To help you navigate this madness, click the sub-topics to see SEO advice within various elements of the discipline.

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LAW FIRM SEO TIP

CONTEXT

Discover what type of content ranks for your target keyword before creating the content

You've decided that a given keyword will bring in good leads if you can rank. Before you create content to optimize for that keyword, explore what the content looks like that already ranks for your keyword. Don't swim upstream by creating a service page when every page that ranks is a blog post or article.

Optimize for lower-competition variants of competitive keywords

"Divorce lawyer Chicago" is a high competition keyword that is hard to rank for. However, "low cost divorce lawyer chicago" or "divorce lawyer chicago free consultation" are keywords variants that are have much lower competition but can still bring in relevant leads.

Make sure the goals you set are outcomes, not outputs

"Publish 100 new blog posts" is a poor goal because it's an output, but it's not an outcome. "Generate 100 qualified leads per month" is a great goal because it's an outcome. Start by defining what outcome you want to achieve, and then go about determining what sort of output will be required to get there.

Add unique and relevant testimonials and case results to important pages

Anyone who knows about SEO knows that "unique" content is crucial. You can make your law firm's website content more unique by incorporating content that is actually unique to your law firm; your client testimonials and your case results.

Create micro-sites to own more search real estate for valuable keywords

Do you already rank and get traffic for your most important practice areas? Consider creating a second website to cover the same topics but in a unique way. Check out FightVirginiaRecklessDriving.com for an example of an attorney using a microsite to take up more search result real estate for the same group of keywords.

Use your priority keyword in your URL slugs

Even though Google will never admit it, time and time again we have seen that having your target keyword be explicitly included in your URLs correlates positively with better rankings. Keep your URLs short and sweet, but be sure to include your target keywords. In most cases, your URL slug should exactly match your primary keyword.

Use real questions you frequently get from clients to come up with content topics

Do you get asked the same question over and over again by your clients and potential clients? Write blog posts answering those questions. In fact, you have probably answered them a dozen times in emails. Go back through your emails and use that content on your website.

Update content that performs well regularly

Identify what pages on your website perform the best - both in terms of traffic/rankings AND in terms of actually generating new clients - and plan to update that content regularly. This will help you achieve and maintain high rankings by showing Google and users that you care about keeping your best content as fresh and relevant as possible.

If your website doesn't get any traffic / is brand new an SEO audit is not what you need. You need a strategy.

An SEO audit can be a valuable service. However, if your website is brand new, or if it's tiny (just a handful of pages) you do not need an SEO audit. What you need is an SEO strategy or roadmap which lays out what SEO success looks like for your firm, and how to get there.

Use Special Characters in Google Docs for creative page title separators

One way to make your pages stand out in search results - and potentially increase click-through rates - is to use special characters. For a huge selection of special characters, open up a new Google Doc, click Insert, and then Special Characters. Then browse the characters to find interesting options. Copy and paste the character you choose directly into your title tag element. For instance, the title tag of this page is "124 Law Firm SEO Tips Juris Digital". You can see that we've used a special character as a separator between the title and our brand name.

Have an intake process BEFORE you start SEO.

All the leads in the world won't do you any good if you don't have a solid process for following up with them and signing them up as clients. Get your intake system established before you make an investment in law firm SEO.

Consider enabling messaging in Google Business Profile

Allow potential new clients to message you directly from Google search by enabling the messaging feature in your Google business profile.

Record videos to supplement informational content

As you produce informational content that addresses legal topics related to your practice, consider shooting quick videos to supplement the text content. This is a great way to reach a wider audience with your web content and to build trust by showing people who you are, how you speak, and that you know what you're talking about.

Add square image near the top on important pages to trigger mobile image SERP

Google oftent displays images next to mobile search results. You can give yourslef the best chance at getting images in search results by adding a square image - which is unique and relevant - near the top of your content.

Dominate your backyard before you try to move into additional locations

Before you consider opening new offices in new markets, achieve ranking dominance of your primary market first. This way you'll be making those additional investments from a place where you are already generating consistent new leads.

Create practitioner listings for attorneys in your practice

Did you know that Google allows you to create Google Business Profile listings for individual attorneys at your firm? These are called Practitioner listings, and when used strategically they can help you gain more local visibility for a wider array of practice areas. Learn more here

Create example templates for various legal forms

Do you handle non-compete litigation? Create a noncompete template and publish it on your website. This will help you be found by folks who could have legal needs around your area of practice.

Add attribute "onsite appointments" if relevant

Do you meet with clients and potential new clients in-person at your office? Be sure to select "onsite appointments" as an attribute in your Google business profile.

Add attribute "online appointments" if relevant to appeal to more customers

Do you offer virtual appointments to clients and potential clients? Be sure to select "online appointments" as an attribute in your Google business profile.

Know what your top performing pages are and squeeze all the juice you can from them

Don't be blind to what specific pages on your site generate the most positive outcomes. Know what pages are the most impactful and focus on getting everything you can from them

Use citation building services to get listed on the primary directories

Don't create your own citations. It's mind-numbing. Use one of the many quality services that exist for creating listings on the most important local business directory websites.

Add as many relevant categories as you can in your GMB listing

Don't feel like you can only set one category. If there are multiple categories that are relevant to the services offered by your law firm, select them all.

Get listing on Bing and Yahoo Local

Don't forget to get listed on Bing and Yahoo local as well! Google is most of the ballgame, but it's not the whole thing. It's worth making sure that your law firm's local SEO efforts extend to the other prominent search engines as well.

Write success stories for all of your most successful cases

Don't get me started on how powerful client success stories are. A well-done client success story proves to your potential best clients that you have the chops to help them with their issues. Learn more here.

Always include author information on blog posts and informational content - this builds trust

Don't publish content from anonymous authors. Sign your name (or some else's name) to your content. A short bio and a headshot are bonuses.

Make sure your website loads fast on all devices

Even if it often seems like slow websites rank just fine in Google, optimizing your site to load as fast as possible is still time well spent. A fast-loading website delights the people who visit, and delighted users tend to become clients.

Reach out to clients to request reviews continually

Even if more reviews do not help you rank higher (which is a topic of debate) the importance of getting regular, positive reviews cannot be overstated. Getting client reviews should be an ongoing part of your law firm's SEO and marketing plan. Have a process in place to continually solicit reviews from happy clients.

Add FAQPage Schema to relevant content

FAQPage Schema is a great way to set your pages apart in search results and deliver answers to your users as quickly as possible. Check out this guide to learn how we optimize FAQPage schema at Juris Digital.

Don't use generalists to write your content - use writers who specialize in legal

For your website content to perform - rank in search and ultimately produce leads - it needs to be accurate and compelling. This simply cannot be achieved by a general content writer. Make sure the people writing your content have specialized knowledge in your areas of practice.

Ask and answer questions on your GMB listings

Google maps have a Q&A feature. Think of this as an FAQ page for your law firm that lives right on Google's first page. Ask and answer common questions about your law firm's services and areas of practice.

H1 tags are important because Google often uses them as the page title - make em good

Google often uses your Heading 1 tags as the title it displays in search results. For this reason - and because it's a prime place to include your main keywords - you ought to pay attention to making your H1 tags as relevant and compelling as possible.

Add your site to Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool from Google that provides a ton of useful data about your website's performance, and reports for helping you make strategic changes to better optimize your website.

Open offices in more than one location

Google shows local map-pack results for a huge proportion of lawyer-related keywords. The more offices you have across your markets, the more search visibility you will gain.

Make sure you look good when people search your attorneys names + reviews

Google the names of the individual lawyers in the firm and make sure that the first page of Google looks good. If there are low-quality images, bad reviews, bad news stories, or anything else that you don't want to be associated with the attorneys at your firm, take action to make improvements.

Add open date in your GBP to show years of experience

Google uses this data to show folks how long you have been in business right in search results. Make sure to add your law firm's open date in your Google business profile.

Make sure you look good when people search your law firm's name + reviews

Google your law firm's name and see what page 1 of the search results looks like. Are there sites with positive reviews showing up? Does your law firm website rank first? Is there a Google business knowledge graph on the right-hand side? If any of these elements are sub-optimal, take action to make your firm look better.

Improve your content's readability using Hemmingway app

Hemmingway is a desktop application that gives you feedback on the readability of your content and gives advice for making improvements. For just 20 bucks this is a hugely valuable tool that will help you differentiate your website content.

Make sure your schema markup is valid using Google's strucured data testing tool

Use this free tool from Google to make sure that your various forms of Schema markup validate properly: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/structured-data

Host local events and add them to GMB

We could say more about it but you might as well just check out this post from Sterling Sky.

Don't offer contact methods to your potential clients that you aren't equipped to follow through on

It's tempting to let your prospective clients contact you using every method available. However, this can actually lead to a bad experience if you aren't well equipped to offer a given form of communication. For example, if you don't have someone who can answer your phones, don't prompt people to call you.

Make sure that Google is indexing your primary citations

If Google does not crawl and index the 3rd party websites where you have business listings, you won't get any SEO benefit from them. Use the site command operator to check if your primary local citations are indexed in Google.

Don't cheap out on your website hosting provider

If you are paying just a few bucks a month for website hosting, your website is probably slower and less secure than it needs to be. Don't go with the cheapest possible web hosting option. Learn more here.

Set Attributes for your firm in GMB

In general, you want your GMB listing to be as complete as possible and this means selecting any relevant Attributes that apply to your law firm and your office.

When analyzing traffic data pay special attention to your top Landing Pages

In reality, your "website" isn't what generates traffic from SEO. Rather, specific pages on your website generate traffic when they rank for keywords that people search. When analyzing the performance of your website be sure to focus on what your top traffic-generating landing pages are.

Create county pages to target searches to target "county name" + keywords

In some markets in the US people are more inclined to search for a lawyer by the name of the county rather than by the name of the town or city. You can take advantage of this by creating pages that are optimized for the names of the counties you serve.

Add custom Services to your GBP isting

In your Google Business profile, you can add custom services. Use this area to get super granular with the specific types of cases you handle. These services can help you rank for specialized areas of practice.

Optimize the anchor text for your internal links

Internal linking is important for SEO, and the anchor text you use in those links is also important. Take the time to use keyword-optimized anchor text in your internal linking.

Nail your internal linking

Internal linking really is impactful. Make sure that both users and Google know exactly what your most important pages are by linking to them often and from other important pages. Use keyword-rich anchor text, and link from pages on relevant topics.

Select the right Category for your GBP listing

It might sound obvious but make sure your law firm is properly categorized in Google. You can't rank for relevant search terms if you aren't categorized as a law firm that handles those specific types of cases. Example: Personal Injury Attorney

Make sure you have a responsive website

It's 2022 and honestly, this shouldn't be something that needs to be said, but it is. You don't need a separate website for mobile devices. You need a website that responds to whatever the viewport size is. That's how the name "responsive" came about.

Your homepage isn't always the best page to use to rank for your highest competition keywords

It's a common misconception that your homepage should always be optimized for your highest competiton, most important keyword. This isn't always the case. Search that keyword in Google and see whether it's mostly homepages that are ranking. If not, think again about your strategy.

Traffic is a better indicator of success than rankings

It's impossible (and infuriating) to understand where your site ranks at any given moment for any given keyword. The nature of personalized search results is such that ranking and positioning are in constant flux. So rather than focusing on rankings, focus on traffic. If an important page on your site had 30 hits last month, and 100 this month, your rankings, on average, went up. That's really all you need to know.

Add LegalService schema to your website

LegalService schema can help boost your local search rankings by telling Google exactly what type of business you are and where you are located. Use our free tool to add LegalService schema to your website.

Pay attention to your reviews and use the feedback you get

Many law firms just want to know how to get rid of negative reviews, but this is small thinking. When you get a negative review, use it as an opportunity to listen to your clients and improve your services. There is so much more to gain by listening to your client's feedback than by trying to suppress it.

Localize your informational content to your audience

Most lawyers can only take cases in specific states, and sometimes specific cities. Give yourself the best chance at ranking high AND bringing in only qualified leads by localizing your informational content. Learn more here

Optimize for "Near Me" searches

Near me is a great keyword variant to use in your content because people do tend to want a lawyer who is near them, and so it's common for people to add the "near me" modified to common lawyer searches.

Use custom graphics in all your content, not corny stock photos

No-code design tools like Canva make it easy for non-designers to create custom graphics that don't look half bad. Taking that little extra time to customize graphics on your site is essential for high-performing search content.

You can rank in multiple positions for the same keyword by addressing different intents

Often people who search the same keywords are actually looking for different information. Identify opportunities to rank in multiple positions by addressing multiple user intents, but the same keyword.

When changing your URLs ALWAYS implement 301 redirects to the new URL

One of the best ways to trash your law firm's SEO is to change the URL of important pages and then fail to redirect the old URL to the new one. It's generally fine to change your URLs (especially when you are making them more optimal) but always be sure to redirect the old to the new.

Report competitors who have fake GMB listings

One way to enhance the visibility of your Google listing is to knock out spammy competitors. If you know that law firms that are outranking you in Google maps are not legitimate, report them as spam and see if Google will take action to remove them.

Don't let perfection be the enemy of published

Over the years we have had a handful of clients who sabotage their own SEO success because they were so reluctant to publish content or approve a design. Don't let your perfectionism be the enemy of your progress. Publish when it's ready, and you can always perfect over time.

Write custom, optimized page titles

Page titles remain among the most critical on-page SEO elements (despite recent changes by Google to how they treat titles). Page titles are worth spending time on. Make them unique from your competition, compelling, and relevant to what the searcher is looking for.

Create practice area specific settlements/ verdicts / payout pages

People facing a legal claim often search questions related to what their case settlement might be worth. For example, someone who is considering suing for wrongful termination in California might search "California wrongful termination settlements". Create the content on these topics to get in front of these folks.

Optimize for "best" + "top rated" searches

People frequently search "best" or "top" along with their search for a lawyer. Use these words in your content (ethically) to give yourself a chance at ranking for keywords with these variants.

Be transparent about your pricing structure and fees

People need to know what it will cost to hire you. Yet most law firms would never give this information out on their website. Be radically transparent with your pricing and your potential new clients will be drawn to you.

Make sure you are listed on Apple Maps

People use Apple Maps to find businesses. Make sure your firm is listed on Apple Maps. Generally, if you have a Yelp listing, you have an Apple Maps listing, but it's worth double-checking. You can also verify and manage your Apply Maps listing here: https://register.apple.com/placesonmaps/.

Use table of contents to get rich results and improve readability

Putting a "table of contents" in your informational content is a great way to improve usability and achieve rich results in Google that can have a positive impact on clicks.

Use your client reviews / testimonials in your sales copy

Rather than trying to come up with compelling things to say about your law firm in your sales copy, use your own client's words instead. Check out this example: SilvaInjuryLaw.com.

Add customized calls to action based on the topic of each page

Rather than using generic calls to action that read the same on all pages, customize your calls to action based on the topics of individual pages. For example, if you have a blog post about the statute of limitations for a given civil action, your call to action should include language like "don't let the clock run out on your case".

Add descriptive keywords to your firm's name

Sad but true, this is the number one way to improve your Google maps rankings. Proceed with caution as this tactic can bring attention to your listing and cause both temporary and permanent listing suspensions. However, generally, we have seen that the rewards far outweigh the risks.

Use PAA results to come up with content topics

Search something related to your practice area and then have a look at Google's "people also ask" results. This will help you build out a large inventory of content topics that you know people are asking about.

Show people that your firm is comprised of real humans - get photos, write compelling bios, etc.

Show your face. Talk about yourself. Be human. This will differentiate you from your competition and form connections with your potential new clients before you ever speak to them.

Use dictation tools for faster content creation

Slow typer? Utilize dictation tools to speed up your content creation process. Google Docs actually has a dictation feature built-in. You can also use the dictation feature on your phone.

Write a compelling attorney bio for youself - don't be basic

Spend some time on your bio. People do research you when they are considering hiring you, and a compelling bio page can be the difference between signing up that new client or seeing them go to one of your competitors.

Understand that a single piece of content can generate millions in revenue

Stop thinking of content in the aggregate. A single piece of content can generate literally millions of dollars for your law firm. Identify the topics and keywords that are most valuable to your firm and invest in making those individual pieces of content as compelling as they can possibly be.

Respond to Google reviews

Studies show that consumers are willing to overlook negative reviews if the business responds adequately. Always respond to your Google reviews - negative and positive. This show prospective clients that you are engaged, you care, and that you are open for business.

Make your website text easy to read

The whole goal of SEO is to get people to your law firm's website. When they get there it's essential that the content you present be easily comprehensible. Text readability is a crucial element of effective law firm SEO.

Hedge your investment by optimizing for lower-competition, transactional services

There are a ton of niche practice/service areas for which competiton is much lower. You can hedge your law firm SEO investment by optimizing for keywords related to less competitive service areas, including more transactional services like contract reviews and hourly consulting.

It ok to house important content on your blog, but make sure those posts get linked to prominently and frequently

There is a misconception that blog posts are somehow a less good "home" for important content. It's fine to house important content on your law firm's blog, so long as you have a solid plan for linking to your most important posts prominently from relevant content on your site. Remember, internal linking is what matters in terms of showing Google what pages are most important, not what type of page template you use.

Use GMB's Post feature to add regular, compelling content to your listing

There is no data showing that adding Google Posts to your listing directly benefits rankings, however, this utilizing this feature is a great way to show your prospective clients that you are active, and open for business.

Use topical clusters and keyword clusters

These concepts are essential to any effective SEO-centered content marketing strategy. Learn more here.

Add your site to Bing Webmaster Tools

This is a free tool from Bing that provides you with lots of good SEO-related data on your website's performance. It's also often overlooked because, well, it's Bing.

To check if a specific page in in Google's index, use the "site:url.com" operator

This is a great trick to spot-check your new content to make sure it's in Google's index. Open Google and type site:yourwebsite.com/page-you-are-checking/. This will tell you whether or not Google has indexed your page.

Use SVG logos on your website to ensure your branding looks as crisp as possible

This is a simple way to look sharper than your competitors. Make sure your logo is as crisp as possible by using an SVG file format rather than a compressed jpg or png.

Use your target keywords in you image filename and alt text

This may seem old-school, but using your primary keywords in your image file name and alt text has a real, measurable impact on rankings. Always optimize your website's images by adding your target keywords.

Create whiteboard videos to supplement your top performing pages

Use Fiverr to create short whiteboard videos to act as a supplement to your important pages. Check out this example.

Use UTM (tracking) URLs in your GMB listings

Use this tool -- https://ga-dev-tools.web.app/campaign-url-builder/ -- to create tracking URLs so that you can see exactly how much traffic is being generated by specific online sources, such as your Google Business listing.

Optimize for "free consultation" variants on your important keywords

We see that people often search for law firms that offer free consultations. Use this modifier in your content to scoop up traffic from these types of searches.

Differentiate yourself from your competitors

When a potential client finds your law firm online, what will their impression of you be, and how will you stand out in their mind? It's crucial that you differentiate your firm through the words you use, the design you deploy, then questions you answer, and how you make people feel when they "meet" you online.

To rank for "best" keywords rank yourself in relation to your competitors rather than writing generic braggy content

When creating content meant to rank for keywords containing "best" try to actually compare yourself with your competitors to demonstrate why you think you are the best option.

Create a review link to make it easy for people to leave reviews

When you are asking people to do you a favor - like leaving a Google review - make it easy for them. Use this free tool to generate a link that will direct folks directly to where they can leave you a review.

Take a unique approach with your content

When you search a keyword like "best dui lawyer las vegas" you'll find that most of the pages that rank take the same approach with their content. So, take a unique approach. Rather than telling people about why you are the best, consider waxing philosophical about how "best" is subjective and how the best lawyer for person A might be a terrible lawyer for person B.

In most cases, WordPress is the right CMS for law firms

WordPress is the most popular content management system on the web, and a huge percentage of law firm website use WordPress. We aren't saying it's the best option in every case, but it usually is (...for now).

Have your staff / paralegals write your content

Writing on a subject is one of the best ways to learn that subject. By having your legal staff and paralegals write informational content for your website, you not only benefit from the content from an SEO / marketing standpoint, but you also give your staff the opportunity to clarify their thinking about subjects that matter to your law firm's clients.

Add animated images to GMB products

You can add animated graphics to your Products on your Google business listing. Here's a complete guide to accomplish this.

Create a custom GMB profile graphic

Your Google profile image will often be the first impression that your firm makes online. Take the time to create a custom graphic that makes you look good.

Repurpose your emails into website content

Your outbox is a goldmine of unique and informative content centered on your legal practice areas. Mine your emails for content that you can repurpose on your website for SEO.

Publish content on informational keywords

Your practice area plus your location (eg. divorce lawyer in Chicago) is not the only type of keyword that will bring in new clients. And, those keywords are always going to have the most competition. Publish content that answers your client's questions (eg. how long does a divorce take in Chicago?). This type of content helps earn trust and positions you in front of people who are potential clients.

Treat your SEO provider like a partner, not a vendor

Your results from SEO will suffer if you treat your SEO provider purely as a vendor. Instead, invite your SEO team into your business. Collaborate with them. Answer their questions thoughtfully, Inform their efforts with your unique insight. Be partners and your results will improve.

Ask your clients how they prefer to communicate with you, and offer your pontential clients each of those options

Different people prefer to communicate in different ways. Figure out how your clients prefer to communicate and offer them those options through your website. This generally means email, texting, phone calls, video calls, and good old fashion in-person meet-ups.

Know what your competitive advantage is and market it

Take time to understand what you bring to the table that other firms do not. This doesn't mean that you have to prove that you are the best lawyer of all time. Simply that your law firm offers something uniquely beneficial to its clients.

Improve your internal inking with the Link Whisper

We love this tool because it allows you to quickly add internal links to your important content. It gives suggestions for adding internal links and it makes adding those links easy - just a click rather than having to make the edits manually.

Use the RankMath plugin to manage your SEO in WordPress

Rank Math is quickly becoming our preferred WordPress SEO plugin. It's got great features, great support, and the pricing is reasonable.

Be intentional about the location of your law office (if you have one)

With the December 2021 so-called vicinity update, Google is using proximity-to-the-searcher as an even more significant local ranking factor. Law firms can gain an advantage in local SEO by investing in office space that is in close physical proximity to their potential clients.