No one really goes to law school to become a marketer, do they? Amid all those sundry courses on financial restructuring or vicarious liability, they never have classes on “How to run a first-class marketing campaign” or “How to survive when there aren’t enough clients.”
And yet, a law firm needs to think like a business to survive. Regardless of your motivation for getting into this field, without a flow of income — without a steady stream of inbound clients — you can accomplish nothing. Absentee clients put you on the fast track to a law firm’s dissolution.
Law firm SEO services provide the natural solution. It offers a way to get your law firm’s website noticed, raise client awareness, and place your premium legal talents at their service. This guide will show you how to choose a team of law firm SEO experts, including what to look for and what to watch out for. Let’s get started.
1. What Is Law Firm SEO?
If search engine optimization is the power of becoming visible online, law firm SEO services simply apply that magic to the legal field. The firm is not a business in the same way that a landscaping company is. If you do any “landscaping” at all, it’s about trimming and weeding a client’s intricate financial investment portfolio so the IRS doesn’t eat it whole.
You simply can’t use the same wording, techniques, or even marketing principles in law firm SEO that another enterprise would. That’s why working with a legal SEO expert, someone who knows web design and keyword research for the legal field specifically, matters so much.
Law Firms Have Unique Needs
When a commercial business over-promises in its SEO, it makes unhappy customers and loses money. When a legal practice over-promises in its SEO, its lawyers could get disbarred. You have serious ethical and legal regulations over your head beyond what other kinds of SEO deal with, such as:
- Using legal-specific keywords and phrases.
- Complying with state and federal regulations about what practices can and can’t say.
- Creating shabby duplicate content that hurts your reputation and may even provoke copyright enforcement.
- Protecting your professional standing and goodwill among other practices, law associations, and prospective clients.
The strain is so great that many law firms avoid marketing and SEO altogether to just not deal with it all. Then again, many practices also go bankrupt. You can avoid either outcome by working with law firm SEO experts.
2. Why Does My Law Firm Need SEO?
All firms with ailing marketing budgets have an acute problem: Two-thirds of all clients start their search for a law firm on the internet. They don’t get an antique copy of the Yellow Pages. They go straight to Google, Bing, or some other engine. And, no matter how experienced you are or the number of major cases you’ve won, the organic search results page is the only thing potential customers see at this point in the process.
That’s not to say your skills and background don’t matter. They do. You just need law firm SEO services that can broadcast those accomplishments to the world. If not, only the 0.44% of people who visit Google’s second-page results will see your achievements.
Not great. But fixable, especially if you have the following:
- Focused local SEO to reach a range of clients in your legal practice’s immediate vicinity.
- Superior link building, fueled by content marketing and email outreach campaigns, that inspire others to link to your law firm’s website and raise its search engine rankings.
- Stellar on-page SEO. Let search engine crawlers read, register, and rank it with complete ease.
These are the linchpins of any law firm’s SEO strategy, but they’re just the beginning. It’s true that you can buy a library of SEO manuals and wear the hat of a search engine Czar, but you still have your clients and caseload to think about. Search engine optimization for law firms is a serious, time-consuming commitment. Legal SEO is too important to settle for less than complete dedication.
Single Origin offers exactly that, by the way.
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3. Why SEO Works for Law Firms
Law practices have a unique advantage over many other businesses in that they’re almost entirely locally focused. They don’t need to venture far for their clients and, most of the time, their expertise is only practical within a specific legal jurisdiction. This presents many advantages to a law firm SEO company seeking to advance a firm’s digital presence.
Although firms can and do profit from paid marketing campaigns, local SEO provides them with significant gains in the organic search results page. Legal firms can enjoy less competition in a geographic area, especially if they niche down into a more precise specialization.
Local SEO and legal specialization working in harmony are like salt and pepper for any legal practice. They can help you:
- Local publications often include articles about your accomplishments and public relations statements.
- Happy clients like to reward you with glowing reviews on the social media page of their choice.
- If they forget to leave a review, you can always ask.
- People willing to talk about you in their community are also willing to link to your law firm’s website.
Optimizing that website with high-value keywords can also be much easier for law practices. An agency that provides law firm SEO services can create individual landing pages for each area of expertise your firm covers. When combined with your website’s geographic tags, it all reduces keyword competition and eases your journey up the search engine rankings.
Prospective clients have grave concerns that demand serious attention. SEO enables your law practice to broadcast itself across the digital space and tells potential clients, “This is someone who can help.” Each touchpoint is valuable — they might not contract your services this time, but a good impression leaves behind a mark that pays interest in the future.
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4. What Should You Look for in a Law Firm SEO Agency?
Finding a law firm SEO agency with experience working with legal practices is paramount. There are too many variables in law to gamble with an agency that has little knowledge of the field. A good law firm SEO agency can quickly align its goals with your own, establishing:
- Free-flowing key performance indicators (KPI) that identify, measure, and track your benchmarks for success.
- Expert-level knowledge and concierge assistance across the legal marketing spectrum. Single Origin, for example, employs a former lawyer on its staff.
- Their credentials and record of past performance. This is important for selecting a partner that can verifiably achieve what it says it can.
Keeping these criteria in mind can help you narrow the field considerably.
5. Proven Law Firm SEO Results
Single Origin has a well-established background working in law firm SEO. Under our watch, litigation firm Global Legal’s conversion rate surged by 177% — that’s the power of a law firm’s website when remade by SEO and a targeted marketing campaign. We bring together in-depth knowledge of the legal space and premium marketing tools to speed up any firm’s marketing efforts.
Credentials and measurable results. That’s what you should look for in a law firm SEO agency. Anyone can “say” they’ll do something, but numbers provide the hard data needed to prove it. And in the fast-moving world of digital marketing, when so much money is always on the line, the ability to verify a law firm SEO agency’s claims is invaluable.
This is no time to rush your decision-making. Take your time when looking for a law firm SEO company. Interview their leadership team and tell them about your firm. Ask them, “So, if you had a client like me, what would you do?” This is how you find a first-class SEO agency.
6. What Practice Areas Can Benefit From SEO?
SEO is critical for any practice area to gain visibility and bring in more clients. It’s only a matter of weighing the different SEO services available and choosing the best fit for your firm. For instance:
Local SEO is one of the chief uses for bankruptcy law. Jurisdiction rules bankruptcy laws, so someone who requires help in Los Angeles won’t Google search for a bankruptcy practice in Chicago. Effective SEO knits together client reviews, high-ranking content, and location-specific landing pages to help possible bankruptcy clients find you.
Law firm SEO services also integrate with social media. Client feedback on Google My Business or Yelp, Facebook reviews, and even Avvo ratings provides ample SEO opportunities if you know where to look. Whenever a client reviews your practice, we can use that to enhance your search rankings.
Prospective restaurateurs who want to start a new franchise always need someone to talk to. Law firm SEO takes advantage of off-page citations to improve your visibility. Whenever another entity directs traffic to your law firm’s website (such as linking to you), they’re making an off-page citation — and these are priceless. This form of link-building is a powerful way to improve your on-page SEO and search rankings.
Great SEO content marketing inspires more outside websites to reference your site Your firm requires content that “wows,” which creates enough value for someone that they refer you to another. This way, SEO can bring future franchisees to your doorstep.
Clients who require help with tax law often begin their search on Google. They use specific keywords and key phrases to find a skilled law firm to assist them. If you know those keywords, you can ensure that your law firm’s website is the one they find.
That’s what law firm SEO can do. It uses analysis and research into keywords that matter to tax law. It also means conducting a sustained audit of your law firm’s website to make sure it offers what clients are looking for.
Apart from increasing the firm’s organic search results visibility, family law SEO stresses location and authority. It’s not enough to show up on the results page when someone searches for “divorce lawyer in Miami” — your law firm website must also appear authoritative and professional.
Creating optimized Google My Business and social media business pages across all platforms relevant to your clients also boosts traffic to your law firm website. A law firm SEO company will also audit the firm’s website for “gaps” in its SEO capability, especially ineffective title tags, meta descriptions, or copywriting.
Immigration law clients want help right now, and the search engines aim to oblige them. Search engines won’t recognize websites that no one has updated in ages. Generating regular, high-quality content marketing of diverse lengths clarifies that your law practice is ready to work.
At this juncture, a crack team of law firm SEO experts may use targeted pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to propel your site to the top of the page whenever someone inputs the right keywords. Finding what these keywords are is one of the most important tasks of any law firm marketing agency.
7. Law Firm SEO: The End Goal
Here’s a good way to think about this entire law firm SEO enterprise: Ensuring that your firm’s online presence provides what clients search for online. And if you do that successfully, you’ll find Google’s algorithm a most willing partner.
Law firm SEO is the essential ingredient in legal marketing of all kinds. It’s the very way your firm gets found on the internet, providing for:
- An increased rate of clients who are aware of you and contract your services when they need to.
- Enhanced targeting of local clients through highly refined local SEO campaigns.
- Greater public exposure for your law firm and all the reputational benefits that come with it.
- Leaner, highly crafted web design. You can build a website that sparkles off the results page.
Most money spent on marketing goes to waste without a plan. A law firm SEO agency like Single Origin provides you with that, as well as a comprehensive suite of tools for achieving your goals. To find out more, simply contact us and schedule a consultation today.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is simply the act of refining your online presence to appear higher in the search results pages. It’s a vital part of online marketing for law firms. Inadequate SEO is one of the chief causes of poor sales performance.
No matter how skilled your legal services are, clients need to find you to benefit from those services. Superior SEO can be as much of a service to your future clients as it is to you.
Absolutely. Legal practices rank on their authority and reputation in the legal space. SEO for law firms places a heavy emphasis on providing first-rate legal content to establish the firm as a thought leader. It also stresses local search results, targeting clients in your immediate geographic area.
While doing your own SEO is certainly possible, it requires an investment of time and other resources that law practices seldom have. This is a highly technical form of marketing that benefits from professional expertise, as well as knowledge of search engine infrastructure.
Firms need clients. SEO marketing professionals can raise client awareness of your practice, helping them find and contact your services. They can optimize your website, as well as build authority through link building and other measures that elevate your search engine rankings.
Legal practices have several options for finding an SEO agency. They can research agencies and look for standout qualities, such as experience, past achievements, and other signposts. Contacting different SEO agencies directly to better understand the advantages of their approach can also prove helpful.
Experience in the legal industry, as well as a proven track record of improving law firm websites, is a good place to start. Though there are plenty of SEO agencies, many of them have never worked with a legal practice and won’t know the unique ethical considerations that come into play.
Besides prioritizing client confidentiality, law practices have to comply with government regulations about false statements and advertisements. They also have to either avoid or disclose conflicts of interest.
Remember that a firm’s reputation for excellence is one of its key differentiators.
Law firm marketing is a complex field. Most SEO agencies focus their attention on other industries and commercially based clients. Single Origin is a notable exception.
Cost always depends on the size and scope of the project. While an exhaustive law firm SEO campaign can cost as much as $20,000 per month, these prices are negotiable and contingent. The best way to find out is by contacting a team of law firm SEO experts to discuss your project.