So, you want to grow your legal company using SEO? Well, you have landed just on the right page. In this post, we are going to dig deep and try understanding what it takes to build a superb SEO campaign for law firms.
We’ll start from understanding how SEO can help you get more business. Then, we’ll switch to strategizing and executing the campaign for your firm. So, without wasting any more time, check the table of contents below and let’s get started!
How SEO Works to Get Clients for Law Firms?
SEO has a huge potential of becoming a source of lead generation for your law firm. It involves the process of bolstering your online presence to help your website rank higher on search engines.
The way SEO works is very simple as well. Google and other search engines deploy bots to crawl the websites on the Internet in order to index them. Whenever a user enters a search query, these search engines look up the index to find the best answers.
SEO is a very reliable and profitable marketing tactic that you can apply for your law firm. It is a perfect medium to showcase your authority in your field to people who are searching for your services. Being there when they are looking for you is what SEO can help you with. This is the reason why legal SEO leads have a staggering close rate of 14.6%!
10-Step SEO Checklist Law Firms Need to Follow in 2020
Let’s discuss the complete process of making a solid legal SEO foundation for your website. We will later build on it to help you make most of your SEO efforts.
Step 1: Do An Extensive Law Firm Keyword Research
By now, you must know that SEO is majorly based on how you implement your keyword strategy. Picking the right keywords and placing them in the appropriate positions on a website is what will make a huge difference in your search rankings and organic traffic. However, we are talking about a double-edged sword here. In case you end up choosing the wrong keywords, your legal SEO dreams will die a slow but definite death. (Yes, it will be hard to watch.)
So, how should you choose your keywords? Well, you must make a careful choice of keywords because you will come across many competitive keywords that are out of your budget and ranking for which will take an enormous amount of effort. We love to use Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest for doing keyword research, it’s easy to use and incredibly cheap for what it is. When doing a keyword research, make sure you take the following factors into consideration.
- The Target Audience – You must have a clear understanding of what your target audience looks like, where it lives, what languages it speaks, and more. Basically, you will need to know the demographic you need to target for your business.
- Keyword Volume – Keyword volume is the number of monthly searches a keyword has. This will allow you to know which keywords are popular among your target audience. You can use the free Google Keyword Planner to get this done.
- Search Intent – Search intent is important because you should know the intent of the online user behind using the keyword you select. Since you are a legal firm, you want to use keywords that represent your target audience’s intent to strike a conversation with you.
- Online Competition – Here’s the thing you need to understand about keyword competition. When many websites start optimizing for the same keyword, the competition for that particular keyword increases. This will make it hard for you to rank for the keyword because many other websites of your niche are trying their best to rank for it. We highly recommend going for keywords that have high volume and lower search difficulty or competition. But, make sure the intent in the keywords is intact.
Step 2: Time to Compete for Rankings
So, you have your target keywords ready to be used. Now, it’s time to optimize your website using the keywords. Before that you will have to run an SEO audit to know how your website is performing on the search engines when stacked against your competitors. We have no intentions to overwhelm you when we tell you that there are factors, well over 200, that can affect your website’s ranking on search engines. In the beginning, however, you can focus on the ones that matter the most for your online rankings. Let’s discuss them briefly.
- Security – Make sure your website has all the security certifications and runs on the HTTPS protocol.
- Mobile-friendly – Google is moving towards a mobile-first ecosystem. Therefore, make sure your website-design and content is mobile-friendly. Do not take this lightly. Google will not think twice before pushing you down the rankings if you don’t have a mobile-first website. You can do a quick check the performance of your site in Google Chrome -> Developer Tools -> Audit to get an idea.
- Speed – Optimize for speed because the average human attention is getting lower with time. Make sure user experience on your website is seamless. You can test how your site is doing through Google Pagespeed Insights.
- Schema Markup – Schema Markup is a code (microdata) that creates an enhanced description of your website, making it easier for the search engines to understand what it is about.
- Content Quality – Top-notch content will make more impression on your potential customer. Create valuable content that people would like to read and share.
- Content Length – The length of the content on your website is an important ranking factor. Ensure an optimum content length that leaves adequate room for keyword placement. SEO plugins such as Yoast will help you with this.
- Social Signals – Ensure a solid social media visibility of your website to get more shares, likes, and engagement. Google considers positive social signals when ranking a website.
- Backlinks – Get quality backlinks for your website. If you get sites with high domain authority to throw a link to your website, Google will like it for sure.
- Images – Optimize the images you use on your website. Make sure the image size is small and save it as either JPEG or WEBP without compromising its quality.
There are many other factors you would like to optimize your website for. But, things will become tough if you don’t track the progress. To keep a tab on your progress, make sure you create an Excel sheet and mention the progress of all the optimization factors on it.
Step 3: Optimize Existing Pages for Better Rankings
While you make sure you take all the right steps while optimizing your new pages, it is very important that all the existing pages of your website are also optimized to get better rankings. It is quite easy to get this done, if you follow the right steps. Let’s discuss them here real quick.
- Place your keyword in the Title Tag and Meta Description of your web pages. If you are using an SEO plugin like Yoast, you can use it to enter the page’s title and meta description.
- Next, make the content of the page thoroughly relevant to its subject. Your readers must have all the information it needs about the subject from your page. Because if not, what’s even the point?
- Make sure you structure the content properly using the heading tags. Ensure that you have one H1 Tag which can be the title of the page, followed by H2 and H3 tags.
- Avoid keyword stuffing at any cost. You don’t want to compromise the flow of the content just because you wanted to place your keywords. Instead, use variations of the keyword. The quickest way to get the variations is by entering your main keyword in the search bar of an incognito tab and then using all the ‘related searches’ and ‘people also ask’ in your content.
- Go ahead and optimize all the pages of your website.
Step 4: Time to Amp-Up Your Local SEO Properties
Local SEO for law firms is crucial since you want the attention of your local audience. These people are searching for the services they you have to offer in your area. With the help of local SEO, your law firm website will get on top of search engines results for search terms that need all local services to be listed. How is it different from regular SEO?
Well, most of the attention in normal SEO is given in making the website more optimized for user experience and search engine crawlers. The search results of Local SEO are shown in a Google Map result box. The box is displayed above the organic results and below the search ads.
To be able to rank for local SEO, you will have to set up a Google My Business account which will speed up the process of getting your law firm on Google Maps. It is this information that Google pulls up when someone makes a search for local services.
Let’s learn how we can optimize the Google My Business account for Local SEO.
So, as we mentioned earlier, GMB is your best shot at hitting the sweet spot on Google search results and gaining exposure locally. So, once you have set up the Google My Business account, Google will use it to display your phone number, address, business hours, average reviews, and other updates.
This is how you optimize your Google My Business page.
- Choose the appropriate business category on GMB.
- Now write a 200-300 words long description for your law firm. Make sure you place your target keywords in it.
- It’s time to provide the NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information to Google.
- Copy and paste your law firm’s website URL where they ask you to.
- Connect the GMB profile with your social media profiles and other online profiles.
- Finally, add high-quality photos of your firm. Voila!
A huge part of having a great Google My Business account is getting more and more positive reviews from your customers. Online users trust the reviews present on your profile and it might affect their decision to contact you. Yup, these have effects similar to that of personal recommendations.
Not just that, you must also mention your NAP information on other legal directories like FindLaw websites, Nolo, Lawyers.com, Superlawyers, Avvo, Justia, and others. The more citations you have, the more are the chances of your law firm getting ranked on Google.
Step 5: Time to Build Pages You Don’t Have
By now, all the important legal SEO factors have been taken care of. Now you can start building upon this solid foundation that you’ve created for your law firm. The very first thing that we recommend you is ensuring that your law firm website has all the important pages it requires to match your competition.
You can do that by first ensuring you have a separate page for all the services that you offer at your firm. The best way to do that is analyzing your competitors’ websites and matching the webpages their websites have with yours. Pages like FAQs, About, Company Updates are authority-building pages. These pages should be made high-quality and updated regularly.
The FAQs page on your website will become one of the most visited pages. This happens because people want to collect as much information they can before they make that first call. If you have been in the business for quite a while, you would know what your clients have in their minds or the questions they want to ask. Use that knowledge to build a solid FAQ page. And of course, use your competitor’s FAQ page as well.
Want to make things more user-friendly? Put up a video or infographic as well that clearly shows the process of doing business with you. Video content will make it easier for people to understand the process because, well, who has the time to read today?
Step 6: Publish High-Quality, Legal SEO-Friendly Content
Google loves the websites that are regularly updating their website with fresh content. Its quest to provide more and more value to the online users makes it crawl the websites that are regular with publishing new content. This is one of the most important reasons why you need to have a blog, a law firm blog.
Don’t worry. You won’t have to be fancy with its design and everything. No, you don’t even have to put out content every day. But, believe us when we say you need a blog to improve the SEO result for your law firm.
Why do you need a blog on your law firm website? This question has a very simple answer. You need a blog to boost your chances of getting ranked on search engines. Having a blog will improve that probability by 434%! It provides you with an opportunity to show your authority over certain law-related topics. If people are searching for answers related to those topics, Google will not think twice before pushing your website to the front page.
Make sure you create high-quality content that provides an ultimate value proposition to your readers. Your potential customers will be more willing to do business with you if they know how good you are with what you do. So, what should you ensure when writing a blog post?
Your blog posts should be of at least 2000 words. And should answer the questions people ask about the topic. The blog should have images to complement the text and explain the topic. You can also put video content in the middle of the text. Ensure the blog post has a decent readability score. Lastly, optimized it to perfection for legal SEO.
Building backlinks to your business website is a crucial part of legal SEO. Backlinks are nothing but links back to your website. When sites with high-domain authority link to your website, search engine algorithms view it as votes of confidence in your content. It shows that your content is valuable and must be shown to more and more users online. But, building backlinks should not be considered as something that will happen by itself. You will have to keep building the backlinks to gain more relevance. How to get backlinks, you ask?
Well, there are many ways you can use to generate backlinks for your business website. You can get interviewed, write law journals, write bar association articles, write for famous publications and ask for backlinks. You can also collaborate with other bloggers, promote yourself on social media, execute internal linking, and so much more. There are many ways to build backlinks, so don’t try to buy backlinks from unknown sources.
Step 8: Measure Performance of Your Website
By now, you know how you can create and run SEO campaigns for your law firm. But, there will be no point in running them if you cannot quantify the progress or track the results of your changes, right? If you track, measure, and analyze, you will be able to determine which strategies are working for your firm and which needs to be eliminated.
When preparing a marketing strategy, you will always start with deciding the goals and the key performance indicators. Some of the important metrics you will use in the process are ranking, social shares, impressions, organic traffic, bounce rate, and others.
So, which KPIs will you use for your law firm’s online marketing strategy? Most firms go for KPIs like total number of new clients converted, leads, revenue, cost per lead, lead to sale conversion rate, and others.
Step 9: Make Changes to SEO Strategy After Comprehensive Analysis
What are you going to do with the metrics you get from the SEO campaign? Of course, there’s no point in sitting on them. Once you have the numbers, you can start making changes to your strategy based on what the data shows.
A simple way to do it is comparing the KPIs on an year-over-year basis. Not just that, you should also do an year-over-year analysis of your competition. Since results of SEO are not achieved quickly, you must start seeing visible results after about five or six months.
Never be hesitant to test and learn from the changes you make on your website. Your website will keep developing over the years and it is important you never let go of new SEO experiments.
There you have it. We have covered everything you need to know about doing legal SEO for your law firm. Lastly, the only thing we would like to tell you here is SEO is not a sprint. It is a marathon that you will have to prepare for. There will be times when you’ll think your website is completely optimized. Don’t make that mistake. SEO keeps on evolving as search engines come out with new algorithms every year. Your ‘complete’ website is a ‘work under construction’. Therefore, we want you to practice patience while running a SEO campaign for your legal firm.
Lastly, if you feel you need any additional help, be sure to drop a line in the comments or contact us through our contact form.
I’m the owner of Expandant and my ultimate goal is to make the internet a better place, one where people can easily find the best companies out there. If you’re one of the best companies, I hope we can work together.