SEO for Law Firms in 2021
Best SEO strategies for generating new clients for solicitors, law firms or practically anyone in the legal sector in 2021.
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If you own or work for a law firm, you may have thought about an array of different marketing techniques to increase your client range.
A highly lucrative method you’ve probably come across is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
This is because 50% of marketers believe it’s the most effective online marketing strategy.
Although this can be a superb way to grow your customer base, it isn’t easy without the correct guidance.
But, before we get into the SEO methods for businesses in the legal sector, let’s discuss what law firm SEO is.
Law Firm SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the same as traditional optimization (but you may want to consider focusing on local SEO).
It’s the process of structuring your online content so search engines can easily read your website and accurately rank it within search engines for specific keywords related to the law industry.
SEO is a broad topic, and they’re an abundance of different factors within the strategy that you need to execute excellently to become successful.
This marketing plan isn’t something that’ll turn immense profits overnight, but it will steadily grow over time into something that delivers results each month.
Without further ado, let’s get into this exciting topic. Below, we go into detail about the best SEO strategies for generating new clients for solicitors, law firms or practically anyone in the legal sector.
Best Law Firm SEO Strategy
A common question I see within the industry is “how can I get my law firm to page 1 of Google”. Although the answer to this question can vary enormously depending on your keyword selection, it all follows suit with a similar criterion.
There are many ways to perform SEO on your website, and the main three are search, local and maps. Each offers unique benefits and varying on your marketing goal, can deliver outstanding results.
Below I’ve broken down all three types of optimization that you can perform on your website and detailed each critical step to increase your chances of ranking number 1 on the SERPs.
Whether you’re optimizing for search, local or maps, you need to make sure you understand the core fundamentals of SEO. So, you can grasp a better understanding, think of SEO as the communication between search engines and your website through code.
Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, will use bot-like crawlers to scour your website content to match it with specific search phrases.
For instance, if you create a webpage about “How to become a solicitor”, you’ll want Google to quickly identify that your content is about this topic through text, headlines, imagery and various other practices that we mention below.
It may seem complex to begin with it. But it isn’t if you break it into a few simple steps. Here are the most vital components to optimizing your website:
1. Keyword research
At the beginning of all successful SEO campaigns is in-depth keyword research. These are typically words or phrases that you want to rank for in search engines. But before you start diving into any keywords, you have to understand that specific search terms are harder to rank for depending on your competitors.
Google and many other search engines rank websites 1-100 with DA (domain authority). This grows slowly over time and is determined by a variety of factors such as:
- Root domains
- Number of high-ranking links
- Website speed
- On-page SEO score
- Social signals
After a search engine crawler has scanned a website for the above, it’ll then rank it out of 100, 1 being the worst and 100 being the best. To find this information out quickly and reliably, I recommend using either Ahrefs or SEMrush. These tools can quickly identify keyword difficulty based on the domain authority that your competitors have within a specific keyphrase.
Understanding this is extremely important. If you’re reading this article, I can imagine you’ve never optimized for search before, and it’s a high possibility you have a low DA. Because of this, you’ll need to rank for low keyword difficulty phrases.
A huge tip I can give small DA law firms to increase their SEO reach is to optimize for long-tail keywords.
What do I mean by this?
Long-tail keywords are generic search questions instead of a word or two.
For example, instead of trying to rank for “Best solicitors in the US”, you may want to consider “Best solicitors for driving offenses in Arlington”. By doing this, you’ve now narrowed down the target audience and also your competitors.
Although this key phrase will receive fewer searches each month, the likelihood of you ranking for this is much more significant. As the months go by and you create content based on these “easy-to-rank” key phrases, your DA will increase because it’ll naturally start growing links as people develop an interest in your content.
Because your DA is improving, you’ll be able to target difficult keywords that acquire more traffic over time.
By all means, keyword research is the most crucial factor in constructing a successful SEO campaign. Having a false understanding of how keyword difficulty works will undoubtedly crush your marketing efforts. Take time in researching your potential keywords, as it could be the difference between a winning campaign.
2. On-page SEO
On-page SEO plays a vital role for solicitors. Keyword research is excellent, but you won’t get the results you’re hoping for without implementing it correctly. I’ve broken it down into essential sections without going into massive detail about the abundance of different on-page SEO requirements.
As you can tell from the name, keyword frequency is how many times you use your specific keyword or phrase in your content. Industry experts recommend that you implement one keyword per 200 words of copy. Anything more than this may be considered “stuffing” and negatively affect your rankings.
You may not be aware, but search engines hate long URLs. If you’re serious about increasing your SEO performance for a law firm, you need to make your page URLs short and have relatable keywords within them.
Doing this can help search engine crawlers quickly identify what users can expect from this URL. The easier they can recognize a page and its contents, the quicker it can rank you for the selected keywords.
Remember, crawlers are bots and work on specific requirements. If these conditions are met, it’ll rank you accordingly.
Fast and easy to navigate
Apart from optimizing your URLs, you should also make sure your website is fast and easy to navigate. Website speed is a “Core Web Vital”, and it’s becoming more demanding with each algorithm update.
Compress your images, clean your HTML and opt-in for a good hosting provider to decrease the chances of speed affecting your SEO.
It must also be easy to navigate, as session duration is another vital ranking factor. Increasing your session duration time with each user indicates to search engines that your website is performing well and will push you further up the rankings.
As we’re talking about on-page SEO, I’ll only go into detail about the importance of internal linking. However, external linking is crucial as well. When creating content, it’s important to reference or ‘link’ to other relatable pages on your website.
By internally linking, it’s improving usability, which ultimately enhances session duration. This has a snowball-like effect as session duration will improve page views, then page authority and all the way to domain authority.
By increasing each of these, the possibilities of ranking for specific keywords will increase significantly.
For those who don’t know, a meta description is the short snippet of information you see under the page’s title within a search engine like Google. This will typically have a brief overview of what you can expect from that page. It would be best if you spend some time optimizing your meta description as it’ll need to include specific keywords about your content.
Search Intent & Helpfulness
Before you get carried away with a list of on-page SEO practices, you need to ensure your content provides value to the user. Search engines are typically used to find answers to questions.
For example, if somebody is looking for the “Best cat names 2021”, they expect to leave that page knowing the best cat names for this year.
3. Build reputable links
Once you’ve found your keywords and performed good on-page SEO, you should also consider building backlinks with high-authority websites.
Backlinks can seem like a myth for new SEO marketers, but it’s much easier than you may think.
For you to acquire a backlink, a website needs to hyperlink to one of your pages.
Here are some ways that you can generate backlinks:
- Make infographics that are packed with information.
- Promote your content to an audience that has websites within the legal sector.
- Contact journalists, lawyers and people within the law sector that could have ties with a website.
Remember, not any old backlink will be considered “Good”. Search engines have a vast database on domain authorities and can quickly identify if a backlink is from a significant source or not.
4. Control and monitor
Lastly, to improve your SEO for solicitors, lawyers or anyone within the law industry, you need to control and monitor the SEO campaign.
Unlike other PPC or PPM advertising platforms, SEO takes between 6-18 months to take full effect.
It’s a patient’s game but extremely rewarding if you’re able to achieve success with it.
Now you have a general idea of website optimization to increase your chances of showing up in the SERPs, let’s take a look at local and map SEO.
Local SEO for Solicitors & Lawyers
Local SEO is another highly profitable strategy, and if you don’t live in a highly congested area, it’s much easier to rank.
This type of campaign is created to increase leads, brand awareness and traffic from local-targeted customers.
Here’s how you can start implementing local SEO for your legal sector businesses:
1. Create a Google My Business Account
If you want to increase your local SEO for your law firm, the most effective way is to create a business profile with Google. Here you’ll be able to register your business with Google, and it’ll automatically optimize it for map and local search queries.
Before finalizing your business account set-up, ensure you’ve completed the following.
- Once created, make sure you verify the ownership of your business. Typically, they’ll send you a verification code via the post.
- Make sure your account is filled up with up-to-date and accurate information, as this will be public.
- While setting up your account, you should include your hours of operation, payment methods, a description of the products or services
- you sell, your company’s logo, and various other images that help viewers understand more about your business.
- On the business account dashboard, you’re able to publish posts such as events, special offers and even products you sell.
The dashboard that comes equipped with your business account is relatively easy to understand, and you should utilize it to its full potential.
2. Get Reviews from Customers
Once your business account is set up, you should request customers to write detailed reviews about your business. This could be on your Google account or any other review services you’re signed up to, such as Yelp, Yell, etc.
Here’s how you should ask customers for reviews:
- If you can, ask for a review in person after the final deal is closed.
- If your business is primarily online, you should follow your customers up with an email suggesting that they leave a review. Here you can link directly to your reviews page.
- Always respond to reviews, whether they’re positive or negative. Here you’re able to thank good reviewers and adequately address the negative ones.
Asking for reviews should really be based on judgment. If you believe they will leave a positive review, you should politely urge them to leave one.
However, if you feel a customer will leave a negative review, it might be best not to remind them.
3. Remember Voice Search
I’m sure you’ve heard of Alexa, Google Nest and many other hands-free devices that can quickly search for queries via voice. It’s only been introduced within recent years, but it’s great to optimize for now rather than later.
It’s a great way to gain easy leads for your law firm. However, you’ll have to angle your content slightly differently.
To optimize your web pages for voice search, you should use long-tail keywords that sound conversational. These will typically start with what, when, where, who and how, etc.
Remember, when optimizing for voice, your content needs to provide quick answers.
For example, if a client is wondering what your business hours are, they expect to be relayed this information right away rather than a big block of text.
4. Think Local Content
The more local you can angle your content, the higher chances you’ll rank for local keywords related to your business.
Here you’ll want to write content based on local events, news stories, etc.
Below are some strategies to increase your viewability on local searches.
- Write blog posts around events or news stories that have happened in your local area.
- If your business supports a local charity or cause, it’ll be great to either create a video or write about it.
- Create location-specific web pages. Here you’ll be able to laser target specific regions, towns or cities.
For example, if you have two offices for your solicitors, to increase your SEO on both of these locations, you’ll want one page for office number 1 and another for office number 2. Google prefers to rank this way, as it can quickly identify where the official location is.
5. Target Local Keywords
It sounds obvious, but it’s something that people tend to forget about when developing an SEO plan for their law firm.
Here you’ll want to express to Google the specific locations you want to target.
For example, if your business is based in Stockton, make sure you’ve chosen Stockton as a keyword for your local SEO pages.
A well-crafted SEO strategy can do wonders for your law firm.
It’s a relatively easy and cost-effective way to gain extra leads, which could turn into clients.
To ace local SEO in your area, follow the tips mentioned.
Further Reading: 10 Strategies to Grow Your Service Business Online