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The Importance of SEO and a Great Website

The Importance of SEO and a Great Website

The legal industry is notoriously competitive. To thrive as a business, a law firm needs to be able to attain clients. Indeed, client acquisition is consistently cited as a primary source of stress for lawyers and law firms. A referral can be a great way to get clients—but if your SEO practices are behind and your website is poorly designed or out-of-date, a referral may not lead to a new client.  

At ONE400, we provide legal SEO services and legal website design services. Our mission is to provide the highest quality professional services to lawyers and law firms nationwide. Firms that fall behind on SEO and website development may struggle with client acquisition. Below you will find an overview of why SEO and the website design are so important for person-to-person referrals.  

Personal Referrals Remain a Powerful Source of Client Acquisition for Law Firms

Each year, a growing share of people and businesses turn to the internet to find, research, and hire attorneys. At the same time, personal referrals still remain a powerful source of client acquisition for law firms. According to data cited by Above the Law, most people who hire an attorney will at least start the process by seeking personal referrals from friends and family. 

Most People Start By Searching for a Law Firm Website After Getting a Referral

When a person gets a referral for a lawyer or law firm, that does not mean they will hire that attorney immediately. Most people want to do their research—even if that referral comes from a highly trusted person. How do they do research? The internet. Most people will search for a law firm’s website after getting a referral. 

There are two critical implications of this: 

  • They Need to Be Able to Find Your Website When Searching for It (SEO): You want to ensure that a referral can find your law firm. They may only have the firm’s name, part of its name, or the name of a specific attorney. If your firm has poor SEO (search engine optimization), it could get buried in the search results. Not only does that make a firm less authoritative to a potential client, but it could also result in them simply giving up or going with a different lawyer. For reference, positioning in Google search results makes a dramatic difference. According to data from front webworks, the top organic Google search result is clicked on 28 percent of the time. The sixth Goole search result? Just 5% of the time.  
  • Your Website Should Be Professional, Authoritative, and Compelling: When a referral does find your law firm’s website, you do not want to give them any reason for a pause. A law firm must have a professional, authoritative, and compelling website. It is the first point of contact between potential clients and the firm, making it crucial to establish trust and credibility. A well-designed website showcases the firm’s expertise and services and should be easy to navigate with clear and concise information.

Three Principles of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Law Firms in 2023

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the systematic process of optimizing a website to rank higher and earn more organic traffic from search engines like Google. How do lawyers and law firms improve their SEO? Here are four key principles for law firm SEO for 2023: 

  • A Strong Technical Foundation is Crucial: A strong technical foundation for your website is crucial for effective SEO. This includes optimizing your website for mobile devices, improving website speed, and ensuring that your website is secure with an SSL certificate. These technical optimizations help search engines understand and index your website more easily, leading to higher rankings and improved visibility.
  • Unique, Informative, and Relevant Content Remains the Driver of SEO: Creating high-quality, informative content that is relevant to your target audience remains the driving force behind SEO. Search engines look for websites that provide value to users, and regularly updated content that is optimized for keywords can help you achieve this. Content marketing strategies, such as blog posts and infographics, can also help you build your authority and establish your firm as a thought leader in your industry.
  • Local SEO is Key for Law Firms: Though there are exceptions, most firms are focused on finding local clients. As the Search Engine Journal explains, local SEO is tailored specifically to ensure strong search engine rankings in a law firm’s target geographic market. It can help to increase your visibility to potential clients in your local area, including those that received personal referrals. 

A Great Law Firm Website is Key to Getting the Most Out of Strong SEO

Ultimately, SEO is about improving the reach and visibility of your website. Law firms need a website that is optimized for search results and provides a professional, authoritative, and compelling story to clients. When a personal referral—and any other potential client—comes across your law firm’s website, you want to ensure that they leave with the right message. As a general rule, that means establishing your law firm as an authority that can help them address a particular legal problem. A law firm’s website should have a strong, well-articulated message. The website should also make it as easy and seamless as possible for the referral (or other potential clients) to take action. Most often, that means giving them easy options to contact the firm and schedule an initial confidential consultation.   

ONE400 is a Leader in SEO and Website Development for Law Firms Nationwide 

At ONE400, we provide digital innovation for the future of the legal industry. If you have any questions about SEO, we can help. Contact us today to arrange your strictly confidential, no-obligation consultation. With office locations on both coasts (New York and Los Angeles), we are well-positioned to provide SEO and website design services to lawyers and law firms nationwide. 

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About the author

Allen Rodriguez Allen Rodriguez is a legal product development strategist who has been serving the legal industry for over 21 years. Over the course of his career, Allen has built a reputation for creating innovative legal services products as well as developing highly effective law firm business and marketing strategies. Allen is a valued speaker on the topics of law marketing, legal services product development, and future of law issues.

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