The goal of law firms’ websites is to attract clients, which is why SEO-friendly websites are essential. It’s not always straightforward to know how to do SEO the right way for law firms, but it’s one of the major drivers of traffic and clients and is a key element of a law firm website design.
It is true that legal is a highly competitive niche, and lawyers have a lot of hoops to jump through in order to market their services online.If law firms wish to attract more clients from Google, they need to adopt a creative and strategic approach due to the often sensitive nature of some practice areas (ie Personal Injury or Criminal Law).
In theory, SEO-friendly websites follow the same basic principles across the board. If a site is user-friendly and provides valuable content, then it is already meeting the search engine algorithms’ requirements.
In our article “Why SEO for Lawyers Matter“, we explain how SEO can be utilized to help increase traffic to your website, lead generation, and improve your practice.
Law Firm SEO – What’s Important
It’s important to note that search engines are one of the primary methods through which people find lawyers, typically in their local area. Law firms without a strong SEO strategy will struggle to get found by potential clients online.
Users search for answers to their legal questions, compare law firms, and eventually find contact information for the firms they want to work with.
By investing in SEO, your law firm will rank high for your clients’ search queries, increasing your chances of getting them to contact you.
The following are some of the benefits of an SEO-friendly law firm website:
- Search engine optimization increases your firm’s visibility, resulting in more clients finding you.
- You can outrank even national competitors, driving users to choose your business over the alternatives.
- Getting featured in publications and showcasing positive client reviews can boost your law firm’s reputation.
- You drive consistent traffic and clients to your firm
What Makes a Law Firm Website Successful?
Now, let’s discuss how your law firm website should be built to rank highly in organic search results.
The steps below can help you start seeing tangible results from your digital marketing efforts, no matter whether you’re doing SEO for your own site or one of your clients’.
1. Performing Keyword Research
In the highly competitive legal niche, keyword research is particularly important. This is because you are trying to find keyword phrases with high search volumes, low competition, that will bring in the right kind of traffic to your website.
Lawyers often complain that their phones are ringing nonstop, but the calls are coming from people who:
1. Do not offer what they are looking for.
2. Not able to afford their services.
This is often due to keyword targeting that is off-base or a lack of information.
Your law firm should search for terms that attract the kinds of clients you want. It is advisable to target specific keywords, such as “auto accidents,” “immigration law,” “family law,” “criminal defense,” “real estate law,” etc.
The keyword “lawyer in Georgia” is too broad, while targeting “immigration lawyer in Atlanta” is more specific.
When you use the latter approach, you’re showing people the law firms that specialize in a specific area and offer legal services in a specific region.
Keyword research tools such as SEMrush.com are utilized to find highly targeted keywords that need to be integrated strategically into content for your website.
2. Law Firm Website Design
In terms of SEO, the structure of your website and its ease of navigation are crucial.
A website that loads quickly makes it easy for visitors to find information they’re looking for, resulting in easier crawlability for search engines and more clients for you.
If you want to build your law firm website with SEO in mind from the very beginning, you should hire a web developer who understands SEO and can design a site that’s easy for Google to index and easy for users to navigate.
These best practices for SEO-friendly web design include:
- Website load times should be optimized so that webpages and blog posts load quickly.
- It is important to make sure the fonts and images are simple and clear enough for users to view.
- You should arrange your site content in an intuitive way so users can find information easily.
- Make it clear how to get in touch with you by adding a call-to-action button.
- Professional and personalized photography rather than generic stock photos.
- Make sure you incorporate internal links into your site so users can find additional resources easily.
- Making sure that all contact forms and clickable links work.
It is the responsibility of a reputable designer to incorporate these SEO best practices into the design of the website and make it fast, functional, and user-friendly.
3. The Power of Branding & Authority
Branding is an important component of an SEO-friendly law firm website that is rarely mentioned.
To make your law firm stand out from the crowd, investing in quality photographs, a professional logo, and an attractive website is essential.
Branding also includes colors, fonts, and the messaging you use on your site.
As a lawyer (or law firm), you need to decide what your law firm represents and how to convey that to potential clients.
A branding consultant or copywriter may be able to help you come up with your brand’s mission and unique selling proposition (USP).
The right brand messaging and visual branding will help establish your firm as a professional law firm in your niche, as well as help set you apart from your competitors.
Having a good PR is crucial to getting people to link back to your website and keeping them there.
4. Optimizing your Technical SEO
Technical SEO consists of all the technical aspects of your site that make it available for search engine crawling.
A website could have the most attractive branding in the world, but if it isn’t structurally sound, it will struggle to rank higher in the search results. Users will also have difficulty navigating the site.
Here are some SEO best practices to follow:
- Making use of intuitive URLs (for example, “limbockerlawfirm.com/bankruptcy-law”).
- Make sure all pages that do not load on your site are redirected to live pages.
- Submission of a sitemap to the search engines will improve crawlability.
- Secure your website by switching to SSL (https:// instead of http://) so that users don’t worry.
- Your website should be mobile-friendly.
- Configuring Google Search Console and Google Analytics to monitor traffic to your website.
It can be confusing to learn how to optimize your website using technical SEO. A technical SEO expert can assist you in fixing errors on your site.
5. On-Page SEO
It’s time to implement the keyword research that you conducted in step one.
Use your focus keywords throughout your website to let users and search engines know what each page is about.
Nonetheless, you should not overuse keywords or else you risk coming across as spammy.
Basic steps in on-page optimization include:
- Choose a primary keyword for each post or page.
- Find related keywords using keyword research tools.
- Your primary keyword should appear in the title tag of your post or page.
- Heading one (<H1>) should contain the primary keyword or a related keyword.
- Provide accurate, valuable information to your target audience by incorporating your primary and secondary keywords into your page or post’s body content.
- Include relevant internal links on your website.
- Link to credible external sources.
- Add alt text to high-quality images.
Always remember that your primary goal is to provide valuable content first, and then optimize for search engines second.
6. Off-Page SEO
Essentially, off-page SEO is any SEO that happens off your website. There are three key components to this for law firms:
- Optimizing locally.
- Generating reviews.
- Creating backlinks.
Among the local SEO strategies available to law firms, completing a Google My Business profile and providing details of the business to reputable directories will help them rank higher in local search.
This will allow potential clients to find your website and will send SEO-friendly trust signals to your website.
For law firms, positive client reviews matter because a 5-star rating may convince a client to choose you over a competitor with a poor rating.
This is why you should strive to obtain positive reviews on your Google My Business page, in local directories, and on your social media profiles.
Additionally, Google will take note that links from reputable sites show that your site is a reliable source for information.
Getting backlinks from industry-related blogs, interviews, or PR services are all ways to earn backlinks.
The more platforms that mention your law firm as a reliable source of information, the better. However, make sure these links come from trustworthy, non-spammy websites.
7. The Conversion Optimization Process
Conversion optimization increases your chances of turning traffic into actual clients. When considering SEO, your website’s end goal is rarely traffic; it’s leads or revenue.
When users come to your website, think about the type of experience you want to provide them with.
- Is the information they are looking for available?
- Is there a way for them to contact you?
- Have you generated examples of results for your clients?
Here are some best practices for converting visitors on your website:
- Make menu navigation easy and straightforward.
- Make your call-to-action buttons visible and concise.
- At the top of your website, include a visible Contact Us link or phone number.
- Access all important pages from the main menu.
- Your website should contain forms for your visitors to contact you.
- Include links to relevant internal pages on your website.
- Display client testimonials and reviews.
- Let users subscribe to your newsletter, ebooks, or other downloadables.
The idea here is to facilitate interaction with your content through multiple touchpoints throughout your website.
This is the best way to ensure that visitors contact you and become paying customers.
8. Developing Content Strategy
If you want to get the most mileage out of the content you publish on your law firm website and blog, you need to implement a multi-channel marketing strategy.
This might involve sharing your blog posts on social media or emailing them to your audience. You could also turn your content into a YouTube video or reference it in a paid advertisement.
You can share your content in several ways and reach a wider audience. You can publish content that’s interesting to your audience and optimized for search engines.
Improve Your Law Firm Website’s Traffic & Leads
The legal industry has a lot of competition when it comes to SEO, but hopefully we have provided some guidance on optimizing your site for users and search engines.
SEO is one of the best ways to drive more traffic to your website, so it’s a good idea to get it right from the start.
If you know which audience you want to target, follow SEO best practices, and integrate SEO into your wider marketing strategy, you can see real results from your SEO efforts.