SEO for Attorneys: Our Approach

Our approach to search engine optimization (SEO) for attorneys is focused on growing meaningful organic traffic that turns into new client relationships.

GA Organic Traffic Report

People are searching for you online. What they find will play a role in whether they hire you.

Our clients trust us to help them meet and exceed business goals.

That’s why we don’t hyper-focus on a specific number of new pages or links. Likewise, we’re not here to guarantee you rankings for particular keywords. That being said, we know that increasing visibility in organic search for target search queries impacts traffic, which in turn, impacts inquiries and clients.

Ranking Report

While ranking trends can serve to provide directional insight into the health of a campaign, our clients understand that there are significant limitations spot-checking rankings.

If you’re looking for guaranteed rankings in 24 hours for a particular keyword, we’re not the right shop for you.

Research

Before we get into fixing and marketing your pages, we have to do some research. This starts with understanding your audience.

Male / Female silhouettes

  • What are the goals and objectives of your law firm’s SEO efforts?
  • Who are the people you want to attract to your pages?
  • What types of queries are they entering into search engines?
  • What actions do you want them to take once they arrive at your pages?

Further, we research your practice and competitive landscape. Who are you? What do you do better than your competitors? Why should your prospective clients choose you?

You might be wondering what the answers to these questions have to do with search engine optimization. The answer: everything.

We have to determine what it is about you that’s worth talking about, sharing and linking to.

Technical SEO (on-page factors)

Next, we go to work fixing your pages. Technical SEO involves improving on-page search factors.

Browser & gears

Our technical SEO process includes optimizing:

  • Site architecture and internal linking structure.
  • HTML meta tags including page titles, descriptions and headings.
  • Structured data markup (i.e. schema).
  • Page content.
  • XML sitemap and robots.txt file
  • User experience (mobile-friendly, page load speed)

SEO Marketing (off-page factors)

Now that we have a solid technical SEO foundation in place, we can begin marketing your pages. This includes creating pages that people want to talk about, share and link to.

Links and shares pointing to web page.

Search engines use these “popularity signals” to determine how to deliver your pages in their results. But these signals aren’t weighted equally. For example, quantities of high-quality links from highly relevant and authoritative sites can have an exponential (really logarithmic) impact on your pages’ visibility in search engine results.

Our off-page attorney SEO process includes:

  • Developing content assets that people want to link to.
  • Getting those assets in front of people who are able to link to them.
  • Competitor backlink analysis and link building.
  • Social profile development and outreach.
  • Relevant legal directory profile optimizations.
  • Broken link building.
  • PR-focused link building.

Local SEO

Most of our clients are targeting prospective clients at a local level. Search engines are trending toward serving localized results.

Our approach to local SEO involves:

  • Hyper-local link building.
  • Developing hyper-local content.
  • Local business listing management.

Local search engine optimization is incredibly powerful for attorneys.

Whether they receive your name from someone they know and trust, are researching a legal question or are simply looking for a lawyer, your potential clients are turning to the web to get more information. At some point, most of them will turn to a search engine as part of this process. That makes being found in search engine results critical to your client development. However, search engine optimization (SEO) for attorneys is much different than SEO for other products and services. Here are some of the things we’ve learned over the years.

Search engine optimization (SEO) really includes anything you can do to improve your web pages’ visibility with organic search engine results. This is a fairly straightforward and inclusive definition. To understand SEO, you have to understand how search engines work.

Most major search engines have programs called “crawlers” that read web pages. One way that these crawlers get from one page to the next is by traversing HTML links.

The accessibility, as well as, the information a page communicates to a search engine crawler is critically important to how the page will be indexed and eventually delivered in a search engine result page.

Once a page has been effectively crawled, and assuming nothing is preventing indexation, it is stored in the search engine’s index. The index is basically a huge container that stores copies of web pages that have been crawled.

It is from this index that the search engine will build its results pages.

Most major search engine result pages, more commonly referred to as SERPs, are generated by algorithms, which are basically fancy sorting programs.

The goal of these algorithms is to deliver results that best respond to the the search engine user’s query.

Deciding to hire a search engine optimization (SEO) professional for your law firm is an important decision that can have a significant impact on your visibility online. While a skilled SEO can improve your site and save you a lot of time, an unskilled or irresponsible SEO can damage your site and, and even worse, your professional reputation. We recommend that you thoroughly research any potential SEO consultant.

Transparent and Accountable Lawyer SEO Specialists

We provide a variety of SEO services for lawyers. We specialize in working with law firms and are aware of the unique challenges and considerations involved with marketing a legal practice.

Here are some services that you should expect your SEO to be familiar with:

  • Analysis of your website architecture, structure, and content.
  • Technical advice on website development: for example, hosting, redirects, error pages, use of JavaScript
  • Content development and┬ádistribution.
  • Management of online business development initiatives.
  • Keyword research and on-page optimization.
  • Search engine marketing and optimization training.

Our approach takes into consideration the specific marketing needs, budget, and goals of our clients.

It’s a fact, people use the internet to research their legal questions, get answers, and even to search for attorneys. However, how people use the internet to look for legal information and legal services is much different from how they use it shop for tennis shoes. Likewise, SEO for lawyers is much different than SEO for selling tennis shoes, and even different from SEO for other professional services.

This is probably the most common use for the internet as it relates to legal services. Someone gets arrested, gets hurt, has debt problems, decides they need a will, or a vast array of other legal issues and goes online to learn more about the subject.

Researchers may not even yet know that they have a legal issue. They may certainly be interested in learning about the subject. This will have a significant impact on the keywords they use to search and the websites they go to for answers.

Doing SEO for lawyers who are targeting researchers should be geared around providing answers to this demand. Content development should be focused on question and answer pages. Contributions should be made on relevant legal Q&A sites. From a media perspective, doing SEO for lawyers targeting researchers should identify opportunities for interviews and publications on trusted legal, as well as, news sites. Link attracting and social sharing should focus on providing topical information for those who are seeking it.

Similar to the researcher, the questioner is someone who has a question about a specific legal issue. On the other hand, the questioner is usually a little further along in the legal services search cycle than the researcher. Questioners are usually facing a pending legal issue. They may also include do-it-yourself types that are wondering whether they can or should handle their legal issue on their own.

Executing an attorney SEO campaign that targets questioners should likewise include content development strategies that answer their questions. It may sound redundant, but it’s important to keep in mind how questioners differ from researchers and supply content that meets their specific demand for answers.

Shoppers are people who are actively searching for a lawyer. These are the potential client prospects that lawyers want to get found by online. Shoppers use the internet in much different ways that researchers and questioners. The keywords they search on and the places they go to find lawyers are vastly different than those who are merely looking for answers. Their intent is also much different. For one reason, or another, they believe that they need a lawyer. Therefore, it’s likely that they use search terms that include terms like “lawyer,” “attorney,” or “law firm.”

Shoppers will often use websites and search engines more like traditional business directories. An SEO campaign that is targeting shoppers should focus on local SEO strategies, as well as, increasing trust signals such as those created by testimonials and reviews.

Whatever the purpose or goal, it’s important to keep in mind how different SEO for lawyers is from search marketing for products and other professional services. There are very important stakes on the line including the lawyer’s professional reputation, and in some instances, their license. No amount of web traffic or search great search engine rankings are worth damaging one’s professional reputation or sacrificing a hard-earned license to practice.

Of course, we also provide SEO reporting. That means developing tangible goals for our clients’ campaigns and reporting on our progress.

While there are a variety of SEO metrics that we can measure and report, we know that to be successful, we must increase our clients’ organic search engine traffic, potential client inquiries from organic search and paying clients.