Growing your law firm with SEO: From 0 to 9226 monthly website visitors.
The above is the Google data for one of our commercial law firm clients who now consistently get an average of 299 FREE website visits per day and an average of 15860 people seeing the website per day in Google search results.
Why should you care?
A little while ago we built a new website for this London-based commercial law firm. The website had no history and no website traffic.
We created an SEO strategy that focussed on:
The average of 299 daily website users come from Google, for free, as part of the SEO strategy. The website visitors have questions about commercial law and need advice, information and guidance. They need a lawyer!
In this blog we'll show you the proven SEO strategies that work every time for our law firm clients.
SEO for Solicitors - A Summary
SEO for solicitors (Search Engine Optimisation) helps law firms to attract free website visitors who are actively looking for legal services. Google, Bing, Yahoo and social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube are all places that people start when they are looking for legal advice.
What is SEO?
A free way for law firms to get website visits (and enquiries) from people using search engines (particularly Google) to find legal services.
Where to start with your Law Firm SEO strategy
Understand the types of people you want to attract to your website. What problems do they have and how can you help to solve them?
Depending on how old your website is, you might find you are sitting on a goldmine of opportunities.
Free Tools to Measure Progress
Google Search Console
This helps you see any technical issues with the way your law firm's website is being crawled and viewed in Google. It will report on any crawl errors and mobile usability issues.
It is also really useful for seeing a list of search terms that your site appears in Google for and how often these pages were clicked on in the results.
This is great for helping you to make your SEO better each month and stay ahead of competitors!
If you already have the search console set up, you can see which search terms your site is ranking for and this will tell you if there are any immediate and long term opportunities in terms of keyword targets.
If you don’t have it set up, you should as you’ll be able to start tracking the data ASAP.
Use Google Analytics 4
Start measuring how much organic traffic your law firm's website gets, what that traffic does once on your site and how this compares to other channels. Google analytics allows you to measure daily, weekly and monthly improvements to the free traffic coming to your site from search engines.
In order to measure improvements here are a few search engine optimisation metrics you may want to measure each month to help you stay ahead of the competition:
- Organic (free search engine traffic)
- % of overall traffic that is organic
- Pages indexed in Google
Keyword research helps you speak the language of your potential clients on the internet.
It's like having a roadmap to guide them right to your virtual doorstep. It's not just about getting more visitors to your website, but about getting the right kind of visitors - the ones who are likely to become your clients.
If you're a personal injury solicitor, it would be great if your website was in position number 1 every time someone entered "personal injury solicitor" into Google.
But the competition is fierce, particularly for personal injury, with loads of people searching and loads of law firms wanting to appear.
So what if you were able to uncover search terms that potential clients are entering into Google that would bring them to your website?
"What to do after a car accident?"
"How to make a claim after an accident at work"
Both of the above are questions that people ask Google. Both can be set up as pages or blogs on a personal injury lawyers website.
How can solicitors do keyword research?
Ask people who regularly talk to clients face-to-face or via phone, whether paralegals, receptionists or solicitors themselves and get feedback on any terminology that clients commonly use or even better any questions about a particular service that they commonly asked, for example “how does no win no fee work?” This will give you a real indication as to what people are searching for as well as give you ideas for landing pages and blog content.
Keyword research tools
These tools can help you understand the volume of searches for a specific term, the competition for that term, and even suggest related keywords that might be less competitive or more targeted.
- Google ads keyword planner
Paid tools can also help you with the technical side of SEO for example any broken links or slow loading pages. You can also do competitor research by seeing which search terms your competitors are ranking for.
Once you have built a keyword list using free and paid tools, you can let Google do the hard work for you.
1. Enter a search term into Google
2. Scoll down to the "People also ask" section
3. Boom! above, you have 4 ready made blog titles. Answer these questions better than competitors and you stand a great chance of ranking highly in Google.
What: Pages and regular blog content that is mapped to your keyword research and is therefore likely to rank in Google and attract relevant visitors. Your content should be structured in topic clusters to demonstrate expertise.
How to do it: A key thing is to remember your end-user. Don’t just stuff your target keywords and phrases all over the page (though doing a bit of that helps). If the search was about "family law solicitors", then your landing page should explain how your firm can help them with a problem.
Your research allows you to create a content calendar where by you know the types of blog content that you wish to create.
Each keyword theme that you have identified can be mapped to one of your services. For example, "no win no fee" could be a parent category for content relating to personal injury solicitors, medical negligence, dental negligence and any other types of injury claim.
Each page should be structured so that it targets your primary keyword and then links off to content about any sub-topics.
Your researched allows you to create a content calendar where by you know the types of blog content that you wish to create.
Law firms that are trying to successfully deliver SEO for solicitors are often overwhelmed by having to create or write loads of content, however you are sitting on so much expertise as a law firm so you're already in a great position. You could also create one evergreen piece of content that acts as a guide for a particular service, for example "a simple guide to medical negligence law". This can be turned into a video or you could use snapshots to create pieces of content for social media over the coming months or weeks.
When creating content, you need to strike the balance between writing for search engines and your visitors. You should be aware of what you want each page at each stage of your hierarchy to do. For example:
Home page: “Solicitors in Newcastle”
This page is specific to local searches and your Google my business page will often rank here along with your website. You should introduce your brand, services and tell people how you can help.
Level two page: “employment law solicitors in Newcastle”
This page is specific to one of your services. In this instance the searcher knows what they are looking for and wants to know how you can help them with a very specific problem. This page can act as a "hub" or parent page to any future blogging content around this particular service.
Level three page: “Why do I need an employment law solicitor?”
In this instance the searcher has no awareness of you, but has a question about a service you provide. Blogging content can be created that goes into detail by answering this question. This page can sit under the level two page in order to help users find the information and tell Google how your content is categorised.
The above allows you to create a silo based around the service of employment law, whilst keeping the level two page specifically for local searches, where you can really drive home your unique selling points and value proposition, to build trust.
The level 3 page is for those who are still shopping around and have a limited awareness as to why they need an employment solicitor. This page educates more than sells and starts the awareness of your services.
Don't agonise over creating a massive content calendar. You can do this on a weekly or monthly basis, it's really up to you based on your resource and based on the opportunities that come up. Once you have content published that starts to work, you might find that publishing 3 or 4 times a month works just fine.
What: Creating engagement through fast-loading pages that help users find what they are looking for.
When to do it: You can do this after you have your content ready, however user experience should be an important consideration from the start of any new web project. Will your pages load quickly? Will they just be heavily text based with little illustration? Does it matter?
Why: Get it right and you’ll have repeatable templates you can use across all pages. If your content management system is flexible, you’ll be able to use the data you have to make improvements. It's likely that visitors to your website will visit at least 2 competitors, so small changes can make a big difference.
How: Use proven page templates that convert (see below).
If you spent time and money on creating content for your website, then you should go the extra step and make sure it looks good.
Usability is important when it comes to SEO for solicitors.
If your content is well written and laid out in a user-friendly, well structured way, it's likely that users will want to engage with it.
Structure your content with clear, concise sections and headings to let Google know which areas are important. This includes:
You'll also want to think about how your content appears on mobile.
I bet more than 50% of your traffic comes from mobile devices, yet it's funny how many clients just consider how their sites look on desktop.
SEO isn't just about your website.
Most law firms can benefit from using Google my business, as this gives all the vital information to your local audience, including; opening times, telephone numbers and services. You'll often see Google my business pages appearing for "near me" searches
"law firms for buying a house near me"
Your business profile can act like a social media profile as you can post content such as images, news, updates about the business of your services and they can appear alongside your Google my business entry.
Your Google business profile also becomes a very important place for gathering reviews as potential clients or existing clients who had a good experience can sign into Google, go to your my business profile and leave a review.
Find out more about local SEO for solicitors.
Links are an important part of your SEO campaign, both internal (linking in between pages on your site) and external (relevant links from other websites).
Links are deemed by Google to be a signal of authority - so in short, the more relevant, authoritative links you have from other websites, the more authority will be passed to your website and the higher you’ll rank in Google.
The only small problem with external links is that it can be time consuming to persuade other sites to link back to you. There needs to be a good reason, for example, great content that’s relevant to their site or audience.
For new law firm websites it’s a good idea to focus on generating content to start with and then focus on link building.
Internal links are a great way of telling Google how your pages are related to one another as well as providing sign posts for users to other relevant content.
So if you have a page that you want to rank for "Commercial solicitors in London" - then all other relevant pages on your site should link to that page with commercial solicitors London as the exact anchor text for the link.
FAQs about solicitors SEO
There are at least 534,680 searches in the UK every month relating to "solicitors" according to Google.
A potential client of yours searches for a service, say “Family law solicitors near me” or "employment law advice", from their mobile or desktop and Google shows the most relevant search results.
The more relevant, free traffic you get from a search engine to your website, the more likely you are to get more enquiries. The more relevant enquiries you get, the more likely you are to get more paying clients. Sound good?
The good news is that most of SEO is about a series of repeatable processes that help both Google and website visitors understand and get value from your website content.
The tasks are split between "on page" and "off-page factors".
- Write down a list of terms that you think your potential customers will be entering into Google to find your services
- Ask client facing solicitors what questions clients commonly ask
- Enter your list of keywords into a keyword tool
- Spy on competitors
- Use Google's suggestions
The big question. It depends on how much resource you have to invest. If you’ve done the right research, created great content and have a well structured site. You should start to see improvements to your search engine visibility within a few months, but be patient, stick with it… and maybe ask an expert.