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:
- Name recognition
- 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:
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:
- Improves your mobile SEO efforts.
- Makes it faster and easier for interested potential clients to find the critical information they’re searching for.
- 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.
- Search Engine Journal. Over 25% of People Click the First Google Search Result. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-first-page-clicks/374516/#close
- Google Developers. Irrelevant Keywords. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/guidelines/irrelevant-keywords
- YouTube. Google Search Central. Hot to Hire an SEO. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piSvFxV_M04&t=100s&ab_channel=GoogleSearchCentral
- 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.