Owning a business and making your business visible to potential clients on as many platforms as humanly possible is nearly impossible!
Today we live in a new era, a digital age where everyone gets their information online. With one simple search, it is now easier to find every detailed piece of information about a potential business nearby.
Keeping this in mind, it's vital that your law firm is found online, it's important to not only be found on social media but on google, bing and voice search. Lawyers are in high demand, regardless of your specialty, there are hundreds searching in your area for local legal advice.
It's why we have dedicated a page to help you get found online using SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Lawyer SEO isn't easy, you're in an industry where lead costs are high, and competition is strong. Yet, time, and time again we're able to show results against even the hardest of firms.
Having a website isn't going to get you traffic, optimising for relevant keywords, targeting the right demographic and delivering the right information can help your rankings come to life.
How do we make money by providing this information? It's simple. We know how much goes into ranking, we know the formula, and happily provide it free of charge. Because you have a business to run, and don't have time to do SEO effectively, and need someone to handle it for you. That's where we come in, we're very transparent with this.
What is Local SEO
Everything online operates on algorithms. One of these is called SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization. As the name implies, it's the art of optimizing your website to rank for the right keywords.
It is perhaps the essential tool in making sure that your law firm reaches a wide audience online.
It has been shown and documented that SEO is what gets you results on the Map Pack and in organic searches.
But SEO does not get your business on the first page in just one day. It takes time and working with the people that have the right knowledge to get your business to succeed.
Keywords that can be used are "lawyers" and "Lawyers near me", "Lawyers in_SUBURB_", "Local Lawyer", "Legal advice _SUBURB_" and the list can go on.
Why should you have it
Let's think like a potential customer. What is easier? Looking for lawyers around town, asking around and searching for physical lawyer practices or going on your phone and getting your answer in seconds? Obviously, the latter and studies seem to agree, with a whopping 88% of local business searches happening online.
People know that at the touch of a button they can find the location, the services that specific law practice can offer, their hours and even the price of their services. This is why more and more business platforms work to build a friendly online presence on as many online platforms as possible, including their own website and also on social media. Being open about what your business does and is available online shows local clients that you are transparent and trustworthy, which can get you more traffic in the long run.
Lawyer Business Growth
If you are a new law practice in your area, SEO can be your best friend in getting noticed. Even for an older business, employing local SEO on your website is key to sprucing things up and showing that you are aware of the online trends that are constantly evolving.
It may seem tedious to assume that people won't change and with minimal effort, you can still see results but SEO is something that needs to always be monitored and improved, especially if you want to expand your lawyer practice over time.
As we mentioned already, business growth does not happen overnight and especially not if you rely on just what platform. What chances does your business have to grow if you only work on your website? Include a Facebook page, an Instagram one and slowly become active on more platforms. That way, people have access to you easier. And they want to go to businesses that are visible and active.
Business Directories & Citations
A business directory is basically the online version of the old school yellow pages book. They are citation websites where you can sign up for your business. If someone requests a service from your law practice, they can then move on and rate your business and their experience. This is a good thing. If people see good reviews online they will know that you are legitimate based on other's experiences.
There are a number of such websites online, and if you want to maximize your chances, you should sign up on as many as possible. Include all the relevant details, be short, concise and to the point and you will see how these pages will flourish over time. You can use one description for all these listings but if you want better results try to change things up and have different but similar descriptions on them.
A number of relevant online examples of such directories are:
Yes, SEO is all about using keywords but knowing how to use the right ones takes time and the right kind of tools to help you succeed. There are two main tools that everyone who optimizes SEO looks at or employs and those are the Google Search Console and ahrefs.
Before you jump right to it and start looking and making a list of as many keywords as possible, you should know that there are a number of different types of keywords at that they have different degrees of relevancy when used for your local lawyer Australian practice. It may seem easy to start and go off the top of your head and makeup lists but it better that you first know the different types of keywords and how they are used.
If you want local SEO to work as fast and as best as possible, you need to understand the intent and the use that the client will have of such keywords.
Navigational keywords are used when someone looks for something specific online and wants to find it easier. They are specific keywords that lead to relevant examples. Potential clients that are looking for something up online use them when they want to find specific answers. It can either be a phone, an address, or a general location.
When users use these keywords they more often than not look to have the relevant answer straight away. To exemplify this on the topic of lawyer SEO, let's consider how this can be used. If someone types up "I need a divorce lawyer" or "where is X law practice in Melbourne" the search engine will deliver the most relevant answer. It will give the user a relevant engine result that will offer them the closest divorce lawyer in their local area, the address of the law practice firm that they are trying to find and other information like that.
Informational keywords, as the word implies, will give the user-specific information based on what they type in the search engine. The general format is "how to ….". If we apply this information to lawyer SEO, there a number of relevant examples that will help make things clear, such as:
- How to get an annulment
- How to file taxes in Melbourne
- How to get an authorization
- How to find an attorney
- How to get a divorce settlement
Based on the services that your law firm practice offers these types of keywords can be great opportunities. If you have an active presence online you can start to create content that addresses some of the before mentioned examples. For an instant, you could have a section of articles on your website on these topics. If you use those keywords in your articles you will have a higher chance to rank higher in search results and therefore you will have a greater reach among potential clients.
Commercial keywords are used by users that want to find the services that are currently available in the area. When it comes to lawyer SEO, this type of keyword is the easiest one to exemplify. Potential engine searches that users might make include:
- Best law firm in the area
- Annulment law practice
- Tax return lawyer in Melbourne
- 5-star practices in my area
The best way to use commercial keywords in order to see an increase in your organic search results is to try and incorporate these keywords into your content. Another way is to make the most out of the reviews that you can get online for your services. If your law firm gets a lot of 5-start reviews online, be it on your Google page or on business directories, it is bound to slowly but surely rank higher in search results.
Transactional keywords are perhaps the most important category out of the ones that we have already mentioned, especially for businesses that are interested in getting as many clients as possible. As the name implies, these keywords show that the user is looking to get a particular service and get it fast.
For lawyer SEO, relevant examples of transactional keyword are "best law firm in my city" "best lawyer practice in Australia" "top-rated lawyer in X" and anything of the same nature, where X can be replaced with the name of any city or area in Australia, depending on where the user is in.
The best way to learn how these keywords work is to put yourself in the shoes of the user and test them out. By seeing what the search engine gives out as results, you can start to see what you yourself can do, add, or change to your website in order to rank as high as those results you just saw.
Hiring Intent Keywords
Hiring intent keywords are incredibly important, especially for those businesses out there that want to understand how SEO works. These keywords are targeted at potential clients who are looking for a specific service. Not every law firm or every lawyer is able to practice in all aspects of law. Some may specialize in taxes, others in representing people in court, drafting legal documents and so on. Therefore, if a user looks for an "open tax law firm" that means they want to find that fast. If they search for "divorce lawyer" they are looking for someone that can represent them.
You can rank higher in search results by using these keywords and integrating them on your website. You can also add them to the posts that you make on other social media platforms in order to maximize your potential reach. Prospective clients will be sure to notice your law practice sooner if you include hiring intent keywords.
Research Intent Keywords
Research intent keywords won't be getting you, clients, fast, but what they can do is get you a reliable following that will not only learn from your content but will also learn of your business and that can also help you grow. Research intent keywords are used not when someone wants to buy a service, but when they want to learn more about that topic.
For instance, consider these two examples:
- The process of filing taxes
- Steps to get a building permit
- Divorce settlement length
What all of these examples have in common is that the user is looking for answers to these things. You can make the most out of them if you include articles about these things on your law firm's website. Not only will this boost your lawyer SEO but it will also help you seem genuine. When a business not only talks about what they can do for you but they also actively explain the process, the potential hurdles and the steps that are taken in their specific field and with the different services that they offer, it helps potential clients see them in a different light.
Making your law firm or law practice seem open but also trustworthy is key in getting a growing organic following.
When people first think of SEO they always associate it with using the right keywords, writing the right content for your website, all in all, they think it is all about using the right words in order to get people to click on your page, on your post, or on your website.
While this is all relevant and it can be called the brunt of the work that you need to get through in order to boost the reach that your law firm or law practice presence has online, there is an overlooked aspect of SEO, namely that of On-Page search engine optimization.
On-Page SEO target things such as the load speed of your website, conversion rate optimization, geotagging, and schema markup, little things that, it combined, have a big impact on how your website performs and on how high it ranks in search engine results.
Hyper-Local SEO is a type of search engine optimization where you use business directories and citations in order to boost and improve your rankings on search engines. As mentioned before, business directories are websites where profiles of local business are included. Business directories also include various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter.
Citations are used online in order to show that a business is legitimate and not a ghost or a fake business that is either inactive or has illicit purposes. Once you use citations for your lawyer business you will let people online know that your profile has real value, is legitimate and reliable for potential customers. Directories are categorized based on countries, regions, genres and specific locations.
How do you go about being present on citation sites? Well, it takes time and patience to perfect your presence online since there are a lot of citation sites available. It is by no means a one-man job and if you want it done right, it is best that you seek professional help in order to see real results. Citations can help boost both organic and mechanic traffic to your law firm or law practice business website.
You need an Online Presence
This far into the article it may seem redundant to stress the fact that your online presence is important. But it truly is. It is not enough to pay for a beautiful website and expect traffic to come in right away and for your business to flourish. As anybody who has a law business is aware, there is a lot of competition regardless of the area that you operate in.
In order to make it and stand over other lawyers that have businesses such as yourself, you'll need to have a clear listing, where clients do not have such a simple overview of contact information, prices and business hours, but also relevant content about what your services are, how long it takes for them to be completed, and also details about each step that you take when you offer your law services. It can take months to become the lead competitor in your field but this time is needed in order to naturally boost your results.
Lawyer presence on Forums
Forums seem like a thing of the last decade but people still use them regularly in order to find out answers. If you want your law firm or law practice to be seen more, you should start to dedicate time to being present online.
The forum that still has a lot of traffic even today is Quora. What sets it apart is that the people who answer questions there offer a detailed response that helps the user better understand the topic that he or she is researching. Reddit is also a popular option. You can create profiles there and use your online presence to offer legal advice. It may seem painstaking and time-consuming to dedicate time to this but people would appreciate knowing the right steps that they should take.
You may think that giving out information will drive people away but, on the contrary, it will get more people to pay attention to you. If you offer free legal counsel and market your own services, the chances that they will want to use your services can skyrocket. Forums are a niche way to get customers.
Use Google My Business
Google My Business is key when crafting a definitive online presence outside of your own platforms. When people look up a business online, one of the first things that they see is a GMB page for it, if it is available.
If you do not have one you need to have a clear listing for your law firm or business. It needs to have your NAP (name of the law firm or practice, address, and place) on there and other relevant details such as phone number, business hours and even an official email address that you might use for inquires.
If you want people to trust your GMB page, it needs to be verified. Another thing that you need to consider is that you do not have multiple listing since they can be consuming. If that has happened, you need to merge them.
Instagram for your Lawyer Business
Instagram is no longer just for personal use, it is a big social media platform where many businesses can get visibility. It is even bigger than Facebook now, which means it should be your top priority when crafting your social media accounts.
The best way to go around this is to create a business profile. You will have insights, you will see statistics, the best time to post in order for people to see your content and much more. You'll need to show people what you can do. Take pictures, make Instagram stories, answer messages, include your business information in the description and let your potential clients know that your law firm or law practice is present, trustworthy and reliable.
You can also use hashtags to boost your visibility and you may also benefit from branded keyword searches as well.
Have a Facebook Page
While Facebook is no longer number one in the realm of social media platforms, it is still a strong number two with a massive number of accounts on it. The advantage of opening a Facebook business account is that you have a lot of features and options that you can take advantage of.
And you are not alone. More and more businesses open Facebook business accounts in order to look legitimate. Since Facebook has advertising options that are quite cheap compared to other platforms, you can use this marketing strategy and target ads to the right audience in order to let them know of your law firm.
With over 2.3 billion active monthly users, Facebook is a giant platform. You can make the best of your Facebook page by including you NAP and also letting people make reviews and also message you. Some prospective clients might find it easier to send a Facebook message and inquire about your law services rather than call or come to your office.
Add you Business Details
Using relevant details for your business is key in looking like you are reliable and that your law business is legit. So, what can you do to make this right? Well, first of all, you will need to make sure that your NAP (name, address, place) for your law business is the same on all platforms, including business directories, social media sites, and your own website. NAP is the most important thing that will help you seem consistent.
We talked about this before but do not forget about your Google My Business page and make sure that the details there are up to date and the same with other business details that you have added. The reason we stress this is because, if you are not paying attention, you might forget some business details or add them wrongfully and that can hurt your rankings.
Use relevant imagery
Users can get a lot of cues from the images that you use on your pages. These subconscious cues may come to your advantage if you know how to use the right images. You might be tempted to use stock images for some of your pages but that is perhaps one of the worst things that you can do.
Be genuine, take pictures of your law office, take pictures of relevant aspects of your business, maybe even get pictures when you or your firm's lawyers are doing a consultation (with the client's approval, of course). Anything that can show your office and your interaction with client will help you seem reliable and let people see your business without actually having to get to it. If you have a professional image, they will like it and be interested in your services.
Include your reviews
You can use reviews to make the most of every listing that your law business has online. If you let people review your services you let other clients know that you are transparent and that you are interested in the feedback that you get. If you have lower ratings and you improve on the things that clients signal out you will also look like a law firm that is constantly improving.
By putting reviews up you will have social proof, a key factor for growth. Statistics show that 90% percent of customers look up online reviews to have an idea about your business and decide if they want to buy your services. It is not enough to just let reviews up but you can reply to them. Your online engagement with clients will therefore grow and help you in the long run. The more reviews you have, the more you reply to them,the better your ranking will be.
Be Featured on Google Maps
Google Maps works by using the location of various businesses and integrating it into a city or country map in order to make it as accurate as possible. If you want to be featured, what you need to do is keep all, and especially your business details, the exact same.
If you want to increase the chances of ranking high in your area, you'll need to use the words "law", "law firm", "lawyer", or "law practice" depending on the type of law business that you have and integrate them into all of your online citations. If you do all of this and do it the right way you will show the algorithms of search engines that you are a reliable business with a verified business presence which will ultimately lead to you being featured.
Let's start the work on your lawyer website
It's not easy to have a steady online presence. It will take putting in time and resources into optimizing your SEO. Once you make the most out of optimizing your content, your keywords, the presence that you have on social media, your Google My Business page, your citations on business directories and all the other things that we have previously discussed, you will be using the algorithms that sear engines use in your favor.
But do not think that once you do that the work is done. No, SEO is constantly changing and improving so if you want your law firm or law practice to still be seen in your target area, you will need to put in the work and update your content, your pages, your services, and your website. On-page SEO, Hyper-Local SEO, and Keyword SEO change over time and you need to change with them. Otherwise, you risk losing both organic and mechanic search results.
The Homepage is important
Since we talked so much about the importance of a website, it's time we get into the details. First of all, the homepage is the first thing that your client will see. In order to make the best of it, you'll need to optimize its title.
For starters, when it comes to lawyers and law practices, you can use strategic keywords that will link your business to your area and to the specific type of law that you practice, or that the law firm that you own specializes in. After the title tag, you will have a small description. Here, what you should do is make it clear, unique, and relevant to the services that you offer. Be professional, make yourself easy to understand and people will surely click and access your webpage.
Add Service Pages
Service pages are a key part of the design that your website has. These are pages that include all the relevant details that your client might want to know based on the services that you provide.
If you want your website design to be flawless and seamless you will need to include these service pages into the first page of your website and organize the information in such a way that when let's say, a user clicks on your website, they see that you have a title for "Divorce Settlement" which can then take them to a page where you describe this as a service that you provide. You will then have a seamless transition and you will be able to add more information utilizing the right keywords for the area, the service and the intent you have with that specific service page.
Apart from service pages, you will also have content pages on your website. Here you can make blog posts or write articles that you can use in order to discuss the law services that your business offers, discuss relevant cases or situations pertaining to your field and how they can be solved and much more. If you do not have a lot of ideas, the best way to have a great start to use Google's Keyword Planner. It will give you relevant keywords that you can then integrate into your content pages in order to boost your organic and mechanic searches. This all ties to the previous topic that we referred to when we discussed keywords for Law SEO.
Add Valuable Information
If what you plan to do is to increase your law firm's website ranking you'll need to make sure that you post and update content regularly. This will indicate to search engines that your website is active and active websites get better ranking than inactive ones.
You can either have an article section on your websites or a blog one where you post articles regularly, at least once a week on whatever topic you feel is relevant to your business, to law cases in your area, to previous cases and situations that you worked on, news that refer to your services, to the lawyers that you have working with you and so on.
Have a mobile version for your website
There is no one out there that does not check their phone a couple of times a day. We rely on our phones so much that statistics show that around 58% of all searches done online come from mobile devices.
With this being a little over half of all searches, this shows businesses that they need to also have a mobile version for their website. The desktop version on a mobile device is often tedious, unbalanced and harder to access than a mobile one. First of all you will need to design a mobile version for the current desktop version that you have and from then on, if you want to test how accessible and easy to use it is, you can use Google's mobile-friendly test to see how your law firm's website performs.
Page Loading speeds
Google has put out a statistic and discovered that if a website page fails to load in under three 3 seconds a third of users will bounce and look for another result. This may be a cause of concern, especially if your website does not have great loading speeds. For each second that the website fails to load, more users will bounce to another result.
If you want to test out how your website performs in terms of loading speeds you can use either Pingdom or Google Pagespeed Insights. A tool that we tend to use more compared to the others that we have mentioned is GTmetrix since they also have actionable suggestions based on the results that we get.
Include Internal Links
Internal links won't boost your ranking online but they can be a great tool to link to other articles from outside sources or from other content pages that you have on your website. The purpose of using these is to link to authoritative sources on the topic. If you are discussing a law case you can link to news articles on the matter. If you are discussing something more general you can include internal links that will link one of your content pages to a service page or the other way around, creating this inner web of content.
Get multimedia content
Do not fear using as many types of content as possible. Video is getting increased popularity and by 2020 it is said to make up for around 82% of all internet searches. If you have relevant videos, either presentation videos or videos discussing law topics for your law firm or law practice, feel free to include them. You can also make up your own videos and index them on your website.
Podcasts are also popular options so you can also include that, especially if you find a podcast that offers relevant commentary in your specific law field.
What can you get from all this?
Having the best lawyer SEO takes time. It may take months and even up to a year to see a relevant increase. If you do this on your own it will take a lot of time but if you use the services of SEO agencies that will do all of this for you and get you the results you want. Therefore, your law firm or law practice will undoubtedly become more visible, will get more clients, and will be on top of the competition, all factors that will lead to business growth.