5 Tips for Law Firm Website Optimization

In a digital world, service businesses increasingly rely on their website to convert clients. Attorneys are no exception to this rule. 

Your law firm’s website is your digital office front. It’s where a prospective client will go to learn about your legal service and determine whether you’re trustworthy and credible. But that won’t ever happen if they can’t find your legal website in the first place.   

Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you stand out, rank higher on search engine results page (SERPs), and ultimately, generate more traffic to your legal website.

What Is SEO?

SEO is a combination of digital marketing strategies and tactics you can deploy to help your website rank higher on search engines and ultimately bring in more website traffic. 

Whenever you search for something on Google the keywords you input into the search bar will lead you down a digital path. Once entered, Google’s search algorithm seeks to find the best, most relevant answer to your query. 

This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. 

Sites that provide relevant material and are optimized for Google’s search algorithm are more likely to rank higher on the search engine results page (SERPs). And that matters deeply, since the vast majority of people will click on one of the top five results:1    

  • Rank 1 – 28.5% click-through rate 
  • Rank 2 – 15.7% click-through rate
  • Rank 3 – 11% click-through rate
  • Rank 4 – 8% click-through rate
  • Rank 5 – 7.2% click-through rate

The further down you appear on SERPs; the less likely your website will be visited anytime a prospective client searches for those keywords. 

And if you’re on the second  search result page, you may as well be invisible to your potential client . 

But done right, legal SEO doesn’t simply get more people to click on your law firm’s website. It also helps build your brand’s:

  • Authority
  • Name recognition
  • Reach
  • Credibility
  • Reputation
  • Client acquisition pipeline

So, how can you optimize your law firm’s website for search? Here are some law firm marketing tips. 

Tips for Website Optimization  

The good news is that it’s more science and less art. And although there are creative elements that are fundamental to the quality of your SEO efforts, the driving force behind an SEO campaign isn’t a secret that Google hides from you—there are some best practices that can improve your firm’s ranking. 

Here are five website optimization for law firms tips you should focus on: 

Law Firm Website Optimization Tip #1 – It All Starts with Keywords  

From Google’s primordial days to now,  relevant keywords have ruled supreme. 

Relevant keywords are, and will likely always be, integral to search. Were your SEO strategy a house, keywords would be the foundations it was built upon. Lacking those, all of your other efforts—no matter how valiant—will crumble and fall short.    

In the past, websites gamed Google’s algorithm via blackhat practices like keyword stuffing. For example, if you were trying to rank highly for “DUI attorney,” you’d simply write DUI attorney and its variations as many times as possible on your website and web content, then hide those pages so that potential clients couldn’t see them. That might look something like this: “We provide DUI attorney services, for clients looking for a DUI attorney. If you want a DUI attorney, please contact our DUI attorney experts.”

That’s painful to read, right? It’s unnatural. 

Today, because of this, such practices are banned. Per Google:2 “Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.” 

So, how can you utilize keywords the right way? Start with these steps: 

  • Tastefully place keywords in the following places:
    • Title tags
    • Meta descriptions 
    • H2s and H3s within the content
    • The web page’s URL
    • Throughout your website’s content where applicable  
  • Perform competitor analysis to see how your website ranks against competitors and to identify high-volume keywords through keyword research.
  • Keyword mapping is a strategy whereby you group keywords and content that touches upon similar topics or questions. You can map keywords to the various stages of the legal sales funnel, including:
    • Awareness stage
    • Consideration stage
    • Decision stage 
  • Pay attention to mobile keywords, which may differ from desktop queries.  

Law Firm Website Optimization Tip #2 – Powerful Content Is Key 

Continuing our SEO house analogy, if keywords are the foundation, your content is the cornerstone. 

The heart of Google’s mission is to provide users with content that answers their questions with the most relevant, up-to-date, and valuable information. And for this, simply garnering clicks isn’t enough. Google wants to see that users stay on the page and then move on to keep reading different content on the website.  

Because of this, Google has increasingly emphasized the on-page experience in its algorithm. Now, dwell time—the length a user spends reading a page—is a metric that they prioritize because it demonstrates user engagement. 

Put simply, high-quality content is the recipe for an engaged audience. And for that, your blog pages play an integral role. 

But what does that look like? Whether it’s your web copy, landing pages, or your legal blog, every piece of written content should:

  • Provide valuable information that’s relevant to the potential client’s legal queries. This information should be:
    • Backed by research and credible sources
    • Original content
    • Tailored to your audience 
    • In your brand voice
  • Include relevant legal keywords that satisfy user queries
  • Use proper formatting and on-page optimization to make the content readable and digestible  
  • Include internal and external backlinks and hyperlinks 
  • Know your search intent and call to action
  • Include multimedia content like: 
    • Photos
    • Infographics
    • Videos
    • Charts
    • Gifs

Law Firm Website Optimization Tip #3 – SEO Is Not a Quick Fix

An SEO strategy will not change your SERPs overnight. The recipe for success includes time, repetition, effort, and patience. That means staying up to date with the latest algorithm changes, tweaking older content to be better optimized, and constantly churning out new high-quality content. 

If you want to improve your legal firm’s standing on SERPs, it will likely take months of effort to start climbing the ranks. Per Google Search Central:3 ”In most cases, SEOs need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.” 

With legal SEO, there’s no instant gratification or overnight results. This means your firm needs to trust the process and be patient. Remember that it’s a long-term strategy that won’t help you tomorrow but will have a major impact six months from now, next year, and so on. 

Law Firm Website Optimization Tip #4 – If You’re Not Optimized for Mobile, You’re In Trouble

​​The world is changing. And the Google algorithm changes with it.  

Today, more than half of all web traffic searches are done on a mobile device. In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices (not including tablets) accounted for 54.8% of global web traffic.4Google has noticed this shift in consumer web search behavior and responded by placing a greater emphasis on ranking websites that are made for mobile users. 

Google has become a mobile-first search index. And yet, many legal firms have websites that are outmoded and not optimized to support mobile users. Common issues include: 

  • Slow website speeds 
  • Bad user experience (UX) especially for navigation
  • Non-responsive design 
  • Slow loading times 
  • Wrong or missing local information 

To rectify this problem, you may need to give your website a facelift with a redesign that focuses on being mobile responsive. If you fail to create a positive experience for half of your potential clients, all of your other SEO efforts will be in vain.   

Law Firm Website Optimization Tip #5 – Don’t Forget Your Google My Business Page

Hyperlocal SEO is important for almost any business, but especially so for legal firms. Put simply, your clients want to be represented by someone who’s close by and that they can visit. 

Local search is important since it allows you to focus on specific areas near you. And for this, Google My Business is the largest determining factor. 

By listing your law firm on the free service, you have an opportunity to provide your location, contact information, legal services, reviews, photos, and more. This makes it possible for users to find your office on Google Maps. It also provides three crucial benefits: 

  1. Improves your mobile SEO efforts.
  2. Makes it faster and easier for interested potential clients to find the critical information they’re searching for.
  3. Helps you rank higher on SERPs since Google Map listings are automatically placed at the top of the page just below Google AdWords.  

Convert It—Helping You Get Results Faster with PPC Support

Done the right way, SEO can play a critical role in your client acquisition efforts along with law firm CRM. This long-term strategy will help your website climb in the rankings, which is essential for continued success.

But what if you want immediate results while you wait for your SEO to start moving the organic search needle?  

This is where Convert It can help. 

As legal-centric PPC (pay-per-click) marketing experts, we can build you a digital marketing strategy that makes an instant impact regardless of whether your firm has a big or small marketing budget.

How does a Convert It PPC campaign work? Contact us today to find out more. 

 

Sources: 

  1. Search Engine Journal. Over 25% of People Click the First Google Search Result. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-first-page-clicks/374516/#close
  2. Google Developers. Irrelevant Keywords. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/guidelines/irrelevant-keywords
  3. YouTube. Google Search Central. Hot to Hire an SEO. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piSvFxV_M04&t=100s&ab_channel=GoogleSearchCentral
  4. Statista. Percentage of mobile device website traffic worldwide from 1st quarter 2015 to 1st quarter 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/277125/share-of-website-traffic-coming-from-mobile-devices/#:~:text=Mobile%20accounts%20for%20approximately%20half,since%20the%20beginning%20of%202017.

How to Write Effective Legal Blog Posts

In the hypersaturated digital legal space, ranking highly on search engines has become a greater challenge than ever. No longer can firms simply churn out keyword-implemented content and have a successful SEO strategy. 

Now, Google’s algorithm prioritizes high-quality legal professional content. It must be relevant, accurate, up to date, and most importantly, engaging legal topics. Done right, this can help you excel at SEO, increase your law firm website traffic, and establish your authority as a legal professional.   

So, how do you write compelling legal blog posts that provide tangible value to your clientele base and help you rank higher on search for the legal industry? 

Use a Range of Legal Blog Posts Types 

You should be writing on an array of subjects both directly and indirectly related to your specific legal practice. Plan on producing legal writing content on a regular basis, it is easier to maintain a devoted readership if you don’t change things up in your law firm. 

When everything becomes one-note, content tends to fall flat. This is why you should try your hand at a range of blog types, including: 

  • Legal 101 FAQ – When prospective clients are in need of legal advice, Google is often the first place they’ll go in order to ask questions. For lawyers, writing blog posts that provide an informative answer to frequently asked questions helps you rank highly in search—since the content is directly in response to the query—and it creates an initial touchpoint that demonstrates your legal expertise, which can lead them further down the sales funnel in your practice area. 
  • How-to – Similarly, sometimes a potential client will need guidance for filing documentation or operating their business according to rules and regulations. How-tos give you an opportunity to guide someone through the steps they need to follow. Depending on your legal field, an example legal blog post could be:
    • How to file for divorce
    • How to change your business’ legal structure 
    • How to sue for personal injury 
  • A deep dive – Want to show off your legal knowledge? This type of blog post can provide a more focused, in-depth discussion on a specific legal matter or case. It could be anything from legal issues that are currently top of mind in the culture, historical cases that set precedents, or tricky cases you’ve successfully handled. 
  • Infographics – Infographics are especially powerful tools for visual mediums like social media. These tend to be shorter and more focused on conveying a specific message. They can include statistics, checklists, or legal facts.
  • Guest posts – These are popular since you don’t have to write them yourself. Instead, you can host another lawyer or legal expert to write on an interesting topic or provide expertise on a niche legal subject. This helps increase your credibility and expand your professional network.    

By switching up your legal blog posts, you make sure that readers will come to your site expecting to read something new and interesting. 

Make It Easy To Read

Humans have limited time and attention spans. 

You only have a fleeting moment to capture their focus. The longer the post goes, the harder it will be to keep them hooked. That’s why most posts should range between 500 to 2,000 words. Though, ideal lengths are around 600–1,000 words for short-form and 1,500–2,000 for long-form. 

It’s not just length that matters. You also have to consider the readability. 

Having massive text walls is one of the quickest ways you can immediately lose your audience. Content needs to be quick, to the point, and digestible. Ways you can make your legal blog posts easy to read include: 

  • Utilize white space – White space helps a blog feel skimmable. By separating paragraphs and simply spacing things out, you help the content breathe. From an aesthetics standpoint, breaking up content is much more pleasing to the eye since it provides a visual break—however small—from the text. 
  • Use bullet points – Bullet points help add to a post’s scannability. They let you list things out or briefly highlight important information. 
  • Use one-liners – Varying sentence length and paragraph length gives a blog post a sense of rhythm and pace. One-liners are a punchy way you can add white space and emphasize a point. 
  • Separate content into headers – H2s and H3s help break up content into more digestible chunks. They also make it easier for a reader to scan through the content and pull out something specific without having to necessarily read the whole post. 
  • Keep your intro brief – An intro for a 1,500-word blog shouldn’t be any more than 150 words. Your intro is your chance to make a first impression and briefly explain what the reader will be reading about. It should be short, snappy, and get right to the point.  

Write for Your Audience 

The most incredible legal blog post can fall completely flat if it’s written for the wrong audience or if it’s written in such a way that the intended audience can’t understand it. 

Every blog post should have a clear purpose. Whether it’s to inform, drive traffic, or convert a client, the underlying reason will impact how you write the blog and who you’re writing it to. 

To help you know your audience, you can build out detailed client personas. Use both market research and existing clientele to flesh these out. In doing so, you will be able to write more targeted content that’s directly applicable to your most likely client.  

When it comes to the writing itself, you have to walk a fine line; it should be understandable to the average reader, but you don’t want to talk down to them—finding that balance will come more easily with practice.   

Focus On Your Specialty 

The purpose of your blog is to increase your client base. 

Write what you know and limit your posts to subjects related to your area of expertise. For instance, if you’re a divorce lawyer, there’s little reason to write about legal matters that are unrelated to your field, such as immigration law.  

Ranking highly for services or fields that you do not offer is a poor utilization of your blog, resources, and time. And simply demonstrating your knowledge doesn’t provide enough down-funnel value. 

Therefore, stick to subjects that are directly related to your field and applicable to would-be clients. Writing what you know is the best way to build your credibility as a thought leader. 

Edit, Edit Again, and Edit Some More 

Good editing can make a blog post sing. Bad editing, or no editing at all, could sink you from the beginning. Knowing this, don’t release your content until it’s been checked and double-checked.  As Forbes notes:1 

“First impressions can be made in as little as 33 to 100 milliseconds. Writing is no different, and spelling, grammar, and punctuation are some of the first things an attentive reader will notice and judge.”

Your content shouldn’t be given to the public until it’s perfect. Simply running a spell check and confirming that there are no glaring grammatical issues isn’t good enough. As you edit, be sure to: 

  • Cut out the fluff, whether in verbiage or content
  • Make the piece visually appealing 
  • Keep content clear and concise 
  • Don’t edit immediately after writing; instead, edit with fresh eyes 
  • Make sure that both the overall purpose of the blog is met
    • Do the same with each individual section 

Use SEO Best Practices 

Optimizing your blog posts for search helps ensure that readers will actually end up seeing the posts. If you fail to do this, all of your other efforts will be for naught. 

Search engine SEO best practices include: 

  • Using relevant keywords throughout the content and headers
  • Including title tags and meta descriptions
  • Adding image alt-text
  • Breaking up content for readability
  • Linking internally and externally
  • Updating your timestamp 
  • Including images and videos

Additionally, Google has recently emphasized the importance of a good page experience. According to Google, this is: “a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value.”

And how can you create a good page experience? Google recommends that you focus on the following search signals:2

  • The core web vitals, which deal with load speeds, page interactivity, and visual stability
  • Making your website mobile-friendly 
  • Using HTTPS
  • Ensuring that there are no intrusive interstitials

Convert It—Helping You Convert Blog Readers

Your law firm website copy and blog posts are some of the most important ways you can improve your website’s SEO. But SEO isn’t an overnight process. In fact, it could take several months to a year before your blog posts start having a noticeable impact on your search rankings.3 

What do you do if you want to move the needle right now? 

That’s where paid ads can be an immediate difference-maker. At Convert It, we specialize in creating legal PPC campaigns that can provide ROI right now. Our platform provides everything you need to generate new clients, including: 

  • Call & lead tracking
  • Behavioral targeting
  • Conversion websites
  • Drive traffic
  • Captivating ads  

Want to discover how Convert It could help you win new clients? Learn more today!  

 

Sources:

  1. Forbes. Here’s How To Become A Better Writer. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2019/10/30/heres-how-to-become-a-better-writer/?sh=1e9927531736
  2. Google Search Central. Understanding page experience in Google Search results. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/experience/page-experience
  3. Search Engine Journal. How Long Does SEO Take? https://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo-101/how-long-seo-takes/