Attorney SEO: How to Boost It Yourself in 8 Simple Steps

Need to improve attorney SEO? Anyone with a computer can implement these eight simple steps to boost SEO.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your website so it can rank high on search engines – mainly, Google – without paying for ads. It’s especially important for attorneys and lawyers because 94 percent of individuals who need legal advice use a search engine to find it

When you optimize your site, you increase your reach, which can lead to new clients. 

While you can make SEO improvements fairly quickly, results won’t occur overnight. It involves more of a process to get results, but when they do come, they’re worth it.

In this guide, we’ll discuss simple attorney SEO tweaks you can make that can lead to great results:

1) Leverage aggregator sites
2) Target location keywords
3) Get more reviews
4) Optimize your Google My Business profile
5) Create a content strategy based on the sales funnel
6) Structure your website around user experience
7) Check your site’s speed and mobile-friendliness
8) Measure attorney SEO results to fine-tune your strategy

1) Leverage aggregator sites

A quick search of “lawyer in St. Louis” ended in the following results:

  • Seven paid ads
  • Three “Local Pack” results
  • One firm website
  • Nine results from aggregated sites 

It takes a lot of work to get your firm’s website to that first page of Google without paying for ads. So, our first tip is to get listed on those aggregator sites that already appear.

Aggregator sites like Yelp, Yellowpages and FindLaw have high domain authority value, which means people trust them, and therefore, so does Google. Listing your information on these sites improves your own SEO.

Here are the top aggregator sites to include your firm’s information on to improve attorney SEO:

Get on Yelp

Of all the aggregator sites, Yelp is one of the most trusted for a variety of industries, including law. Adding your firm to Yelp can help you be easily found by individuals seeking attorneys in your area. You can improve your online presence even more by creating a strong Yelp profile that goes beyond the basics.

Add info to Yellowpages

Yellowpages is an online directory listing site that regularly appears on the first page of Google search results. You can add your firm’s information to Yellowpages for free.

Purchase a FindLaw listing

Among the eight aggregator sites that appeared in our initial “lawyer in St. Louis” search, two were from FindLaw. FindLaw is an online lawyer directory and resource for legal information. It is the only source of this bunch that is not free to list your firm’s information on, but it may be worth the cost. Check out FindLaw’s directory services for more information on pricing.

Create an Avvo profile

Avvo is another online directory for lawyers you can get your information listed on. Your Avvo rating, unlike many online directories, is not calculated by client reviews. Instead, Avvo takes a number of other factors into consideration when calculating your score (years of experience, thought leadership like publications, etc.).

Join Justia

You can get a free lawyer profile on Justia, another platform specific to lawyers that receives approximately one million visitors each month.

Subscribe to Martindale

With a single subscription, you can have your profile listed on Martindale, Nolo and Lawyers.com, which collectively boast tens of millions of monthly visitors.

2) Target location keywords

Location keywords include when someone searches a phrase like, “family lawyer in mid-MO” or “personal injury lawyer in Kansas City.” Keywords like these have high value and conversion rates because the people searching for them are looking to take action. These individuals have legal issues that they know they need help with, and sooner rather than later.

When creating content and pages for your website, consider these location-centric keywords and make sure you have pages targeted at them. 

3) Get more reviews

According to Moz, the top three most important factors when determining Local SEO rankings are as follows:

  1. Google My Business signals (keywords in business titles, categories, etc.)
  2. Link signals (inbound anchor text, quality of domain authority)
  3. Review signals (review quality and quantity)

The easiest factor to control are reviews. By getting a higher quantity of high-quality reviews from your clients, you effectively boost your own Local SEO.

So, how do you get clients to give you reviews? It all begins with the trust-driven business model, which states that clients need to know, like, trust and then share about your firm.

Here are some specific steps you can take to get more reviews of your law firm:

  • Earn trust before asking. When you set out to get reviews of your law firm, remember that earning trust takes priority over everything. A client who trusts you is going to be far less likely to go somewhere else with their business and is far more willing to recommend you – both to friends and to others online.
  • Send review requests often. Once you have given a client a great experience, send out an email requesting they leave a review on the platform of your choice (we recommend Google or Yelp).
  • Follow-up with those who don’t respond. Often, clients will intend to leave a review, but simply forget. By following-up with those who don’t initially respond, you can effectively double the number of reviews you get.
  • Automate the process with our FREE trial. Invest in a software that automatically sends review requests and follow-ups to clients for maximum reviews with minimal effort.

4) Optimize your Google My Business profile

You can further boost your attorney SEO by optimizing your Google My Business profile. 

Google My Business is a highly-trusted platform for getting basic business information and reviews. Here are four simple steps you can take to quickly optimize your profile, assuming you’ve already claimed your Google My Business listing:

  • Double-check your basic information. Ensure your address, phone number, website, hours and business description are all up-to-date.
  • Select a specific category. The more specific your category, the better your chances of Google serving your firm’s information to the right people. For example, instead of selecting “Lawyer,” you can narrow it down further to your specific field of law, like “Family Lawyer.”
  • Add photos. Google My Business profiles with real photos (not stock or overly-posed) are more likely to capture client attention and push them toward a decision.
  • Get reviews. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is learning how to get Google reviews. Reviews back you up and validate your expertise, encouraging others to trust you with their legal issues. 

5) Create a content strategy based on the sales funnel

In order to bring potential clients to the point where they trust your law firm, you must serve them, and serve them well.

Think about it this way: 94 percent of people who need legal advice are using a search engine like Google to find it. Is your website answering the questions they have? Are you serving potential clients with information that causes them to know, like and trust you? 

To begin serving clients, your firm’s website should have a blog. By regularly blogging, you demonstrate your level of expertise in your field of law to potential clients. It will also boost your law firm SEO by providing new, optimized content that Google will love.

What is the sales funnel?

The sales funnel is a tool used to gauge the stage of each potential client:

At the top of the funnel, you have content that builds awareness of your firm. Then, content directed at those who want to learn more about you. Next, there’s decision-making – and finally – content aimed at those ready to take action.

How to create an effective content strategy

When first writing content for your firm’s blog, it’s most effective to work backwards up the sales funnel. Begin with articles that answer questions those who want to take action are asking; content targeted at keywords like, “best [field of practice] lawyer in [city of practice].”

When people are looking to hire a lawyer, what questions are they asking? By answering those questions in a blog post, you capture the attention of those who are ready to take action. Once you’ve answered those questions, move up the funnel with the keywords you target.

To get keyword ideas, you can use the Google Keyword Planner tool, or the inexpensive KWFinder tool.

6) Structure your site around user experience

You can improve attorney SEO by taking a good look at your website from the perspective of a potential client. The structure of your site can either make it very easy – or very difficult – for an individual to find what they are looking for.

If your website is difficult to read because of language or complex design, they’ll go somewhere else for answers. In addition to that, if users spend very little time on your webpages, that will signal to Google that your page should not be ranked high for the keyword it is optimized for.

Consider the following questions when looking at your site:

  • How many clicks does it take to get to contact information or a contact page? The fewer, the better.
  • Is your main menu easy to navigate and understand? Do you use easy-to-understand language, or legal jargon?
  • Are your fields of practice obvious? Have a page dedicated to your experience.
  • Is your fee in an obvious location, or is information regarding how to get a quote obvious? People want to know how much your services will cost – make it easy for them to find.
  • Is the most important information you want clients to know on your homepage? Your homepage will be the most visited page of your site. Does it contain the most important information about you and your practice? 
  • Where is your CTA? Your sitewide call-to-action (CTA) should be obvious, no matter where on the site a potential client is. You can make it stand out by differentiating color, shape, size of the CTA button from everything else on your page.

Use the answers to these questions to rearrange the content on your website.

7) Check your site’s speed and mobile-friendliness

In today’s digital age, people searching online expect quick results. Studies show that if a site loads in one second, 9.6 percent of visitors will leave. If a site takes five seconds to load, the bounce rate – the percentage of those who leave your site immediately – jumps to 32.3 percent.

By investing in a faster-loading site, you can improve your SEO by lowering the overall bounce rate. And, by being faster-loading site, Google will prefer your site over other, slower-loading onese. Check how quickly your site loads with Google’s page speed tool, and learn how to speed it up with these tips. 

Ensuring the mobile-friendliness of your website is another way you can improve your own SEO. Fifty-two percent of global internet traffic comes from smartphone searches, and Google places a high ranking value on mobile-responsiveness. Check if your site is mobile-friendly with this tool from Google Search Console. If it’s not, we recommend investing in a responsive web developer to help you fix it.

8) Measure attorney SEO results to fine-tune your strategy

Once you’ve implemented the above practices, take time to measure your SEO results to see what’s working and what isn’t. You can measure your improvement through Google Analytics, which you will need to link to your website. Learn how to link Google Analytics to your site here.

When measuring your SEO improvement, pay the most attention to the number of unique users. If your SEO strategy is working, the number of overall users should increase. 

Other valuable SEO metrics to pay attention to include:

  • Time on page. If you had a blog post that was 3,000 words long, and the user left after 15 seconds, why was that? Did you promise something you did not deliver on early enough in the post? Was the language too formal and difficult to understand?
  • Pages per visit. This helps you see how deep into your site a user got. If a user only visited one page and bounced, why might that be? Do you have more in-depth information you can add to your site? Was the page too difficult to read? Think about how you can improve the content on your site.
  • Non-branded keywords used to find you. Take a look at the keywords being used by those who are finding you through search engines. Those that aren’t branded (i.e., don’t use you or your firm’s name) are most likely from people who didn’t know about you. If those are low, consider creating content targeted at non-branded keywords to extend your reach.
  • Compare month-to-month, or year-to-year. To really see your improvements, make sure you’re comparing current rankings to a previous month or year. SEO rankings take time to heighten, so you’re better off looking at greater lengths of time to see overall improvement.

While it is possible to implement these steps on your own, you may decide it will take too much time, or you simply might not be comfortable doing it yourself. In this case, we have compiled a list of local SEO experts that can help you boost your overall attorney SEO.