Get The Best SEO Tips for Attorneys
By Daclaud Lee, Project Manager / SEO Consultant at Archmore Business Web
If your law firm wants more legal clients, then you need to have the best SEO strategy for your law firm. If you are not properly optimizing your law firm's website for search engines and traffic, then you are losing out on countless potential new customers every single day.
Most people search online for a lawyer by city and state. When they do that, they receive local results that include a mix of law firms and government resources. On top of this, many clients will also use other online review sites like Yelp and Google Reviews to check out their local lawyers. To optimize your firm for the search engines, you need to optimize your internet marketing strategy to rank higher in local search results.
Google Business Profile is Essential for Lawyers
First thing's first. If you haven't done so already, then create a Google Business Profile for your law firm.
Having a Google Business Profile is essential for every attorney's SEO strategy. It helps law firms get ranked in maps, which means that people will be able to find your website on Google when searching for products or services that you provide. In addition, having a profile also sends very positive signals to both Google and the people who search Google, demonstrating that it is a legitimate business.
Get Your Law Firm Google Screened
Google Screened is a part of Google's Local Services verifies all active law licenses for lawyers with Google's Screened badge. We do not perform a separate background check on lawyers. Each U.S. state requires lawyers to undergo a background check in order to receive a license to practice law.
Screened professionals have passed extensive background and license checks conducted by Local Services Ads, our trusted partners, or state and/or regulatory bodies. Local Services Ads verifies that their professional licenses are current and do not expire within the next five years.
SEO vs PPC (What is the Difference?)
SEO is often described as a long term marathon, whereas PPC is described as a sprint. Depending on how established your law firm and how old your website is, you may not be able to wait for SEO to take effect. Using PPC allows you to get the results you need in a shorter time period, along with the added advantage of being able to stop spending when you feel like it.
SEO Includes Results Within:
- Local Search Rankings
- Organic Search Rankings
- Featured Snippets
- Google Knowledge Panel
PPC Includes Results Within:
- Local Service Ads (LSA)
- Google Search Ads
What Will Your Rankings Look Like?
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are the result of your law firm's search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and display the best results to customers based on what they are looking for. The better your SEO is, the more probable your firm will come up high in SERPS. There are many elements of a Search Engine Results Page: Local Service Ads, Organic Search Results, Local Search Results, Local Panel, Featured Snippets and Google Ads. As a law firm, your search engine results will have a particular look and we describe it below.
Local Service Ads (LSA) Results
Local Service Ads (LSAs) display above everything else in Google’s search results and operate on a Pay Per Lead (PPL) basis. They are a great way to showcase local businesses, who can pay by the lead generated when someone clicks on their ad.
Search Ads Results
Google's Search Ads enable you to promote your product or service directly within the results of our Local Services Ad program. These ads are displayed below the local services ads, and above the organic search results. Search Ads operate on a PPC basis. As with our other pay-per-click campaigns, you’ll only be charged when users click on your ad, not for impressions of your ad.
Local Search Results (Google Maps)
The Local Search Results feature of Google Maps helps users find you more easily by adding your business to the default Local Section of Google Maps. This section is built from structured data such as your category, telephone number, website address and business hours. Your business will appear here if it has been verified by Google’s local experts and is accepted into the program. Since the purpose of Local Search Results is to get directions, the results are ranked by your relative location to the law firm's actual location.
Organic Search Results
The Google organic search results are at the top of the search engine results page and includes websites, videos and news. After this area comes advertising that is paid for by advertisers. The next section is Local Results which displays local businesses that are relevant to your query. In order to get your law firm's website ranked in organic search, then you will need to optimize your website for specific keywords.
Video search results will often appear somewhere in the middle of SERPs. Videos can also be accessed exclusively on their own within Google's video search results. These can appear if you have optimized video on your website for a specific keyword. If you are an attorney, we highly recommend producing video in order to have another way to get your website ranked.
Google Knowledge Panel
When you search for entities on Google, you may get a Knowledge Panel. It’s a box with information about the entity (such as a person, brand or business) you searched for in your search results. While there is no guarantee that everyone will see the same information when they search for an entity, this is Google's vision of helping people learn more quickly and easily.
Featured Snippets display for question-based queries or when structured data (such as tables of information) are present. They appear as a section of text that follows the answer links on search results pages and are available in select languages and regions.
Design Your Website Around Your Services
A good legal website should include informative content addressing all of the lawyer's practice areas and services. It is especially important to have good descriptive content about the different practice areas and services an attorney offers. Having rich content about yours services is essential to every attorney's SEO strategy.
An attorney website is one of the best ways to display your expertise while attracting new clients. Professional written content can help you rank higher in search engines, communicate your value to potential clients, and build a professional brand. Every attorney who represents clients remotely is considered a service area business or SAB. Which is why all service area businesses need to optimize their website for their services.
Technical SEO on Your Law Firm's Website
Technical SEO for lawyers is the process of ensuring that your website meets the technical requirements of modern search engines with the goal of improved organic rankings. Important elements of technical SEO include crawling, indexing, rendering, and website architecture. Other elements include canonicalization issues, page speed optimization, schema implementation and site map management. Technical SEO is usually performed after On-Page optimization (e.g., keyword research), but before content marketing and link outreach efforts begin in earnest.
Social Media for Attorneys
Every attorney needs social media accounts to help build their brand, stay connected with current and potential clients, and market themselves online. There are many places to start when building your online profile as an attorney (Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Blogging), but at the bare minimum, you should at least have a Facebook Page and a Linkedin profile for your law firm.
Local Citations for Your Law Firm
Local citations for attorneys and law firms will help with your SEO because they give you backlinks. Citation building is an important ranking factor for your legal website and at the bare minimum, you should have your website indexed on popular attorney directories such as:
Write Helpful Content (Blog Articles)
Many people consult attorneys when they are in a legal bind. Before an attorney is hired, potential clients generally want to know how the attorney can help them. When potential clients search online for legal advice, answering key questions will help your law firm get ranked high in SERPs. Keep in mind, that thin content can actually hurt your SEO, so make sure that you write a comprehensive article or guide that includes at least 1800 words.
If you're a DUI lawyer, then you should definitely have content on your website that includes case studies about winning cases. Your clients may be Googling "How do I beat a DUI?" and if they stumble across your page, then it's important to include winning cases that clients have. They might end up hitting the play audio button to hear testimonials from clients or watch embedded videos with interviews from happy clients.
A good article that has the correct micro data may even get ranked in the featured snippets areas. The main reasons why your website is not ranking for the keyword you want is because you didn't produce any content describing your services. So get blogging!
Social proof is an important aspect of search engine optimization. The more positive reviews, the better your chances of getting ranked higher in search results. Quality social proof is very important for your online reputation, especially if you are a lawyer. It can influence the decision of a client in whether or not they will hire you as their lawyer and what price to charge for their case. Therefore, it is essential to have a lot of positive reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and Avvo.
Backlink Building for Lawyers
While it is certainly possible to get ranked really high in SERPs without an extensive backlink portfolio, we recommend that you build backlinks whenever and however you can. The more high quality and authoritative backlinks you have, the better your site will become. High quality backlinks don't come easy and you really have to have the right content in order to get them. For example, if you want Harvard Law University to give you a backlink, then you need to either have the resume to get it or have a publication featured on their website. This is no easy task.
The bottom line is to get backlinks however you can and don't worry if you can't get one from the best websites, because there are many other ways to get your keywords ranked without seemingly impossible to obtain backlinks. The only type of website that is guaranteed to give you a backlink is a directory, so focus on those first. Once you have won a few cases, then you can obtain authoritative backlinks by submitting articles and case documents to various legal websites that will give you a backlink.
Are You An Attorney Who Needs SEO?
At Archmore Business Web, we specialize in providing law firm SEO to all of our clients. As an SEO agency, we provide results that matter to your business! We have experience helping attorneys attract more potential clients and they begin to recognize your law firm as an authority. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help grow your law firm's website traffic!
By Daclaud Lee,
Project Manager and SEO Consultant at Archmore Business Web
Do you want to hire an SEO expert for your law firm? Do you want more clients?
Call now: 614-568-7500
Book a call with Mike Forrest, CEO of Archmore Business Web