SEO For Lawyers
A deeper look into the importance of SEO for Lawyers and how to achieve a top ranking for your law firm in Vaughan, Markham, and the rest of the Greater Toronto area.
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Local SEO for Lawyers, Attract Clients Near You
A vital part of maintaining a successful law firm online marketing strategy is law firm website design and the law firm SEO campaign to stand out in a locale with search engine rankings.
While it can sometimes seem like a daunting task, showing up on result pages through organic results in Google, Bing or other search engines should be at the forefront for all lawyer marketing campaigns.
Through thorough search engine optimization and tried and tested methods and techniques, getting on the first page of the search engines is definitely achievable.
Getting clients from your local area is a key for a successful law firm.
Start attracting your clients near you in the greater Toronto area including Vaughan, Markham, Mississaugua, Brampton, Richmond Hill, Oakville, and more.
What is SEO for Lawyers?
To get acclimated with the inner workings of search engine optimization for lawyers, we must first understand what SEO for lawyers is.
The further we dive deeper into the 21st century, the more the world has become reliant on search-based answers to all of our questions.
Google, the king of search engines, is a key component to all website owners and the ability to show up on the first page can garner great results.
Great SEO is achieved through strategically planned website optimization methods and rich, bodied content to enhance your website’s pages.
And through having great content on your website, it will attract more links to your website, which will give it another boost.
Why should lawyers invest in SEO For Lawyers?
Before digging into the hows and whats, let’s figure out why a local law firm would invest in SEO for lawyers as their chief marketing initiative.
The internet – and Google – are here to stay.
Consumers are the driving force behind the ever-growing Google world we now find ourselves living in.
Gone are the days where conventional advertisements and yellow pages dominated the marketing spectrum.
Search has and will be the go-to for all users searching for local attorneys and it’s time to get behind that methodology. Consider the following statistics:
- Since 1998, when Google was founded, searches have skyrocketed from 10,000 queries per day to upwards to 1.2 trillion
- 20% of all search queries are for consumers looking for businesses
- 40% of all searches are done on mobile
Being featured on the top page in Google will give your law firm a leg up on your competition simply by being there when the consumer is looking.
Doing so organically will provide a freeway for your law firm to gain the first crack to hundreds, if not thousands of visitors searching for attorney services.
As far as investing in organic, local SEO, it’s important to consider these facts:
- Pay-per-click or paid ads only go as far as you are willing to pay.
- Meaning, once you stop paying, the ads go away and your law firm’s visibility with it.
- Percentage-wise, over 51% of all traffic comes through organically, vs 10% of paid, 5% of social and the rest through different sources.
- 87% of all smartphone users search at least once per day
- Google handles 94% of all online searches with the desktop achieving a 34% click-through rate and mobile achieving 35%
- Once users hit the second page of Google searches, a 2-3% drop-off occurs and further on as they get to more and more pages of search results.
- 91% of adults use Google to find information.
Why is local SEO For Lawyers important?
Simply put, on a grander scale, achieving great SEO results can take months to realize.
Not to mention the uphill battle your law firm would have against expediently higher amounts of law firms globally, locally-based SEO for lawyers can give you results in the city you are in.
Consider that most firms are gunning for the higher, more used key words or phrases and not necessarily locally.
Being the first on your locale’s Google searches can go a long way.
Most law firms around the globe also aren’t adhering to the best practices, which is constantly changing.
Being updated and at the forefront of Google’s rigorous algorithm can take time, patience and dedication.
Once this has been achieved though, the results will show!
Keywords and key phrase research
Establishing your unique set of key phrases will be at the epicenter of your SEO campaign.
These terms will directly reflect your law firm and will give you the absolute customer base your practice is seeking.
For example, if your law firm has a strong presence with “criminal defense attorney”, it’s best to explore other options surrounding those terms.
The first step is to set up an account with Google Ads.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to use the Google paid ad console. You will just be gaining access to a powerful Google tool known as the Keyword Planner tool.
This will enable you to find similar key phrases related to your expertיise that you may or may not have thought of.
These phrases will also come with metrics related to them, including search volume and consistency.
When it comes to your legal practice, there are a few things to consider when coming up with a research scheme:
- Research intentions
Putting yourselves in the consumer’s shoes can make all the difference in your phrasing approach.
While the intention of the consumer can’t be actualized, having your firm’s website prepared for the line of thinking your potential customer would have is of tantamount importance.
For example, when users type in “How to prepare a prenuptial agreement” – they may not be looking for legal counsel necessarily, but if they land your website page through a similar type search, it may as well be on your website.
For users just looking to do research, it’s important for your website to feature useful information that will give users a trust factor when and if they do consider hiring an attorney.
- Hiring intentions
When users go online to search for legal representation, they are looking for a specific cause.
Being on top of what your potential legal client would be looking for can help put them in the right direction.
The content of your website pages should reflect the potential client’s needs in mind.
Optimizing Keywords and Phrases
There will be multiple instances of your keywords online – both from your website and from other sources that will help maximize results.
Focusing on the important ones first and moving to the less important ones will help the process.
For instance, focus on your business’ Google my Business page first and then move towards your core website pages – like the home page and services section.
After that is accomplished, get your FAQ section and blog ready for optimization.
There are many elements to the Google My Business page and each have their own components to optimize.
Google My Business page
Your law firm’s My Business page will be the one that shows up on Google when results come in locally.
By optimizing your Google My Business page, it will offer a few benefits in your search engine optimization initiatives.
First off, your Google My Business pages are essentially a mini-website that sits within the Google framework.
Secondly, there’s a higher likelihood your Google My Business page gets ranked higher than your actual website because of that factor.
Here are a few items to cross off as you make your way through the Google My Business page:
- Name, Address, Phone Number
Make sure everything stays consistent across all platforms and websites.
Ensuring you have all the correct contact information can seem like something small, but will have a big importance on all your online profiles.
When marketing locally, make sure you have your local phone numbers and the firm’s address properly in place.
- Verifying the law firm
To get verified within the Google My Business platform, you will either receive a postcard in the mail or a text message to the firm’s phone number.
Once this has been verified and completed, a “Verified” stamp next to your law firm’s name will appear.
A very important component to the Google My Business profile is the categories of services your firm will provide.
Giving them a healthy list of services will give your customers options and will fill out your Google My Business page’s service section.
Being as specific as possible will lend itself to more meaningful visits and better results.
Be sure to pick about 3-5 categories that best describe your law firm’s expertise.
An example list of lawyer practice areas can include the following:
- Divorce Lawyer
- Estate Planning Attorney
- Family Law Attorney
- Bankruptcy Attorney
- Business Lawyer
- Real Estate Lawyer
- Immigration Attorney
- Employment Lawyer
- Trial Attorney
Think of your description as your elevator pitch to potential customers.
Write out a 100-200 word explanation of your firm’s expertise that might include a brief history, recent successes, and a list of expertise.
Being as succinct and descriptive as possible within those constraints will give more reason for potential clients to book with your law firm.
With your Google My Business page, it allows for pictures that best reflect your business.
Consider images that convey confidence and power within your firm, such as headshots or board meetings.
Ensure your images have a strong resolution and focus and shouldn’t be more than 5MB in size.
Try to optimize the images so they are perfect squares and fit in the 720×720 pixel resolution. Best practices also would be to replace the background image with something branded from your firm.
- Hours of Operation
Like the website, phone numbers and address as mentioned above – your hours of operation should all be uniform and accurate.
Leaving less confusion for the end user will go a long way.
Optimizing your Website
When it comes to optimizing your law firm’s website for maximum results, it’s best to start with the core pages.
By having the hiring intent in mind, it’s best to start with your homepage and then your services sections.
Giving your clients the best opportunities to connect to you is through your services.
Here are a few tips on some of the deeper elements within those pages:
- Title Tag
One of the most important components to your website page is the title tag.
This will be the text within the blue link that comes up on Google when searched for.
This will also be a small but descriptive embodiment of what that page represents.
For all pages within your website, it’s very important to incorporate the key phrases and terms you had lined up earlier.
Suggested locally based titles should include the city or locale your firm is in plus the descriptive title.
Using 50-65 characters, many websites will feature a strong title plus the category it’s in as part of the title tag.
- Meta Description
The other element that’s essential is the meta description.
Keeping the description in a tight 100-150 characters might be small, but a great description can go far! This will be the other piece of information the end user will see on the Google search pages under the Title tag.
When considering the meta description, incorporating the key phrase in there will also help increase your website page’s searchability.
- H1 Tag
The H1 tag should always sit at the top of every page.
It will be a descriptive and concise description of what the page brings and should incorporate the keyword you’ve chosen for that page.
To garner the best results through SEO for lawyers, it’s best practice to make sure your home page has between 500 – 1000 words.
Your home page should include a strong description of your law firm’s mandate as well as clear and concise descriptions of your various service offerings.
In keeping with SEO standards, all of the text should read naturally and compelling and should help encourage users to go further on in your website
- Service Pages
Being diligent and strategic about laying out your service pages can be very integral to your website’s success through SEO for lawyers.
Increase performance of pages on your website with a good user experience to allow users to find the information that they are looking for easily.
Refrain from cramming all of your services on to one page and spread out the services on to multiple useful and insightful pages.
In each page, strategically place your keyword and map out detailed content throughout the various pages. Each page will garner different results to the different offerings you will provide for your customers.
They will receive the same treatment as the home page – with a descriptive Title Tag, Meta Description, H1 Tag and should be anywhere between 500 and 1000 words.
To help the user reach out to you be sure to include a call to action, such as “call us now” or “for more details, email us”.
A call to action helps the user to take an action while they are reading the content on the page and shifts their mode from reading to taking an action. Whether it is to reach out to you to get a quote or ask a question both can result in converting the user into a client.
- Other Content Pages
By doing your due diligence through the Keyword Planner tool, you’ll be able to get more ideas for content pages that will be searchable.
Include those keywords you find into other pages and blog posts and you can be sure to add more avenues to your website through those words.
- FAQ Section
A great way to give your customers a page of most asked questions is to simply set up a Frequently asked questions page.
This should include all of your customer questions upon their initial consultation with your firm.
Being able to tackle all the questions might be a difficult task at first, but if you have some of the basic ones you get fairly frequently, it can go a long way to understanding your client before they become your client!
Links and Citations
Once your website and Google My Business pages are all optimized, another set of practices are important to setting your firm apart from the pack
As mentioned above, consistency across all platforms and entities are important.
None more than your name, address and phone number. Having consistency across all platforms will help increase your Google viability.
When you have your name, address and phone across various directories – both nationally and locally – it will create more avenues for your law firm to grow online.
By utilizing websites such as YellowPages or Yelp, it will give users more ways to get to your law firm with consistency.
By registering and creating accounts on directories, you increase your website’s ranking through those directory current rankings online.
As a law firm, it’s also important to add to various industry-specific directories as well.
Websites such as FindLaw.com and Avvo.com will add to the different ways clients can try and find your law firm.
A tried and tested method of good SEO practice is link building.
When website’s point their links back to your website and your website posts reciprocal links, it gives your Google profile a more clout.
Creating links to websites with more of a presence than your own is best practice.
For instance, a link to or from CNN.com would give you a lot more merit as it has a heavier standing on Google.
The more links your website has the better.
How would you build those links?
Through the directories mentioned above and through your SEO efforts, will you build a proper link pool.
Other methods such as seeing what your competition has done online and relationships you have built offline can also create more online clout over time. Be sure to follow up with your relationships to confirm those linking online.
Reviews have been a long-standing part of the internet lexicon. Receiving good reviews will inevitably give your law firm more credence offline, but will most certainly count for more online.
With more impactful reviews being received through Google reviews, it will help give your Google My Business page more visibility to prospective customers.
When an overwhelming amount of good reviews is viewable to your customers, a sense of credibility will give your law firm a leg up on the competition.
Other review websites such as Yelp or FindLaw.com for attorneys also give your online footprint more influence across the internet.
To help your case, it’s good practice to send out emails requesting great Google reviews.
Being proactive about getting these reviews will give your law firm a more credible leg to stand on and give your prospective clients more assuredness.
The final component to your SEO for lawyers journey will be tracking your successes and failures on Google.
By successfully measuring your website’s success using core metrics, you will be able to tell what methods are working and what ways need some tweaking.
Ranking high on Google is and should be your main goal.
If you see great results from the different tips we’ve highlighted above, then ensure you maintain those best practices.
Through the Google search console, you will be able to see where you rank on certain terms and where you’ll be needing more help.
Website traffic is another gauge you can keep a log of how your website is performing.
Through website analytics tools, you can see how many click throughs are coming through to your website and by what means they got there.
You can also gauge which locations and devices your clients are using to get to your website pages.
Taking a proper stock of what is working and what is not should be a monthly task to review and engage.
Conversions are the cornerstone of every successful campaign.
Bring a user to a website, but can you convert them? That is the million dollar question.
Having these successful methods intact should help you convert but ultimately you’ll need to sell the user on the law firm’s best practices and methods.
Being your client’s best advocate starts at ensuring their trust online and affirming that trust through your law firm’s detailed and work.
If you are a lawyer and you are looking to expose your firm online you need an SEO agency.
Contact us to get started today with SEO for lawyers and work with one of Toronto’s top digital marketing companies.
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