Our approach to search engine optimization (SEO) for attorneys is pretty simple:
We help law firms get clients from the internet because that’s where people are looking.
Whether they receive your name from someone they know and trust, are researching a legal question or have done an organic search for a lawyer, your potential clients are turning to the web to get more information. 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.
Deciding to hire an 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.
If you’re looking for guaranteed rankings in 24 hours for a particular keyword, we’re not the right shop for you. Google recommends avoiding firms who guarantee rankings within a certain timeframe.
What is SEO?
Technical SEO is all about how your website is structured so that search engines are able to crawl your website and determine if your site has Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness – the metrics by which we’ve been told Google analyzes websites for search results.
Technical SEO or on-page SEO is focused on keywords and relevance to the search, as well as the user experience for your website visitors.
Goal of on-page SEO: Better website performance, improved crawlability, and a generally better user experience.
Benefits of on-page SEO: Your website “speaks the same language” as search engine crawlers, allowing them to understand and interpret your website for search results.
- Decreasing Site Load Time Desktop & Mobile
- Tools: Google PageSpeed Insights
- Eliminating 404s or Broken Pages & Links
- Website Structure
- Create a Sitemap with page hierarchy for easier crawling
- Utilize Headings (H1, H2, H3, and H4), Title Tags, and Meta-Descriptions
- Schema Markup
- Add your reviews and links to social media profiles
- Utilize Attorney-specific schema
- Web-site Security
- HTTPS website
- Choose a secure website host and CMS (content management system), such as WordPress.org
Off-page SEO is all about the links & link-building.
Think of this as your firm’s online PR and how you can get in front of the right audience on a continual basis.
Goal of off-page SEO: To accumulate positive signals and interactions for your brand, with the hope of those factors being a net positive.
Benefit(s) of off-page SEO: Brand mentions, positive reviews, links, etc.
- Create Brand Identity
- Customer service & searcher intent
- Audience Interactions
- Responsive social media
- Identify what clients want, not what you think they want
- Meaningful Interaction with Content
- Experiment with content types
- Backlinks to Create a Larger Online Presence
- Link-building is an essential part of an effective SEO strategy
An SEO campaign that is targeting legal consumers should focus on local SEO strategies, as well as, increasing trust signals such as those created by testimonials and reviews. It is most likely that your clients will come from within a specific geographic area that is close to your law firm location(s).
Google My Business
GMB is one of our first steps in a local SEO strategy. Claiming and maximizing this free tool is one basic way to boost your firm’s online presence, especially for branded search results.
A few simple Google My Business tips:
- Claim your listing- NOW!
- Monitor your Google Q&A
- Post about your location
- Photos, videos, posts
- Utilize Dynamic Number Insertion for lead tracking
- Firm hours: note days your office is closed
- DON’T SPAM YOUR LISTING
Link building continues to be the single best way that we have found to increase our client’s web presence. That being said, it can have a bad reputation in some SEO circles due to black hat strategies and bad actors buying low-quality links to get temporary results. We advocate a longer-term strategy that takes time, but not money, to get links.
Free Link-Building Strategies:
- Guest Posting
- Unlinked mentions
- Link reclamation
- Directory listings
Types of Links:
- Relationship-Building Links
- Help A Reporter (HARO)
- Legal Publications
- Philanthropic links
- Content-based Links
Claim Online Profiles:
There are numerous legal-specific directories that can build a more robust and trustworthy web presence. Here’s a fairly exhaustive list of places to list your law firm online.
When it comes to your digital marketing strategy, your in-house or agency team should be focusing at least part of their efforts on link-building. Hopefully, the information above helps you understand just how many options there are for free or low-cost link-building options.
- Links To Your Site
- Mommy Blogs: A Law Firm Link-building Case Study
- How Your Pages & Posts are Linked From Other Domains
- Backlinko’s Complete Guide To Link-Building Strategies
- Search Engine Journal: 50 Types of Links You Want & How to Build Them
The Cost of Law Firm SEO
Our approach takes into consideration the specific marketing needs, budget, and goals of our clients.
SEO can vary greatly in price depending on who is offering the service, and there is a wide price disparity for a reason. Companies who offer SEO at very low prices may cut corners, use ‘black-hat’ techniques or improper SEO strategy, resulting in penalties, decreases in traffic and spam for unsuspecting business owners. Agency prices tend to run higher, but you are paying for their experience, ethics, and effectiveness.
Consider the yearly price it would cost to do SEO in-house, utilizing the expert skills you have access to with an agency:
- SEO strategist: $100,000 +
- Coder/Developer: $55,000 +
- Technologist: $50,000 +
- Coordinator/Reports: $40,000 +
- Total Annual Salaries/Fees: $245,000 +
As an SEO-focused agency, AttorneySync can offer resources, expertise, and team for a lower cost than it would take to maintain an in-house team and involves less risk than outsourcing to a cheaper company.
The minimum engagement for law firm SEO services at AttorneySync is $3,000/month. This may seem like a lot of money or be your entire marketing budget, but for a typical Personal Injury firm in a metro area, many firms could spend upwards of $15,000-20,000 per month on search engine optimization.
When it comes to SEO pricing, there are many factors that determine your law firm’s expected spend. Geographic area, your law firm practice area(s), and desired outcome of leads all factor into the monthly cost you can expect for your SEO budget.
The only way to get accurate pricing for your law firm’s SEO is to contact us. Getting a quote will take less than an hour of your time and give you a custom financial strategy for your digital marketing.
SEO Measurement & Reporting
Of course, we also provide SEO reporting. That means developing tangible goals for our clients’ campaigns and reporting on our progress.
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 your website traffic, which in turn, impacts inquiries and clients.
Ranking trends can serve to provide directional insight into the health of a campaign but our clients understand that there are significant limitations using spot-checking rankings. 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.
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, ethics concerns, 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 your license to practice.
Should I have multiple Google My Business listings or just one for all of my law firm offices?
We recommend strictly following Google’s guidelines for Google My Business, so this depends on your law firm locations. Are they brick and mortar offices, with staff? Then you should have a separate GMB listing for that office, as the business name is listed.
How long does it take to see results from SEO?
The time it can take to see results from SEO depends on a lot of factors. We have had clients see an immediate bump in rankings, search traffic, and inquiries but we have also seen this take several months. We can dive into the reasons for this variance on a call with you but as mentioned above, Google says to steer clear of firms that offer immediate results.
What SEO strategies do you use?
Our strategists use a wide variety of SEO methods for on-page and off-page, depending upon the needs of each individual client. We may implement a technical strategy for one client and a link-building strategy for another.
How does SEO work?
We dove into this in the page above, but here are some great resources to learn more about SEO:
- Do you need an SEO? (Google)
- Search engine optimization (Wikipedia)
- What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization? (Search Engine Land)
- Beginner’s Guide to SEO (Moz)
What Are SEO Best Practices?
As the most used search engine, Google has set most of the standards and best practices for SEO. While they typically don’t share their algorithms or specific methods, they do share some helpful information on their Google Webmaster blog. There are several websites or experts that help interpret this information, including John Mu, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google. Other than John, we recommend following Search Engine Journal and Moz blog for SEO information.
What are Citations?
A citation is an online reference to your business location. Basically, any mention of your law firm’s website, address, or phone number. Citations are used by search engines to verify that your business exists somewhere other than your website, which verifies the onine authority of your business.
What are the Benefits of SEO?
The main benefit of SEO is a better online presence, showing search engines and searchers that your law firm is legitimate and trustworthy.