SEO for lawyers seems easy – but you can get a sidebar call that will see you lost in the rankings if you miss these key lawyer SEO strategies
We’ve been publishing LawFuel now for 20 years – a record for many legal websites – and we’ve learned a few things about SEO for lawyers – particularly for lawyers who are starting out on their quest to get noticed online.
We recently wrote about law firm ranking and how firm sites can get lost in the wasteland of page 2 of Google – and how to avoid that fate. It comes down to search engine optimization, of course, but in a carefully, calibrated way.
But if there are three, key things we would emphasize for those lawyers seeking to boost their rankings, or even to simply rank reasonably straight off the bat, it is what I will outline in this piece on SEO for lawyers in 2022 – a year when Google continues to bring its hypersonic algorithmic capability to sorting the SEO wheat from the SEO chaff.
So what strategies and SEO tactics does any attorney need to look for when seeking to get noticed by the SERPS in 2022 – and which many law firms avoid or miss?
Our SEO For Lawyers Resources:
>> The Importance of Keywords for SEO Success
The definition of search engine optimization is something you can readily check anywhere, but in essence the key objective will be to reach a high ranking in order to get more targeted visitors to your site using organic, natural search engine optimization techniques.
However – to make a very long story very short – there are 3 missing links to SEO for lawyers or anyone else and that is to have:
- Content that is optimized for your keywords and relevant to your audience (of which more later, because this is easily remedied and often an error made);
- Off-site backlinks and ranking factors (which I will also address as to the easiest way to do this without having to recruit high priced SEO consultants); and
- Technical SEO factors which relates to the actual way in which your website and posts are configured in order to reach the widest audience with the best rankings.
First, Why SEO Anyway?
Just before breaking down the 3 key factors for focus let’s just consider the importance of SEO for law firms, because it is the easiest and least expensive way to actually achieve great rankings and new clients.
According to the 2019 Legal Trends Report and Statista, 17 per cent of searchers used online search to find law firms, second only to those who used word-of-mouth (family or friends) to locate a lawyer. That’s 17 per cent that cannot – or should not – be ignored and it continued to grow.
Consider the way people actually find law firms –
SEO for lawyers requires a keen eye on achieving those organic rankings that will help the accompanying organic traffic, but using these ‘missing links’ will also ensure that the visitors are more targeted and more likely to become clients, rather than casual visitors.
Missing Link No. 1 – Focusing Your Law Firm Content
So here’s the issue – we have written extensively about the need for lawyers to provide valuable, relevant content for their audience. However, sometimes that misses an overriding point that you need to keep top of mind when providing that relevant content – the need to focus on ‘user intent’ – the actual mindset being used by the searcher when searching for a keyword term.
This focus can be identified when you use an ‘avatar’ or customer client-type that fits the sort of person you are aiming your content at.
Let’s say you are wanting to be ranked for a term like ‘small company lawyer in Pasadena’. Get your thoughts organized in a manner that will answer the sort of queries that would be made by anyone searching for that term, such as –
- Where is your law firm located (Pasadena, right?)
- What sort of law does it undertake? (Small business or small company law)
- What is your basis for specializing in that area – background, updates, articles referenced
- What do you charge?
- What do you clients have to say about your firm?
A good way to think about this is to use the ‘Quora’ method, which involves answering a question that your ‘avatar’ (typical client) would be asking.
Google will try and direct searchers to the best answer to their question, so if you focus your content on answering specific questions with good use of keywords (which we have written about here), you will have a good chance to reaching your target market.
By focusing on how you can provide an answer to the needs of your visitors will bring more organic traffic to your site and will also build all-important trust with the audience.
Importantly, Google is also extending its search to include more AI and intuitive results to queries and that increases the need to focus on specific value-driven, relevant answers to the search queries.
Remember too that there is also the all-important local citations to help improve your content focus, by also focusing on the locality.
We have written about local search here, but the number of local citations will have a significant effect upon rankings, which include the references to your law firm’s name, address, phone number and website (the NAP+W data).
The NAP+W information will be found in the website, but using a range of internet accounts and social media platforms will also provide a decent lift to your attorney SEO ranking, including sites like Yelp, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram etc.
Effective SEO for lawyers is all about targeting your content for the searcher in the most helpful, direct and relevant manner.
Missing Link No. 2 – Refreshing The Content Mix – And Adding Evergreens
I know, sounds like a salad mixture, right?
But simply refreshing your content and adding evergreen content that continues its relevance are two relatively simple, straightforward ways your law firm can achieve better SEO ranking in 2022 and beyond.
Consider the refreshing aspect.
You can change your content any time and you need to go back – using Google Console or other tools to see which pages are performing the best in terms of traffic – and updating them with more content, longer copy and focused keywords.
You’re making a kick-ass version of something you already have. It’s better, bigger and just more bad-ass stuff that Google will lap up.
Missing Link No. 3 – The User Experience
Consider making your law firm like a new limousine – quiet, fast, somehow reassuring in its tech and user experience.
You want your users to enjoy what they’re looking at and so go through your site and look at what is wrong, bad, unhelpful or generally providing a user experience that is not good.
Get it fixed. And have someone else go through the process with you so that you get another (or several) views on what your website is doing – or not doing, as the case may be.
Remember that you need to be thinking about what the ‘user intent’ of your visitors is and what they are looking for, what questions they want answered and how effectively your site is providing those answers.
By fixing those issues and providing a top experience you cannot but help to build both your website (and law firm’s) trust, as well as your organic traffic to the site.
And with greater, relevant, authoritative content provided in a fast-loading, well designed site you will also be raising Google’s awareness of your content and giving your SEO a solid lift.
Your SEO Final Thoughts
Remember that optimizing your law firm SEO is about taking a long view – not to achieve instant results. In other words, you’re running more of a marathon than a sprint.
The increasing sophistication of Google’s algorithms means that they are also much more able to see the black hat SEO that attempts to game the system. It’s a road to despair and potential elimination.
Google has made it very well known that they’re working to eliminate spam and spammy content with over-optimized backlinks and to instead focus on increasing the number of editorially-justified links with truly engaging and informative content that offers a positive user experience for your users – and a greater client uptake.
These objectives were outlined in their November 2021 Core Algorithm update.
So take these ‘missing links’ to heart and work on building your law firm’s SEO to create a truly successful ranking exercise in 2022 as well as continuing to build your site’s credibility and online success.
And by all means contact us at LawFuel to let us know what you’re doing and how successful or otherwise you might have been. We want to hear.