SEO for Lawyers
What is Lawyer SEO?
Search engine optimization for lawyers involves strategies where attorney SEO experts apply techniques and tactics that attract prospective clients by ranking a law firm’s website higher in search engine results on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Here is how people find a lawyer to contact when they have a legal issue?
Every attorney knows that a majority of potential clients use search engines when they are searching for legal services. While word of mouth referrals and social media play a part in decision making, 80% of lawyer searches start and end with search engine searches
Search engine optimization provides the highest ROI of all digital marketing. This is due in part to benefits of many SEO techniques such as content creation to increase over time. Writing custom content, for example, not only gives you the potential to rank for organically for many keywords as well as naturally attract back links over time if it is written well and users share it with others
How should I use this SEO Guide for Lawyers to Improve My Law Firms SEO Campaign?
I wrote this guide to provide expert SEO guidance to those attorneys who may not have a budget to hire a law firm SEO agency to perform legal marketing services and want to improve their websites SEO.
Before we jump into the basics of SEO, I just wanted to preface who this guide is for and how to use it. While these lawyer SEO tips are meant to help everyone, some may be more advanced for some uses based on their individual level knowledge of the internet or online marketing techniques.
If you think you can handle it or want to try it, please continue on to the next section “Why is law firm SEO important?”
However, if you are not sure or worried about “hurting” your marketing campaign and would like to look over my shoulder or if you would just prefer to have someone do the work involved herein for you, we would be happy to discuss the SEO solutions available for law firms that we offer. Just click through to our contact page and schedule an appointment with our lawyer SEO strategists.
Why is law firm SEO important?
Performing SEO for lawyers over the last 10 years, I have seen the way consumers search, research, and select a law firm has drastically changed . Online search is a primary channel people use to find information.
• 87% of people who contact an attorney go on to hire an attorney
• Organic search generates up to 66% in the legal sector
What does this mean for your law firm? If you run a law firm and want to generate new clients, you need people to find your website on Google if you want to be successful.
Why does my law firm need an SEO optimized website?
Attorneys need to have an optimized website because of the way consumers are searching for businesses these days and to compete with all the other law firms out there hiring SEO agencys.
• 74% of prospects beginning a search online end up contacting the office via phone. (FindLaw U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey 2014)
People dont search the Yellow Pages anymore, now they search the internet or online directories when they do their research
Lawyers need to be the best resource available to answer searchers’ queries and satisfy a searchers intent. By creating written content or videos a lawyer can showcase their law firm’s expertise.
Having a website, no matter what business you’re in, is the foundation for your search engine optimization strategies. It’s the basis of the information you put in front of your ideal client, in other words you control much of the information they will learn about you and your law firm. If allows them to see what you can do for the and your expertise on the subject matter while promoting your brand.
• 70% of law firms have landed new cases through their website
• 62% of legal searches are non-branded (i.e., generic: “New Jersey divorce attorney,” etc.). (FindLaw U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey 2014)
If you want to attract these searches, publishing content will help you rank for search phrases so you can attract the right client cases
Which is better SEO or PPC for your Law Firm?
PPC or pay-per-click also call paid ads, provides immediate visibility to clients that may or may not be ready to hire you. This visibility is temporary and this paid traffic stops the minute you stop running your ad campaign.
SEO on the other had is like an investment. Its an asset that generates free traffic and clients that you can improve over time. A good piece of content can continually attract backlinks and rank number one on Google a long time if it provides value to searchers.
PPC for lawyers can be quite expensive, which is something to consider before starting an adwords campaign or attempting to run one o your own. High intent keywords, especially those in larger cities such as “New York City Car Accident Lawyers”, can cost $150-$300 a click!
Lawyer SEO Strategy Process and Techniques We Use to Rank Your Law Firm
Our SEO strategy process includes:
Discovery + Strategic Planning – Discussing your law firms objectives and creating a digital marketing plan around it.
Technical Website Optimization – Fixing technical errors, crawl errors, missing pages, broken redirects, etc
Local SEO – Optimizing for the Google Maps 3 pack
Content production and optimization
Reporting on the Metrics You Care About
What are some Lawyer SEO Techniques Attorneys Can Use to Rank their Law Firms Higher in Google?
• Content – Content should be written around specific keywords and phrases on topics that have the potential to create leads for your law firm.
• User Experience – Is your website slow? Phone number listed? Getting someone to your website is pointless if their experience is lacluster.
• Technical Optimization – Having a strong foundation. Is your URL structure, indexation, use of redirects, etc, optimized correctly?
• Expertise, Authoritativeness, & Trustworthiness (EAT) – Does your website paint you as an authority figure for your practice areas?
OFF-SITE SEO for Lawyers
• Back-links – The strength of your website is determined by the quality and quantity of websites that link back to yours.
• Reviews – The more stars, total number of reviews, and other improvements, the better.
• Citation Consistency – Your law firm’s Name, Address, and Phone Number should be
consistent across the web.
Expertise, Authority, & Trust (EAT) – Yes, this one is in both onsite and offsite disciplines. Is your firm positioned as an authority? Are you being mentioned off-site, getting awards, and one that is a thought leader that people listen to?
Local SEO or Google Maps Optimization
Why Lawyers Need to Hire a Legal Marketing Expert Who Knows the Rules?
Many marketing firms that perform SEO for Lawyers and law firms are unaware of all the different rules that each state bar has in regards to what you can and cannot do. Many non-attorney SEO providers simply don’t know the following rules governing law firms:
No false or misleading information like using the word “Best”. Optimizing using comparative language such as “the best lawyer”, is frowned upon.
Use of the word “expert”. Attorneys need to have certain training to qualify in order to describe an attorney as a “specialist” or “expert” in contravention to the applicable state ethics rules.
Some states do not allow attorneys to mention past Settlements. Promising favorable outcomes is a no no. If referencing past successful cases you must have a disclaimer. States like New York — Requires the disclaimer such as: “Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.” Rule 7.1(e)(3).
Those are just a few issues that could get your law firm in hot water, but there are even rules regarding stock images and use of videos that web designers need to know before building your website.
Why Attorneys Need to Take Action?
74% of consumers visit a law firm’s website to take action. (Google Legal Services Study Sept 2013)
Prospective clients are using search engines to find and hire law firms
As I mentioned, online search is the go-to for consumers looking for legal services. According to the National Law Review, 74% of consumers visit a law firm’s website to take action.
It’s a fact, prospective clients use organic search to find and hire law firms.
Whether you hire an SEO agency or you do the work yourself, you need to be sure your investment pays off. Measuring your return on investment both in time, if you do the work yourself and money.
If you have any questions or find yourself in need of an impartial assessment of your firm’s SEO health, contact our expert SEO strategist today to discuss your options.
SEO is an investment, much like your stock portfolio. It grows value and compounds over time. Methods such as PPC, paid social and sponsored directories can drive immediate traffic, but their benefits are temporary and stop the minute you stop paying. Search engine optimization is an investment like owning real estate vs PPC is a an expense like renting an apartment.
Whether you are performing SEO yourself or hiring a law firm marketing agency, its important to measure your results so you can determine if your efforts are working. By laying a good SEO foundation, you can build a strong foundation to build your online marketing efforts on.
Stuck with you marketing efforts? If you need someone to help push your law firm marketing forward, contact our expert SEO strategists today to discuss your options.