66% of marketers consider search engine optimization (SEO) and growing their organic online presence top marketing priorities. SEO will help your website rank higher on search engines like Google. A higher ranking will allow your law firm’s website to appear in front of more potential clients. Keep reading to find out more tips on search engine optimization for lawyers to gain you more leads!
Improving your SEO ranking can also help you build brand awareness, brand trust, and compete with firms in your area.
What’s the secret to success? Developing a thorough strategy with search engine optimization for lawyers in mind can ensure your rankings rise.
By developing a strong plan, you can raise your ranking and ensure more clients find your firm. Ready to get started? Keep reading for the nine top tips you need for law firm search engine optimization!
1. Choose the Right Keywords
The foundation for a strong search engine optimization strategy is to know your clients and what they’re searching for.
First, determine your target audience.
What problems do they face every day? What demographics do they fall under? Make sure to determine their:
- Age range
- Marital status
- Buying behaviors
You might also want to specify your target audience based on their case needs. For example, if your law firm specializes in auto accident cases, you’ll want to prioritize those clients.
Next, determine how your target audience searches online. What words and phrases do they use? How do they speak?
Make a list of potential keywords you want to target. For the above example, you might want to target “lawyers for auto accident claims.” Then, use the following tools to develop a list of related keywords:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
These tools can help you determine which keywords have high monthly search volumes and low competition. When choosing your keywords, focus on:
- Your target audience
- Higher monthly search volume
- Lower competition
- The client’s search intent
- Your services
It also helps to choose long-tail keywords over short-tail keywords. For example, the short-tail keyword “lawyer” doesn’t indicate a specific search intent. Someone could search “lawyer” for a definition or because they need a lawyer.
“Where can I find a medical malpractice attorney near me?” on the other hand, is very specific. Choosing these specific, long-tail keywords can help you appeal to the client’s search intent. Then, you can create content that appeals to their needs.
Google’s latest algorithm update, BERT, considers the user’s search intent. What exactly are your clients looking for when they search on Google. Do they want to find a lawyer, or an article that can tell them what to look for in a lawyer?
Google’s machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities make it easier for Google to understand the user’s intent.
Try to understand your clients as much as possible. The more you know about who they are and what they need, the stronger you can make your SEO strategy.
Discover these benefits of using SEO for your business.
2. Research Your Competitors
Search engine optimization for lawyers also involves understanding your competitors. Once you have a list of keywords, determine what your competitors are doing to rank for those keywords.
Start by searching for one of your target keywords in Google. Then, examine the top results. What do you notice about these posts?
There are over 200 factors that can determine your content’s ranking, including:
- Your website’s security (HTTPS vs HTTP)
- Whether or not your site is mobile-optimized
- How quickly your website loads
- Whether or not your site has the correct schema markup
- The quality of your content
- How long your content is
- Whether or not your images are optimized
- The presence of social signals that point to your site
- Whether or not there are backlinks that direct people to your site
Make a note of other factors that are helping your competitors rank higher. Completing a competitive analysis can help you determine areas where you can improve. At the same time, you can also discover opportunities that can help you rank higher than your competitors.
Try to keep track of what your competitors are doing throughout the year. They might make use of an SEO trend that you can also use to attract clients.
3. Make Technical SEO Improvements
The success of your law firm search engine optimization will depend on which ranking factors you’ve implemented throughout your website. To improve your SEO this year, you first need to update your website.
Many of these updates can improve the user experience (UX) on your website. A better UX will keep people on your site longer. Improving a visitor’s dwell time and clickthrough rate will boost your SEO ranking.
A high bounce rate, on the other hand, indicates people are leaving your site out of frustration. To keep people clicking and exploring, try to prioritize convenience for your users.
First, make sure you have an SSL certificate. Does “HTTPS” appear in front of your website’s domain name?
People want to trust a business that will keep their private information secure. If you don’t have an SSL certificate, you’re not prioritizing their safety. Instead, you’re leaving them vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Next, test your site speed. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to see if plugins or images are slowing your site down. A slower website might encourage people to leave.
You also need to make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices.
Consumers are spending more time on their smartphones instead of desktop computers. Optimizing your website will ensure mobile users can still explore your content. Otherwise, they might have to pinch and zoom to read your text or fill out a form.
Don’t forget to complete a schema markup, too. Schema is a type of HTML markup that helps search engines understand your content. Adding a schema markup will tell Google what the content on your page features.
A schema can help boost your ranking and keep Google from misunderstanding your content.
4. Optimize Your Existing Pages
To improve your law firm search engine optimization, make sure to optimize your existing content.
First, make sure each page has a title tag and meta description. Both areas should feature a target keyword.
Then, review the page content. Does it thoroughly address the page subject? Does the topic reflect your target keyword? If not, you’ll need to make changes.
Next, organize your page content by using heading tags and bullet points. Try to use shorter paragraphs and sentences to improve readability. You should also feature your keyword in at least one H tag.
Your target keyword should appear within your content, including in the:
- Opening paragraph
- Closing paragraph
- Alt text of an image
It’s important not to keyword stuff, which is a blackhat tactic. Instead, make sure your keyword appears organically within the content. You can also use alternative versions of your keyword to avoid stuffing.
Repeat these steps for every page of your website.
Make sure your website is mobile-optimized, too.
According to Google, 98% of customers shop digitally. 75% of them start their experience using a mobile device.
5. Go Local
In order to attract local clients to your law firm, you need a local SEO strategy.
First, make sure to update your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Your GMB listing appears in the right corner of a Google search. Make sure your listing accurately displays your:
- Business name
- A description
- Your website
- Phone number
- Business hours
- Photos of your business
Your listing can help you gain exposure in the Google local pack, which features law firms in your area.
Search engine optimization for lawyers also benefits from local reviews. Ask your previous clients to post a review on your GMB listing. Make sure to feature those reviews on your website as well.
92% of consumers read online reviews to find a local business. Meanwhile, 60% judge a local business based on its overall star rating.
Make an effort to respond to reviews (good and bad) in a timely manner. Reviews can increase your exposure and show potential clients you’re active. Reviews will also help build your brand awareness, reputation, and trust.
After reading your reviews, a potential client might decide to give you a call.
You should also claim your law firm on the top legal citation sources, including:
- FindLaw websites
- Best Lawyers
- Lawyers US Legal
- Law Info
- Law Guru
Claim your business and make sure your information is consistent across each listing. You can learn more about local SEO here.
6. Create High-Quality Content
Your website won’t rank unless you create unique content that features your target keywords. First, make sure your law firm’s website features a blog. Ensure the blog is easy to find by placing a link in your navigation bar.
Then, create a content creation schedule for yourself.
Use your keyword research to answer client questions and attract more visitors to your website. Keeping your blog up-to-date will help you attract visitors on a regular basis. Blog posts also give you a chance to show off your expertise.
Google’s BERT algorithm prioritizes posts that prove a brand’s “EAT.” EAT stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
You can prove your expertise by covering a range of helpful topics. Show potential clients you’re up-to-date with the latest laws and procedures. You can also create case studies to demonstrate your expertise.
Then, use links from high-authority blogs and resources to build your authority.
To build trust, don’t forget to add new reviews to your site as often as possible.
You don’t have to stick to blog posts. You can also create infographics, interactive content (like quizzes and contests), and videos. Adding a variety of content will help you appeal to different audiences.
Make sure each post you create is easy to digest by breaking up large paragraphs. You can also use bullet lists and headings. Test posts of different lengths to determine what your readers prefer.
Give each post a singular focus to keep your readers focused, too.
7. Build Your Links
A successful law firm search engine optimization strategy will require a link building strategy. You can use two types of links: internal links and external links.
Internal links will encourage people to explore your content, which will boost your clickthrough rate and dwell time. External links will provide your authority. Linking to other resources will encourage people to link back to you, too.
The more links you have back to your site, the more authority Google assumes you have.
You can find backlinks by getting interviewed or writing in law journal articles. Consider writing for other publications and promoting your content on social media, too.
8. Implement the Latest Trends
Google’s algorithm changes throughout the year. In order to create a strong, competitive SEO strategy, you need to keep track of the latest trends.
We’ve already discussed a few. You should also consider::
- Google’s preference for unique, high-quality content
- Machine learning
- Artificial intelligence
- Blockchain technology
- Featured snippets (zero-click searches)
You’ll also want to optimize your posts for voice search. More people are using Siri, Google, and Alexa to search for content. In order to optimize for these searches:
- Give your content a specific focus
- Make sure your site loads quickly
- Optimize your images and compress files
- Make sure your site is mobile-optimized
- Write the way people speak
90% of customers claim that product videos help them make purchasing decisions. In order to attract more website traffic, try creating video content, too. Keep track of these trends can help you compete with other law firms in your area.
9. Measure, Analyze, & Optimize
As you start using these SEO law tips, make sure to track your progress. Which topics are keeping people on your pages longer? Which ones encourage people to fill our forms or call your firm?
Check your website’s Google Analytics reports. Determine which strategies are working and which aren’t. Then, make improvements throughout your site.
Remember, Google’s algorithm changes throughout the year. By keeping up with the latest trends and strategy, you can make sure your website works for you. Then, you can attract new clients and continue growing your law firm!
Try implementing these 10 small business marketing tips for 2020 throughout the year, too.
Search Engine Optimization for Lawyers: 9 Tips for SEO Success
Ready to achieve SEO success? With search engine optimization for lawyers, you can build an SEO strategy that will boost your brand. Then, you can attract more clients to your law firm and continue growing as a business.
Need help implementing your SEO strategy? Contact us today to get started!