Virtually all law firms have websites. Nearly every business has one in 2023. Your website lets potential clients or customers check out your business and what you have to offer.
Law firms need websites more than most businesses, though. When someone needs a lawyer, they probably realize they are not all created equal. Most lawyers practice only certain law varieties, and the person must ensure they are hiring the right kind of attorney before proceeding further.
Because of this, law offices must make sure they have excellent websites. They must update them constantly and make sure they’re using SEO best practices. That’s the best way to ensure they’re getting many clients and staying relevant in their niche.
We will discuss SEO for lawyers right now. We’ll make sure you understand this term and what SEO does for law firms and their websites.
What is SEO?
SEO means search engine optimization. It’s a practice or discipline where someone optimizes a website for a particular purpose. Usually, they target a site’s performance.
When someone types a certain phrase or keyword into Google, the website this person’s working on should appear at the top of the results.
Why Does Google Matter So Much for SEO?
Other search engines besides Google exist, such as Bing. However, more people use Google than any other search engine, and it is not even close.
Google dominates the search engine market, so when you’re doing law firm website SEO, you must make sure you’re satisfying the Google algorithm.
Google does not reveal what goes into its algorithm. Still, many individuals study it, and they have determined certain best practices regarding websites.
Through trial and error, they have concluded that some techniques work when you are trying to move a website to search engine prominence, while other strategies can harm you.
The Importance of Local SEO for Law Firms
While traditional SEO techniques can help law firms reach a wider audience, local SEO is essential for firms that want to attract clients in their specific geographic location.
Local SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website for location-based search queries, such as “divorce lawyer near me” or “criminal defense attorney in [city]”.
Local SEO is crucial for law firms because most people looking for legal services will search for a local attorney. By optimizing a law firm’s website for local search queries, it becomes more visible to potential clients in the area.
Some of the key factors that can influence a law firm’s local search ranking include:
- Google My Business listing: A complete and accurate listing on Google My Business can help a law firm appear in Google’s Local Pack, which displays the top three local results for a search query.
- Consistent NAP information: A law firm’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) should be consistent across all online directories, including its website, social media profiles, and other listings.
- Local keywords: Including location-specific keywords throughout the website’s content, titles, and meta descriptions can help the site rank for local search queries.
- Reviews: Positive reviews on Google My Business and other review sites can boost a law firm’s credibility and improve its search ranking.
- Local backlinks: Links from local websites and directories can also help a law firm rank higher in local search results.
By optimizing their website for local search queries, law firms can attract more clients in their area and establish themselves as a local authority in their field. As such, it is essential for law firms to prioritize local SEO as part of their overall digital marketing strategy.
White and Black Hat SEO
This is what someone in the SEO world means when they use the terms white or black hat SEO. White hat SEO means the best practices you would use when optimizing a site for the Google algorithm. That’s true with law firm websites and other kinds as well.
By contrast, black hat SEO means tactics you’d utilize that the Google algorithm will recognize, and it will penalize you if you use them. The Google algorithm does not accept something like keyword stuffing, for instance.
That means you’re cramming keywords everywhere on your site, and it’s making the content virtually unreadable.
How Does SEO Help Law Firm Websites?
Since your web presence matters so much with law firm websites, and because you want your site to rank when someone uses specific keywords and phrases, it’s imperative you hire someone who can find the right keywords. They can use one of the many SEO tools that exist now.
When an SEO expert uses one of these tools, they do keyword searching in a particular niche. That’s the legal niche, in this case, in which the law firm or lawyer specializes.
Remember, since so many different law varieties exist, the SEO expert must find keywords that don’t just have general legal connections but much more specific ones. You might want a law firm website that shows up when someone types in “the best lawyer near me.”
Even more so than that, though, you want one that will show up when someone types in “the best car crash lawyer near me” or the “the best car wreck lawyer in Boston.”
Keywords with that specificity might make up an SEO expert’s list. When they include them strategically on a law firm’s website, it’s much more likely that site appears when someone uses those particular keyword phrases.
What Else Does SEO Do for a Law Firm’s Online Presence?
An SEO expert or agency can do a lot more for a law firm’s online presence, though. They can use many other best practices when they fine-tune an existing legal site.
They might add some high-quality, original images and videos. The Google algorithm likes videos and pictures. The individual or agency the law firm hires might also create a slideshow that starts running when someone visits the site’s landing page.
The agency or SEO specialist might add other website components that the algorithm approves, like a blog section. Blogs have many uses for a law firm.
They can provide fresh weekly content, and the algorithm endorses that. Blogs optimized with strategically placed keywords work even better.
The SEO agency or specialist might add some social media buttons on the law firm’s homepage.
Someone visiting can hit one of them to follow the law firm on social media. Social media platforms can tie directly into a business’s website this way.
If someone follows a law firm or some other business on social media, they’ve entered what a marketing expert might call that company’s sales funnel. If you have a potential customer within your sales funnel, it’s much more likely they’ll buy from you at some point.
Law Firms Need SEO
Law firms need SEO for their website’s continued success and also for their ongoing online presence in a more general sense. A law firm can hire an SEO agency or an individual who can continue fine-tuning their website on a weekly or even a daily basis.
This person or agency can keep working as months and years pass since a law firm’s site should never remain static. The Google algorithm appreciates new content.
The agency or individual can also help the law firm with off-page SEO. This means it can make sure the law firm’s contact information appears when someone searches the Google My Business listing.
If the law firm does not have a Google My Business listing, the agency or individual can create one for them. They will make sure people can find the website easily elsewhere on the web as well.
SEO can change a law firm’s entire online fortunes. Hiring the right agency or SEO expert therefore becomes critical.