SEO for law firms is exciting. And a proven way to grow your legal practice, whether you are a large law firm or a solo lawyer.
Maybe after leaving another law practice, you are starting your own practice and are ready to lay the groundwork for legal SEO success.
Maybe you have previously invested in law firm SEO with mixed results and you want to see how you can get more bag for your buck.
Or maybe you are new to the idea of law firm SEO as a tool for legal services lead generation and want to understand what it is and what successful law firm SEO actually looks like.
Wherever you are in your legal SEO journey, Pearl Lemon can help.
To discuss your legal SEO priorities, we invite you to contact us at any time. We will be happy to answer your questions, ask our own, and help you determine if our SEO services for lawyers are a good fit for your law firm and your legal SEO goals.
Not ready for a conversation just yet? No problem. This page has a lot of details about our firm, our approach to law firm SEO, and just what it’s like to work with us.
What is SEO for Law Firms?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing technique aimed at driving traffic directly your law firm’s website on an ongoing basis by means of page one search engine rankings (Google, Bing, etc.) for keywords most commonly searched by your prospective clients.
SEO for lawyers can also help build your brand and position your firm’s attorneys as experts in their field, which is exactly how you need those searching for the right lawyer to help them to view you.
How Does Legal SEO Work?
Attorney SEO operates by allowing people who are searching for your services to locate your law firm online quickly and easily and before your competitors.
Following best practices laid out by search engines like Google and Bing, it is the practice of optimizing your website for keywords that your future clients are searching for, of making your website easy to navigate – for both humans and search bots – and creating the trust needed for people to choose your law firm over others.
Although there are definitely some law firms that are late to the party, lawyers were among SEO’s early adopters, and so the competition is extremely stiff in many areas of the law and geographic locations.
Because of that fact, and because of the advances made over the decades by Google and other search engines, whose bots are at near human levels of comprehension in 2020, successful SEO for law firms requires a wide variety of capabilities, strategies and a lot of knowledge.
What kinds of things are involved in effective SEO for attorneys? Here is a closer look at some of the most important elements of SEO for law firms for 2020 and beyond.
Great Law Firm Web Design
Many law firms focus on a website design that look good. Which is great. Except there are two big potential problems with that aesthetics first thinking.
The first is that Google bots are image blind. They can ‘read text’ just fine, better than ever before in 2020, but images just show up as a random string of code to them. So all the pretty images in the world won’t matter to them. They are interested in what your site has to say.
The second problem is that while a flashy website might catch a few eyes most people, when searching for a personal injury lawyer, a criminal attorney, a family law practitioner or other legal pro mean very serious business. So they too are primarily only interested in what you – via your website initially have to say.
A good-looking website is a must – dated, ugly ones are an immediate turn off for many – but those good looks should never come at the expense of acceptable speed, intuitive navigation and the presence of the code needed to help bots navigate your site – and classify and index its content – faster and more accurately.
Most web designers are not SEO experts. Pearl Lemon can offer something different to law firms as our legal SEO team is a real team. Everyone works together, which means our legal SEO experts work hand in hand with our web designers to evaluate client websites and, if needed, make suggestions for changes that make great aesthetic and SEO functional sense.
High Quality Content
Much of SEO for law firms revolves around the positioning of keywords, gaining high quality backlinks and deriving visitors to your website, and high quality content helps you to create web pages that power each of these components.
You will have nowhere to put your keywords without content, no page for your visitors to read, and no information for other websites to connect to. However, with good content on your side hit the top of the search engine results if you are producing awesome pieces of content that your target audience is eager to connect with.
High quality content also educates, builds trust and helps cement your law firm – and your brand – as a reputable authority and source of information.
Usually, effective legal SEO content takes the form of blog posts, service pages, your home page, and ‘about’ pages for your law firms. However, how to guides, client reviews and other content that provides your prospects with the tools they need to make informed buying decisions should also be included.
SEO for law firms should always go hand-in – hand with content development. When you first and foremost consider your readers, you will be able to build content that provides your audience with educational resources, strong value and a better concept of just what your law firm can offer them. Your SEO for lawyers will be much more effective if your target audience interacts heavily with the content you produce, as this is exactly what Google is looking for when placing one result above another.
A Good Legal SEO Keyword Strategy
The days when you could stuff a page with keyword after keyword, and very little else are, thankfully long gone. Back ‘in the day’, when search engines were new, people filled their web pages with nonsensical, keyword stuffed text and it did indeed help them rank. That all changed with the advent of an algorithm change known in the business Google Panda in 2011.
Life after Panda, when the website that housed this ‘thin’ content had been penalised and dropped in the SERPS, called for the bar on content to be raised significantly. As Panda is now a permeant part of the Google algorithm, and has been for sometime, that bar is raised even higher every year.
Having said all that, keywords are still very important. That has never changed. What has changed is the way they are used. To be effective for legal SEO keywords must be relevant, targeted and used sensibly. This calls for a knowledge of keyword research and of keyword implementation that must be learned, and then relearned, when things inevitably change.
Make Local SEO for Law Firms a Priority
You were probably hoping to draw clients in your geographical area when you created a website for your legal practice. While having people come arrive from far and wide to read your great content is excellent for brand building and, in many ways, legal SEO, you’ll want to concentrate on persuading those in your city, county, or state to get in touch and ultimately become clients.
Local SEO for law firms helps ensure that your website targets the particular geographical demographics that you represent by using local search engine optimization (SEO) best practices.
These are not the same as standard SEO practices and involve more than simply adding your location to targeted keywords. Google relies heavily on what is contained within a business’ ‘Google My Business’ pages, and so optimizing those, as well as your website, is a must. It is a crucial step however that many SEO agencies ignore or overlook.
The Pearl Lemon SEO team is especially well versed in local SEO, as that’s where it all began for us. Initially concentrating on SEO for London based businesses, including SEO for London law firms, over the years we have expanded that focus across the UK, US and Europe, but have never forgotten our local SEO roots and the specialist knowledge called for to be effective in that realm.
There are significant advantages to a well-optimized Google My Business profile for your law firm that go beyond basic SEO too. These include
You’ll Show Up in Google Maps Searches
After online reviews, the second most important aspect that customers take into consideration when looking for a local business is proximity to their location. Although a quick Google search can definitely be successful in narrowing down the choices, lots of consumers use Google Maps to locate nearby businesses, particularly those on a smartphone, which is, in 2020 an ever-increasing number of people.
Only businesses that have claimed their Google My Business profile, and taken the time to verify it, show up on Google Maps in 2020. This means that if you do not take the time to do so you just won’t be found.
You Might Make It to the Google Three Pack
You may have already noticed, if you use Google searches yourself, that the once-inclusive seven-pack has now become the exclusive three-pack. Law firms and attorneys around the world have tried a lot of different legal SEO tricks to improve their local rankings and the chances of being included in the local 3-pack of Google in order to get into this exclusive group.
What most law firms don’t know is, you can massively improve your chances of making it into this highly sought after list by simply optimizing your free Google My Business page. The best part of being in the local 3-pack? Not only do these listings show users on Google Maps exactly where your office is located, and offer a direct call option, but they also show up before organic results, giving your website a big advantage in terms of search exposure.
You Need Better Backlinks
Backlinks are still very important to Google. You may have heard differently, but they are. The confusion over backlinks comes from penalties dished out by Google Algorithum twaeaks like Google Penguin and by the then almost completly opposing view that buying lots of backlinks is still a safe way to gain online visibility fast.
The reality is that Google does still care about backlinks, but they care very much where those links come from. The reason for the implementation of Google Penguin was to penalise those who had crammed their sites with paid links – which are, and have always been, against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines – or who’s site had lots of backlinks, but none of them were relevant.
Backlinking in 2020 calls for law firms to build links over time that link to sources that Google views as trustworthy, strengthening the credibility of your website. Eventually, this will help your laqw firm website rank higher in the search results pages for the queries and keywords you are targeting.
At Pearl Lemon we have developed a targeted, effective outreach legal SEO strategy that will get you better, more relevant backlinks to your content that will, in turn, create produce better organic search engine visibility, generate new client leads on an ongoing basis , and increase website traffic your your law firm’s site.
Working With Pearl Lemon for Law Firm SEO
Pearl Lemon has become widely regarded among the best law firm SEO companies you can hire. We built our business on SEO, and we’ve helped all kinds of law firms grow theirs using those same succesful strategies. If you want to bring in more clients from the Internet in a sustainable, holistic fashion, on an ongoing basis, legal SEO is right for you.
Law firms that work with Pearl Lemon to manage their legal SEO are never in the dark about their campaign’s results or our plan to achieve their objectives. We believe in full accountability and transparency. Here is an overview of what it looks like to hire us for law firm SEO services, with that in mind.
At Pearl Lemon, we are legal SEO experts. We also, however, live by certain sentiments. One of those is you should plan on failing if you fail to plan. This is something we take seriously.
That’s why exploration and strategic planning session kicks off each of our law firm SEO engagements. During these sessions our SEO for lawyers strategists will:
- Learn more about your business, your priorities, and your ideal customers by interviewing you ands listening closely to what you have to say.
- Analyze the current state of your law firm website to gain an understanding of its strengths and limitations and to find opportunities for SEO growth and improvement.
- Study your direct competition in order to decide what we can use to better your web presence over theirs.
- Conduct targeted, strategic keyword research
- Establish an editorial calendar focused on keyword placement, prioritizing content output
- Establish a diverse link-building strategy to consistently create a boost for the authority and reputation of your site
- Implement all appropriate local optimization strategies needed.
Technical Onsite Legal SEO Optimization
After preparation is complete, it’s time to start executing. Next, we will working to ensure that your law firm website has the best legal SEO base possible. Often this process is referred to as on site SEO or technical SEO. This entails:
- Effective keyword optimization of all meta elements and exsiting body content
- Pagespeed optimization, including image optimization.
- Readability and naviagtion optimization
- Error resolution for items such as broken links, broken images and 404 errors.
- Implement or improve an optimized internal linking framework
- Advanced site architecture optimization, including the implmentation of schema
Local Legal SEO Optimization
Your website has to be well optimized for local searches and keywords if your law firm is a local business. We’ll ensure your business presents a reliable, accurate, and trustworthy presence in the local search ecosystem. To do this we will:
- Execute all relevant Google My Business page optimization techniques
- Ensure citation consistency across the web while also executing any extra citation building manually.
- Implement and help execute a review generation strategy
- Execute local link and citation building initiatives
Content Optimization and Production
Any inconsistency between our target keywords and the content you already have on your website is one of the main things we are looking for during the discovery process. We can create and publish new evergreen content, typically in the form of articles or blog posts, for each keyword topic that is not covered by a well written and optimized page.
Ethical and Effective Link Building
What distinguishes a decent legal SEO campaign from a great law firm SEO campaign is effective and consistent backlink building.
For your law firm website to rank highly in competitive markets, a powerful backlink profile is important. We constantly come up with imaginative ways to create successful links to your website, but always ensure they meet Google Webmaster Guidelines and will enhance your website’s reputation, not damage it. We can also help you disavow any backlinks that already exsist that may already be adversly affecting your law firm website’s appaerance in search (we find them a lot, especially in older websites.)
Regular Reporting on the Law Firm SEO Metrics You Care About
At Pearl Lemon we report to our legal SEO clients on a monthly basis. Our reports include an analysis of all the law firm SEO metrics that matter most to you. They are written in plain English and we are always happy to discuss any – and even every – aspect of the report once you have reviewed it. Here’s a little more explantion form our founder, Deepak, of just how our SEO reports work across the agency:
These are, of course, just general overviews of Pearl Lemon’s client reporting . Every legal SEO campaign we undertake is speciifcally tailored for each individual client. No law firm is the same as another, so no effective legal SEO campaign can be either. We focus on ensuring that every SEO for law firms assignment we undertake gets the specilised, individual attention it deserves and that our legal clients are kept informed every step of the way.