10 SEO Tips for Law Firms to Attract More Clients
Search engine optimization is becoming increasingly critical for all kinds of businesses, and your law firm is no exception. If you want prospective clients to find you, you need to be as high in the search engine rankings as possible.
These 10 SEO tips for law firms will help you navigate the complicated path to raising your search engine ranking and increasing potential clients' awareness of the services your law firm can provide.
10 SEO Tips for Attorneys and Law Firms
1. Make your specialty a priority.
If you specialize in criminal law, but are willing to handle a divorce case for your high-dollar clients, it doesn't pay to highlight questions about divorce on your website. Conversely, if your focus is on family law, ranking for questions about traffic tickets won't help you bring in the traffic you need for your business.
Simply increasing your SEO ranking isn't enough. You need to bring in search traffic genuinely interested in the services you offer. By putting your efforts into writing about the type of cases you actually handle on a regular basis, you'll be able to bring in exactly the traffic you need.
2. Learn the stages of the buyer's journey.
As a lawyer, you may have never taken the time to consider retail principles — but when it comes to your website, that type of content matters.
When you know the stages of the buyer journey, you can clearly focus on content for each stage so no matter where a prospective client is in the process of choosing a lawyer, they can find the information they need on your website. Some examples:
- During the awareness stage, the client recognizes they have a problem a lawyer can help them with. During this stage, you need to provide the information that will encourage them to use a lawyer instead of going the do-it-yourself route, whether it's someone contemplating divorce or an individual who has decided to fight a traffic ticket.
- During the consideration stage, clients are researching their options on lawyers. They want to know what sets you apart from your competition in the area — and you want to tell them.
- During the decision stage, clients should be in contact with you to allow you to close the deal. At this stage, you want to help them choose your law firm once and for all.
3. Watch your headlines.
For some people, writing a good headline is harder than writing the blog post. If you fall into that category, you may be tempted to write vague headlines that reference your content on a basic level — but that isn't going to get you the SEO boost you need.
Good headlines accomplish two things: first, they pull in your readers and convince them they actually want to read the content you've written, and second, they let search engines know they can be confident recommending your site to searchers who interested in your topic.
Solid headlines include several key elements. They can contain provocative phrases that encourage clicks, numbers (people like lists), and clear calls to action.
Most importantly, however, they include information about what your article, post, or graphic is actually about. Prospective clients want to know when they visit your website, they're getting exactly the information they're looking for — and your headline helps make that clear.
4. Know your audience.
When you're writing content to increase your SEO, it's not just about piling on the content as thick as you can and hoping for the best. You need to know your audience: both what they're searching for and the type of language they're able to read.
If you work with a highly educated client base who has plenty of money to spare, you can afford to use more jargon or to write a blog post like you'd write a contract. On the other hand, if you're working with an under-educated population or frequently take on low-income cases, you'll be better off simplifying your language to ensure your readers can follow what you're saying.
Keep in mind when you write for your website, you're writing for your clients, not for other lawyers. Use language they can understand in your posts. Search engines will, over time, penalize you for content visitors quickly click away from because they can't understand it.
5. Build a posting schedule.
A regular posting schedule will help boost your SEO efforts. You can't build a content library and establish yourself as a search engine's picture of a reputable firm if you don't post on a regular basis. Once a week is the general posting recommendation.
6. Build your authority with inbound links.
Just like potential clients will trust you more when you've been recommended by a friend, search engines will trust you more when you've been recommended by another website. Build inbound links by:
- Guest posting on reputable blogs and webpages in the legal industry
- Writing solid content that other legal professionals will link to
- Make a name for yourself on legal forums and link back to your website from those posts
- Collaborate: work on posts with colleagues or commit to linking back to one another
7. Pay attention to local traffic.
Getting interested parties who want to know about how to get out of a traffic ticket is great. Bringing in search traffic from individuals who are interested in getting out of a traffic ticket in your county is even better.
Optimize your website and blog for local search traffic. Use those local search terms (don't forget to include county and city), discuss local news events on your blog, and make sure you have a profile that includes the areas you cover.
Don't forget to take advantage of Google's "near me" feature.
Make sure you're included in Google Places, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, and other local directories and information about your business is kept up-to-date any time it changes.
If you add a partner, change your phone or fax number, or move to a new address, update accordingly.
8. Mobile matters.
More people than ever are using their mobile devices to search for critical information.
Whether it's an upset woman searching for a divorce lawyer after finding out her husband has been unfaithful or a worried criminal who's just been bailed out, mobile traffic brings plenty of clients to your doorstep.
Not only that, if your website isn't optimized for mobile, search engines will penalize you for it.
9. Don't keyword stuff.
You know keywords are the key to bringing in traffic. Stuffing your blog posts full of them, however, will just make them clunky and hard to read. Not only that, recent search engine algorithms have evolved to catch keyword-stuffed articles and penalize them.
Instead, write naturally.
Focus on including information genuinely relevant to your clients. Remember, SEO brings them in, but the quality of the information you provide will establish trust between you and a potential client.
10. Pay attention to long-tail keywords.
It's hard to improve your SEO ranking for short keywords, especially those that are the most popular in your field. That doesn't mean you should ignore them, but it does mean you should expand your focus to include long-tail keywords. For example:
- "Divorce lawyers" will bring up a huge list of results. "Divorce lawyers who specialize in child custody cases" will bring up more.
- "Can I fight a second traffic ticket in the space of six months?" will bring in interested parties who want to know about more than just the potential penalties for their ticket.
- "Lawyers who specialize in criminal law in [your city]" will bring you a relatively specific search return — as will including specific crimes.
Keep in mind many people don't know how to narrow down their legal queries when they first take to Google. They're going to ask the question that is uppermost in their minds — and that's where your long-tail keywords will come in handy.
Building SEO is critical for many lawyers who are hoping to bring in new clients, increase their client base, and make a name for themselves in their communities. There's no need to chase ambulances when you have a strong search engine ranking on your side. Looking for a little help building your webpage and optimizing your search engine ranking? Contact us today to learn how we can help.