As a law firm, your website’s search engine rankings matter.
When potential clients in your area search Google for “personal injury lawyer near me” or “How do I get compensation after a car accident?” you want your website to appear on the first page of search results. The higher the better.
But increasing your search engine rankings isn’t as straightforward as it seems — in fact, it takes years of experience, careful strategizing, and in-depth knowledge of Google’s ranking factors. That’s why law firms partner with attorney SEO (search engine optimization) strategists like Ten Golden Rules to boost their rankings for them.
At Ten Golden Rules, our lawyer SEO experts have been in the digital marketing industry for decades. We’ve developed data-driven strategies that increase law firms’ search engine rankings, boost organic traffic, and drive more conversions.
Let us help your law firm fill your client schedule with our proven SEO strategies. Schedule your FREE internet marketing audit today to get started.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
When you complete a Google search for a business — such as a law firm — Google divides the results page into four sections:
- Google Screened – Local Search Ads LSAs: This new position, at the very top of Google search results generate pay per lead calls and text leads.
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads: Links to the firms that have paid to position their websites at the top of search results
- Google Map Pack: Three Google Maps results for businesses that answer the search query
- Organic Search Results: Unpaid links to websites and web pages that fit the user’s search intent
While the first two sections are important, many users immediately scroll past them until they get to the organic search results.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website more visible in these organic search results when users search for relevant “keywords,” or search terms. It involves customizing every element of your website, both on-page and off-page, according to Google’s complex ranking algorithms.
Organic traffic is free traffic. Once you have a solid search engine optimization strategy in place, you’ll gain more leads and ultimately convert more clients — without needing to pay Google to keep your website in the top search results.
Law firms spend anywhere from 2% to 18% of their gross revenue on marketing services — including SEO. When you partner with Ten Golden Rules, we’ll make sure that budget provides an excellent ROI in terms of organic traffic and new conversions.
Law Firm SEO Statistics
Attorney SEO is the linchpin of any good digital marketing strategy for law firms. Here’s why:
- The top traffic source for all websites is organic search.
- Less than 1% of Google users click on the second page of search results.
- Local and organic searches make up 69% of all online traffic.
Even with all those findings, our lawyer SEO experts know that what matters most are conversions. A recent analysis of 100 million data points done by Ruler Analytics revealed that 66% of call conversions in the legal segment stemmed from organic search, which had a conversion rate of over 4% compared to the other kinds of channels analyzed.
There’s no doubt about it: organic traffic is pivotal to your law firm’s success and profitability, and SEO is key to your organic traffic. Ten Golden Rules is here to help you reach the top of the pack and get the conversions you need to realize exceptional returns on your marketing investment dollars.
The ABCs of SEO for Law Firms
Google has over 600 ranking factors in its mathematical algorithm that affect the order in which it displays web pages in search results. We’ve compiled and simplified these ranking factors into three main categories that we call the “ABCs of SEO”:
- A: Architecture: The structure of your website
- B: Backlinks: Links from another website back to your website
- C: Content: The articles, photos, and videos you add to your website
Optimizing all three of these applications will send your website to the top of search results. When you work with Ten Golden Rules, we’ll use these ABCs as the framework for your search engine optimization services while curating a customized strategy that reflects your specific needs and goals.
Architecture refers to your website’s structure. The simplest way to understand this structure is through your sitemap.
A sitemap is just what it sounds like – a map of all the different pages on your website. Every website should have a sitemap for when users can’t find the page they’re looking for. But sitemaps also benefit your search engine rankings.
Remember, when users complete a Google search, Google doesn’t have a human scouring the search results and looking for the right websites to display. Instead, it uses an automated robot — what we call a spider – to explore the internet and find the answers to the user’s query.
If that spider can find your sitemap, it can find links to all the pages on your website. That’s why sitemaps are the foundational building block of website architecture.
Your website should also have nice, clean code that is simple and easy for the search engines to read. You can right-click on your website now and click “View Page Source” to see what your code looks like. Is it clean and simple with line-by-line commands? Or is it one big block of text?
As part of your initial attorney SEO services, we’ll build a comprehensive sitemap and clean up the code on all your web pages, providing an excellent foundation for the rest of your SEO strategy.
Also important for website visitors, and the search engine spiders is website speed. How quickly does the website download and show images? And, is the website ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) compliant – if the reader for visually impaired individuals can’t read your website then the Google search spiders will have trouble too,
Building Blocks of SEO Architecture
There are also some basic building blocks that impact your website architecture and, therefore, your search engine rankings:
- Meta title: The web page title that isn’t visible on the page but that impacts SEO in the background
- Header tags: H1, H2, and H3 tags that indicate breaks in the content
- Alt tags: Image tags that can include keyword phrases to boost rankings
- Internal links: Links to other pages on your website
- 404 Error pages: Functional error pages that guide users when they land on a non-existent page
- Site speed: How quickly your website loads when users click on it and navigate from page to page
During your lawyer SEO process, we’ll use tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics to understand how your website architecture is impacting your rankings. Fully understanding the inner workings of your website allows us to tailor each element to make your site easier for the spider to crawl and for Google to rank.
A backlink is a link from another website back to your website. When a law firm directory includes a link to your website, that’s an example of a backlink.
Google’s ranking algorithm places a strong emphasis on backlinks. The more important a link you can get — and the more relevant a link you can get — the more value it holds in Google’s eyes.
For example, a link from Cornell University Law School back to your page would be more valuable than a link from a knitting blog to your page. Having multiple backlinks from other prestigious or popular legal websites would be even better.
Backlinks play a huge role in your search engine rankings, but they have another benefit as well: driving traffic to your website. When reliable sources mention your law firm name and include a hyperlink back to your site, more users will have the opportunity to find your website and, therefore, your business.
How Can a Law Firm Build More Backlinks?
Building backlinks isn’t as straightforward as including internal links on your site. You can’t force other websites to link to yours. You also need to be strategic about which websites include backlinks and where they place them.
So how can a law firm build more backlinks? We’ll implement several strategies to help your law firm hone this essential attorney SEO element:
- Perform a link analysis: We’ll begin by using tools like Search Console to determine the total backlinks your website has and the number of domains they come from, helping us understand how backlinks are currently impacting your rankings.
- Write really great content: When your website includes high-quality, descriptive content that answers a specific query or question, other websites will naturally want to use it as a source. For example, we wrote an article titled “10 Things To Do After You’re in a Car Accident” for a client and coupled it with an infographic. Over 35 different websites linked to that page, allowing it to achieve the number one ranking on Google for relevant keywords.
- Remove any negative backlinks: Backlinks from spammy websites can actually lower your search rankings. We’ll reach out to the webmasters of these sites and request that they remove your link. If this doesn’t work, we’ll ask Google to disavow them.
- Submit your information to directories: We’ll contact local legal directories in your area and national associations and request that they include your law firm’s information and website links in their websites.
- Write guest articles: We’ll also work out partnerships with relevant websites to write guest content for their blogs, linking back to your site.
- Generate Media Coverage + Links: We have several effective strategies to generate coverage in important media publications and generate important backlinks.
- Create highly linkable content: We have a tremendous track record of developing highly linkable content on our clients websites, and our own!
Often, the more backlinks you have, the more people will want to link to your site. You’ll see your backlinks grow over time and watch your search engine rankings soar in turn.
While you don’t always have 100% control over who ‘backlinks’ to your website, you do have control over the content on your website. And content plays heavily into your SEO strategy.
Content consists of the articles, images, and videos on your website, but the articles are perhaps the most important. Your website should have a lot of professionally written, descriptive, authoritative, expert articles — and those articles should contain the keyword phrases you want to rank for.
Google’s EEAT Ranking Factors
Google is always improving its ability to understand natural language. With each of these updates, it becomes more and more clear: to rank highly in the search engines, you need to write for humans, not for search engines. Google has four main qualities that it looks for in written content to find the websites that best answer a user’s question:
- Experience: Does the writer of the content have first-hand experience with the topic?
- Expertise: Is the writer an expert in the subject they’re writing about?
- Authoritativeness: Does the website have authority within this field?
- Trustworthiness: Does the content reliably answer the query?
Keyword Research for Attorney SEO
We like to invite our law firm clients to make a list of all the questions people call them with every day and use that list to shape their written content. But we also have a more methodical way of determining the topics to write about: keyword research.
Keywords are the search terms your potential clients are using when they complete a Google search for topics relevant to your law firm. Some of these keywords are phrased in the form of a question, like the queries above. In this hands-free digital age, more and more people are browsing the web with Siri and voice-to-text instead of typing phrases into search engines, leading to more question-based queries.
Your website content should thoroughly and professionally answer the questions your potential clients are searching on Google. For example, for a divorce lawyer, a few of these questions may include:
- What is the divorce process in my state?
- Do I need a divorce lawyer?
- What is a contested vs. uncontested divorce?
We use tools like AnswerThePublic.com to find relevant questions to answer in your content strategy. We also use Google Suggest, a tool that autocompletes suggestions for keywords with longer phrases and questions.
Google sometimes displays “rich snippets” or answer boxes at the top of search results in “position zero.” These are special search results that provide users with direct answers to their questions without needing to click on a website link.
We’ll research the most commonly asked questions in the rich snippets for your related keywords and use them to guide your keyword strategy as well.
We use tools like SEMRush to identify the shorter phrases, known as short-tail keywords, that could also improve your rankings.
We’ll also perform a keyword audit to identify terms that your website is close to ranking for but that need a little help. For instance, one of our clients was recently in the third position on the second page of Google results for a query. By writing more content around that query, we were able to boost his rankings to the first page.
Once we have a list of keywords, we’ll write an SEO site architecture that maps out where we will use each phrase within your content. Then, our copywriters will get to work writing professional, high-quality content around these keywords.
Video SEO: Our Secret Weapon
The ABCs of SEO are essential elements that help any business rank higher in search results. But as experts in attorney SEO, we know a few additional strategies that specifically help law firms rank. And one is video SEO.
One of the best practices we have found for our law firm clients is creating videos that answer common questions potential clients may have. This strategy ties directly into the rise of voice searches and question-based search queries. By creating videos answering specific questions, your law firm can:
- Increase the number of search phrases you rank for by up to 53%
- Bring more organic traffic to your website
- Build credibility and trust with potential clients by establishing a personal connection
- Provide clear, informative answers to client questions and concerns
Our Video SEO Process
We make the video SEO process simple and stress-free. We’ll sit down with you — or invite you to film your video remotely — once every few months to film four videos in a 45 to 60-minute session. Each video will answer one question your potential clients are wondering, such as “What do I do after a motorcycle accident?” or “What if my spouse is hiding assets in a divorce?”
We’ll use SEO research to determine the video topics ahead of time and even provide you with a script to read. After recording the videos, we’ll edit them and post one to YouTube each week over the next four weeks. We’ll also optimize them for your website by writing mini blog articles that correspond with each video.
Filming videos will only take a few minutes out of your day once every few months. In the meantime, your videos will continue working in the background, driving organic traffic to your website and boosting your conversions.
Incorporating Google Business Profile Into Organic Rankings
Your search engine rankings don’t just depend on your website’s optimization. Other elements of your online presence — such as your Google Business Profile — may also contribute.
Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is an element in Google search results that gives in-depth information about your law firm. Much of the content in your GBP listing is user-generated. Clients can leave reviews and ratings of your law firm, ask questions, and post photos. But you can also post contact information and content that helps your GBP listing rank.
Claiming your Google Business Profile listing is an excellent way to get your law firm on Google for free. Once your listing is up to date, potential clients will have an easier time finding your law firm on Google Search and Google Maps.
Optimizing Your GBP Listing
As part of your attorney SEO strategy, we will ensure that your Google Business Profile listing is doing everything it can to boost your search engine rankings and visibility. We will:
- Claim your listing: If you haven’t yet claimed your Google Business Profile listing, we will claim it for you and flesh it out with detailed, accurate information about your law firm.
- Gather reviews: The more positive reviews you have on your GBP listing, the higher your rankings will be. We’ll implement a review program that encourages satisfied clients to share their experiences with your law firm.
- Update content regularly: Updating your GBP listing with fresh content frequently can help your rankings. We’ll take care of posting updates, mini-articles, photos, and videos to your listing just like we will on your website.
- Ensure NAP data consistency: Your law firm’s name, address, and phone number (NAP data) should be the exact same across all online platforms, including your GBP listing. We’ll make sure the data on your Google Business Profile matches the information on your website, social media platforms, and directories to aid your SEO strategy.
Monitoring your Google Business Profile
Once we’ve updated your listing, we will monitor it long-term to ensure that it is always producing the best results for your SEO strategy. Google offers in-depth insights and tracking for Google Business Profile performance. We’ll be able to monitor the number of interactions your profile had, the number of new people who discovered your law firm, and other valuable data.
We’ll also monitor the reviews you receive on your Google Business Profile listing. The number and quality of the reviews your law firm receives can significantly impact your rankings. Our team will:
- Thank clients for leaving positive reviews, further building a sense of loyalty and trust
- Respond to any negative reviews with clarification and context in an attempt to right the wrong
You can’t always control the reviews your law firm receives, but you can take measures to mitigate negative reviews.
Ten Golden Rules: Your Long-Term SEO Partners
Search engine optimization is crucial to your law firm’s success within the competitive legal landscape. Your law firm needs to be highly visible in search results for potential clients to find you. But reaching the top rankings on Google requires a carefully formulated search engine optimization strategy that you probably don’t have time to implement on your own.
At Ten Golden Rules, our seasoned marketing experts specialize in SEO for lawyers. We’ll conduct an in-depth attorney SEO audit to understand how your website, Google Business Profile, and other online assets are performing within search engines. Then we’ll implement all the above strategies and more to boost your organic traffic and grow your business.
Schedule your FREE internet marketing audit today to learn more about how we can help your law firm rise to the top of search results — and your local market.