SEO Services for Lawyers: A Buyers Guide
In the modern digital landscape, attorneys cannot afford to neglect their online visibility. As people in need of legal counsel increasingly rely on internet searches, the importance of SEO for law firms becomes glaringly evident. Navigating the complexities of SEO can be a daunting task for legal professionals, who must juggle this with their already demanding roles. Yet, mastering SEO is indispensable for lawyers aiming to rise above the competition and connect with more prospective clients.
In the vast expanse of the internet, lawyers and law firms are not just fighting for justice, but also for a favorable spot on search engines. SEO is the unsung hero that can tremendously amplify the online presence of your legal practice, ensuring that potential clients find you before they stumble upon your competitors. As opposed to Google Ads or other PPC services, SEO can provide long term, organic traffic that does not just go away when your ad spend dries up. Our SEO services for lawyers are uniquely designed to efficiently compete in the online legal markets, ensuring you rise to prominence in search engine results at a faster pace than those in your niche.
According to a survey conducted by Google and FindLaw, 96% of people in need of legal advice use a search engine to find it. This staggering statistic underscores the importance of having a well-executed SEO strategy to ensure lawyers are visible to those seeking their services. Without proper optimization, law firms risk missing out on potential clients and losing their competitive edge.
Tactics and Strategies for SEO Implementation On Law Firm Campaigns
Optimizing a law firm’s website for search engines can present some unique challenges. Legal services are highly competitive, so standing out from the crowd requires careful planning and execution. Here are a few strategies to overcome these challenges:
1. Keyword Analysis
Our approach to identifying relevant search terms is meticulous and tailored to the legal industry. By delving into the specific language and queries that potential clients use when seeking legal assistance, we gain valuable insights. This enables attorneys to create content that genuinely resonates with the needs and questions of their intended audience, rather than just inserting keywords arbitrarily.
Instead of using fully automated tools with generalized suggestions for what to target, our team knows how to work on platforms such as Ahrefs and Semrush while being mindful of their limits. We frequently come across other agencies who believe that the local-specific data is accurate on SEO tools. This is very far from the truth, so we instead will use Google Search Console, GBP Insights, and Google Analytics to backup the data that we present for clients.
2. Local SEO
For attorneys, the focus is often on a particular geographic region where they offer their services. Local SEO is the linchpin that connects law firms with community members in need of legal counsel. By taking control of their Google My Business listings and fine-tuning the meta tags, title tags, and content on their websites to include location-centric details, lawyers can significantly enhance their local visibility.
Distinguishing Local SEO from General SEO
While general SEO aims to improve a website’s visibility on a broad scale, local SEO is about zeroing in on your immediate competitors on the Google Maps platform. Our current process emphasizes the importance of local and relevant citations, customer reviews, and localized content.
We also leverage industry-leading link building tactics that aim to increase the radius of visibility for each associated Google Business Profile of the law firm.
This ensures that when someone in your local area searches for legal help, your firm is prominently displayed in local search results along with all of your amazing reviews. Unlike broader SEO strategies that cast a wide net, our local SEO tactics are designed to make your law firm the go-to choice in your community by simply being listed first for users within a radius of ~10 miles out from your location. (Maximum radius depends on case type, number of competitors, and population density).
3. High-Quality Content
Crafting insightful and pertinent content is pivotal for drawing in and retaining prospective clients. Attorneys can develop a range of materials such as blog posts, legal guides, and FAQs to tackle prevalent legal queries. This not only establishes them as authorities in the field but also offers the sought-after information that potential clients are actively looking for.
Our SEO agency uses only legal industry workers such as certified paralegals, law school students, or former attorneys for our clients’ website content.
Strategic Content Planning
While it’s tempting to cover every conceivable question a client might have, it’s neither practical nor cost-effective to churn out hundreds of pages of content.
Instead, prioritize topics based on your specific practice areas and the most frequently asked questions within those domains. Focus on creating high-quality, in-depth articles that offer real value, rather than attempting to cover every angle in a superficial manner. This targeted approach ensures that you’re addressing the most pressing concerns of your potential clients, making your content efforts both impactful and budget-friendly.
4. Website Optimization
Ensuring that a law firm’s website is user-friendly and mobile-responsive is essential for attracting and retaining visitors. Optimizing website loading speed, implementing intuitive navigation, and having clear calls-to-action can greatly enhance the user experience.
Avoiding excessive headings placed within design elements are crucial to organize each page’s content. But even more so, permalink structures that lack parent-child pages for law firms with more than one category of law will prevent crawlers from efficiently finding and cataloging your pages. This means that you need a good structure to organize all your pages before it gets too large to efficiently work with.
Placing all pages and posts of a site in the same folder is a lazy way to upload pages. We see marketers do it when they don’t have good enough instructions for the team member that actually uploads each page once it is ready to go live. Instead of knowing where to upload the page, they throw it all in the same place to make things easier for themselves.
Using Block Builders such as Beaver Builder, Divi Builder, or others can bring significant slow downs to the way pages load for users. When thinking about people who are mostly using mobile data for these online searches, we need to be mindful about the software or framework that is used.
If there is a heavy reliance on plugins for the website to function, it can also bring instability in the form of crashes each time one plugin update conflicts with that of another. Our team uses as few plugins as possible to prevent such catastrophic issues. We also use daily backups of all of our sites to be able to rapidly respond in the situation where anything does break.
Thanks to our custom created child themes, built on the Genesis Framework, our clients can enjoy the best performing WordPress websites in the legal SEO industry.
5. On-Page SEO
On-Page SEO: Our specialized on-page SEO services for attorneys go beyond mere keyword insertion. We delve into the intricacies of the content as well as the HTML source code that powers each page. By meticulously crafting meta-descriptions, headings, and image alt texts, we aim to elevate both search rankings and click-through rates for your law firm’s website.
Custom Development vs Block Builders
Unlike many services that rely on block builders for website creation, we exclusively use WordPress for a more tailored and flexible design. This allows us greater control over the SEO elements and ensures that your site is unique, fast, and optimized for search engines.
In addition to SEO optimization, we prioritize making your website accessible to all users by adhering to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. From text-to-speech functions to keyboard navigation, we implement features that make your site usable for everyone. This not only broadens your potential client base but also minimizes the risk of ADA-related legal issues.
6. Link Building
While many services offer generic white-hat link-building, our approach is far more nuanced and rooted in a deep understanding of the legal sector. We focus on acquiring high-quality, relevant backlinks from authoritative sources within the legal community. Our internal process involves meticulous research to identify potential link partners, ensuring that each link serves a strategic purpose in elevating your site’s authority.
Why Our Links Stand Out
Unlike many freelancers who might offer a one-size-fits all link-building package, we specialize in contextual links, guest posts on legal blogs, and partnerships with legal directories. Each link is carefully vetted for relevance, authority, and quality, aligning with the specific needs and goals of your law firm.
In addition to traditional link-building methods, we also leverage the power of press releases to boost your online presence. By crafting newsworthy announcements and distributing them to reputable media outlets, we not only gain high-quality backlinks but also position your firm as a thought leader in the legal space. This dual approach amplifies your reach and lends additional credibility to your online profile.
One of the best ways to get an understanding of what kind of experience an SEO agency has is by reviewing their most successful campaigns. These are frequently referred to as Case Studies in the SEO industry. It is basically a breakdown of what work was done to create excellent results.
In some examples, much of the details are hidden, but the best agencies are typically able to explain much more of the steps involved than one who essentially could have gotten lucky with a client that has a large brand.
The Client-Centric Approach at ELC
Recognizing the inherent distinctions of every lawyer and law firm, we take great pride in our personal tailored and lawyer-centric approach. Our methodology involves an in-depth collaboration with you, wherein, we delve into the intricacies of your practice, areas of focus, and the demographics of your intended audience. This meticulous approach guarantees that our SEO strategies are closely aligned with your individual objectives, ensuring that your investment into the service is efficiently spent in the most advisable manner.
Furthermore, we understand that the legal field demands a unique blend of professionalism, credibility, and trustworthiness. Our team of seasoned SEO experts specialize in crafting strategies that not only enhance your online visibility but also uphold the integrity and reputation of your legal practice.
How To Judge The Quality of SEO Work
For most law firms, spending money on the wrong service is not really acceptable. Every day that goes by is another opportunity to be gaining and climbing against your competitors on search engines. Choosing a subpar service not only means wasted dollars, but it also means wasted time towards the objective.
It is difficult for attorneys to pick the right team to handle their SEO and web dev needs. Which is why it is so crucial to perform your due diligence when picking a service, especially if it requires that you commit for a certain amount of time with them.
How We Stand Out
- Holistic Approach: While some agencies focus only on content, GBP Posting, or link-building, we offer a full-suite service. This includes on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO/developer needs. We focus on all aspects of the brand. Every attorney that is a part of the law firm is a part of the campaign. Since Google reads the ties between related entities, our team goes a step further by optimizing properties for each member of the law firm.
- Custom Audits: We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all. Our team of lawyer SEO experts will conduct a custom audit of your website/GBPs to identify areas for improvement across your online presence. We build campaigns in a competitive manner meant to provide the most value possible for our clients.
- Transparency: We provide clear, easy-to-understand reports that not only show your site’s performance but also the leads generated from organic traffic. We also focus on queries with intent when providing regular insights on the performance of websites and Google Business Profiles.
- Our team is known for our ability to report on any and all links that are acquired throughout the campaign.
Comparing with Other Services
Red Flags To Look Out For
There are many forms of red flags that can be spotted from low quality or schemy SEO agencies. Since it is so easy to launch a new brand online for such a service, the industry ends up including all sorts of bad actors who are just out to get your money.
The legal landscape for SEO is inherently more competitive, which is why law firms are so heavily targeted by even large agencies who are set up as “sign up” agencies. Trapping attorneys into lengthy contracts with abhorrently large fees to be able to break out of them.
Without a doubt, there are many risks involved with trusting someone to run your SEO campaign. A wise attorney will spend at least some time researching to understand the basics of the ranking process from someone with experience. Only then can they complete a proper due diligence process before committing the firm’s marketing spend for several or more months at a time.
Lack of Transparency
If the agency is not open about their methods and strategies, be wary. You should have a clear understanding of what they plan to do for your website. This includes but is not limited to: credentials of the writer used for content creation, explanation of the extent of use of AI tools, what backlinks where acquired and what QA process is used to ensure quality of each placement, regular exports of traffic data broken down by sources (Organic vs Paid traffic), as well as traffic value data to separate irrelevant keyterm gains vs those with buyer intent.
Be cautious of promises that sound too good to be true, such as guaranteeing the #1 spot on Google. SEO results can vary, and no one can guarantee specific rankings. As industry professionals, we have not, and will never guarantee anything but our unrelenting efforts to keep your campaign as competitive as possible for the given spend.
If the agency is using black-hat SEO techniques like keyword stuffing, hidden text, bot traffic /CTR manipulation, or link schemes, it can harm your website’s reputation and lead to penalties from search engines.
We always advise that our clients use compliant methods. However, we will provide full insight into any curious questions from attorneys who wish to explore higher risk and more experimental strategies that can be considered “gray hat”.
Lack of Knowledge of Legal Industry & Cookie-Cutter Proposals
If the proposal feels generic and doesn’t address your specific needs and goals, it may indicate that the company doesn’t fully understand your law firm or industry. More so, asking probing questions into more technical aspects of the website or efforts like link building can easily reveal if the person you are speaking with is a seasoned expert, novice, or complete newbie to the industry.
Although the client-facing team is not responsible for being an expert, it is important that even the sales roles of an agency have a clear understanding of the basics that are used across campaigns.
Who Do We Recommend?
For those who need frequent touch points with an account manager, and a more all-encompassing solution with additional software implementation, we refer them to one other agency only.
On The Map Marketing – Miami, FL
Known for their educational and transparent approach, lawyers who want to outsource their marketing efforts have had exceptional experience with this established agency from Miami, FL. On The Map Marketing has become devoted towards harboring a proper workplace for top SEOs to achieve outstanding results. We especially recommend them for larger law firms who are looking to dedicate a sizable spend to dominate search rankings. Their size in team members allows them to rapidly deploy larger-scale campaigns with ease.
SEO for Lawyers
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for lawyers is a digital marketing strategy aimed at improving your law firm’s visibility on search engines. When done right, SEO can bring in high-quality leads, helping you grow your practice. Whether you’re an established law firm or just starting out, understanding the fundamentals of SEO is essential for increasing your online presence and attracting potential clients.
Key SEO Ranking Factors Law Firms Need to Know
When it comes to SEO for law firms, understanding the key ranking factors can help you optimize your website effectively. Here are the essential factors to consider:
Backlinks are links from other websites to your law firm’s website. These act as votes of confidence for the quality and relevance of your content. Quality backlinks from authoritative and topically related websites hold more value. Quality backlinks from relevant domains boost your site’s authority.
2. Quality & Relevance of Content
Creating relevant and informative content is crucial for SEO success. Google aims to provide the most helpful and relevant results to users’ search queries. By aligning your content with your target audience’s search intent and optimizing HTML elements like title tags and header tags, you can improve your chances of ranking higher in search results.
The latest Helpful Content Update on the Google Search algorithm makes it even more crucial for your content to be relevant to your practice. This would be as opposed to publishing easy-to-rank pages like copying car accident news articles onto your blog.
3. Technical SEO
Technical SEO focuses on optimizing your website to ensure search engines can easily crawl, index, and understand your content. This includes aspects like organizing your website architecture, improving page load speed, using internal links strategically, and implementing meta tags and schema markup.
4. User Experience
Google evaluates the overall user experience offered by websites. While user experience signals have been recently retired from the algorithm, they still hold importance in creating a positive impression for your law firm’s brand. Factors like page experience, mobile-friendliness, and ease of navigation contribute to a good user experience.
5. Local Ranking Factors
For law firms targeting a specific geographical location, understanding local SEO is essential. This involves optimizing your Google Business Profile, building citations, managing online reviews, and localizing your website content to ensure your firm appears prominently in local search results.
Reach Out To Our Team Today
Starting a new SEO campaign for a law firm can be a huge decision. We acknowledge the time investment that often accompanies such a choice, and our dedicated team at ELC empathizes with your struggles to increase leads organically.
We invite you to connect with our team, and grant us the opportunity to show you the value we can deliver to your law practice. Request a free discovery call today to see if our agency is a good fit for your marketing efforts.