Google is one of the true powerhouses of the internet.

Owning over 86% of the search engine market, Google organic search makes up 59% of the world’s total web traffic. 

With this in mind, law firms can’t afford to sleep on Google. After all, people use Google every day to actively search for lawyers and legal services. And Search Engine Optimization (SEO) holds the key to getting your business discovered by these users. 

Want to harness the power of SEO for your law firm? Here’s how to plan an SEO strategy from start to finish. 

Law Firm SEO Defined

Before you can begin planning your SEO strategy, you need to understand what law firm SEO is and why it matters for your law firm. 

Law firm SEO refers to the practice of optimizing your website and online platforms to rank high in search engines in order to drive organic traffic to your law firm. It involves targeting the search terms (i.e. “keywords”) people are using to find services like yours.

Benefits of SEO for Law Firms

SEO matters for law firms for a variety of reasons. SEO allows you to:

The benefits of SEO for law firms don’t end there, but the success of your SEO depends on having a data-driven strategy. Below, we’ll dive into how to get the most from your SEO efforts. 

Step 1: Launch Your Law Firm’s Website

Your law firm’s website is one of the most important assets you own when it comes to your digital marketing. It’s the primary platform needed in order to optimize for Google and drive organic leads.

The infrastructure, design, experience, and content on your website all play a role in driving traffic and converting visitors into potential clients. With this in mind, you’ll want a website that ticks all the boxes:

Once you’ve launched (or redesigned) an attractive, fast, and user-friendly website, you can start to optimize your website to generate organic traffic using SEO.

Step 2: Conduct SEO Keyword Research

“Keywords” are the terms people enter into Google Search in order to find information, products, businesses, etc. For law firms, keywords mean the words potential clients use to find lawyers, legal information, and legal services.

Your keyword strategy lays the foundation of your SEO efforts because it determines what keywords you are hoping to rank for. Believe it or not, different law firms require different keyword strategies because the terms vary depending on the practice area, location, and audience.

First, make a list of words that you associate with your law firm. For example, for a family law firm, some words may be “family lawyer”, “family law services”, “file for divorce”, etc.

Next, consider which of these terms should be modified with a geo-specific term. In most cases, if you service a particular geographic area, you will want to target geo-specific terms. For example: “seattle family law”, “seattle family lawyer”, etc.

Once you’ve created a relatively exhaustive list of terms related to your business and services, use an SEO tool to look up the Search Volume and Keyword Difficulty of every keyword. We recommend tools like SEMRush.com or Ahrefs.com to do this. These will tell you whether a term is being searched for and how hard it is to rank for.

Finally, use your chosen SEO tool to find additional keywords. You can use the Related Keywords report or search your competitors’ domains to surface untapped keyword opportunities. Add these keywords to your list to establish the foundation of your SEO strategy.

Step 3: Develop Optimized Content

Your keyword research will gradually reveal what terms you should optimize your website for. For example, the Search Volume data may show that “seattle family lawyer” is a worthy term to target on your website.

Keywords can then be mapped to new or existing web pages. Be sure to “cluster” keywords that are closely related to each other. For example, your “seattle divorce law services” page should also likely target “seattle divorce lawyer” and “divorce lawyer in seattle”.

Once you have mapped these keywords to either existing pages or new page topics, you can start on a framework to either optimize or create content, respectively. Here are the basics to consider:

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s referred to as “on-page SEO”. On-page SEO, in general, though, involves writing content that benefits your users and is optimized for the keywords you wish to target.

Step 4: Own Your Local Organic Presence

Law firms are heavily reliant on Local SEO in order to reach users in a particular geographic market. If you only service certain cities, states, or counties, then you will need local SEO.

Local SEO, as previously mentioned, involved optimizing for geo-specific terms and/or location-specific platforms. For example, you will want to optimize your website for city-related keywords and build out your local listings, reviews, and directories.

Here are the fundamentals of local SEO for law firms:

Much of local SEO requires ongoing maintenance, so be sure to monitor your listings, generate more client reviews, and create more localized content. 

Step 5: Build and Manage Your Backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites back to your own website. These backlinks lend what’s called authority to your website, making it more trustworthy in the eyes of Google. Earning backlinks from high-authority sites is great for SEO.

Building backlinks is often easier said than done, though. Here are a few ideas for how to earn backlinks:

Further, you can use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to monitor your backlinks. These tools will reveal the number of backlinks you have earned, the quality of the backlinks, when they were acquired, and more. This will help you track your backlink acquisition efforts.

Planning a Law Firm SEO Strategy is Simple

Many marketers would have you believe that SEO is extremely complex. In reality, the basics are relatively easy to master. Once you have owned the basics, you can continue on to more involved strategies.

Of course, some markets are more competitive than others. If you are in a competitive market, it may be worth hiring a law firm SEO professional for more tailored support. Even so, knowing how to plan your own SEO strategy from the ground up will help you better understand, implement, and measure your SEO efforts.

Every law firm can benefit from SEO. Start with the fundamentals, learn from your experiences, and invest your learnings into developing a winning marketing plan for your law business.