When done correctly, generating leads using Google can be by far the easiest way to drive new clients to a law firm.
This isn’t just a guide to help complete beginners do all the work for their campaigns from now on. This is a guide that shows how much work an actual Law Firm Marketing & SEO company can do for you – it should serve as a warning to all those emails and proposals that you get saying “we will do your SEO for $500 and guarantee page one rankings.”
I hope it serves as a testament to how much real work needs to go into a Local SEO campaign in order for a business to have a shot at topping the local search results, why it can be expensive, and an explanation for why, even when it is more expensive, the ROI will often trump the expense.
Everything in SEO starts with a solid website foundation. If you have a poorly made website it will slow, or even prevent, you from ranking highly in the search engines. Every year that goes by Google’s algorithm is improving – and this means less importance on links. Don’t blow that last statement out of proportion though – links are still the number 1 ranking factor, however, we are ranking for law firm seo because of our meticulous approach to on-page optimization in addition to acquiring high quality and high trust links.
And even if you do pull off ranking well with a sub-par website your campaign will take longer, be more expensive, and then your new traffic will likely convert at a relatively low level, further reducing the benefit you see from all the hard work you’ve done with your SEO efforts.
Thus, building a well-designed, SEO-optimized, well-structured, and technically sound website is the beginning of every SEO campaign.
If you want an audit of your website to see if it “makes the cut” for what we consider a good website, talk with our award-winning website design team, and get an audit of your website design.
Just like a doctor needs a diagnosis before they can prescribe anything before you get started fixing, optimizing, and “SEOing” your website, it’s important to first “take your pulse” by running an SEO analysis and audit.
This is for the following reasons:
If you fail any of these checks, then you are leaving an opportunity on the table, because your website is not ranking as well as it could be, and traffic is going to your competitors!
Alternatively, if you would like us to run an ROI and Competitive Analysis, we can show your firm how much monthly revenue is out there waiting to be scooped up, and how many resources it will take to achieve that.
It takes a while for your site to reach the top of Google and start getting traffic. Ranking now can take 6 to 12 months or more depending on the term (just for comparison sake, it took us over 12 months to rank for “law firm seo” because it is a national and highly competitive term), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can (and definitely should) be tracking in the meantime.
These Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs) will tell you if you’re heading in the right direction while you wait for Google to put you at the top of its search results.
Note: A good strategy is to try and rank for the longer, less competitive, search strings first while working towards ranking for your primary money keywords.
Site structure plays a very important role in your website’s ability to be navigated easily by users, as well as Google’s crawler – known as Googlebot.
Depending on the size of your law firm, you want to make sure that your website’s structure makes sense to consumers and search engines alike. The first step is to know what structure your firm will fall into:
Once you determine where your practice falls in terms of site structure it is important to craft your website silo structure to complement your practice. This falls under the category of website architecture – and we find that 99% or more websites we come across have done this incorrectly.
If you don’t have your website architecture right from the beginning you are going to have a ton of problems with:
This is just a start, however, and a great way to optimize your “service” pages correctly. However, “Info” type content is what generates real shares and links.
One of the primary ways to rank your website pages highly in Google is to acquire links from good websites – but who wants to link to your service pages or your homepage? Nobody does.
Because that doesn’t provide any value to their readership, they want to link to authoritative, informational, educational, and even entertaining content. That’s why you need a blog – notice how we have our service page dedicated to law firm SEO, and also this guide about it. One is a SERVICE page (which no one really finds value in linking to, and the other is an awesome guide (which people love to share).
Your small business SEO will get a significant boost from the right content. Many small business owners put products and contact details on their website and that’s basically it. But there is so much more to tell and share!
Focus on making an awesome first impression on your potential customer. Write about your business, your business goals, how great your products are, and things like that. You can also discuss market developments or local events that relate to your business.
Some Content Topics we use at ONE400 to Entertain, Educate, and Inform:
Info content drives social shares, links, and traffic and most importantly, it establishes your firm as a trusted voice and industry leader for legal advice.
Finding the right topics to write about is going to depend on 3 things:
Reviews are a huge part of Local SEO rankings and converting more leads into clients. In fact, according to this study done by INC. magazine, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from family or friends.
So, how do you go about getting good reviews? Well, lucky for you, we wrote an entire article about how to generate more online reviews for your business. I recommend you check that out – but for the short version, here is a quick list of things to get you started:
Additionally, we recommend a reputation management/review software that will help you automate and scale this outreach. A good review platform will allow you to aggregate reviews, collect more, and display them prominently in a way that helps increase consumer trust and sends positive SEO signals to your business.
In less than three months with our review system, Aspen Dental more than quadrupled its Google review count, and more than doubled its total Facebook reviews. As more positive reviews are received and promoted, online reputations are strengthened, building the trust required to draw in new patients.
If you’re looking for reputation management, or want the bulk of this process handled for you, we offer a service to help our clients generate tons of reviews totally hands-off.
GMB plays a HUGE role in local SEO. In fact, GMB listing titles get displayed in localized results, not websites.
Here are some of the strategies we use and recommend that you do if you want a strong GMB listing:
Apple Maps is a service developed by Apple Inc. as is the default map system of iOS, macOS, and watchOS. It provides directions and business listings for any users of the Apple Maps system and also plays a significant role in voice search for iPhone users who use Siri to find directions to businesses near them.
Bing Places is the Microsoft equivalent of Google Maps, and one of the primary business listing places that you will want to set up when optimizing for local search.
For Yelp, you can claim your business listing by entering your business name and address.
In the world of internet marketing and SEO, citations are any occurrence of your “NAP” (name, address, phone number) online.
A citation is any use/reference online to your name, address, and phone number. Google evaluates citations as local signals to help understand and determine an entity’s authority on the web.
Having inaccurate and inconsistent NAP is one of the primary reasons that your SEO can suffer – especially locally and double-especially in the maps.<
Eliminate variations of your NAP found on the web. Remove or update outdated listings (this will help Google trust your information, and also it will help customers find the right place).
Citations appear frequently in directory-type sites (yelp, DexKnows, etc.) but can also be added practically anywhere that allows text – for example social profiles and web 2.0 properties like Facebook, etc.
Give yourself the best chance to rank in local search, and in the maps, by making sure you have no citation inconsistencies. – your NAP must be the exact same everywhere.
Not only do you want your citations to be consistent, but you also want to have a strong presence on trustworthy and popular directories.
At ONE400 our clients are usually listed on 50+ of the topmost well-known directories<
as well as hyper-targeted/relevant directories for their city and specific legal practice areas.
You will want to get listed in the right places.
Word of warning: Do not pick the wrong directories! If you get a placement on something that is not relevant, or not trusted by Google, you can actually be doing more damage than good!
Your “landing page” is the practice area of the location you are making a location for. For example, if you have a location in New Jersey that provides personal injury legal services, then you would want to have domain.com/personal-injury/new-jersey, and your Google Business Location would want to point to THAT page. Now, to further help your ability to rank locally, here are some extra tips you can use on that specific page:
Create the primary social accounts.
Successfully promoting content will result in social shares and links, which will help your web pages rank for the keywords your content is written around, and thus lead prospective customers to your website.
This process can take months, or even years, if you try and let it happen totally organically – so we recommend taking a calculated approach to promoting your content and acquiring high-quality, relevant links.
Get links from the relevant authority websites in your niche
In conclusion, SEO for attorneys and law firms is a huge undertaking. Following the advice in this article can help you get an amazing start, but we know how busy you already are. On top of all the moving parts, Google is always changing its algorithm, and keeping up with the changes can be impossible if you aren’t doing it full time.
We recommend speaking with our team if you have any questions about having this handled for you. Connect with us!
Thanks for reading, and happy ranking!