Keyword research is figuring out the exact words and phrases your potential clients type into search engines.
It’s important because with the right strategy it helps your website content appear higher on search results pages. That way, more people find your firm above other firms in your market.
But there are some inherent problems with it (mostly on the data side).
When you think of someone doing SEO do you imagine a nerd (like myself) behind a computer typing away?
You’re not alone.
In fact, many self proclaimed SEO experts come from technical backgrounds. And the problem I see time and time again is I find people who are technically great at SEO… but just bad at actual marketing.
And why does that matter? The purpose is to rank right?
The purpose is to sign more of your better cases (for most of our clients. Your smart goal may be different and that’s ok!)
And ranking high is only half of the battle. The other half and arguably the more important half is understanding your customers needs, pain points, and how you will respond to those.
I think the purpose of keyword research is to not only find the right keywords that will drive business to your firm, but also to go deep and learn how you can become the go to expert in your market. If you a great job you will build topical authority and be able to generate more of the higher value cases you desire.
Good keyword research is the foundation to the success for any effective SEO strategy.
However, all humans are different and therefore may search for the same thing differently online. However normally when a searcher is looking for something they are trying to solve a problem or looking for an answer.
In fact, if someone that resides in Los Angeles, they may type a number of different things to find a personal injury attorney. Here are some examples of these variants.
Did you know that there are over 1.275 billion unique queries every day on Google and 15% of all Google searches have never been seen before?
Here is how we do keyword research at Juris Digital. This process will give you an idea of what we do for our bespoke local mastery clients.
Think of seed keywords like the main ideas for a personal injury lawyer’s website.
It’s like having a few big signs that point you in the right direction. For a personal injury lawyer, these main ideas or seed keywords could be the big topics they deal with. Examples include:
You want to make this list as exhaustive as possible.
One of the unique ways we do this is for our clients is to access their Google Search Console Data, Callrail Data, and CRM. We feed these reports using advanced data analysis to truly understand the questions potential clients have already asked the firm and data mine the topics they talk about.
We love data – but we love it more when it comes from your ideal customers mouths 🙂
Go to Ahrefs.com and click on keyword explorer, enter your seed keywords and hit the orange search button.
Next, you will want to click on Matching Terms on the left. Select phrase match and you will be given a long list of keywords. Millions in fact.
But here is where we start breaking things down.
The devil is in the details here and you can use the exclude function to remove keywords that are not matches for your smart goals.
Use the include filter to only include keywords that match ones important to you (accident, injury + lawyer, etc.)
Make sure to take advantage of searches and use an asterisk to include plural keywords.
Example: Attorney* will show results for Attorney & Attorneys.
Pro Tip: Use law*, attorn* to include lawyer, lawyers, law firm, attorney, attorneys, etc.
After you have spent some time with the filters you need to narrow down the list to keywords that you think your potential clients will actually be searching.
Don’t limit yourself to just the head keywords like:
Instead also include long tail keywords and tool the content on those pages for where they are at in the buyers journey.
After you are confident you have a great list – export the data as a CSV.
Keyword tools provide a lot of data, but who else has access to this exact same data? Every other SEO on the planet that pays for a subscription. That’s why we like to dive deeper before we consolidate this into topic clusters for our website.
Get Search Console Data
Go to Queries > Max Rows > Export to get a list of keywords your site already ranks for.
This is the minimum data set we recommend working with. But we will talk about ways you can go deeper later in this article which will help you become the true topical authority.
Topic clusters for SEO in the context of a criminal defense law firm work by organizing the firm’s website content into related groups, focusing on various aspects of criminal defense law.
Think of your law firm’s website like a textbook on criminal defense. In this textbook, each chapter (or cluster) covers a different area of criminal defense law.
The main chapter, or the “pillar content,” is a comprehensive page on the website that provides a broad overview of criminal defense services. For example, it could be a detailed guide titled “Understanding Criminal Defense.” Around this main chapter, you then create smaller, related articles or blog posts.
These could be about specific types of criminal cases the firm handles, like DUI defense, assault charges, drug offenses, white-collar crimes, etc.
Each of these smaller pieces is like a section in the chapter, diving into specific details of each case type. They all link back to the main pillar content and to each other.
This setup helps search engines understand that your main pillar content is a thorough and authoritative source on criminal defense law. It’s as if you’re showing that your main chapter covers everything one needs to know about criminal defense because it’s connected to all these specific, related topics.
By using this method, the law firm’s website becomes more organized and easier for search engines to understand. It also helps demonstrate the firm’s expertise in various areas of criminal defense, which can improve the website’s visibility in search results.
It’s important to use topic clusters to make sure you don’t build competing pages on your firms website.
How to Create Topic Clusters
There are many ways to create topic clusters. If you were only working with one data source like Ahrefs you can actually buy a subscription.
However, since we take a multiple data source approach we have to use our proprietary in house tools to process massive amounts of data.
But for the sake of this you can refine ChatGPT to help get you there. Start off with your data sources and GPT4 Professional. From here you will use this prompt (or something similar) and upload your data.
*Note you may hit the token limit so make sure to limit the size of your list.
Once you have passed this step you should have everything you need to start with a content plan.
These keywords, grouped based on their search intent and relevance, provide a roadmap for creating diverse but interconnected content.
This approach ensures comprehensive coverage of the theme, enhancing SEO and user engagement.
Each piece of content, whether a blog post, video, or infographic, addresses a specific keyword in the cluster, but collectively, they work together to strengthen the authority of your website on the central theme. This method not only attracts a targeted audience but also establishes your brand as a thought leader in your market.
If you’re looking for additional keyword research tactics to use, look no further.
Have you ever started to Google something and not pressed enter just to read the results that pop up? This is Google auto suggest. Google Auto Suggest is a very powerful tool to see potential searches clients may be already looking for.
Wait… How can you do keyword research offline? If you employ a staff or a front desk person they might be a treasure trove of information.
I like to interview these people and find out exactly what questions people are asking them most commonly. If they’re having to answer the same questions over and over it might benefit you to put on your website as a content resource.
I had success doing this recently by interviewing the paralegals in the firm. They tend to answer the most case related questions and they were able to provide a lot of valuable insight and good content ideas without leaving the office or going online.
This one here is a bit of a slippery slope. While it’s always good to know what your competition is doing you must not assume that they’re being successful doing it. We just can’t know with complete certainty. That being said its a good idea to review competitor websites within your area and outside of your area of direct competition. Look for things that are different and see what content they produce that’s actually useful.
One way to do this is to review the practice area pages they have and see if they have subtopics on these pages. In addition you can scour their blog to see if they’re creating just catchy click bait headlines like “5 reasons to hire a PI attorney” (ugh boring), or something better.
PRO Tip: You can also plug your competitors website into SEMRush or Ahrefs and see what keywords they already rank for.
The goal of most keyword research should be to figure out how you can sign more of your better cases. And even though this is one way way you can do it, it’s not the only way. This approach is good for many law firms, but not for all.
If you keep in mind that all SEO should be about being better than everyone else then you will be successful. If you try to take shortcuts it may not work out so well for you in the long turn.
If you’re looking for help on how to do keyword research differently than all of the rest of the agencies out there and sign more of your higher value cases, give Juris a call.
We pride ourselves in understanding your goals and tailoring custom digital marketing campaigns so you can focus on doing the things you love at your firm.
So it’s time for a redesign and you’re looking for the best law firm website design company to take your site to the next level.
My name is Matt Green – I’m a co-founder here at Juris Digital. Over the course of my career, I’ve studied tens of thousands of law firm websites and have helped design, build, and launch hundreds more. In this post, I’ve drawn on that experience to provide a unique list of the best law firm website design companies I’ve come across.
Unlike other lists of this type that you might find, this list includes law firm web design companies that you’ve probably never heard of. Why? Because this list wasn’t created by someone googling “law firm website design companies” and then regurgitating the same 5 or 10 agencies. Instead, it’s custom-curated by a 10-year law firm marketing veteran.
Ok enough of the preamble. Let’s get into my list of 8 of the best legal website design companies in the biz.
Did You Know: In addition to being a full-service digital marketing agency, Juris Digital is an award-winning website design company. It’s a powerful combination. Ready to put us to work for your law firm? Let’s talk about your project. Not ready to talk? Check out our portfolio of law firm websites.
I came across Reduced Design when I was doing research for a blog post about the shared attributes of the world’s best law firm websites. The site I found was for the law firm JHPII, an Atlanta-based firm that specializes in malpractice, product liability, and whistleblower cases.
When I first landed on the site I was immediately blown away by the messaging – WE WIN THINGS CHANGE – and then quickly just as impressed by the modern, simple, and striking design.
As I began to research Reduced Design I found that they do not specialize in designing law firm websites. Instead, they offer an array of design services from brand strategy to copywriting to digital content production for all sorts of businesses, big and small.
I would caution you that this agency does not seem interested in search engine optimization (or law firm SEO) and because they work in a variety of verticals they likely don’t have the level of expertise in legal digital marketing that we or some of the other companies on this list.
However, if you’re looking for uncommon creativity and a website design company that can differentiate your law firm, you may want to reach out for a chat with Reduced Design.
Great Jakes was one of the very first legal web design agencies I came across when I was starting out – they’ve been around since 2002! I recall once browsing through their website and reading their pricing page and I was blown away by their stated price point of $40k for a website engagement (which has since increased). My initial thought was, how do they get away with this?
But then I began to study their work, and quickly changed my mind. Great Jakes seems to work almost exclusively with very large firms, and large law firms have website requirements that small ones do not. These requirements – advanced functionality, several custom page types, tons of attorney bios, etc. – mean the cost is necessarily going to be higher than a website for a smaller firm.
If you are a solo or small law firm, Great Jakes probably isn’t the right web design company for you. But if you’re in the big leagues and you’ve got a big-league budget, you can’t do much better than Great Jakes.
iLawyerMarketing is the first website design company on my list that I would consider to be a direct competitor of Juris Digital. Like us, they not only do website design for law firms, they do full-service digital marketing, including really high quality and effective SEO services.
As much as I would love to leave them off this list, I just can’t. iLawyer has been leading the way with innovative law firm websites since I started my career. I have drawn so much inspiration from the work of their design and development team over the years, and they have been a big influence on the websites we create for our clients.
If you are a small or mid-sized firm in the market for a new law firm website, you could do a lot worse than iLawyer Marketing.
People Design is a company I found in very much the same way as Reduced Design. I was doing some competitive research and found a law firm website they produced for a personal injury law firm in Florida – Kelley | Uustal – and was just floored by everything about it.
That site was unlike any personal injury lawyer website I had ever seen. The messaging is so compelling and consistent, and the quality of the testimonial videos that live on the site is truly shocking.
As with Reduced Design, People Design isn’t a law firm digital marketing agency. It is far more a design strategy company than a lead generation company. However, if your law firm is happy with the quality of new business coming in, but you are looking to refine your messaging and differentiate your position within your market, you may want to start a conversation with People Design.
Despite the fact that their own website is in desperate need of a refresh, PaperSteet is and has long been one of the go-to website design companies for law firms who want to transform how they are perceived online.
Like iLawyer Marketing, PaperStreet is one of our top competitors. While even they would probably agree that website design and development is their bread and butter, they offer complete digital marketing services for law firms, and have done so at a high level of quality since 2001!
Pretty Nice Websites is unique in that they specialize in building websites using the popular no-code platform WebFlow. This separates them from the pack because most law firm website design companies use either WordPress (the most popular content management tool in the world) or a proprietary CMS (think Scorpion or Justia) to built their sites.
As with a couple of the other companies listed here, PNW does not exclusively work with law firms. In fact, I was only able to find a single law firm website in their portfolio, but that one site blew me away!
I have some misgivings with law firms using WebFlow for their website backend – but with design and messaging chops as PNW has shown, I might just be able to overlook them.
When Juris Digital first started developing our website design and development offering, Postali was a company that we drew a ton of inspiration from. Like PaperSteet and iLawyer Marketing, Postali is a direct competitor of ours, but unlike some of our competitors, we have always admired the quality of their work.
Postali has been in the legal marketing space since back in 2009. Their designs tend to be subtle with a focus on bringing together interesting color schemes, engaging imagery, and effective typography.
Interestingly, Postali offers direct mail services in addition to its digital marketing services. They also offer photography and video production services, which not all legal web design companies can claim.
Drive Creative Agency made this list on the strength of a single bankruptcy law firm website (linked above). And if I’m being honest, it really came down to the color scheme of that website.
For whatever reason the moment I landed on the site I just fell in love with this unique color combination.
I mean how the hell do these colors work together?! I don’t know, but they do:
In keeping with a now-familiar pattern, you’ll notice that this company does not exclusively do law firm websites. They work in all sorts of verticals. That has its risks for attorneys, but I think it often leads to outside-the-box thinking and ultimately, highly compelling website designs.
There you have it: My endorsements of 8 of the best law firm website design companies in America, not named Juris Digital.
If you invest in content marketing and SEO it’s likely that blog posts constitute a huge percentage of your website’s total traffic. We often see blog posts making up 70% or more of our client’s total organic search traffic!
Yet law firms rarely create custom, intentional designs for their blog posts. Instead, the bulk of design resources is directed at places like the homepage, attorney bio pages, case results pages, etc. And while these pages are certainly important they generally don’t come close to blog posts in terms of total pageviews.
Because such an outsized percentage of law firm traffic goes to blog posts, we have an opportunity to drastically impact the website’s performance by improving the design of a single page – the blog post.
What follows is a comprehensive guide that will help you make your legal blog post design more effective. By using this guide to refine your blog post design you can achieve better SEO (higher rankings and more traffic) and deliver a better user experience (improved brand perception and ultimately, more conversions).
This post contains over 4k words that will help you create a more effective design for your law blog posts. But to be honest, exploring the links below is probably a more valuable way for you to learn what makes a great blog design than reading this guide word for word.
Check out these examples of really well-done law firm blog post designs:
The most essential design element of law firm blog posts is typography. If the goal of your blog posts is to help folks better comprehend their legal issue, the most fundamental way to achieve that is by presenting the information in a highly readable way. The quality of your typography will largely determine the readability and thus the usefulness of your content.
Most likely your website already utilizes specific typefaces and so you aren’t going to choose an entirely different typeface for your blog posts. Typically, website developers (and some designers) advise using the fewest typefaces possible. The primary reason is that typefaces tend to be a heavy asset for browsers to render, and so fewer fonts generally mean a faster loading website.
My basic rules for typefaces for law firm blog posts are as follows:
To my eye, the typeface used in the first example – Inter – is far easier to read than the second example, Josefin Sans. While Josefine Sans may be an interesting choice to use for headings or other highly styled text, it’s not a good choice for paragraph text.
Regardless of how readable your typeface is, your blog content may lack readability if you don’t get the spacing right. When I think about typography spacing for law firm blogs I focus most on two elements: Line height and paragraph spacing.
Line height refers to the distance between lines of text. In school when you would double-space your Word documents to meet the minimum page requirement, what you were doing was increasing the line height.
The ideal line height for text is will vary slightly based on the size of the text. For instance, large text generally requires more line height, whereas smaller text doesn’t require as much spacing.
For paragraph text – which should normally be either 16 or 18px in size – I like to use a line height of between 180% and 200%. The screenshots below show paragraph text that is 18px in size. The first image shows the line height set at 120% and the second shows it at 200%. Which would you rather read?
In my personal opinion, it’s far preferable to go with too much line height than not enough. However, if you tend to prefer less line height, my suggestion for maintaining readability is that you go no lower than 160%.
Paragraph spacing refers to the distance between paragraphs. More specifically, it refers to the amount of margin that is added to the bottom of the paragraph, which creates space between the end of a paragraph and the following element. As with line height, you want to be sure that your paragraphs have adequate space so that the reader can easily distinguish one from the next, and so that eye is not subjected to a “wall of text”.
On the web, paragraph spacing is achieved by adding a bottom margin to paragraph elements. My preference is for the bottom margin of paragraphs to be set at 2 times the font size. So if your font is 16px, your paragraph spacing ought to be 32px.
The examples below display a few paragraphs of text from a law firm blog. The first has no additional margin added. The second has 32px of margin added. Which would you prefer to read?
As you can see, simply adding a small amount of margin to the bottom of your paragraphs can make a big difference to the readability of your blog’s content.
More on spacing: In addition to the proper spacing of your paragraphs you also want to make sure that your headings and your structured lists are spaced properly. For headings, this means having the same about of space between the heading and the following paragraph as between the preceding paragraph and the heading. For lists, this means having adequate space between list items and having the same spacing above and below the list.
The purpose of headings is to organize your law blogs into subsections of a parent topic. Because headings are such an essential part of the information you are presenting, it’s crucial that they be styled in a way that is intuitive and allows the user to scan the post for the information most pertinent to them.
There are a few decisions that must be made with regard to the styling of heading tags:
In general, the size of your headings should go in descending order, with your H1 being the largest:
In the case of this blog, we made the decision to use a single typeface and color for each heading, with the only difference being the size. For each heading, we added 32px of margin to the bottom so that there is a nice bit of spacing between the heading had the following paragraph.
It is not at all uncommon to see headings styled with a different typeface, color, and font weight than the paragraph text. Just be sure to use common sense and style your headings in a way that keeps readability – and indeed “scanability” – as the primary goal.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your law blog’s typography is using a font color that fails to create adequate contrast with the background. In general, there is rarely a good reason to use anything but a white background for your blog posts. Against a white background, I generally use a dark grey color and a medium font weight.
The text you are reading right now is dark grey. The hex color code is #2f2f2f. The font weight is 600. I think this is probably a bit too much font-weight, but it’s better than the alternative…
The text you are now reading is a lighter grey – #b3b3b3 – and the font weight is 400. This is a bit more of a strain to read, eh?
Be intentional about the color that you choose for your primary paragraph text, and about the weight that you choose. Be sure that the color and weight you select contrast well with the background and make it easy to read your paragraph text.
The general rule with link styling is that it should be obvious that links are links. It’s common to see links styled to be a different color from the rest of the text but without any other indicator that it’s a link. This is problematic for accessibility reasons because a not insignificant percentage of the population has some level of color blindness.
My best practices for link styling are as follows:
Once again, common sense is king here. You want folks to know that a link is a link. Style them accordingly.
This is by no means a comprehensive or even expert guide to typography for the web. However, by following these simple rules you can make sure that your law blog posts aren’t hindered by simple typography mistakes that render your content difficult to read and understand.
Here are additional resources that I have found immensely useful for better understanding effective typography:
Now that we understand the critical typographical elements of an effective law blog design, let’s look at some of the other important design elements that go beyond the aesthetic of the words on the screen.
For your legal blog posts to be effective – which is to say, to turn readers into prospective new clients – they must inspire a sense of trust in the reader. In other words, the reader must feel that the information in your blog post is authoritative and accurate.
Ultimately, the substance of your legal content is what matters most in earning the trust of your readers. But we can help instill this sense of trust with intentional design elements as well. Let’s have a look at blog elements that convey trustworthiness.
Legal information is generally of significant consequence. If you need to know what the statute of limitations is for medical malpractice claims in New Jersey you don’t want someone’s best approximation. You want an authoritative explanation from someone who understands the statute and the nuance around it.
The first essential way to convey that the information in your blog posts can be trusted is to attribute an author. You can find an example of this at the top of this very blog post where you’ll see this:
It’s not hard to understand why readers will be more apt to trust the information on your blog when you attribute the name and face of a real human being to that blog post.
But what should you do when your blog content is largely written by folks who are outside of your law firm (like Juris Digital’s legal content team) and whose names and faces you aren’t able to display on your site? What we advise in these cases is to explain that honestly to readers with a callout like this:
As you can see in this example the firm is being transparent with the reader by telling them that the article was written by the “legal content team”, while also explaining that the piece was “reviewed for accuracy” by an actual attorney at the firm. By being honest about who wrote the post the firm automatically gains credibility with the reader, and then by mentioning that an attorney at the firm reviewed the post, they have the opportunity to add the attorney’s name and photo which enhances the perception of trustworthiness.
One of the things a discerning legal blog reader will look for is when the post was last updated. After all, laws change and folks who have questions about their legal issue want to be sure that your blog post contains up-to-date information. Including a publish date in the design of your blog posts helps instill trust in the reader that the information is current and can be relied upon.
When the subject of your blog post content is an evergreen topic – eg. “are non-compete agreements enforceable?” – it makes a lot more sense to use the language “Last Updated” rather than “Date Published” in your blog design. With evergreen topics like this it doesn’t really matter when the post was first published; what matters is how recently it’s been updated. Here’s an example of what this might look like:
On the flip side, there are some topics where it makes a lot more sense to tell the reader when the post was originally published. For example, any blog topic that deals with a current event where the date of that event is relevant should include a publish date rather than a last updated date. Here’s an example of blog content where a publish date makes more sense:
Indicating to the user when your blog post was either originally published (in the case of content where the date is a relevant factor) or when it was last updated (in the case of evergreen content) is a great way to inspire trust in the reader.
I am including calls-to-action (CTAs) in the section about making your blog content more trustworthy because bad CTAs can have the opposite effect; they can make your blog content seem less trustworthy.
In my experience there are a couple of keys to effective CTAs in blog content:
Here is an example. As you can see this CTA is both relevant to the topic of the blog post and it tells the user what they are signing up for by reaching out:
I am a proponent of placing CTAs directly in the body of the blog post as opposed to exclusively in the sidebar or some other static element. I also like placing the CTA just after you have delivered valuable information to the reader, but not before.
In other words, you don’t want to shove the CTA into the top of the post before you’ve delivered any value to the reader. Here’s an example of delivering value first and then prompting the reader with a CTA:
By delivering value before you pitch the reader to reach out, you instill a sense of trust that you are the right firm to help them with their issue.
The type of CTA you prompt your readers with should be guided by what you believe is the best way for people to contact your firm. Some of our clients believe that they can provide the best experience to potential clients over the phone, and so for those clients, we will prioritize phone numbers in our CTAs.
For other clients, form submission is a more ideal first touch point with the client, and so for those clients, we’ll either link to a form via a stylized button or we’ll include the full contact form right in the body of the post. Here’s an example of a firm that includes the full contact form right in the post body:
Another creative form of blog post-CTA that we’ve deployed for some of our clients is what I call an explainer CTA because we are explaining to the reader at the very top of the post why the law firm is blogging, what the law firm does, and how the reader can reach out if they have questions. Here are a few examples of explainer CTAs:
As you can see there are lots of options for including CTAs in your law blog post design. The CTA that will work best for any given law firm can really only be determined by experimenting and measuring the results.
So far we have examined typography – which is really what will most determine the efficacy of your law blog design – and we’ve looked at three elements that can effectively build trust with the reader – author information, published/updated date, and calls-to-action. If you get both of these right, you are going to be well on your way to a highly effective blog design.
Now we’ll get a little less structured and look at a smattering of additional design elements to be intentional about when creating your law blog design.
The biggest mistakes you can make with the styling your blog post title are:
It’s a general SEO best practice to include a custom image in each law blog post, and some blog topics (like the one you are currently reading) naturally require a large number of images to be valuable.
With that being the case it’s important to consider the styling of your in-body images. I personally like to ensure that in-body images are styled with:
Here are two examples of images in law blog posts. Which do you think looks more appealing?
Another Image Tip: Create custom images for your blog posts. This doesn’t mean you can’t use stock photos, but you should always make customizations to the stock photos that you use to make them custom to your law firm. The example above demonstrates the difference in aesthetics between using a plain stock photo and creating a customized image.
(Another) Another Image Tip: Make sure that the caption text for your images is styled intentionally. Generally, image caption text ought to be smaller than the default paragraph text. The image caption text on this blog post provides a good example.
I generally find that it’s rare to write a legal blog post that doesn’t have bulleted and/or numbered lists. Lists are a great way to make your content more readable. As such, lists ought to be styled intentionally.
At a very minimum, your lists should inherit the best practices from your other typography. For example:
If you are so inclined you can also experiment with different styles for the actual bullet points. You can see that on this website we use dashes with a color gradient rather than traditional bullets. Here are some other examples of creative bullet styling:
As with so many of the elements discussed here, there is no single “best” way. What’s important is that you be intentional about designing and styling these elements and that you always keep readability and accessibility top of mind while doing so.
It’s a good idea to intentionally style blockquotes. Here is what our blockquote styling looks like:
This is a blockquote. The styling is used to make it clear to the reader that this is a quote from someone. It can also be used simply to draw attention to particularly imporatnt information. Make sure you are intentional about styling your blockquote.– Matt Green
I feel somewhat ashamed that I have not yet even mentioned mobile blog post design. As a general rule, we assume that around 50% of all of our client’s blog traffic is going to come from mobile devices (for some clients it’s higher, for others lower, but 50% is generally the medium).
For this reason, it’s essential to consider the mobile layout of your blog posts. Now, with most of the elements, we discuss here if you get them right on desktop you’ll get them right on mobile as well. But make sure to check. Review your blog posts carefully on mobile devices to ensure that your content is just as readable and accessible as it is on desktop resolutions.
Especially if your blog posts tend to be on the longer side, baking a table of contents into your blog post design can be a great way to make your content easier for readers to digest.
If you scroll to the top of the blog post you are reading you can see an example of including a table of contents in the design. Here is an example of how we designed a table of contents into the blog post design for one of our clients:
The primary reason to include a table of contents in your blog design is to help the user navigate long-form content. It has the added benefit of qualifying your posts for this search enhancement in Google’s results:
A sticky CTA is a call to action that “sticks” with the user as they scroll the page. This very blog post has one (in the desktop version). Here are links to a couple more examples of blog post designs that utilize interesting sticky CTAs:
Earlier, we discussed the importance of attributing your blog posts to an author. Sometimes it makes sense to include a full author bio in your blog post design. For an example of this, see the bottom of this blog post.
I have seen this becoming increasingly popular on long-form content in particular. The idea is that there is a sticky header on your blog post that contains the title of the post and a progress bar so that folks know how close they are to the end.
Here’s an example from ZoomLegal:
For sites that have lots of blog content, it might make sense to bake a “related articles” section into your blog post design. The key to an effective related articles section is to actually link to articles that are related and that might appeal to the reader of your blog post.
Here’s an example of what that might look like:
I hope you found this guide useful and that you bookmark it to use as both a best-practice reference and as inspiration when you’re tackling the challenge of creating a compelling and effective blog post design for your law firm.
What Prospective Clients Need to Know About Hiring FindLaw for Website Design, SEO, and Digital Marketing
FindLaw remains one of the largest providers of law firm SEO, websites, and digital marketing. On its website FindLaw claims to have over 17,000 small law firm clients.
If your firm is currently – or ever has been – in the market for SEO or website marketing services, you’ve likely come across FindLaw.
At Juris Digital we have spoken with dozens of past, current, and prospective FindLaw clients. Between those discussions and our extensive competitive research on FindLaw client websites on behalf of our own clients, we understand the pros and cons of working with FindLaw.
In this post, we’ve done our best to give a useful review of FindLaw’s marketing services. The review is broken down into two parts:
If you are a current FindLaw customer or considering hiring FindLaw, this article is for you.
Disclaimer: FindLaw is one of our top competitors, and as such, we are not an impartial source. Our goal with this FindLaw review is to earn the chance to show you, specifically, why we’re a better choice to be your Firm’s SEO and digital marketing provider.
By far the most common complaint we hear about working with FindLaw concerns its service agreement.
Specifically, clients say that FindLaw almost always requires a 3-year term, which is nearly impossible to get out of early.
Time and again, we’ve heard from clients who are unhappy with FindLaw’s services and want a new agency but are only a year or 18 months through their contract with FindLaw.
Of course, FindLaw can’t prevent you from engaging with another digital marketing provider, but there is nothing cost-effective about paying two different companies to do the same job.
If you run a small law firm, you understand the importance of flexibility. You may be comfortable signing a 3-year lease on your office, but a 3-year obligation to work with a marketing agency without any legitimate avenues for ending the agreement early? For many small and start-up law firms, that’s a commitment they simply cannot abide.
Here’s the critical thing to understand about FindLaw’s service agreement: FindLaw will enforce the agreement, and they will not hesitate to litigate if you try to leave early.
Don’t expect any good faith or understanding if things aren’t working out; FindLaw will attempt to compel you to pay every last dime required by the service agreement.
At Juris Digital, we ask that our clients agree to a commitment of 12 months. Because we focus so heavily on generating new business for our clients through organic channels (like local SEO for lawyers and content marketing), a 12-month term ensures that those efforts can fully bear fruit before the client decides.
Furthermore, we treat our clients how we want to be treated. Though it is rarely the case that clients choose to cancel services before their 12-month term is up, if this is ever the case, we listen to the client to come to an agreement that is fair for both our company and theirs.
Another one of the most common complaints that we hear from FindLaw clients is that FindLaw will work with their top competitors. We recently earned the business of an employment law firm in Glendale, California, who was considering going with FindLaw.
During the sales process, it took us 2 minutes to see that FindLaw was engaged with at least 5 of the Firm’s top local competitors.
While we don’t believe that it’s impossible to achieve strong results for multiple competitors in the same local market and practice area, we do believe that our clients deserve to work with a marketing agency that is not simultaneously working with a dozen competing firms in their city.
At Juris Digital we make the following promise to our clients:
No matter the size of your primary market or your marketing budget, we will never work with more than three competing firms in your area of practice and your market.
FindLaw’s service agreement makes it incredibly difficult for you to keep the content and the website that you paid for.
FindLaw builds its websites on a proprietary content management system that cannot be transferred to a third party when you part ways in the future. This means that, regardless of your satisfaction with the FindLaw website, “taking it with you” is not an option, as no one else can edit and update the content on the site as you move forward.
As with the term and stringency of FindLaw’s service agreement, the issue with the proprietary system it uses to build and manage your website can be summed up with a single word: inflexibility.
Perhaps this is not as big of a concern for your firm as it is for others, but for a company that professes to provide services for “small law firms,” it seems strange that they would place such little value in granting its clients a baseline level of flexibility.
With us, you will have complete ownership of every digital asset that we produce for you during the course of our engagement. This includes all blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, images, designs, and anything else that’s published on your website.
Additionally, we build all of our client’s websites on WordPress, which is the most commonly used content management system in the world. This ensures that should you ever choose another digital marketing provider, you can take your website and all of its contents with you.
FINDLAW SEO CONCERN #1…
One of the advantages of working with FindLaw is that, as a website and SEO client, FindLaw will add you to its network of law firm directory websites, which include sites like:
Being listed on these directories is beneficial in two ways:
Because FindLaw a) owns and operates these very powerful lead generation sites and because b) it is cheap to add new clients to them, FindLaw seem to over-rely on them. And why not?
If FindLaw can generate new leads for clients simply by adding their information to a few legal directories, what incentive do they have to execute more advanced SEO and digital marketing activities for law firms, like content marketing and advanced link building?
I know what you’re thinking: So what? If FindLaw can bring me relevant leads, why would I care how it does it?
This is the problem: there are only so many “top-spots” on their directory pages. Not all of their clients can hold a high enough position on the directory pages to see consistent leads.
So what does FindLaw do?
FindLaw waits for you (the client) to express concern over the number of leads you’re getting from the web, and then they move you to the top of the list in the directory. Invariably, you’ll soon start seeing more inquiries. Once you’re placated, another client will make the same complaint, and FindLaw will move that client to the top of the list, and once again your leads will shrink.
Understand that this is not a random assertion. This is something I’ve been told personally by more than half a dozen FindLaw clients.
We believe in investing in marketing initiatives for our clients that will outlast us. That is to say, when our clients decide to leave us (on average, ~3.5 years after starting with us), they will leave with a website that continues to produce consistent and valuable leads.
Let’s say that 90% of the value that FindLaw provides your firm is a result of your listing on its directory sites. When you leave FindLaw, you lose your place on those directories. Essentially, you will have rented web real estate, and once you stop paying rent, that real estate will no longer be yours.
At Juris Digital, we focus on building an online real estate empire for you that will last long after you stop paying us.
FINDLAW SEO CONCERN #2…
In order for law firms to gain maximum exposure to their target clients from organic SEO, they must publish content that is optimized for keywords that their potential clients are searching.
Keyword research is absolutely essential to SEO success. Without conducting strategic keyword research to determine the precise terms that your potential clients are searching on Google, all of your other website efforts will be futile. You can create the most amazing website and content imaginable, but if there is no strategic keyword research behind that content, it will not get you results.
In my experience analyzing FindLaw client websites, one constant that I see is random, unidentified keywords, which signals lack-luster content marketing efforts. It’s true that SEO takes time and that some keywords are more valuable than others, but an utter lack of significant organic search traffic indicates, to me, a lack of strategic keyword research.
We were recently approached by a FindLaw client – a personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm in Maryland – who wanted to understand how we might be able to improve their return on investment. When I used my favorite SEO tool (Ahrefs.com) to analyze their site’s performance, I was shocked by the lack of meaningful traffic:
Remember that FindLaw has been working with this particular client for *years*, not months. The client is paying several thousands of dollars monthly for SEO and web marketing services. The fact that their total organic traffic is valued by this SEO tool at just over $100 is frankly absurd, and it indicates a complete lack of strategic keyword research content marketing.
Let’s look at an example.
The screenshot below shows a recent blog post that was published by FindLaw on behalf of the client in question:
This is a blog post entitled: Stay Safe During Summer Driving. It contains just under 300 words. It has no headings or images. It’s simply four paragraphs of *worthless* content. It gives no actionable or unique insights.
Now, I do see that there is some search volume around the keyword [summer driving tips], but so what? Even if this post gains a high position for this keyword (which it won’t because the content quality is paltry), what purpose will that serve? How will getting traffic from people searching [summer driving tips] help this firm get more clients?
The answer is, it won’t. This type of service simply does not justify the several thousands of dollars per month it’s costing this firm.
As I mentioned above, at Juris Digital we consider keyword research to be absolutely foundational to the success of our clients. When effective keyword research is paired with exceptionally useful and well-optimized content, the sky is the limit in terms of organic search results.
Compare the numbers for the FindLaw client above with the numbers for a Juris Digital client who has been with us for just 8 months and who came to use without an existing website:
While we still have a long way to go with this client, we have been able to rapidly gain valuable organic search traffic by publishing high-quality content based on strategic keyword research.
FINDLAW SEO CONCERN #3…
The ability to gain a large number of high-quality backlinks is absolutely essential in ranking your website highly for competitive, valuable keywords. Additionally, the more competitive the industry, the more essential high-quality backlinks become.
If you are in a competitive area like personal injury or criminal defense, you will not get far in SEO without an investment in advanced link building.
In my experience examining the link profiles of FindLaw client websites, I have rarely seen examples of backlinks that are earned through advanced campaigns. Rather, the links I most commonly see result from the simplest, cheapest type of link building: directory submissions.
Make no mistake: directory links are an important component of a well-rounded, robust link profile. But, in almost every case, they are inadequate for gaining high rankings for big-time keywords.
Here’s my guess why FindLaw doesn’t strive to build high-impact links using advanced link-building strategies: It’s really difficult, which means it’s expensive. Whatever the reason, FindLaw appears to shy away from putting adequate investment in their SEO deliverables, and its link-building is no exception.
We understand that link building is what separates good SEO results from exceptional results. Many SEO agencies and digital marketing providers shy away from link building because it’s difficult and expensive. Not us.
Directory submissions essentially make up the entirety of FindLaw’s link building services. For us, directory submissions are where we start.
Here are some examples of links we’ve earned for our clients recently:
In my opinion, there are four significant drawbacks to hiring FindLaw as your SEO and digital marketing provider:
FindLaw is an old company with incredible brand recognition. It has the ability to sign new clients based on its name, and to retain old clients by enforcing a stringent contract and by leveraging the powerful legal directories that it operates. To date, FindLaw has had zero incentive to invest in improving the quality of its SEO offering, and so it hasn’t.
At Juris Digital we help law firms rank in Google’s local search results and localized organic results for competitive practice area keywords in very competitive markets.
Ranking in the Google’s local search results your clients are already looking for you might provide the highest ROI of any of your marketing channels. Once you rank in these results for important keywords you will start seeing more qualified leads and signing more cases.
The process of getting ranked here is known as local SEO for lawyers. It’s the only law firm SEO guide you need to start earning free clicks and signing more cases.
If you’re looking for local SEO services for law firms, contact us for a free marketing analysis.
But if you’re ready to dive in this article will serve as a guide to local SEO for law firms. Now let’s get started!
Below is a visual example of what we’re talking about regarding Local SEO. You may have heard this called the 3 pack and some people refer to it as the map pack although that’s a different view altogether.
In this guide we are going to cover how your law firm can rank for important keywords in your market and sign more cases.
This is the complete and most comprehensive guide covering Local SEO Services for Law firms on the internet.
In this guide we will cover everything you need to know from start to finish to optimize your Google Business Profile (Previously called Google My Business / Google Places)
Put simply, Google recognizes authority in local search by measuring three factors: relevance, proximity, and authority. Google needs a way to identify which law firm websites deserve to rank above others.
Here are how these three factors are defined in attorney local SEO:
In reality Google uses hundreds of different ranking signals, all of which carry a different weight. Factors related to user experience, such as site speed, relevance, and well-written content are essential.
If you are doing things the right way and earn authority, you will have the ability to rank for important keywords. Now let’s look at the different type of keywords you have the opportunity to rank for.
When someone conducts a search in Google, they will type in a keyword. A keyword can be one-word, multiple words, or a sentence. These are sometimes referred to as key-phrases as well.
Here are two different types of keyword potential clients might type into a search engine, and it’s how we will refer to them moving forward in this book.
Car Accident Lawyer – this is a transactional keyword where a potential client is likely to be at the bottom of the funnel looking to find a car accident lawyer. People also call these “money keywords” or “head keywords”. There are also many variants of these such as:
Then there are long tail keywords like: Do I Need a Lawyer After My Car Accident? – this is a question-based keyword that is more at the top of the marketing funnel. This potential client has not yet decided if they need to hire a lawyer and is doing research. These are typically called “long tail keywords”.
Here is where your firm has the opportunity to rank in a standard search results page:
Local Service Ads: These are new for attorneys and it’s offered through Google’s
Local Service Ads product which is a pay per lead service. This is different from local SEO for law firms.
Paid ads (also called Google Ads, Pay Per Click [PPC], or Search Engine Marketing [SEM]) – these are marked by green “ad” text as shown below. These ads show up at the top of the Google Search Results page.
The local pack (also called the local pack or local results) – Sometimes four results will show here if there is an advertisement in the 3-pack. It will be marked by an “ad” text.
These typically display underneath the paid ads when a search query has local intent. Please note that some keyword searches will not contain a 3-pack. If you search for a longer tail keyword or a non-transactional keyword, you might not see a 3-pack in the search results at all.
Organic results(these are the blue links) – the organic results typically display underneath the 3-pack. There are usually 8–11 of these that will show up in a search. Organic search results typically take up most of the search real estate.
Many results that rank in organic search results will show up based on the location you are conducting the search from.
This means that if I search “Personal Injury Lawyer” from Houston and Boston I will see results for the city closest to me blended with some national rankings (firms that rank everywhere).
An example of traditional organic results are below:
The Local Finder – if you were to click on a local pack listing on a computer, you would be taken to a longer list of law firms. This is called the local finder and it’s where all local results for that search query are displayed, along with ads. Ranking here is important for legal SEO. You can see an example of ads in the top two firms in the local finder below.
Potential clients can also search from the Google Maps website or phone app, where the display of the results may differ from the 3-pack and local finder even though the data is all connected through your Google Business Profile (Previously called Google My Business).
Other features can show up in search results. These include features like:
There are also a variety of search features that can enhance your click through rate (CTR) on your organic rankings above that of your competitors. These include features like:
Review schema — will appear in organic search results if you add a piece of code to the HTML on your page.
FAQ Schema — is also a piece of code you can add to specific pages to take up more search real estate.
There are more features, but those listed above are the most important to know about for now. Also, it’s possible to rank organically in the local pack with a featured snippet and FAQ/Review Schema.
The more real estate you have in the search results, the higher your click-through rate (CTR) will be. With good local SEO for attorneys your firm can outrank your competition and increase the number of qualified leads.
Rank tracking is how well your law firm’s website ranks for a particular keyword. For example, if your firm ranks #1 for “car accident lawyer,” that can be a good thing. However, it’s important to know that traditional rank-tracking software can be very misleading.
Google is better than ever at understanding where a person searching online is located. They have pinpointed the searches location before they hit submit on a search. Now, the searcher’s proximity to a law firm plays a big part in which results Google decides to show.
There are a lot of choices for rank tracking software out there, and the problem with most of them is that they use a single GPS location (usually the city center) to show you where your website ranks for a certain keyword. A potential client looking for a personal injury attorney doing a Google search from a hospital may see a different #1 ranking firm than someone searching a few blocks away.
The fact is that many law firm marketers have a poor understanding of how much visibility they have in a market because of misleading traditional ranking reports. This is also dangerous for strategy development because it’s easy to focus your marketing efforts on new geographic areas, when instead, you should be focusing on a strategy that allows your firm to rank in as many places as possible within your target city.
In many cases, law firms could double, triple, or quadruple their leads just by focusing on strategies that help them dominate one geographic area instead of spreading out before they’ve reached their maximum potential.
To illustrate this point, let’s use a visual example.
In the map below, I’m using a tool called Local Falcon. Local Falcon allows you to visualize where you rank as if you were searching from a certain GPS location.
Do you see where “GJEL Accident Attorneys” ranks in maps results for the keyword “Car Accident Lawyer”?
This is a competitive keyword in a competitive market (San Francisco). The colored map icons with corresponding numbers represent the ranking position if I was conducting the search from that specific geographic location.
Simply put, if I were to do the same search from two locations two blocks away from each other, I’m likely to see different results!
Notice how there are different color categories:
Each map marker is a specific place where a search is conducted. As you can see, the results are all over the place.
If you check rankings from your computer or a software that only tracks from one GPS location (which is typical) you are not getting the full picture.
In fact, you are more likely to rank for keywords in the local pack if you are searching from your office because Google may display the closest business.
This may feel rewarding, but it probably won’t generate much business if you’re not ranking well from where actual clients are looking.
Pro Tip: If you want to see where Google thinks you are physically located open up Chrome and do a Google search. Scroll to the bottom and it will tell you the location it’s showing results for.
Searcher intent has a lot to do with how Google decides to display local pack results. While Google is going to serve local results for many law firm keywords, they also understand when a search should be even more localized.
One example of this is if I searched for “Car Accident Lawyer” and “Car Accident Lawyer Near Me”.
The “Near Me” search is explicitly telling Google that you’re looking for a car accident lawyer in close proximity to the location you’re searching from, whereas otherwise they understand you’re probably just looking for a lawyer in your general area.
There are many different keywords a potential client might type into Google. Let’s look at a few examples and see how they differ:
Keyword searched: “Car Accident Lawyer”
Keyword searched: “Car Accident Lawyer Near Me”
Keyword searched: “Car Accident Lawyer in Parker”
In the above examples, “The Fang Firm” showed up as an ad in all three searches. However, for the typical 3-pack results, we see a different mix of firms in each result.
All of these searches were conducted from the same place within the city on a desktop computer.
The type of device the user is searching from can also have an impact on how you rank. If you have a slow loading website, you are less likely to rank well on mobile search results.
Why? Google correlates slow site speed with a poor user experience, so website visitors will be more likely to bounce (or leave the page).
Google is primarily crawling the mobile version of your website to determine how they should rank your site.
In my experience, the answer to this is no. At least for many important search terms that will drive a lot of new business to your law firm.
The example below is for a competitive keyword in a competitive market. If you’re able to rank organically and locally for your important keywords, you can get similar results.
Thankfully, there are a lot of cool tools out there that help you diversify how you track rankings. You will be able to track mobile and desktop rankings by:
There is a plethora of tools out there you can use to track rankings, but here are some that we and our clients use with success:
I also feel obligated to cover the danger of rank tracking. If you are looking at your rankings daily, you will drive yourself crazy and miss the forest for the trees.
Rankings change daily, even multiple times in a day. Don’t get caught up in small tactics, instead, keep a long-term strategy in place to drive results.
In this section we will cover things to consider if you’re opening a new law firm and you plan on using your Google Business Profile to get a step ahead of your competitors.
If you already have an established law firm, this section may not be the most important for you.
However, there are a lot of good nuggets of information in here that make it worth reading!
Whether you have an established or brand-new law firm, your business name will play an important part in how you rank in search results for important keywords that can bring your firm new business.
If you are just setting up, there is no doubt you should brand your firm in a way that will serve you long-term. The more of a niche you have, the easier this gets (e.g. Motorcycle Joe). For established firms, it’s a question for very careful consideration.
First let’s get frequently asked questions out of the way…
Yes, it has a strong impact. This may be because Google wants to serve the most accurate results for brand searches. By naming your firm “Denver Car Accident Lawyers,” Google may assume that “car accident lawyers” is an integral part of your business.
You should not unless you can prove that it’s your actual business name. Otherwise, you risk temporary or permanent suspension.
In fact, according to the Google Business Profile Help section, “Your name should reflect your business’ real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. Accurately representing your business name helps customers find your business online.”
This is something I would recommend you discuss with a branding professional to understand all of the pros and cons before making a decision, but in the meantime, here are some that come to mind.
Pros of changing your name:
Cons of changing your name:
Although it’s a bit complicated to do the right way, there are still many cases where I recommend firms do change their name. It works best for firms that have small budgets and a lesser known brand.
As a marketer at heart, I have a real love for brand names and keyword rich business names. With that said, you should realize you’re up against firms who are already using keyword rich names such as these guys:
There’s also an organic search benefit to having a keyword rich law firm name, but it’s not something that can’t be overcome by investing more into building your brand.
My very simple and general answer to whether you should have a keyword rich law firm name is:
If you have the option to choose where your office location, pay close attention, because this is very important.
Selecting an office location for your firm has changed over the years. Many years ago, Google used to use the city “centroid” and ranked law firms closest to that location higher in search results. Now, Google ranks law firms that are the closest to a searcher’s exact location.
You should select an office within the recognized city limits of where you want new clients.
Also, make sure there are no other competing firms in your building using the same primary category, or prepare for an uphill battle.
The biggest takeaway from this section is that you should not share an office building with a law firm that also takes the same type of cases.
Google will only show one of the listings in the 3-pack at the address.
If the other firm’s listing is more established, it will be a long and hard fight to overcome them.
Your Google Business Profile (previously called Google my business for lawyers) profile is your calling card for local searchers looking for something close by and tangible.
GBP attributes let customers know what to expect when visiting your establishments. Take a look at the listing below and you will see Online Appointments. This is a rather new attribute allowed for Law Firms.
Attributes are just one step that Google is taking to help businesses meet the demands of its users.
While these attributes won’t help with your law firm organic rankings, they do have some impact on local pack rankings. If potential customers type in keywords that match your factual or subjective attributes, you may show up in that search.
There are also two categories of attributes that merchants can display on their GMB profile, and these readily depend on your selected GMB category.
These types of attributes are:
Some of the factual attributes available to most law firms include:
In the past, there used to be issues tracking phone leads from your Google Business Profile. Thankfully, these days, you can track every call from a that comes through the listing.
If you already have a phone number you’re using for your office, you can keep it. But, I don’t recommend using it for your profile since you will not be able to track phone calls generated from this lead source.
If you have an existing number, you can either:
At this point, I recommend setting up a new tracking number and connecting that to your listing.
When setting up a tracking number for your business listing, we recommend the following.
A proper phone number for your business is also a potential branding opportunity. A memorable phone number that you use across all your marketing campaigns will be helpful in the long run, but keep in mind that it will also be difficult to track the results if you use the number on multiple marketing channels.
Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.
There is no sense in shortcutting the work in building an effective business listing. In this section, we will discuss the specifics of everything you need to build an effective 3-pack presence.
Having great pictures is important for your listing optimization. Pictures help build the authority of your business by proving you exist, and they increase potential client’s confidence in you.
Whatever you do though, don’t use stock photos!
Prepare everything you need up-front so the rest of the process is a breeze. This prep work will save you a lot of time later.
Here are some important points to remember for photos and videos:
Most law firms do the bare minimum when it comes to uploading photos, so you will already be a few steps ahead of your competitors if you follow these guidelines.
As we mentioned, photos are important because they help prove that your business exists in the real world.
When Google can match exterior signage pictures with street view photos, you tend to have fewer issues. I suggest taking the following photos for your Google business profile listing:
There are certain videos you should have on your listing also. Videos are typically harder to manipulate than photos. Video uploads are now limited to 750MB for the size of the file.
Having the following pre-recorded videos on your listing will help legitimize your business:
You can make a free video of your active listing using this resource.
This is a no brainer. As a legitimate business, you should have a city business license with your exact business name.
While this is not important for setting up Google Business Profile, you should have this handy incase Google ever asks for it. Google may ask for a business license if your listing is suspended and you apply to get it reinstated.
Your Google Business Profile is connected to your website. These landing pages will likely be the reason potential customers contact you. In this section, we will discuss technical and user experience best practices you should follow to ensure your page converts website visitors into clients.
Your landing page is the website page that you link to from your GBP listing. This is the first page users will see on your website if they click on the website link in your listing.
At this time, Google allows for one main URL which will go under “website” and an appointment URL, which we will ignore for now.
It’s important that the information on your landing page is optimized for that specific location. Not only is this the first page visitors coming from your GMB listing will see, it’s also the page Google will draw authority from.
If your location landing page lacks authority and link equity, it will not perform as well.
Pro Tip: The better optimized your GMB landing page is and the more link authority it has, the more likely it is to rank well. In many cases, if you’re operating a single location business, it makes sense to use your homepage as a single landing page.
As with everything in SEO, there are different schools of thought when it comes to location landing pages.
Here are the best practices that I have personally tested and currently follow with new listings.
This question comes with a lot of “what ifs,” which is one of the reasons it’s hard to answer with a blanket statement.
Here are my best practice recommendations:
In SEO, on-page optimization refers to optimizing the content on your website or website optimization for lawyers. In our case, specifically, you should optimize the page connected to your business profile.
If there is one area that requires a lot of time and attention, it’s your local landing page. This is the page potential clients will see before making the decision on whether or not they should contact you.
This page should be the best representation of your firm and your expertise. It should not be a page filled with generic content just to rank. That won’t help you in serving your actual goal of signing new clients, even if you do get lots of website traffic.
When designing your page, make sure it flows well and that you use relevant imagery such as award badges, localized photos of your office, or local landmarks. A local landing page is also a great place to include case studies and client reviews.
Below, we cover the specific aspects of on page optimization for your location landing pages. If you have multiple locations, I suggest setting up landing pages for each city using these guidelines.
Make sure you know your top keyword priorities before starting your on-page optimization. While your local landing page can rank for a lot of keywords, it’s typically best to focus it around the primary keyword.
For the purposes of these examples, I will be focusing on the keyword: “Personal Injury Lawyers”.
Did you know you can get mobile search results to display a picture in the search results? This takes up more real estate as well as increases click through rate.
So how do you do it? Start by adding a square image near the top of your content on this page. It’s important to keep it square as if Google decides to pull it when it’s not square it will crop the photo.
Meta titles are important for local SEO and should be focused on the location page and its top keyword(s). Google reads your meta title and to get an understanding of what your page is about. If you use a CMS such as WordPress, your meta title is easy. It’s even easier if you’re using an SEO plugin such as RankMath or Yoast.
Title tags are also the first thing a potential client will see in Google’s organic results.
Google will typically display the first 50–60 characters for title tags. However, on mobile, they allow longer snippets, so longer title tags are not necessarily a bad thing as long as they are still useful when truncated.
Keep in mind you don’t have full control over meta titles. Google may add your brand name or other words to your title without your permission.
You don’t want to keyword stuff your title tag, but the location and keyword are the most important elements to include.
Here are the optimization elements I typically include in a local landing page title tag:
Here are a few examples of title tags that use some of the elements above:
Remember that title tag optimization is an essential step in SEO for attorneys.
The meta description is the text that Google will show below the meta title in search results. While you can provide this information (and you always should), it does not mean Google will display it.
They may input other text from your page depending on what keywords the searcher used.
Google generally truncates what they display to 155–160 characters.
Below is an example of a meta description in Google organic search results.
Meta description example:
[Law Firm Name] is a top-rated personal injury law firm serving Los Angeles since 1999. Get a free case review today. 99% success rate.
Pro Tip: Did you know adding phone numbers in your meta description can increase phone call leads? We have tracked calls from meta descriptions and seen people calling these numbers directly from the search engine results page.
Using H1s is still important as far as SEO is concerned. I have seen cases where simply replacing H2 heading tags with H1s had a significant impact on rankings, although there is a lot of debate about this in the SEO community. But in my experience, they are crucial.
Here are some suggestions for strong H1 headings on your page:
Here are some examples of strong H1 tags:
Sometimes the SEO mindset goes too far. In my experience, this usually happens when people get in the mindset of creating content for SEO and separate themselves from actual business goals.
When you’re creating content, your sole focus should be on creating the best content for the topic. It should represent your brand and your brand message. If you’re a volume firm taking soft tissue cases, you will want to indicate that. On the other hand, if you are only interested in serious injury cases, you really need to separate your brand from the other firms out there.
Pro tip: If there is one place you should not be cheap, it’s content. These pages might generate hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars for your law firm. These are the pages that potential clients will land on and then decide whether or not to hire you. Poor content is going to get you poor leads.
Think about the purpose of the content.
Is it to generate new leads?
If the purpose of your content is to generate new leads, your potential clients want specific and relevant information about the keywords they typed in. They may look for a reason to trust or use your services. Here are some of the things they might be looking for:
Here are some helpful content guidelines you should try to follow:
Depending on the purpose of the page, here are some other content pieces I include:
As long as it needs to be. When I build out a page that is full of useful resources, I typically find it ends up having over 1,000 words. But don’t stress about this if it’s longer or shorter. Don’t miss the forest for the trees.
If you’re really concerned about this, you need to spend time analyzing your competition in search results. See how firms rank for keywords you’re interested in and analyze their strengths and weaknesses to build a plan.
After creating the content, look at who’s already ranking in the top ten results and compare it to see if your information is more valuable to potential clients.
A professional video on this landing page can make a big difference to the user experience. It can help potential clients get a feel for what it’s like to work with your firm.
If you can include client testimonial videos, that is also very powerful. Videos help create human connection and build trust.
Looking for a good video provider? Reach out and I will be happy to refer a video production agency to you.
Written and video testimonials are trust signals that help instill confidence in potential clients.
Client testimonials are also a great place to add review schema. From our testing, we believe that review schema increases the click-through-rate in organic search results.
Although embedding a map can slow down the site speed, I believe it provides a good user experience. If it does significantly slow down your website, I would recommend removing it.
You can test your website speed page-by-page through Google here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/.
At Juris Digital, we typically recommend embedding a map on your location landing pages. If users are looking to visit your office, this can provide an easy user experience for directions.
Whatever CMS you use make sure Google likes your site speed. You can figure this by checking out page experience in Google Search Console.
UTM codes are used to track which website visitors have come from a specific source, such as visits from your Google Business Profile. A UTM code can be appended to the end of an URL and should use lower case letters, have the source set to Google, and the medium set to Organic.
Depending on how many locations your law firm has, it might be best to use the homepage or a local landing page. We will discuss this in the “Homepage vs. Local Landing Page” section.
Here is a builder you can use to create your own UTM codes.
Your Google Business Listing is the heart and soul of ranking in the 3-pack, local finder, and Google maps. Making sure your listing is accurate, up to date, and optimized properly is crucial.
Before you get started, it’s important to ask whether or not you should even have a listing for your law firm.
If your business meets the GMB requirements, then the answer is probably yes. But what about individual lawyer listings?
Individual lawyer listings, or practitioner listings as we call them in the industry, seem like a good idea on the surface. However, in most cases I advise against creating listings for every lawyer in your firm.
The biggest reason I do not suggest this is that it can cause data confusion. When Google is analyzing two listings using the same address, phone, and category it will typically pick just one to display.
I have seen many cases where practitioner listings create enough confusion to outrank your original location or in some cases hide them both altogether. – Casey Meraz
I recommend you only create one GMB listing for your business at your address.
If you already have practitioner listings, please read the section about “Practitioner listings” so you know how to minimize them.
This is very important! If you already have a business listing, do not create a new one. You should also consider that you may have one even if you didn’t create it yourself.
Google uses data aggregators and services to get information about businesses. If your business information was ever scraped by these data providers, you may have an active business listing.
The easiest way to find out if you already have one is to do several searches on Google Maps.
To do this, simply visit maps.google.com and search for your business.
If you have ever moved, changed phone numbers, or changed the name of your firm, you will want to search for those variants as well.
If you your firm has a listing that you didn’t set up, then you will need to gain access to it before you can alter it.
If you already have Google Business Listing login credentials, you can skip to the next chapter.
If you don’t know who owns the GMB listing, but it shows as “claimed,” you can get a hint to find out who the owner is.
If the listing is unclaimed, you can claim it directly from the search results by following a step by step process. You can tell if a business is unclaimed if there is a link in the panel that says “Own this business?”, shown in the image below:
Here are the steps you need to take to get a hint:
Then, if the listing is claimed, Google will give you a hint as to the email address of the entity that claimed it.
If you don’t already have a listing, and you’ve conducted the searches above, you can move on to creating a new business listing for your law firm. Customers will not be able to see the listing until it’s approved. Follow these steps to create a new listing:
Pro Tip: The postcard verification method expires so you will want to enter the code as soon as you get it.
Pro Tip 2: If you use an online phone service like CallRail, you may not be able to get the auto verification text messages. In this case you will need to wait for the postcard.
Now that you have a Business Profile, it’s time to optimize it for ranking and lead generation.
In this section, we will go through the different optimization steps you need to take to make your GBP listing perform exceptionally.
To access your profile and make these edits, login to your business at: Google.com/MyBusiness and open up the appropriate verified location.
This should be the business name that accurately reflects the name of your business license and signage as we discussed in detail in the “Choosing a Name” section.
Pro Tip: Don’t stuff keywords in your business name. You risk suspension! (But weigh the risks!)
Setting up the proper categories for your business will ensure it has the ability to rank for keywords that are most important to you.
Here are the categories available for personal injury law firms at the time of this writing:
Categories will change over time. More categories are typically better.
Here is my advice and guidelines on choosing categories for your law firm:
Some advice out there will say you should limit the number of categories.
A word of advice: Unethical marketers or competitors may go in and change your business category to something irrelevant such as “Law bookstore”. Sometimes these edits are auto approved. If your rankings tank overnight, you should check your category.
It’s very important that your business address is accurate. Your business address should be the physical location where your office is. It should also be somewhere you can get US mail.
This address will be used to build citations for your business and it’s important that this information is consistent.
Typically, when entering the address, the best format is to put your address on line one and your suite number on line two.
In the old days, we used to stay away from tracking numbers because it would mess with the data accuracy. Google business profiles now provides a way around this with the GMB platform.
Whether you have an established law firm or a new one you, can keep your old phone number and track GMB calls.
To do this you will enter the number you want to track calls from in the “Primary Number” field in GBP.
You will then add your original local landline number which may be associated with old citations by clicking “add number.”
This new feature allows you to select a shorter name for your business that can be searched easily.
Early feedback from this rollout shows that businesses who stuff keywords in the short name of their business have gotten their listings suspended.
For now, I recommend using your brand name.
We don’t typically use service areas, although investigators for personal injury attorneys will commonly visit a person’s location.
I have not seen a ranking benefit from using this and adding additional city locations or zip codes. Sorry, this is not a secret ranking tactic.
The Google guidelines say you should “Provide your regular customer-facing hours of operation. If applicable, you may use your current seasonal hours as your regular hours. You may also specify special hours for particular days, like holidays or special events.”
Google really wants you to keep business hours to when the office is physically staffed.
You will see many law firms set their hours to “24 hours” because they answer the phone 24/7.
This is a risk that some law firms choose to take. If someone reports your listing, your business hours can be changed to what is reflected on your website or your listing could get suspended.
Google Business Listings also offers a place to enter special hours for holidays. I recommend you enter your holiday hours here.
You will enter your firm’s landing page URL under the website URL. For many single location businesses, this is the homepage. If you have multiple locations, I recommend creating a specific landing page for this.
Pro Tip: If you change or update the URL in Google business listing, it will force Google to crawl the URL. This usually happens within minutes. If you make any on-site changes and want Google to see them, you can simply re-renter your URL and hit save for Google to crawl it.
This is a newer area in the profile management. As a law firm that offers services to clients, this is a great place to explain what you do.
While I have not personally seen great ranking gains from this, it’s here for a reason. I suggest adding your practice areas and descriptions here to help Google understand your law firm better. To do this:
This section is for physical features of the location. Simply select the options that are relevant to your premises. Here is a list of currently available accessibility options in Google Business Profile:
While we have not seen this field have an impact on rankings, it is a great place to tell users about your business.
Typically, we recommend a 250-word description since that’s the maximum word count of what will appear in the knowledge panel.
Although its placement isn’t very prominent, it’s worth making sure you cover your unique value propositions and why potential clients should call you.
This field is used for setting the date when your firm’s office opened for the first time.
Beware: Shady internet marketers have used this to move open dates to the future. This causes the listing to disappear until the opening date passes. **This may be fixed now.
This is where you should add the photos of your law firm. Below are the categories that are currently available, as well as the type of photos you should upload to them:
I believe it’s worth renaming these photos using important keywords. Although Google appears to strip file names when they upload images, I used to be able to get listings to rank for keywords using this tactic. Maybe old habits die hard.
This is especially important for your practice area photos. Here are a few best practice tips.
Example Photo Optimization:
Img_001.jpg should be renamed to san-jose-car-accident.jpg
Google has now rolled out a products section in your Google Business Profile. This is important because if you offer products, you will have the added benefits of having your products show in the local panel for your business and the ability to rank for more product-based keywords.
This is also a section where you can reinforce relevance for your listing.
For personal injury law firms, I recommend adding your practice areas as products with pictures here. This is because they are given prominent visibility where as “services” are not in your local listing for brand searches.
The services section is also a new section in Google Business Profile that should not be ignored. While it’s more relevant for PI firms to use this section, it does not carry the same visibility as products do.
You should add each of your practice areas and injury types you handle to this services list along with a short description.
If your listing is not already verified, you will have to go through a verification process. Typically, Google will ask you to verify the listing in one of three ways:
Important Note: If you are using CallRail or some other call tracking service, the text message or phone call option will not work if the numbers have been ported over to CallRail. You will have to go with the postcard verification option.
Once you get your code, you will enter it online to verify your listing. At this point your listing is now verified and will start showing up in Google search results within the next few days.
In this section we are going to cover what you need to know to build relevance and authority to dominate local search over time.
Uploading and optimizing images to your Google Business Profile on a regular basis needs to be at the core of your local SEO strategy.
Businesses with more images get more visibility.
When I first started in SEO, images were primarily understood by the file name and alt text. Now Google can actually view the images and reach a conclusion about what that image is showing.
With these major increases in technical abilities, it’s important to adapt. In my opinion it’s best to use your own photography. Otherwise you’ll be using images that every other personal injury lawyer downloaded from the same stock photo website.
All photos you add to your Google Business Profile listing should be optimized using the guidelines we covered above.
As a personal injury lawyer, here are several types of images you could upload that would help establish relevance for your firm:
Google Business Profiles now show a public facing questions and answers section where people viewing your listing can ask a question that will show up in your local listing.
At the time of writing, most of these go unanswered by law firms. Using this section of GBP is a good way to stand out from your competition and make information more accessible to potential clients.
This also helps to reinforce relevance.
The biggest problem with Questions & answers for GBP is that other Google users can also provide answers. This opens the platform up to a little bit of spam and potentially inaccurate answers. That’s another reason that these should be closely monitored.
To take advantage and optimize for Google Questions & answers, start by creating a list of the top five questions potential clients ask you.
Once you have the questions, you should develop thorough relevant answers that will help you stand out from your competition.
Here is how you can do this:
One of the most important yet ignored areas on Google Business Profile is responding to customer reviews.
As a general rule-of-thumb, you should respond to all reviews posted for your law firm regardless of if they are good or bad.
Many people are more willing to be aggressive behind a keyboard, so if it’s ever possible to get the upset person on the phone, try to resolve their complaint and they may be more likely to change their review from a negative to a positive one. Still respond to the complaint online, owning up to mistakes and noting that you have resolved the issue offline.
Let’s look at an example.
Let’s say that you receive this negative review for your law firm: “[Law Firm] was very hard to work with and never answered my calls.”
Your response to a negative review should acknowledge their frustrations, offer a solution, and take the conversation offline.
Here is an example of a good response:
“[Client Name], I am sorry that you had this experience with our firm. We are constantly striving to be the best law firm and it’s clear we let you down. I would like to personally make this right. Please call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx or email me at email@example.com so that I can rectify this situation.”
The above response effectively owns up to the mistake, offers to help the client, and takes the conversation away from a back and forth on a public forum. It also shows that your firm cares about their clients and that you would be a good business to work with.
Remember, when it comes to reviews, there are two types of people. One type reads the positive reviews first, while the other type reads the bad reviews first. How you represent your company online and respond to customers will either help or hinder your online presence.
After your GMB listing is live it’s important to build citations for your law firm. At the very least it’s essential to have your business name, address, and phone number correct on the data aggregators as this is how information spreads. While the value of citations are greatly diminished in 2020 I’m a firm believer you should show up (and show up well) anywhere your potential clients are looking for you.
Citations are your business name, address, phone number, and website details listed on directory websites like Yelp, FindLaw, or Avvo.com (citations are also commonly referred to as NAP [name, address, phone number], directory listings and local listings).
There are two types of citations which include:
While the importance of citations has been greatly reduced over the years, I still believe they’re important for local rankings for mainly two reasons, those being:
There are many local listing management software companies out there that claim to update and add your business to the top business directories, typically for a monthly fee.
These companies, like Yext and Synup, are legitimate and can do this for you, but if you don’t plan on moving your office is it really worth the cost at $500–$600 a year?
“In my opinion the answer is no. These people are really just ripping you off” – Casey Meraz
I think it’s always best to build these citations manually (or find a company to do it manually), unless you plan on moving regularly (which you should not as that can easily create data confusion and tank your rankings).
Here are a few companies I would recommend you reach out to if you want someone else to handle this part. If not, we will cover how you can do this yourself in the next section.
Recommended companies for citation building:
The most important citations for your law firm are going to meet one or all four of the following criteria:
To help make your life easier, I have created a top list of citations you can focus on for points #1 and #2.
You can use my citation building search method to find new opportunities that will help you with #3.
Based on experience, I can tell you these are the most important things to do when listing citations:
Luckily for you, I have done a lot of the leg work and created a list of the top citation directories in the United States for law firms, which you will see below.
You can use this guide to simply visit the citation website and fill out the information for your business listing.
Start with the data aggregators. These include:
To find state, local, or county citation sources, simply conduct the following Google Searches and record the information in a spreadsheet.
Searches to find city specific citation sources:
Wherever you go about creating or updating a citation, it’s important that you track the most important information.
This will ensure you can edit it again in the future and check that it went live.
As a bare minimum, here are the fields you should track in a spreadsheet:
So, now all of your citations are live? Great work! Citations only help how well your website ranks if Google knows about them and adds them into their index. If Google is not indexing your company Yelp page, it will not be doing you any favors.
I tested how well Yext citations got indexed, and after 3 months, only around 20% of them were seen by Google.
The same thing can happen if you build them manually. Luckily, there is a workaround for this.
A quick disclaimer: I would try the following method in small quantities of links. Don’t add 1,000 links to a page and expect Google to crawl them. Furthermore, an influx of recognized links could appear unnatural and spammy, so be careful.
When it comes to listing your business, it’s important that you are ranking in the places where potential customers are looking for your law firm.
There are four additional websites that you will want to prioritize your data on before moving onto the general citations for your business.
As with citations you want to be sure to add as many relevant categories as possible to your business listings.
Being listed on Bing Places for Business is very important to the success of your local campaign.
While only a small percentage of traffic goes to Bing, some people have it set as their default browser. Ranking in Bing can provide some new leads for your law firm.
Bing now allows you to import your business details from your profile, which will help keep the information accurate and consistent.
You can find and manage your listing online at BingPlaces.com.
Make sure your profile is 100% filled out.
Sometimes when looking for a business, potential clients will use their Map app. We have you covered here in Google Maps, but what if they are using the Apple Map app? The business data from Apple Maps typically feeds via Yelp. However, it’s still important to make sure your business is listed on Apple Maps.
Once logged into this website you can see what data (if any) Apple has on your business.
To use this simply sign in with your Apple ID. From here you can click “Add a place” in the upper right corner and go through the claim or addition process.
Once you claim your Apple Maps listing make sure to optimize it and fill out as many details are you can.
Although I don’t typically recommend paid BBB listings, showing up on their business directory and having a positive rating is a good trust signal.
If you are a member or have the ability to incorporate their trust signal into your design, I do recommend using this. It is a well-known logo and can increase consumer trust.
You can find out if you have a listing or create a listing at BBB.org.
Different chapters run these, so the information requirements might be different by region.
Yelp is an important one to fill out because not only will your star rating on Apple Maps populate from Yelp Reviews, it also ranks highly for many important searches, such as “best car accident lawyers” and “personal injury lawyers near me”.
It’s important that you set up a business account with Yelp and keep the login readily available. From time-to-time, clients may even try to contact you through this platform, even if you’re not paying for their ads.
You can find out how to claim your profile and manage your business account here.
If you’re wondering if Yelp ads are worth the money, I say don’t waste your time. You can read my latest study on Yelp ads here:
With so many potential clients researching law firms before making a hiring decision, it’s essential that your law firm has a strong reputation online. Reviews are a big part of this.
Not only are potential clients using this information to decide whether they should contact you, they are also a local pack ranking factor. So these need to be a key part of your Local SEO strategy for your law firm.
A recent study from Spiegel Research Center aimed to determine what average review rating instills the most trust in potential customers.
This research focused on higher price items since purchase decision making is different for lower prices items. The results were surprising:
“Is five stars ‘too good to be true’ in the eyes of consumers? According to our research, it is. Across product categories, we found that purchase likelihood typically peaks at ratings in the 4.0–4.7 range, and then begins to decrease as ratings approach 5.0.”
This makes a lot of sense to me because when I’m shopping, I personally look at the bad reviews and see how a company responded to them. Real companies make mistakes.
I’m sharing this information in the hope that you understand that while five stars may not be all it’s built up to be, you also need to make sure you’re getting consistent good reviews. If you only have five reviews and two of them are bad, you will have a poor rating well below the 4–4.7 range.
Reviews need to be a part of your culture. If you answer the phone harshly and hang up on people, it doesn’t matter how much internet marketing your firm does. The word will spread online and your potential clients will be choosing other law firms to work with.
Getting reviews where nobody is looking is a waste of resources. Where you need to get reviews depends on what review websites are ranking for your brand or for your important practice areas.
Once you know your most important keywords, these are easy to find. Start by conducting the following Google Searches for your priority keywords in your geographic area:
Make a list of the websites that consistently show up in the top three positions and on the first page. If they are websites where you can get reviews, then these should be a priority.
Outside of the websites you’ve identified in the above steps, you will also want to focus on Google Business Profiles and Yelp, in that order.
Google reviews are typically easy to get while Yelp seem to be the hardest. This is because Yelp heavily restricts reviews and upholds certain rules, such as you can’t solicit reviews for Yelp (that’s because they want them to be all “natural”).
While many people have found workarounds and gamed the systems in the past, attorneys have more restrictions than most. Those strategies typically backfire, resulting in reviews that are filtered or listings that are suspended.
Reviews are very important because having review text that mentions a keyword can help your business rank for that keyword. Notice the example below that showcases a review right in the 3-pack.
Pro Tip: The easiest reviews to get will be Google Reviews. Anyone with a Gmail address can be sent a link that opens the review window. We will discuss this in the “How to get reviews” section.
Here are a few important considerations you should be aware of:
Getting legitimate reviews is difficult and, in some cases, you might be limited in the action you can take according to your State Bar. Below are proven strategies that have been extensively tested.
The easiest way to get reviews is to go after people who have already used your services. While Google does not allow review gating, the following process is a solid strategy to get an influx of reviews:
Pro Tip: Keywords in actual client reviews can help your local listing rank better for important keywords. Notice the keywords highlighted in bold above.
One of the most effective review techniques I have seen by law firms is simply listening to new callers and being as helpful as possible, even if they don’t become clients.
By training your staff to help everyone who calls in regardless of whether they’re right firm for them or not will build a stronger brand.
Here is an actual review for RMD Law, a personal injury law firm in Irvine, California, received after using this method:
I contacted them to get information about a collision case that I am currently trying to settle.
I was rear-ended, and you see that the other insurance party is not giving a fair offer.
John spent his valuable time with me, educating me on the procedures as well as through the process of the importance of getting with an attorney to help you. Long story short, he explained to me the benefits and the increased settlement offer that you could potentially gain if you knew within attorney from the start.”
In the example above, the attorney knew that he was not going to take the case pretty quickly after talking to the client. However, instead of hanging up on him, he offered the caller something very valuable. This was his time and expertise.
Many attorneys do this every day, but they don’t do the most important thing, which is asking for a review. By simply collecting the caller’s name and email after providing professional guidance, you can ask for a review and send a follow up reminder.
One method we tried years ago for a Californian personal injury law firm was to deliver settlement checks to the clients once their cases were settled.
In these cases, we would send out an investigator with an iPad connected to cellular data (as a backup) and ask the client if they would be willing to leave a review for us on their home computers. If the client did not have a computer, we had an iPad ready.
Does your law firm host any free community classes? We will discuss this review building option in more detail in the link building section, but it allows you to kill two birds with one stone.
Let’s say, for example, your personal injury law firm decides to host a class at your office once a month called “Safe Teen Driving Habits” where your firm provides tips, tricks, and practical advice for one hour a month to help keep the roads safer.
You could ask the attendees to rate the firm and perhaps leave a review based on their interaction with your law firm.
The easiest way to get reviews is to go after people who have already used your services. While Google does not allow review gating, this is a solid strategy to get an influx of reviews.
In 2019, link building is a fundamental requirement for law firms to be successful in ranking for competitive keywords. Link building comes with a lot of different names. You may have heard it referred to as “backlinking,” “linking,” or a variety of other terms or phrases.
Backlinks are links from other websites that link back to yours, which act as a vote of confidence for search engines because getting links from authoritative websites is not easy to manipulate. You have to earn them. For example, CNN.com is not going to link to just anyone and the webmaster has to make the change. Having a strong link profile is essential to ranking in competitive areas.
Link building is working towards getting other webmasters to add these links. There are many different types of links you can get, and the quality sometimes depends on how easy they are to get.
Here are some examples of links a link builder might go after:
I wanted to dedicate a whole section to this because it’s so important. When you are link building you need to focus on Quality over Quantity.
100 directory listing links that everyone can get are not as powerful as one link from Trust.org.
We will address how to find the best links, but remember that you only want to focus on quality links.
The problem with link building is that there is a lot of terrible information out there from people who don’t really know anything about SEO for law firms.
Here are some things that you should know about links:
Not all links are created equal, and there are a lot of bad links out there on the internet. Good links are:
Law Firm Link building tactics change from time to time, but here is an article we wrote on methods you can use to earn high quality links in 2020.
The SEO industry is full of snake oil salesman. While I could dedicate a whole chapter to tactics that don’t work, I thought it would be more helpful to explain my thinking on how to identify bad tactics.
If you hear about a “new” tactic that can get results quickly, run for the hills. At the end of the day, you’re putting in the work to optimize your visibility the right way because you want it to pay for years to come.
I have worked with law firms that have been too aggressive and tried black hat techniques. The result every time was a suspension.
If you were to turn off the source of new leads coming to your law firm, how would you survive? Simply put, these rash decisions are poor business decisions and have no place in your firm.
The most successful law firms I work with are the ones that understand the importance of sticking to an effective strategy and putting in the work.
The biggest problems I see getting in the way of law firms being successful online is bad advice and not putting in the work. It’s important to remember that your website is an investment and an asset. If you try and take shortcuts, you risk putting everything on the line.
If you’re a law firm owner, there is nothing more frustrating than watching your business trickle down and then going to Google to find a negative review has just dropped your rating.
However, it’s even more infuriating when that review simply doesn’t make any sense and doesn’t reflect the service you provide.
For example, have you ever received a Google review like this:
“I hate these law firm ads on TV”
It’s obvious, right? It’s someone who probably has never even worked with you!
However, it gets worse. What about reviews that simply don’t help anybody?
“They denied me entry because I wasn’t wearing a mask. It should be illegal to treat customers this way!”
Again, it has nothing to do with your service but the policies of your state on wearing masks during COVID-19. Large and small businesses receive complaints like this that threaten their livelihood though it has nothing to do with the way they operate or treat customers. As an attorney SEO company, we are starting to see the Covid posts more frequently.
Google has policies in place to prevent these kind of reviews from hurting your business, and you can remove them just by knowing this simple process.
Addressing these reviews is important because they can show up on your business profile listing or Local Service Ads.
Before you lose it, just laugh at these reviews. They don’t mean anything about your business, and Google knows that. We live in a strange time where anyone with any kind of opinion can leave a poor review, even when you gave excellent service and product quality. For some people, leaving negative reviews is their entire goal in life, and it has nothing to do with you.
If you ask for reviews, you’re trying to improve your business rank in Google, and that’s commendable, but you’ll likely get 1 negative review for every 5 4-star or higher review.
In other cases, the negative reviews may be a sobering reality if they all mention the same employee or faulty product that you need to fix. There are ways to respond and neutralize these legitimate reviews.
But that’s not the type of review we’re talking about. You can simply remove reviews that don’t make any sense or violate Google’s “content and review policy.”
However, inappropriate, political, social commentary, or personal rants are not allowed in Google reviews. You only have to flag these reviews for them to be removed.
Before flagging the review, you should make sure that it violates Google’s policy. Here’s where to see if this content can be reported:
There are a few different categories for content that you can flag, including
If you find that the content falls into any of these categories, you can simply find the review and click the “flag” icon above it to report it.
You don’t want to flag a review in Google Maps as it’s not as fast as flagging the review through your Google business profile. It’s also an essential step in law firm local SEO.
To find the review, you’ll need to login to your GBP dashboard. Here’s a step-by-step guide to remove negative reviews the right way.
You can simply navigate to business.google.com to load your business profile. Once logged in, locate the business profile you want to remove the review for.
At the top of the page, go to the left-hand menu and select “Reviews.” You’ll scroll down through your business’ reviews and find the post you want to remove. Before removing, check that there are no responses to the negative review. If so, remove the response first.
Once you’ve found the negative review, click on the 3 dots in the upper right corner of the review, then click the “Flag as inappropriate” link to get started.
Google will take you through a dialog box that asks what policy was violated. Click “Continue” and then write in your reason for flagging the review.
Google hasn’t updated these reasons to always reflect the problems with the review, so you can always select “Offensive or sexually explicit” to report content that falls into “political, social commentary or personal rant.”
If you find that the review violated another one of Google’s policies, use that for your reason instead. This is why you should look at the guidelines beforehand.
For those reviews that don’t match any, you can still just flag as “Offensive” and click “Report” to finish.
You only need to flag the review once. Google actively and individually reviews every flag, so you’ll receive an email from Google with the status of your removal request.
This is only true if you go through the Google Business Profile dashboard, which has priority over simply flagging through Google Maps.
Hopefully, the Google reviewer sees your pain and takes the review down, but if not, there are a few things that you can do.
It’s best for a manager to respond to these reviews and slightly point out why the review is illegitimate. This is so that other readers see your point of view and understand that the negative review is unwarranted.
For example, you can use language like “We’re sorry this happened and want to make sure you have a safe experience at our location. We’re required by law to ensure that all patrons wear a mask at our law firm.”
In other cases, the negative review may be about the service or product, in which case Google may not want to take the review down if it’s a legitimate complaint. In this case, you may want to develop a professional response like this:
“We’re sorry about your experience and would love an opportunity to make it right. Please contact us at (Phone Number Here) or email the manager at XXXX@yourlawfirm.com so we can help.”
This short, quick reply shows that you’re being proactive and hopefully if you’re doing everything right, more positive reviews will push down this negative review so that it doesn’t even matter.
Finally, this is the best option if you need help removing reviews and neutralizing negative threats to your business. At Juris Digital, we can help you with getting positive reviews and creating the best responses to make these negative reviews no big deal.
Also, if you need help with local or Google Maps SEO, we’re here to help. Give us a call for a free site evaluation today.
The best SEO for lawyers is not only focusing on tactics that are new and unique, but really its about being consistent and getting the basics right. Completing all of these steps will help get your firm launched on the right foot.
While SEO for solicitors and attorneys is time intensive, it’s not rocket science. Remember that by focusing on local SEO for your law firm you will start generating high quality local leads. But don’t settle on price alone. Affordable SEO for lawyers may not translate to results. Before hiring an agency talk with their existing clients.
Looking for inspiration to improve your law firm’s search engine optimization performance? Below is a running list containing 100s of SEO tips from the team at Juris Digital.
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.
“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. They’re easier to rank for and therefore easier to achieve search engine rankings.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A great way to get high-impact links is to find news stories or other sorts of articles online where you or your law firm is mentioned by there is no link back to your site. These are called “unlinked brand mentions”. Reach out to these folks and ask that they add a link to a relevant page of your website!
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.
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.
Allow potential new clients to message you directly from Google search by enabling the messaging feature in your Google business profile.
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.
Attorneys have valuable knowledge that others could benefit from. Start a Meetup group on a topic that you are passionate about and hold at least one event every month. Then, follow this guide to make sure that those efforts turn into links for your website.
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.
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.
By creating a GoFundMe for a worthy cause, you will get a nice backlink from gofundme.com and you also might get news coverage as well. Check out this example from one of our clients.
By taking your website content and putting it into different formats (graphics, PDFs, slide decks, etc.) you can use these assets to get links from 3rd party sites.
Chances are, there are websites that already rank for your target keywords that sell listings/ads which will link back to your site and help you rank better for those keywords. Additionally, these listings may generate direct business for your firm.
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
Do research to find worthy causes in your city or state that align with your own values and mission. Donate to them in exchange for a logo and link from their website to yours.
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.
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.
Do you offer virtual appointments to clients and potential clients? Be sure to select “online appointments” as an attribute in your Google business profile.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For example, many states publish vehicle crash data via online databases. Personal injury lawyers can use this data to create original research content that relates to their areas of practice. For example, use data to answer the question “what are the most dangerous roads in (your city)”
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.
Forum spam has a long history with SEOs. For years, spammy link builders nuked forums in every corner of the web with spam accounts and spun comments. But there is a way to leverage forums for links that add real value. In fact, we have outlined our process for doing so here.
Getting links to your website from local news publications is a great way to build your site authority. Use LinkedIn and other social networks to form connections with local reporters, and offer to be their go-to legal commentator.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
We could say more about it but you might as well just check out this post from Sterling Sky.
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.
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.
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.
If you conduct some competitive research you’ll soon find that the sheer volume of links rarely correlates with high rankings. It’s much more important that the backlinks you have be of high quality than that you acquire massive amounts of links.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are few better ways to earn the trust and goodwill of your potential clients – before you ever meet them – than by offering them something for free that helps them solve a problem or get an answer to a question. Think calculators, form templates. etc.
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.
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.
There are a ton of websites out there that allow you to create profiles for yourself individually or for your law firm. These sites normally allow you to add links to your website and your social profiles. While these links can be done in a spammy way if you focus on creating high-quality profiles – with custom graphics and unique content – they can add real value to your website and your overall online reputation.
These concepts are essential to any effective SEO-centered content marketing strategy. Learn more here.
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.
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.
This is a low-hanging fruit item that can make a big impact on your site’s performance. Identify old links – both from your site and from external sites – that no longer display content and redirect those URLs to pages that do have content.
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.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t carefully consider what TLD to use when you are creating a new website for your law firm. However, SEO should not be a consideration in this decision as the TLD you use will not impact search rankings in a direct way.
This lawyer created a Super Bowl ad that includes quotes from the bible, a flaming graveyard, and heavy metal, and also got links from dozens from online publications like Time.com and People.com.
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.
This should really be a part of a larger online networking strategy rather than just a way to earn one-off links. At any rate, engaging with other legal bloggers by commenting on their work is a great way to build links quickly – by dropping your website or blog URL in the appropriate field – and to generate higher quality links over time.
Use Fiverr to create short whiteboard videos to act as a supplement to your important pages. Check out this example.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Work your personal network and arrange to contribute content to websites operated by folks that you know. This is a great way to increase your own exposure and to get valuable links to your site.
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.
You are a successful alumnus, The odds are that your law school would love to publish an article from you on their website or blog wherein you give advice to graduating students, or simply reflect on how your education prepared you to develop your successful law practice. Reach out to your law school and figure out how you can do something valuable for them.
You can add animated graphics to your Products on your Google business listing. Here’s a complete guide to accomplish this.
You know the usual suspects here – Justia, FindLaw, lawyer.com, etc. Links from these sites likely won’t be enough on their own to help you rank for your most important keywords, but they can still help move the needle toward getting there.
Young lawyers and law students are all over the web. Find them and offer to help them with anything you can. These are the current and future publishers in your niche; make friends with them and links will follow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rank Math is quickly becoming our preferred WordPress SEO plugin. It’s got great features, great support, and the pricing is reasonable.
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.
In today’s digital age, where websites are like virtual locations for law firms, having an easy-to-use and unforgettable online presence is super important.
Some folks love the idea of having cool vanity phone numbers on their websites, thinking they add a fun touch to their online persona. But in this blog post, we’ll discuss why these vanity numbers might not be the best choice for your website and where they truly shine.
Instead, we’ll explore the magic of call tracking numbers and why they’re a perfect fit for any attorney’s website.
Before we dive into why vanity numbers might not be the best for your website, let’s clear up what they are. Vanity numbers are custom phone numbers that use words instead of regular numbers. For example, think 1-800-LAWYERS or 1-888-MY-ATRNY. These numbers are meant to be more memorable and give your law firm a unique twist.
Vanity numbers are like the superheroes of billboards. Billboards are those giant roadside signs you see while driving, and they only give you a quick glimpse. In those few seconds, it’s crucial for the contact info to be easy to remember. Vanity numbers, with their memorable words, really stand out and can be dialed from memory, even if you only saw them for a moment. This is where vanity numbers totally rock.
But here’s the thing – when it comes to your website, it’s a different story. Websites offer a whole different experience compared to billboards. Visitors have more time to explore your site and lots of ways to get in touch. When someone comes to your website, they usually want to find information fast. Vanity numbers, while cool, can make things a bit tricky.
You see, vanity numbers make visitors type the alphabet characters into their phones. That can be a bit of a hassle, especially when it’s so much easier to click a phone number on a website. For folks on their phones, this extra step can be a real bother.
In today’s digital world, it’s super important to be inclusive and accessible. Some folks, especially those with special needs, rely on screen readers or voice assistants to use websites. Vanity numbers can cause problems for these users because they might not be recognized or read out correctly.
When it comes to web design, simple is often best. Having a clickable phone number that dials automatically is like a secret weapon in web design. It means visitors don’t need to remember or type anything – they just click and connect. This makes for a smooth and easy experience.
Now, let’s talk about what does belong on your website – call tracking numbers. These numbers have a superpower of their own. They allow you to track where your calls are coming from. You can see which pages of your website are driving the most calls, which can be super helpful for improving your site and marketing strategy.
In our world of digital marketing, understanding how your website is performing and where your leads are coming from is crucial. This is where call tracking numbers step in. They might seem a bit mysterious, especially when visitors notice different numbers on your site at various times or on different devices. In this section, we’ll demystify call tracking numbers and explore why they are a smart addition to your website.
Call tracking numbers are like secret agents for your website. They work by assigning unique phone numbers to different marketing campaigns, web pages, or traffic sources. When someone dials one of these numbers, the system records valuable data about the call, such as the caller’s location, the referring website, and more. This data provides insights into which parts of your marketing strategy are driving calls and conversions.
These numbers are like Sherlock Holmes for your business. Call tracking systems can trace a wealth of information, including the caller’s location, the duration of the call, and whether it resulted in a sale or appointment. Additionally, they can identify which web pages or online ads led to the call, giving you a clear picture of your website’s impact on your business.
One of the questions that often arises is why your website might display different numbers at different times or on various devices. This phenomenon can be perplexing for visitors, but it’s nothing to worry about. These dynamic numbers are part of the call tracking system’s brilliance. They ensure that every visitor is assigned a unique tracking number, enabling accurate data collection. Visitors won’t perceive your website as spammy because of this – it’s all about providing a tailored experience and understanding your audience better.
Call tracking numbers offer a treasure trove of benefits for your business. They help you optimize your marketing strategy by revealing which channels are the most effective at driving calls and conversions. With this knowledge, you can allocate your resources more efficiently and maximize your ROI. Moreover, call tracking numbers enable you to refine your website’s content and design to better cater to your audience’s needs.
Vanity numbers have their place, but it’s not on your website. They’re awesome for billboards and places where you need a quick, memorable message. But on your website, the focus should be on making things easy for your visitors. Providing a clickable, user-friendly phone number ensures that visitors can contact you without any fuss, making their experience better and possibly boosting your business.
And when it comes to tracking your calls and understanding your website’s performance, call tracking numbers are the way to go. In a world where data-driven decision-making is king, call tracking numbers are your loyal allies. While the idea of displaying different numbers on your website might seem unusual, it’s a smart strategy that helps you gain valuable insights into your website’s performance. So, rest assured that these numbers are not a cause for concern among your visitors. They are the key to understanding and enhancing your online presence.
When it comes to legal marketing, getting the attention of potential clients is both an art and a science. PPC advertising, or pay-per-click advertising, can be a valuable tool for getting more eyes on your firm when potential clients need legal assistance.
PPC agencies use their skills to ensure your firm’s name appears in that pivotal moment when someone is searching for a lawyer. The key isn’t just getting seen but being seen by the right people at the right time. That’s where hiring the best law firm PPC marketing agency becomes crucial.
Our highly talented team at Juris Digital has developed and executed thousands of successful PPC campaigns for clients nationwide. We know what works and how to create advertising that converts into actual clients rather than just additional web traffic.
Here, you’ll find a one-stop guide to choosing the right PPC agency for your firm. Unlike other online lists you might find that rank law firm PPC agency options, we’ve included companies not solely focused on legal marketing. That’s because this list isn’t compiled by someone Googling “best law firm PPC” and copying all the same companies.
We are marketing veterans with decades of combined experience and know which companies are the best in the industry, including some that aren’t exclusively focused on PPC for law firms.
Read on to learn more about our top six picks for law firm PPC companies.
Go Fish Digital doesn’t merely navigate the digital marketing seas; they masterfully command them with finesse. With prestigious accolades, such as being dubbed the most-awarded digital agency in the United States by the Global Search Awards and recognition from renowned platforms like The Drum Search Awards and the US Search Awards, it’s no surprise why they are one of our top picks.
Notably, Go Fish Digital clinched an award for the “Most Innovative PPC Campaign,” a testament to their inventive approach in the fiercely competitive PPC landscape. This award underscores their ability to creatively engineer campaigns that are not just effective but remarkably distinctive as well.
Their approach to PPC marketing is refreshing, refusing to conform to the idea that it’s a one-size-fits-all model. With nearly 20 years in business, their goal is simple yet profound: enable client campaigns to be agile and competitive in the digital panorama while optimizing marketing expenditure. Some of their clients include notable companies such as GEICO, Marriott Hotels, Airbnb, and Adobe. However, they don’t exclusively handle nationally recognized brands. Go Fish also works with plenty of small and mid-sized businesses. They believe every “fish” in the digital sea should feel empowered, regardless of size.
When it comes to multifaceted law firm digital marketing, iLawyerMarketing is a strong player. That is why we’ve highlighted their SEO and website design capabilities in the past. As a certified Premier Google Partner, iLawyerMarketing offers more than mere ad management; they sculpt PPC campaigns to ensure every spent dollar is hyper-focused on lead conversion.
The company has over 15 years of experience, and every team member has at least 7 years of experience handling PPC for lawyers. Some of iLawyerMarketing’s strategies include software that quickly communicates with Google, better conversion tracking capabilities, and crafting new campaigns for lawyers who’ve seen lackluster results with prior PPC campaigns.
Thrive Internet Marketing Agency has become a recognized leader in the industry, bolstering the online presence and revenues of businesses across diverse industries, including personal injury and family law firms.
In the numbers game, Thrive’s experience speaks volumes. Notably, in 2020, they ranked No. 1 among all digital marketing companies in the United States for first-page Google Search results, an accolade further substantiated by an SEOlium-conducted independent SEO market-share analysis. Moreover, with a +64.7% YoY increase in “top 5 keyword rankings” and a robust 96% retention rate, Thrive doesn’t merely promise results—they deliver.
But beyond the figures, you’ll find Thrive is a digital marketing agency that values community and global impact. Through their “We Give Back” initiative, Thrive actively collaborates with international organizations and immerses themselves in local communities, striving to enrich lives around the world.
While not exclusively focused on law firm PPC work, Thrive stands out as an agency that doesn’t work for businesses, but with them to craft top-notch advertising and PPC campaigns.
Black Propeller has cemented its stature as an adept PPC agency since its inception in 2011. Managing over $10,000,000 in PPC advertising annually, Black Propeller is a recognized leader in the digital marketing arena, boasting partnerships with notable platforms like Google, Bing, and Facebook.
Black Propeller leans into its core values for each campaign, encapsulated in the acronym C.H.A.M.P.S. (competitive, honest, accountable, motivated, passionate, and possessors of a robust sense of humor). The agency works with all sizes of businesses, too. They have no minimum ad spend or long-term contract term requirements—great for smaller firms and sole practitioners nervous about spending five or six figures on advertising.
Black Propeller only works with one client per industry per market area. So, if you lock them in for your area, rest assured they won’t be working against you for another similar law firm nearby. That means there’s no chance of them creating a lawyer’s advertisement that will directly compete with yours.
On The Map Marketing (OTM) is another recognized leader in PPC advertising, recognized by numerous institutions, including Clutch and SEOblog. The agency has carved its niche by making law firms prominently visible through meticulous and strategic PPC campaigns.
With a decade of devoted service to the legal industry and a strong law firm client base, their expertise is both proven and specific. OTM assures efficient marketing budget utilization, rendering detailed insights into every lead generated, transparently linking keywords, campaigns, and device types, and welcoming client feedback on lead quality. The outcome is not just a PPC campaign; it’s a tailored, insightful, and results-driven strategy.
Another perk of hiring On The Map is the client-friendly monthly contracts to ensure satisfaction and ROI from day one. You won’t be locked into a year-long contract with lackluster results.
Led by two former executives from one of the nation’s most prominent legal digital marketing agencies, Wingman Marketing is a formidable ally for law firms new to PPC advertising. They provide tailored PPC services across various advertising platforms, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. They have certifications, such as Google AdWords and Yelp Ads, and are a Google Partner and a Facebook Marketing Partner.
Wingman Marketing’s approach differs from what you envision with the typical agency-client dichotomy. Instead, Wingman fosters a symbiotic partnership with its clients, underpinned by decades of experience in PPC for law firms and a strong focus on transparent reporting and accountability. Wingman epitomizes the true essence of a “wingman” in your marketing journey, prioritizing individual client attention and steering clear of bureaucratic red tape by having straightforward, no-nonsense contracts.
There you have it—our six recommendations for PPC agencies in the United States. As a premier legal marketing agency, we understand the marketing nuances of PPC for law firms. If you want to learn more about our digital marketing services, please get in touch with us.
Choosing the ideal agency for your law firm requires more than just a basic online search of potential companies. It’s important to choose a firm that fully understands the intricacies of PPC advertising for law firms. Here are some things to remember when hiring a law firm PPC agency.
PPC agencies offer a wide range of services to enhance your firm’s online visibility through paid advertisements. A few PPC-related services include:
PPC advertising specialists will look to tweak the strategy if necessary during the campaign to further drill down on your intended target audience. Some PPC agencies will also use split or A/B testing. This testing helps them determine which ads resonate most with audiences.
Detailed analytics and client reporting are important aspects of PPC advertising. These numbers and reports help you to understand what is and isn’t working during a PPC campaign.
Defining success depends on your firm’s goals. Metrics that can help determine whether a campaign was successful include performance indicators, such as:
Most law firms aim to get new clients from these ads, not just more eyes on their site. When meeting with PPC agencies, specify how many leads you hope to get each month. For example, a law firm might want to use PPC marketing to bring in two monthly personal injury leads while predominantly handling criminal defense matters.
Deciding on a budget for PPC advertising will vary based on your budget and goals. Some factors that can also impact how much you need to spend include:
Legal keywords can be highly competitive in many geographic markets, creating higher CPC rates. Some clicks might be as high as $500 to $1000 each, so it’s essential to set a realistic budget. As your campaign progresses, the PPC agency can discuss insights and whether you should consider adjusting your budget.
While general PPC agencies have broad expertise, some law firms might find more value in hiring an agency specializing in legal marketing. There are essential nuances in handling law firm PPC, such as legal advertising compliance. Choosing a specialized legal marketing agency like Juris Digital means we:
When you hire us for your PPC advertising needs, it’s more like a partnership rather than strictly hiring a service provider. We have a profound understanding of legal marketing. Our PPC specialists don’t just implement PPC campaigns; they actively refine and guide them while still valuing your insight.
Working with Juris Digital is about creating a seamless alliance that thrives on mutual respect and shared experiences. Always look for a PPC agency that not only promises but also delivers—especially one that understands the legal industry’s demands and ethical constraints.
If you’re determined to elevate your law firm’s online visibility, you likely already know that search engine optimization (SEO) is the key. But how do you find the right company when the industry is so saturated with law firm SEO companies?
Welcome to your one-stop guide, curated with a truly unbiased eye. Here, we not only identify the best law firm SEO services, but we also give you the insights to help you make an educated decision.
Juris Digital has been fully entrenched in SEO for over a decade. We aren’t just another name in the crowded space of digital agencies; we’re a law firm marketing agency specializing in SEO for lawyers with a track record that speaks volumes.
Our team scrutinized thousands of law firm websites and executed successful SEO campaigns for countless others. The result is our unparalleled expertise in identifying strategies that genuinely convert rather than just generate traffic.
This is not your average list of the “best law firm SEO companies” hastily pulled from generic internet searches. We sidestep many of the usual names you might find in a quick Google hunt for “law firm SEO services.” Instead, we’ve curated this list based on comprehensive research, case studies, and real-world experiences.
Enough talk, though—let’s delve into our list of 6 of the most effective SEO companies in the industry.
Rankings.io is a specialist in law firm SEO with an exclusive focus on personal injury law. They bring a targeted and creative approach to their SEO campaigns, designed to drive your law firm toward the first page of Google’s search results. Their laser focus on SEO for personal injury attorneys gives them a unique edge in a crowded marketplace.
As much as it pains us to recommend a competitor, Rankings.io’s track record can’t be ignored. Their case studies speak volumes, including one where they boosted a law firm’s intake of cases from search engines by 400%.
Rankings.io’s motto, “Anyone can make promises; we give you proof,” neatly sums up their data-driven approach. So, what’s the downside? Their services come at a premium, typically from $50,000 to $199,000. However, they offer a comprehensive array of SEO services, from link building to local SEO and PPC advertising.
If you’re a larger personal injury firm looking to dominate search engine rankings, Rankings.io should be on your shortlist of SEO companies to consider.
LOCOMOTIVE is a different beast altogether when compared to law-firm-specific SEO agencies. They don’t specialize in legal services. However, their technical knowledge and broad industry experience make them an intriguing option for law firms with complex SEO needs. LOCOMOTIVE has displayed its technical expertise with intricate projects involving medical risk detection platform companies, large energy corporations, and industrial fabric firms.
Their portfolio showcases a knack for “getting the information right,’ an essential skill set for any law firm looking to dominate online. I’d love to say we have them beat overall, but LOCOMOTIVE’s slew of awards speaks for itself. Their accolades include the Best SEO Agency at both US Search and US Agency Awards in 2022, and they’ve been a Moz Recommended Company since 2012. They recently earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies.
Even though LOCOMOTIVE is not a law-specific SEO agency, case studies paint a compelling picture. They’ve driven an impressive 764% increase in leads by creating over 2,000 city-specific pages filled with targeted data, tackled complex issues in local SEO, increased revenue for international companies by 163%, and pushed leads up by 120% through content-focused strategies.
LOCOMOTIVE is worth considering if you’re willing to look outside the typical law-focused agencies. Their approach is results-driven, inventive, and reliable, reminiscent of the locomotive train that inspires their name.
We’ve previously lauded iLawyerMarketing for their excellence in website design, but we’d be remiss not to mention their expertise in SEO for law firms. If there’s a digital marketing agency that keeps us on our toes, it’s iLawyerMarketing.
They don’t just bring strong SEO services to the table; they complement that with a robust suite of other digital marketing services like PPC, content creation, and even video production. All these components carefully mesh to maximize visibility and conversion, translating web traffic into actual clients for your law firm. iLawyerMarketing understands that while cost is a concern, the bottom line is value. And that’s where they excel—delivering top-tier services that justify their admittedly high price point. iLawyerMarketing’s perspective on SEO and digital marketing isn’t just about quick fixes, but it’s about building a solid foundation for long-term success.
Their commitment to in-house talent further separates them from the pack. Since its inception in 2005, iLawyerMarketing has grown to a team of over 40 dedicated professionals, all well-versed in legal SEO’s complexities. They believe in quality over quantity, taking time to craft strategies that stand the test of constantly changing algorithms.
Simply put, if you’re a law firm serious about making a lasting impression online, bypassing iLawyerMarketing in your considerations could be a mistake.
If your law firm is eyeing international expansion or has a global presence, pay attention to Delante. With offices in Poland, London, New York, UAE, and Canada, Delante is truly a global force. But they’re not a jack-of-all-trades agency; they’re a master of one—SEO.
While Delante caters to many industries, including manufacturing, export companies, and IT, their approach to SEO is universally hands-on and tailored to your unique business needs. When you work with Delante, their team effectively becomes an extension of your own, providing strategies and the tactical capabilities to execute them.
From the get-go, communication is direct and to the point. No account managers serve as intermediaries. You’re in touch directly with the SEO specialists working on your project, which brings responsiveness and expertise to client interactions often missing in other agencies.
Perhaps most compelling is their proven track record. Founded in 2014 by a trio of marketing and SEO experts, they have grown into a team of 52 professionals and have consistently earned a spot in prestigious rankings like the Financial Times’ FT1000. Delante operates in over 20 countries and has expertise in over 30 industries. Moreover, they’ve been recognized globally with multiple awards, most notably being named SEO Agency of the Year 2022 by Global Agency Awards.
If your law firm is looking to thrive amid fierce local competition, consider Shoreline Digital Marketing Solutions. While they are not exclusive to law firms, they have proven case studies demonstrating their exceptional legal SEO skills. They’ve also received recognition from DesignRush for being one of the best digital marketing agencies.
Let’s talk numbers, though. Shoreline catapulted one of their attorney clients, achieving a 483% increase in keyword ranking, an 11.93% bump in overall traffic, and a 36.60% rise in organic leads within three months. They started this firm’s campaign with a well-rounded optimization plan covering everything from accurate informational content to SEO-friendly content distribution. The result? The law firm client saw their keyword ranking skyrocket nearly tenfold in a year.
Their services are wide-ranging and comprehensive, including SEO and PPC ads. The custom client portal allows real-time monitoring of key performance metrics, including SEO, analytics, calls, social media, website performance, and PPC. In short, Shoreline aims to elevate every element that makes your business unique.
LawRank is a specialized digital marketing agency that focuses on helping law firms ascend the Google rankings. With a founding team that includes Mariano Rodriguez, a UCLA School of Law graduate, LawRank marries technical SEO expertise with an intimate understanding of the legal industry.
Their preferred client profile is rather specific—LawRank likes to work with law firms that have tried other marketing companies and who understand the effort and cost associated with SEO. They have secured first-page Google rankings for law firms in highly competitive practice areas, such as personal injury and criminal law, and in competitive markets like Los Angeles and Miami.
LawRank’s services include a variety of digital strategies, including PPC advertising and content creation, but their true forte is search engine optimization (SEO). Their promise of exclusivity means they won’t work with competing law firms in your area, ensuring a dedicated focus on your online performance. LawRank’s case studies boast impressive figures, including an attorney who saw a 1,132% increase in first-time calls and a doubling in website traffic.
The agency does have its limitations, such as potentially high starting costs. However, LawRank’s track record suggests they are worth the investment for law firms serious about ranking on the first page of Google for a particular search term.
There you have it—our recommendations for 6 of the best law firm SEO companies in the United States, not named Juris Digital. As a premier law firm marketing agency, we understand the distinct SEO needs of legal professionals. If you want to learn more about our SEO and digital marketing services for law firms, contact us today!
Asking the right questions before deciding to hire an SEO company is crucial. You want to select a company that understands the unique requirements of law firm digital marketing and recognizes your individual SEO needs.
Here are some things to consider when evaluating SEO legal marketing firms.
Different-sized law firms have varying needs. The best law firm SEO companies, like Juris Digital, go beyond basic established practices to focus on your specific needs and what you’re trying to accomplish with an SEO campaign. Are you looking for lead generation, to start a PPC program, to improve local rankings, or to create reputation management? Choose a law firm marketing company willing to tailor a campaign to your needs.
Determining effectiveness involves looking at key performance indicators (KPIs), such as organic traffic, conversation rates, and keyword rankings. At Juris Digital, we provide transparent custom reporting and detailed analytics so you know precisely how your website performs. Be sure your services include regular reporting and data that explains what’s working and what’s not.
Law firms can benefit from a wide variety of SEO services. At Juris Digital, we specialize in:
A good company will understand the importance of SEO for law firms and have a viable strategy to achieve your desired results.
Not only do SEO needs vary by firm size, but they can differ by practice area, too. Criminal defense firms might primarily focus on urgent, location-specific, and crime-specific keywords. In comparison, family law attorneys often want marketing content that answers clients’ most common questions about divorce and child custody.
Corporate law firms might need structured campaigns for nationwide or international marketing efforts, while employment lawyers want to rank for complex technical and procedural terms. Understanding every law firm’s needs is where Juris Digital shines. We excel at creating tailored SEO strategies to bring you optimal results.
The overall cost varies depending on your needs and the company’s rates. Juris Digital’s ongoing SEO programs generally start at $2,000 monthly for a single practice area in one market. Many clients fall in the $5,000 per month range. However, it’s common for larger firms to spend in the five figures because they require more comprehensive services in multiple markets.
The short answer is—it depends. Generally, having a company specializing in law firm marketing is always better. However, you will note that we included some recommendations for companies not strictly focused on law firm SEO. That’s because their SEO skills and technical expertise might make them the ideal fit for your law firm.
Legal marketing differs significantly from other industries in many ways. Getting the information right is paramount—you shouldn’t have to teach your SEO company how the law works. Hiring a law firm marketing agency like Juris Digital that specializes in SEO for lawyers means you’re getting the benefits of a company that:
Working with Juris Digital is more like a partnership than a vendor relationship. Unlike some SEO companies, we don’t just do the work. Instead, we actively guide your SEO campaign and require your valuable insights to make it more effective.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to find an agency to build a collaborative relationship with. In a world where anyone can claim to be an SEO expert, look for an agency that delivers on its promises and understands the specialized needs and ethics of the legal profession.
Essential Online Marketing Advice for Small and Startup Law Firms
Small law firms face different marketing challenges than larger law firms. This is not a groundbreaking concept: Small businesses of any type tend to have smaller budgets than their larger counterparts, naturally making marketing and advertising more of a challenge.
This doesn’t change the fact that the ability to generate new clients for your law firm consistently is the code you must to crack to built a successful, sustainable law firm.
In this article, we will talk about surefire, slow, and steady marketing methods you execute to build the reputation of your small law firm and sign cases consistently through online marketing.
Note: This article is about marketing, and in it we make a major assumption about you: That you are dedicated to and passionate about your work and provide a great service to your clients. Great marketing can make up for a lot, but it alone will not ensure your ultimate success as a business. Only providing high-quality service can do that.
Here are a few topics we will be covering in this article.
Marketing for law firms can bring numerous benefits, including increased visibility and brand awareness, more qualified leads and potential clients, and improved overall business performance.
One of the primary benefits of marketing for law firms is increased visibility and brand awareness. By implementing a comprehensive marketing strategy, law firms can reach a wider audience and make their services more visible to potential clients. This can be especially important in a competitive legal market, where many firms are vying for the attention of the same pool of clients. By effectively promoting their services, law firms can differentiate themselves from the competition and stand out in the minds of potential clients.
Another benefit of marketing for law firms is the ability to generate more qualified leads and potential clients. Effective marketing campaigns can help law firms target specific audiences and attract individuals who are most likely to be interested in their services. This can help firms save time and resources by focusing their efforts on individuals who are more likely to become paying clients.
In addition, marketing for law firms can also improve overall business performance. By attracting more qualified leads and potential clients, law firms can increase their revenue and grow their businesses. In addition, effective marketing can help law firms build their reputations and establish themselves as thought leaders in their fields, which can further enhance their credibility and attract even more clients.
Overall, marketing is a crucial component of success for law firms. By implementing effective marketing strategies and campaigns, law firms can increase their visibility, generate more qualified leads, and improve their overall performance.
The firms that are most successful marketing their firms online have focus. Nobody wants to hire someone who is an expert in everything, as that typically means they’re not an expert in anything. Google treats SEO the same way.
In crowded and competitive online markets, Google rewards websites that are hyper-focused on a narrow topic. This narrow focus, beyond its benefits from a marketing and SEO standpoint, is also a necessity when resources are limited.
Let’s say for example I wanted to show Google that my website deserved to rank for keywords related to Denver Personal Injury Lawyer. A few ways I could do that would be to:
When you hyper-focus your small law firms’s marketing efforts on a single practice area and geographic market, you will see results faster, because this approach enables you to establish yourself as a clear online authority in your field.
When thinking about how to market your small law firm you should consider the following:
Marketing a small law firm requires a strong understanding of where your clients are coming from.
As a smaller firm you only have so many resources so you have to decide where it’s best to spend your time. Let’s take a look at a quick breakdown of some of the ways your firm can get new business.
According to a study, we conducted in 2017, 49% of people research their legal issue online before hiring a lawyer. This means that the law firms which are the most successful are ranking for searches for keywords that potential customers are looking for.
Someone injured in a car accident, for example, might use voice search, or their mobile phone to find various answers on the fly. Some of the common questions that come to mind are:
Potential clients come from all walks of life and backgrounds. Making information available to them is a surefire way to get more clients through online marketing. If you want a shortcut for this ask your existing and former clients what their biggest pain points were. They probably turned online at some point during their research phase and types those words into Google. If your firm does not have the best answer to that question or resource or online it’s an opportunity for growth.
If you’re interested in online marketing the biggest channel you should focus on is Google Organic and local search as this is where most of your traffic will come from.
Below I have put together a small marketing plan for law firms that you can use. By following these steps and tactics you can be sure that you’re moving your firm in the right direction and doing things the right way which is going to help your firm produce more leads in the future. Before we dive into the details it’s important that you know doing the work the right way is 100 times more important than taking shortcuts for quick wins. If you don’t start with a solid foundation a lot of this work will be for nothing.
One of the biggest mistakes I see often is people wanting to build a website quickly without any regard to SEO or thought given to conversions. If you take a shortcut on the foundation of your website you’re going to be re-doing it in the future.
At a minimum, for effective online marketing, your website should meet the following MINIMUM standards:
Pro Tip: If you have an existing website, ensure your Design and SEO company knows about links to older URL’s. If they don’t implement the proper redirects, this is a great way to tank your site.
Do not use Wix, Squarespace, or a bulky slow loading WordPress theme to power your website. You will lose out on organic rankings and more importantly the number of people contacting you will drop dramatically if the site load time is slow. Also, stay away from proprietary website platforms where you don’t own your website. Companies like Findlaw and Scorpion are notorious for this.
Another crucial part of your foundation is keyword research. You want your website to rank for keywords that will actually drive new business to your website. It’s important to focus your efforts on optimizing content towards keywords that get traffic. Starting off with a proper keyword strategy is important to the success of your website and the structure.
Great keyword research can be done using various tools like Ahrefs, Keyword Keg, SEMRush, and many others. Below is a screenshot from Keyword Keg.
It’s typically best to start with a list of keywords you know you want to rank for. For example, a personal injury firm might want to rank for Car Accident Lawyer or Dog Bite Lawyer. Here are a few more tips you can use to generate more keyword ideas:
Once you have a list of initial keywords (say 10-20), you can determine the proper site structure for your website. If you want to get an idea of what the search volume is for keywords as you search Google, make sure to download the free Chrome Plugin Keywords everywhere.
After you know which content you will write (based on the keywords) it’s time to write great content on the topic. This is where I see attorneys struggle most. They’re experts on the subject, but writing about it can seem daunting.
The easiest way to go about this if you have trouble writing is to think of a topic and brainstorm the most relevant sub-topics for it as well. Let’s take a practice area page for example, that might seem difficult, like “Dog Bite Lawyers”.
Those were just a few I came up on the fly. If you were writing about this, you would probably have enough subtopics to easily create a 500-1,000-word article on the topic. Make sure to answer topics thoroughly and think about the user intent of the article. Someone typing in the keyword “Best Personal Injury Lawyer” want’s to read about either a list of great PI attorneys or why you are the best. Spend time thinking critically about the intent of all the content you write.
Pro Tip: If writing still seems like a big issue for you, consider having your legal assistant ask these questions to you and record the answers. This can then be easily transcribed and edited for quick content.
Your Google business profile (formerly known as Google My Business listing) is a great way to get new market-qualified leads. If you rank well organically, your firm can also get a lot of business from the 3 pack and the local finder. Make sure you properly optimize your GMB listing to get maximum exposure.
Over 80% of small law firms have a presence on at least one online directory or review site. One of the Google 3 Pack and Local Finder Ranking factors is having your business information accurately listed in the major business directories. This means your business name, address, phone number, business hours, website, description, and photos should be consistent and non-duplicative in places where people might be looking for a lawyer.
A few of these are websites like:
I have curated a whole list of these, which you can find here under the top legal and business directories.
At the start of this article, I mentioned how potential clients might look for you in various places. This means you must be listed online with accurate profiles, up-to-date pictures, and positive client reviews and testimonials where available.
As a starting point, check out my article on increasing your Avvo Score to understand how to build your reputation there.
Here are the review websites you need to focus most on:
One thing we do for our clients is create a dashboard where they can track calls, live chat, contact forms, and email submissions. Having access to this data is essential to know which marketing channels are working and which ones are not.
Unfortunately, more often than not, people make marketing decisions based on emotional “feeling” instead of data. This is wrong and can create many long-term issues for your business.
Here are some software tools I use to provide me with great business analytics data as to what is working.
Nobody wants to put much effort into building a house on sand. Online marketing is the same way. If you don’t focus on doing things the right way first, you will end up putting the cart before the horse and starting over somewhere along the line.
Following my instructions above, you should have met the minimum requirements to start marketing your firm effectively online.
Successful online marketing for small law firms will accomplish two things:
Once your foundation is built you can focus on the basics. Here are some of the things you should be doing.
Since this guide is geared towards helping small firms succeed with their online marketing, the tactics are hyper-focused for organic and local SEO success.
Organic and Local SEO should be the main focus of your marketing efforts because they represent the free clicks.
Below is a simplified roadmap you can use to help plan your law firm marketing strategy for 2018.
Creating great content that is relevant to your audience and engaging is essential to your long-term success. Using the keyword research you did earlier, you can create an editorial calendar for the year.
Try to stick with it and be consistent, even if it’s only one article a week or one a month. Do a good job and produce great content. Here are some tips you can use to figure out what content to create and where.
Expand the link profile of your law firm (other authoritative website’s linking back to your firm) by using these tactics to build your link profile over time. A variety of efforts are going to have the strongest effect. Focus on links that are relevant to your firm by niche (E.G. Legal) or Local links (e.g.: local news stations).
Here are some ideas you can use today
Continue to boost your citation profile over time. Set a small goal, such as 10 per month. These are places where you can list your business Name, Address, and Phone Number.
A ranking factor and major reputation trust factor comes from reviews on Google My Business. You should strive to get these regularly from previous happy clients. You should also set up a system for getting these as cases finish in the future. This needs to be a cornerstone of your marketing.
Google allows you to post regularly in the search results using their new platform, Google Posts. You should post here at least once a week to showcase awards, results, or social proof to improve your conversions.
If you read our guide on Evergreen content marketing, you may have some ideas of how you can use paid social to promote your firm. Let’s say that you published a post, “Most Dangerous Intersections in [City Name]” that was based on actual accident data.
You could do a pretty sweet write-up on this and integrate a free Google Map. But if you create content and nobody see’s it, what good does it do? None.
To get some eyeballs on the article you wrote, build your brand, and create awareness in the community, you could take advantage of Facebook or Instagram advertising and promote this to people of legal driving age who live within your city.
This is a great and low-cost way to get your content to a relevant audience.
Another staple of any small firm marketing should be email marketing. Most law firm partners I speak with oppose it for one reason or another, but I assure you’re leaving money on the table if you’re not doing this. At a minimum, you should send out a monthly newsletter and consistently work on growing your list.
Smaller firms typically have lower marketing budgets. If my budget was less than $25,000 per year, the areas mentioned above are where I would put most of that budget. If the budget was expanded, however, there are other avenues you should consider as well.
Pay-per-click is a great way to get immediate traffic to your website. However for some lawyers, it can be cost prohibitive to get involved with. Remember that advertisers who rank organically and locally will see better results than those who only rank in the paid sections.
I love to hate legal directories. By themselves, I see them as a big waste, but as a supplementary marketing method, I see where they benefit a firm, especially if they have a lot of search share (AKA: They already rank for keywords you want to rank for). Sign up for these with caution and measure your results. You also have to remember these typically rank for important keywords too. So if it ranks, you should be listed there. It’s another opportunity for your get in front of another client.
Over the years I have gotten to speak with a lot of different attorneys that have different opinions on what works and what doesn’t. I have heard most of the horror stories, but I want to know the good stories. Are you doing something that I didn’t mention which you find successful at generating new clients?
If so, let me know in the comments below!