Law is one of the most competitive fields out there. As a lawyer, you’ll likely be fighting with dozens of other local law firms for clients; people are always in need of lawyers to defend them in court, after all, and it’s important that they get the right service, so they’ll probably shop around.
That means you want to make sure your SEO is on point as a law firm. What does this mean? In essence, your SEO is how easy it is for Google to find you. When people search for a lawyer in their area, how likely are you to appear in those results? Believe it or not, you can actually influence that yourself.
This is our ultimate guide to SEO for law firms and lawyers. Most practices will remain the same as they would for other businesses, but there are some things you need to keep in mind as a lawyer that won’t necessarily apply to other professions. Let’s get started!
Content is king
Bill Gates once said that “content is king”, and while he said that back in the 90s, the adage still holds true to some extent today. The content of your law firm’s website is extremely important; it will show customers that you are professional and trustworthy, and it will also show Google that you’re worthy of ranking.
So, how do you create great content? Well, there are a number of different elements that go into a great law firm’s website. Keep your writing clear, concise, and relevant. Write about topics customers will want to hear about; nobody wants to go into the minutiae of law, but everyone wants to know exactly how you plan to help them.
You also need to make sure your content has been meticulously checked for spelling and grammar. People want to see that a law firm is skilled, and keeping your content looking correct is a great way to achieve that (and it’ll also tell Google that it should pay attention to your site).
Keep images correct
Many people neglect images when it comes to SEO for lawyers, but they shouldn’t. Your images are arguably just as important as your content, so you need to make sure that you’ve got your ducks in a row when it comes to optimising your images for Google Image Search.
What does that entail? Well, first off, you need to make sure your images are properly formatted for Google in terms of dimensions and file size. They should be informative, helpful, and illustrative, and they should be original, too; the more similar they are to other images, the more likely users are to find them elsewhere.
Metadata and alt text are also extremely useful, as Google will use this information to find your website and crawl through it. Keep this info up to date on every single image that you upload to your website, and constantly check for dead images so you can make sure they’re not harming your law firm’s SEO.
Backlinks are important
Backlinks are one of the best ways you can increase your visibility on Google. In essence, backlinks are when other sites link to you; they might, for example, be recommending good local law firms, or they might be pointing to a piece of content you’ve created.
You might now be beginning to see why great content is important. While other sites will definitely link to you for your law services (assuming that you provide good counsel, of course), they’re just as likely to link to content, especially if it’s informative and helpful in answering a question many customers might have.
There are several ways to obtain backlinks. The most ethical and fruitful way is simply to build up your business and wait for strong reviews and word-of-mouth to create organic backlinks; this will add a huge amount of authority to your name for Google. However, there are other ways to build backlinks as well.
Work on local SEO
Almost more than any other business, law firms need to think about their local SEO. After all, the vast majority of your client base is likely to come from the local area, so it’s important to make sure people know who you are and where they can find you. Local SEO is very similar to standard SEO, but with some minor differences.
For example, if you’re building local SEO, then local backlinks are more valuable than generic ones, so you should target other local businesses for building backlinks and networking. Maintaining a Google Business Profile is also critical, because it helps Google to know that you’re still operational in your area.
Otherwise, your local SEO practices should be relatively similar to standard practices. Keep your keywords up (and don’t overdo it on the local emphasis; people who search for law firms will usually get local results whether or not they use their city’s name, so don’t overthink establishing your location in your content).
Authority is everything
When it comes to SEO for lawyers, you need to establish authority for yourself first and foremost. As we’ve discussed, creating great content and keeping your site up to scratch are two great ways to achieve this, but there are others, too, and you should focus on them if you want to succeed.
One good way to achieve authority as a law firm on Google is to ask customers to review you. Both Google’s native review platform and other sites like Trustpilot can be hugely helpful in building a reputation for yourself, and the more reviews you have, the more likely you are to be noticed.
Another way you can build authority is to create video content. According to Google, 60% of Americans would rather watch videos than live TV, and other studies have proven that video is a valuable marketing tool as well. Think about how your law firm can create video content that answers common questions or delivers important information in a friendly and engaging way.