If you are a lawyer that is new to SEO, then I’m hoping I can help you out a bit. If you’re not familiar with SEO (search engine optimization) I’ll try to make this as simple as possible. SEO helps your website rank higher on Google for services your clients may be looking for.
When someone types “criminal defense lawyer in Dallas” and you see that list of 10 websites or “organic” search results, you may wonder how they got there. It was through SEO efforts. Below you’ll find some tips for lawyer SEO and the basic you’ll need.
Get a Good Lawyer Website
You can’t do lawyer SEO without a good website. What is a good website for a law firm? Well there are a few things you’ll need to look at. First you need to ensure that your website is mobile and tablet friendly. Google likes websites that are user-friendly so if it doesn’t work on a smart phone, it may not rank too well.
If you can afford a custom website, that would be best but you can also get the job done with a simple templated website. Just make sure that is user-friendly and fast! Page speed is another important part of a websitCreate Unique & Useful Content
When you make a website. You need to make sure you offer some useful information. If you just have a website that says Home, About us, Practice Areas, Contact & Blog, you won’t get anywhere. You need to provide useful information and you can see what I mean when you search the top attorneys in your area. Google loves useful content since it helps there users. DO NOT COPY AND PASTE CONTENT! If you copy and paste content not only are you plagiarizing but Google will not approve of that duplicate content. You can’t rank without unique content.
Manage your NAP
Whether you are doing SEO in-house or through a third-party company, you want to make sure you’re citations are all taken care of. These are your foundation links and should be set up properly before you do anything else. Citation or Directory links are back links you get from places such as Yellow Pages or Yelp.
Your NAP (name, address, phone number) should match on all of these sites. This helps Google determine where you are located and helps you rank higher on Google Maps. For laweyrs, Google Maps is a very powerful and free tool they can use to get more traffic and leads.
Setup Google My Business
If you want to show up on Google Maps, when someone searches for “lawyer near me” then you’ll need to set up Google My Business. This is a free tool from Google that allows you to customize your business profiles and get more exposure. This also allows potential clients to call you directly or get directions to your law firm without ever having to go to your website.
Get a Live Chat Service
Getting Traffic isn’t enough. You need to make sure that you are helping all of your visitors. If you do not answer your phone calls you are missing potential clients. A good option for law firms is installing Live Chat services on their website. They can work with a company such as NGage which specializes in live chats for law firms. They offer a 24/7 live chat system and charge you whenever they provide you with a valid lead.
Get Listed on Lawyer Website.
There are many websites out there such as Lawyers.com, Avvo.com, Justia.com etc. Getting listed on lawyer website will help you build your domain authority and start ranking higher for terms you are optimizing your website for. Some of these are free while others are paid. These can be very useful since they don’t only give you an SEO benefit but they can also provide you with leads.
Be Active on Social Media
These days, Google looks at everything. All platforms online are connected one way or another. When you start being active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc I feel Google can tell. You want to make sure you are getting likes, shares and comments on all of your social profiles. These “social signals” will help brand your name with Google and raise your online reputation. It’s also a great way to pass information on to your potential clients.
Pick a Niche
SEO for lawyers is one of the most competitive niches. For this reason, you don’t want to go and try to rank for “lawyer in New York”. If you have a new website you won’t rank anywhere. Google only ranks you on page 1 if they feel you provide value. Why should they put a new website on top of all the other sites out there?
One way to make the ranking process easier for you is by picking a niche. Either go into criminal defense, personal injury, family law or another type of law to focus on. This way you can dominate where you know best and not compete with all of the lawyers around you.
Don’t buy 1000 back links. Don’t use an AI software to spin content. Don’t autopost news stories on your Facebook account. Don’t use virtual Regus Offices for Google My Business (if you do around my client I’ll probably report you). Trying to cheat your way to the top won’t work. Do SEO the right way and you’ll get good long-term Results
Your practice wasn’t built over night. SEO takes months to do and sometimes years. It is a never ending process and you have to always continue improving your website and strategy as to stay ahead of the competition. For a new website in a competitive area, you’re looking at 9-12 months before you start seeing results. 2-3 years before you’re at our peak. From there you start focusing more on conversion optimization.