The reason your law firm is barely covering its expenses has nothing to do with how hard you work and everything to do with your potential clients not knowing you even exist.
Every time they go to Google and type in "how to get custody of a child" or "divorce attorney near me" they simply don't see your Google Business Profile, a blog with child custody tips, or even your profile on Justia. They don't know they can apply for your legal services, so they go to your competitors. That's why it's time to think about family law SEO.
Why Family Law SEO Matters
SEO (aka Search Engine Optimization) is the art of making your website easier to find online. SEO for family law involves combining different optimization techniques to increase your chances of ranking highly on search engines for specific terms and inquiries so more prospects will see your website, visit it, and hire you.
In this guide, we'll delve into family law strategy fundamentals that can bring new clients to your law firm.
1. Make Your Firm Easy to Find Locally with Local SEO
Begin your efforts by focusing on local SEO. Local SEO involves optimizing your family law firm to rank highly when users search for legal services in your area.
Why is local SEO for family law so important for obtaining qualified leads? Let's look at the stats:
- Nearly 50% of all Google searches are seeking local information
- Approximately 72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a business within five miles
- Almost 100% of users discover a local company online
Search engines like Google incorporate the user's location into results for specific searches, such as "family law practice" or "family lawyers." If the user performs the search in Las Vegas, Google will provide a list of family lawyers in and around Las Vegas.
To ensure your law firm ranks in the user's search, you'll want to notify Google of your firm's location with local SEO. In a city the size of Las Vegas, many law firms are likely competing against you. That's okay; you can still rank highly even in a competitive market. Expand your market reach by developing additional content focusing on nearby Las Vegas cities, such as Henderson, Summerlin, or Pahrump.
While your search volume for surrounding cities may not be as high as for the metropolitan core, you'll find that you attract more qualified leads. In fact, in some cases, you may double or triple the number of clients who find you — just by targeting an audience slightly outside your actual location.
Google uses three factors to rank law firms in local searches:
- Relevance (location-specific content like "Child Custody Laws in Ohio")
- Distance (your target city and nearby towns with dedicated pages)
- Prominence (those who have built authority with reviews, citations, links, etc.)
Pro Tip: Craft landing pages covering family law topics for your city and region. The more localized your content, the higher you'll rank for searches in your service area. Optimize for searches people use when looking for local divorce or custody lawyers.
2. Set Up and Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
If you don't yet have a Google Business Profile, you'll want to create one immediately. Your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business or GMB) informs users of your law firm's existence, including its name, the types of legal services you provide, and your contact details. It will also indicate your opening hours and your physical address.
Someone close by who needs legal services will likely see your firm listed high in their search results.
You'll need to set up an account to create a Google Business Profile. Your account will allow you to manage your profile and optimize it for divorce lawyer SEO within search results and on Google Maps. It's completely free, so there's little reason not to take advantage of this critical SEO tool.
Once you create your Google Business Profile, your past and future clients can leave reviews about the services they have received from your law firm.
Google incorporates customer reviews when ranking your business on Google Maps. The more positive reviews your clients leave, the better your chances are for ranking highly on local searches.
— What Is Google Map Pack for Family Lawyers?
The Google Map Pack is another essential tool that firms should deploy in their family law SEO strategies. To use it, you'll need a Google Business Profile optimized for your location and legal services.
Ensure that your profile accurately reflects your legal services and includes relevant keywords for your law firm. It's also helpful to have images from your business. For example, you may include a few pictures of your law firm's attorneys and your business itself.
Whenever someone searches for family law services in your area, your law firm should appear in their rankings. Your goal is to appear in the Google local 3-pack, a listing of the top three relevant law firms near the user's location.
If you're a new firm with no current reviews, it may take longer to crack into the top three. However, asking your clients to leave reviews will improve your listing.
Once you break into the local 3-pack, you'll receive more potential clients and qualified leads who locate you through Google Maps and organic searches.
— Regularly Perform Family Law Attorney Competitor Research
Research competitors ranking for your target keywords, even if they are not local companies. Perform searches like "divorce attorney Houston" and analyze the content and SEO of other top ranking family law websites. Take note of appealing features they utilize such as client testimonials or informative guides about family law topics.
Don't simply copy what they do - get creative and think about how you can improve upon or counter their efforts. Examine both their landing pages and blog content to fully understand the marketing strategies in play. This competitive analysis should inform your local SEO and content marketing approach. Build better-optimized content that counters what your highest-ranking competitors are doing in order to rank for your ideal keywords.
3. Get Listed on Relevant Family Law Directories
Online directories are another essential factor for family law SEO. Legal directories list your law firm's name, including your contact information and the legal services you provide.
These listings are a great way to enhance your authority and credibility with Google since they are a second source confirming your law firm's existence, services, and location. They are also vital for building links that increase your website's credibility.
Google incorporates your family law firm's listings on online directories when determining where to place you on its search engine ranking. If you're listed in multiple directories, you'll improve your chances of ranking highly in organic search engine results.
It's essential that you include your law firm only in legitimate directories. Some directories are simply spam sites, which can result in your website losing domain authority. Do your research before deciding to list your business.
Pro Tip: To build credibility, create profiles for your law firm on review sites and request feedback from satisfied clients to garner positive reviews over time. The additional social proof provided by reviews can improve your search ranking and encourage prospective clients to hire your firm.
— Important Family and Divorce Lawyers Online Directories
Here are a few credible online directories that can help you in your link-building strategy.
- Avvo: Avvo is an online directory of law firms. Users can search through Avvo to find qualified attorneys in specific practice areas nearby.
- Justia: Justia is an online directory for law firms that provides helpful, informational articles on legal topics. Listing your law firm on Justia will allow potential clients to locate you quickly.
- HG.org: HG.org is a legal resource and online directory for individuals seeking legal assistance. Users can search by practice type and location to find experienced family law attorneys.
4. Build a Trustworthy Reputation Online
Google E-E-A-T is an acronym that stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It's one of the many factors that Google uses to decide where your page ranks among your competitors.
To improve your law firm's chances of ranking highly on Google, you'll want to develop relevant content that establishes your expertise in family law. It should address the user's search intent clearly and accurately.
As a family lawyer, you already have the expertise necessary to create authoritative content. You just need to harness it into your SEO efforts.
— Engage in Family Law Attorneys Review Management
Reviews are a valuable form of social proof that can help you build trust with potential clients. When you encourage your clients to leave reviews, be sure to ask them to include specific details about their experience with you. This will help potential clients better understand what to expect if they hire you.
Statistics show that 68% of consumers will leave a review for you if you simply ask. Given the importance of social proof and search engine optimization, there's no reason not to incorporate reviews into your marketing strategy.
Optimizing your law firm's search engine rankings takes time and expertise. In this video, Sasha Berson shares crucial SEO tips family and divorce lawyers need to know.
Even details like your name can impact search rankings, so SEO is not a DIY project. Sasha provides a short summary of key factors like on-page optimization, backlinks, site speed, and online reputation management.
Make sure to check out our related blog post "Why Do You Need a Law Firm Digital Marketing Agency?" for insights on asking vendors the right questions to get results.
5. Create an Authoritative Family Law Website
Another critical factor that impacts your rankings on popular search engines is your website. You'll want a robust website that promotes your legal services clearly and is easily navigable by your visitors.
The best family law firm websites will include a list of your practice areas like this:
You should also outline why potential clients can benefit from your legal services.
You'll notice that the site includes multiple mentions of the law firm's location, which improves its local SEO with Google and other search engines.
Your website is one of the first things potential clients will use to decide whether to choose you or a competitor as their attorney. You'll want to ensure they get a great impression of your family law firm from the start!
6. Share Helpful Tips Through Family Law Content
Legal blogging involves writing articles about topics relevant to your audience's needs. As a family lawyer, you probably encounter many questions from your clients that you can address through blogging.
This is one of the most crucial tools in your search engine optimization efforts. In fact, a family law practice that publishes 11 or more articles monthly attracts almost three times more traffic than its non-blogging peers.
If blogging sounds intimidating, or you don't have the time to spare for content creation, consider outsourcing your efforts to a qualified SEO company like Grow Law Firm.
— Types of Content for Family Lawyers
You should regularly engage in content creation that demonstrates your knowledge and addresses questions potential clients are likely to ask.
For example, you might consider writing a blog about the divorce process in your area and covering specifics about child support or alimony. Other potential issues you might cover include prenuptial agreements, child custody, and high-net-worth divorces.
Since family law and divorce are touchy subjects that can get very emotional, it's essential to consider the reader's feelings when you compose your articles. You don't want to be too objective or drift into legalese, which can be off-putting to someone going through a tough time.
7. Optimize Website Content for Search Engines
On-page SEO involves a combination of factors that can positively impact your law firm's website appearance in the search results. Keywords, content, and page-loading speed all impact your on-page SEO.
To properly incorporate on-page SEO, you'll want to use keywords relevant to your practice and long-tail terms that attract users with more specific intentions.
Your content should revolve entirely around family law and its related issues. If you drift too far away from these topics and cover issues unrelated to your practice, search engines may penalize you in the rankings. For example, including an article about training puppies on your law firm's website would be detrimental to your credibility as an attorney.
Finally, page speed is important. Users are more likely to leave if your website doesn't load within a second or two. Search engines notice when a page has too much going on to load properly, and they'll lower your rankings if it's an ongoing problem.
8. Get Credible Websites to Link to Your Site
Building backlinks is vital for improving your family law firm's website rankings. Backlinks are links to your website or its content from websites unrelated to your law firm. You'll create your first backlinks by listing your family law firm in online directories and on your Google Business Profile.
However, there are other opportunities for link-building. You can perform a search on Google for mentions of your legal practice. If you find results from other websites, send a note to the site's administrator and ask them to include a link from the mention of your practice to your firm's website.
Pro Tip: Guest posting is a great way to build backlinks naturally and organically. Essentially, you'll provide content for another website as a guest poster. In turn, the website administrator will publish your content, including a backlink to your website as the post's author.
9. Check Technical SEO Elements
Think of technical SEO as your website's car engine: It's not visible to the casual visitor, but it keeps your website in tip-top condition for search engine optimization.
While numerous technical SEO tactics exist, three straightforward yet critical ones can improve rankings:
- Optimize website speed by compressing images and streamlining code. Slow sites lead to lost traffic.
- Ensure your site displays properly on mobile, where over 60% of searches occur.
- Use schema markup like FAQs to describe expertise. Search engines showcase schema in results.
These high-impact technical improvements don't require deep expertise. With minimal instruction, even SEO beginners can implement them to boost performance.
10. Track and Measure SEO Results
With all your work creating your website and implementing a solid SEO strategy, you'll want to see some reward for your efforts. One of the best ways to do so is through website analytics.
Analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, provide you with pertinent information about traffic to your website. You'll learn how many people click on the pages of your website and how long they spend there before moving on.
Another important measurement is your actual leads. Over time, your SEO efforts should result in more traffic where you want it most — in your office.
Partner with Marketing Experts to Accelerate Your Family Law Practice Growth
Implementing a solid SEO strategy isn't for the faint at heart. Building a website, creating content, and deploying technical and SEO tactics that increase your search rankings will require lots of footwork.
It's possible to handle everything independently, but you risk adversely impacting the service you provide to your clients. A strong family law SEO strategy takes months to implement, which can detract from more important tasks.
Instead of taking on an additional project you may not be able to keep up with, consider handing the task to an expert family law and divorce marketing agency: Grow Law Firm. We'll get your website up and running and implement the best practices for family law SEO, ensuring you see the results you want.