As a legal professional, you understand the importance of finding and nurturing clients. Law firm SEO can help accomplish just that, by ensuring that your website is both optimized to boost search engine visibility while creating engaging content that attracts visitors and converts them into clients.
But is there a difference between SEO for a lawyer versus SEO for any other type of profession, product, or service? Absolutely. Since SEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, you’ll need to work with a law firm SEO expert who understands all aspects of the industry, one who both understands what potential clients are looking for and how to reach them.
Lawyer SEO: Why it’s important for your firm
Lawyers, as with any industry, are used to marketing. However, the marketing landscape has shifted dramatically in the last few years, with practices moving away from outbound advertising and traditional marketing methods in favor of inbound marketing. Essentially, the trend is moving towards having clients find you instead of you going out to find them.
The fact is, 70% of all new clients are found through search engines. And law firms are especially reliant on local SEO to generate leads in the firm’s geographical area since clients aren’t likely to seek out lawyers who aren’t situated nearby.
That’s why law firm SEO is a critical part of an overall marketing strategy. Whether your marketing budget includes online or offline advertising, sponsorships, or promotions in a variety of media, ensuring that your website is ready and visible to attract clients should be your top concern.
What type of law firm SEO services do you need?
Any good law firm SEO expert will deploy a series of best SEO practices designed to help your site rank well and to generate informative and engaging content that will not only attract visitors but generate quality leads.
These SEO tactics include (but aren’t limited to):
Attorney website SEO technical audit
Performing a complete SEO technical audit of your existing law firm website to identify and correct technical issues like heading tags, page indexing, errors, duplicate content, page speed issues, interlinking, content overlaps, etc.
Backlink profile analysis of law firm website SEO value
Off-site analysis to check your law firm website’s backlink profile: determining the overall quality of your backlinks, the number of quality backlinks, backlink disavowals, anchor quality, etc. The overall quality of your backlinks is critical to your website’s rankings.
New link building
In addition to conducting a backlink profile analysis, your SEO expert will come up with a backlinking strategy to ensure that all website content has the right amount of quality backlinks.
Your law firm SEO expert will perform in-depth keyword research that identifies the most relevant keywords and their variations, with the ultimate goal of creating both an SEO-optimized website wireframe and to generate highly-relevant content that will engage your potential clients.
Keyword research is a cornerstone of an effective SEO strategy, and your law firm SEO consultant has to be able to filter out relevant buyer keywords that convert from tangential keywords that hold limited traffic value.
On-site SEO refers to how well content is optimized for search. It applies to both existing and new content, as current content must be re-worked to ensure that headings, tags, main keywords, and semantically-related keywords are evenly and properly distributed.
What to look for in a Lawyer SEO company
Now that you have a basic understanding of the types of lawyer SEO services, what should you look for in an SEO expert? When searching for a provider for your law firm SEO, there are several factors to consider. After all, the best lawyer SEO company may not be who you think they are at first glance.
Law firm SEO services: 5 tips on how to choose well
1. Look for a solid SEO track record
When you’re looking for law firm SEO services, it’s important to go with an agency with a proven track record of success. Surprisingly, having experience within your industry isn’t a necessity, although it doesn’t hurt. At the end of the day, what type of reportable success metrics do they offer, and across what range of industries?
Whether you operate a law firm, an eCommerce site, or a construction business, the fundamentals of SEO are the same, regardless of the industry. Look for case studies, (verifiable) testimonials, and try to get a picture of the level of success they’ve had with other clients.
Finally, using an RFP process can ensure you weed out unsuitable applicants from worthy ones. Specify that you’ll only accept proposals from those agencies able to back up their SEO claims.
2. Beware the law firm SEO expert who promises results
The SEO industry is, unfortunately, notorious for being full of bad actors. One of the key ways to identify them and to avoid SEO scams is whether they are promising search engine results and high traffic to your website. If so, it’s a major red flag.
The unfortunate truth is, nobody can promise specific traffic levels or search engine rankings, and anyone who does is lying. The goal of SEO is to use a series of strategies gleaned from years of experience to optimize your website and generate content so that Google’s algorithm will be likely to rank it highly.
Some shady SEO “experts” claim to have either “inside information/help” or they have a “secret/proprietary technique” that guarantees results. On the other hand, a reputable SEO agency will counsel you on the best strategies that are likely to generate results, but they will always stress that the final ranking decisions will always rest with Google alone.
3. Understand their lawyer SEO marketing approach
There are other factors to look at when trying to determine how effective your SEO will be. Specifically, ask about their approach to SEO, and get a specific set of strategies they use.
Are their tactics considered “black hat” or “white hat”? Meaning, do they use SEO best practices to achieve their results or are they evasive about their methods? You must have a solid understanding of their SEO approach because any activities that Google determines are an attempt to game the system will not only yield poor results — it can harm your traffic and rankings.
At best, “black hat” methods will result in ranking penalties. At worst, your website can be delisted entirely and/or permanently banned. It’s not worth the risk.
4. A law firm SEO agency should offer a simple contract structure
While SEO services by necessity require a longer-term investment, a good SEO agency will offer flexible terms. A good SEO contract will establish the exact services that will be performed, as well as the expected timeframe for results. It will also be clear that results are not guaranteed, but won’t penalize you for ending your relationship early if you aren’t satisfied.
To make matters worse, shady SEO agencies will often lock you out of your website, effectively holding it hostage until you agree to pay their financial demands.
Your law firm SEO contract should be simple, uncomplicated, with clearly-defined language and flexible terms. It should be transparent about services to be rendered, and above all, it shouldn’t have any unreasonable guarantees or financial penalties.
5. Transparency is everything in your law firm SEO expert
How transparent is your prospective lawyer SEO expert? After all, if you plan to purchase their services, will you know exactly how your investment is going?
One of the inherent problems with SEO is that it doesn’t always work according to pre-defined timelines. All the SEO team can do is perform optimization and content generation work — the rest is up to Google. Unfortunately, this makes it easy for them to simply shrug and say “well, we’ve done X so far, but Google hasn’t decided to improve your rankings yet.”
Which is why transparency is essential. Your SEO agency should provide clear and regular reporting of their activities, results, and issues. Look for your provider to offer complete transparency through:
- Regular reports
- Dedicated messaging channels
- Activity logs
- Support ticket desks
An SEO agency with a commitment to transparency and reporting understands that the best way to maintain their reputation and grow their own business lies with being completely open and accessible.
The best law firm SEO company will help your legal practice grow
Finding the right law firm SEO company is essential to growing your client base. With so many SEO “experts” out there, finding a partner you can trust depends on doing your homework to week out the scam artists and bad actors from the professional agencies that will help you meet your business goals.
For over 12 years, Miromind has helped businesses around the world to increase their online visibility and gain qualified leads that convert into clients. Our proven track record of SEO success coupled with our commitment to transparency has been recognized by Clutch as one of the top Polish digital marketing firms in 2020.
When it comes to helping your law firm gain clients, trust the Miromind SEO team of experts to help you improve your bottom line. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.