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A Guide to SEO for Law Firms

September 3, 2020
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written by Ricki Gogna
Business Dev

Attract potential clients for your law firm with an optimised site. Our guide will show you how to do that with SEO and a few simple techniques.

Law firms need to adapt to the modern techniques of SEO marketing.

Perhaps the most important focus is to write amazing content that engages and encourages readers to take the next step in contacting your firm. The other thing to do is to be authoritative. You need your law firm to be a trustworthy source and something that clients may be able to feel confident in.

This has to happen by working with other entities such as media outlets and online magazines that write articles about the relevant subjects for which you offer services. In this article, I will look at the ways law firms can make the most of SEO.

The importance of content for SEO

Content is the #1 priority. You have to realize that many potential customers are completely unaware of the law. They may have a gist of it, but they don’t quite know how it could favour them. For example, a potential client has been hit by a car, and they are in the hospital recovering. They don’t know how they could form a case that could award them compensation from the guilty party. It’s up to you, to have content they will click on, read, be informed, and most of all, be motivated.

Questions to ask

How often should you optimise your website?

You should create fresh content regularly but it must also be relevant to your target audience. It’s important to stay on top of any new keywords and topics relevant to your industry and your local area.

With law firms, local SEO is really important as you’ll be competing with other practices in your area.

Ensure your site is also easy to navigate. Content and technical audits should be carried out at least every 3-6 months to keep things up to date, not only for the sake of SEO but the ever-changing world of law.

How long does SEO changes take to come into effect?

Any changes you make to your site can take days, weeks, or even months to take effect on the SERPs. The key is to always stay one step of the game by having great on-page and off-page link building techniques.

Being able to take your users on an educational journey is very satisfying and this can be done by pointing them toward government websites where laws are presented in indices and political documents.

In-house or agency?

You can do both.

Writing amazing content that is informative and engaging is the best way to reach your audience. Attorneys should place themselves in the heart of the content. Show how you helped a client overcome their adversity (within reason) but also how you helped them to understand the law better.

An SEO agency can help with this too. They do this for a living and SEO optimization is their bread and butter.

What kind of keywords should you target?

Your chosen keywords must represent your firm and your firms place in the industry, locally and nationally. Terms such as ‘personal injury lawyer’ or ‘malpractice attorney’ are good places to start but you should also focus on terms including your local city or region.

Good keyword research is how it all begins and tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush and SpyFu can help you target the best keywords based on difficulty to rank in the top 10, their monthly search volumes, and how the SERPs look (ie. whether they include featured snippets to help you stand out).

On-page and off-page SEO

The two fundamental elements of SEO are on-page and off-page.

On-page SEO refers to collective actions you take on a website to improve your ranking on SERPs, while off-page SEO focuses on factors outside your website that can influence your rankings. They both ensure the higher site visibility on search engines, attracts more high-quality traffic, and demonstrates authority. As a law firm, that last part is paramount.

Read our guide on how to optimise for on-page and off-page SEO for tips and advice.

The importance of backlinks

Backlinks from other sites to yours are an important part of off-page SEO as they show Google that you’re trustworthy and authoritative. But not just any backlink will do. It’s about quality as well as quantity and having a rich, varied backlink profile is better than having loads of links from poor sites or very few from high authority sites.

Backlink acquisition can be difficult which is why you may need to enlist the help of a digital PR firm or a general digital agency to help. Head over to Adzooma Marketplace for a wide range of agencies that can help.

SEO techniques to avoid

We’ve talked about what you can do with SEO. Now’s the time to discuss SEO techniques to avoid at all costs. Here’s a quick list of things you shouldn’t do:

  1. Don’t use misleading redirects. This misleads not only the user but also Google. When someone clicks a link, they expect to go straight to a page they expected.
  2. Don’t publish low-quality content purely for the sake of ranking. Google can choose not to index pages with content it deems “thin”.
  3. Don’t do link exchanges as a long term strategy and certainly not with questionable sites. This won’t help your rankings and could do more harm than good.
  4. Don’t spam keywords (known as “keyword stuffing”) as the writing will look unnatural and Google will spot it and penalise you.

Note: Nefarious activities can get you in trouble with Google and result in penalties such as loss in rankings or removal from Google’s index altogether.

Possible legal SEO issues

While none of the above are illegal by the laws of the land, there are some instances where they could be.

For example, linking to harmful websites that promote illegal content or activity is bad for the site and it’s against the law—not a good look for a law firm!

Plagiarism is also something that crosses the boundaries between legal and against Google policy. Quoting is fine as long as you cite your sources and don’t pass off work as your own when it isn’t.

Also consider any potential GDPR laws regarding the content you share from your country.

Conclusion

Whether you decide to work with an SEO agency to write and publish content, do it in-house, or create a combined strategy, make your work count.

Having case studies can help to show authority along with a robust link building strategy and good internal linking so your site can reap the benefits. Alongside that, focus on local SEO and strong keyword research techniques and your site will get the high-quality traffic it needs to thrive.

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Author
Ricki Gogna

Ricki is the Head of Business Development and specialises in business transformation and sales leadership professional. Multi-disciplined background across Telecoms, financial services and digital marketing. Proven experience in business integration, process optimisation, outsourcing and leading large complex sales operations across corporate, SME and consumer bases. Passion for people and customer-centric structures… and of course all things sport!
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