Have you ever wondered how to grow a law firm? Or are you wondering how to get more clients as a lawyer? Or you may be wondering where you can even start in this daunting process of building a business from the ground up.
It can be quite a challenge for new law firms to compete with big-name law firms and renowned attorneys. Not only will it cost your law firm a lot of money to compete with big firms, but it will take immense effort and time.
However, there is another way to grow your firm without burning out or wasting all of your money, and that is SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to grow a law firm. Plain and simple.
Keep reading to learn more about a law firm SEO campaign and how it can help your law firm reach the top of Google’s search results!
What Is SEO?
If you are new to the marketing game, as you probably are, if you are trying to learn how to grow a successful law firm, then SEO may seem like a foreign term. But even so, it is relatively easy to learn, and once you do, it is so much easier to navigate in order to grow your firm.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is basically optimizing your site for search engines to find it, or in other words, increasing the visibility of your site for Google, Bing, Yelp, and other search engines.
When search engines can see your site and rank it, this means there are more potential clients and leads seeing your site as well. Then, these people can become clients of yours for the long haul.
How Does Using SEO Work for a Law Firm?
Have you ever wondered how when you Google something like “the best place to go on this earth,” Google comes up with the best places on earth? That’s all because of search engine optimization.
Search engines like Google will go through the World Wide Web to find information that has to do with every search. This is an index that the search engines then use to go through when your search for a certain term like “the best place to go on this earth” or even “how to grow your law firm.”
However, when Google and other search engines go through this index, they are going through hundreds and thousands of pages in the index. They then have to determine which ones will rank the highest—and that is where how you use SEO comes in.
The better your site and law firm use SEO, the more likely Google will rank you higher on any search on the Internet. Optimizing your site and content on the site with SEO in mind can help your pages rank higher in the search results.
Why Is SEO Important When It Comes to Growth for a Law Firm?
Search engine optimization is important when it comes to growth because this is how people will find your law firm. Without using SEO, you won’t rank high on Google. And how many times do you scroll to page 5 of Google?
Probably not often.
So, for starters, SEO helps with unpaid organic growth. This means your law firm doesn’t pay for anything. Your SEO knowledge simply helps advertise your firm by getting it ranked higher on Google or other search engines.
Not only that, but you are going to have organic growth that is relevant to your niche: a law firm. For instance, when people search “law firm near me,” Google will only pull up pages and sites that have to do with law firms or have that keyword on the site somewhere.
Having your content be niched down to be all about laws, lawyers, law firms, and anything else in that industry are how Google will attract more people to your site. This means you will only be getting traffic to your site that wants to be on your site, which likely means you will generate more leads and gain more clients.
Last but not least, your law firm will be getting more organic traffic when you start to rank higher on Google. The higher you move up the page, the more clicks you will likely get on your site.
All About Linking for Search Engine Optimization
Knowing how to use links on your site properly is one of the main factors for learning search engine optimization. From backlinks to internal links, you have to do it all. Here’s everything you need to know about the different types of links.
One of the most important factors in understanding SEO is getting backlinks. But this doesn’t always come easy. In fact, you need to work hard to get backlinks to your site—you can’t just go in and add links to someone else’s site without permission (it would actually be impossible!).
So how can you get more backlinks to your website?
The first option you can do is add your site to different directories. You can add it to Google My Business, Yelp, different review sites, LinkedIn, and more.
The more directories that you can find, the better!
Guest posting is when you have the opportunity to write a post for someone else’s website. Usually, general news websites that cover all topics accept guest posts.
When you apply to write a guest post, you should be sure to incorporate at least a couple of backlinks to your site.
Stay Active in the Online Community
You should also be active online. That means you should visit other sites, comment on their posts, participate in online discussions that have to do with your niche and link to your posts, and more!
The more active you are in the community online, the more chances people will see your website.
Add to Your Email Signature
As a law firm, you will most likely be sending a lot of emails. On the email signature line, be sure to add your law firm’s website.
External links are links on your site that you use to link to other websites. So basically, this is the opposite of what you are doing with backlinks.
It seems counterintuitive. But using external links is vital to SEO because it adds credibility to your website. So when would you want to use these?
Well, on every page, they need to remain relevant to your own content and your own niche.
Here are a few examples:
- If you are a lawn care company, you may want to backlink to a governmental site about tree and bush diseases that can happen without proper care
- If you are a travel agent, you may want to backlink to Travel and Leisure’s blog posts that are relevant to the post you are writing
- As a law firm, you may want to backlink to governmental websites that have specific laws you are discussing on a page
And the list goes on…
While it may also feel weird to link to your own website, adding internal links to your site will also increase your chances of optimizing for SEO.
For instance, when someone is reading about how to find the best law firm in the area, you could use an internal link to link to your own services.
For best results, try:
- 2 internal links for 500 or 1,000-word posts
- 3 links for 1,500-word posts
- 4 links for 2,000-word posts
- 5-6 links for 3,000-word posts
- 7-8 links for 4,000 or more word posts
By doing this, you are spreading out the links while also not overstuffing the links throughout, which would create a bad user experience.
Do Research for the Right Keywords
This could possibly be one of the most important aspects to remember when it comes to SEO.
Think about it – when you are searching on Google, you are searching a term like:
- Best law firm near me
- Law firms near me
- Best lawyers near me
- Find a lawyer
- Find a lawyer near me
These keywords are what potential customers are searching for, so you want to incorporate those keywords into your own posts and on your website. That way, when Google sees these keywords being used, they can then rank your site higher for the keywords specifically.
You should have one primary keyword that you use while also having a few other relevant secondary keywords that you can spread throughout the post or page on your site. For primary keywords, you should incorporate them into the title, the meta description for the page, the introduction (preferably in the first 100 words), a header, and the conclusion for best results.
Once you figure out your primary keywords and secondary keywords, you should plug these keywords into an SEO software tool that can help you determine if the keywords are too oversaturated. This means that too many websites are using them already, so the odds your site will be pushed ahead of those sites are low.
The key to this is to get keywords that have high search volume but low search difficulty.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
One thing that you want to be careful with when it comes to using the right keywords is to avoid keyword stuffing. This means that you should not overuse the keywords—they should be used enough, but not more than enough. If you stuff the keywords, your website becomes more of an advertisement, and users can tell that you are trying to rank rather than provide value (but you want to do both).
This is an example of keyword stuffing:
We have the best personal accident attorneys. If you need the best personal accident attorneys, be sure to reach out to us for our personal accident attorneys.
Instead, you should do the following:
We have the best personal accident attorneys! If you need an attorney for an injury you recently had, don’t hesitate to reach out to book a consultation.
Instead of sounding spammy and awkward, the second one is much more straight to the point while still offering the keyword and the value that is needed.
Look at Competitors
Another great way to figure out what keywords to use is by looking at what your competitors are using. So, as a law firm, you should be looking into law firms that are near you.
What keywords are they using? What are they posting about?
This is a great way to start when you are not sure which keywords are working or what keywords you should even be using.
Limit Your Number of Pages
Don’t get this confused with the number of posts you have. You should have a lot of posts on your site, but you do not want a lot of pages.
For instance, pages you may have would look like:
- About Me
- Contact Us
Then, on each of those pages, you can have different pages under them. For instance, on the Services page, you may have different pages for the different services.
However, under the Blog, you are going only to have posts, not pages. This makes it an easier process for visitors to your site to figure out where to go and how to navigate it to find vital information.
Why is this important?
Google cannot search every single one of your pages since it has a crawl budget. Google will only search a specific number of pages on your site per day. That means if you have too many pages, Google may not show the best ones.
If you are not sure exactly how to navigate pages or posts, try to make your site have just posts other than your main three (about me, services, contact us). You can also have a professional figure out the pages and posts for you so that your time is freed up for other tasks to grow your law firm.
Utilize Local SEO
First thing’s first. What is local SEO?
Local SEO is using the normal search engine optimization strategies but making it more local.
For instance, when looking for keywords, instead of just saying “find the best lawyer,” you would have “find the best lawyer in Dallas.” This way, you are narrowing down your niche further, and people who want a business or service local to them will be able to search for it just by typing in the thing they are looking for, plus the location.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to ranking higher for local SEO.
Think About NAP
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number.
This is critical for landing on the local SEO pages. Think about it. If you are searching for a law firm but don’t get a name, an address, or a phone number, there is nothing you can do with that listing.
So when coming up with your local SEO, you need to make sure you have this critical information somewhere on your page.
Not only should you think about NAP, but you should also know what schema you are using. Schema has to do with a simple HTML code that helps with your website showing on search results pages.
You want to make sure that users stay on your page once they click on it. For instance, if you have your page show up on Google search page one, Google can track how long users are on the page.
The longer, the better. This is true for both Google continuing to rank you high and for gaining organic traffic on your site.
Another critical aspect of local SEO is making sure that your content is relevant and vital to the local area. In many posts, you want to make sure you are mentioning the different locations of your services.
For instance, on a blog post, you could post something like:
“If you are in the Dallas area, make sure that you check out our services in the area! We can’t wait to help you. You can contact us here.”
Or you can try out a different approach by saying something like:
“We have services in the Dallas, Austin, and El Paso areas. If you are near us, don’t hesitate to reach out.”
Understand Your Content Pillars and Cornerstone Content
Another thing that you want to do to help grow your law firm with SEO is by making sure you have content pillars that are relevant to your niche while still covering the subjects people want to see.
This is also helpful content to have because articles can easily link back to other articles. This makes it easy to backlink all of your content to make your site as credible as possible.
Not only can you backlink consistently, you can also up your rankings on Google. When Google reads a page, it also is reading the hyperlinks that are on the page. When a few of those hyperlinks go back to your same site, Google will view this as important and rank it higher.
For part of your cornerstone content that you want to stick out, there are a few tips you could follow.
For starters, longer posts do better. 500-word posts are great every once in a while, but your content should be more around the 2,000-word mark for the most part. This is because you are able to go more in-depth with 2,000 words rather than skimming the service with a shorter post.
You should also control the URL that you give these pages. For instance, if you write an article about ‘what to ask your lawyer before hiring them,’ you should have the website URL be www.yourwebsite.com/what-to-ask-your-lawyer-before-hiring-them/.
Content pillars are the separate categories you write most of your articles on. You should always stick to about three to five content pillars. Any less, you are not writing about enough things. Any more and you are going to have too broad of a website that Google will not rank you as highly.
Here are a few examples.
If you are a travel blog, you could have the following content pillars:
- Travel destinations
- Wellness on the go
- Travel Itineraries
- Hotel reviews
It works the same way for law firms. As a law firm, you may want to write about the following:
- Law services
- New local laws
- Everything about lawyers
- Law and lawyers in the news
But how can you decide what you really want to write about as a law firm? For starters, you need to decide what things you feel you should be writing about. Write down a list of blog posts you want to write in the future.
From there, you should put those into different buckets. Those buckets are your content pillars.
By sticking to these four content pillars, you will cover everything about your industry as a law firm and stay relevant so that Google can decipher what your website is all about.
Once you know how to create cornerstone content and the content pillars you are working with, you need to be consistent.
As they say, and you’ve probably heard before, consistency is key!
This is because when you are consistent, people will continue to see new content. If you are not and someone visits your site twice in a month, they won’t see any new content and will most likely go elsewhere (or to a competitor) to find relevant and newer content.
Since it can be difficult to write all the time or every day, especially as a lawyer, you should make sure that the content you are writing about is something that you are passionate about and knowledgeable about. This way, it is easier to push out content consistently.
Additionally, consistent doesn’t mean constant.
To be consistent, you can choose to push out one blog post every 2 weeks. This way, you are writing new blog posts consistently, even though you are only doing it twice per month.
Identity Your Target Audience
When it comes to what kind of content you want to push out, that has to do with your niche. However, you can narrow your writing style down even more to reach the target audience you are focusing on.
For instance, if you are a divorce lawyer, you are most likely not going to target college students or people in their 20s or 30s. Most likely, you are writing to those 40 or older. Your tone and style, as well as the way you present yourself as a law firm, should reflect that.
If you are a personal injury lawyer, your content is going to be a bit broader when it comes to your target audience.
Create a Space to Capture Leads
While driving people to your website is great, you don’t want them just to do that. There is so much more than they should do!
To capture leads, you should always have a call to action that visitors to your site can do. For instance, you could have a pop-up that asks for their email. This way, you would be giving them a space where they can enter their email for updates.
In these emails, you can continue to talk about your products and services. Additionally, you can always offer promo codes and discounts to those that are ‘loyal’ (or those who are part of your email list). They should be the first to know about new products and services as well as promotions that you are running!
Focus on Web Design
When it comes to improving SEO, there is more to it than just focusing on keywords and links. You also need to make sure that you are making your web design user-friendly so that the user experience is one that makes users want to stay on it.
So what should a good web design have for a law firm?
Keep It Simple
For starters, you want to keep your web design simple. It should not be too busy with pictures, videos, or content. You should have a few select pages that lead to other posts and such, but for the most part, the design should be organized and well thought out to keep users on it.
Easy to Navigate
It should also be easy to navigate. If someone is on your website as a law firm, they are most likely there for a reason. That reason is probably to find a lawyer.
If they cannot easily find how to find a lawyer, then they may end up navigating away to find a different site (and a different lawyer) that is easier to navigate.
Make sure your search bar is simple. Having subpages under the main pages can be helpful in organizing the site in an easy-to-navigate way.
You should also have a place for the contact us button or a schedule a free consultation button.
Stay True to Your Brand
As a law firm, you are a brand. And with that comes the responsibility to be authentic to your brand and who you are.
As a law firm, you are most likely not going to be using bright colors and funky fonts. Instead, you will want to use neutral colors and an easy-to-read font that keeps people coming back for your professional web design and branding.
Having professionals help you with your web design is a great way to save your time and effort to use elsewhere in your business.
Watch Your Competitors
As in any industry, you want to watch your competitors see what they are doing that is working. While you may have a lot of competitors, it is always best to watch the ones that are doing well because they are clearly doing.
To figure out what they are doing, the first thing you can do is check out their blog. You can decipher their keywords by seeing what is repetitive as phrases or words throughout the article. When you figure out what keywords they are using, then you can start to use those keywords, too.
This is especially important with local SEO. You can start to rank for the same things they are ranking for by adding this SEO trick.
You should also figure out their top-ranking content so that you can similarly create yours. Look for the format of the content, the word count, the way they use images and videos, and their style of writing.
Typically, writing listicles is a great way to drive traffic to your site.
Gain Customer Reviews
Having reviews on your website as well as on other search engines is another great way to increase your brand awareness. Once you get a client, you can easily ask them to write a review or a testimonial for your services as a lawyer.
From there, you can put the review on your website so that other potential customers can see what you have to offer and the quality of your services. Putting these reviews onto Google can also help as well.
How is this that helpful?
Think about it. If you are looking for lawyers, you would do a quick Google search for it. If one Google search comes up with a lawyer that has 10 5-star reviews versus a lawyer that has no reviews, you would most likely ignore the lawyer with no reviews and quickly click on the one with the 5-star reviews.
Outsource Your SEO
It’s not rare that people do not quite know how to use SEO correctly. There is a lot going on, and trying to learn that at the same time as growing your entire business can be difficult.
However, it is a vital part of growing your business. That’s why if you can’t figure out how to do it, you can always outsource your SEO.
Hiring an SEO company or marketing company will help you so that you can focus on the rest of the business while they do the SEO work for you.
Whether you choose to work with a company and hire them to work for you or hire a freelancer or contractor, you will be doing your business a favor by growing your law firm.
Things to Avoid When Using SEO
While using SEO is crucial to growing your law firm, there are also a few things you’ll want to avoid when using SEO. Here they are!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a law firm when thinking about SEO is not double-checking the status of your links. Even after you post, you should do a yearly audit to double-check all of your links. Sometimes, web pages are taken down, or URLs are changed.
If you are not on top of it, you may end up linking to broken links, which can severely hurt your SEO rankings.
Forgetting About the Meta Descriptions
One thing that is often overlooked in the world of SEO is the meta description. However, this is a vital component of your SEO strategy as a law firm.
Your meta description tells Google what your page is about, so when it is crawling through your pages, it knows which ones to look at about specific content.
Always ensure that your keyword is in the meta description before posting the post live.
Creating Duplicate Content
Duplicate content does no good. This means the exact same or something very similar. Google can tell if it is a duplicate, and you will not rank as high on Google search results.
Not Linking Enough
It is always a good practice to make sure that you are including at least two internal and two external links in every post. And sometimes, this is not enough!
Not Optimizing Your Title
Yes, optimizing your title is just as important as optimizing the rest of the content for SEO!
To do this, you want to make sure that your title is around 60 characters. Too short, you won’t have enough optimization. Too long, and Google will not know how to optimize your site as most of it will be cut off.
SEO Definitions You Should Know
There are many different SEO terms and definitions you should know in order to be as successful as possible! Here are a few of the many.
Anchor Text: An anchor text is a few words that you have on your post that you then link to.
Authority: Your web page’s authority is based on how well you master the SEO game. Another way to think about this is how credible your site is within your niche.
Bounce Rate: The number of visitors who leave a webpage after only viewing one page on the site.
Broken Link: A broken link is one that leads to a 404 error page. If this happens on your site, it is best to remove it. Always double-check your links before posting your pages live.
Domain: Your domain is your website. For example, it looks like: www.yoursite.com.
The Fold: The fold on your website is where the page gets cut off by the bottom of a user’s window. That means anything below the fold, the user will have to scroll. Typically, the most important information should go above the fold.
Headings: Different headers on your posts and pages will help to make the user experience easier. These are typically H2, H3, and H4. You want to include the primary keyword in at least one header throughout a post.
Image Compression: You would use image compression to reduce the size of an image. This helps to speed up the loading process of your webpage to help with the user experience.
Keyword Difficulty: This is how difficult a keyword will be to rank for. This is important to know when you are looking for keywords to rank for.
Long-Tail Keywords: Longer, more specific search keywords that include more than three words.
Meta Description: A meta description is what you see on Google under the page you are looking to visit. The 160 characters describe the contents of a page.
Search Volume: Search volume is the number of times a keyword is searched in a given amount of time. The given amount of time is usually a month.
User Experience: The user experience refers to the feeling users get when interacting with your website.
How to Grow a Law Firm
Growing a law firm takes a lot of work and a lot of time. But one of the best ways and fastest ways for how to grow a law firm is through SEO or search engine optimization.
While it is a lot of work as well, if you really want to know how to grow a successful law firm, SEO is the way. To do so, you want to make sure you are incorporating the key aspects of SEO like linking internally and externally, optimizing your meta description, title, and content with keywords, and, most importantly, using the right keywords. You also need to stay up-to-date with content as well as make sure your content is relevant to your law firm’s niche.
However, we know that using SEO on a daily basis and trying to do everything else that you need to grow a law firm may be a bit too much. That’s where we come in!
At Kelly Webmasters and Marketers, we help businesses optimize their web design and their SEO when they don’t have time. If you want to schedule a free consultation to discuss our services, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you.