Gone are the days of flipping through the Yellow Pages or calling 411. If someone needs a lawyer, there’s a high probability that they’ll conduct their search online. According to a survey by the National Law Review, 96% of people in need of legal advice or representation do an online search.
And, when most people sit down to do an online search, they choose Google.
If you want to show up in Google’s search results – and show up high enough to get clicks – then you need to care about law firm SEO.
Here’s our SEO Guide for Lawyers – everything you need to know about getting your law firm to rank.
Table of Contents
What is Attorney SEO?
Attorney search engine optimization (SEO) involves improving the quality of your law firm’s website so that it becomes more attractive to Google and its algorithms. The more impressed Google is by your firm’s site, the higher it will rank in Google’s search results when potential clients conduct a relevant search.
That’s lawyer SEO, in a nutshell.
So, what makes a website attractive to Google? According to Google itself, “search engines exist to help people find what they’re looking for.”
So, Google strives to deliver results that are:
- High-quality, and
- Presented in the most helpful order.
At its core, attorney SEO means producing helpful, high-quality content and delivering it in an appealing way. If you can master that, you’ll reap Google’s rewards. That’s what the best SEO companies for lawyers have mastered.
Why is Law Firm SEO Important?
Where you rank is directly linked to your caseload and, in turn, your firm’s bottom line. The higher you rank on a search engine results page (SERP), the more clicks you’re going to get. And, since most people only contact one attorney, you’ll want to make sure that you’re visible when they’re looking.
Only about 2 to 3 percent of people visit the second page of Google’s search results. Less than one percent (.78%) click through to a site once they get there.
So, if you want your law firm website to get clicks – meaning visits from potential clients – you really want to make sure that you rank on the first page.
And, it’s not just about ranking on the first page. It’s about where you rank on the first page.
Most Google searches clock in at under a minute. That’s less than 60 seconds spent considering the search results before settling on a firm to call. If you want the phone to ring, you need to rank at the top of Google’s first results page.
The page that ranks 1st organically (we’ll get to that shortly) is up to 35 times more likely to get a click than the page that ranks 10th.
Vying for that first position on a SERP has never been more important. Research conducted just a few short years ago – circa 2018, 2019 – found that the first ranking position was 10x more likely to get clicks than the 10th ranking position. Today, more people are choosing the first search result and fewer are scrolling to see results further down the SERP.
In fact, data for April 2021 shows that first position has an average click-through-rate (CTR) of anywhere between 31.17% (desktop) and 25.68% (mobile). CTR measures how many people see your ad online versus how many actually click it.
After the first result, the CTR drops quickly. The decline is steeper and more noticeable on desktop searches than on mobile. However, one thing is clear: statistically speaking, half of all users choose one of the first three organic results.
When you run a law firm, you should absolutely care about attorney SEO and how your website ranks. Your competitors – and the companies doing the best SEO for law firms – certainly will.
Why Does My Law Firm Need a Well-Designed Website for an SEO Campaign?
On average, Americans spend eight hours a day online. When you’re not working, your website should work for you.
It should be your #1 salesperson, on the clock 24 hours a day. A business website should successfully:
- Draw in a specific audience,
- Deliver what they’re seeking, and
- Move them naturally through the buyer’s journey.
If it doesn’t, you’re missing out on critical opportunities to grow your business.
With a robust online presence, you can reach consumers you may never find offline or through traditional methods like word-of-mouth advertising.
Through inbound marketing and SEO, you can get in front of a much larger audience and prove you have what they need to solve their problems.
Moving Prospects Through the Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey is the process consumers go through to learn about a product or service. It involves considering how a purchase could solve a problem and making the decision to buy. Your website should have dynamic content that guides them through this process.
The journey consists of three main stages:
Stage 1: Awareness
A potential client is aware of the problem they have. For example, let’s say a contractor was injured on the job and needs to find a local attorney. They hop on Google to search “what to do if I’m injured on the job” and “what type of lawyer do I need if I’m hurt at work?”
The contractor is looking for valuable content that addresses his pain points. Good awareness-stage content may include educational blog posts, ebooks, guides, videos, and whitepapers.
Stage 2: Consideration
The contractor now understands what to do next and the kind of attorney he’s looking for. He wants to find a workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia, so that’s what he searches for online. He sees three options that look promising and spends some time researching each one.
Good consideration-stage content includes comparison guides, checklists, case studies, webinars, and reports. At this point, you’re trying to show that you offer the best solution to the consumer’s problem.
Stage 3: Decision
Once the contractor reaches the decision stage, he knows who he needs to contact. He’s chosen a solution and is just about to pick up the phone or fill out a form to speak with a lawyer. At this stage, helpful content may include case studies, free trials, pros and cons lists, and comparison tools. The goal is to position yourself as the best resource and solution available.