Developing a law firm SEO strategy

Regardless of how technically successful your law firm is in the courts, it’s a fact that you’re going to need clients to make a success of things. It’s also a fact that over 95% of people who need to seek legal advice will initially use a search engine to do so.

Conquering Google’s search results is the easiest way to acquire new clients. It’s estimated that almost three-quarters of consumers will visit the website of a prospective law firm to take action – and to drive prospects to your site, you’re going to have to think about search engine optimization (SEO).

Here’s how to develop a coherent SEO marketing strategy for your law firm.

Law firm SEO tips

1) Select your keywords based on your services

Keywords are those handy phrases prospective clients are going to search for when they require your legal services. For example, if you specialize in injury law in New York, you might want to consider researching and refining short-tail keywords like “injury lawyers NYC” and long-tail keywords like “free consultation injury law firms in New York”. Google’s keyword tool will provide you with an insight into what prospective clients are searching for – it’s up to you to incorporate these into your website where you can. Think blog posts, information pages and guest posts on third-party sites.

2) Alter your site structure

Your site should be as easy as possible to use. This is important not just from a user experience perspective, but from a ranking perspective, too. To achieve this, you’ll need to group content, navigation and URL structure into neatly organized buckets.

This might sound simple but it can become complex depending on the type of law firm you operate. From a website perspective, there are three different types of law firm:

  • Single service (for example injury law firm or DUI attorney)
  • Multiple services (criminal law, contract law, corporate law and so on).
  • Firms with multiple locations (with offices in several different towns/cities across the world).

If you offer a single service, consider using an exact match domain for your URL. This is where your URL is comprised of a keyword that clients will type in when searching for the sort of services you provide. This is generally discouraged if you want to rank for additional keywords, but if you perform just one service it makes sound logical sense. For example, if you offer a DUI attorney service in Florida, consider registering a domain that includes “DUI” and “lawyer” in your domain name.

If you offer more than one service, use a branded domain instead. For example, if your company is called Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill, consider adding the partners’ last names in the domain. From here, you can add service pages for everything you offer.

This can help your site to rank at the top of Google for several different services, thereby helping you to corner each individual market. You should also use the same steps if you have multiple locations, but add each city of operation into your URL based on each office location.

3) Get verified with Google

If you’ve yet to do so, verify your business address with Google My Business. This involves Google sending a postcard with a verification code attached to your business premises. Once you enter the code into Google, your business location will show up in local searches, and you’ll also gain a presence on Google Maps.

4) Create unique content

Google and other major search engines don’t like duplicate content. In fact, they tend to penalize sites that use copied content. Ensure that all copy on your site is unique (it can be worthwhile checking via a service like Copyscape).

It’s also worthwhile to regularly add relevant content to your site. Blog posts are great for this. Try to add at least one or two new blog posts relevant to your sector of the law industry each week. This helps with keywords and helps to organically boost your site ranking and provide benefit to your lawyer SEO marketing program.

To help save time, you can also work with an agency that provides SEO content optimization.

5) Build high-authority links

While link building isn’t as easy as it used to be, it’s still an important ranking factor. To build trust with Google – and to optimize your site – you should perform off-page SEO analysis and do the following:

  • Create social media links to your blog content
  • Use internal links to key landing pages (pages with a call to action)
  • Create offsite backlinks to landing pages

Check out our off-page SEO services to learn more about link building.

Law firm SEO is a process

This process can take a lot of time, so don’t be surprised if your law firm doesn’t notice any tangible results in the first six months of practicing search engine optimization. SEO in the legal industry is quite competitive, so it’s important to realize that your company is going to have to dedicate time and resources to gain the SEO edge over your rivals.

For more SEO lawyer marketing insight, visit Segment’s SEO for lawyers and attorneys.

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