Let's rank your Law Firm successfully with the best Law SEO guide.
We’ve created the most comprehensive guide to establishing the law firm’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) method. This guide walks you through the entire SEO procedure, offering insights gained from our more years of working as a lawyer SEO marketing company.
Search engines can draw enormous targeted visitors and audience members into your legal firm’s internet channels. But there are a few essential steps to optimize your channels online to show them to search engines in a manner that allows them to get the best rankings for relevant keywords and to draw the most qualified business.
Let’s dive deep to know more about Law SEO.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter1: What is SEO in the Law Firm SEO?
SEO can be described as an abbreviation that means “Search engine Optimization,” and it’s a crucial element of every law firm’s marketing plan. Through SEO, law firms can get more organic ranking (not sponsored) positions and are more likely to be awarded quality cases due to their greater visibility on search engines such as Google, Bing, Youtube, or lesser ones such as Duck Duck Go. SEO aims to provide users with search engine results with the best experience possible when searching for information or for transactions. SEO is an excellent addition to your overall marketing strategy, but establishing it, implementing it, and maintaining a profitable system requires time. It takes time, energy, motivation, and expertise that many attorneys do not have.
Being an SEO specialist is not necessary to comprehend what it is. It is the art of getting specific pages on your law firm’s website to show up in the search results areas of search engine result pages, also known as SERPs. This happens whenever users search for a specific phrase. But there is more to it than that with regards to legal firm SEO. It’s not a secret in the field of marketing that among the most competitive areas in digital marketing is legal, making developing and maintaining a successful strategy even more challenging and time-consuming.
But as an attorney, your time should be used in the field of cases rather than on marketing. The best weapon you have is knowledge, but that’s why we’ve created this guide. We will also explain the SEO process and assist you in discovering areas that require improvement in your strategies regardless of whether you opt to engage one SEO agency or not.
Chapter2: What makes Search Engine Optimization effective for lawyers?
Search engines offer ratings for companies and organizations that their clients and customers can review on their platforms. Clients and customers conduct many local search results on mobile phones and other devices. Reviews are closely linked to scores for local searches, making them more critical to all companies, including law firms.
In terms of volume, Google is the largest search engine. It’s also one of the most well-known and popular, which makes Google My Business as well as Google Reviews extremely important to law firms. Google has captured between the 87-93 percent marks of the market share on all platforms, depending on whether you look at the monthly or annual figures. Google has a greater than 95 percent market share for mobile devices.
Achieving a position at the top of the search results or “local packs” for specific search terms will increase the number of visits to your website and the number of contacts with potential customers. It’s a numbers-based game. The more occasions you can discuss a case in person with prospective clients, the more opportunities you can create to develop new business for the law company you work for.
Making sure you optimize for search engines that are not Google is equally essential. When you optimize to Google, the other machines also follow your lead. The search engines that Google is optimized for have lower numbers of users. They have diverse niches of users and, in general, less competition—examples: Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc.
Bing, for instance, is the second-largest search engine on the internet besides Google control. Its users belong to the older age group. This means that they are more financially savvy but with the drawback of more time-consuming turnaround times. Bing is much clearer regarding ranking factors, and the process is more straightforward than Google’s.
Chapter3: How Google ranks Law Firms when users browse
Experts believe that Google utilizes about 200 ranking factors as part of its algorithm for determining the ranking of websites in the context of a specific web search query. They say that SEO is the process of making minor changes and enhancements to your law firm’s website, which affects the user experience and its performance in organic search results. But, Google has never explicitly declared what will and will not affect rankings on results pages of search engines. This is why you take time to notice the results after optimizing your site and your content.
All in all, we can distill this entire part into one of the crucial ones, which is content. If your website is filled with relevant content, it will likely rank well. The content will help to answer the search engine’s queries or requirements efficiently and effectively. The best content is constantly changing, and the way you present your content can have a significant impact on the position you are in on. Google states it best “Create an informative, useful website, and create pages that are clear and precise in how they define what you are offering” within the guidelines.
Understanding how Google integrates user experience and results from searches is crucial. Most of Google’s significant changes to how it evaluates law firm website rankings are explicitly focused on users or those searching. Google algorithms are the complicated formulas it employs to determine the rankings of websites. The algorithms consider various elements when determining the order of websites, such as the quality of the content, user analytics and profile profiles of links and social media signals, and many other factors.
Chapter4: Moving on to Competitor Research.
Competitor research consists of three main tasks.
Finding Their Top Keywords
A manual analysis of keywords for your site is a challenge because your competitors could be in the top positions with hundreds of keywords. Numerous online tools help you determine the terms your competitors are ranking for. Here are some recommendations for free and trial tools.
After you’ve compiled the list of keywords that compete with you, you must look for relevant keywords that you are not ranked for and those with high volume for which you are already rated but would like to be higher. While you go through keywords, it is also essential to be aware of each keyword’s difficulty level. It could be classified slightly differently, but generally, you should be mindful of those with significant search volume and moderate difficulty ranking relevant to the area you practice law in. Please take note of your competitors’ most popular keywords so that you can concentrate on them.
Examining Their Content
You can go to a competitor’s website and read their posted content; however if you’d like to understand what’s going on effectively for them, use tools like MOZ’s Link Explorer. If you type in your competitors’ domain and search for them, it will show the Top Pages tab. The top Pages tab will reveal the websites with the highest backlinks. This list can be used as a starting point for content you would like to imitate or enhance.
Link Explorer offers you several backlinks on each page. However, to conduct competitor research, it is essential to be aware of the links. It is also possible to use Link Explorer to find which backlinks belong to your competitors but are not linked to your site. You can also see which companies and where they are earning backlinks.
Chapter5: Keyword Research and how to implement your research.
It is essential to research your competition before randomly searching for keywords for your website’s content. When you understand what’s being used by different law firms, then you’ll have an idea of what keywords you should choose to focus on.
Finding new keywords can help you understand what variations of your keyword are searched the most and additional keywords, topics, and subjects you might not have considered.
On the Keywords Results, you will see the considerable variation in search volume across keywords. Be aware that the lower the search volume, the more popular a keyword is, giving more chances of being ranked. Low-hanging fruit is advantageous to you. But it would be best if you also tried to ensure that you are targeting keywords your customers are searching for. Therefore, it’s ideal for targeting both high and low-volume words.
Suppose you’ve learned how to analyze your competition and identify the most relevant words for content you must to conduct your keyword and competitor research to produce results. Conducting your research involves the following:
Organizing Your Keywords
Creating pages specifically for each keyword variation you have discovered during your research is possible, but that is not the path you should take. Instead, group your keywords into groups that are with similar themes and objectives. Are you informing your site’s visitors about a particular subject or responding to a specific question? Every group you create will become an individual page.
Assess Search Engine results pages
Consider evaluating the first SERPs for every keyword or keyword group to help determine the kind and style of content you will need to create. Note the following features:
- Do the pages include many photos or videos?
- Is the content written either long-form or short-form?
- What format is the range in? Lists, paragraphs or bullet points, or any combination of the two?
The previous chapter stated that following and learning from your competitors is best. Once you’ve got the data, you must consider ways to enhance your site’s value relative to other pages that rank for your keywords. For instance, you might like to include photos or videos or provide more organized information or articles that provide more precise details on a specific lawful topic or issue.
Chapter6: Technical SEO – another essential aspect to look into.
Technical SEO is the process you undertake to optimize your site and server to help crawlers of search engines index your website, organically increasing your rankings on the internet.
A significant part of the technical aspect of SEO is keeping track of the most recent algorithm updates and their impact on you and your Law Firm placing in the results pages of organic search engines.
We’ll discuss the most crucial optimizations you should implement on your law firm’s site to give it the best chance of ranking in the current highly competitive organic search market.
Protect Your Website by obtaining an SSL Certificate
Due to the frequent occurrence of cyber-security breaches, keeping your site secure is essential. Google will take extra measures to ensure the security of its users. They wish to be a trustworthy search engine that will only display safe websites in their SERPs, which is why they strongly advise users to use an SSL certificate for their websites.
An SSL certificate is a set of tiny pieces of information that secures your website’s data when you connect it. The certificate is used to authenticate the website, ensure data transfer security, and provide secure connections. Furthermore, the SSL certificate safeguards your personal information, such as logins, passwords, transactions, and general personal data.
Your Cpanel of your site is a control panel software, also known as Web host management. It is not enough to set a solid password to log in. But you be required to establish an extra secure and unique password for your login for all your files in the file manager.
To secure the security of your law firm’s site, you must ensure that there are no other individuals you have given access to your Cpanel. It is accessible from your File Manager part of the Cpanel by looking into “last login” files. Be sure to identify the IP addresses listed.
Google Analytics is an essential element for performance monitoring. It gives you all you should know about your customers and their interactions with your site. When you have integrated Google Analytics into your law firm’s website, you can examine metrics like pages viewed, sessions, average time spent on page bounce rate, average time on page, and many more.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is another of Google’s free services which you can utilize to enhance SEO. It allows you to analyze and optimize your site’s page ranking and impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and much more concerning Google Search results. Google Search Console can help you improve your site’s performance by focusing on Google as an engine for search, with powerful tools and information that can increase your visibility and boost your site’s visibility on the SERPs. If you’re looking to optimize the organic traffic to your site and increase its visibility and presence, it is hard to find a more potent instrument than Search Console.
Google Search Console allows you to track which queries drive visitors to your law firm’s site. If you know how people find your website on the internet, it is possible to improve various things to improve your SERP rank.
Make your site mobile-friendly
We have discussed the importance of mobile search in the previous chapter. Customers are demanding mobile-friendly sites. If a potential client is annoyed while browsing your site, they will likely visit your competitor’s website. It is not just because your website needs to work smoothly on laptops and desktops but also functions well on mobile devices.
The Google Search Console’s Mobile-Friendly Test will tell whether your site is mobile-friendly. It’s cost-free!
Input your URL to run the test. It will quickly determine whether your site is mobile-friendly. You’ll also be able to access an analysis of mobile usability. Following Google’s guidelines to make the necessary modifications and employ a web designer if needed to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Also, ensure that your website is responsive to ensure that users can browse your law firm’s website regardless of the platform.
Chapter7: On-Site SEO for lawyers – things to consider
On-site SEO, sometimes referred to as on-page optimization, is the enhancements to different elements (content and HTML) on a site or web page.
These optimizations are simple to control but require at least some level of investigation to ensure the highest results in the SERPS.
Below, we will provide more precise details about the meta tag, interlinking domains, calls for action, and other content elements to help you implement SEO best practices on your site.
Website, what exactly is it?
HTML – The outline or structure of the webpage (the bone structure).
CSS – How a website page or site appears (The makeup and skin)
Metatags can be described as HTML elements that describe or explain your website’s contents to Google bots for indexability and users for reasons of the user interface. Many kinds of meta tags are available, and we’ll go over the most crucial ones that your law firm should be using. We’ll inform you about meta tags that could affect your website’s visibility and search engine ranking on Google. Here are some meta-tags you are likely to encounter when building your website:
- Title Tags
- Meta Description Tags
- The Heading Tags (H1-H6)
- Image Alt Attributes
- Nofollow Attributes
- Robots Meta Tag
- rel=”canonical” Tag
- Schema Markup
- Meta Tags for Social Media
External and internal linking
Internal links are a crucial element of SEO on-site for lawyers. They are the links from one web page to another of your law firm’s sites. The links you place within your content on your pages provide an overall picture of your website to Google and other engines, which means they can direct users to relevant information. If done correctly, internal linking increases the authority of your website. It also creates an order of pages on your site, which allows you to increase the value of your links to the most popular pages.
There are various options to incorporate internal linking on your law firm’s site. To increase your Google search rank organically, You must concentrate on the links that affect that search engine’s ranking.
External hyperlinks are also a fantastic method to inform search engines about your website’s subject matter. They are hyperlinks that link from your site to a different website. External links are sometimes referred to as backlinks, and they are backlinks to the website that receives the hyperlink. Creating a hyperlink from your site to another transfer some of the trust that a search engine has given to your site to the website it is linking to. It is the reason they should be used with caution.
Brand Vs. Keyword-focused domain
Law firms can opt to sign up for a .law as well as a .lawyer domain and others that are not standard .com as well as .net. From a branding perspective, the possibility of registering your company’s name in a variety of top-level domains could be beneficial. In terms of the SEO of law firm websites, you’ll notice little difference among .com, .law, .lawyer, and many others. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you will achieve better rankings with the .law or .lawyer domain for your site. It is still essential to have a good layout, well-thought-out website structure, great content, and reputable links to stand the highest chance of being highly ranked.
If there’s a chance of getting a .com Top-level Domain, we recommend acquiring it. It is not superior to the other top-level domains, but more because of the experience people already have with the top-level domain. It helps users to locate and remember your domain.
Make sure that actions are above the Fold.
Lawyers shouldn’t make their clients search for the information they’re searching for. If there’s something you wish users to complete, ensure that it is as simple and as obvious as possible. Keep important content such as CTAs or phone numbers and other essential information at the top of the page; that’s the point where the user will have to scroll down to view more details.
Cut Text in Half and Reduce Clutter
We often forget that when people research attorneys online or seek details on legal matters, they do not necessarily need to read through a mountain of text. In the same way, lawyers have to manage the requirement for lengthy content for searches alongside the equally important objective of keeping visitors engaged on their website.
Break up the text using imagery and bullet lists. It helps make paragraphs shorter and easier to comprehend. Readers can understand your writing when the lines are less lengthy and there’s white space between words. Lawyers must not fill pages with excessive information or images, or functions. It is especially true when a visitor must perform any step, such as filling in an application.
If there are excessive distractions on the page, the user’s attention is lost, or people are distracted and move elsewhere. Be aware that it’s not the design you believe is the best but what’s most suitable for the person visiting the page.
Chapter8: Concentrating on Local SEO of Law Firms
Optimizing your local search for success requires thorough planning, understanding of the field, skills, organization, and time. A well-planned local search campaign guarantees that potential clients within your area can find your business on the internet. Also, it ensures that your company’s address and address are displayed on the maps that matter, such as the ones used in Google and iPhones, and that smartphone applications can find you quickly. Below, we’ll provide more detailed information on the importance of local search and how reviews and ratings affect your company’s position on local search results.
How can a Law Firm be ranked highly in local results?
A key element for Local SEO in the field of law is the firm’s address, name, and telephone # (NAP data). Including these details on sites and directories all over the web can help establish your online position in local search. It demonstrates that your business’s listing is displayed in the most important and authoritative locations.
The most significant element of NAP is ensuring that information on the site is uniform everywhere it’s listed on the internet. Google does not accept specific abbreviations.
Local Landing Pages (LLPs) are pages that appear on your website which target a specific area. These pages assist customers in finding appropriate businesses in a particular area. They also help search engines by informing them about your offerings in one region.
Content should be relevant to users’ questions and also their location.
Reviews and Ratings
Reviews are a different aspect of local searches that law firms must consider. Different platforms, like Google, Yelp, Citysearch, and other legal-specific websites such as Avvo and many more provide clients with the option to write reviews about their experience with an attorney.
Many people view reviews on the internet, especially the web, as the latest form of “word-of-mouth” advertising. Clearly, people are more likely to purchase a product or support businesses when they read positive reviews on the internet.
It’s no surprise when your clients say great reviews about your firm or your attorneys and your services in public places. It positively affects your business. What they say and are willing to share could make others want to contact your firm to discuss their legal requirements.
For many years, the saying, “The customer is always right,” has been the motto of companies of all kinds. It’s true even when they’re not. Realizing the benefits of local SEO techniques is dependent upon being able to treat customers with respect. It is essential to treat your customers in a manner that encourages them to not only write a positive review about your business but also write a favorable review of your business.
As we mentioned earlier, the majority of customers have left reviews. It is essential to have positive reviews on the internet. So, make sure you request your clients to write reviews. It will ensure you have the latest ratings for your law firm on the internet, which in turn builds confidence.
The stars that appear alongside an item can act as an eye-catcher and a visual clue to visitors. It could drive more visitors and possible customers to your website.
Since more search queries are local and mobile in their nature and purpose, reviews will continue to increase in importance. Local SEO Hub provides an online review service that contains valuable tools to assist lawyers in protecting their reputations and making the most of their presence on the internet.
Chapter9: Now let’s optimize off-page SEO for Law Firm Websites.
Techniques for off-page SEO, such as connecting your website to well-established links from local businesses and generating ratings and reviews for your site on Google My Business and other platforms for reviews, will assist your law firm in gaining traction in the search results. Search engine results are curated by relevancy but also by strength and signal. With a wealth of websites that link to local organizations and companies that are listed on the “In the Community” page and a reliable method of filling out an online listing by submitting reviews to the site, lawyers could get a massive boost by making use of local citations as well as external links as part of an Off-page SEO strategy.
What are Backlinks? And why are they so important?
Backlinks, sometimes referred to as external links, are the case when a website is linked to pages of a different website. Backlinks are just one of the quality indicators that Google employs to determine which websites should rank highest for a specific search term.
In the past, the person with the most backlinks would win. Nowadays, it’s more about the quality of the backlinks than the quantity. High-authority links sign to engines to indicate something of significance on the site it is linked to.
Link-building may not be an easy concept to grasp for those who haven’t been around the field of digital marketing for long. In simple terms linking from one site to another can increase authority and aid search engines in understanding the significance of a specific website. We created an in-depth article on link equity/authority/juice and why it’s essential.
There are a variety of ways to generate hyperlinks back to your site. This article will focus on some of the most popular ways. But, remember that there are many more possibilities for your business beyond the ones listed in this list.
- Amazing Content. The most effective way to get links to your site is to create a compelling site for other sites to link to it by creating unique, high-quality content that other websites naturally would like to be related to. It’s more complicated than it sounds but with LocalSEOHUB, we are adept at developing unique projects that generate their links.
- Local Citations. The legal, local, and business citations we mentioned earlier are also fantastic for generating links because most citations offer the potential to link to your site.
- Local Guest Blogs. Another way to get natural backlinks for your website is through guest blogging. Guest blogging, also known as guest posts, is just what does. A website allows the guest blogger to post on their website to receive relevant information from the professionals. In return, the writer gets the credit they deserve for their work and, typically, a link to their site. The lawyers in your firm are likely members of one or two local legal associations. Most of these groups will have blog posts on their website and frequently solicit contributions from members. Even if they don’t announce guest posting opportunities, It is worthwhile to inquire.
- Sponsorships. By earning links through sponsorships, companies can make the most of existing relationships and develop new ones. Many charities are looking for financial support, and most of them do it as a reward for a piece of marketing collateral, such as links to the company’s website. Our outreach specialists can assist in establishing new partnerships with companies or building existing ones to develop an effective marketing plan.
- Social Profiles: Collecting hyperlinks from your social accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin is an excellent method to improve the law firm’s legal entity’s efficiency and create free social backlinks for your company’s website.
- Press Releases. Your company is likely to have a lot of critical newsworthy events, But do you take full advantage of them? One of the best ways to announce recent decisions, community partnerships, or future events is to use press releases. The hyperlinks in press releases are helpful to search engines, a double win.
As per Search Engine Journal, backlinks are an essential element in your SEO campaign and are one of the most crucial ranking factors. A legal SEO campaign must recognize the importance of your profile for backlinks. It must be diverse enough to add the most benefit to your site. The number of backlinks shouldn’t be a priority over the quality.
Chapter10: Avoid Low-Value Content Creation.
A thorough analysis of keywords and competitors gives you the information required to write content that boosts your Google rank because you offer essential information to your visitors. It is necessary to guide users to your law firm’s site and assist them in finding the information they require. Don’t produce content solely to boost your page’s rankings. Focusing on where your site is ranked can lead to mistakes that could harm your page’s rankings. Common techniques for creating content that is low-value to stay clear of include:
Google does not like duplicate poor pages for each variation of a particular keyword. Instead, it would be best to utilize your chosen keywords to build a comprehensive page. For instance, If your law firm has several offices, you may want to create a separate site for each of the offices, like Seattle Tax Attorney, Tacoma Tax Attorney, and Bellevue Tax Attorney. It is tempting to utilize the same content on each page and then only alter the city and perhaps a few details. This could affect your search engine rankings.
Google doesn’t punish you when you use duplicate content; however, they remove exact versions of identical content from the search results, thereby providing an improved experience for users. Duplicate content may refer to the content shared across several pages on a single website or between two websites and can result in the thin content issues mentioned earlier. The most deadly form of duplicative content is unauthorized usage on other websites by the republishing of something or by slightly spinning it. Duplicate content is not origin or significance. Certain situations require the same content between domains; however, Google would like you to point at the original version to ensure that your content is authentic.
Many people who are not familiar with online marketing or SEO believe that they should include their most popular keywords X amount of times on their pages, as Google will automatically place them on the top of Google’s list. Google will search for related keywords and keywords on your website; however, the content itself must provide value beyond just search engine optimization. Keyword stuffing makes your content appear unnatural and unpleasant for your visitors.
Google’s guideline on content quality specifically addresses auto-generated content. This kind of content was generated by a computer program and often is designed to alter rankings. It is easy to recognize auto-generated content since it usually doesn’t make sense when you look it up. However, the program has put words together and has included keywords. Auto-generated content will become better as technology advances. Technology will be a popular alternative for the future of content creation. But, it is not recommended to consider using these applications if you intend to alter your Google rankings. Content must be scrutinized before posting it on your website to ensure that it is beneficial for your website visitors. If it is not done, the effort is not made, and it will be a failure.
Chapter11: Evaluation of the success.
The needs constantly change for your visitors. The methods they use to discover and access your website will also change. Did they find you using Google, Bing, Facebook, or Google Places, or did they click on a link that was referred to them? What were the keywords they used to locate you? What did they read? Did their visit lead to a telephone call? What did the visitors read in the last month or the month prior?
This kind of data needs to be monitored continuously and compared to previous information to understand visitors’ trends on your site better. Examine this information to make educated decisions regarding web content and the changes that must be implemented. Here at LocalSEOHub, we continuously examine the data of our Platinum clients and offer suggestions or the changes required to ensure that their website(s) function optimally.
We’ll quickly assist you in setting your own goals for tracking the progress of your conversions. Here are some of the most basic indicators you’ll need to follow to ensure your campaign is headed in the proper direction.
- Overall Site Performance
- Organic Traffic
- Referral Traffic
- Direct Traffic
- Bounce Rate
- Average Time Spent on Site
- Conversion Rate
- CTR, or Click-Through Rate (CTR)
- Questions (keywords)
- Impressions, and also in Google Search Console
- Indexed Pages
- Other social networks that you’re a part of or have shared your content