SEO For Law Firms
SEO for law firms is difficult, and will probably not provide much as far as results for those who attempt it part-time. With regards to Google results and how they benefit businesses in order to gain more customers, business owners must understand that there are many different types of results that are delivered into the field of view of a potential customer. As a matter of fact, there are currently 19 different types of results that are shown in Google’s top positions. Nobody doubts that being presented on Google is going to be a large source of traffic for any business, and law firms are no exception. Due to the fact that most people do not have a specific law firm in mind that would be the one they call if necessary, what we find is that people begin their search for information at the point when it is necessary and not before. Every city has a few attorneys who have done a good job in branding their firms so that they are remembered during daily life, mostly through the use of outrageous television commercials or jingles, but the space outside of these few marketing concepts remains quite competitive. Not everyone is going to hire the ambulance chaser type of lawyer, and many people do not respond to these types of presentations in a serious way. In many cases, these law firms may be remembered but they are not taken seriously by the public as being qualified to represent them. In many cases, people who are in need of an attorney will begin the process of research online, simply because they cannot locate a reference from their friends and acquaintances. With nowhere else to go, they choose to go to Google as the information source. Many different types of results are returned when someone in Googles a specific type of informational search like “Las Vegas personal injury attorney.” In this circumstance, we see that there are a lot of results and a lot of noise:
- Seven paid ads (these are represented by four hands on top and three on the bottom of the organic results)
- Three local maps results (these show the law firms which are closest to you, and which have the best reviews)
- Ten organic results (these are the typical “blue link” presentations of websites in an ordered manner)
Of the organic results that are presented, we will usually find that about 50% of them are aggregator sites like Yelp, which simply organize their own list of businesses based upon their own algorithm. This means that only about 25% of the organic results that are presented on page one are actually available to your business. This means that competition is incredibly difficult, and you must be realistic with regards to how you adjust your campaign strategy. Organic search engine optimization is really the only way to be presented within that 25% of organic results listed on page one. Other forms of presentation can be found by working within the aggregator websites, essentially understanding that you are not going to be able to outrank Super Lawyers, Justia or Avvo. Instead of believing that you will be able to be presented higher than the stifled aggregator sites, it is far better to simply gain high positions within them. Each will have their own type of internal algorithm, which can be manipulated to your advantage in order to come up higher in their results. You can also pay for ads within most aggregator websites, which is a method of bypassing the ridiculously high cost per click four ads on Google within the legal space. In general ads placed within aggregator sites are less expensive than ads placed on Google due to a lower level of competition. While these will also provide a far lower level of traffic, being presented within the high positions on the aggregator websites will let least get you noticed by people who have clicked through to them as a source. Organic traffic is not always exclusively about Google, and exploring other means of driving appropriate traffic to your website is a good strategy.
SEO for law firms is about selecting your keywords based upon the intent of the consumer instead of simple, blanket terms is appropriate for law firms. While almost every business can use this same idea of intent in order to gain more appropriate traffic within key word searches that are less broad, and therefore less competitive, based strategy is especially appropriate for law firms who have widely differing practice areas as well as a far larger amount of competition than many other industries. For example, attempting to rank for a broad term like “Las Vegas lawyer” puts you into the pool of competing with every other law firm in Las Vegas, even if they are not your direct competition due to a different practice area. A good example of this would be too target intent based words like “and hire a Las Vegas personal injury attorney,” or “Las Vegas personal injury attorneys near me.” Both of these are going to be easier to achieve than “Las Vegas personal injury attorney,” which will queue the entirety of the Google database for lawyers in Las Vegas. Another example of discovery types of words are to target people who are looking for information about a specific topic that you service. An example of this would be “Las Vegas personal injury attorney reviews,” or “how much does a Las Vegas personal injury attorney cost?” By answering questions of these types on your website, you have the ability to potentially rank for traffic that is looking specifically for your types of services. Attention types of keywords involve people looking for specific information about their case, but who are not necessarily looking for an attorney in specific. Examples of this might be “what is the typical prison sentence for a DUI death,” or “what is a typical settlement for a job related injury?” These types of keywords are associated with people who are seeking information, and get your brand in front of those who are looking for good advice. By being the one to provide legitimate information, you establish yourself as a trustable lawyer who can potentially help them.
You are going to want to structure your website in order to optimize it for your specific type of search results that you are seeking. Las Vegas law firm SEO is how this is accomplished for websites representing lawyers in Las Vegas. As an example of this, we can discuss that there are typically three types of web sites associated with attorneys, from the standpoint of the web site structure.
- A single service law firm Is going to be one that only specializes in one thing. An example of this might be DUI.
- A multiple service law firm is one that specializes in several areas under a specific umbrella like criminal law, contract law or personal injury law.
- Eight multiple location law firm is going to have several locations in different cities.
A single service law firm is going to want to do some specific things from a optimization standpoint in order to best benefit themselves by tightening the amount of competing websites. For example, you will want to use an exact match domain as the URL of your site if you are the single service law firm. This exact match domain will involve the keywords that you are specifically trying to ram four as well as your city. This will significantly cut down your ability to rank for anything outside from that one area of practice and key word, but it will also significantly cut down the amount of computing websites that are presented in search results. By optimizing your website against a smaller pool of competition, you have a far larger ability to rank high. On that web site, you will want to add specific service pages that will drill down into your main niche. This will give you the ability to expand upon your main area of practice without deviating from it too much. This type of content will add expanded validity in the eyes of Google for your specific service.
A multiple service law firm of website should not use an exact match domain due to the limitations that it will provide, and instead should use the branded domain type. This is going to give you the ability to rank for more things, with the expectation that your frontpage will not be the specific page that will rank for any individual search. Each one of these individual services will have to be dealt with on an individual page set up specifically for it. Think of each of these individual service pages as the front page of the website with regards to the people who are being targeted for that service.
In multiple location of website for a law firm is going to have to have several areas of drill down in order to provide higher rankings for each of the individual services that are offered. If you are a multiple service law firm that also has multiple locations, you will needs to have specific pages for those locations illustrating the differences between the offices as well as any strengths that individual offices have. You will also want to have individual service area pages dealing with the specialties that your law firm has. Obviously, eight multiple location law firm website that is also specialized in different areas of practice is going to require far more pages and far more search engine optimization efforts than a single service law firm operating from a single location.
Optimizing for your local search is critical in 2020 in order to be presented within the maps section, and crucial for SEO for law firms.. This is done using an area of Google called Google My Business,” combined with localized aspects of search engine optimization on your website. Localized search is a large topic that is best dealt with in another discussion outside of this one. Google My Business listings are free, but must be verified in order to open up many of the features to you. Within this area you will be able to solicit reviews and control some specific information about your business. It is nearly impossible to be presented in the top three local results without having control over this listing.
For effective SEO for law firms, it is important for you to create content on your website that will attract new people by providing them with information that is useful. Just like the information that you are reading right now is designed to give you pointers on how to optimize your law firm website, you must do the same with regards to the information you’re presenting to your potential customers. To decide what type of content and information you are presenting, and target the specific types of keywords that are associated with intent. If you are providing information on how big a settlement is typical for a car accident in Las Vegas, utilized keywords that target searches for this type of question. The keywords with our most important for getting customer right now are called “purchase keywords,” and ultimately are the most important for search engine optimization. This is essentially the basics of SEO, and involve placing these types of intent keywords into all of the areas that you have the ability to do so, without appearing spammy. The types of places that you should be using these types of keywords are:
- The URL
- In the page’s title
- In the <H1> tag
- In the image title
- In the image Alt tags
- And at least two or three times within the content of the web page itself, which should always be at least a minimum of 350 words a completely unique and relevant content on this topic. Our personal point of view is to only do articles of at least 500 words, and which cover the topic completely.
Most best SEO companies do not go any further than this with regards to the types of keywords that are targeted. While “purchase keywords” are the most obvious as far as targeting, what you must realize is that very few people would never share a web page that is specifically an advertisement for a law firm, but there are an amount of people that would share good quality information on that topic. This is why it is so necessary to have a blog associated with your site. Within the blog section is going to be the place where you can put diverse articles that are far more about a topic within your field of practice than the field of practice itself. You can put guides and case studies within these types of areas, as well as infographics and discussion topics. It is a place where expanded information can be presented in order to provide rankings for longer tail keywords are not specific to a type of law practice itself.
At this point, you have probably made notes as far as the things that you can specifically do that will ultimately help your website to rank higher. All of your competition is probably doing the exact same thing which will ultimately put you all in the same place. The differentiator between the sites that rank high and the sites that do not is going to be links. This is where SEO gets confusing for those who do not do it as a business. You have the ability to control your own website and the information that is presented on it very simply. You have the ability to control the information about your law office that is presented on other websites as the ads or as listings. Getting links to your website that are ultimately from sites that show authority and trust about a topic is going to be the way our rank your competition. Links back to your website from these sites which are presenting information on a specific topic that is valuable to a customer is viewed by Google as being a vote of confidence for you as an authority on that topic. A simple listing on an aggregator website is not going to provide you with any level of trust that is beyond or above any of the other websites which are also presented. Only within developed content which has been viewed by Google as being are you going to be considered an authority. Building trust on Google is a process, and there is no specific blueprint that will give you a list of sites you should target. You are going to need to do the research on your own in order to develop a list of websites that can provide value to yours by linking back to you. The process of building trust on search engines involves the following things
- The links in social media and from forums back to your blog content.
- Linking out to good blog content.
- Internal linking from your beloved content to your specific top-level pages.
- Exploring methods of LinkedIn that are within the terms of service of search engines from other websites back to your better pages.
- Link purchases that are within the terms of service of a search engine.
This may seem like an incredibly difficult process to go through, due to the fact that it involves for more research and outreach then simply posting content on to your website. SEO for law firms involves trying to rank within a hyper competitive market, the unfortunately is going to be necessary to do. An example of this is going to be that if you simply post links from your own accounts on social media, you will only develop a minimal amount of interest. Getting your content into discussion groups and forums, as well as presenting information from your website into any page that will let you start a discussion topic is going to create far more buzz then simply posting it to your own Facebook account. What you have to realize is that the only people seeing this information on your Facebook account are people that already follow you. This is not going to widen your follower base, unless you have created something that people are willing to share with each other. Social media has become so over saturated in the last few years that you people are going to share an article from your website. While meme to marketing is attempting to create a situation where people are more willing to share your branded content, relying upon viral spread of your content as a link building methods is probably going to not provide much as far as results. The better plan is to use high visibility question and answer sites like Quora to specifically answer user questions with information from your website.
Internal linking and link outreach are going to be critical for the development of your SEO for law firms program. The specifics of internal linking involve passing the value that google has placed on one page of your website to another by inclusion of a link to another page that more fully develops the topic. Think about the way Wikipedia is interlinked, to and follow that plan. With regards to reaching out to other people in order to provide links back to your content, always realize that almost nobody is going to link to your front page unless this is where the topic content is. This is why it is important to develop specific pages for each topic you will want to rank for.
So how do you create links that are valuable to pushing up the rankings of the page that has been linked to? This is the most difficult aspect of search engine optimization to grasp, due to the fact that you are generally not relying on things that you can completely control in order to perform the tasks necessary. You are literally asking other websites to link back to you, and you have to do it in a way that is not overtly paying them for that link. Paid linking scams are against the terms of service of Google, and will ultimately work against you with regards to creating higher rankings. By running the risk of penalization through actions that are outside of what search engines consider legal, you potentially can harm your efforts far more than providing the boost that you’re looking for. Instead, you must create of the most comprehensive and informative content on the topic that is available, then make it accessible to others who might be interested in it. You have to hope ultimately if these other sources will provide links back to you, because this is the benefit that they provided the first place. The process has a few specific tactics that are utilized by most people that do SEO, however this process will look different for every client. For example, you can utilize a combination of resource pages that are on a specific topic and appeal to them to include your information from your page within their listings. You can access lists of the links to your high ranking competition and attempt to solicit those links in the same outfit that your competition did. You can guest post on high ranking blogs and informational websites and ultimately produce the link that you were looking for within your own writing. The only way to produce a valid blog post is to appeal to the website owner as a valuable resource for this information, and then provide the written content for inclusion within our web site. If it is available to be analyzed by a search engine that your guest posting status involves payment to that website, you can assume that the link will be devalued. Utilizing link building techniques is a long and arduous process that must be followed within competitive landscapes like the legal profession. There is almost no way around this aside from “getting lucky” and having one of your articles or pieces of content be virally distributed across the Internet.
One of the best techniques for gaining links back to your website is to appeal to your local press and other information sources as an authority on that topic. You will then be called upon by reporters in order to provide statements for information about specific things that are happening within your community, or potentially be tapped as a source for information as necessary. If you have highly developed content on your website within the scope of the topic that is necessary to discuss, a potential link from this local source of information can be incredibly valuable.
The last thing that is necessary with regards to creating higher rankings is in depth analysis of the current situation. This is going to involve analysis of Google analytics for both current positions of the website as well as organic traffic base clicking through to that site. By continually looking over where your traffic is coming from, you will discover the ability to further influence more traffic from those sources, as well as exploiting those sources for additional links that can develop higher organic rankings. Looking for the specific clues that Google analytics will provide you is going to be a skill that developed over time, as more and more information becomes available through the ongoing movements up and down in organic rankings as well as traffic ebbs and flows through other organic sources. Previous to seeing this development happen over time, all discussion with regards to organic traffic is speculative.
Getting your law firm web site to be a valuable source of new clients is going to be a lengthy process and a challenge for SEO for law firms, one that is best approach by people with experience in this field. The reason that it is important to understand how the process works before ever attempting to do SEO for law firms is that amateur mistakes actually have the ability to hinder future search engine optimization efforts, if not destroy them completely due to penalizations. While this is the worst case scenario, generally what happens when people without experience attempt to outrank experienced SEO for law firms professionals is that you end up wasting valuable time and effort on strategies that provide no value. You might move up from page 10 to page nine, and ultimately this position will provide you with no legitimate traffic to your website that can convert into customers. When you are dealing with the first page of the search engine, your competition is the 10 best web sites available for that particular search term. Chances are that they have done significant amount of SEO for law firms work to get to that point, and you will have little ability to outrank them based upon a strategy that you have read online and are attempting to do part time. The comparison of a professional athlete illustrates the point quite effectively. You might have the ability to hit a baseball, but this does not mean that you can play in the major leagues. Legal websites competing for clients is one of the most competitive spaces online. This is seen in the prices that are paid on Google for ads that are placed on the search results. These prices are decided by how important other legal firms believe that being presented is, and as a result you can see that they take it very seriously. The next $1,000,000 case might be searching for a lawyer right now, and if you are not presented organically or within the ads section, then you are not being considered. If you need help with your law firm SEO, contact us for a free consultation today. We can be reached by phone at (702)-767-4637 or through our website directly