SEO for criminal defense lawyers is one of the best ways to promote your legal services. The promotional activity is perfect for all brands dependable on Google and other search engines, increasing visibility for highly relevant keywords. Most importantly, it helps with local SEO, allowing criminal defense law firms to gain leads from their home city.
However, there’s much more to search engine optimization than meets the eye. The activity can affect criminal defense attorney marketing in numerous ways, increasing brand awareness and authority. With it, not only can you land more clients, but you can close higher-value deals.
In this article, we’ll talk about SEO benefits for a criminal defense law firm, how this marketing approach compares to other promotional methods, and how to find the right service provider.
3 SEO benefits for criminal defense lawyers
Many legal brands are unwilling to invest in critical defense SEO because they don’t understand the underlying mechanisms. Truth be told, some people were burnt after employing a marketing brand and have decided never to hire another company again.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t change the fact that optimization is the best way to promote a website and, thus, a brand. Here are just a few numbers you have to keep in mind:
- 68% of people interact with web content through Google search
- Speaking of Google, almost 93% of all traffic comes from this search engine
- On average, a person does 3 to 4 searches a day
- SEO leads convert at 2.4 times the rate than PPC leads
- SEO leads have a 14.6% conversion rate
As you can see, not only does criminal defense SEO can be fantastic for your lead generation, but it also converts at a much higher rate. Aside from the obvious benefit, which is increased organic traffic, there are three other major perks of this marketing approach:
Increased brand awareness is often overlooked and an extremely underrated benefit of criminal defense SEO. For all intended purposes, the process is more of a branding/PR activity than a sales activity.
Unlike paid search, where your online visibility is directly connected to the money you spend, SEO is meant to slowly build up law firms from the ground up. It’s a meticulous process that takes time and is focused on creating real-world connections with other websites and influencers.
Other brands judge you not by the amount of money you spend on marketing but by how you affect the business as a whole. Even your direct competitors can appreciate the extensive industry case studies and research that you put out online. As such, your SEO efforts will not only improve your reputation and market positioning but will also open new partnership opportunities.
Since its early days, Google has been seen as the go-to platform for web search. The company has quickly eclipsed all other browsers and, to this day, is considered the best in this class. This can’t be said for other marketing platforms.
For example, despite still having lots of users, Facebook has veined in the last decade or so. Nowadays, Instagram and TikTok are seen as much more entertaining platforms frequented by most young users. In other words, if you invested in Facebook SMM, your audience profile and conversions have changed greatly from 2013 to 2023.
While Google Ads are much more resilient, having similar popularity as Google organic search results, they do little in the long run. Unlike your website or social media account, PPC advertising eliminates your autonomy, tying you to the browser. While ads can help your branding, the longevity part vanishes with your investment.
No matter where the leads come from, they will eventually land on your law firm’s website. As a result, your site is the main driving force behind your web conversions. Even if criminal defense attorneys decide to prioritize social media marketing and pay-per-click, they still have to ensure their website is working as intended.
Improving technical SEO performance is every bit as important for your sales as it’s having thousands of followers on social media. In the end, prospective clients won’t hire a criminal defense lawyer whose website doesn’t work properly. Bad architecture, broken design, slow page speed, and numerous errors can be a nail in the coffin for your business.
Aside from helping other marketing channels, criminal defense SEO helps convert people who arrive from search engine results pages. Ranking high in Google leaves a good impression on users, making them believe that you’re one of the biggest names in the industry (which isn’t always true for PPC and SMM).
What makes SEO fair and legitimate?
Despite what some people may think, SEO and internet search are extremely fair systems that put users first. Google’s algorithms were polished over time, bringing us a near-perfect web experience. Although some companies use shady tricks, reputable brands like MiroMind will never stoop so low.
Here’s what makes law firm SEO infallible and why it can provide a legitimate and ethical branding opportunity for criminal defense firms.
Search engines assess your technical performance
Before creating articles or building links, criminal defense law firms must take care of their websites’ technical aspects.
As mentioned, users are turned off by poor design and other bad solutions. They often leave such platforms before interacting with their content. Google takes note of that behavior, penalizing all platforms that can’t provide a minimal positive experience. Not only will this affect your placement, but it can also be disastrous for your sales.
Improving technical SEO won’t necessarily give you a ranking boost; it will only put you on the same playing field as other criminal defense attorneys. In other words, this is a vital precursor for other processes, telling Google that your platform is easy to browse and provides a good user experience.
Search engines analyze user experience
Back in the day, Google was much more arbitrary when assessing the quality of a website. It would take into account all sorts of ranking factors (more than 200) for assessing the quality of a platform.
Luckily, the algorithms have become much more sophisticated over time, and nowadays, a successful SEO campaign doesn’t focus on cheap tricks and gaming the system. A criminal defense attorney has to provide a truly amazing experience to its visitors so that a page can rank in the top ten.
Google analyzes user experience metrics such as time spent on a page and the number of pages visited during a single session. If you can ensure that people stay on your criminal defense website for a while, you can gain much more traction for that particular piece of content.
Search engines take into account other bloggers
One of the best ways to tell a website is good is by checking its link profile. If other criminal defense firms regularly link to your article, this is a sign that you’re perceived as an industry leader. Even if you can’t get links from other industry blogs, your SEO strategy should revolve around getting as many quality hyperlinks as possible.
Links are probably the most powerful ranking factor for a criminal defense firm, especially when coming from direct competitors. Over time, the number of links slowly increases the authority of your website and specific pages.
While links can still be manipulated to an extent through paid guest posting and link schemes, the best law firms gain them almost naturally from their daily posting. By growing your brand to a certain level, your law firm will be perceived as a legitimate, quality business.
Search engines assess local feedback
For the most part, your local SEO strategy will determine the success of the entire SEO campaign. Like many other service businesses, criminal defense lawyers depend on leads coming from their home city. Although you might receive inquiries from nearby rural areas and even other townships, your business hinges on local paying clients.
Out of all SEO strategies, local optimization is probably the fairest of them all. After creating Google My Business profile, you can start acquiring feedback from previous customers. These online reviews are shown in the search engine, and potential clients use them to assess the quality of your criminal law practice.
While some people are willing to remove their negative reviews, most users won’t do so. So, a criminal defense law firm has to provide elite service to rank on top of Google. Even better, the search engine can nowadays better determine if a person has truly visited your law firm and whether they made a purchase. In other words, it’s getting harder to trick the system with fake reviews.
As you can see, unlike some other marketing strategies that allow you to use various dirty tricks, SEO focuses on providing real value. For example, while click baiting and controversy might help your social media presence, the same strategy won’t work for search optimization. Similarly, you can’t throw your money at the screen as you could with a paid search.
No, criminal defense SEO is meant to slowly build your brand and turn it into one of the most authoritative platforms in the industry. While the process might take some time compared to other marketing tactics, it ensures the long-term success of your criminal defense practice.
3 Tricks for choosing a reputable SEO firm?
For the most part, the success of a criminal defense SEO strategy depends on the marketing company providing the service. Like in any other business, there are brands that do a good job, and there are those that will do the bare minimum.
Here are the main things to pay attention to when hiring a provider for your criminal defense marketing:
Check their process
If you read articles such as this, you’ll notice that most SEO publications mention track records as the main factor for choosing a provider. Although the past results can’t be neglected, there’s something even more important to consider: The SEO strategy and methodology.
Learning more about the company’s processes can show you how well it can adapt to change. As this industry is in a state of constant flux, you need to find providers that have a certain level of adaptability. Specifically, you need to check how they approach the following procedures:
As mentioned, technical optimization doesn’t necessarily provide an edge over the competition. Nevertheless, it can be a good indication of an SEO firm’s experience and expertise. Brands that can improve indexing and maximize design usually have a good understanding of HTML, basic optimization processes, and Google algorithms.
Competetive analysis and keyword research
Ideally, you should partner up with providers that have several criminal defense law projects under their belt. They should be well aware of the biggest brands in the industry, lucrative keywords, and industry-specific strategies.
Competitive analysis is a process commonly performed at the start of the optimization process. During this time, a provider should learn more about the biggest criminal defense law firms and how well they perform search engine optimization. Among others, the competitive analysis can help find market gaps that your criminal defense law firm can exploit.
On-page SEO pertains to the creation and modification of landing pages and website content. Given that articles are the vehicle for driving leads, they are the focal point of any law firm’s SEO strategy.
To assess a provider’s quality, a criminal defense law firm should take a peek at the marketing company’s previous articles. If they worked with other law firms (which is the best-case scenario), you should check the post they’ve created for your competitors. Quality information and attention to detail can indicate how they will perform on-page SEO for your site.
Off-page SEO, also referred to as link-building, refers to various external procedures. During this step, a provider is creating long-lasting relationships with other bloggers from your industry.
If an SEO company worked with other law firms in the past, it should already have a list of contacts that can be used for your criminal defense law firm’s link-building. While a marketer can still do a good job building a network from scratch, it would be much easier if they worked with other law firms in the past.
As mentioned, local optimization is the hardest process to manipulate. Whether or not you reach the top of search engine rankings often depicts on a criminal defense lawyer and his ability to provide quality service.
Nevertheless, it’s another area that can show you how the SEO company does its job. Specifically, you should check local rankings they’ve attained for previous legal clients.
Of course, you’ll still have to check the SEO provider’s track record. Unfortunately, analyzing their past performance is much harder than analyzing their marketing procedures. This is partially because marketers know how to mask their failures and present you with the best-possible case studies.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when analyzing their past performance:
- Like in previous cases, you should focus on the work they’ve done for other criminal defense websites. The logic here is if they managed to help other criminal lawyers, they’ll also help your law firm
- Check online reviews and try to find disgruntled customers. You can also track the marketing company’s social media profiles to dig up past clients. Contact these people directly and ask them about their opinion about a provider. This will give you the best, most relevant insights into their marketing efforts and performance
- Pay attention to how a marketing company presents its past results. It’s very uncommon for a site to have straight-up improvements to its organic performance. So, if their clients have unusual spikes in traffic and rankings, this might indicate gray and black-hat SEO techniques
- Be wary of SEO providers that don’t perform well in Google search. If they’re so good at their job, they should also be able to optimize their own site. On the other hand, keep in mind that the SEO niche is much harder than some other industries, so this shouldn’t always be an indictment
- Perform full marketing analysis by hiring a consultant. Use SEO tools to assess different aspects of SEO provider’s site as well as their past clients’ performance
With these tricks, you can make a much better investment and find the right partner for your law firm.
It’s common for SEO companies to make a short call before onboarding a client. This initial conversation can tell you a lot about a provider, their professionalism, and their methodology. Here are a few things to keep an eye on during the interview:
- Use of SEO tools and Excel sheet
- Using meticulous breakdowns and explanations
- Protecting past clients’ data during the interview
- Clear and concise communication in English
- Punctuality and other behavior traits
After assessing all these things, you can have a better understanding of who you’re dealing with. Communication is a big factor during this step, as you don’t want to work with a provider who doesn’t understand your needs.