Maybe you’re already investing in SEO but you’re not happy with the results. Or maybe you’re considering SEO for the first time and want to understand what SEO success looks like. In either case, we’ve got you covered.
In this post, we’ll paint a picture of what a successful investment in SEO looks like for divorce lawyers in 2023. In short, it looks like this:
- You set SMART goals and you measure your progress
- You rank in Google’s local 3-pack for money keywords
- You rank in Google’s traditional organic results for money keywords
- You bring in tons of traffic through informational content marketing
- You have a reliable system for responding to and closing new leads
- You achieve differentiation with your website
1. You Set SMART SEO Goals and You Track Your Progress
Simply put, it’s not possible to know whether your divorce law firm’s investment in SEO is paying off if you don’t set goals and track your progress toward achieving them.
At Juris Digital, we put tremendous focus on aligning with clients on their goals before we begin a project. Why? Because without precise goals we are essentially shooting in the dark. We encourage clients to use the SMART method to set their SEO goals. This means that goals should be:
Examples of SMART SEO Goals for Divorce Law Firms
If you set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound you will drastically improve your chances of realizing a positive return on your SEO investment. Here is an example of a goal that meets the SMART criteria:
I want to double organic search traffic from people looking for child custody information in the next 6 months.
- This goal is super specific. No explanation is needed.
- It’s measurable. All we have to do is look at how much traffic you are currently getting to your child custody content, benchmark that number, and work to double it.
- It’s attainable. We know from years of experience that doubling search traffic for a specific type of case is more than reasonable.
- It’s relevant. You have a family law practice and you want more child custody matters. This goal is relevant to that aim because it results in more impressions from folks who need child custody representation.
- It’s time-bound. “The next 6 months”.
By setting goals like this you empower your SEO team to take strategic action toward a clear objective.
Tracking Your SMART SEO Goals
Setting SMART SEO goals is the first and most crucial step. Next, you need to be sure that you have systems in place to measure the progress being made toward those goals.
At Juris Digital we don’t give our clients blanket reports that show out-of-context data. Instead, we focus our reports on our clients goals.
Let’s stick with the example goal above: Doubling organic search traffic from people looking for child custody information in the next 6 months.
Step 1: Benchmark
To track progress towards this goal we would first identify how much traffic the firm is currently getting from folks looking for child custody information. We’d achieve this by using Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and any other relevant tools are our disposal. This
If we lacked this data, we’d get analytics tracking set up, let it run for a period of time (most likely 1 month) and then use that number as our benchmark.
Step 2: Plan
Once we establish a benchmark, we’d make a plan for achieving the goal. Say the data shows us that, currently, the site brings in 750 unique visitors per month looking for information on child custody. We then know we need to increase that to 1500.
From here we’d:
- Analyze the site’s existing child custody content to identify areas of opportunity to improve the production of that traffic.
- Perform a content gap analysis to see what relevant child custody topics we can publish new content on that will bring in the desired traffic levels.
Once we formulate a plan, it’s time to execute it.
Step 3: Execute
Now that we have a precise plan in place for achieving our SMART goal it’s time to put in the work. In this case that would mean revamping the existing child custody content to maximize production, and developing new content on the topics identified via the content gap analysis.
Step 4: Measure and Iterate
Now that we’ve executed the plan we can measure the impact of our work, and iterate on our efforts if necessary.
As you can see, by setting SMART goals we are able to execute targeted, measurable SEO work to achieve them. In 2023 effective divorce lawyer SEO means starting with SMART goals.
2. You Consistently Rank in Google’s 3-Pack for Transactional Keywords
Keywords are at the very core of SEO. The whole idea is for your divorce law firm to show up in search engines when your potential clients search for your services.
There are thousands of different keywords that people search for when they need a divorce lawyer. For this reason, we categorize keywords into types. The most competitive keywords for divorce lawyers we call transactional keywords. These are keywords searched by folks who are actively looking for a lawyer to hire.
Here are some examples of divorce transactional keywords:
- divorce lawyer chicago
- divorce attorney near me
- best divorce lawyers
- divorce lawyer free consultation
- top divorce lawers
If you search any of these keywords in Google, you’ll see that the first organic (non-advertisement) results almost always take the form of a 3-pack of Google map listings. This is because Google sees these keywords as having local intent. In other words, it thinks people want to see only lawyers who are near them. In fact, according to Google, nearly 1 in 3 of all mobile searches on their platform are location-specific. This means that optimizing for the 3-pack is one of the best strategies to drive local traffic and increase leads.
Because people searching for a divorce lawyer using transactional keywords see the map-pack above any other organic search result, your firm needs to have visibility here in order to achieve SEO success.
3. You Rank in Google Traditional Organic Results for Transactional Keywords
While the Google 3-Pack is an essential part of divorce lawyer SEO, it isn’t the only area you should focus on.
When folks looking for a divorce lawyer search a transactional keyword they’ll generally see the map pack first. Just below that, they’ll see traditional Google organic results. Here’s a example of our client ranking in Google’s traditional organic results for a relevant transactional keyword:
Even though these results appear below the map-pack of results, we know that people often still scroll to and click these results, and so it remains valuable real estate for divorce law firms.
4. You Bring in Tons of Relevant Traffic for Informational Keywords by Nailing Content Marketing
Whereas transactional keywords tend to be the most sought-after because of the nature of the intent of those who search them (to hire a divorce lawyer), informational keywords often fly under the radar because the intent of the searcher isn’t quite as clear.
This spells opportunity. In fact, our research shows that nearly 50% of folks who need a lawyer research their legal issue before they hire a lawyer.
Informational keywords account for the overwhelming majority of family law-related search queries. There is a huge volume and the competition is lower.
Have a look at these two charts. The first shows a breakdown of the organic search traffic for one of our divorce attorney clients. Despite having high rankings for extremely competitive and valuable transactional keywords (ie. “best divorce lawyer Chicago”), the majority of the client’s traffic and leads come from informational content:
What this data shows is that informational content accounts for 93% of the client’s organic search traffic, and 66% of the client’s leads from organic search.
Transactional content accounts for just 6% of the client’s traffic but converts at a higher rate as it drives 34% of the total leads.
This is just what we’d expect based on what we know about user intent. The key takeaway is that if you are focusing on transactional keywords alone, you a missing a massive slice of the pie both in terms of traffic and leads.
Examples of Effective Informational Keywords for Divorce Lawyers
Here are just a few examples of informational keywords that can bring in huge numbers of relevant traffic for divorce law firms. I’ve also included links to examples of pages that rank well for these types of keywords:
|how much does a divorce cost in [state]||https://vantagegl.com/legal-blog/average-cost-divorce-illinois/|
|how to get full custody in [state]||https://www.thelarsonlawoffice.com/full-custody-in-texas/|
|child custody laws in [state]||https://harrislawfirm.com/articles/mississippi-child-custody-laws/|
|custody laws for unmarried parents in [state]||https://www.eskewlaw.com/child-custody-unmarried-parents/|
|no fault divorce in [state]||https://www.thelarsonlawoffice.com/no-fault-divorce/|
|[state] child support laws 2022||https://vantagegl.com/legal-blog/illinois-child-support-laws/|
At Juris Digital, we help firms take advantage of the opportunity presented by informational keywords by providing legal content writing services. We collaborate with firms on the topics they want to target and the types of questions being asked about divorce by users across search engines. By doing this, we create content clusters that hone in on your primary practice area.
By publishing articles like these, firms can build three essential aspects of their brand: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. To help with this, we follow best practices when writing content for firms, such as linking to credible sources and maintaining a team of attorneys and legal professionals with SEO experience. Most importantly, all of our content is reviewed and edited by barred attorneys.
5. You Have a Website That Effectively Differentiates Your Law Firm from Your Competition
We’ve all heard the phrase “first impressions are everything.” When it comes to websites, this couldn’t be more true. With the average user spending anywhere from 15 to 45 seconds on any new website, you need to be sure that it hooks them. This means having optimized load times, accessibility, and a clean design.
Generally, there are three common elements that the best law firm websites share:
- Subject Matter Authority
The design of your firm’s website must be rooted in the value that your firm provides. This means having unique messaging, a consistent visual aesthetic, an easy-to-use interface, and client testimonials. Here are some examples of websites we’ve built for family law attorneys that meet all of these criteria.
6. You Have a Rock Solid Intake Process That Results in a High Close Rate for Qualified Clients
SEO for a divorce lawyer only goes so far. At the end of the day, it is up to you to convince a potential client to retain your services.
To make the most out of the increase in leads that SEO can produce, you need a consistent client intake process. While a bunch of keyword magic and a functional website will get leads, you need to have an optimized client experience from start to finish. To do this, we suggest that firms follow up with leads as soon as possible. While this doesn’t guarantee that a lead will convert, it shows that your firm is timely and responsive. Generally, it’s best to answer leads within 24 hours or less.
If you happen to get a potential client to meet for a consultation, this is your time to shine. Closely examine your client’s case and pitch your firm. Explain why you are the best choice and be honest about your process. This goes a long way in building trustworthiness and integrity.
Is Your Divorce Firm Ready for Better SEO?
By establishing smart goals, gaining search visibility for transactional keywords, gaining traffic for informational keywords, building on a solid website foundation, and having an effective intake and closing process, your divorce law firm can grow with SEO.
Are you ready? Let’s talk.