Does Search Engine Optimization Help Law Firms? – The National Law Review

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective marketing strategies for law firms. Think about it: What better way to reach potential clients than in Google?
After all, people use Google to search for lawyers and legal service providers in their area – more than any other platform. SEO empowers law firms to rank high in the search results and attract clients who are already looking for services like theirs.
But SEO doesn’t just help law firms attract new clients. There are many benefits to adopting a law firm SEO strategy. 
SEO is first and foremost focused on improving a website’s Google rankings and driving organic traffic. Most often, the goal is to rank high, consistently, in Search and earn organic visitors for the long term.
Lawyers can optimize their website for the search terms (“keywords”) people are using to search for their services. For example, if you are a family lawyer in Denver, you can attempt to rank for “denver family lawyer,” “family lawyer in denver,” “family law attorney denver” and the like.
Organic (unpaid) marketing is great because it doesn’t require a hefty ad spend in order to yield results. You can adopt your own SEO strategies to rank your website or choose to hire an SEO professional to aid the process. 
Believe it or not, SEO is not just about pleasing the Google gods. In actuality, your goal should be to provide the best website experience, content, and information to your prospective visitors. Google’s algorithm serves to rank content that best matches what users are searching for.
SEO necessarily improves user experience (UX) because UX is included in Google’s known ranking factors. The speed, interactivity, and accessibility of your website are all important in terms of pleasing visitors and letting Google know your website is optimized. 
A great UX keeps users on your website for longer and encourages them to “opt in” (contact you) rather than going to your competitors.
Google assesses a website’s Core Web Vitals in order to determine that a website is fast and that its content is easily rendered to users. In other words, it wants to ensure that when users land on your site, it doesn’t take decades for your content to load.
Slow website speed can be a huge deterrent to potential clients. If your website takes too long, they are likely to go elsewhere. Also, slow website speed often means you have “heavy” images and code on your site, which can essentially glitch out or fail to load when users interact with them.
An effective SEO strategy works to improve your website’s Core Web Vitals across the board so you’re sure to provide a fast, user-friendly website experience to your visitors.
The success of your SEO is largely driven by content. The content on your web pages and on your blog posts work to attract the right kinds of users to your site, improve your site’s authority, and so much more.
When you care about SEO, you care about your content, and in turn, create better content for users and for search engines. Better content not only ranks higher in Search, but it is more readily shared by users. Plus, your written content is often what ultimately convinces people to hire you. 
Backlinks (links from other websites) are essentially votes of confidence from outside sites that your website is informative, factual, and valuable to users. Every SEO strategy aims to earn these authority-boosting links to show Google your website is legit.
Earned authority can improve your website’s appearance in search. At the same time, links from other websites can drive additional traffic to your website. Blogging, content marketing, and outreach are just a few ways law firms can earn backlinks for SEO. 
Referral traffic is traffic that comes in via outside links or from other websites. SEO can help drive referral traffic to your site, because other sites begin to notice your content and want to link to it.
At the same time, most law firms adopt a localized SEO strategy that involves submitting their business information to local directories. These directories can then send more visitors (and leads) to your website.
Also, publishing expert-level content can grab the attention of other blogs and publications, which may then choose to feature you. Then, you can get this referral traffic via interviews, podcasts, and guest posts. 
Law firm SEO often requires a localized strategy in order to target users in a specific service area. To do this, law firms can produce geo-specific content on their websites, submit to local directories, and even create a Google My Business listing.
Local SEO helps law firms get noticed in local search. With local listings, law firms can share their business contact information to drive more phone calls and leads.
In short, visitors don’t even need to visit your website if they are able to find your phone number directly from Google!
Website optimization makes it far easier to collect lead information and file it away for better client intake. By including contact forms and contact information on your website, you can generate more digital leads and save this information to your client management system.
If you are strictly relying on phone calls, you’re likely missing out on a ton of potential leads. Contact forms, chat bots, and opt-ins make it easier than ever to gather lead information in real-time. You can even automate text messaging or email follow-up to reach potential clients faster. 
Local SEO also makes it easier for potential clients to find your physical office. You’re able to post your address and other business information so people can visit you in person, without ever having to go to your website.
Localization also sends geo-specific “cues” to Google telling it where your business exists and the areas it serves. If you have this information, it makes it more likely you will appear in the right local search results for the right audience. This is especially true if you work in a competitive market, but your competitors have not implemented SEO.
Reviews and SEO present a “chicken and the egg” situation; great reviews influence SEO, and SEO helps law firms earn reviews. There’s no way to go wrong!
Positive client reviews indicate to Google (and users) that your law firm is trustworthy, real (important!), and highly revered. SEO, in turn, encourages law firms to reach out and generate more positive reviews so they can improve their rankings.
Think those 5-star ratings don’t matter for Search? Think again! Not only do potential clients want to see those shining reviews, but Google values your business’s reputation as well. So don’t forget about reviews when it comes to your SEO. 
SEO helps law firms beyond just traffic and lead generation; it provides a well-rounded marketing strategy that improves your business’s overall digital presence. And a better digital presence means more opportunities to attract new legal clients!
Every law firm should adopt SEO in order to improve user experience, website speed, content, and local visibility. This is one of the best ways to drive sustainable, organic traffic and put your website on the (Google) map.
About this Author
Jason Hennessey is an internationally-recognized SEO expert, author, speaker, entrepreneur, and business executive. Since 2001, Jason has been reverse-engineering the Google algorithm as a self-taught student and practitioner of SEO and search marketing. 
As CEO of Hennessey Digital since 2015, Jason leads a team of 100+ digital marketing experts. Because of his reputation as an authority in legal SEO, he has grown a small consultancy into a $10M+ business that made the Inc. 5000 list for the second year in a row in 2020. A keynote speaker, webinar host, and…
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