If you want to show up in Google search results – and show up high enough to get traffic – then you need to care about law firm SEO.
Do you need to be a legal digital marking expert to do law firm SEO? No (though that does help). But, you will need to:
- Be comfortable with various digital platforms and technology,
- Understand the basics behind search engine optimization (“SEO”), and
- Know how to develop an SEO strategy for your law firm.
That’s why LawRank created this SEO Guide for Lawyers – everything you need to know about getting your law firm to rank on search engines like Google.
After reading our guide, you should understand the fundamentals of law firm SEO strategies, like:
- Key ranking factors and what Google considers when choosing which websites are featured in organic, local, and paid search results
- How to do keyword research and find the best search terms for your practice and geographic area
- How to develop a content marketing strategy that incorporates your keywords and drives traffic to your law firm’s website
- Smart and creative ways to build links from authoritative websites
- The importance of website design and on-site SEO, and steps you can take to truly enhance the user experience
- Why off-site SEO is critical if you want to rank higher on Google SERPs and how to leverage things like social media, Google My Business (GMB), and attorney directories to boost your authority and grow your brand
- Best practices for local search engine optimization to help you rank in the local pack and show up on map search results
- The benefits of supplementing your organic efforts with LSAs and/or a pay per click (PPC) campaign, and
- How to track your efforts and measure your ROI.
Keep in mind that successful SEO takes time. And, while you can do SEO for your law firm, you don’t have to.
Whether you’re too busy with your law practice or don’t feel tech-savvy enough to tackle the more technical components of SEO, LawRank can help. Just send us a message or give us a call to learn learn more about what we do and the digital marketing services we can provide for your practice area.
Now, let’s dive into what attorney SEO is and why it matters.
Table of Contents
What is Lawyer SEO?
Attorney search engine optimization 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 SEO for law firms, in a nutshell.
So, what makes a website attractive to Google? According to the search engine itself, “search engines exist to help people find what they’re looking for.”
So, the search engine strives to deliver results that are:
- High-quality, and
- Presented in the most helpful order.
At its core, SEO for law firms 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 companies for lawyer SEO have mastered.
Why is Law Firm SEO Important?
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 do an online search.
And, when most prospective clients sit down to do find a law firm, they use Google. That’s why law firm websites and dynamic SEO marketing strategies are increasingly important.
Where you rank is directly linked to your caseload and, in turn, your firm’s bottom line. The higher law firms rank on search engine results pages (SERPs), the more visitors they’re going to get. And, since most people only contact one law firm, 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 organic 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 SEO and how your website ranks. Your competitors – and the companies doing the best SEO marketing 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 law firm’s website should work for you.
It should be your #1 salesperson, on the clock 24 hours a day.
Websites for law firms 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 prospective clients you may never find offline or through traditional methods like word-of-mouth advertising.
Through inbound law firm marketing and search engine optimization, 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 Process
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 process consists of four 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/Evaluation
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/Conversion
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. Through law firm marketing efforts, the goal is to position yourself as the best resource and solution available.
Stage 4: Advocacy
Just because a client has decided to hire your firm doesn’t mean that you should stop engaging with them or selling your service. The tail-end of one client’s process could be the beginning of a new client’s one. If your client has a positive experience and sees that you’re engaged, they’ll be more inclined to refer you to friends and family members if and when they find that they need a lawyer.
Great advocacy-stage content includes responding to reviews, activity on social media, and direct-to-inbox newsletters.
You can learn more about the content marketing funnel for lawyers and the buyer’s journey in our extensive guide.
Up Next: Breaking down Google ranking factors