In 2019, roughly 86% of law firms had a website – a figure that was up by 11% from the previous year. Undoubtedly, the need for an online presence is continually growing among attorneys and law firms.
That’s good news!
But the biggest problem with them is that almost half of these websites are maintained by a single lawyer who may or may not have technical SEO knowledge.
And that’s why most law firms fail to get ROI on their digital marketing spends. Although law firms are increasing their marketing budget, this poor management is costing them more than just their initial investment.
So, if you want to generate business from your website or improve your retention rates or increase your site traffic, here is a complete guide to SEO for law firms to help you do that.
What is law firm SEO? Why is it important?
Law firm SEO is a specific search engine optimization practice designed for the legal industry. A whopping 86% of clients find lawyers through Google. So, if they don’t see you there, you only stand to get 14% of the total business in the market.
And since you are competing with other law firms, your firm’s chance of getting clients from that lot reduces even further.
Moreover, people take more than 24 hours to weigh their options before contacting you. So, you need to have better online visibility than your competitors for them to access your services quickly.
But SEO for law firms gets you more than just qualified leads. It helps you build a positive reputation.
Around 98% of clients look at your online reviews before hiring you. So, if you have a positive online presence, you will undoubtedly get approached more than your fellow law firms.
Finally, and most importantly, the first five organic results get 67.60% of all clicks. Since law firm SEO helps you rank higher, you need to start optimizing your site immediately.
How to build an SEO-friendly law firm website in 2021
As of 2021, there are 437,540 law firms in the United States, and more than 80% of them have a website. If your law firm wants to rise to the top of the search results organically, you need to work your way around Google’s algorithms. Here is what you need.
Roughly 76% of your clients use a mobile device to find you. Having a mobile-optimized site is a no-brainer in 2021.
Google tends to flag websites with ‘HTTP’ as they are less secure and more likely to experience a malware attack. To rank at the top, your law firm website needs to start with ‘HTTPS.’
88% of law firms, which focus their SEO activities on their homepage, rank in the first ten spots of the search results.
Using niche keywords can help your site rank higher. Law firms that highlight their specializations in their SEO plan enjoy up to 95% more traffic.
Optimized URLs, meta tags, H tags, images
It is impossible to rise to the top if your URLs aren’t user-friendly, meta tags aren’t clickable, H tags aren’t skimmable, and images aren’t optimized for image search.
Interlinking your pages allows you to retain your visitors longer. Since search engines consider your visitors’ session durations before pushing you to the top, adding interlinks is an essential SEO practice.
Both humans and search engines prioritize content above everything else. If your content isn’t worth the visitor’s time, it won’t be long before your site disappears into the lower positions. The golden rule of creating valuable content is following the E-A-T approach. (More on that later!)
Local SEO for law firms in Ohio
Local SEO for law firms helps you garner clients from your local area. The results that you find when you look for terms like ‘law firms near me’ and ‘best lawyers in Ohio’ are all part of local SEO.
And there are only two things you need to know about local SEO; one, it always works when done properly, and two, it is relatively simple to set up.
To set up your local SEO, claim your business on Google My Business and follow the steps. After answering a few questions, you will receive your verification code from Google via mail, and people will start seeing your firm every time they use relevant keywords.
How to build links for law firms
Link building or backlinking is a vital SEO practice for improving your site’s domain authority. Since law firms need credibility to stay in business, backlinks allow you to direct qualified and interested leads to your site. So, although it takes some time, it is worth the efforts.
Once you have created an SEO-friendly website, you must sketch out your content objectives. Since link building is usually carried out through content, you must have great content ideas to become instantly popular.
For instance, writing a piece on ‘Sustainable Law Practices’ might help you drive aspiring lawyers to your site. But a piece about ‘How to Choose a Law Firm’ will help you connect with people looking for lawyers.
So, narrow down your topics wisely and use the SEO content marketing guide in this article (below) to write your article.
Then, approach law magazines that accept guest posts. Please do your research and ensure that the sites you pick have a high domain authority before submitting your articles to them. Link your site within the post and watch your traffic grow.
Next, set up your social media pages. (Check out the social media marketing guide in this article below to do that). The more links you have across the internet, the higher your chance of rising to the top.
In essence, search engines love to see more people talking about your business. Since link building can make that happen, it is an indispensable part of doing SEO for law firms.
Finally, Technical SEO is an area of expertise that is far-underrated. Setting up a good Google Search Console and optimizing your page speed are essential for law firms. This will help navigate the complex world of search engine optimization.
SEO content marketing for law firms
39% of law firms have admitted that only one lawyer creates content for their site. The problem with that is, this has been repeatedly found to restrict the firm’s online content activities year-on-year.
In 2017, 31% of firms reported having a blog, and the figure went down to 24% in 2018.
Besides, 55% of them updated their blog only once a month, while a mere 9% posted weekly. To top that off, none of the firms updated their content daily.
And that is the primary reason for low traffic and retention rates.
Law firms that blog enjoy 3,000 search visitors per month on average and those that don’t get only 182 organic search visitors.
The primary reasons to incorporate SEO content marketing for your law firm are; to bring visitors to your website and to make visitors stay on your website.
Here are some of the best practices to follow when creating and optimizing your content for search engines if you want to generate higher traffic and improve your retention rates.
● User experience
The best content is skimmable. Your visitors don’t always have 15 minutes to read a long piece, but they want quick ideas/strategies to make changes. Heck, if you made it this far in this blog post, you were probably skimming the content. Good for you! We hope this information helps you and your law firm.
Make your content easier to read, more precise, and more research-based. If you are using Yoast SEO to rank higher, use simple sentences while writing to improve your content’s readability score.
● Content structure
Only 53% of law firms have organized site content. The headings, subheadings, and other highlighted text in your content should give the reader a complete step-by-step picture of everything you are writing about. When in doubt, check your outline. If you can understand your article’s structure without reading the entire passage, then your readers definitely will do, too.
● Conversion potential
Your content should be relevant for your visitors to convert them into potential customers. When writing, ensure that your article has well-positioned CTAs, unlike 70% of the US law firm sites. Remember that only 3% of law websites deliver personalized, relevant content. So, if you can be one of them, your rank can potentially skyrocket.
● E-A-T content
To measure the value of content, Google recently announced that it would rank E-A-T content at the top. This simply means that if your content has Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, you will have more chances of organically ranking on the first page.
As a law firm, you already have ‘expertise’ and ‘authoritativeness’ to improve your online presence through SEO content marketing. Focus on building trust, and you will be at the top in no time.
Social media management for SEO for law firms
Social media marketing is the cheapest way of increasing your law firm’s visibility using SEO. It allows you to expand your reach and influence more consumer segments.
Today, more than 90% of lawyers use LinkedIn for business, while 47% use Facebook. Social media works because 35% of them have generated business either directly or through a referral by simply managing their social media pages.
The most successful social media management is one with high audience engagement. And the quickest way of increasing audience participation is by offering them solutions to their problems.
Once you set up your social media presence, create posts that demonstrate your expertise in the legal field. Remember, E-A-T content applies to social media, as well. If done correctly, social media marketing can double your website traffic.
Know your basics –
- Avoid offering legal advice
- Be transparent about licensing
- Avoid running misleading legal advertisements
- Post general content
- Stay active between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during weekdays
- Engage with other lawyers
- Use visual aids
How to find an SEO agency for law firms in Ohio
From avoiding keyword stuffing to doing niche keyword research, doing SEO for law firms isn’t easy. So, it is wiser to outsource your SEO activities to marketing agencies in Ohio if you wish to save time.
And while it can be tempting to appoint any agency that offers you the cheapest quotes, remember that 40% of law firms neither get regular reports nor analytics from their marketing agencies. So, they never know how their online presence is being managed.
Furthermore, there is fierce keyword competition in the legal space. To get the best SEO results for law firms, you need to work with a digital marketing agency that can target the right search terms to help you achieve your goals.
Bash Foo is a professional digital marketing agency with years of experience doing SEO for law firms in Ohio. Our team of SEO experts is proficient at creating optimization strategies that deliver the best results every single time. Ring us up and connect with one of our specialists to get a customized SEO plan for law firms today.