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?
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:
- 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.
- Don’t publish low-quality content purely for the sake of ranking. Google can choose not to index pages with content it deems “thin”.
- 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.
- 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.
There are a range of SEO tools that you can use for keyword research, SERP rankings, backlinks and reports. Here are our top picks:
SEMRush’s Keyword Magic Tool
The tool can generate over 2 million keyword ideas for SEO and PPC campaigns and group them by topic. If you find a handful of interesting keywords, you can save them in the Keyword Analyzer and estimate the number of clicks and how likely you’ll rank for them in the top 10 of the SERPs.
Answer the Public
A digital PR favorite, Answer the Public finds the questions and queries that searchers are asking and gives a report based on Google SERPs. Their Pro version features include: unlimited searches, comparable data, language & location-based results and saved reports – you can access all of these fantastic for $99/month.
Checkbot is a great platform that finds critical SEO, speed and security problems before your website visitors do. They test hundreds of pages at once for broken links, duplicate titles, invalid HTML and loads of other checks – if there’s something wrong with your website, they will find it.
Advanced Web Ranking
Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) give you fresh daily, weekly and on demand rankings packed nicely into white label reports that are accessible from any device. They provide you with custom SEO reports which are fully customizable, straightforward and integrated with third-party reporting tools.
SEO PowerSuite holds enough tools for an SEO campaign of any caliber. It’s got everything from SEO analysis tool to keyword research tools to backlinks checkers to content editors to PPC ads optimization and much more. With its intuitive UI and a wealth of pro-level features, it’s a perfect SEO tool for newbies and experts alike.
Dashword helps writers produce content that ranks with this keyword tool. The software uses self-built ML models to determine relevance based on data from the top 30 Google results of any given keyword. It then assigns a score to each topic and you can evaluate competitors’ content as well. A worthy addition to any SEO tool kit.
Adzooma’s SEO Performance Report
Another solution is by using Adzooma’s SEO Performance Report. The report will analyse your website and identify immediate actions you can take to improve. Like our PPC Performance Report, you’ll get an overall score out of 100. The closer to 100 you are, the better optimised your website is.
You’ll then get a more detailed breakdown of your performance into 4 key areas: keyword performance, onsite SEO, page speed and backlinks. You can also compare your client’s performance with a competitor, showing how they compare with the competition.
Fundamentally, the SEO Performance report will give you the tools to:
- Get ahead of your competitors by finding keywords they’re missing
- Increase conversions by improving on-site user experience
- Compliment your campaigns with more organic traffic
The report is available to all Adzooma users, try the basic version for free to get a taste of what this report can offer. Not an Adzooma user? Sign up for free, here.
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.