Leverage the power of search engine optimization (SEO) to accomplish your business goals and to get the most qualified visitors to your legal website. Over the past decade, people primarily search for attorney services or legal advice using a search engine. Google is the most common tool that consumers use when looking for a law firm.
51% of the traffic that a firm’s website experiences will come from organic searches. 96% of mobile searches are done via Google’s search engine. The practice of improving your website search ranking for certain terms or keywords is called search engine optimization or SEO. SEO is required to effectively reach your target audience and generate new clients. Continue reading to learn how to optimize SEO for your practice.
How to Improve Your Legal SEO Ranking
It is necessary to understand that competition for new clients is fierce in the search space. The first few results that appear are usually paid ads. Roughly 25% of organic traffic will go to individual websites. While the remainder will usually go to listing sites or online self-serve legal sites.
With the right SEO tactics, attorneys can get their sites ranking higher in the search engine. Consider the following to get more clicks on your page.
Use Relevant Keywords
One of the first steps you need to take is choosing what keywords to use. They can speak to your client’s needs while offering your business greater visibility. Law firms will have to find relevant keywords in their industry. There are tools like Google’s Keyword Planner that help people create a list of keyword ideas.
To begin, use keyword mapping to optimize your pages. There are three types of keywords for attorneys and lawyers to utilize – Awareness, Interest, and Action. Ranking high in all three will help you increase the number of organic searches that your website gets.
Think of the mapping as a funnel. At the top of the funnel is the awareness keyword. The intent behind it is someone who is looking for legal services. One example might be “Best defense attorneys near me.”
The next type is the interest keyword. This one gets used by clients who are looking for information on services. Common searches include “attorney costs” and “law firm reviews.”
The action keyword is at the bottom of the funnel. The intent behind this type is people who are trying to find information about their case. Actions keywords usually are the main focus, but it is a good idea to rank high in all three keyword types.
Use Links to Optimize SEO for Attorney Websites
While keywords are useful tools, other factors can also contribute to an increase in your SEO ranking. Linking will increase your visibility in the search space. Search engines quickly go through the content and move from page to page via links. There are different kinds of links to consider – Internal Links, External Links, and Backlinks. Internal Links
The first is internal links, which is when a person connects their page to another one on the same site. It allows the reader to navigate around your website and increases the chances of them using your services.
External links are connections to another business’s page. Search engines like Google prefer content that offers the best value to users. External links show that you have done your research and used credible sources.
Backlinks are links on another site that directs users to your page. Your rank on the search engine results page is heavily influenced by the number and quality of backlinks you have. Preferably, you will want plenty of reputable websites linking back to your page, and you will want to take action to remove or disavow links that come from spammy websites.
You can increase the number of backlinks by having the local news interview you about developments in your field. You also can write a guest post for a widely read blog. It is helpful to find an effective link-building strategy.
Improve the Structure of Your Attorney Website
Another component to successful SEO marketing is the structure of a website. Optimizing your site makes sure that readers are getting relevant information from each page.
Update Content Regularly
Your content is the single most important ranking factor on your website. There is no shortcut to ranking on the web – it all comes from great content. Your content should be regularly updated both on your pages and also on your blog. New and fresh content signals to search engines that you have something to say. Fresh is best.
Headings (H tags)
Not only can you use headings for better organization, but the search engine will read them to determine what you consider important information on your site. Not to mention, the type and style of the headers may influence your traffic. Headers should be set up the same as a document, with headings and subheadings. Page headings should always be an H1 and should be well thought out.
Be sure to add title tags to your website because they explain the content users are about to read. Be sure to create them using keywords that are related to the information.
To better optimize your webpage, you should have meta-descriptions. Meta-descriptions are the text people see on the search results page. There is a character limit of about 160 characters, so it is crucial to be concise while conveying how the content will help potential clients.
When improving the structure of your site, make sure that it is easy for clients to navigate. First impressions matter and the user will click away if they are unable to find what they need.
Enhance Local Searches (Map Searches)
Map and Localized searches are becoming more important and taking up more screen real estate in the Google Map searches. This presents an opportunity for those firms that aren’t ranking well to compete better for potential clients who are near them when searching.
Claim Your Local Profile
To show up in localized searches and map searches, you will need to verify your Google My Business (GMB) listing first. GMB is a crucial tool for local SEO, and listings are shown before organic searches. Google will require you to verify your listing before you show up in search. Google now offers various ways to do this from phone, text, and postcard. The listing can be displayed while you are unverified, but you will not have any control of it.
On the GMB page, attorneys should enter the business name of their firm. Be sure to add a short description of your services in the introduction section. Be clear and specific about your services. Saying you offer “General Attorney Services” will get you no search results. The maximum character length is 750. There are sections for you to enter the location and availability of your firm. There is also a section to add your full list of services. Make sure that your business category is accurate as well!
Another way to optimize local search is to get reviews. Search engines will factor in your review profile. Attorneys should focus on getting reviews on platforms like GMB and Facebook. On top of that, featuring reviews from Google on your website gives social proof, and helps those potential clients that are on the edge to take the plunge.
Citations (get listed everywhere)
It can also help to get reviews on secondary legal platforms like Avvo and FindLaw and other sites that list names, addresses, and phone numbers of attorneys and their profiles. Some offer this service and require payment, while others offer it free. You can also find citation management services that allow you to update your information across many listing sites. There are many to choose from, though YEXT is a popular solution.
SEO is an important factor in directing new clients to your practice. The search space is always changing, so you will have to come up with new strategies that fit your needs. There are plenty of ways for attorneys and lawyers to improve their rankings on search engines.
BrandCraft will help you find the right SEO marketing strategy to help your business grow. For a free consultation, contact us today.