Jul 25, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Lawyers

Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Lawyers
Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
Jul 25, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Lawyers

Maximize the online visibility of your law firm and dominate the SERP with our definitive guide to SEO for lawyers & law firms.
The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Lawyers

Table of contents

When it comes to the legal industry, competition is fierce. Around 84% of law firms plan to spend more on digital marketing technology and online brand building. With many law firms vying for the attention of potential clients, standing out from the crowd can be daunting. This is where law firm search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. By implementing attorney SEO strategies tailored specifically to law firms, you can boost your legal marketing efforts and attract more qualified leads. 

In this ultimate guide to search engine optimization for lawyers, we will delve into key SEO ranking factors, SEO implementation tips, and tracking SEO metrics for 2023 and beyond. So buckle up and get ready to take your law firm's digital presence to new heights!

Why is SEO Important for Lawyers?

Lawyers operate in a highly competitive industry, where clients often turn to Google search engines to find legal services. This is why it's crucial for law firms to have a strong online presence and invest in law firm SEO. Here are some key benefits of search engine optimization for lawyers: 

Improved Visibility: One of the key benefits of SEO for lawyers is improved visibility on search engines. By optimizing your website and content with relevant keywords and phrases, you can improve your chances of appearing at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

Increased Website Traffic: SEO allows lawyers to optimize their websites for specific keywords and phrases related to their practice areas. This ensures that the organic traffic they receive is highly targeted, increasing the chances of attracting potential clients who are actively seeking legal services.

Builds Credibility: SEO also helps build credibility and authority within the legal industry. When your website appears at the top of SERPs, it sends a message that you're a reputable law firm with expertise in your field.

In short, investing in lawyer SEO allows law firms to gain a competitive edge by improving their online visibility, attracting more qualified leads, increasing credibility and ultimately driving growth.

Key SEO Ranking Factors Law Firms Need to Know

When it comes to working for attorney SEO, understanding the key ranking factors is crucial. Here are some important things that law firms need to know:

Mobile Friendly Website:

With the increasing number of users accessing the internet through mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is essential. Ensure your website is responsive, loads quickly, and provides a seamless user experience across different screen sizes. Mobile optimization is not only a ranking factor but also improves user engagement and conversion rates.

High Quality Backlinks: 

Another important factor is having high-quality backlinks from trusted sources. This means getting other websites to link back to your law firm's website in a natural way. The more authoritative the linking site, the better.

On-page Optimisation: 

In addition, on-page optimization plays a big role in search engine optimization for lawyers. This includes optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, headers and content with relevant keywords that users might use when searching for legal services. (Check our free on-page SEO checker to gauge optimization improvements needed in your content)

Updated Google My Business Profile:

It's also essential to have an up-to-date Google My Business profile with accurate information such as contact details and business hours. This helps improve local search rankings and makes it easier for potential clients to find your law firm online.

High Quality Original Content: 

Creating high-quality content that provides value to readers can help improve your search engine rankings over time. By publishing informative blog posts or articles related to legal topics you specialize in can help establish your authority within the industry.

By focusing on these key SEO ranking factors for your law firm's digital marketing strategy, you can get an edge over competitors and ultimately drive more traffic and leads organically through internet searches.

How to Implement search engine optimization for Lawyers

Creating a successful SEO strategy for your law firm requires careful planning and execution. Here are some key steps to implement effective SEO for lawyers.

1: Create a Law Firm SEO Strategy

Creating a solid SEO strategy for your law firm is crucial to achieving success in search engine rankings. Here’s how you can create an effective SEO strategy for your law firm: 

  • Identify your target audience and the keywords they are likely to use when searching online for legal services.
  • Next, determine what sets your law firm apart from competitors and use that as a unique selling point in your law firm’s SEO efforts. This could include specialized practice areas or exceptional client service.
  • Once you have identified your target audience and unique selling point, it's important to set realistic goals for improving search engine visibility. Consider factors such as local competition and the level of investment required to achieve desired results.

When developing an SEO strategy, it's also important to keep up with industry trends, such as changes in search algorithms or new optimization techniques. Regularly reviewing analytics data can help refine strategies over time.

Remember that implementing effective attorney SEO takes time and effort. Don't expect overnight success but stay committed to consistently refining and adapting your strategy based on data analysis and shifts in the industry landscape.

2: Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research is a critical aspect of any successful SEO strategy for law firms. It involves identifying the keywords that potential clients are using when they search for legal services online. This information helps you to optimize your website's content and structure so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) when those specific keywords are used. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you with keyword research for your law firm: 

  • To conduct effective keyword research, start by brainstorming a list of relevant topics related to your practice areas. 
  • Use these ideas as a starting point to generate a list of keywords and phrases that people might use when searching for legal assistance.
  • Once you have compiled your initial list, use an SEO tool such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs or Scalenut to refine it further. These tools allow you to see the monthly search volume and competition level for each keyword on your list, helping you prioritize which ones to target first.
An image of Scalenut Keyword Planner showing the keyword report

As you can see above, when we searched for ‘What does a personal injury lawyer do,’ we got several related keywords to this search term from Scalenut Keyword Planner

  • Now you can use these keywords strategically throughout your blog content to rank higher in the search engines.

Important note: When choosing which keywords to focus on, it's important not just to select the high-volume ones but also consider the relevance and intent behind them. 

For example, targeting "divorce lawyer" may seem like an obvious choice with its high volume, but being too broad may result in being lost among all other divorce lawyers who do exactly the same thing as yours does. 

Pro Tip: You can also use Scalenut free Keyword Finder to get a list of new keywords for your primary keyword, along with CPC, search volume, and competition data and Keyword Clustering Tool to gain a precise understanding of the exact keywords that you should incorporate into your pages.

3: Law Firm Website Optimization

Do you know 74% of customers visit a law firm’s website to take any legal action? This enforces the need to have an optimized website for your law firm. Optimizing a law firm's website involves multiple components like design elements, page speed optimizations, SEO-optimized content with keyword research & CTAs at strategic locations throughout the pages, along with coding techniques like schema markups which together ensure higher rankings in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Here are some best practices to optimize your law firm website: 

Intuitive User Interface: The first step in optimizing your website is to ensure that it has a clean and user-friendly design. Visitors should be able to quickly find the information they are looking for without any confusion or frustration.

Check out the website design of Cox & Palmer law firm below. They have kept their website design very minimal and simplistic, with proper menus, categories and subcategories, along with a search option to help users quickly find out what they are looking for.

An image showing the clean and simple website design of a law firm. 

Optimize the Images: Image optimization is an important element of technical SEO. To improve your website's loading time, make sure you optimize the images on your site, compress large files, and minimize HTTP requests. This will not only help improve user experience but also prevent visitors from leaving due to slow load times.

Keep your content updated: Ensure that all of the content on your site is relevant and up-to-date. Your pages should include keywords related to your area of practice so that search engines can easily identify what services you offer.

Clear and Concise CTA: Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) on every page of your website just like Rinehardt Injury Attorneys did on their website. This will help prospective clients know how to contact you or schedule an appointment. It’s important to always have a strong CTA as this would encourage visitors to take action, which could convert them into paying customers.

An image showing the clear and actionable CTA used by a law firm on its website homepage. 

Implement Schema Markup: Consider implementing schema markup on your site as this can help search engines better understand the content on each page of your site while improving click-through rates in search results by displaying rich snippets such as star ratings or review count underneath meta descriptions.

4: Optimize Your GMB profile

Optimizing your Google Business Profile is crucial for any law firm local SEO looking to boost its ranking in the local search results. Your profile is essentially a digital representation of your business and provides critical information like your location, phone number, and operating hours to potential clients. Here are some tips to optimize the GMB listing of your law firm: 

  • To start optimizing your profile, ensure that all the information provided is correct and up-to-date. Inaccurate or incomplete information can cause confusion among potential clients and even harm your online reputation.
An image showing a thoroughly updated GMB Listing of a law firm
  • Make sure you include relevant keywords in the name of your business so people can quickly recognize what services you offer. 
  • It's also essential to write an informative yet concise description of what makes your law firm unique.
  • Adding high-quality photos and videos showcasing professional office spaces, team members, or past events can help establish credibility with potential clients searching for a reliable law firm.
  • Encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews on Google as it will significantly impact how often you appear in search results when someone searches for "law firms near me."

Optimizing your Google Business Profile should be part of every attorney's SEO strategy as it offers free exposure while effectively communicating valuable information about their practice.

5: Create On-Page Optimized High-Quality Content

When it comes to law firm websites, the quality of your on-page content creation can determine whether or not potential clients will contact you for legal services. Here are some actionable tips to help you optimize your law firm’s content for SEO: 

Keyword Placement: Use keywords strategically throughout your content, including in the title tags, headings, meta descriptions, and body text.

Content structure: Organize your content with a clear structure that is easy to navigate. Use header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to break up the content and make it scannable for both users and search engines. Include target keywords in some of these headers to signal relevance.

Optimize your page titles and meta descriptions: Craft compelling titles and meta descriptions that accurately describe the content of each page while incorporating relevant keywords. Keep your titles under 60 characters and meta descriptions under 160 characters to ensure they are fully displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Optimized URL structure: Ensure that your URLs are descriptive and optimized for search engines. Use hyphens to separate words in the URL rather than underscores or special characters. Include target keywords in the URL to reinforce the page's relevancy.

Internal linking: Incorporate internal links within your content to connect related pages within your website. By doing so, you are guiding search engines to crawl and index your web pages more effectively. 

Optimize images: Compress images to reduce their file size and improve page loading speed. Include alt tags that describe the image using relevant keywords, as search engines cannot "see" images but rely on alt text to understand their context. Use descriptive file names for your images, such as "family-lawyer.jpg" instead of "IMG1234.jpg," to optimize for search engines.

To optimize your content effectively, you can use Scalenut Content Optimizer, which helps you create irresistible law firm SEO content that shows up in SERP and engages your audience to drive conversions. 

6: Get High-Quality Links

Backlinks are like a vote of confidence from other websites that your law firm website has relevant and valuable content. The more high-quality links your website pages will have, the higher your website will rank in search engine results pages.

An image showing the Backlink depiction and how a strong backlink from a relevant website can boost traffic to your site. 

There are several ways to get these high-quality links. One way is to create amazing content that people want to share and link back to on their own websites or social media platforms. Another way is through outreach, where you reach out to other websites in your niche and ask if they would be willing to link back to your site.

It's important not just to focus on getting any type of link but rather focus on getting quality links from authoritative sources within your industry or niche. This means finding websites with good domain authority scores, as well as looking for opportunities for guest blogging or being featured in online publications related to the legal field.

Getting high-quality links takes time and effort, but it's worth it in terms of improving your law firm's visibility online and ultimately attracting new clients who find you through organic search results.

Tracking SEO Results

Tracking SEO results is crucial for any law firm that wants to see the effectiveness of its SEO strategy. Understanding SEO metrics and analytics is an excellent way to determine whether your efforts are paying off or not.

1: Understanding SEO Metrics and Analytics

SEO metrics and analytics are essential components of any successful digital marketing strategy. Understanding these metrics and how they relate to your law firm's website is crucial in achieving SERP dominance. 

Analyzing these metrics can help you understand how users interact with your site and identify areas for improvement. By understanding these metrics and analyzing them regularly, you can better position your legal practice for success in online searches. Here are some important metrics you should track for your law firm’s content and website growth:

Organic Search Traffic: This metric tracks the number of visitors who find your website through organic search results. It gives you insight into how well your content is optimized for search engines and can indicate the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.

Keyword Rankings: Monitoring keyword rankings allows you to see where your law firm's website appears in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords. By tracking the performance of targeted keywords, you can identify areas for improvement and adjust your content strategy accordingly.

Backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites pointing to your law firm's website. Tracking the number and quality of backlinks helps measure the authority and credibility of your website. 

Bounce Rate: This metric measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate could suggest that visitors aren't finding what they're looking for or experiencing a poor user experience. By analyzing bounce rates, you can make adjustments to your website's design, content, and usability to keep visitors engaged.

Conversion Rate: The conversion rate tracks the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as filling out a contact form, requesting a consultation, or signing up for a newsletter. It helps determine the effectiveness of your website in generating leads or conversions and provides insights into user behavior and engagement.

2: Using Google Analytics to Track your law firm search engine optimization progress

Google Analytics is a powerful and free tool that can help lawyers track their SEO success. It provides valuable insights into the behavior of website visitors, including how they found your site, what pages they visited, and how long they stayed on each page.

Google Analytics dashboard 

One important metric to look at in Google Analytics is organic search traffic. This refers to the number of people who found your site through a search engine like Google or Bing. By tracking this metric over time, you can see if your SEO efforts are paying off in terms of increased visibility in search results.

Another useful feature of Google Analytics is the ability to set up conversion goals. These are specific actions that you want visitors to take on your website, such as filling out a contact form or scheduling an appointment. By tracking these PPC goals, you can see which pages and keywords are driving the most conversions and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.

In addition to these metrics, Google Analytics also provides data on bounce rates (the percentage of visitors who leave after viewing only one page), average session duration (how long visitors spend on your site), and more.

Things to Consider While Implementing SEO for Lawyers In 2023

As we approach 2023, there are a few key things that law firms should consider while implementing their SEO strategy.

Use of AI-powered SEO platform takes front seat

AI SEO platforms have revolutionized the way we approach search engine optimization for lawyers. With the ability to analyze massive amounts of data, predict trends and provide actionable insights on how to optimize online presence, AI platforms are a game-changer for law firms.

Scalenut is one such AI-powered SEO and content marketing platform that has shown great promise in providing AI-powered solutions for best SEO for lawyers. The platform runs on advanced technology like natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms that enable it to manage your entire content life cycle. 

Using Scalenut SEO services can help law firms identify relevant keywords with their Keyword Planner, create compelling content that resonates with their audience, and optimize content to help it rank higher in SERPs.

Leveraging AI-powered SEO platforms like Scalenut is an excellent way to stay ahead of the curve in today's highly competitive digital landscape. By integrating its tools into your marketing strategy now, you can set yourself up for long-term success as a lawyer in 2023 and beyond. Explore the many features of this tool. 

E-E-A-T is more important than ever 

To rank high on search engines, law firms need to focus not only on keywords but also on the quality and relevance of their content. Google's E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) algorithm update has made it more important than ever for lawyers to showcase their expertise and authority in their field.

  • Experience plays a crucial role in showcasing the credibility of a law firm's online presence. When it comes to demonstrating experience through content, the degree of real-life experience held by the producers becomes significant.
    For instance, if individuals are seeking legal advice or information regarding specific legal matters, they are more likely to trust content produced by experienced lawyers who possess extensive knowledge in the field. 
  • Expertise refers to the level of knowledge or skill a lawyer possesses within their specialization. Law firms can demonstrate this by providing informative and well-written articles on legal topics relevant to their clients.
  • Authority is all about showcasing your credentials as a trustworthy source in your field. Lawyers can do this through case studies, testimonials from satisfied clients, or even by highlighting awards and accolades they have received.
  • Trustworthiness is critical when it comes to building credibility with both potential clients and search engines alike. Law firms should make sure that they prioritize user experience on their website by ensuring fast load times and easy navigation while also showing transparency about pricing models and fee structures, among other fundamental factors.

Parting thoughts on SEO for lawyers

Implementing SEO for lawyers is essential to the success of any law firm in today's digital age. However, it's not a one-size-fits-all approach, as each law firm has unique needs and objectives.

Remember that SEO isn’t a quick-fix solution – it requires consistent effort and patience before seeing results. Tracking progress using metrics such as traffic, leads, and conversions is essential.

Another tip is to stay up-to-date with Google’s algorithm updates and adjust your strategy accordingly. This includes prioritizing quality content that matches user intent rather than just focusing on keyword stuffing.

It’s also crucial to prioritize website security measures such as HTTPS encryption which can improve search engine rankings while protecting client information.

An experienced SEO agency for law firm can ensure that the firm stays competitive in the online space while freeing up valuable time for you to focus on serving clients. You can also sign up for a free 7-day trial with Scalenut to optimize your website rankings and establish it as the best law firm in your city. 

FAQs related to SEO for Lawyers 

Why Does My Law Firm Need an SEO-Optimized Website?

Your law firm needs an SEO-optimized website to appear on the first page of the search engine for your legal service in your area. This is important to acquire more leads, expand your geographical reach, and ultimately gain more clients.

How Much Time Does Search Engine Optimization Take?

The time taken for SEO varies depending on many factors, such as competition in the market and keywords targeted. It does not happen overnight, but it takes several months or years of consistent effort before you start seeing results.

Can I do SEO for lawyers without hiring a professional seo company?

It is possible to do some basic optimization yourself, like creating quality content or optimizing metadata but hiring a professional agency ensures you get optimal results. Their expertise in technical aspects like web development, link building, and keyword and cluster research can help improve your rankings quickly while saving you valuable time and resources.

Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager
ABout the AUTHOR
Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager

Suman Samal is a Asst. Marketing Manager at Scalenut. She is a technology enthusiast with a keen interest in content marketing and SEO. She truly believes that with the right set of tools every organization can improve the ROI of their content marketing campaigns. She spends her time managing content operations at Scalenut and ensuring that everything we publish is of the highest quality.

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