Law firm SEO: An attorney’s guide to getting more clients online

Matthew Anderson

11 min read Last Updated Oct 4, 2022

If you’re an attorney, there’s a good chance your most recent clients found your law firm online. But if you aren’t optimizing your website for search engines like Google, you’re probably missing out on clients to competing firms that have a higher SEO ranking than you do.

Your firm is more likely to appear on the first page of Google if you’re focused on search engine optimization or SEO. With a strong law firm SEO strategy, more clients will find your practice when they search for an attorney in their area.

In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about local SEO for lawyers. We’ll explain what it is, why it’s important, and how you can use it to get more clients.

What is SEO?

SEO is the practice of creating and optimizing your online presence to improve your ranking on search engines. Some examples of SEO practices include: 

  • Using the right keywords on your website 
  • Improving page speeds
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
  • Get online reviews from your clients
  • Optimize your Google Business Profile
  • Manage your online listings

Knowing how to use SEO best practices can help your website rank higher on search engines and be seen by more people searching for an attorney.

Law firm SEO is putting all these practices into place to increase your law firm’s ranking on Google. By prioritizing quality content creation, link building, and website optimization, your firm has the potential to reach the first page of search engines and get more clients to your practice.

Why is law firm SEO important?

While you’re likely to get some clients through direct referrals, you’re even more likely to lose clients to attorneys who are focused on building a strong SEO presence.

When you’re optimizing your online presence, you need to aim for the first page of Google. Studies have shown that only 4.8% of people make it to Google’s second page. If a competing law firm is on page one, and you’re on page two, you’re missing out on over 95% of clients who are looking for an attorney in your area.

How to build an SEO plan for your law firm

So, we’ve established what law firm SEO is and why it’s important for you to get more clients. Now, we’ll show you a few key ways in which you can improve the SEO of your law firm and make it appear as a preferred option when someone is looking for an attorney in your area.

Get more online reviews

First, make sure you’re getting plenty of online reviews. Good reviews not only help to improve your firm’s visibility but also show potential clients that you’re reputable and trustworthy. You can manually ask your clients to write a review for your firm or use automated review requests with a review management platform that will send an email or text request to your clients after concluding a case.

Optimize your Google Business Profile

Secondly, take the time to optimize your Google Business Profile. Including keyword-rich descriptions of your services and making sure your contact information is up-to-date can help Google recognize you as a relevant firm in your area and rank you higher in search results. With reputation management software like Birdeye, you can actively monitor your firm’s Google Business Profile to make sure all of your information is correct, up to date, and that you are ranking properly on Search and Google Maps locally.

Manage your online listings

Finally, make sure that your listings are accurate and up-to-date. Incorrect or outdated information can hurt your search ranking by leading potential customers astray. Birdeye can help you manage your law firm’s listings with a listing management system that monitors all your listings online. You can correct and update all of your listings in a single dashboard and create new listings to rank higher in your local search results.

The fundamentals of SEO for lawyers

Keyword research

One of the most important steps in optimizing your firm’s website is to choose the right keywords. Keywords are the words and phrases that potential clients use when they search for products or services like yours. If you research and choose the right keywords, your website will come up higher in the search results when people are looking for what you have to offer. 

Start by thinking about what potential clients might search for. Then, enter those keywords into a keyword research tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush. This will give you a list of related keywords and their monthly search volume. Look for keywords with a high monthly search volume that are relevant to your products or services. Once you’ve found the right keywords, add them to your website content, title tags, and meta descriptions. This will help your firm come up in the search results when people are looking for what you have to offer.

Content marketing

Search engines like Google love websites that consistently create high-quality content, like videos and blog posts. By doing thorough keyword research –and creating content based on those keywords –your firm has a better chance of ranking on the first page of Google. More eyes on your business listing mean more traffic to your site.

Here are a few types of content pages you’ll want to have on your firm’s website to give your search ranking a boost.

  1. Homepage: An SEO-optimized homepage will likely be the first page your clients see and the page Google is most likely to rank. Make sure your homepage has high-quality, attention-grabbing images and creates a sense of trust among your potential clients.
  2. Practice area pages: Your practice area page has the power to determine whether or not a lead becomes a client. This page will explain who you are and which services you provide. For each practice area you specialize in, like marriage or criminal law, you’ll need to have a specific page optimized based on the keyword research in that area.
  3. Attorney biographies: Biography pages provide clients with a detailed description of who they are. Your biography page could include your contact information, your educational background, your case history, your Bar results, and other pieces of information that help you stand out from your competitors.
  4. Blog: A blog with consistent, optimized content is an invaluable law firm SEO tool. A thorough blog can teach potential clients more about the legal industry and give you an opportunity to share your knowledge of the law. Make sure you put effort into building and maintaining a high-quality blog to improve your chances of ranking on Google.
  5. Contact Us page: Your Contact Us page might not be the most SEO-heavy page on your website, but you still want to give clients a one-click place to contact you and hire you for representation. Even if your contact information is listed throughout your site, users will still usually look for a specific page to reach out to after they decide to hire you.

On-page SEO factors

On-page SEO refers to the optimizations you can make to your firm’s website to help it rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This includes things like choosing the right keywords, using keyword-rich titles and meta descriptions, and making sure your website is mobile-friendly. On-page SEO is important because it helps search engines understand your website and determine whether it’s relevant to a searcher’s query. By improving your on-page SEO, you can increase your chances of ranking higher in SERPs and driving more traffic to your website.

Link building is incredibly important to get your pages to rank. When several websites link back to your firm’s website, you’ll create an authority factor with Google and increase your chances of showing up on the first page. There are a couple of ways you can easily build links to your law firm’s website.

Guest Posting

Another way to build links is by creating high-quality content for other reputable sites to share. One way you can do this is by starting an outreach campaign. Contact high-authority sites and ask if they’d be interested in publishing a guest post written by your team. Some sites may require a fee for a guest post, but guest posts are a great way to get your content in front of more leads and increase your domain authority.

Create your own links

If you have multiple sites, social media accounts, or use directories that allow link placement, you can manually add links to those pages that send people back to your law firm’s site. For example, you can go to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social platform with an active account and include a link directly to your site. While this doesn’t directly impact your SEO ranking, it indirectly affects it by driving site traffic to your website by customers visiting your social channels.

Local SEO for lawyers

Potential clients searching for legal services online are more likely to find and contact a law firm that ranks highly in local search results. Local SEO is optimizing a law firm’s website and online presence to make it more visible in these search results. This can be done through optimizing website content, claiming and managing online listings, and building citation signals. By doing this, law firms can increase their chances of being found and contacted by potential clients searching for legal services in their area.

Optimize page experience

The last law firm SEO practice you should look into is optimizing the user experience on your website. The experience that someone has when they visit a website can mean the difference in whether or not they stay and navigate through the site more, or leave right away without visiting another page.

Because of that, Google ranks websites that prioritize user experience higher than those that don’t. Google determines user experience using factors like a site’s page speed, mobile friendliness, and other metrics called Core Web Vitals. Here are a few of the Core Web Vitals that matter most to Google.

Core web vitals

  1. Load time. Load time is pretty self-explanatory: it measures how long it takes your website’s homepage to load. Many users will leave your site if it takes more than a few seconds for your homepage to load
  2. Interactivity. Like load time, interactivity measures the amount of time it takes for a user to interact with a page element like a link or tab and the time it takes your site to respond. Make sure your site is easy to use. That way, it won’t take visitors a long time to interact with it.
  3. Visual stability.  Otherwise known as Cumulative Layout Shift, visual stability measures how much the visual aspects of your site “shift” while loading. Too much shift can cause low-quality visuals as the user interacts with your site, and that can take away from the quality of their experience.

Reputation management

Your firm’s online reputation is more important than you might think. Just as your personal reputation can affect your ability to get new clients and keep the ones you have, your website’s reputation can impact how you rank in search results and attract clients. By monitoring your website’s online presence and addressing negative feedback, you can protect your website’s good name – and ensure that it continues to generate traffic and conversions.

There are systems you can use to seamlessly manage your online reputation. Using an online reputation management platform like Birdeye gives you the ability to monitor your firm’s reputation throughout the internet and take appropriate action to build and maintain a powerful, positive reputation to rank high and get more clients through your doors.

Check out our article on how attorneys can respond to negative reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do law firms need SEO?

Yes. Law firms, like all other businesses, need to incorporate SEO into their online reputation strategy to gain a larger online presence and reach more clients.

Does law firm SEO work for law firms?

Yes, SEO can have a major impact on law firms. With an effective law firm SEO strategy, you’ll increase your chances of reaching larger clients with higher-profile cases.

How much do law firms spend on SEO?

every law firm is different, most budget an average of $7,500 per month on SEO.

Get more reviews and rank higher with Birdeye

Google ranks sites that have plenty of positive reviews on their platform higher than those that don’t. If you want your law firm to get more Google reviews and get more clients, Birdeye can help. With automated review requests through our streamlined platform, Birdeye can every client you serve a fast and simple request for a Google review via text or email. If you want to learn more about the importance of Google reviews, click the banner below.

Originally published Jul 21, 2022 8:33 AM, updated Oct 04, 2022