SEO for Lawyers: Why and How to Implement a Search Engine Optimization Strategy for Your Law Firm

Intro

Introduction

In this day and age, a law firm can’t generate revenue just by employing capable attorneys. The number of cases is increasing every day, and new firms are constantly popping up.

When a potential client starts looking for a lawyer for a particular problem, they’re faced with thousands of potential choices.

However, they no longer page through Yellow Pages. Today, when your clients need legal counsel, they turn to the same place they turn to for everything:

Google and search engines.

Billions of people may be using social media, but Google is still the go-to source for information; from recipes to legal services.

Fortunately, law firm marketing doesn’t have to be hard. All you have to do is appear on the first page of Google.

The only question is: how can you get there?

In this guide, we’re going to discuss how search engine optimization can help law firms improve their lead generation and consequently, their profitability.

What Is Law firm SEO?

If you want to reach the millions who use Google to find their next attorney, you have to optimize your law firm website.

SEO is a marketing discipline that helps with lead generation for law firms.

SEO consistently attracts visitors to the website (leads) by helping you increase your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Law firm SEO, in particular, focuses on attracting leads who need legal services in a particular area. This gives law firms an additional edge over standard SEO practices; the focus has to be on the locale as well as content itself.

For example, your lead could search for “personal injury attorneys.” Both they and Google know that they are looking for an attorney in their area, effectively making their search: “personal injury attorneys New York.”

Typically, other businesses don’t have the opportunity to create highly-specific content, both in terms of subjects and areas.

However, law firms can optimize their website to increase their visibility by creating content that’s specific to a state’s laws.

As a local effort, law firm SEO is relatively simple to implement. And once that’s done, it’s easy to maintain it and see the returns for years to come.

Just a few tweaks and a good SEO strategy can take law firms towards a bright future with many satisfied clients and an improved reputation.

Why Do Law Firms Need SEO?

Law firm marketing is an absolutely necessity for any practice that wants to stay competitive in this day and age.

However, there are so many tactics, not all of which pay the same returns.

Typically, lawyers opt for PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising campaigns when they want to promote their firms. However, PPC campaigns come with hefty costs, and they’re one-hit wonders.

As soon as a law firm stops paying for PPC ads, they’ll stop receiving the traffic they need.

Additionally, it’s impossible to remarket to potential clients with PPC. As soon as the click has been paid for, there’s no easy way to reach the people who have visited your website again and entice them into scheduling a consultation.

To put it simply: if you haven’t converted the lead to a customer the first time they visited your site, you won’t get the chance to do it again.

Conversely, with SEO, it’s much easier to reduce costs while improving the effectiveness of marketing.

When a law firm appears on the first results page for their target keywords, they stay there. They don’t have to pay to appear, as is the case with PPC ads.  

SEO lives long after the initial investment.

Additionally, law firms can track leads with the help of pixels, and remarket to them later. So even if the lead didn’t convert on their first visit, you get a second chance at turning them into a customer.

Leads and clients trust SEO more than paid advertising.

SEO comes with a plethora of benefits for leads, as well. People are more likely to click on organic results than ads.

The reasoning behind this is simple: everyone can run an ad promoting their services.

However, only trustworthy and reputable law firms can get on the first page of Google without paying for it.

Additionally, search engines have improved their algorithms in order to please searchers. They understand different intentions, locations, and other factors that weigh into someone’s decision to click on a particular search result.

All of this makes Google a one-stop shop for leads looking for legal advice.

The clients believe that websites displayed in organic results are:

  • More relevant than advertised websites
  • Trustworthy
  • Worthy of their SERP position
  • Reputable

If the leads see the same website in the ads sections and in the organic results sections of SERPs, 54% of them are more likely to click on the organic result.

Speaking of organic results, first search results on a search engine page have a 34% click-through rate on desktop, and 35% on mobile.

Ads may be effective, but they rarely have CTR (click-through rates) as high as 34%.

When attorney SEO is done right, your organic pages appear before ads. This goes for organic, local and video results.

SEO has the ability to improve a law firm’s reputation – both online and offline.

Search engine optimization relies on content (among other ranking factors which we’ll discuss later in this guide), and the best way to rank highly on Google is by creating valuable content full of information that the leads want to read.

However, providing value and demonstrating expertise goes farther from search results.

The effects of content marketing can have a snowball effect; not only will your law firm attract new clients immediately, but you’ll build a reputation for expertise in your practice area(s).

The point of law firm marketing is to reach the customers where they are. They’re all using Google.

According to The Rainmaker Institute and Nat Law Review research, 96% of people who need legal advice start off their search on Google.

74% of those people visit law firm websites with the intent to take action – not just browse.

This gives law firms the perfect opportunity to capture truly interested leads faster than with PPC advertising.

After all, customers need to know they can trust the law firm they are interested in.

And what better way to show your trustworthiness and expertise than by earning the first position in search engine results?