Why should you pay attention to SEO services for law firms? In today’s digital world, people shop for almost everything online —from groceries and insurance to legal services. With more and more potential clients using online search to help them choose their legal representation, your law firm’s business success increasingly depends on how easily potential clients can find you online. But standing out in the vast online landscape isn’t easy—it requires expertise and time that most lawyers don’t have to spare.
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps drive more visitors to your firm’s website so that potential new clients can find you. Although the goal is SEO is straightforward enough, it’s a technical, time-consuming, and ongoing process. Just as your clients turn to you for your legal knowledge and expertise, you can turn to SEO experts to elevate your law firm’s search engine performance to the next level—and ultimately bring in more business.
In the following blog post, we’ll explain what SEO services for lawyers are and outline how your firm could benefit from using them. We’ll also review the different types of SEO services for law firms, so you can decide what might be the best fit for your firm’s situation.
What is law firm SEO?
SEO is all about harnessing organic (as opposed to non-organic or paid search traffic from search ads) search traffic from search engines (like Google, Bing, or other search engines) to increase your website’s position in search engine results pages (SERP). So, when your website is search engine optimized, it will appear higher (preferably, at the top of the first page) in the results when someone searches for terms related to your firm.
For law firms, SEO is critical for garnering new business. Why? People can’t hire lawyers if they don’t know they exist. According to the 2019 Legal Trends Report, 17% of legal consumers looked for a lawyer via online search. When clients are looking for lawyers online) and your firm appears higher up in the results due to SEO, they’re more likely to click on your website. Once on your website, potential clients can find out more about your firm—and potentially contact you.
Why is law firm SEO important?
If you are a law firm operating in 2021, you need a law firm website. But having a website is not enough—you need to optimize your website to drive reliable and sustainable traffic to it. With SEO, you can increase awareness of your law firm’s brand and drive potential leads to your website, which could in turn help your business grow.
What are the benefits of SEO services for law firms?
So if SEO is key for law firm growth, what’s the best way to manage it? While it’s possible to learn the basics of SEO for lawyers and implement a strategy on your own (this guide can show you the basics), SEO may be a process that’s worth outsourcing to the expertise of SEO services for lawyers. Here are a few reasons why:
- You’ll leverage their expertise. SEO consultants are already SEO experts. SEO is a complex, time-intensive, and ever-evolving process. It takes a lot of energy to learn and maintain the degree of expertise that you’d need to take your firm’s website to the next level. But SEO consultants and agencies have invested time into honing their craft and providing SEO services for lawyers.
- You’ll save time. As a lawyer, you’re already busy with many other aspects of running your firm. By putting your firm’s SEO in the hands of an expert, you free up time to focus on running other areas of your law firm.
- You can ensure you’re following best practices. SEO experts know and can help make sure your website follows all of Google’s SEO best practices. This way, you can avoid being penalized by search engines, which can happen if your website fails to observe SEO best practices.
What are the available SEO services for law firms?
SEO is a complex field and there are many different kinds of SEO services for law firms to choose from. Here are some examples of the services that an SEO expert may be able to help with:
To develop the right SEO strategy for your law firm, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. A site audit analyzes your existing website and identifies strengths and weaknesses.
For content (such as blog posts) on your law firm website to be effective for SEO, it needs to be search engine optimized with relevant keywords (based on competitive keyword research). Your content also has to answer the right search intent. For example, if you’re a family lawyer in New York, an SEO content expert can guide you to focus on certain keywords relevant to your practice and geographical location. They can even help you create high-quality SEO content after analyzing the top search results for “new york family lawyer.”
For your law firm’s website to rank high in search results, the structure of the website itself should also be optimized so that search engines can easily recognize it. On-site SEO could include ensuring elements like titles, headers, and tags on your website are correct and maximize readability.
For most law firms, showing up in the search results for your local area is critical. Local SEO services could include things like setting up a Google My Business page, optimizing your website with local keywords, and even building up authentic client reviews to bolster your firm’s credibility in local searches.
Getting lots of links from popular and high-authority legal websites (websites that have a strong domain) can help your website rank higher in search engines (this requires great content). Link building can be beneficial to your firm’s SEO, but it’s time-consuming and labor-intensive. Think of link building for your website as similar to real-life networking for your professional brand, except you have to do it in a way that adheres to Google’s best practices and gains results. Otherwise, link building can quickly become an expensive and time-consuming burden.
By measuring how user and “Google-friendly” your law firm’s website is, technical SEO is key to your law firm’s SEO performance. Effective technical SEO can be complex and involves ensuring that your website follows Google’s guidelines, is set up property, is mobile-friendly, and is easy to navigate. This is why it’s a good task to pass to SEO experts.
The legal SEO services expert could create a customized overall SEO strategy for your law firm. Your law firm SEO strategy should be focused on ways to improve search rankings for your law firm’s target keywords—which usually involves your practice area and types of legal services you offer.
Working with a law firm SEO expert
Embracing SEO can bring new business to your law firm, but the reality is that most lawyers don’t have the time to effectively learn and practice search engine optimization. If you’re considering hiring an expert to help boost your law firm’s SEO, here are a few factors to consider:
Determine your budget
Quality SEO services for law firms come with a cost, so it’s important to determine how much of your firm’s marketing budget you can devote to them. A good SEO expert will likely charge a similar hourly rate to your legal services, so keep that in mind when budgeting before you hire.
Ask your professional legal network for a referral
Ironically, the best SEO experts may be so busy optimizing their clients’ websites that they don’t have time to work on their own websites—which means they may not be easy to find online. Your best bet? Ask other lawyers in your network for a referral to someone who specializes in SEO for law firms. You can also look for an SEO expert among Clio’s Certified Consultants.
Check their qualifications and experience
SEO services for lawyers are specialized, so take the time to make sure the expert you find is a good fit for your firm. The right legal SEO specialist should be well-versed in the industry and its pain-points when it comes to SEO. They should also be able to discuss the role of content, backlinks, and technical SEO, and explain their approach. Don’t be afraid to check references with other law firms, their portfolio, and any available case studies.
Look out for red flags
You can also look for red flags that a law firm SEO expert isn’t right for your firm, such as:
- They guarantee results.
- They’re ultra-focused on clicks, traffic, and leads.
- They can’t (or won’t) explain their process.
What practice areas can benefit from SEO services for law firms?
Whether your practice area focuses on commercial law, family law, or media law, you need potential clients to be able to find you easily online—which means your firm could benefit from better SEO, and SEO services for lawyers.
If you want potential clients to be able to find you in 2021, you need a law firm website—and one that’s search engine optimized. While the art of SEO is learnable, it’s time-consuming, evolves constantly, and takes time away from other important areas of focus at your firm. That’s why hiring SEO services for law firms could be a great solution. By staying on top of the latest in SEO and implementing smart strategies, a good SEO expert can help bring your firm’s SEO to the next level so you can grow your business faster and easier in the year to come.
We published this blog post in January 2021. Last updated: .
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