Marketing and advertising as an attorney are tricky, as there are many rules and ethical codes to follow when doing so.
That is why the best way to acquire clients for your law firm is through the old fashioned way: cold calling through a fax machine.
Haha Nah. Just a little joke.
No, the best way is to attract clients through your attorney website and SEO.
According to a Google Consumer Survey, 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine. And a Find Law US Consumer Legal Needs survey says that 38% of people said they would use the internet to find a lawyer.
So if you don’t have a website for your law firm, you’re missing out on a safe and ethical way for potential clients to:
- Discover your firm
- Learn about what services you provide
- Find your contact information
If you want your website to be a primary client acquisition method, though, you’ll need to optimise it properly.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of changing a site and implementing strategies with the goals of boosting organic traffic (the number of people landing on your site through search engines) and appearing high on search result pages.
Without SEO, no one will be able to actually find your attorney website.
To help you out, we put together some SEO tips for you to help improve your site.
But these aren’t your generic SEO tips.
That’s because we understand that optimising your site isn’t like optimising any regular site.
You’re an attorney, which means your website should be optimised with your specific goals and target market in mind.
With all of this in mind, we created a list of tips on SEO for attorneys.
These pieces of advice and strategies were explicitly written for websites of attorneys to ensure you’ll get the results you’re looking for.
So, without further ado, here are some tips on SEO for an attorney website.
Keywords For Attorney SEO
Keywords are at the heart of SEO.
A keyword (or keyphrase) is a word or phrase that is used to help define your website, so it will appear in relevant search results.
Meaning, in an ideal scenario, if your keyword is “attorney,” your website will appear on the result page after someone searches for “attorney” in a search engine.
So you’ll need a list of keywords to use throughout your site and content so you will appear in relevant searches.
Now, we’re not going to dive deep into keyword research in this article. If you want to learn more about keywords, check out our Complete SEO Guide For Beginners. It will tell you all about keywords, how to research, analyse and implement them (as well as a boatload of other great SEO advice!).
Instead, we’re going to talk about tips on choosing the proper keywords for an attorney website.
Because remember, we promised you that this article isn’t about SEO anyone, but SEO for attorneys.
So we’re skipping the generic advice and going to dive into the advice tailored for you.
You’ll likely start with a list like:
- Law firm
Solid start, but it isn’t going to cut it.
Those keywords are super-generic. There are thousands of attorney and lawyer websites, meaning if those are your only keywords, you don’t stand a chance at getting your site seen on Google.
You’ll need to expand your list by creating more specific keywords that properly define your practise area and geographic location.
As a bonus, we’re also going to tell you some other kinds of keywords to help your attorney SEO.
Creating Keywords To Define Your Area Of Law
You’re not just a lawyer. You’re a criminal defence lawyer.
Or a tax attorney.
Or a personal injury lawyer.
Or some other kind of lawyer.
The point is, every lawyer has a specific field(s), so you should include your practice area in your keywords.
Doing so will:
- Give more context to Google about your site so it will appear in more relevant searches
- Bring your site to your target client (that way someone looking for business law consulting won’t arrive at your medical malpractice site)
- Increase your chance at ranking high as there will be fewer websites trying to rank for a specific practice area than “attorney” in general
So when creating your list of keywords for your attorney SEO strategy, you can start by adding your practice area to create variations of the original set of keywords mentioned above.
For example, if you specialise in tax law, your list could include:
- Tax attorney
- Tax lawyer
- Tax firm
You can get even more specific – if possible, say:
- Business tax attorney
- Real estate tax lawyer
- Corporate tax firm
From there, you can add keywords that don’t have your primary keywords attached, like:
- Income tax
- Dealing with the IRS
- New tax code
- CPA (certified public accountant)
- Tax court
Come up with as many relevant keywords as you can to use throughout your website copy and content.
Pro tip: When coming up with keywords like these, try using the free chrome extension Keywords Everywhere.
This add-on gives you a list of similar and related keywords for a Google search query.
For other tools and tips for finding keywords and how to implement them, we strongly recommend our beginner’s guide to SEO!
Geographic keywords will include your geographical location.
Using geographic keywords will help your site show up for people searching for an attorney in your location (more on this later).
Add your location/city/town where you practice to some of the above-mentioned keywords and add them to your list.
Example keywords for a criminal defence lawyer in London:
- Criminal defence lawyer in London
- Criminal representation near me
- UK attorney for criminal defence
And so on and so on.
The following are all other types of keywords you should add to the list that can be used in content or website copy to help your site show up in more different (but still relevant) searches.
When thinking of these types, put yourself in your ideal clients’ shoes and imagine what they would type into Google.
Question Keywords (great for content):
- What is a tax attorney?
- What does a criminal defence lawyer do?
- How do I hire a lawyer for a harassment case?
- What services can a personal injury lawyer offer?
Pro tip: Check the “people also ask” section of Google for suggestions.
“VS” Keywords (also great for content):
- Account vs a tax attorney
- Criminal lawyer vs prosecutor
- Civil court vs criminal court
Services (perfect for service pages):
- Services of a tax attorney
- Criminal lawyer services
- What a workers’ compensation lawyer can do for you
Define Your Area Of Practice Clearly
As mentioned in the above section on keywords for attorney SEO, you should clearly define what type of lawyer you are.
This goes beyond just keywords, though.
It should be apparent throughout your entire website, precisely what area of law you practice.
Doing so will allow search engines to display your site to more qualified potential clients.
A qualified client is someone who is close to or is your “ideal client,” and is looking for/needs your services.
This means that:
- You will receive more calls and more clients because the people who end up on your site will be looking for your specific services
- Your bounce rate (the percentage of people who leave your website quickly) will be lower, helping your SEO and increasing your ranking (because a high bounce rate is an indication to Google that your site isn’t helpful)
So how do you define your practice area clearly?
Creating and using your practice area-specific keywords throughout your site is a great start, as this will help Google get a better read on your site.
You should also:
- Write content specific to your field (more on creating content in the next section)
- Include service pages to describe what it is you do
- Have an “about us” section that states your practice area
- Make sure your bio doesn’t just say “lawyer” but what type
Create Content To Help Your Attorney SEO
Content is essentially anything on your website that users can consume, such as:
- White pages
Content is crucial to your attorney/law firm website’s SEO because it:
- Presents opportunities to place keywords (especially the “question keywords”)
- Creates pages that people can discover and land on through searches
- Provides free value to potential clients, which in turns helps them see value in you
- Retains users by giving them things on your site to explore/interact/engage with
If you’re unsure what to create content about, here are some content suggestions that will work well to boost SEO for an attorney or lawyer:
- Explanations (for example, ‘What is estate planning?’)
- Advice (for example, ‘What to look for in a business lawyer’)
- Updates/analysis of new laws/court cases
- Current events that pertain to the legal field
One last thing to keep in mind when creating content for your website is your target client.
Law jargon can get extremely complicated and technical. You and your fellow lawyers may have a solid grasp on it, but remember, you’ve studied it for years.
Your target client, on the other hand, will likely have little to no experience in law; otherwise, they wouldn’t be hiring you. When you create your content, be sure to simplify complex ideas and thoroughly explain technical topics.
Focus On Local SEO For Your Law Firm
Did you know that you can search the same thing in two different locations but get different results?
If I search for “restaurants” in Google while located in London, the results will be filled with restaurants that are near me in London.
Which makes sense, as showing me restaurants in New York wouldn’t be useful (unless I owned a private jet of course).
However, Google understands that most people don’t have private jets, a surprising yet unfortunately true fact.
So, in Google’s never-ending quest to show you the most relevant results, when searching for businesses, you will be given ones that are geographically close to you (plus Amazon. Amazon is always there.)
That means that local SEO is going to be crucial for your law firm or personal attorney website.
Local SEO is the practice of optimising one’s website to rank high in a certain geographical location.
Local SEO is a crucial aspect of attorney SEO because:
- You will get a much higher return on investment because ranking nationally will be nearly impossible unless you are a super established and recognised law firm
- People value local attorneys
71% of people think that it is important to have a local attorney.
And a study done by iLawyerMarketing expressed that the farther a law firm is, the less likely someone is to drive to it (41% of people were willing to drive to a law firm that was 30 miles away as opposed to only 19% would drive up to 60 miles away).
Local SEO will follow a lot of the same strategies as normal SEO, although there are a few things you should do that are specific to Local SEO.
There are also some key considerations you have to keep in mind when conducting Local SEO as an attorney.
Google My Business
The best thing you can do for local SEO is to create a Google My Business profile.
These are profiles for local businesses that show up on Google that display:
- Your company name
- Link to website
- Phone number
- Description of your business
- Reviews of your business
They also will show up on Google maps, which people rely on heavily when searching for local businesses, as shown here:
To claim your business profile, go here.
Here are some tips when creating your profile to make sure it is properly optimised for attorney SEO:
- Write a detailed description using your keywords
- Be specific when picking your category (similar to choosing your keywords, don’t say “lawyer” but what type of lawyer, like “estate planning lawyer”)
- Add a link to your primary website
- Be sure to include a phone number
Get Listed On Directories
A directory is a website that will have a list of people/businesses under a certain profession, as well as contact information and address.
There are a ton of legal directories out there, and appearing on these will help in a number of ways:
- People often look through directories when hiring someone, especially lawyers
- It’s a way to acquire more links to your website will improve your SEO
- Getting your name, headshot and firm featured will help spread awareness and increase your brand’s reach
- Directories often include location, which will help your local SEO
Here is a list of legal directories you can get listed on:
Good reviews are another way to improve SEO in general, especially local SEO, as they indicate to search engines that a business is worth recommending to its searchers.
The thing is, as a lawyer or attorney, you aren’t allowed to solicit reviews.
BUT, you should still monitor your reviews, so that if you see a poor one, you can address it internally by improving your firm’s performance and client interactions to get better reviews in the future.
You can also contact Google, Yelp and other review platforms if you believe you see a negative review that looks like spam or from someone you haven’t been in contact with.
Use Location-Specific Information And Pages
Throughout your website, you can include information about your location beyond just an address.
Doing so will help search engines understand where it is you are located and increase the optimisation of your local attorney SEO.
For example, in lawyer bios, mention how long you have lived in the area, any other community involvement if you went to school there and any other information about your relationship with your location.
In the “About Us” section, talk about how you came to set up your practice and its involvement in the local community.
You can also create location-specific service pages, especially if they pertain to local laws and courts you deal with.
For example, dealing with property tax laws would be a very location-specific service you may offer, and creating a service page for it can help the local SEO for your attorney website.
This was also briefly mentioned in the section about content, but creating content and writing blogs about your local area is helpful for local SEO as well. You could write about:
- Current events specific to your area
- Explanations of local laws
- Legal advice for your town
- Tips for finding attorney services in your location
Lastly, be sure that your address is prominent throughout your site and dedicate a page specifically for your location, contact information and operating hours.
Competitor Website Analysis
In the SEO world, checking out high ranking competitor websites can give you a ton of insights on how to improve your own website.
Think about it. If their website is showing up high on result pages, then Google clearly likes it.
So if you can figure out how other attorney websites are being optimised and what it is they are doing right, why not emulate it? If it works for them, there isn’t any reason it can’t work for you.
And this is especially true for attorney and law firm websites, as there are many similarities and standard procedures across the field.
I mean, there are only so many ways one can describe the services of an intellectual property lawyer.
When checking out a competitor’s website, here are some things to look for:
- What keywords are they using (as well as where they are placed and how often)
- Types of content they are producing, in terms of the medium and topics
- Website design and layout
- The information they give in attorney bios
- How they talk about their services pages
- Types of links and placement
Look for these factors across multiple websites and see if you notice any trends.
For example, maybe you notice that several tax attorney’s blogs have titles like “The New Tax Code Explained.”
This could tell you not only that it may be a good idea to write a blog about a new tax code, but you should use “explained” in the title instead of “Analysis Of The New Tax Code.”
Or maybe you see that most high ranking criminal defence law firm websites have bios of their lawyers on the home page instead of the “about” section.
Whatever it is that you notice, you can then mimic it on your website, in your unique style of course.
Also, when emulating content, you obviously don’t want to just copy what competitors are doing. The idea is to take elements that are working for them but write your own original ideas in your voice to separate yourself.
And if you can, make your content better, longer and more informative than the competition’s, so people find more value in it.
And there you have it! Some great tips on attorney SEO.
Again, this blog and the above advice were specific to the legal field and attorney SEO. If you want to learn more about general SEO and how to implement even more SEO tactics and strategies with in-depth explanations, check out our Beginner’s Guide To SEO – had to get one last plugin there!
You can also browse around our blog for other guides and articles with SEO advice.
And if you want professional SEO consulting, book a call with us today!
Pearl Lemon is an award-winning SEO agency, and are on standby waiting to help you and your attorney/law firm website!