Regardless of what industry you belong to, search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy you should apply to your business. It’s a long-term investment that, when done right, would help your business grow. SEO for law firms is sometimes seen as more difficult, but the reality is that it isn’t all that different.
While there are many viable marketing channels to grow a law firm, SEO is our favourite.
Things like pay-per-click (PPC) ads or paid advertisements will bring your website more traffic within a few days or weeks. But you should also keep in mind that once you stop paying for these ads, you’re back to square one.
So, what makes SEO the most worthy investment?
It might not yield immediate results, but its impact builds up over time. Think of it like a seed that takes time to grow into a flower or tree. It brings your site organic traffic and makes it more credible. In other words, you get quality leads that can eventually become your firm’s clients.
Before learning about the basics of lawyer SEO, let’s first establish what it is—just so we’re all clear.
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What is Law Firm SEO?
Law firm SEO is exactly what it sounds like—SEO for lawyers. This involves all the tactics you can use to improve your site’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). It makes your site more visible, reaching a wider audience.
Law firm SEO covers on-page optimization, which aims to provide law-related content that your potential clients would want to know more about. It also covers off-page optimization or link building and citations from other high-authority sites. Finally, the last element of SEO covers technical optimization which focuses on the website design, performance and its user-friendliness.
Why is SEO for Law Firms So Important?
Thinking beyond brand awareness, law firm SEO is important for your business to reach as much of your target audience as possible. Organic traffic has proven in many cases to be much more effective than PPC ads or social media advertising.
Most people use search engines like Google or Bing to find answers to their questions.
Someone who’s looking for legal advice will most likely go on Google to know more about, say, employment law. Then, they will start looking for law firms in the area that could represent them or help with their problem.
If you’re working in estate law and have a good SEO strategy in place, that potential client should be able to find you on the first page of Google. They might see your Google My Business profile which redirects to your website. Or they might also find a blog post you’ve written about estate law and go from there to avail of your services.
Regardless, the point is that with law firm SEO, you can more effectively promote your legal services to the people who need them.
With the sheer number of legal professionals around the world, it’s not enough to set up your website and pray to the gods that you get a lead.
You have to do something about it.
The solution? Law firm SEO.
SEO Content Production
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Creating quality content for SEO is one of the key points to ranking high on SERPs. Here are three steps to build content that high-authority websites would want to cite and that your target audience will actually want to read.
The first step to ranking on Google is keyword research. And we can’t stress enough just how important this is for lawyer SEO.
You should know what keywords are relevant to your content to maximise its reach. You should also be able to incorporate these keywords into your content’s title, description, body, URL, and tags.
This makes it easier for search engines to read and index your content. Proper keyword research helps your content appear on the top results when people search for these words.
After you’ve determined the keywords to use, you should organise your content. Rather than having people read blocks of text, it would be better to break them down into sections.
Try to keep your words simple and your paragraphs short. This helps keep users on your page and reduces the bounce rate for your content. One tool we like to use for improving readability of blog content is Hemingway, which quickly points out the flaws in your writing.
Make sure to include the keywords in the blog’s title, meta description and in the first 1-2 paragraphs of copy. They should also appear on your blog’s headings and body. But avoid keyword stuffing as you can also get penalised for it.
You may also want to add images or other visual elements to your blog post so that it’s more engaging for readers. Make sure these elements add to the value of your blog instead of putting them there “just because.”
After producing quality content designed to rank, the only thing left to do is to market it. Share it with your email newsletter and on social media to boost its reach. You can also tap into your network to help you share the content. Another common tactic for driving blog traffic in the legal industry is to update your email signature every time you publish a new article.
Just don’t resort to black hat SEO tactics! Keep it clean and legal (pun intended).f
Backlink Building in the Legal Industry
In line with content marketing, backlinks also greatly help with maximising your business’ reach. This off-page SEO pillar is designed to have high-authority sites linking to your site or content. It, in turn, increases your credibility and makes you more trustworthy.
There are many ways to build strong backlinks for your site. You can write comprehensive content on a topic so that others will link to it. Or you can also write guest blogs for other legal websites. There’s also the option of linking to your content on forums or social media posts.
Whichever method you choose, just make sure you do it right. Beware of link schemes that could bring harm to your site and hurt your reputation and ranking.
One of the most effective ways to naturally build backlinks for your legal firm is to write blog posts with your professional input on recent cases. Articles like these are simple, easy to produce and an underrated type of content in the industry. Since there are so few law blogs producing content of this nature, other legal firms and websites will read your content and cite it in their own works. Go Top Shelf recommends this to all legal firms we do marketing for and have seen great success with it.
Local SEO for Law Firms
For law firms, it’s important to utilise your Google My Business (GMB) profile. This is a free and user-friendly tool that could bring a lot of organic traffic to your site.
Fill out as much information as you can. Keep it concise, but make sure your target audience will easily understand what services you’re offering.
Try to use Google Posts, too. It lets Google know that you have an active business profile. And as a reward, your ranking also increases. Your posts can be anything from event updates to client reviews. It doesn’t have to be grand. It just has to be relevant for your business.
The Bottom Line on Lawyer SEO
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SEO for lawyers is a way to let potential clients know about the legal services you can offer. Law is a highly competitive industry, which means you really have to make an effort to show people why they should hire you for their legal needs.
If you don’t have the time to invest in SEO yourself—which is the case for most lawyers—try seeking the help of digital marketing experts. If you don’t have a lot of budget for it, try looking for SEO freelancers. They might have a more affordable rate than SEO companies.
To recap, here are the steps to creating quality content for lawyer SEO:
- Do keyword research for your topic. Incorporating these in your title, description, content, and tags helps you maximise your site’s reach.
- Organise your content so that it’s easy to read and understand. Break blocks of text into sections. Use simple words that get the message across.
- Market your content by sharing it on social media sites. This also helps in making your content more visible.
- Build strong backlinks for your content. Create quality content that high-authority websites would want to cite. Write guest posts on blogs that allow it. Beware of link schemes, though. And most importantly, don’t turn to black hat SEO tactics!