Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a finely tuned craft. It considers dozens of factors like Google’s precise ranking criteria, the needs, and interests of the target audience, along with the vertical, and its competition. It’s a reason why Lawyer SEO is so competitive.
For your firm to effectively rank for key terms related to your practice, you need a Growth Marketing partner with experience optimizing websites for lawyers.
Let’s take a closer look at the factors that influence how effective a marketing agency is in optimizing small law firms in your specific practice area and location.
Vertical Expertise in Lawyer SEO is a Must
The nuts and bolts of SEO are primarily the same, but what works best for individual companies is highly dependent on the vertical. Law firms should work exclusively with an agency that provides professional Google SEO services and have a background in improving Search Engine Ranking Positions (SERPs).
Your own practice likely specializes in specific types of cases. A personal injury lawyer wouldn’t necessarily take on a divorce case. SEO is the same despite the fundamentals being largely the same, and the tactics used to generate results are different. Expertise matters!
Google’s Algorithms Change on a Near Constant Basis
Google, the world’s largest search engine, is updated several times a day, every day of the year. While there are a select number of major updates, the code that decides which websites rank for specific search terms is continuously adjusted to provide the best possible user experience.
For Lawyer SEO to be successful, you need an inbound marketing agency like Pronto since we are well versed in these changes, highly adaptable, and attuned to the small adjustments that happen near-constantly. Someone new to SEO or a general-purpose marketing company might not have the experience needed to fully understand the implications of a small tweak to the algorithm.
Resources to Support Building a Best-in-Class Website
One of the most important elements of a successful SEO campaign is the website being promoted. It’s not enough to just use the keyword terms on your site that you want to rank. Your website needs to be search engine friendly, which means several things in 2020. Here are three:
It needs to be built for mobile users who make up half or more of all web traffic.
It should load fast, especially on mobile, because Google puts significant emphasis on site speed and usability.
It should provide value quickly. User experience is measured through time on the website and bounce rate. If people leave your site in a hurry, it’s not meeting their needs, and Google will adjust your ranking accordingly.
To ensure your site meets these benchmarks, we can help ensure what works and what doesn’t for law firms. Based on your legal practice, what are your prospective clients searching, and when they find it, what will they click? How can your website be optimized to provide the best possible user experience in the context of how people find it? This is critical to successful SEO.
Local Search Optimization is a Must
Unless you operate nationally, it’s essential to optimize your website for local searches. Most of your clients will find you based on location combined with the practice area. Local SEO is not inherently the same as traditional SEO.
Let's say your firm has two locations in California: Los Angeles and San Francisco. You would need two pages ("workers compensation attorney Los Angeles" and "workers compensation attorney San Francisco") for local SEO. Using "workers compensation attorney" as the keyword with no location tag tells Google's algorithm that the service is for everyone nationwide, which would make it harder for your firm’s locations to rank on Google.
Google uses different indicators for ranking search results in their local results, which can overlap with and influence the primary SERPs. Simply put, you need an expert like us who knows their way around local SEO.
Building a Marketing and SEO Plan that Works for Your Law Firm
Through keyword research, website optimization, local SEO, and content development, Lawyer SEO can help you rank for the key terms that best represent what you do. This can be a game-changer in a field where paid advertising is incredibly expensive and limited by several regulations. By organically ranking ahead of your competitors, you can grow your practice naturally over time.
The Importance of Selecting the Right SEO for Law Firms
SEO for Law Firms is one of the single most competitive verticals on the Internet. Both locally and nationally, thousands of law firms jockey for position for a limited number of keyword phrases. SEO is a way to get an edge and jump ahead of the competition, but it’s not as simple as hiring the first firm you find online.
The right SEO service for your law firm needs a combination of expertise, experience, and legal SEO background to get the job done without risking your website and its traffic. Let’s take a closer look at what this entails and how to evaluate and choose an SEO company for your law firm.
Google is Constantly Changing Its Ranking Algorithms
For more than twenty years, Google has been the biggest and most trusted search engine globally. To hold that position, they need to ensure that the best possible results are shown for every search. Theirs is a business of trust. If users stop trusting the results, then they look elsewhere.
SEO is a constantly evolving science. A website ranking at the top of the Search Engine Ranking Positions (SERPs) for their target keywords today could easily be off the page in a year or two if its owner doesn’t keep up with the most recent SEO trends. SEO for Law Firms is even more uncertain due to the sheer volume of activity in the space. Every law firm is striving for those incredibly valuable top positions, and some of them opt to use below-board tactics that give them an edge. Google aims to stomp these efforts out and is always adjusting.
Choosing SEO for Law Firms
Because of these constant changes and the risk of a small mistake negatively influencing your SEO, it’s important to partner up with a marketing agency with an extensive background in the field utilizing proven tactics to drive results. The key elements of this include:
Monitoring: Your SEO experts should monitor many keywords regularly to evaluate performance, shifts in volume, and adjustments among competitors. If Google makes a change that shakes up how “Nashville personal injury lawyer” is ranking, you want a firm that will know about it first.
Personalization: The same tactics don’t work for every company. Your SEO company should work closely with your team to identify critical factors like content volume, website quality, competitors, and local opportunities to craft an SEO strategy custom-built for you.
In-Depth Expertise: Your SEO team should not just watch for Google updates, but proactively educate themselves continuously on new tactics. By staying up to date on what other SEO companies are doing, what’s working and not working, and what Google is cracking down on, they can rapidly adjust the tactics used to rank your site and keep it performing well.
No Empty Promises: The first red flag you should watch for is a big promise with nothing to back it up. A successful marketing company with SEO services can show you dozens to hundreds of examples of successful campaigns, and they won’t promise you page one rankings overnight. SEO takes time, precisely because of how carefully Google protects its algorithms and rankings. Hire a company that understands this and can show how they have worked with the SEO system to generate lasting results.
SEO is an ongoing process. It’s a pro service that supplements your other marketing efforts, and with the right investment, it can have a lasting impact.
Moving Forward with an SEO Provider
When the time comes to choose a partner, consider what makes SEO for Law Firms effective: A keen understanding of the legal profession and competition, the ability to build a custom strategy for your business that will support your growth efforts, and knowledge of Google and its adjustments to stay ahead of those who try to cheat the system. With this information in mind, you can choose an SEO provider who will partner with your law firm to drive real, lasting results that will grow your practice over time.
Law Firm SEO Services That We Offer
Pronto offers Law Firm SEO Services designed to help you rank higher on Google for targeted terms related to your practice area, location, and experience. We’ve worked with small and growing law firms for over ten years. Pronto provides on-page SEO service to optimize website performance and content quality, conversion rate optimization to improve the overall user experience. Our off-page SEO service generates organic links that offer value to your law firm’s website content.
The result is a comprehensive approach to legal SEO that naturally generates organic traffic over time as your firm rises in the search rankings. Below is a comprehensive list of the SEO services we offer and how they are designed specifically for law firms.
On-Page SEO Services for Law Firms
Our Law Firm SEO Services include analysis, optimization, and ongoing maintenance of your website's on-page factors. These include the following key areas designed to help improve your SERPs for valuable terms related to the services you offer:
SEO Site Structure: We will evaluate your website's technical structure to ensure it meets best SEO practices.
SEO Content Writing: Our professional SEO team will prepare content optimized with target keywords to impact search results.
Meta Tag Optimization: Pronto will evaluate your current title tags and descriptions for improvement, which can help drive more clicks.
Internal Linking Analysis: We will determine how the pages on your site link to one another and make improvements to improve user experience and search engine evaluation results.
Mobile and Page-Speed Analysis: Your SEO partners will review and optimize your website to perform effectively on desktop and mobile devices, so it loads quickly.
Our comprehensive approach to on-page SEO is designed to help identify areas of concern, take advantage of unexplored opportunities, and position your website better than your competitors.
Local SEO Services for Law Firms
Most law firms target a set geographic area and need to optimize their practice area and their physical location. Local SEO services are supplemental and complementary to traditional SEO. They require additional efforts outside of the standard on-site and off-site activities like these:
Location Optimization (On-Site and Off-Site): Pronto will ensure your website and your relevant content is optimized for your service area locations.
Citation Building and Management: We will help create links and citations to your website in local directories in the legal industry.
Local Profile Development and Optimization: Our SEO experts will update your local profiles to ensure Google has a clear impression of your location.
When combined with traditional SEO efforts, local SEO can help your law firm stand out amongst a crowded field of competitors in your area.
Off-Page SEO Services for Law Firms
Pronto’s Law Firm SEO Services take a holistic approach to SEO, including a comprehensive off-page effort to create links back to your website. These efforts include the following:
Link Profile Review: Pronto will evaluate your link profile for opportunities, low-quality links to disavow, and potential challenges to address.
Link Building and Profile Monitoring: We will create a holistic link building strategy that organically generates references to your website on high-value sites.
Competitor Link Profile Analysis: Your SEO team will evaluate your competitors to see how they are performing, what links they've collected, and how we can leverage that information for your website's improvements.
Content Marketing: Our SEO team will create and optimize content for your brand to help build new links and attract visitors to your site.
Combined with monitoring of the Google Algorithm for changes that might influence your website, Pronto leverages 2020 best practices for off-site optimization to generate links and grow your visibility in Google’s search results.
Choosing the Best SEO Services for Your Practice
If you are looking for new Law Firm SEO Services, Pronto has the experience, expertise, and recent knowledge of Google’s complex algorithm to optimize your website and help it perform better in organic search results. Contact us today to get your Free SEO Audit.
Helping Your Firm with SEO for Lawyers
As a lawyer in the digital age, you need to harness SEO for Lawyers to stay competitive and visible. Your competitors (other small law firms) already are.
Your law firm’s website can benefit positively from Search Engine Optimization (SEO), especially Google SEO by Pronto. People seeking legal services often start with Google when searching for a lawyer in their geographic location. The higher you rank, the more likely they are to contact you instead of a competitor in the area. While developing an SEO strategy for your firm might seem like a sizable task, it’s entirely manageable when you adopt a few strategies.
The Importance of SEO for Your Law Firm
Google search is the primary search engine that consumers use today to find a law firm. Most people don’t have a frequent need for an attorney. So, to make an informed decision, they perform extensive research. Given that the Internet is the quickest and easiest way to access information on any topic, people turn to Google to help find the right law firm for their needs.
SEO will work when you utilize keyword phrases for which your target audience is searching. When a potential customer types “injury lawyer in NYC” in Google search, for instance, the law firms ranking the highest for that keyword phrase will appear first. People are likely to click on the websites that appear on the first page of their search results. A recent Moz survey showed that 32% of all clicks are on the first search results, and 25% are on the second page. Ranking in the two top positions in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) gives you a more than 50% chance of capturing each click for those search terms.
Start by finding the keywords that you need to rank for. You can do this by looking at the recommended search phrases on Google or in the Google Keyword Planner tool (within Google AdWords), surveying your existing customers, or enlisting the help of an inbound marketing agency such as Pronto Marketing. Keep in mind that effective keyword phrases shouldn’t be too broad. The keyword “lawyer in NYC” could be challenging to rank for. “Personal injury lawyer in NYC,” “car accident lawyer in NYC,” or “estate planning attorney in NYC,” are more effective.
#2. Optimize Your Homepage
In the process of implementing SEO for Lawyers throughout a firm’s site, many overlook the homepage. As your website's face, your homepage acts as an introduction to your firm for potential clients. A search-engine-optimized homepage attracts prospects, providing them with a summary of your service offerings.
For your firm’s homepage SEO, don’t focus entirely on a single keyword. Aiming to rank for a few relevant keywords will ensure that your homepage provides a balance of information for anyone who finds it. These keywords should encompass your firm’s key service offerings and describe your location.
With SEO, you can also increase the number of site visitors who become leads. To do so, follow these recommendations:
Focus on User Experience - Use a combination of short text sections and visuals to simplify your homepage navigation. When visitors can easily absorb the information on your homepage, they’ll clearly see what your legal services encompass. Consider that visitors are likely to just scroll through the page, rather than read every word, so you’ll need to use visuals that catch their attention and encourage them to stay on the page. This can help reduce bounce rate and improve the time users spend on your site, which can also influence rankings.
Navigation Structure - Build an intuitive site structure so that visitors can find and click through different pages with ease. Visitors will want to discover what they’re looking for quickly. Your “About” page and service pages should be prominent and easy to find from the homepage. Google evaluates several metrics to ensure users who click on your listing in the SERP find what they need.
Content Quality - Implement high-quality content to establish trust and answer common visitor questions. This is the backbone of a successful website.
Your firm’s service pages should be the main focus. The content is significant because it provides information to visitors who are interested in your services. Beyond just stating that your firm offers legal services for personal injury cases, for example, you should provide reliable, digestible information about personal injury law in your area. What defines personal injury law? What type of injuries do you handle? How common are personal injury cases in your area? Answer these questions with keyword-optimized content that meets search engine best practices and provides actionable value to your visitors.
Get the Help That You Need
If your firm is new to SEO for Lawyers, getting an SEO expert is a wise strategy for long-term success. As an experienced inbound marketing agency with law firm SEO under their belt, Pronto provides reliable insights, analysis, and ongoing support that you need to reliably generate traffic over time. Reach out to us today to kick-start your firm’s SEO strategy.
Law Firm SEO FAQs
Your law firm’s SEO strategy is a fundamental investment in the future success of your website. With search engines acting as consumers’ primary source of information, your firm’s search engine ranking position (SERP) can dictate the number of prospects and new clients who contact you. Law Firm SEO is one of the determining factors in your firm’s ability to establish and maintain a trusted reputation among your local consumer base. Here, we’ll answer the most common SEO questions from lawyers.
Why does my law firm need an SEO strategy?
An effective SEO strategy makes your legal services visible to those most likely to hire you. For example, consider a law firm in New York City that specializes in personal injury. This firm creates an SEO-optimized website with a page promoting its personal injury services. On that page, the keyword “personal injury lawyer NYC” is used multiple times in both headings and body text and has been optimized through both on-site and off-site activities to rank highly in Google.
When someone seeks a personal injury attorney in NYC, they’re likely to use “personal injury lawyer NYC” as their search phrase. The firm’s personal injury page ranks highly for that search phrase, and the potential client sees it in their search results. The potential client is then likely to consider that law firm for their legal needs.
This example illustrates how a search-engine-optimized website can lead members of your target audience directly to your website and convert them into leads.
How do search engines evaluate my firm’s website?
Search engines gather, organize, and display information on the Internet to answer searchers’ queries. These three tasks are called crawling, indexing, and ranking.
By crawling, search engines seek out new content online. This involves following links on different webpages to discover new URLs. Through those links, search engines gather content to index. A search engine index keeps the information organized to be retrieved and ranked in relevant search queries.
The goal in Law Firm SEO is to optimize your website so that a search engine will crawl and index it properly. Then, once your optimized site is in the search engine index, various activities are undertaken to influence how high your content ranks against the competition.
Why isn’t my law firm’s website appearing in relevant search results?
If your firm’s website is nowhere to be found on Google when you search for relevant keywords, there are a few potential explanations for the issue:
Your website is new. Google needs to gather more information about your website and its content before ranking it in the index.
Your website structure isn’t organized well for crawling and indexing.
Your website violates search engine guidelines for spam. These guidelines prevent websites from manipulating search engines for a higher ranking through keyword stuffing, cloaking, and so on. If you’ve hired a less reputable SEO firm before or if your website has not been updated lately, these tactics might have been used and could be harming your SERPs.
Your website contains “crawler directives” that are keeping search engines from displaying your content. It’s a common error made during website development and maintenance that should be resolved as quickly.
What about Navigation in SEO?
To ensure that search engines can crawl and index your law firm’s website, it must be navigable. A navigable site also makes it easy for visitors to find the information that they need. It’s especially crucial in Law Firm SEO; those who visit a law firm’s website are typically looking to fulfill a specific need, like legal services for a car accident.
The overall structure of your website should be intuitive and appealing to visitors. A large navigation bar, internal links (links from one page of your site to another), and an up-to-date web format make an effective website structure.
What are the different types of links in SEO?
Link-building is a crucial part of any law firm’s SEO strategy. It involves the inclusion of links, both on your website and on other websites, to make your site visible to the major search engines and indicate your content's value and influence. There are three main types of links to consider in link building:
Internal links: These are links that lead to different pages within your website. You might include an internal link on your homepage that leads to your services page. This type of link facilitates the exploration of your entire website for both visitors and search engines.
Inbound links: Inbound/external links (known as backlinks) are links on other websites that lead to your site. Backlinks are one of the most important considerations in search engine ranking. Thought, backlinks need to be found on high-quality websites to build reputability and establish your firm as a trusted resource.
Outbound links: These are links on your website that lead to other sites. They can provide valuable information to your site visitors. While outbound links don’t carry as much weight in search ranking as inbound links, they can still improve your website because they provide value to your visitors. This is the ultimate goal of Google’s algorithm. If your website helps someone find what they need, it is a useful site.
How can my law firm get started with an SEO strategy?