Last Updated On June 21, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Attorneys and Law Firms in 2023

The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Attorneys and Law Firms in 2023
By Team TIS

In today’s era, smartphones have become the primary device for browsing the internet, and a significant number of users tend to click on the first search result they see. Recent research indicates that more than 25% of users follow this behavior.

For law firms aiming to stay competitive and attract high-quality leads without large investments, it is crucial to have their website appear at the top of search engine results pages or at least on the first page.

By the end of this blog, you will have a comprehensive understanding of why SEO services for law firms are so vital along with implementation strategies and valuable insights to avoid common mistakes.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, it is all about making your website better so that it shows up more often in search engine results, especially on popular platforms like Google.

To achieve this, there are different strategies you can use, such as creating great content and improving the technical aspects of your website to make it perform better. 

The main aim of SEO is to attract people by providing a great user experience with relevant information that meets the needs of potential customers and leaves a positive impression.

In simpler terms, SEO helps your website appear higher in search results, and it does this by making your website better in a number of ways. 

It is all about giving people what they are looking for and making sure they have a great experience when they visit your site.

Table of Contents

Now What Is Attorney SEO?

Attorney SEO is a way for law firms to improve their website’s visibility on search engines like Google. 

When people search for a law firm online, a website that has good SEO will appear higher in the search results.

Google wants to help people find what they are looking for, so they look for websites that not only are presented in a useful way but are actually helpful and contain high-quality content. Legal SEO involves creating valuable content and making sure it looks appealing to both users and search engines. By doing this well, law firms can rank higher in Google and attract more potential clients.

Google is the main search engine to focus on since it gets about 93% of all search traffic. That’s why it’s important for law firms to understand and utilize SEO techniques to succeed in online marketing.

Having good SEO for your law firm is crucial because when people need legal advice, they often search for it online. In fact, almost all individuals, about 96%, search for legal counsel on the internet, with Google being the most popular search engine.

Google gets millions of searches every second, adding up to billions daily and trillions annually worldwide. 

So, where your law firm appears in search results can greatly impact the number of clients you attract. The higher you rank, the more people will visit your website. Being on the first page of search results is important because most people only contact the websites they see there.

With increasing online competition, having an SEO-optimized website is essential for your law firm. 

A well-designed website helps you stand out and reach potential customers. Since around 95% of US citizens use the internet, having a strong online presence is vital.

Statistics show that almost 70% of law firms acquire new cases through their website. 

The top result in Google search gets a click-through rate of 31.7%. Additionally, 74% of consumers visit law firm websites to take action. 

It is worth noting that 31% of law firm website traffic comes from mobile searches, but only a third of law firm websites are optimized for mobile devices.

Therefore, optimizing your law firm’s website for search engines is crucial in attracting potential clients in today’s digital age. 

A well-designed website and a strong online presence can make a significant difference in acquiring new cases and staying competitive in the legal industry.

SEO has always been an important part of a successful law firm’s marketing strategy.

When people search for a law firm, they look online and focus on the first few search results on Google. Typically, they pay attention to the top five organic results and ignore the paid ads. 

These top five results receive the majority of clicks, around 65%, while paid ads only get about 5-10% of clicks.

The main goal of SEO is to attract new clients by improving your law firm’s visibility in search engine results. This involves organizing your website and creating content that aligns with your business goals.

Even your domain name choice and the appearance of your website are factors related to SEO.

Having good SEO for your law firm is essential to attract clients in today’s digital world. It helps you rank higher in search results, stand out from the competition, and acquire new cases.

Here are some SEO trends to be aware of in 2023:

Increased Voice Search:

With the growing popularity of voice assistants and smart devices, more people are using voice search to find information. 

Optimizing your SEO strategy for voice search involves considering the way people naturally speak when using voice commands. This means focusing on longer, conversational phrases in your content to match the queries people ask their devices. 

By incorporating these natural language patterns, you can increase the possibility of your website appearing in voice search results and capturing relevant traffic.

The EAT Principle:

Google places a high emphasis on expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness when ranking websites. 

This means that creating high-quality content that showcases your expertise in the legal field, establishes your authority, and builds trust with your audience is crucial. 

By producing informative and valuable content, such as in-depth articles or case studies, you demonstrate your knowledge and credibility. Sharing relevant credentials, achievements, or testimonials can further strengthen your reputation. This approach helps search engines recognize your website as a reliable source, leading to better rankings and increased visibility.

Structured Data and Rich Snippets: 

Structured data refers to the use of schema markup, a specific code added to your website, to provide search engines with more detailed information about your content. 

By implementing schema markup, you can help search engines understand and categorize your website’s content more effectively. 

This, in turn, can lead to the display of rich snippets in search results. Rich snippets are enhanced search listings that include additional information, such as images, ratings, reviews, or event details. 

By utilizing structured data and earning rich snippets, your website can stand out from competitors, attract more attention from users, and potentially increase click-through rates.

By staying informed about these SEO trends and implementing appropriate strategies, law firms can stay competitive and improve their online visibility. 

Investing in SEO and adapting to these trends can ultimately attract more potential clients and provide a higher return on investment (ROI).

6 Key Points to Know

Build website authority:

To become an authority in your area of law, create comprehensive pages that address specific legal questions. 

By providing detailed information and showcasing your expertise, you establish your website as a trusted source in that field.

Get more clicks:

When your website appears in search results but does not receive clicks, it indicates that visitors do not find it relevant or helpful. 

To improve click-through rates, make your content engaging and align it with what users are searching for. Address their needs and concerns to increase the chances of getting clicked.

Focus on user experience:

To keep visitors on your website for longer periods, create informative articles and pages that encourage further exploration. 

Internal linking is a useful technique to connect related content, making it easier for users to navigate and discover more valuable information.

Optimize site loading speed:

A slow-loading website can frustrate visitors and lead them to leave quickly, negatively impacting your website’s authority. 

Ensure your site is optimized for fast loading by optimizing images, using caching techniques, and choosing a reliable hosting provider. 

A fast-loading website provides a better user experience and helps retain visitors.

Invest in link building:

Building backlinks from reputable and relevant websites is essential for improving your website’s authority. Seek opportunities to have your website mentioned or linked to by authoritative sources in the legal industry. 

Additionally, ensure your law firm is listed accurately and consistently in online directories and review platforms. 

Positive reviews from satisfied clients also contribute to your authority.

Avoid Google penalties:

Google may penalize websites for various reasons, which can negatively impact your search rankings and authority. 

To avoid penalties, focus on factors like improving site speed, implementing security measures (e.g., SSL certificates), and ensuring your website is mobile-friendly. 

Following Google’s guidelines and best practices will help maintain a positive reputation with the search engine.

Consider hiring a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO for attorneys to benefit from their expertise. They can provide a dedicated team to handle your firm’s SEO needs and stay updated with the latest industry trends, ensuring your website achieves better visibility and attracts more potential clients.

Remember, regardless of your law firm’s specialization, SEO is essential for online growth and success. 

Whether you handle DUI cases, personal injury claims, bankruptcy matters, or any other practice area, investing in SEO will help your firm excel in the online world.

Why Do People Visit Your Website?

There are several reasons why people visit law firm websites:

  • Learning:

Visitors come to your website to gather information and educate themselves about legal topics.

  • Amusement:

Some people find the content on law firm websites entertaining or interesting.

  • Gathering knowledge:

People visit law firm websites to acquire knowledge about specific legal issues or processes.

  • Staying informed and in contact:

Visitors want to stay updated on news, events, or changes related to your law firm.

  • Curiosity:

Some individuals have a general curiosity about the legal field and explore law firm websites to satisfy their interest.

Understanding search intent is important. Search intent refers to the main goal a user has when they search for something on a search engine. 

For law firms, there are three main types of search intent:

  1. Informational:

Users are looking for guides, explanations, or answers to their legal questions. 

It is crucial to provide valuable and helpful content to address their needs.

  1. Commercial:

Users search for specific services or providers, such as searching for a divorce lawyer in a specific location. 

Optimizing your website for keywords related to commercial search intent can attract potential clients.

  1. Navigational:

Users already have a specific website in mind that they want to visit. 

They use branded keywords, like the name of a law firm or attorney, to find the exact website they are looking for.

Meeting the search intent of users is important for effective content marketing. When visitors find what they are looking for on your website, they are more likely to take the desired action.

People visit law firm websites to learn, stay informed, gather knowledge, and out of curiosity. Understanding search intent helps you create content that addresses users’ needs and attracts potential clients.

When potential clients visit your website, they go through different stages of the buying process:

  • Awareness:

At this stage, people become aware of their legal issues and start looking for information. 

For example, someone who got injured while working as a delivery driver might search for what to do in such situations. 

You can provide helpful materials like articles, videos, and ebooks to address their needs.

  • Consideration/Evaluation:

Once people have gathered information, they start considering their options. 

They might search for a specific type of lawyer, such as a workers’ compensation attorney, and compare different choices. 

You can showcase your expertise and credibility through case studies, workshops, and publications to convince them that you can solve their problem.

  • Decision/Conversion:

At this stage, people have made a decision on which lawyer to contact. 

They may fill out a contact form or call your firm. 

Your marketing efforts should position your business as a leading service provider and a trusted resource for their needs.

  • Advocacy:

After a client’s case is resolved, they can become advocates for your firm. 

If they have a positive experience and see your active involvement, they are more likely to recommend your services to others. 

Engaging with prospective clients on social media can also help in building advocacy.

Site Architecture

Site Architecture refers to how your website is organized and structured for easy use and discoverability. It plays a big role in user experience and search engine optimization.

A good site architecture makes it easy for users to find your content through search engines. It also ensures that search engines can effectively navigate and rank all the pages on your website.

When designing your site architecture, consider factors like your practice areas, the locations you serve, and the competitiveness of those areas. 

Prioritize a user-friendly approach, aiming for a simple, functional, and enjoyable website experience for your visitors. 

A website that is easy to use for visitors will also naturally be optimized for search engines.

It is important to provide helpful content, showcase your expertise, and create a user-friendly site architecture to attract and engage visitors.

Having a strong SEO strategy is now an absolute ‘must-have’ in the law firm industry

A survey by the American Bar Association found that 87% of law firms have a website. 

About 19% of law firms hire external marketing consultants, with website design and search engine optimization being the common tasks outsourced.

Search engine optimization is essential because when people search for legal services online, you want your website to appear high in the search results. 

This means having a good SEO strategy is crucial for your website to be on the first page or even at the top.

If you want your law practice to stay competitive and attract high-quality leads consistently, it is a good idea to invest in an expert in law firm SEO services

They can help optimize your website and improve its visibility in search engines, increasing your chances of attracting potential clients.

How Is SEO Different From Other Types Of Law Firm Marketing?

In today’s digital world, it is crucial for law firms to have a strong online presence. Why? 

Because the majority of people who need legal help search for lawyers on the internet. In fact, 96% of clients look for lawyers online. 

What’s even more interesting is that 70% of law firms get new cases through their websites. 

So, if you want to attract potential clients and succeed in your business, it is important to make sure your website appears at the top of Google search results.

When someone needs legal advice or is looking for a lawyer, they usually go to Google and type in their query. The websites that appear at the top of the search results are more likely to get clicked on. 

So, if your website ranks high, you have a better chance of attracting clients. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. By implementing effective SEO strategies, you can increase your website’s visibility and improve your chances of attracting potential clients.

Let’s take a closer look at how SEO compares to other marketing methods:

  • SEO vs PPC (Pay-Per-Click):

PPC ads appear at the top of search results, above the organic listings influenced by SEO.

SEO brings organic (free) traffic to your website, while PPC requires payment for each click.

Unlike PPC, SEO benefits are long-lasting, as your website can maintain its visibility even when you are not actively paying for ads. 

  • SEO vs LSA (Local Services Ads):

LSAs are paid ads that are only available for certain approved services on Google.

SEO focuses on improving your website’s organic ranking in search results, while LSAs provide a more direct way to reach potential clients.

Combining SEO and LSAs can help maximize your visibility and attract a wider audience.

  • SEO vs Social Media Marketing (SMM):

SEO helps your website rank higher in search results, driving organic traffic to your site.

Social media marketing involves promoting your law firm on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Both strategies are important for your marketing plan, as they serve different purposes and can help attract relevant visitors to your website. 

  • SEO vs TV Advertising:

TV advertising increases brand recognition but lacks the targeted approach of online marketing.

Online marketing, including SEO, allows for better targeting of specific audiences and offers more flexibility to modify campaigns.

Additionally, internet analytics provide detailed insights into audience behavior and campaign performance, which is not easily achievable with TV advertising.

  • SEO vs Community Engagement:

Offline and online marketing can work together to benefit your law firm.

Supporting local nonprofits or charities with websites can lead to valuable backlinks, boosting your website’s relevance and visibility.

Building connections with regional businesses through community engagement can also attract more clients to your law firm.

By understanding the differences between SEO and other marketing methods, you can make informed decisions about which strategies to prioritize for your law firm’s online presence. 

Combining various approaches can help you reach a wider audience and maximize your marketing efforts.

How To Perform Law Firm SEO?

Performing law firm SEO involves optimizing specific web pages on your website so that they appear in search engine results when users search for specific phrases. 

Law firm SEO services are highly competitive, this is why you require comprehensive strategies to outperform and outrank your competitors. 

Finding the right keywords and designing the most appropriate content is only the first step.

There is so much more to it:

  • Keyword Research:

Keyword research is about identifying the terms and queries that users search for on Google. As a lawyer, conducting keyword research helps improve your name recognition and provides an easy way for potential clients to find and contact you. Efficient keyword research also contributes to other aspects of SEO and can enhance your practice by increasing awareness and acquiring more cases.

  • Content Marketing:

SEO says “Content is king“. Your content should align with the search intent of users, which depends on the nature of the keyword itself. 

For commercial keywords, the ultimate goal is to lead clients to hire your firm, but it should also inform them about your services. 

Content marketing focuses on providing value to visitors and encourages them to take specific actions, such as acquiring the information they need for their legal problems. 

Different types of pages commonly found on lawyer websites include practice areas pages, blogs, resource pages, and FAQs pages. These pages can include various content formats like long-form articles, images, infographics, and videos.

  • On-page Optimization:

On-page optimization aims to strike the right balance between providing relevant information to search engines and ensuring a user-friendly experience. It involves optimizing elements such as:

  • Meta descriptions 
  • Title tags 
  • Header tags 
  • SEO writing 
  • Images 
  • Keywords 
  • Link building 

It is important to align your content with the searcher’s intent, so that it satisfies their needs when they visit your page.

Remember, SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and adjustment to stay ahead of the competition and maintain your online presence.

  • Link Building

Link building is an important aspect of SEO. It involves getting other websites to link to your website. 

These links are like recommendations from other sites, and they play a significant role in how search engines like Google rank websites. 

The more high-quality links you have pointing to your site, the better it is for your search engine rankings.

To acquire backlinks, you need to focus on creating valuable content that others find helpful and want to link to. This content can take different forms, such as: 

  • Informative articles
  • Ultimate guides 
  • Case studies 

These are known as “linkable assets” because they attract links from other websites.

Building links is a complex topic with many strategies, but the key is to create content that others find valuable and want to share with their audience. 

By acquiring backlinks from reputable websites with relevant content, you can boost your SEO and improve your search engine rankings.

Remember, link building requires ongoing effort and should be done ethically by focusing on quality rather than quantity.

  • Internal Linking

Internal linking is an effective SEO strategy that is sometimes overlooked. 

It involves connecting various pages on your website to enhance user experience and boost your search engine rankings. Internal links serve two key purposes: 

  • Improving user navigation 
  • Optimizing SEO

From a user experience perspective, internal links guide visitors to other relevant blog posts and important pages on your law firm’s website. 

This helps users find additional information on topics that interest them and navigate your website more effectively.

From an SEO standpoint, internal linking helps search engines discover and index your website’s content as they crawl the web. 

By linking different pages together, you make it easier for search engines to access and understand your content. This can positively impact your website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results.

By utilizing internal linking you can improve the user experience on your website drastically.

  • Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a valuable tool for managing your online presence on Google. 

It allows businesses, including law firms, to update their company information and verify their business details, making it easier for people to find them. Optimizing your GMB listing can also help your business appear in Google Maps results and the “local pack,” which is the top section of the search results page.

Having a well-optimized GMB listing gives your law firm the opportunity to gain increased visibility, especially for keywords with commercial search intent. 

For example, when someone searches for a lawyer or attorney in a specific city and practice area, your optimized GMB listing can appear at the top of the search results page.

It is important to note that the appearance of the local pack depends on the type of keywords being searched. Not all keywords will trigger this feature. 

However, when it does appear, it can significantly enhance your visibility and attract more potential clients to your law firm.

By optimizing your Google My Business listing, you can boost the visibility of your firm in search engine results. This strategy contributes to enhancing your overall SEO efforts and attracting more clients to your law firm.

  • Local SEO

Local SEO is a crucial strategy for businesses that have a physical location or provide services to a specific area. 

It focuses on increasing your company’s visibility in Google’s local search results. The main reason for this is competition. 

If you try to compete for broad keywords like “family lawyer” nationwide, it would be extremely challenging because you would be up against countless lawyers from across the country.

To succeed in local SEO, you need to show Google’s algorithm that your business is relevant to the local area. This involves optimizing your Google My Business listing, creating a user-friendly website structure, ensuring consistent business information (name, address, phone number) across all online platforms, and more.

By applying successful local SEO tactics, you enhance the likelihood of being prominently featured in local search results and attracting customers within your desired geographical area. 

This can provide your business with a competitive advantage and enable you to effectively connect with your local audience.

  • Troubleshooting

Having a healthy website is crucial for your SEO strategy. It is important to regularly monitor and fix any errors on your website. 

There are various types of errors that can occur, such as:

  • 4XX and 5XX errors 
  • Issues with redirection 
  • orphan pages 
  • Broken links
  • Non-Canonical tags 

Some of these errors can be fixed easily, while others may require coding knowledge and the help of a development team.

To detect and troubleshoot these issues, you can use tools like:

  • Google Search Console 
  • Ahrefs
  • SEMrush 
  • Screaming Frog

These tools can help identify errors and provide insights on how to fix them.

When it comes to measuring performance, it is essential to set key performance indicators (KPIs) and have a measurement strategy in place. 

However, it is important to note that SEO results may not be immediate, especially in the competitive legal sector. 

Achieving higher rankings and attracting more organic traffic takes time and requires creating quality website content that aligns with specific keywords. 

It is important to stay optimistic and have a long-term perspective when implementing an SEO campaign for your law firm.

  • SEO KPIs: 

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is important for a successful SEO strategy. 

We focus on five main KPIs to get a general understanding of our performance:

  • Increase in organic website traffic
  • Rankings in search results
  • Rankings in local maps/pack
  • Total conversions (such as inquiries or sign-ups)
  • Conversion rates (percentage of visitors who take action) 

These KPIs help us measure the effectiveness of our SEO efforts and make informed decisions to improve our strategy.

Search Engines: The Best One For Lawyers

When it comes to search engines for lawyers, there are a few top choices to consider. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

  • Google: 

It goes without saying that Google is the go-to search engine for most people. 

With its massive market share of over 86%, ranking well on Google is crucial for lawyers to gain visibility online. 

By optimizing your website and content for Google’s algorithms, you can improve your chances of appearing in relevant search results and attracting potential clients.

  • YouTube:

While you might not immediately think of YouTube as a search engine, it is actually a powerhouse in terms of user engagement. 

YouTube presents a valuable opportunity for lawyers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, with its massive user base of over 2 billion monthly users and billions of hours of video watched daily. 

By creating educational videos or collaborating with a video marketing agency, lawyers can effectively utilize YouTube to enhance their SEO strategy and expand their reach to a larger audience.

  • Microsoft Bing: 

Although it does not have the same market share as Google, Microsoft Bing still holds a decent share, particularly in countries like the United States. 

It is worth considering optimizing your website for Bing’s search algorithms as well, ensuring that you don’t miss out on potential clients who prefer using Bing as their primary search engine.

  • Justia, FindLaw, Avvo: 

Lawyer directories such as Justia, FindLaw, and Avvo are popular platforms where people directly search for legal services. 

These directories offer a dedicated space for lawyers to showcase their expertise, credentials, and contact information. Having a presence on these platforms is essential for lawyers, since they attract a big chunk of people specifically searching for an attorney or a law firm.

By focusing on these search engines and directories, lawyers can increase their online visibility, connect with potential clients, and ultimately grow their legal practice. 

Google Ranking Factors

When it comes to ranking websites on Google, there are various factors that the search engine considers. 

Google wants to provide users with the most helpful and accurate information, so it prioritizes certain aspects. 

Here are some key factors Google looks at when determining the best results for a law firm’s website:

  • Domain factors:

These include the domain name, age, and authority of the website.

  • Core web vitals:

Google assesses factors like page loading speed, mobile-friendliness, and site usability.

  • Page- and site-level factors:

This involves the quality of content, relevance of keywords, and overall structure of the website.

  • Backlink factors:

Google considers the number and quality of other websites linking back to your site.

  • Brand signals:

The reputation and credibility of your law firm play a role in how Google ranks your website.

  • On-site and off-site webspam factors:

Google checks for any spammy or manipulative techniques used in optimizing the website.

  • User interaction:

Factors like click-through rates, time spent on the site, and bounce rates indicate how users engage with your website.

Google’s search results page, also known as SERP, may include additional features that modify the standard result format. 

These features enhance the search experience and vary depending on the type of query. 

Some common SERP elements for lawyer-related searches include:

  • Featured snippets 
  • Related searches
  • Twitter feeds 
  • FAQ sections 
  • Reviews 
  • Videos 
  • Images 
  • Knowledge panel

Understanding these factors and optimizing your website accordingly can improve your chances of ranking higher in Google search results, making it easier for potential clients to find your law firm.

How Long Does SEO Take?

The time it takes for SEO to show results can vary depending on several factors. There is no one-size-fits-all answer because each website and competition level is different. 

Here are 5 key aspects that influence how long SEO takes:

  • Site’s status:

The current state of your website, including its structure, content, and optimization, affects the time it takes to see improvements.

  • Competition:

The level of competition in your industry and the efforts of your competitors also impact the timeline. 

If you are in a highly competitive market, it may take longer to outrank others.

  • Backlink Profile

The quality and quantity of backlinks pointing to your website play a role. Building a strong backlink profile takes time and effort.

  • Content

Creating valuable and relevant content on a regular basis helps improve your SEO. Publishing quality content consistently can accelerate the process.

  • Budget

The resources allocated to your SEO efforts, including hiring professionals or investing in tools, can affect the speed of progress.

While it varies, many experts agree that it typically takes six to twelve months, on an average, to observe significant improvements in SEO-related traffic and conversions.

Final Thoughts:

SEO is important for law firms as it helps increase website traffic, allowing potential clients to find your business online. It is a complex and ongoing process, but its purpose is simple: to improve your website’s visibility and ultimately boost revenue. 

Just as clients seek your legal expertise, you can rely on SEO specialists to enhance your online presence and attract more clients.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • SEO is a long-term investment that requires consistent effort.
  • There are a number of different factors that contribute to good SEO.
  • Law firms should work with a qualified SEO expert to develop a customized SEO strategy.
  • SEO can be a cost-effective way to attract more potential clients and grow your law firm.

If you are a law firm that is looking to improve your online visibility, SEO is a good place to start. 

By investing in SEO, you can reach more potential clients and grow your law firm.


About the Author:

This blog is authored by Nandini Pathak with an area of expertise in technology. Uniquely blending her legal background to create engaging content, she is passionately involved in emerging technology trends. An avid dog lover, her warmth and empathy enrich her writing style. Nandini’s passion for learning and her SEO proficiency ensure her work stays relevant and visible, making her an impactful content creator who seamlessly integrates personal pursuits with professional expertise in the technology domain.

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