SEO for solicitors or law firm SEO isn’t a side project for your legal services company, it’s your future. I was only talking to my brother in law this week about how they could improve things a touch at his firm. The stock reply:
We leave that with the people who design our website
Leaving SEO or growth marketing with ‘the people who design the website’, was one of the biggest mistakes I made when I first got into e-commerce. I am going to explain why you should care about your law firm SEO and what you can do about it.
But first, here’s a taster of why you should care about a Law Firm SEO strategy and it’s place as your number one source of new clients.
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Table of Contents
Law Firm SEO for solicitors who want results
Here’s a snapshot taken in July 2020 of a host of words relating to SEO for solicitors, that are attracting monthly traffic and aren’t that difficult to rank for.
What do these SEO for solicitor words mean to me?
These are a string of phrases that are currently being searched for every month in the UK and are not overly difficult to rank for.
You see that teal coloured box with a number in? That is the ‘Keyword Difficulty’ score. 100 being nigh on impossible to rank for and 0 being something you can do with your elbows. Low keyword difficulties, good amounts of traffic, mean the opportunity to divert browsers to your door.
If you offer a divorce service, or a litigation team and are not targeting one of these phrases in a solid article or collection of pieces within your website, you need to have a word with your marketing team.
Because these were the very first words I found within 60 seconds of looking.
That’s 60 seconds I discovered something that could fundamentally change your web traffic, which you have paid monthly for and not got, for – how long?
How can you tell, how your law firm SEO is looking, without treading on anyone’s toes at that outsourced agency?
We don’t want to offend anyone just yet.
Firstly, care enough about your rankings to use a keyword ranking tool like RankTrackr for $19 a month that lets you monitor these things.
You monitor your cash flow, you monitor your outgoings, new client sign ups, why wouldn’t you monitor the sources of that last data?
It’s 2020, you can measure these things and you can demand more.
So here’s an easy tool for you to see if you rank for those terms (if they relate to you) below. It’s free to use and if you sign up (Still Free) you get 10 audit requests:
SEO for solicitor work, is being done – why do this?
Why would you use us, if you have a website designer ‘Doing your Law Firm SEO’? Well, just because a divorce lawyer deals with law, you wouldn’t have them conducting corporate litigation, or conveyancing a new home purchase, would you?
With me so far?
A website is a tool for many things.
Its a tool for marketing and bringing in new customers, and a good website designer helps optimise that journey from the website to the email box.
But it doesn’t make them specialist in actually being found on Google – or Bing.
Later on in this post I am going to find a regional solicitors with a ‘Designed by’ on their footer, to show you why I know this to be true.
I haven’t picked one yet, we will do that on video and within 6 minutes or so of that video you will see what Deathground can do for your Law Firm SEO and general marketing strategy.
I am a corporate lawyer, this SEO doesn’t benefit me
Okay easy, here’s another term with traffic and not a huge difficulty score
I can go on and on, but at the moment all I am doing is showing you there are terms you can win, and you know that much already.
According to Backlinko who did a study on clicks by Google ranking position, if your law firm SEO was managed such that you were at position 1, you could expect this much of the traffic
31% of all clicks go to position 1. How about we be a little more realistic and say, “What about position 5?”
If you held position 5 for one of those terms, you would be looking at around 10% of the traffic. Here’s a colourful graphic below to illustrate that full breakdown.
What this Law Firm SEO guide should mean to you
So let’s say you target the keyword: ‘How long does a divorce take in the UK’ – think about the context of why that question is being asked.
We would put together 4 or 5 pieces maybe more of content that answer topics around that term, plus would ask your website team to make a user friendly landing page that not only answers key questions easily, it would also link out to these more expansive Q and A’s.
The page would have email capture forms, a live chat to engage visitors, whatever is needed to best turn those clicks into clients.
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And this is where most SEO for solicitors fails
You see, this is not just an SEO project, it’s a full on marketing campaign, where all the pieces need to be joined up. There are the following aspects that leaving this simply to a web designer is not an effective solution:
- Who runs the live chat to turn browsers into potential clients?
- Who is a/b testing the click rates to ensure maximum efficiency. One page headline may get less clicks than another
- Who is monitoring on-page heatmaps to see which elements confuse or confound
- Who is analysing the next target while managing this topic
It’s a lot to take on board right?
But it’s your business. And if you get it right, you can change your company’s future.
Maybe you don’t want that – maybe you just ‘Do Law Firm SEO’ to feel relevant. Or perhaps you operate a legal services business because you wanted to grow something.
If you manage it right, that keyword with 90+ search traffic a month in the UK alone, (not including variations of that term) could mean hundreds of visits to your site every month from ONE WORD alone.
Now do it across 5 to 10 of them effectively and you have a marketing campaign that runs in the background and produces leads at a cheaper rate than any Adwords or Facebook Ads will.
That’s the power of proper SEO for solicitors.
And sometimes it won’t take much to change your luck. But if you don’t know what is a good performance for law firm SEO and what is a bad one, then you are not taking it seriously enough.
What’s the point of all this legal services SEO spiel
We all want an easy life but we only know what we know. If your website isn’t doing what your nearest competitors website is, then something isn’t working. The days of referrals, while not long gone, are not the best avenue for your company’s growth.
If you want to grow, you need to change. It’s time to make search engine results a key part of your board meetings and performance reports. Knowing where you are, lets you know what is and isn’t working.
We all want new clients, and this is the easiest route to get them.
It’s a slow burner but blindly publishing x number of posts and x number of tweets each month is as good as putting money in the bin. It’s a personal feelgood task that you have ticked the box. Nothing more.
Now – to highlight this, here’s that video.
What SEO Can My Legal Firm Do In-House?
Now we are talking, here’s our quick guide on 5 easy steps you can do yourself to improve what you are getting from your online presence.
Page Speed Fixes
You know those big stock images you have on your site?
They can be smaller – MUCH smaller. They should also be named after what you want that page they appear on, to be ranked for. Law Firm SEO Tip 101 this.
Don’t go spam central, be honest. If your homepage is something you want to target Divorce Lawyers Manchester, then name the image file ‘Divorce-lawyers-manchester.jpeg’.
When you have the option of adding a description or an alt text tag – use a nice short sentence with the key phrase in:
“Johnson and Morris is a firm of divorce lawyers Manchester based, but national in outlook.”
You have used the exact string of the keyword, but in a manner that is readable.
Next make sure you have checked out a site like ‘TinyJpeg’ to compress the file size down.
If you have a multi-image ‘Hero Banner’, replace it with one clear banner that says exactly who you are. There’s another culprit of slower page load times too – called page redirect chains, make that your next read.
If you use what we call a ‘Web-safe’ font, your text will be hardcoded into everyone’s phone or laptop, it means its quicker to load. If you use a fancy Google font, the website has to request the font from the internet before it can load. This affects performance.
Add text above the fold, this means the space you first see when you open a website. This is valuable SEO real estate and shouldn’t be wasted on stock images. From here you can add links to important sections but also it means your page loads (renders) quicker and Google likes this.
Pages with better performance scores, statistically rank better.
Local SEO Directories
This one is as easy as they come and anyone in your office who can read a screen and click a mouse button can do it.
We all race to sign up our businesses to Facebook and Google Maps but they count for about 2 of 100s of business indexes globally. Now they aren’t all going to be of much value to you, but there are still about 30 alone in the UK that are well worth jumping on board with.
Here’s a great resource for them: 32 Business Listings to Add your business to
IMPORTANT NOTE: When you fill these listings in, it’s so crucial that the information is uniform across all listings. That means, write the telephone number with the same spacing, the same description, the same structure of your company name. Same hyphens, just everything – so write it all into a word document and copy and paste for each listing.
This way you keep complete accuracy across all sites, and Google/Bing can be in no doubt that it is you. This helps your Law Firm’s SEO no end, and is a key piece of SEO for solicitor advice.
You can do it yourself and by completing all of these, you also are getting ‘backlinks*’ from a host of authoritative sites, which in turn helps your rankings potentially.
*Backlinks are links from other sites to yours and help your law firm SEO by being a vote of confidence that your site is worth linking too.
Name things correctly
What you call things, the way your industry names services, is not necessarily what your potential customer searches for. You might call it litigation, your customer may search for ‘suing’. You can find a host of resources online that help you see what people search for and in what quantity, by spending an hour or so a month checking these things, you can better adapt your website, or your blog posts.
It’s not all about SEO for solicitors, sometimes, it’s about giving a better user experience, so people resonate with your web pages categories. The easier it is for people to find things and navigate around your site, the longer they stay on it.
This is a quality signal to Google – time on site, or dwell time. High dwell time sites, tend to rank better. Don’t let visitors bounce off like a repellent surface.
When you have decided what each page’s key focus is, write it into a spreadsheet and stay on top of it, to avoid ‘Cannabilising’ pages. If you have two pages on your site, saying the same thing, your chance of ranking for it as an online site, is made harder. Focus.
This sounds far more complicated than it actually is. Your site should make sense when it is crawled by Google. Categories, lead to sub-categories that are related and so on.
Creating a clear and easy to navigate structure means you are likely to do better in the rankings. Why?
Well Google will find it easier to crawl your site. If it can crawl your site, it can understand it better. This also means new content will be spotted sooner by it.
Add to this ‘breadcrumbs’ these are vital pieces of site architecture, that allow visitors to jump up a category by clicking the little links at the top of the page. Breadcrumbs make up a vital part of law firm SEO or any search optimisation strategy. They show a logical hierarchy and send internal page authority back to the senior pages.
Plus people DO use them. Make their life easier, you’ll make your new customer acquisition easier too.
Remove low quality external links
If you are a Law Firm, SEO focused for growth, remove that ‘designed by’ on the bottom of your website. That external link to an entirely unrelated sector website is taking page authority away from you. And it has no link to what you do as a business. It’s a confusing signal.
If the designers haven’t given you a discount or money for the advertising spot, it’s time to bin it off. That’s your page authority, not theirs.