SEO for Lawyers: 7 Tips on How to Achieve Better Search Ranking

November 21, 2016
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Learn how to achive better search rankings for your legal firm website

Online marketing for legal professionals is extremely competitive, if not brutal.

In most big cities, a keyword “divorce attorney”, for example, would command $200+ per click through AdWords.

It is insane!

For a solo practitioner or a small law firm, online marketing can be quite costly. In a situation like this, ranking high in the organic results is priceless.

So, how can a small law firm with somewhat limited resources achieve better search engine ranking?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, it is important to understand that good search ranking will not happen overnight. Just like a good off-line reputation takes time to build, achieving a good online reputation is a process and not an immediate thing.

Chances are, if you are a small to medium law divorce law firm doing business in the State of New York, you are not going to rank on the first page of Google search results for a “New York divorce attorney” query in your first week of doing online marketing.

There are, however, some simple tips to help you boost your ranking without breaking the bank.

1) If you are a local attorney or a law firm – stay local

Your practice has a physical location and, most likely, certain geographical boundaries as to the service area you can cover. Therefore, there is no reason to try ranking in the search results for the entire metro/state area. It is much better to concentrate on the local search traffic and reach out to people who are located close to your practice.

In other words, your best bet is to establish yourself in your local market first, prior to making attempts at competing for highly sought after keywords on a bigger scale.

If you are based in a Chicago suburban town, for example, start with working on good ranking in that town. For example, achieving high ranking for “{YourHomeCity} personal injury attorney” query will be much easier than achieving high ranking for “Chicago personal injury attorney” query. Eventually, when you establish yourself well in your local searches, you might start seeing better results in bigger markets, but it may take months.

2) Put yourself on the map

Since most law firms are local brick-and-mortar businesses, it would make sense to put your location on the map.

A Google Map.

Until recently, Google Maps was used mostly for finding directions.

Not anymore.

Due to Google’s increased attention to local search results, Google Maps has become an integral part of an overall search algorithm.

This is very good news for local businesses. This is where a business which is geographically the closest one to its consumers, may get a better rank than its competitors that are located farther away.

A Google Maps service represents an excellent (and free) opportunity to significantly improve your online presence and rankings.

Go to Google Business and register your company for free. Make sure to list your address and phone number.

Overall, make sure to leave no empty spaces in your listing. Add pictures and any other content that Google allows.

You might get some good results just because you were the closest law firm to the consumer doing the searching.

3) Develop a working social media strategy

The role of social media in today’s business world is hard to overestimate.

In today’s environment, a business without at least one social media profile is considered to be out of date and out of touch with reality.

Moreover, social media provides a free, convenient and informal way of communication with potential customers. It also adds a “face” to a business entity, so to speak.

An experienced Social Media Marketing company like WiserBrand.com can help you with creation of a meaningful working social media strategy which in turn will contribute to better rankings.

You should also note that there are certain ethical and other considerations to be taken into account when using social media as a marketing tool. An experienced SMM company will help you safely navigate through the sea of social media.

4) Keep posting quality content

Engage your visitors with interesting content they could not get in other places.

Focus less on the sales pitch and more on providing interesting useful information. The goal here is to establish yourself as an authority on the subject and ultimately to start building trust with potential clients, so they can eventually start feeling comfortable when calling your office or sending an online inquiry.

Some examples of quality content are recent case studies, news, testimonials, educational videos, and so forth.

Try to add some personal touch and differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd.

How to improve visibility of your legal firm website at Google search with the help of SEO
5) Get an SEO and mobile-ready website

Make sure your website looks like 2016, not 1996.

Sometime in 2013 the number of users who were accessing Internet from mobile devices matched the number of users who were using desktop computers (source).

From that point on, mobile devices have been gaining more and more popularity, and today well over 50% of users access Internet from smart phones, tablets and other mobile gadgets.

What does it mean for your practice?

If your website is old and not ready for mobile devices, you automatically lose 50% or more of potential traffic. This is not good.

Your website should be “responsive” or mobile-ready, so that people can easily access it from a cell phone.

Also, optimizing your website to “please” search engines (it is also called SEO or search engine optimization) is critical for good ranking. If your website can not be found, you will never be ranked well.

6) Structure your website properly

Your website’s architecture and design play a major role in search engine’s ability to index your website properly.

Attorneys often make a mistake of putting all the content of the website “in one basket”. For example, if you provide legal services in such areas as Personal Injury, Workers Compensation and Wrongful Death and you arrange all these practice areas as one page of your website, instead of doing separate tabs, search engines such as Google will not understand what to rank you for, and you will end up in the wilderness of page 35 of Google search results.

However, if you create categories/tabs for each practice area and keep them well-structured and organized, your website will get a much better chance of being ranked well.

It is not even about the content per se. It is more about how the existing content is organized. That’s what is important.

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7) Revisit and Evaluate

Good search ranking is a work in progress. Given the competition, you need to stay on top of your website performance all the time. Otherwise, your competitors will outsmart you.

Google Analytics and other tools give you an opportunity to watch your website statistics over time and see what works and what does not.

It is imperative to fine-tune your website to make sure it stays competitive. This is a never-ending task and ideally it should be outsourced to people who know exactly what they are doing.

An investment in these services can and will give you results. Even one additional client per month will make it worth your while.

We hope this was helpful.

As usual, we welcome your questions and are looking forward to getting your website a better ranking. Please contact us and let us show what we can do for you.

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