If you had to choose one marketing strategy to improve your search engine rankings and attract more traffic to your law firm's website, your first choice should be search engine optimization (SEO). With a powerful law firm SEO strategy, you can earn more leads and convert prospects into clients.
But where do you begin? These five tips will give you a great starting point so your law firm can benefit from search engine optimization.
Tip 1: Incorporate Keywords into Your Content
When you incorporate the right keywords into your website, you will rank higher on search engine results pages and see an increase in traffic.
In order to find the right keywords, you will want to identify the words and phrases people use when they search for your law firm or the services you provide. There are free and paid keyword research tools that can help with this process, but you can do this yourself by doing the following:
- Identify the words and phrases associated with your area of practice
- List common questions prospective clients ask
- From the perspective of a client, come up with words or phrases you would use to search for your practice
Once you have a list of keyword phrases, search for them on Google. Note where your law firm ranks, and pay close attention to where your competitors rank.
Because keywords are short — usually one- to three-word combinations — they tend to be generic, with many law firms attempting to optimize for them. This creates a lot of competition and makes it difficult to improve your website's search engine rankings.
To overcome this and make your law firm more competitive, you can use long-tail keywords; these are phrases that are longer and more detailed. The competition for these keywords is usually not as fierce, and these longer keywords are usually more relevant to potential clients anyway.
Here are some comparisons of broader keywords vs. long-tail keywords:
- "Personal injury lawyers" vs. "personal injury lawyers in Miami"
- "Criminal defense attorney" vs. "criminal defense attorney for appeals"
- "Estate law" vs. "estate law contesting a will"
You should use both regular and long-tail keywords in your content, but most SEO success will come from using longer phrases.
Once you have your keywords, you can use them in your practice area pages, attorney bios, blog posts, and other pages. However, you must place them strategically in the below areas so they can be discovered by search engines and used to rank your website.
Titles and Headings
When search engines crawl your website, your titles and headings get a lot of attention. As such, you should use keywords in these to help search engines index and rank your website higher. Using keywords in headings is also important to user experience. When potential clients visit your website, they usually don't want to read every word on a page. By adding keywords to titles and headings, you can help them skim your content and find exactly what they want.
A meta description is something that appears with a link to a web page in search results, providing a brief description of the content. You'll want to use your primary focus keyword in your meta description, which will also be used to index your page for that phrase.
Adding images to your website will also improve your search engine optimization. You can get even better results if you use keywords in the alt text for those images.
Alt text is used to describe visual content to search engines and to users with screen readers. By adding keywords to the alt text, you tell the search engine crawlers that the image and web page are related to that topic and that they should show in search results.
Tip 2: Take Advantage of Google My Business
Attorneys should also put a lot of emphasis on local SEO. After all, most people seeking legal advice are going to hire a local law firm. The best way to start with local SEO for your law firm is to create a Google My Business profile.
Google My Business (now commonly known as Google Business Profile) is an online profile of your law firm that has been verified by Google. It contains your law firm's name, website URL, location, pictures, and other information. Additionally, Google users can leave reviews of your law firm that will be connected to your Google My Business Account.
When a user searches for local businesses, Google will display what it calls a "local 3-pack" (three businesses that it deems most relevant to the user) at the top of organic search results. It's possible that your law firm can appear in these results, but only if you have a well-optimized Google Business Profile.
Here are some things you can do to optimize your Google My Business Account for local searches:
- Encourage happy clients to leave positive reviews
- Keep your hours and location information up to date on Google and in other directories
- Respond to both positive and negative reviews
- Read the Q&A section and answer questions
- Add pictures and content on a regular basis
- Use keywords to help optimize for local search
These steps will help the algorithm see that your website is relevant for local search results.
Tip 3: Improve User Experience
Most law firms don't employ a full-time web designer. Still, there are things you can do to ensure your website offers the best possible user experience.
One of the most impactful things you can do is prioritize responsive web design. This simply means that your website works well for various devices, including tablets and smartphones. To test the responsiveness of your website, try accessing your site from a variety of devices. If you were a client, could you easily find your lawyer's services? What about contacting someone to ask a question or set an appointment?
Speed is also important. If visitors get frustrated because your pages load too slowly, they will leave your website. You can use Google's PageSpeed Tool to check this, and it will even tell you what is causing any slowdowns.
Tip 4: Use Strong Call-to-Actions
A call to action (CTA) is a link or button that encourages people to take a specific action. These are important because they guide potential clients in the next step of becoming a customer. A compelling call to action can convince someone to download an e-book, watch a video you've created, or set an appointment for a consultation. This is how you can turn a prospect into a client.
Here are some things you can do to improve your CTAs:
- Make buttons and text stand out visually
- Use action words
- Experiment with button and text placement to see what gets the best results
Here are some things you can do to improve your CTAs:
Tip 5: Register in Different Lawyer Directories
When you view online search results that are related to the legal industry, you won't just see law firm sites; you'll also see results from lawyer directories. These legal directories are online listings of law firms with helpful information such as:
- Law firm name
- Contact information
- Hours and location
- Description of legal services
- Link to your website
Some directories allow lawyers to pay for a premium listing that gives them priority placement and the ability to add additional text.
If you haven't already, create or claim your law firm profiles on Findlaw, Justia, AVVO, and other directories. Then, update these as your information changes.
Legal directories help your SEO for lawyers efforts by providing your website with a backlink and name, address, and phone (NAP) citation. This is in addition to increasing traffic to your site.
Need Better Results? Hire a Lawyer SEO Company!
If you want to build your law firm's strategy on your own, you can get good results just by utilizing the above strategies. However, you may decide that you want long-term results that truly allow your law firm to acquire more clients than ever before. In that case, you're going to want to hire an agency that specializes in attorney search engine optimization. The best choice will be a firm that will work with you to improve your strategy.
At Grow Law Firm, we value transparency. We are a partnership.
Other marketing agencies may hold your firm or website hostage with long-term contracts, even if they’re not generating the results they’ve promised. With Grow Law Firm as your partner, you won’t have to worry. We are fully transparent, so if you are unsatisfied with our services, you can always walk away with your website ownership intact.
If your current law firm SEO agency is not generating the results you’re seeking and you are tied up in an unfavorable contract, we’re here to help you.
Improve Your Law Firm's Results Now!
We hope these tips help you get a great start. When you're ready to take advantage of more in-depth SEO techniques, we want to be the agency you choose. Our expert SEO consultants will use advanced tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SemRush, and others to understand your needs and deploy proven tactics, such as technical SEO, link-building, and others.
GLF is a high-performance digital agency that focuses on SEO for law firms. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.