SEO for Law Firms - An Introduction

For many law firms, search engines remain a key route to market. The vast majority of legal user journeys begin with s search into Google and search engine traffic typically converts at a higher rate than other forms of lead generation (due to the combination that it is highly targeted and in ranking at the top you have established a degree of credibility with the user). so a law firm’s ability to capture that traffic for its given niche(s) can be of huge strategic significance.

As Google’s priority (much like the user’s) is to prioritise the best content from the most credible brands, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has evolved in recent years beyond mere technical optimisation and towards full-blown digital brand and content strategies. 

For SEO to have any sustained impact it needs to form part of a much larger strategy for the law firm’s brand. Therefore, while we begin by addressing the technical and on-page elements of the site, our campaigns quickly move onto broader brand, content and channel activity.

Boss Digital are highly experienced at working with law firms of all sizes to help maximise the potential of their website SEO by implementing robust strategies that demonstrate visible improvement, both within search engine rankings and also in terms of an increase in the number of qualified leads and enquiries received by your law firm. 

Key Considerations for SEO for Law Firms

It may not immediately seem obvious, law firms should invest a significant amount of resources into managing SEO. Although it doesn’t have the glamour of a glitzy social media or PR campaign, it’s more likely to be more effective at drawing in high value traffic to your site, which in turn gives you a better chance of converting this traffic into tangible enquiries, clients and most importantly revenue and profit for your law firm. Some of the additional factors that need to be considered include:

fact_checkOn-Page Content

For effective SEO, law companies need to ensure their on-page content is of sufficient quality and standard as their first port of call. Although site content doesn’t necessarily play a huge part directly in your SEO, it is important to improving user time on site, minimising bounce rates and increasing your average number of page views.

Additionally, law firms with good on-page content will maximise their dwell time. This relates to the amount of time a user spends browsing a site before exiting. The higher the dwell time, the more satisfied the customer and consequently the better chance you have of converting visitors or getting enquiries about your legal services. The key to high dwell times is balancing your sales copy with rich site content to ensure you retain audience attention.

Boss Digital have worked with a number of law firms to create punchy sales copy that drives conversions. We also support firms with deciding which rich content is most suitable for their pages.

buildOn-Page Optimisation

On-page optimisation is principally about ensuring Google can interpret the content of your landing page. For example, if someone searches for “commercial solicitor in London”, we need to help Google understand that the content of our most relevant page relates to that query.

This is achieved through the editing of key tags and elements, including title tags, image alt tags, URL’s and headers. We may also review the keyword density of the broader content (for example, how many times do the words “commercial solicitor” and “London”, along with related synonyms, appear within the body copy?). If the

We will also edit meta descriptions although this is more about the click-through rate from SERPs than it is about any direct impact on rankings.

computerTechnical Optimisation

Law firms are used to dealing with detail on a day-to-day basis. However, they often do overlook one crucial aspect of SEO. Technical optimisation of websites ensures that they function well and behave properly within the search engine algorithm. New additions such as core web vitals (CWV) has made technical optimisation even more important for law firms. The focus on multi-device functionality has also meant a number of law firms need to improve their websites as equal attention is now given to mobile compatibility, as well as browser usage.

CWV is part of the wider Google Search Console tool, which is important for assessing site healthiness. However, Search Console can be difficult to navigate for inexperienced users and consequently some law firms ignore it. We would never recommend taking this approach as Search Console allows you to ensure your site is crawled correctly with up-to-date site maps and also helps you spot user trends.

Furthermore, some law firms are improving their site ranks by using rich-code snippets like Schema, domain security processes and image compression tools to further optimise their website.

Boss Digital’s SEO package for law firms includes a full technical audit of your website, including improvements where necessary. Furthermore, we also can take full advantage of Google Search Console for you to keep your site robust and digitally healthy.

thumb_upUser Experience

As important as the technical and on-page components of SEO are, there is one factor that has grown to overtake all else in its direct correlation with highly ranking web pages.

It all begins with asking one question – what is going through the user’s mind when they make the search query in mind?

For example, when someone searches for “Divorce lawyers in Reading”, what are they hoping to find? Presumably, they’d like to see some detail about the services provided, but perhaps they are also interested in pricing? Maybe they’d like to see the face and name of the person that heads up that function? Or even better, details of people just like themselves who have been through this emotional turmoil and how the firm was able to provide all the necessary support along with a great outcome? Perhaps they need to see the address information in case they wish to visit in person? Or are there useful resources, whether on-site or off, that the page could link to that might add value to their experience?

The more of these expectations the page can fulfil, and the more intuitively this information can be presented, the better the page is going to rank (not to mention the better the experience for the user and the higher the conversion rates!).

Boss Digital are experienced at working with law firms to help identify their key pages for user experience and ensuring they meet all the necessary requirements for a quality UX.

engineeringOff-Page SEO

Law firms need to focus on two main areas for off-page SEO. These are domain credibility and link acquisition. Link acquisition used to be a surefire way to get a top ranking in search engines, however, this led to people manipulating it and jumping to top spot despite having little-to-no quality site content. Various algorithm changes have looked to address this.

Law firms now have to focus on getting quality links to their website, rather than dubious links that could be considered spammy. A well-maintained website with a blog can be very effective for this, as many organisations will link to this content and therefore your site authority will also be strengthened.

Boss Digital can support law firms with a strong and consistent link acquisition strategy which helps you get quality link juice to signal authority, whilst also keeping algorithms in check to prevent any penalties being given.

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Other Services for Law Firms

Boss Digital have helped law firms with SEO campaigns, but we also can support them with other marketing activities:

“For the cost of one internal marketing manager we’re able to have an entire team of content and digital experts, and without any of the overheads. Our results across social media, SEO, PPC and email have been transformed. It’s the beat money we spend each month.”

– Rick Miles, Head of Recruitment for Ark Teacher Training.

Case Studies

Read our case studies to find out how Boss Digital have supported law firms to implement winning SEO strategies.

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The Benefits of SEO for Law Firms

A strong SEO strategy is essential for law firms because of the number and variety of benefits it brings to your organisation, including:

Law firms need to be patient when it comes to an SEO strategy as they are a long term investment. Improvements will not necessarily happen overnight, but the benefits are incredibly worthwhile and they will only get stronger and more consistent as time passes. Law firms with good SEO have a better chance of ranking for more terminology, meaning more potential traffic and a greater chance of higher rankings overall.

Organic searches for law firms make up a significant percentage of their traffic source and also make up the highest number of business enquiries. When people are searching for legal services, there is a good chance that they have a strong intent to purchase your products or services and as a result, a good SEO strategy only strengthens the likelihood that you can attract prospects with the highest conversion potential.

Law firms are operating in increasingly complex and crowded markets and smaller firms need to use SEO to get competitive advantages over bigger competitors. Specialisation means that your law firm can rank within the top results of a search and thusly have a better chance of getting a click.

Keeping users interested in your law firm’s products and services is important and this data should be managed through an analytics platform. The best pages have stronger performance because they have both relevant on-page content and robust technical SEO.

Additional SEO Considerations for Law Firms

Boss Digital are a great partner for law firms that are looking for support with their SEO strategy. However, some law firms may choose to manage this in-house and also need to remember:

keyboardKeyword Optimisation

Ranking for the right terminology is important for a law firm as most enquiries either come from legal complexities or more vague questions. Knowing your key terms and optimising page content around these key questions and phrases is the only way you can ensure you are positioning your site correctly for the search engine.

more_timeInvest Enough Time

As briefly explained before, SEO will not fix your rankings overnight. Although you might score some quick wins, to rank for the most competitive legal terminology and phraseology will take weeks, months and even years. You’ll need to keep an eye on your top-performing URLs too, as other law firms will be looking to snatch those top spots.

monitor_weightRemember to Balance!

Off-page SEO and domain credibility is incredibly powerful for a law firm, but if your site doesn’t have rich content, proper functionality or good on-page SEO, it still won’t rank as well as it should. Law firms can’t just pick to focus on one of the aspects, they need to have a complete strategy that takes everything into account.

Sometimes referred to as on-site SEO, on-page SEO is about optimising a website with the view to achieving higher rankings and attracting traffic from top-tier search engines. 

Examples of on-page SEO include:

  • Using targeted keywords within content
  • Writing meta titles and descriptions
  • Adding different media to pages 
  • Adding alt tags to images
  • Creating in-depth content

 

UX is about the experience a person has when using a website or digital application. The objective is to help the user understand what’s required of them so they can make an informed decision at the end.

To improve the user experience:

  • Ensure content is relevant and keep it brief
  • Use white space to avoid digital clutter
  • Optimise the speed of your website
  • Break up copy with bullet points
  • Create clear calls to action

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Resources

Download our free ultimate guide to marketing for law firms and other expert marketing resources for the legal sector below:

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