SEO for Lawyers
SEO Experts for Lawyers
SEO Strategies for Lawyers in the Digital Age
We are lawyer SEO experts because we follow well-established webmaster guidelines. Our law firm SEO agency uses our expertise in online marketing to enhance the ability of search engines to identify your law firm’s website and your legal services, which in turn will increase your website’s visibility. If you need a law firm SEO expert for your law firm, we are here for you and can help you rank for the most targeted, lucrative searches. Contact us today to learn why we are one of the best SEO companies for lawyers.
Is Law Firm SEO Difficult?
Marketing agencies understand that lawyer SEO is challenging for four reasons. First, Google constantly changes its search algorithms. Second, Google continually changes the way it displays search results. Third, Google shows different search results to different people in different locations. Fourth, SEO is highly competitive.
1. Google is Constantly Changing Its Search Algorithms
The first thing to understand about SEO is that Google is CONSTANTLY changing its search results algorithms and, consequently, how your law firm website ranks on any given day. For example, in 2018, Google updated their search algorithm a whopping 3,234 times and ran thousands of experiments and tests as follows:
Search Quality Tests
Live Traffic Experiments
The point of illustrating all of the changes that Google regularly makes to its search algorithms is to show that SEO is a constant process and not a single event. Additionally, because of all the changes made by Google to their search results, SEO experts have to stay on top of their game. Specifically, techniques that work one month to rank a website highly may not work the next month or even cause a site to lose its ranking position.
2. Google is Constantly Changing the Way It Displays Search Results
Since Google launched its search service to the public in 1998, the way it now displays search results has changed significantly. Over time, Google has pushed organic search results lower by showing 3 to 4 Google Ads for lawyers first, the local 3-Pack (sometimes 4 with a paid spot), and then organic search listings. For example, here is a search for “divorce lawyers in charleston sc” that shows the paid listings, the local 3-Pack, and then our CEO’s law firm’s listing (charlestonlaw.net) as the #1 organic listing (at least as of today). The takeaway here is that it has become increasingly more important to rank at the top position organically because Google is first loading up search results with paid ads and other information.
3. Google Changes Search Engine Results for Different Users & Different Locations
Typically, the same search in Google run by two different people will produce two different results. Here’s why – Google has been “personalizing” search engine results since 2009, regardless of whether you use a Google product such as Gmail. Essentially, Google continuously tracks where you are, what you search for, and what you click on. Over time, Google “learns” more about your online habits and interests and, in turn, gives you different results than other searchers such as your family members, your neighbor across the street, or a stranger searching online 500 miles away from you. For example, let’s say that you favor a particular news site such as CNN.com. Over time, Google will show you more results from CNN than from other news sites. Additionally, when you’re using Google on a mobile device, Google learns where you go each day based on your GPS coordinates when you perform a search or use a Google app such as Gmail. Based on this information, if someone from Topeka, Kansas searches for the term “criminal lawyer” on their mobile device without including any geographic information, Google will show the user criminal attorneys from Topeka.
For another example, if you search for “divorce lawyers near me” from my Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, our CEO’s law firm shows up in the local 3-pack as follows:
However, if you run the same search for “divorce lawyers near me” when you are in Charleston, SC instead of Mt. Pleasant, SC, you get different 3-pack results as follows:
4. Lawyer SEO is Remarkably Competitive
More than 90% of people looking for legal advice use a search engine, and over 70% of consumers visit a law firm’s website to take action. The majority of search engine users are more likely to click on one of the first five suggestions in the search engine results pages. With ten organic positions on the 1st page of Google’s search results, law firms are financially investing heavily in appearing on the coveted top five spots of the first page of search results. Here is a specific example. If you search for “injury lawyers in new york city,” Google returns over 23,000,000 possible results!
With 23,000,000 likely websites for Google to show for “injury lawyers in new york city, and with hundreds (if not thousands) of personal injury lawyers vying for the first page of search results, you can begin to understand why SEO is so costly and competitive.
How Long Does Lawyer SEO Take To Work?
The question we get asked most often is, “How long will it take for you to get my website ranked #1 for my keywords?” This question is born out of the misconception that SEO is all about keyword rankings. When JustLegal begins the process of optimization, we run keyword ranking reports. We run these reports as evidence of a “canary in the coal mine.” Mainly, if we observe that the law firm’s site isn’t showing within the search engine results, we know that site is in trouble and that it needs more TLC. Otherwise, the more meaningful metrics we use to measure SEO performance are: (1) the volume of site traffic and (2) whether visitors are engaging with the site by visiting other pages, filling out the site’s contact form, and clicking to call, etc. The better question to ask is “How long will it take for SEO to start generating leads?” Unfortunately, the is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to that question. Specifically, the answer to that question depends on numerous SEO factors, including:
- The design of the law firm’s website
- How much content does the website have
- How much SEO work has previously been done for the website
- How many backlinks there are to the website
- How much online competition there may be for your firm’s services
In our experience, you should start to see results within four to six months. Moreover, the results you get will be more significant over time. Here is an example of what happens during the first four months or so when JustLegal begins a new SEO strategy for a law firm:
- 1st Month – Website audit, keyword research and strategy, and planning within the first few weeks. After that, technical work begins by making modifications to the website (assuming the site does not need a complete redesign) and by building backlinks to the site. This process continues month after month, year after year.
- 2nd Month – Content creation, including blogging, firm information, and so on. You may see some improvements in rankings by the end of this month, but you may not see those rankings result in leads at this time.
- 3rd Month – The same process as Month 2 by which time you could experience an increase in rankings, traffic, and lead generation.
- 4th Month – With additional site content such as blogs, you now have something to share on social media. At this stage, you can include social media management to increase direct traffic to your website. You should see more organic traffic to your site, and your leads should increase. As traffic grows, your SEO expert now has more data from which to refine your website’s conversion rate by making adjustments to calls-to-action, contact forms, and web page designs throughout your site.
- Months 5 & Beyond – As you are working to improve your lawyer website SEO, your competitors will take notice and action to increase their visibility above and beyond yours. Therefore, each month is a continuing process, as described in Months 3 and 4 to maintain and improve your SEO indefinitely.
Is Content Important for Law Firm SEO?
Most law firm websites get found and clicked on in Google and other search engines for thousands of different keyword combinations and phrases. Although digital marketers may do their best to identify a limited number of the best keywords and phrases that will attract new clients, there is no realistic way to optimize a law firm website for the thousands of other phrases that may bring you targeted visitors to your site.
From one perspective, Google and other search engines are a blessing because they can drive potential clients to your website. However, from another angle these same platforms have the power to bury you in obscurity if not properly optimized for certain phrases that may bring targeted visitors.
The law firm website is the first step in attracting new clients. However, there are no realistic ways to optimize a site for all of the thousands and millions of keywords that might bring you visitors who want your services. The best one can do is identify those phrases which will most likely attract potential customers while also maintaining competitiveness with other sites on Google’s search engine page rank list.
The lack of optimization tools available today make it difficult to determine how many different keyword phrase combinations would be necessary for success when designing an online presence; therefore, business owners should focus their efforts on identifying only the relevant phrases which they feel confident about optimizing at this time so as not to get bogged down by too much detail or forget any important information related solely towards marketing
Search engine optimization isn’t just about tweaking a law firm’s website to target keyword phrases; it’s also about having quality content that responds to a potential client’s needs. Potential clients need answers to their legal questions. Having numerous web pages that describe your law firm’s legal services doesn’t fulfill a potential client’s needs. However, if you create enough quality content on your website to give the best possible answers to these questions, then you will accomplish four crucial SEO goals.
First, your site’s pages will begin to surface to the top of the search engine results in response to law-related search queries. Second, as the pages of your site rise in search results, you will drive more quality traffic to your website. Third, your content will establish you as an “authority” on the subject over your law firm’s competitors. Fourth, your online authority will convert your site’s visitors into potential clients who call or message you about your legal services.
Our search engine experts are building a reputation for achieving remarkable SEO results, even in the most competitive markets spaces, one client at a time.
Law Firm SEO Case Study
The goal was to increase organic traffic while encouraging visitors to remain on the site to convert to leads by either calling the law firm or filling out a contact form.
Before the project, the site received approximately 4,000 visitors per month but it had a high bounce rate which meant that most visitors were leaving the site after visiting one page. Our solution to increase leads involved extensive online competitor analysis, keyword and key phrase research, site navigation improvements, additional calls to action throughout the site, local SEO, quality backlink building, and content creation and marketing concerning the firm’s three main practice areas. The end result was a 342% increase in site traffic, a 88% decrease in the bounce rate, and a 94% increase in new client leads.
Increase In Site Traffic
Decrease In Bounce Rate
Increase In Conversions
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