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Buying links, trading links, “tricks” to get to the “top of Google” — what is sometimes marketed to attorneys as law firm SEO tips can be anything but. These practices can be expensive, don’t often yield results, and may do damage to your firm’s web presence.

There are safe ways to increase your law firm’s search engine visibility. Safe law firm SEO tips don’t carry the risk of “cheating” Google. These methods benefit search engines, potential clients, and your firm. As part of a good content strategy, they can turn your law firm’s website into a resource that generates revenue for your firm.

Useful, content-rich law firm websites attract potential clients.

One of the best law firm SEO tips is to write with your potential clients in mind. When you do, keywords should occur naturally in the content you write. (To get into the mindset of your potential clients, you may want to create law firm client personas.)

Are you confused about search engine optimization? Do you wonder how potential clients really find your law firm’s website? Read about how law firm SEO works.

You might waste valuable time if you do hit-or-miss keyword research. Your content will be more effective if you write to assist your potential clients. Ask yourself what questions they might have about their case or problem. What is their desired outcome for that problem? Is there a concrete goal they want to achieve? What do potential clients want to know when they meet with you face-to-face?

Detailed, useful content is more likely to reach qualified potential clients. It accounts for their background and their particular case or problem. As a result, this content tends to answer the questions they’re likely searching for. It’s information they can use. It’s helpful, it engenders trust, and it can position you as a thought leader as you build your content. That can increase the chances that your content ranks well in search engine results pages.

Use the kind of language your potential clients are likely to use. There’s jargon you use every day as a practicing attorney. Legalese is confusing to your potential clients. It can also turn them away from contacting your firm. Legal matters can be complex and scary to those outside the law. When possible, avoid formality, archaic words and Latin terms in law firm website content. If legalese must be used, explain those terms in plain English.

Write often. Having a law firm blog isn’t enough. It’s regular contributions to that blog which make a difference for law firm marketing. Great content added often can improve law firm visibility in search engine results.

Use long-tail keywords to improve law firm website traffic.

Some attorneys believe they should write content for a broad audience. This can be a mistake. For example, it’s unusual for potential clients to search for “DUI attorney Arizona” and sift through the results. They need an answer faster than that. They may not even realize they need an attorney yet.

Potential clients generally ask detailed questions of search engines. They ask questions the same way they might when they meet you for a consultation. Potential clients searching for information about their case or problem are often interested in just that — their case or problem.

They may not care about basic DUI information. They may not be ready to call you. Yet, they may want to see informative blog posts on subjects such as:

  • How a second DUI arrest could affect them in the state where they live if they’re still on probation from their first DUI.
  • They were driving on a suspended license when they were pulled over for a DUI out of state. Maybe they refused a chemical test but the officer didn’t tell them about the potential consequences of refusing. What happens then?

You have a better chance of capturing qualified potential clients when you write about solutions to their problems. Potential clients are unlikely to search for just a few keywords. They’re more likely to ask questions like what you see above.

You should also avoid overly broad keywords when you optimize your content.

Long-Tail Keywords For Law Firms

Take the broad keyword “DUI attorney Atlanta.” Do you improve your visibility by using “DUI attorney Atlanta” in your content, headers, and titles? It’s difficult to compete in search engine results when other attorneys are writing similar content. No matter how good the content, your website may show up on the tenth page of results. (Most people don’t search through that many results.)

It’s difficult to compete with such a broad, highly sought after term. The traffic you get may not come from your most qualified potential clients. (As law firm SEO tips go, engaging in practices like keyword stuffing is a bad idea.)

Again, potential clients aren’t likely to search for “DUI attorney Atlanta” alone. Instead, they might ask:

“What do I do if I failed a field sobriety test in Atlanta?”

“Do police have to read me my rights during a DUI arrest in Georgia?”

Avoid focusing on simple terms like “DUI attorney Atlanta.” Focus on using long-tail keywords in your content. Here’s an example why long-tail keywords can help your firm attract more qualified potential clients.

Conduct a Google search for the term, “Golf clubs.” You’ll see results for many kinds of golf clubs: 18-piece sets, 12-piece sets, left-handed clubs, right-handed clubs, clubs made by every different company you can think of. It wouldn’t be surprising if large, popular companies hold the top 10 first-page results. A broad term will provide you with broad results.

But if you’re in the market for golf clubs, you may already know what you’re looking for. You’re likely to search for something in particular: “Right-handed Callaway men’s golf clubs.” Maybe you’re even more focused than that: “Right-handed men’s Callaway 18” graphite hybrid golf club.” The results you receive for that query versus “golf clubs” are very different.

The more detailed you are in your search, the better the results you’ll receive. Your potential clients are looking for specific answers, so answering their particular questions can make it easier for you to be found in results pages.

Don’t focus on basic terms like “drunk driving arrest.” Instead, build long-tail — or highly specific — keywords. (“How do I explain a drunk driving arrest on a job application?” “Do police have to read Miranda Rights during a drunk driving arrest?”)

Think about the language your potential clients are most likely to use to craft the best long-tail keywords in your content. Using long-tail keywords isn’t a substitute for good content. Make sure that your content is informative and helpful to those searching for it.

Use long-tail keywords in specific places on law firm websites.

Writing focused, informative content is the best way to reach potential clients online. But you can also help search engines understand your content by including those specific, long-tail keywords in a few places.

Be sure that your long-tail keywords accurately describe what your page is about. If you use a long-tail keyword about “What Divorcing Couples Should Know About Community Property In Arizona” and the page you provide has a contact form and no information, neither search engines nor potential clients will be satisfied.

Add those long-tail keywords to your page’s title and to the page’s URL. Add your keywords to your blog’s headers, too. When you write for your potential clients, these additions should be a natural result of focused, detailed content.

Law Firm SEO starts with good law firm website content.

There are no magic tricks to get ahead in search engine results. Engaging in tactics meant to trick search engines into favoring your website are likely to do more harm than good to your law firm’s web presence. The best law firm SEO tips involve writing good content and building on that foundation. The more you write for your potential clients, the more opportunities you have to reach those who need your help. There is no “top” of Google, but there are lots of potential clients who ask questions your law firm can answer. When you do, you provide them with useful information that creates a bond of trust and increases the chances that they’ll contact your law firm.

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