As the internet is overtaking traditional media channels for advertising and attracting new clients, search engine optimization (SEO) has become a vital tool for lawyers. Here are some facts that reinforce the importance of SEO:
- When seeking legal advice, 96 out of 100 clients use a search engine
- Almost 75% of potential clients will visit a law firm’s website before making an appointment
- More than 60% of online legal searches are unbranded (for example, “New York attorney”)
- Almost 3 out of 4 people seeking legal advice choose to contact only one lawyer
Which SEO ranking factors are applicable?
SEO is an important tool for lawyers as Google will rank a law firm’s website based on the following factors.
For your website to rank highly, the text and video content must be:
- Informative and relevant
- Easy to read and share
By investing in valuable content creation, you will be able to publish high-quality content regularly. This will, in turn, result in a number of benefits:
- Enhanced reputation in your field of expertise
- Increased online and social media presence and traffic
- More quality leads and prospects
Links play an essential role in driving up your website’s search ranking. If you want to succeed in your link building, you must take account of the following factors:
- Quality – Linking to a high-quality website will enhance the status of your site and make it appear authoritative
- Relevance – Make sure the linked website is related to your law firm’s service area and specialty
- Quantity – The more links that point to your website, the better your search engine ranking will be
Google uses algorithms to predict a user’s intent when searching for a particular term. Then, it assesses what the user means before producing relevant results.
Here’s what you need to consider:
- The organic click-through rate (CTR) refers to the number of clicks your web pages receive. The more clicks you generate, the better your chances of ranking highly on Google.
- The bounce rate – This measures when a user visits your page but then quickly leaves. If this occurs frequently, it may indicate that visitors don’t believe your content is relevant to their search.
- High volume direct or repeat traffic – This may signify that your site contains valuable content worth viewing.
- Browsing time – Every second a visitor spends scanning your pages enhances your site’s content quality and relevance.
- Feedback – Numerous comments about your blog posts can indicate positive user interaction.
There are many ways in which you can enhance the user experience:
- Optimize the loading time (a primary Google ranking factor)
- Improve the interactivity (how users interact with your page content and navigation menu)
- Make sure your visuals don’t distract users
Your website should also be mobile-friendly and free from malware and intrusive pop-ups. Furthermore, Google only trusts sites with a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate or HTTPS. If your site is still using the old HTTP, you must switch to HTTPS (visitors receive a security warning when they land on an HTTP site).
Keywords are the basis of your SEO strategy, and you must identify them before writing your site content.
To find your keywords, you first need to understand the searcher’s intent. For instance, “best divorce lawyer in New York” may indicate that a user is looking for a leading lawyer to help them obtain the best divorce settlement possible. By contrast, a search query such as “divorce laws New York” may mean the user is merely looking for general information.
You can search for keywords in various locations, including:
- The “People also ask” section in Google’s search results
- Legal forums
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
Publishing high-quality content will enable your law firm to gain authority in your particular field of expertise. If you want your site to rank highly on Google, the content must be:
- Authoritative and well-researched
- High-quality with valuable and relevant answers to questions posed by your potential clients
- In-depth and long-form
- Easy to read, well-written, and structured
- Updated and current
It should be included on the following pages or sections of your website:
You can also improve your website’s online ranking by ensuring:
- Your URLs are readable by humans and search engines
- The meta title and description are well-written, relevant, and include your target keywords
- Your site loads within three seconds or less
Local SEO and GMB
As a law firm, you must appear in local searches, especially if you are located in an area brimming with potential clients. According to this study, more than 90% of internet users have searched for a local business in 2022. Moreover, more than 30% conduct a local search every day.
There are several factors to bear in mind if you want to improve your local ranking on Google, including:
It would be best to list your law firm on Google My Business (GMB), a free online listing that will connect you to Google Maps and the search engine’s local results.
To optimize your GMB listing, you need to:
- First, provide an accurate business location for Google Maps.
- Next, list your authoritative and official business website.
- Include all your essential information (e.g., opening hours).
- Check the accuracy of your business name, address, and contact numbers. Ensure this information is consistent across your website and other listings.
- Select a primary category that best describes your law firm’s practice. Be specific. For instance, rather than “law firm,” use “divorce attorney.”
- Incorporate professional images and videos of yourself, your staff, and your office.
- Describe your legal specialty, including keywords and links.
- Encourage reviews of your legal services.
SEO will serve your law firm well to enable you to attract and engage potential clients. You can achieve your online marketing goals by optimizing your site’s content and building links. This will help convince your audience about your reputation and legal expertise. You will also need to identify and include relevant keywords in your content. Furthermore, local SEO and a GMB listing will help you attract clients in your local area.