The Best SEO Tips For Lawyers And Law Offices In 2020 – 8 Marketing Experts Weigh In

Google recently released data pertaining to the legal market, revealing that 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine, and 74% of users who visit a law firm’s website end up taking action. Considering the prodigious number of lawyers and law firms operating in any American city, it’s crucial to have solid strategies in place for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Likewise, local SEO is something that those within the legal profession must place a focus on to compete. In this article, 8 marketing experts discuss the best SEO tips for lawyers and law offices in 2020.

Keyword Research, Niche Down, Post On Prominent Sites

“Here are five top tips (and a bonus sixth!) for lawyer offices SEO in 2020. 

1) Think of the situation your clients are in and the results they are looking for. These words will be what they’ll type into Google or Bing to find you. For example more time with my kids and parenting plan vs. just family law. 

2) Niche down. We recommend getting very specific with at least some of your clientele. Do you see any patterns in who you serve? Use that in your SEO language – age, income, occupation, general needs and goals, etc. 

3) In your blog posts and website, use lists and quick tips (i.e. top 5 things to remember in custody battles). This attracts both readers and SEO engines. 

4) Post an article on Medium or another site at least monthly, and ideally weekly at first. You can do these in advance and release weekly. 

5) Hire professionals to help you. Just like there are some great self-help legal tools, there’s nothing like a great law professional in your time of need. SEO experts are worth it and likely a business expense (check with your professional accountant, of course). 

6) Bonus tip – review a few how-to videos for SEO, so you know the language, expectations and goals. There’s certainly Youtube, and also take a look at Thrive, who offers a very effective short, practical class on SEO.”

Chris Reavis, CEO, Swipe Up Marketing 

Top-Of-Funnel Questions And Pain Points A Potential Client Might Have

“In the legal space, there are tons of opportunities to capture leads from search engines by examining some of the top-of-funnel questions and pain points a potential client might have. To start, I recommend asking lawyers at your practice, or any client-facing staff, about some of the frequent questions that arise from leads and clients. This is a great place to start building up content ideas to build a blog that actually generates qualified traffic and find success from SEO. 

After this, examine where the overlap is among these questions or pain points. Some of these topics could join with others to create longer, more in-depth pieces of content that will widen the funnel of the blog in terms of the audience in can reach, by answering different aspects of a specific area. For a bonus tip, type in some of these questions into Google, then examine some of the other questions in the People also ask box to find even more ideas for your blogs.”

Kyle Kasharian, Senior SEO Analyst, 9Sail

Write Detailed Articles That Answer A Specific Question Many Of Your New Clients Have

“The number one SEO tip I could give would be to use your expert knowledge to educate the public (and potential clients) about the field you are an expert in. Write detailed articles that answer a specific question many of your new clients have. 

For example, if you specialize in injury or insurance cases, your customers may frequently wonder if there are minimum settlement amounts to which they are entitled for their specific injury or if they are required to file a police report at the scene of a car accident in order to proceed with a legal suit. 

Writing these detailed answers will not only improve your SEO ranking for these questions that many of your potential clients are asking but it will build trust with them as well, improving the likelihood that they want you to represent them.”

Cory Porteous, Director of Marketing & Inbound Business Development, Office Interiors

(Image Credit: riverworksmarketing.com)

Claim Your Business Listings, Location Pages, Reviews, Analyze The Competition

“When it comes to SEO tips for lawyers and law offices, the SEO practices would be the same for any small or local businesses. 

1) Claim Your Business Listings (Including Google My Business) 

Google My Business is getting a huge percentage of organic clicks these days, especially for small and local businesses – so it is critical to follow all of the best practices when it comes to optimizing this page. 

2) Add Location Pages to Your Website 

People are going to search for law offices in a city. If you want to maximize your chance to rank for each city, build out various pages that are optimized by city. 

3) Get reviews 

People trust companies that people like, this has been proven overwhelmingly. The first step will be to get great reviews, then you need to use schema markup to ensure these results show up on your actual SERP listing! 

4) Analyze the competition (for the search terms). 

Don’t go in assuming you know who your competitors are. All you need to do is search for the term you want to rank for (side note: it wouldn’t hurt to pay an expert to find exactly what terms you “should” be ranking for, since it isn’t quite as easy as it seems –volume, difficultly, long-tail vs short-tailed, etc.). Once you search the term, click into the top few pages and see how the pages are built and what they cover, then do it better than they do!”

Richard Garvey, Owner and CEO, Acer SEO 

The Five SEO Tips That All Law Offices Should Use

“In 2020, focus on improving the overall user experience of your law firm website. Here are five useful tips to help a law firm improve its SEO efforts quickly and easily. 

First, a law firm website must be mobile-friendly. Websites that do not cater to a mobile audience offer a frustrating browsing experience that users won’t want. You have a short window of time to win the interest of a visitor, so get their browsing session off to a good start with a rock-solid mobile design. 

Second, make sure your website loads FAST. If using WordPress, several caching plugins are available, which will enhance and optimize the way your site loads. This decreases the amount of time it takes to load your pages and delivers your content faster for your readers. With the number of law firms competing for clients in your space, a visitor will not wait around for a slow-loading website. 

Third, work on increasing your visitor’s time on site. Create content that includes useful graphics to break apart your content into easily consumable sections. For even better results, add videos where it makes sense to do so. Integrating these elements into your pages will help to increase your visitor’s time on site and show Google that your website is a trusted source of legal information. 

Fourth, set time aside to work on your Google My Business listing. Don’t just claim your listing and leave it be. Put this incredibly useful tool to work for your firm. Stick to a process of collecting reviews from clients and don’t forget to respond (whether the review is positive or negative). Add photos of your office and staff to humanize your organization. Potential clients will feel like they already know their new lawyer before they meet for the first time. Publish posts to your Google listing to help searchers get additional information and offers about your legal services. Follow these tips on your Google My Business listing and watch as you start to get more leads and sales. 

Lastly, continue to build new content for your website regularly. Every blog you write creates new opportunities to connect your firm with potential clients who are searching for legal help. Be very specific regarding the topic of your blog content. Anticipate the relevant questions you would expect your clients to have in this scenario and provide meaningful answers. Add calls to action with each of your blogs – when you can create an emotional connection with a visitor, you’ve earned their trust and likely their business.”

Cory Vyse, SEO Consultant, Selaris Web Media Inc

Profile In Traditional Media Sources, Google My Business, And A Keyword Research Tool

“For lawyers and law firms to succeed in the search engines, there are three areas that I’d strongly recommend that they focus their efforts on. 

The first, building their profile through traditional media sources, is a must-do. By sharing their knowledge with the public via traditional media – whether that’s online and print or television and radio, they are generating highly sought-after backlinks for their site that are likely to be shared and therefore seem more authoritative to Google and other Search Engines. By utilizing news-jacking opportunities (things that are likely to become hot in the news) and reaching out to local reporters, they should start to build their public profile amongst the media and become more sought after. 

The second is ensuring that they are using local SEO best practices. Utilizing Google My Business features such as the products and services information will help them stand out from the crowd. They should also direct some energy into creating city-centric and near me queries so that they stand a higher chance of success within their local markets. 

The third and final tip is that they should be focusing on content that is geared to answer common queries for the public. This can be done by using tools such as Google Trends and Answer the Public—or a keyword research tool—to find out what people in their general area are asking and provide informative and clear to understand answers. By doing this, especially if encoded with Schema Markup, the law firm or lawyer stands a good chance of earning a coveted Knowledge Card or Rich Snippet at the top of the SERPS. Although this might only lead to a few more click-throughs to their site, the brand recognition garnered is likely to help increase their business for a long time to come.”

Reece Mack, SEO Manager, Trek Marketing

Learn SEO Best Practices

“I’ve had a lot of success, as a personal injury lawyer, in the highly competitive market of Orlando, Florida, employing basic SEO techniques. My best advice, which sounds simple, but is extremely powerful, is that lawyers should read or watch learning guides about SEO, such as books, articles, and video tutorials or courses, all of which are widely available. SEO really isn’t that complicated — the actual “techniques” are writing or creating good content (either through articles, podcasts, or videos), obtaining links around the Internet, and having good technical website design and structure. ‘The secret is there is no secret.’ You just have to believe that you can learn SEO, then do it, then build your dream website. ‘If you build it, they will come.’

That being said, I have spent thousands of hours reading intricate details about SEO. Much of what is written is contradictory or unclear. No one knows, for sure, what Google wants, or will penalize. So there is a lot of trial and error. If you try something, and it doesn’t work, then try something else. Eventually, you will probably be rewarded, perhaps richly. 

If learning and doing more doesn’t help your website rank higher, at a minimum, you will be more educated when hiring a professional, which, assuming you hire a good one, should work just as well, and take a lot less time than teaching yourself.”

Tina Willis, Personal Injury Attorney, Tina Willis Law

Long-Tail Keywords And SEO Alert Tool

“1) Focus on the unique descriptors for your business instead of bulk keyword stuffing. Is your office in a specific neighborhood, or do you offer a certain type of service? These are the long-tail keywords that will match your business to customers who are looking for exactly your services. Long-tail keywords are search phrases with longer word counts. Their length makes them more specific than searches with fewer words. “Best child custody lawyer in Chicago” (6 words) is an example of a long-tail keyword, whereas “custody lawyer” is a short tail keyword. Long-tail keywords that really match your business will help target the right types of customers for your business. 

2) Subscribe to a SEO alert tool that will let you know when things are going great, and when they are not. 404 errors, broken links and HTTPS issues can negatively pull down a website’s SEO ranking, as search engines like Google see them as poor quality and/or a security threat to people on the web. Be in the know on where your business stands with its SEO score. https://neilpatel.com/seo-analyzer/ is a great free to get a general idea of what your website’s health is. 

3) Look up your three top competitor’s keywords and inbound links to their website. https://moz.com/free-seo-tools Moz has another free SEO tool where you can enter any website URL and see their top converting keywords, long-tail keyword strategy, links pointing to their website, and even their 
Press Release connections. Use wisely and in moderation.” 

Amber Dehn, CEO, Bang Marketing

Competition in the legal industry is fierce, and effective SEO is invaluable for lawyers and law offices to increase visibility and thus, profits. In fact, implementing the SEO tips these experts have discussed could prove to be the most reliable and profitable marketing tactic that law firms employ. Although it may seem daunting to rank on the coveted first page of a search, utilizing the proper SEO techniques will create long-term, sustainable results.

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