding of your overall backlink profile will bring in more losses than gains. That’s where backlink analysis comes into the picture.
From delivering all-inclusive data on your current links to providing vital information on your competitor’s links, you can have access to all by performing a simple analysis. This includes a precise calculation of the number of backlinks you have, evaluating the quality of the links, monitoring the inflow of fresh links, data on the number of unique domains, etc.
In a nutshell, all the valuable data about your backlink profile is calculated and compiled in one place. However, performing this sort of comprehensive analysis requires a bit of assistance from the experts. As it is visible, analyzing so many aspects at once can be exhausting, and to lessen our load, we would certainly require some external aid that can help us.
Tools to Use for Backlink Analysis
As we were saying, we don’t have to perform all the backlink research and evaluation on our own. There are plenty of tools that specialize in backlink analysis that we can use. The eventual motive of equipping ourselves with these tools is to maintain a close eye on our backlink profile. So, let’s look at these backlink analysis tools and understand their functioning a bit more closely. To start with, we have:
Ubersuggest is a handy product brought to us by a prominent SEO blogger named Niel Patel. Although it’s more of an overall tool for SEO analysis, here, we will only cover its backlink analysis capabilities. It not only covers your entire backlink profile, but it also offers you data that can help you build a much stronger backlink network. It underlines the specific areas of content in your niche that other sites mostly link to, which ultimately aids you in planning your on-site content strategy to attract more links.
The next tool comes from a giant name in the industry, SimilarWeb. Just like our previous entry, this tool is a fully functional SEO analysis tool, and backlink analysis is an obvious inclusion in that. SimilarWeb offers a comprehensive backlink analysis that extends to your competitor’s backlink profile as well. It also9+ provides you with all the relevant information on your existing backlinks (like their quality, authority, etc.), and notifies you when new sites link to you.
Google Webmaster/Analytics Tool
Google is the unrivaled master of the modern-day web. So, relying on Google for a detailed backlink analysis is a wise choice. Google Webmaster or Analytics Tools (whichever you give preference to) offers a variety of functions, such as inbound link checking, an easy disavowal of unhealthy backlinks that may blemish your site’s reputation, and finally, helping you identify any penalties that may have been leveled against your website. All this at no cost.
Local SEO for Lawyers: Rank Your Law Firm on Local Map
Local SEO maximizest a law firm's market share by driving in a substantial percentage of clients. Although local SEO operates only in areas geographically close to your location, this limitation attracts the right attention towards your law firm.
Applying local SEO increases your odds of your law firm's website appearing in the local search results considerably. Showing up in the local search gives you more local traffic, and more local traffic means more potential clients.
Why is Local SEO Important for Law Firms?
Long gone are the days when people used to look for professional legal services in the Yellow Pages. When folks search for an attorney, the vast majority will go to Google or another search engine. Consider the following:
Source Of Obtaining Clients
Local SEO is a client-farming platform. Most people who need a lawyer prefer to hire a law firm close to their residence. So, if you optimize your law firm site to do well in the local search, then you will increase your firm’s bottom line. In short, the client searches for a local law firm, yours show up in the search results, and you get a potential client.
Increased Site Traffic
Local search engine optimization brings your legal website more online traffic. The more site visitors you have, the better the chances of gaining future clients. Local traffic depends mostly on your visibility in the local search results; the more visible your firm is, the more traffic your site receives.
Convenient Online Marketing
In the end, local SEO is a marketing technique. It is a way to make sure that the people who need legal services can find us and get the help they need. Local SEO is valuable because it places our firm right in front of our target audience: the people near us who need a lawyer for whatever reason. By going for local SEO, we are opting for an efficient marketing strategy that raises our law firm’s influence where it can impact our business the most.
How Local SEO or Map Position Can Impact Your Law Firm's Rankings
We’ve discussed the value in appearing in the local search results. Another critical factor in the local search is, believe it or not, the Global Positioning System (GPS). It also plays a key role in boosting your law firm’s online ranking.
Local SEO and ranking through location go together. To elaborate, we are optimizing our law firm’s website to gain a share in the local search results, and part of that equation is GPS. To secure a good place in the local listing, we must trust the map.
We know that to register our firm in localized listings such as Google's “My Business Listing,” we must provide a physical location. That’s because local searches display results according to GPS or location tracking services. If you have got yourself locally listed, then you have a better chance of popping up in those local search results, since the search engine is aware of your physical location.
Now to the ranking part. How does local SEO help in boosting our website’s online ranking? The answer is simple: through increased traffic.
Search engines like Google have become far more intelligent than they used to be. Google constantly evaluates the authority and influence of every website available on the Web and rearranges its search results accordingly. If your law firm’s website ranks well in the local search results, then the odds are that your overall search result ranking will also be high. Just like we said, Google calculates the authority of a site according to its influence. This influence is calculated based on the amount of traffic a site receives, among other factors.
It all comes back to the local listing. Our endeavors to influence local search results also enhance our chances to rank better in overall search results. That’s because we are building our law firm’s authority and influence even if it’s at a local scale.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Local Rankings
Until now, we have talked about the rich functionality and overall utility of local SEO in raising our law firm’s overall market potential by helping us rank better in the local search results. Now, we will learn how we can optimize our law firm's site by adopting local SEO best practices.
Here are a few methods to help you rise in the local search listings:
Precise Keyword Research
Keywords will serve as the foundation for your local SEO campaign. The keywords you settle on should be directly related to the legal services provided by your firm. For instance, your targeted keywords might include “estate planning attorney” or “criminal prosecution lawyer service.”
You should focus on the keywords that will attract users who are earnestly seeking a legal service. Some users search for lawyers or law services for research purposes; they may not necessarily be looking for legal services. An example of these research-based keywords would be: “how does a court case proceed,” “Is a will necessary,” etc.
On the other hand, some folks are seeking a legal remedy. Searches such as “attorney near me,” “legal estate service,” etc., for example, indicate the intent to find a lawyer. Targeting such keywords helps in bringing in new clients.
Working On Citations
Citations are references to your business that include the name, address, and phone number of your firm available on trusted digital business directories. They are not only important for practicing law firm SEO, but also for ensuring that local SEO efforts bring in the best results.
When Google or any other search engine discovers your business information on these digital directories, it eventually adds to your site’s credibility. There are various online channels available that you can investigate for getting quality citations, which may include web directories, maps, review sites, and many more along the same lines.
You should maintain consistency with your law firm’s contact details and address. The same details must be standardized across all citation channels where your law firm is listed. So, always check for any inconsistencies related to your law firm’s details and promptly correct any that appear.
Reviews are one of the integral organs of local search engine optimization. Reviews are among the first things we address. When your law firm shows up in the local search results, users have the option to read and even write reviews about your firm. Positive reviews always follow good reputation-building measures.
Online reviews will have a significant impact on the overall ranking of your law firm’s website. Several studies and surveys have shown that search engines like Google react more favorably towards law firms with high reviews. Negative opinions will severely tarnish your law firm's online and offline market standing.
The first and foremost step involves regularly checking your reviews. If the number of negative reviews increases, then find the areas in your service that are inviting the wrath of your clients and work on fixing them. As for positive reviews, try to polish those areas further that help you get positive feedback.
How to Analyze the Performance of Competitor Law Firms
We should not restrict our analysis and research to our site and firm. Another factor that can influence our ranking is our competition.
Why Perform a Check on Competitors?
There is plenty we can learn by merely observing our competitors’ online movements. As we stated earlier, the law industry is a tightly competitive one, so we must take every opportunity to outperform our rivals.
To study our competitors, we need to analyze how well they rank on online platforms, determine which keywords they rank better for than us, understand their backlink profile, get a thorough understanding of the reviews they receive, etc. Understanding our position relative to our competition will help us better evaluate our strengths and weaknesses. All this data on our competitors can help us to plan our SEO strategies better.
What are the Best Tools to Find More About Your Competition?
Getting all the crucial data on the competition can easily become a stressful exercise, especially if undertaken without the help of specialized tools. If you intend to get all the vital info related to your competitors, you can make use of the following tools to make it easier for you:
Ubersuggest is a handy tool if all-around competition analysis is what you seek. From keywords to backlinks, you can get all the data on your market competition that you will ever need. Starting with keywords, you can check how your competitors rank in comparison with you. You can also use it to check on your competitors' backlinks.
Another essential tool from a big name, SimilarWeb is more than proficient in providing a thorough and detailed analysis of all your competitors. This tool helps you pinpoint those areas where you can perform better than your current competition. Like the other one on our list, this one also provides comprehensive data on areas such as keyword ranking and the backlink model of your competition.
How to Choose Target Keywords for a Law Firm
We can never undermine the relevance of keywords as they play a central role in determining the success of our SEO efforts. Keywords are one of the prime determinants when it comes to the overall online ranking of our law firm’s website.
Why Your Law Firm Needs Target Keywords
In the previous section, we briefly discussed the viability of keywords. From the indexing of your website to driving relevant traffic to your site, keywords play a crucial role. If we talk about indexing, Google indexes several sites and orders them according to how closely they relate to the current search query. So, for fruitful indexing, Google needs to find the appropriate keywords somewhere on your website. Keywords also let users know that they have discovered what they are looking for.
Best Keyword Finding Techniques and Tools for Law Firms
We will now go over how to plan an effective keyword strategy. Here too, we will point out some keyword planning tools and can aid us in finding and targeting the right keywords. So, let’s list a few.
Google Keyword Planner
A powerful tool by Google itself, Google Keyword planner can be used by seasoned as well as novice digital marketers. You can use this keyword planning tool to search for keywords and see how a list of keywords close to your niche might perform. It is a reliable tool that can support multiple digital marketing campaigns by suggesting relevant keywords for each campaign. It also provides necessary keyword data such as search volume, number of clicks, etc.
Google Trends is another magnificent tool by Google to help us with our keyword planning strategy. It generally measures the changes in the search frequency of a specific keyword. Several factors affect the search frequency of a keyword, such as a change in season, a special occasion, the regional search parameters, etc. Google Trends notes all these changes and turn them all in an easy-to-understand and comprehensive report
Onsite SEO for Law Firms
Website Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Title tags or header tags are the headings, or titles, of your site’s pages or a piece of content hosted on your website. They let the reader (and Google) know what your page or content is about and present the content logically in a systematic way.
Meta descriptions, on the other hand, are like a summary of your page. Whenever any page of your site shows up in a Google search result, there is a brief synopsis of what the page contains located directly under the site’s URL. This synopsis is a meta description.
Keywords in Heading Tags
Adding your target keyword in header tags will improve the search engine visibility of your page and bring in more traffic. In short, intelligent placement of keywords within your header tags favors increased traffic and site visibility.
We live in a mobile age where smartphones have become a vital aspect of human existence. So, optimizing our law firm website to make it mobile-friendly will ultimately add to its user-friendliness. In case if you wish to check the mobile-friendliness of your website, you can always ask for help from Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
Google’s mobile-friendly test is rather simple to use — just type in the URL of the web page that you want to test for mobile-friendliness. The test takes less than a minute or so to complete its analysis. It displays how your webpage looks on a mobile device as well as a list of any mobile usability problems that it finds.
A sitemap, just as it sounds, is a complete map of all the pages of your website. Sitemaps make the content easier to understand and make information easier to find. Search engines such as Google promote the Sitemaps Protocol, under which webmasters may submit information about the URLs encompassing their websites. Doing so makes it easier for the search engine to crawl the website and catalog its content for search. In other words, sitemaps boost your website’s indexability.
Speed of the Website
The speed of your website can make or break your online ranking. If your site has a slow loading time, constantly lags, and takes a considerable amount to display information, then it can easily frustrate a user. No one has the patience to wait forever for a site to load. So, always check on the speed of your website. Try to run regular tests and analyses to see if your site’s speed is up to the mark.
According to a report, more than 95% of consumers search online to find a service, and legal services are no exception to that fact. About one-third of folks seeking legal services use a search engine to find one. To add more to the logic, about 70% of consumers acquire the knowledge of law firms through digital media rather than magazine ads. That’s enough to justify the urgent nature of search engine optimization.
Importance of Ranking on the First Page of Google
Let’s start with the facts, shall we? Each month, Google records approximately 12 billion searches. Talking in billions, around 2 billion mobile devices are active on Google every month. Just for the record, the population of the entire world is 7 billion. Now, for Google search results, more than 90% of the total traffic responds to the first page results, the traffic on the second page is less than 5% of total traffic, and for the third page, it’s a bit more than 1%. The numbers speak for themselves.
To summarize all this data, if your law firm isn’t on the first page of Google, then it’s almost invisible to the world.
The Competitive Edge
The world is going completely digital, and traditional marketing strategies are becoming primitive and obsolete. The legal industry is a highly competitive one. If a firm can’t sufficiently market itself, then its chances of survival are close to zero. Just like we said, the law industry has cut-throat competition and to face that competition head-on, employing law firm SEO becomes an absolute must. All the aspects that are responsible for increasing our earnings, such as client acquisition, attractive marketing measures, and even client satisfaction, are all covered well under the law firm SEO canopy.
How to Find the Best Lawyer SEO Company
The term “best” is entirely subjective. So, we can never settle on one definition for the “best lawyer SEO company,” but there are a few factors that we should consider before buying lawyer SEO services. These factors can affect your entire experience with law-firm search engine optimization.
How much you are willing or can pay is the foremost factor influencing the services you will order. The quality and quantity of service vary greatly. In a narrow sense, the more you spend, the more you can get out of it. However, you don’t have to pay a truckload of money on getting lawyer SEO services. Just find the point of equilibrium between your budget and the quality of the service.
Your online competition
The level of competition varies according to your area of expertise, and so does lawyer SEO. By area of knowledge, we mean the branch of the law industry your firm specializes in. You should pick your lawyer SEO service provider by keeping your specialty area in mind.
Location of Your Law Firm
The place where your law firm is located also plays its part in determining the kind of service you will receive. In short, the quality of the service varies according to the location. So, don’t hire the first SEO agency you find near you. Instead, do some research and try to find some useful info on the SEO service providers available in your area. Then, settle on the one that you prefer.