A Handbook for SEO Services for Law Firms

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Why should you pay attention to law firm SEO? Should you engage in some 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 find 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 optimisation (SEO) helps drive more visitors to your firm’s website so potential new clients can find you. Although the goal of SEO for lawyers is straightforward enough, it’s a technical, time-consuming, and ongoing process. Just as legal clients turn to you for 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 for lawyers is and outline how it can benefit your firm. 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 for law firms

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 optimised, it will appear higher (preferably at the top of the first page) in the results when someone searches for terms related to your firm.

Law firm SEO is critical for garnering new business. Why? People can’t hire lawyers if they don’t know they exist.

96% of potential clients use a search engine to find legal advice When your firm appears higher up in search results due to SEO, potential clients are more likely to click on your website. Once on your website, they can find out more about your firm—and potentially contact you.

What is on-site SEO?

On-page SEO involves optimising each page of your law firm’s website to improve its search engine rankings. This process includes refining title tags, headings, meta descriptions, content, and image alt tags, specifically tailored for your practice area pages.

It is a crucial element of a successful digital marketing strategy for law firms, as it helps search engines in comprehending the content of each page, thereby enhancing your visibility in search results.

What are the benefits of SEO services for law firms?

Lawyers using SEO for law firms

If SEO is key for law firm growth, what’s the best way to manage it?

While it’s possible to learn the fundamentals of SEO for lawyers and implement a strategy on your own (this guide can show you the basics), SEO may be worth outsourcing to the expertise of SEO services for lawyers. Here are a few reasons why:

  • You’ll leverage their expertise. 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. However, SEO consultants and law firm SEO agencies have invested time into honing their craft and providing SEO services for lawyers with a high potential return on investment.
  • 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 ensure your website follows the latest SEO best practices. This way, you can avoid being penalised 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 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:

Site audit

To develop the right SEO strategy for your law firm, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. A site audit analyses your existing website and identifies strengths and weaknesses.

Of course, if your firm doesn’t have any web presence currently, creating a law firm website is your first step. Clio Grow’s law firm website builder can set your firm up with a professional, secure website in minutes. You can also learn more about website design for law firms with our guide here.

Keyword research

When it comes to search engine optimisation, choosing the right words matters. Effective keyword research identifies the specific words and chains of words that people are using to search for information online. By integrating the right keywords into your law firm website and content, you can better reach your target audience and attract them to your website.

Content marketing

Once you’ve identified the right keywords to attract potential clients, you need a place to put those words to use. Adding valuable and engaging content (like blog posts) to your law firm website is crucial to law firm SEO. However, it’s important to have a content marketing strategy (this is where SEO services and experts can help).

Specifically, for content on your law firm website to be effective for SEO, it needs to be search engine optimised 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 London, an SEO content expert can guide you to focus on keywords relevant to your practice and geographical location. They can even help you create high-quality SEO content after analysing the top search results for “London family lawyer.”

On-site SEO

For your law firm’s website to rank high in search results, the structure of the website itself should also be optimised so that search engines can easily recognise it and find the content relevant and useful. Effective on-site SEO could include ensuring elements like titles, headers, and tags on your website are correct and maximise readability.

Note: The terms “on-site SEO” and “on-page SEO” are often used interchangeably. Put simply, on-page SEO refers to optimising the individual pages on a website, while on-site SEO refers to optimising the entire website.

Local SEO

For most law firms, showing up in the search results for your local area is critical. To boost your firm’s credibility in local searches, local SEO services could include:

  • Optimising your website with local keywords
  • Helping you create and optimise your firm’s Google Business Profile
  • Building up authentic client reviews
  • Creating an engagement strategy for your firm on relevant social media channels

What are the benefits of hiring Local SEO Services for Lawyers

Enhance your online visibility to attract new clients. Consider partnering with a specialised agency that offers expert development of local SEO strategies for law firms. Such services aim to fortify your online presence, significantly boosting client leads, phone calls, and business opportunities. For example, an agency might focus on optimising your firm’s Google My Business listing and local citations to achieve these results.

Link building

Getting backlinks (i.e., hyperlinks on other websites that link back to your website) from popular and high-authority legal websites (i.e., websites with a strong domain) can help your website rank higher in search engines (this requires great content). However, while link building can benefit your firm’s SEO, it’s time-consuming and labour-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.

Technical SEO

By measuring how user- and “Google-friendly” your law firm’s website is, technical SEO is crucial to your firm’s SEO performance.

Effective technical SEO can be complex and involves ensuring that your website follows Google’s guidelines, is set up properly, is mobile-friendly, and is easy to navigate. This is why technical SEO is a good task to pass to SEO experts or a law firm SEO agency.

SEO strategy

The legal SEO services expert could create a customised 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 the types of legal services you offer.

Working with a law firm SEO expert

SEO for law firms

Embracing SEO can bring new business to your law firm, but the reality is that most lawyers don’t have the time to learn and practice search engine optimisation. If you’re considering hiring an expert to help boost your law firm’s SEO, consider the following:

Determine your law firm SEO 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.

You may also want to consider if you want to hire SEO services for a one-time task (for example, keyword optimising your law firm’s website) or if you want to hire them for ongoing monthly services.

Ask your professional legal network for a referral

Ironically, the best SEO experts may be so busy optimising 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 specialises in SEO for law firms. You can also look for an SEO expert among Clio’s Certified Consultants.

Check their qualifications and experience in SEO for lawyers

SEO services for lawyers are specialised, so take the time to find an expert who is a good fit for your firm. The right legal SEO specialist should be well-versed in the industry and the pain points of 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
  • They don’t have any references

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.

Final thoughts on law firm SEO services

If you want potential clients to be able to find you in 2024, you need a law firm website—and one that’s search engine optimised. While 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 elevate your firm’s SEO to the next level so you can grow your business faster and easier. With SEO services bringing more prospective clients your way, you can focus on delivering a better legal experience to your new clients.

Learn more about how Clio Grow’s client intake software makes onboarding new clients an efficient, seamless experience.

Categorized in: Business, Legal Marketing

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