The number of attorneys out there is growing. Standing out against your competition can be hard, especially if you’re located in a densely populated or highly competitive area. You might find that there are several other lawyers in your particular specialty in the same area that you service. You might have a website, but so do all of your competitors. How can you make sure that you’re the one at the top of the search results page? Here are 7 important SEO tips for lawyers to help your website stand out from the rest.
One of the first steps in your lawyer SEO strategy should be researching keywords. These are the words that potential clients are searching for when they’re looking for a lawyer. If you incorporate these keywords into your website, you’re more likely to generate the kinds of leads you’re looking for. Go the extra step and do the research into the keywords within your specific specialty. This helps you to more directly target potential clients and have less competition to worry about.
After you’ve done your keyword research, do some investigating into your competition. See where your competitors rank for the keywords you’ve found. This will help you to understand where other law firms stand in the search results pages for those words.
Now that you’ve found your keywords, it’s time to create pages around them. The more high-quality, relevant content you’re able to create around these words, the better. For instance, let’s say that you specialize in criminal law. You can create pages around keywords such as theft, probation, expunging records, assaults, and domestic violence. Keywords should be included in your titles, meta descriptions, headers, URLs, and images. At the same time, while the use of keywords is important, it’s also important that you don’t go keyword stuffing. Stuffing pages with keywords look suspicious to the search engine bots that crawl your website, and can, therefore, lead to penalties and lower rankings.
Google My Business, or GMB, is a tool that allows businesses, including law firms, to manage their presence on Google, including in the search results and in maps. This listing provides potential clients with crucial information such as your name, your address, and your phone number (also referred to as your NAP). It will also let users know what your hours of operation are, what types of law you practice, and a bit about your firm. GMB also provides you with a way to interact with potential clients. Make sure that all of your information is correct on your GMB page and that your NAP is the same here as it is everywhere else (consistency in your NAP across your website as well as across the internet is very important). You will also be able to categorize your practice so that potential clients know exactly what you offer.
Local SEO is very important. You’ll want to optimize your keywords by targeting local areas. For instance, if you practice criminal law in Atlanta, your keywords may include “Atlanta criminal lawyer.” If you serve more than one area, you’ll want to create pages for each location. Create landing pages for each city or town and make sure that the content for each location is unique. If you just copy and paste from one location to the next, only changing the name of the town or city, you could actually be penalized for duplicate content. You’ll also want to make sure that you have a separate GMB for each location.
It’s not just content, but quality content that offers clients something relevant and valuable that matters. Again, create unique content around your targeted keywords and make sure that has something to offer your potential clients. Avoid stuffing keywords into any posts you make. It’s also important that you put out consistent content. While it can be hard to blog and manage your law firm, make sure that you make some sort of plan to get your content out. This might mean creating a bunch of articles ahead of time and releasing them at regular intervals.
Penalties have a hugely negative impact on your rankings. You can get penalized due to changes in search engine algorithms, or you can get manual penalties. You can get penalized for things such as keyword stuffing, having your site hacked, having low-quality backlinks to your site, or if your website shows all of your content to search engine bots but not to visitors. If your website does get penalized, make sure that you find out the cause and fix it as soon as possible.
More and more people are searching for what they need on the go. This means that online searches are being done on mobile devices instead of a desktop or laptop. If someone gets into a serious car accident, they may want to get a lawyer right away rather than waiting until they get home. This means that you’ll want to optimize your website for mobile users. Sites that aren’t mobile-friendly won’t rank as high in search results pages. They’ll also take away from the user experience. Google has a mobile friendliness test that you can run your website through to make sure that it meets the requirements.
Standing out from all of the other law firms in your area means that you need to implement an effective SEO strategy. The first place that most people go to when looking for a lawyer is the internet, and your website is the first thing that your potential clients will see. With a great SEO strategy, you will find yourself at the top of the search results page and reaping the benefits of this position.