SEO for Law Firms: Best practices for law firm marketing Nov 1, 2023
Law firms can no longer solely rely on word-of-mouth marketing. It’s no secret that consumers like to do an initial online search for a suitable lawyer, checking things like their reputation and success rate. The visibility and perceived trust of the first few ranks give the firm more organic clicks from consumers. As a result, search engines have become a popular form of law firm marketing with a strong ROI. SEO for law firms is a proven method that optimises their web visibility and connects them with prospective clients.
Law firms must implement effective SEO strategies by employing tools and techniques like targeting the right keywords, building quality backlinks, optimising local listings, etc. Ongoing Law firm SEO strategy has a compounding ability to improve the firm’s brand authority and brand reputation.
Implementing different SEO components for law firms makes it easier for search engine algorithms to crawl the web content and show the webpage to the target audience at the right time.
Fundamentals of SEO for Law Firm
A user-friendly webpage is the first pillar for successful online marketing. An engaging website structure creates value for potential clients and generates more traffic. As search engines are primary avenues for people to find lawyers, law firms should analyse the pain points and create optimised web pages that answer various legal questions for users.
Let’s look at the fundamental components of SEO that improve the law firm’s marketing efforts by increasing the firm’s rank in organic search results.
Here are some key Technical SEO factors that can optimise the website and improve law firm marketing efforts:
Keyword Research for Law Firm Marketing
Generic keywords like lawyer or law practice have high search volume, but a law firm does not get enough visibility without additional keyword strategies. Therefore, while seeding out legal keywords, law firms must account for the search volume, Keyword ranking difficulty and Keyword Intent.
The key takeaway is to target specific keywords within the legal niche. So, for example, instead of targeting broad keywords like “Lawyers in Sydney”, the firm should narrow down to specific practice areas like “Family Lawyers in Sydney Paramatta.”
Instead of creating content just for eyes, law firms should also focus on creating SEO campaigns around legal queries of prospective clients who are more likely to hire the firm for its services.
Another aspect to consider while conducting keyword research is to check its relevancy. These are hightailed specific phrases which can be used for affiliated content. For example, targeting keywords like ‘ What happens to Will after Divorce’ under the broad subject area of Family Lawyer increases the Topical authority of the firm’s domain. It helps the Search Engines to identify the webpage better and improve its rank.
How to search for relevant keywords for law firm SEO?
Firms can use tools like Google Search Console, SEMrush, Ubersuggest, etc., to research and understand the data about specific keywords that can create an opportunity to show the lawyer’s value. The law firm can start by plugging a competitor in the toll and analysing the SEO keywords they rank for.
Technical SEO for a Law Firm
Technical SEO checks the crawlability, performance and indexation of the website. Glitches in technical SEO can alter or remove the website’s rank in organic search and ultimately affect the law firm’s marketing.
Here are some key Technical SEO factors that can improve a law firm’s website:
- The structure of URLs is a powerful method to achieve the webpage’s success; it’s recommended to have an intuitive URL structure with the focus keyword. (“example.com/family-law-Sydney/”) This generally fits with the types of websites that Google wants to rank.
- Ensuring that the website is compatible with various mobile devices.
- Have a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) domain, i.e., an https:// web domain. A non-HTTPS website does not guarantee a secure way to transport data and risks losing traffic.
- Making a sitemap submission to improve the crawlability of the website. XML sitemaps act as a roadmap for search engines that helps the crawlers go through thousands of pages in a second
- Rectify the 404 code page errors by finding the broken links on the site, and 301 redirects it to the closest related page.
On-page optimisation for marketing a law firm
Web architecture can have a profound effect on Google’s Rankings. An optimised page helps Google understand the content relevancy with the associated search queries. As Google’s AI bots evaluate the website, they review the web content and check out the usage of primary keywords across the landing page.
For example, if the firm talks about ‘family lawyers in Sydney’, they should include the primary keyword in the content body, title tag, description tag, headings and web URL. And use secondary keywords like ‘divorce family lawyer’ while providing accurate information to the content body. The key motive is to distribute primary and secondary keywords across the content in a balanced way so that it’s not spammy and verifies its relevancy to the bot.
Adding anchored internal links, reputable external links, and quality images with alt text optimises the page and enhances Law Firm SEO.
Ultimately, grouping the content and providing valuable information to potential clients is important. For example, there might be instances where a firm can answer a legal question in a single content piece by focusing on keywords like “ family lawyer in Sydney”; “Divorce Lawyers in Sydney”, and Family law firm in Sydney. On the other hand, different versions of a question might require a different answer with similar focus keywords.
Off-Page Optimisation for Law Firm SEO
Off-page factors like local SEO optimisation, review generation and link building help search engines like Google to measure which website is better than its counterparts and rank accordingly. Off-page optimisation is like an SEO popularity contest where law firms need to generate a high number of backlinks and reviews to increase the authority of their website.
How can Law Firms improve the Local SEO for lawyers?
Most of the searches for legal questions or services are location-bound. If the firm serves clients in a specific geographic area, it should try to prioritise localised keywords. While there might be fewer searches for keywords like “Family Lawyers in Sydney Paramatta”, the firm stands a better chance to gain better rank and have more conversions than ranking for keywords like “Family Lawyers in NSW.”
Law firms should concentrate on local packs by populating them with high-quality information about their practice. Google’s Local Pack algorithm helps people discover and connect with lawyers in their area. Filling out relevant fields, including information about the staff and adding photos in GMB Law-Firms can increase their visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and Google Maps.
Additionally, positive client reviews with five-star ratings on GMB significantly improve the SEO for law firms. Hence, law firms should work towards getting reviews published on GMB and other directories to improve local SEO and convert potential clients.
What are the link-building strategies to improve SEO for lawyers?
Along with GMB, earning links from credible websites is an essential step in optimising SEO for law firms, ensuring search engines the reliability of the firm’s website.
While the firm might earn backlinks naturally by producing engaging content, sometimes it has to work proactively to earn links by requesting people from its network to link its website.
To begin, the firm should first analyse the competitor’s backlinking strategies using SEO tools like Ubersuggest or SEMrush and see what websites link their landing pages. Then, they can strategise to create content and approach similar websites with a linking request.
Here are some popular methods to improve SEO for lawyers by attracting quality backlinks:
- Approaching Alumni Directories
- Ask Local Directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc
- Request a few blog directories and industry journalists for their publications
- Create Ebooks and Downloadable
- Submit Guest posts to websites and Give interviews to industry publications
- Approach fellow networks for a social media share
Track and Measure SEO efforts while Marketing a Law Firm
After implementing various SEO strategies and publishing SEO-friendly content, it’s crucial to check the efficiency of the efforts and measure its performance against the law firm’s goals.
Firms can start by auditing the site, which provides a detailed report on the site’s health. Audit reports show which target keywords bring traffic, Keyword ranking, SERP Visibility, common SEO issues, and opportunities for Law Firm SEO improvement, etc.
Law Firms can extract a large number of metrics from SEO tools and establish which metrics are critical for their business. Ultimately, the motive is which methods are bringing in organic traffic and which should be the next step to improve the traffic, which can generate quality leads.
Here are some additional methods to track and improve SEO for Law Firms:
- Analyse the click-through rates and check which keywords are attracting visitors.
- If the bounce rate is higher for certain pages, it concludes that there’s an issue with the web structure, content, or site speed.
- Establish Conversion Metrics and track which type of search results convert the visitors and where the firm needs to improve its communication method.
- Conduct a Keyword Gap analysis to understand which keywords rank strongly, areas where keywords are weak, and untapped keywords where competitors are earning search engine rankings. However, still, there’s some potential for the firm’s domain.