SEO is arguably the core competence for any professional service business nowadays. According to a study from Milestone Digital, almost 70% of all traffic generated from 500 top US law firms came via organic search to websites. It tells you all you need to know about its importance. If over 2 in every 3 people arrive via the search engines you need to allocate some resources their way to make sure you’re targeting and finding the best potential clients.
Not only that, but similar data from a Ruler Analytics study concluded that legal conversion rates are amongst the highest for organic search. The only channel that could top organic searches’ conversion rate is email.
I won’t bog you down with statistics, of course they will only paint a general picture. Some firms can and do implement their own strategies that work for them. On the whole however, they highlight overall market trends. We know that amongst the top firms your website SEO is your most valuable traffic generating tool, and that it’s your 2nd most valuable conversion tool.
So, how exactly do you go about allocating resources, and who is doing a great job of it. Let’s take a look!
SEO For Law Firms
There are multiple crucial components to your core SEO strategy. Fundamentally quality content is the overarching pillar. You need to create quality content that your audience needs or wants to see. Answer the questions that someone asks when they’re looking for legal advice. Research keywords, provide guidance, and be specific.
One of the most unique things that most law firms don’t necessarily take advantage of with their SEO strategy, is when they’re either location or sector specific. Use geography as a base for your content, or use a sector/narrow field as an alternative base.
As a general rule of thumb, these are some key components to focus on within SEO for law firms (in no particular order):
- Quality content
- Internal linking & anchor text
- External backlinking from reputable sources
- Page load speed
- Mobile device optimisation
- Keyword optimisation, short, long, and opportunity based
- Geography & sector specific keywords
- Video & Media relevance with correct alt and meta tagging
- Google indexation & site mapping
- Headlines, title tags, URL tags
- Technical SEO
If you’re interested in some more detail, checkout our ultimate guide to SEO for law firms for the full picture!
Best Practice: SEO For Law Firms
DLA Piper’s SEO strategy is backpacked by the external domain authority. They are the number 1 law firm by external backlinking, and have a huge host of trustworthy brands pointing towards their website. However, it’s not as if they don’t have a huge library of content on their site too. They are one of the largest firms in the UK, and have a huge depth of content ranking for a huge range of key search queries. Ordinarily you have quantity or quality, not both, but DLA Piper has a huge quantity of quality content.
Winn Solicitors have a very narrow specialist subject, personal injury, and therefore can afford to be much more targeted with an SEO strategy. As personal injury specialist solicitors their landing pages cover all forms of automotive, workplace, private and public incidents, as well as location/geography specific pages. The benefit of optimising SEO for narrower search terms means you generally have a far more qualified site visitor, whilst still sitting at the top of the search engine results page.
Irwin Mitchell is undoubtedly one of the kings of legal SEO. Despite being a national legal firm, the depth of content that indexes in the search engines is easily a match for the largest international law firms. They have very detailed landing pages, with great UX, and have a fantastic Domain authority. Open Site Explorer data shows Irwin Mitchell as the 2nd most authoritative UK law firm by external backlinking, despite being the 25th largest firm by revenue. They’re punching well above their weight!
Another firm that is punching well above their weight is Stephensons Solicitors. The firm has just 6 regional offices in the UK, with most of them based in the North West. They have a great spread of content that is geographically specific to that area, and contains a great depth of geographically relevant keywords. Their web domain authority is a match for most large international firms, with loads of relevant backlink sources combined with the advantage of having quite a niche target focus. A great SEO strategy for a mid sized law firm.
Crisp & Co
There are a great deal of large law firms who have great SEO optimised content. Organic traffic is a channel that large firms cannot afford to miss out on, and so most have no choice but to implement some form of SEO strategy within their digital marketing plan. The firms here are those who are punching above their weight in contrast and doing something a bit differently.