Want Your Law Firm to Rank Higher? 8 SEO Tips for Attorneys
June 21, 2018
In an ever growing market of attorneys, it’s hard to stand out. In any city, there can be 10, 15, or even more lawyers specializing in DUI, criminal defense, DWI, divorce, etc.
So, how do you stand out in a growing online market where everyone is vying for the same 3 positions within the Google Local Pack? Or for the same exact search terms as you?
Below I’ll share my favorite SEO tips for attorneys to try:
1. Focus On “Near Me” Keywords
Now, I’m not suggest you try to game the SERPs by changing out metadata and adding “near me” to your title tags or meta descriptions. Focusing on “near me” keywords is focusing on the schema/structured data on your page and within your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) on your site.
John Mueller of Google said,
“So as far as I know, we mostly look at this regards to location, so doing things like adding “near me” as a title of your pages on your website probably doesn’t make sense because we would try to figure out like what is actually near the user.
So in order for us to be able to figure that out properly, obviously put your address on your website and to mark that up with structured data so that we understand where your location is.”
Simple enough, right?
2. Content that Matches User Intent
Good content helps you rank. GREAT content is what helps a user convert to a client. Is your content matching user intent?
If someone searches for “dui lawyer,” are they looking for a DUI lawyer to represent them? Are they looking for salaries? Or could they be looking for one of a hundred other things? Look at intent and base your content off of that. Focus on long-tail keywords that will convert and make you an authority in the legal space and provide the best answers for commonly asked questions.
Instead of trying to create content in a super competitive space for the keyword “DUI Lawyer,” try focusing on keywords like “DUI lawyer in [city], what can a dui lawyer do for you, what is a dui, or how much does a dui lawyer cost?”
Create long-form content (1,500+ words) surrounding those keywords and always make sure to place the local area that you’re in within the content to help give it a local feel to the reader.
3. Change Your Google My Business Category
Too many times we see attorneys using the “Attorney” category as their main category within Google My Business. The problem with this is that all of the other lawyers in the area are doing the same thing. If 20 lawyers are trying to fight for the same category, Google is only going to pick 3 of them, which means your chances of ranking top 3 are only 15%.
Now, instead of choosing the broadest term, dial it into a more specific term for your Primary Category. This will help you in the fight to get more clients. For example, focus on Criminal Defense Attorney, instead of Attorney, or if you are practicing in one main sector, use that as your primary and fill the other categories with secondary terms.
This tip is especially helpful when you work in a large building with multiple legal offices in it.
4. Competitive Research
Does your competition seem to be getting all of the traffic? Do some research! By using SEMRush, you can use their keyword gap tool to see what keywords your competitors rank for and what ones you don’t. You can analyze up to 5 competitors at a time,
You can also sort and find what keywords are ranking top 10 and go after the least competitive terms at the start. That way, it will give you an advantage when going for the more broad terms that you’re competing with.
5. Leverage Aggregator Sites (Avvo, Super Lawyers, Justia, etc)
If you’re fighting for top spots and you’re trying to go up against some of the top players in the game, why not get listed on those sites and have them do the work for you? Most of these sites have free profiles and—if you’re willing to shell out a few hundred bucks—you can get a promoted page which will instantly rank higher in the specific sites search results.
Plus, getting a backlink from these sites helps increase your domain authority and makes you look like an authority in the legal space.
6. Do You Have Multiple Locations?
If you’re like most attorneys, you don’t just practice in one city; you will usually practice in the surrounding county or cities. This is a great opportunity to help rank, not just in the Local Pack, but in the SERPs as well.
The catch to this strategy is that you must have an office in each location and not just practice out of one location. If you do have multiple locations, then keep following this strategy.
Create landing pages for each one of your cities. Make sure there is unique content on each page with some sort of widget that shows your location on Google/Apple Maps. Showcase each area you practice in.
Once the landing page is up, create a Google My Business profile showing that you practice in that city.
Having multiple pages/URLs for each city will help increase your rankings in the SERPs for city-specific as well as “near me” keywords.
7. Get Those Reviews
More often than not these days, users look to real people who have actually used the services or products they’re interested in. Want people to come to you for your legal expertise? Get current and past clients to leave a review on how amazing you were. The more stars you have on your profiles and more reviews you have, Google will see you as more of an authority and so will future clients. Clients want to know they will be in good hands, particularly when it comes to hiring an attorney.
But what if people are hesitant to leave a review because they don’t want to be associated with a crime? They don’t have to state what they used your service for; they just need to let others know about the experience.
Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews, either. After you close a case, send a follow-up email with a link to your Google My Business page and ask for a review. You can use a tool like PlePer’s Google Review Link, to make it even smoother for the client to leave a review.
8. Build Links
Time and time again, link-building is still the #1 ranking factor in Google’s eyes. So if you are looking to gain some traction in the SERPs, you need to have a strong backlink profile.
But how do you get backlinks? One powerful way is to create an amazing piece of content that other sites will want to link to.
Also, create citations. Citations are other profiles on the web that include your offices’ NAP as well as include a backlink to your site. Be careful with citations, though, as you only want to do the main citations that you can find. Some of the older citation sites can be spammy now.
No matter what area of law you specialize in, these 8 SEO tips for attorneys will help you rank better in the SERPs. I’ve seen these best practices make a world of difference for many law offices and I’m confident that they’ll help yours, too.
By the way, if you’re looking for a great strategic partner when it comes to SEO, talk with Big Leap. We’ve worked with multiple companies in the legal, SaaS, eCommerce space, and everything in-between.
What SEO tips for attorneys do you have? Leave your thoughts in the comments.