Local SEO Tips For Law Firms

Written by: Jason Bayless | May 25, 2017

As any lawyer knows, website competition is stiff for in the legal field. The stakes are high so a good deal of thought and effort must go into the website in order to make it as visible as possible to people who are actively seeking legal help.

Websites are advertisements. The most visible advertisements attract the most clients. When people are searching for a lawyer online, they type in a phrase such as “car accident lawyer in Denver” or “family lawyer in pueblo.” Your job is to get your website in on the first page of Google’s search results page for these types of phrases.

However, what goes into building and growing a website is only part of the picture when it comes to improving your position in Google. There are many behind the scenes SEO tactics that must be implemented in order to beat out your competition.

As an attorney, you are very busy serving your clients. You may not have time to accomplish the hundreds of SEO steps that will improve your online presence. The good news is that help is available. In particular, there are SEO professionals who are training in improving websites of local businesses. They can analyze your website and let you know what is needed to rise up in the ranks. Additionally, writers can be hired at reasonable prices to create content for your website.

Let’s look at 9 SEO tips that can improve your law firm’s website visibility on the web.

[1] Know Exactly What People Are Typing Into the Google Search Box When Looking for Your Services

If you know exactly what people are searching for, you can give it to them. The Google Keyword Planner is the place to start. By typing in a phrase that describes your services, you will see the related phrases that people are typing in. You’ll see which phrases are entered most often. These are phrases that you will want to focus on.

Why is this important? Google strives to give the seeker exactly what he is looking for. If Google believes that your page has precisely what this person wants, your page may appear on the first page. If Google thinks that a page on your competitor’s site meets the need better, his page will be displayed to the seeker. It is a proven fact that most people don’t look through many Google search pages before they find something they want. So appearing on the first or second page of Google is your goal.

It is important for you to know that Google displays website pages, not entire websites. Google indexes each page individually and catalogs what is on that page. One of the most important elements on a web page is the page title. If your page title has the exact same words that the seeker typed into the Google search box, your page has an excellent chance of being presented to him, assuming that Google feels that the content on the page focuses on the exact topic.

[2] Geo-Target Your Visitors

Since law offices are local, mentioning your town and other location designations on your web pages is extremely important. People who were in a car accident in Memphis don’t enter “car accident lawyer” because they will give web pages for car accident lawyers from anywhere in the country. Instead, they type “car accident lawyer in Memphis” If you have a website page with that exact phrase in your page title, Google would know that the seeker is looking for someone like you.

Your location should also be mentioned in the body of the article and perhaps in a heading or sub-heading. The term “car accident” should also be found in a few places in the text.

If you get business from several surrounding towns, you need separate pages for each. The next page would have a page title of “car accident lawyer in Bartlett, Tennessee.” Since several states have towns with the same names, include the state. The article on this page should be unique, not a copy of the one on the Memphis page.

In fact, another SEO step is to use a program such as Copyscape that will point out if the content on your website page is unique or not.

[3] Having Consistent Citations and NAP

Citations are mentions of your business around the web. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. Google takes great pains to examine how your business is described around the web. It wants to see consistency. “Mike Michaelson” is not viewed as the same as “Michael Michaelson.” A good local SEO professional can be of great assistance with this step. He will scour the web looking for every mention of your business and supply you with a report of his findings. Then together you can determine the best way to be listed. He can then fix the deviations.

[4] Have the Most Helpful Website

When a person is seeking help with a legal problem, he is looking for the most helpful lawyer he can find. You can show him that you run a very honest and open law firm by putting lots of informative articles on your website. If a person finds an article on your site that exactly describes his issue, the chance that he will contact you instead of your competitor is increased.

Current events are great springboards for articles for a lawyer’s website. For example, there is a car versus motorcycle accident in your town. You can speak about this event from a lawyer’s point of view. You can give advice about how this accident could be avoided in the first place. A local reader would find this interesting and helpful. You can conclude every article with “If you or someone you know has a similar situation, contact {your law firm name} at {phone number} and request a free initial consultation.”

Another type of content for your website teaches prospective clients how to find the right lawyer. This is what the seeker has in his mind at the moment. He is wondering how he can be sure he is choosing the right counsel. To address his fears, you can add several articles to your site. The titles can start with the following words:

* Guide to…
* Steps to Take…
* Types of Cases Handled by…
* How to Choose…
* What to Look for…
* What to be Aware of When…
* How to Know if You Need…

A writer can help you fill out your website with valuable content. If you don’t know where to find an experienced writer, ask your SEO expert.

[5] Link Out to High Authority Websites

Not all links are created equal in Google’s opinion. You want your articles to link out to the most authoritative websites, such as Law.org, New York Times, Huffington Post, Wikipedia, YouTube and the like. If you have a business account on LinkedIn, Google +, Facebook, YouTube or any other social media site, you want links to these also. This builds trust with Google, which is a major SEO objective.

[6] Never Engage in Any Black Hat SEO Techniques

Links that point to your website are important SEO elements – but only if they are 100% legitimate links. Never engage link farms that will spam your website with a link from irrelevant and low-trust websites. This will do you more harm than good.

Google has programs, like Penguin, that run periodically. Penguin looks for elements of websites that deviate from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. If abhorrent aspects are found, your website could receive a penalty, which is extremely difficult to recover from. An SEO expert can go behind the scenes to see where your incoming links originate. He can check the trust factors of those sites and make recommendations if anything needs to be remedied.

[8] Use the Techniques that Google Loves

Google loves what it calls the legal pages – Terms of Service, Privacy Policies, About Us, Contact Us and similar pages. Elaborate about your firm’s lawyers and about their accomplishments. Give client’s testimonies and post videos. All these pages and elements build your SEO trust factor.

[9] How a Lawyer Can Work with a Local SEO Expert

An SEO professional can analyze your competition and learn what he is doing to gain a good position on the Google search page. He can recommend which elements you can also employ to increase your position. You can work closely with your SEO expert to couple keyword phrases that people type in with positions on those particular Google results pages. Together you can focus on slots that you may be able to wrestle away from your competition.

Gaining ground on this aspect of your advertising campaign will be well worth the investment. The greater your web presence, the more clients you will attract. Every properly executed SEO effort made on your behalf will bring long-term benefits to your business.