When it comes to your law firm SEO strategy there are a few key metrics that you want to keep in mind when cultivating your approach. Throughout this guide; we’re going to be diving into the exact Law Firm SEO Strategy that we implement for our clients.
Throughout this guide we’ll be covering the things you need to keep in mind when tackling your law firm’s search engine optimization.
- How to find your current keyword rankings (using an awesome free tool!)
- How to identify high-value keywords (and how to avoid high competition ones!)
- How to optimize your law firm website to better rank on the search engines.
There are a few things that we need to cover before diving into this search engine optimization strategy. First; we’re going to assume that you already have a website for your law firm.
… you’re not going to get very far without one when it comes to SEO.
If you don’t already have one – getting one is rather straightforward. You can learn to build one yourself using this extensive guide or you can have an expert web developer (or a team of them!) like us to build your website for you.
HOW TO FIND YOUR CURRENT KEYWORD RANKINGS
The best to start is where you currently stand on the search engines. More specifically; the search engine rankings / results. This often referred to as the ‘SERPs’ – and it’s always useful to keep a watchful eye on where your website currently ranks for the keywords that are most important to it.
This could be service pages – contact page – about us page etc…
There are a few different ways that you can go about finding where your website ranks on the search engines. Here at BrandBlast; we like to use a mixture of tools to ensure we’re getting the most accurate data possible. (Even going as far as creating our own Keyword Research tool)
As a business owner – it’s important to keep costs low. For that reason we’re going to be using a tool that you can get completely free, called SpyFu.
Using SpyFu, you can quickly find the highest ranking keywords on your website – keywords that are almost ranking well and even keyword suggestions (…which we’ll cover shortly)
The reason that we do this is so that we can identify what’s often known as the ‘low hanging fruit’. These are pages with relatively good ranking keywords. They don’t have to be the first 10 results – many of these are often the mid 40-50’s.
These often require very little optimization but put your domain on a path towards higher authority. (Because it always looks good to the search engines if your website is ranking 1st for a ton of keywords – even if they’re not that popular…)
These pages often require a quick tune-up to rank higher and start to build authority with your website.
It’s useful to target these first because it can stimulate more immediate results when compared to a full-scale SEO campaign. Law firms, like nearly every business, requires time and execution to build a result-driven SEO strategy.
While you optimize these pages – primarily through on-page optimization, you can start to see results more immediately as these pages are already the best performing on your website. Therefore there’s little additional effort required to give your site a boost in the rankings.
HOW TO FIND YOUR CURRENT KEYWORD RANKINGS
Once we have a good understanding where to start on the pages that currently exist on your website, it’s time to start creating new ones by exploring relevant keywords.
You don’t have to rank for every keyword in your industry – rather just a select few.
Ranking for a lot of keywords is great, don’t get me wrong. However it’s often the case that law firms try to rank for EVERY keyword no matter how high the competition or low the search volume.
This wastes a ton of time and valuable resources.
Lets start with your services. It’s likely the case that you already have a ‘Services’ page. (See our services page) This page often links to other pages on your website for specific services. (In our case, web design, SEO, link building etc…)
There are missed opportunities everywhere when it comes to SEO – but they don’t have to go unchecked. Inside of Ubersuggest (another free tool) we’re going to be exploring keywords relevant to our services – in this case, legal services.
Let’s run a search for a keyword relevant to the legal services provided. Such as ‘Personal Injury Lawyer’ (it’s encouraged to explore variations of the same keyword to compare the metrics from Ubersuggest, SpyFu, Ahrefs etc…)
Here’s what we get when we run a search for ‘Personal Injury Lawyer’
There are a few determining factors we can use to identify whether this is a valuable and useful keyword to our law firm website.
Most noteably, take a look at the search volume, SEO difficulty, paid difficulty and the average cost per click.
The search volume is the average monthly searches this keyword / keyphrase gets in a 30 day period. (Take this with a grain of salt – you’ll likely notice different numbers for nearly every tool you use for your keyword research)
That makes it equally important when looking for high value keywords to cross examine the results for the keywords within multiple SEO tools.
As you can see from this analysis – the monthly search volume is slightly lower and the keyword difficulty is dramatically higher.
The trick is to find the middle ground and most accurate approach through these metrics by comparing multiple sources. As we’ve done above. This is the best way to ensure you’re always using the most accurate data. (We’ll likely never be able to get 100% correct data – rather data that the search engines allow us to gather)
A good indication as to whether a keyword is worth exploring is the CPC metrics. The higher the cost per click is, the most advertisers there are within that keyword.
This can be good and bad.
It can be good because that’s a great way to see if there’s interest in a keyword. (Think, people wouldn’t be buying ads for that keyword if there wasn’t some value to it!) Likewise; it can be bad because it’s a little intimidating going against a cost per click of hundreds of dollars.
*I mean, take a lok at that monthly broad US cost! ($200,000+ yikes!)
But this isn’t the whole story – the next thing we want to do is identify the phrase match keywords. (These are often referred to as relevant keywords)
They are sometimes variations of the base-keyword. For example; Personal Injury Lawyer NYC.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when exploring related keywords
From the keywords we found above you can see there is a variety of data for us to sift through. But we don’t want to just mindlessly comb over the data and let it go out the other ear – we want to only look through keywords that make sense for us to pursue.
- The keyword / phrase itself – you don’t want to target off the wall / random terms. You want to keep things concise.
- Keyword volume – this is the number of searches a keyword / phrase gets on a monthly basis. (Keep in mind; this can be different depending on what software you’re using to acquire the data)
- Keyword difficulty – this is how difficult it ‘might be’ when you try to rank for a keyword. It’s not a deal-breaker to find a high difficulty keyword. However; it’s better not to start with those high difficulty keywords.)
- Cost Per Click (CPC) – the cost per click of a keyword is a good indicator as to whether it’s worth exploring and trying to rank for. Unless you’re going to be actually running CPC campaigns, you don’t have to fret about the cost per click as we’re going about this organically.
We found that one keyword in particular was a viable option (as we’ve already been working on our client’s Law Firm SEO strategy) – which happened to be Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer.
‘Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer’ was a great keyword because it was a location that our client actually serviced and it was a keyword that wouldn’t be too difficult for us to rank for.
For this example; we’re going to assume that you’ve chosen 1 keyword to focus on. But this can be applied to multiple keywords (and ideally should be) if you want to get more widespread results.
YOUR LAW FIRM SEO STRATEGY
Now that we have a target keyword it’s time to implement the powerful law firm SEO strategy that we’ve cultivated and provide for our clients.
There are a few key principles to keep in mind when approaching this strategy for your law firm. All of which are completely dependent upon the keyword(s) you choose, the services you offer and the amount of optimization you apply on the backend.
This law firm SEO strategy is built upon the foundation that Content is King and links to your content is Queen.
So we’ll be discussing how you can create high quality content related to your services and how you can go about creating high quality and powerful inks to your content to increase your search engine rankings.
In this section we’re going to be covering:
- How you can create high quality content that helps your website rank (even if you’re not a writer!)
- Why you need to build links to your content (and how to do it the right way) so your content can rank even higher on the search engines.
- How to get access to our proprietary backlink analysis software (so you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on expensive software)
CREATING TOP RANKING CONTENT
Ranking your law firm higher starts with keyword research but it definitely doesn’t end there. Content is key in today’s age of instant searches and intention based browsing. It’s critical that your law firm implement the use of high value content to better increase your search engine rankings.
But how do you go about creating high quality content that helps your website rank?
Most of us aren’t writers – myself included (if this article is any indication as to my expert author skills) But the fact is; you don’t have to be an expert. You don’t even have to write the content yourself.
You just have to know what to write about.
Heading into Ubersuggest once again – we can use their awesome feature called ‘Content Ideas’. And, like the name suggests – it gives you insights to great content ideas that you can use to build up your rank on the search engines.
The first few results are good indications as to the direction you should take your content. Because it shows you what’s performing well already.
You can use a plethora of free tools to find great content ideas. BuzzSumo is another great tool that you can use to see what’s performing well on social media so that you can create content similar to those well-performing posts.
It’s really useful to create content around topics that are already performing well and then optimizing those pieces of content to acquire your ideal customers. Since these pieces of content are already performing well, creating content around those topics will help you ‘piggy back’ off the search engine clout these posts have gained.
*This is also a useful place to find high value links you can create for your content. But we’ll cover that in a bit.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not a writer. There are plenty of options that can align your law firm with high quality content that helps your website rank and generate more clients.
Platforms like Fiverr, UpWork and the likes are all great options when it comes to finding high quality writers. Alternatively; you can find a subject matter expert.
This is something that we employ here within our agency.
See, when you hire a freelance writer you are often faced with the reality that freelance writers tend to write about multiple subjects. Many of which aren’t even related to one another.
Now; this isn’t a bad thing for a broad basis of content creation. But when we’re talking about driving real ranking power with content – it’s essential that you find someone who knows what they’re talking about. Well, writing about. But you get what I’m saying…
That’s why it’s worth its weigh in gold to find a subject matter expert (SME) that can create highly specialized content on the keywords you researched.
BUILDING HIGH QUALITY LINKS
Links are a necessary piece of any successful SEO campaign in today’s age. Back in the day; it was a simple as building a quick, lean website and pointing a couple links to it. Then, BAM! You’re ranked number 1,2 and 3 for that keyword.
…Best part was that you didn’t even have to have relevant links.
If you were selling sneakers you could link to a fish market and the results would be the same as if you linked to Nike! Unfortunately, this isn’t the case anymore. Instead; it takes a carefully executed link building strategy that propels your website forward and higher on the SERPs.
Link building has somewhat of a bad reputation as being a very spammy tactic. However; when done correctly; it can be incredibly powerful and help your business rank higher than ever before without doing much of anything at all!
Take SEMRush for example.
Inside you have the ability to prospect link building opportunities. Essentially giving you the keys to your prospective link’s inbox.
The trick is doing this in a way that doesn’t com off spammy by employing the right approach. This can be done by reaching out to your prospective link with a professional email that’s geared towards converting.
When done properly, a link building campaign can yield remarkable results. They forge relationships and help propel your website higher on the search engine rankings.
Using tools like SEMRush definitely make it easier but are in no way required to execute this strategy.
You could use BuzzSumo or simply search for websites related to the content that you want to rank for. Analyze their SEO and SERPs then plan your outreach approach. Whether it’s email, phone or social media – it’s always best to include a compliment and a link to your favorite piece of their content (or the content you’re hoping to get a link within)
If you’re reaching out to low-level websites (websites that don’t get much traffic) this is often done in exchange for a link on your website. Therefore you’re mutually sharing the benefit. On the other hand, if you’re reaching out to more established websites – it may be a matter of paying the appropriate fee.
When we reach out to one of our established connections – we can score a pretty great deal (if there’s even a fee) to create a high powered link for a keyword that matters a lot to our campaign (within the applicable industry)
However; when we reach out to a first-time-contact (which is often the case for many o four client projects) we’re often faced with a choice of allocating a small portion of the overall project budget to secure a backlink OR chance the campaign by simply asking for one for free.
It really depends on the mood of the person getting the email outreach, your credibility, first impression and more. (Ultimately, there are more factors than we can discuss here) Suffice it to say; it’s critical that you get this process down pat.
WHERE TO FIND HIGH QUALITY LINKS
There are thousands of places you can find high quality links to build out for your content. However; to keep things simple (because we all love simple!) we wanted to explore the use of BuzzSumo to find prospective links in addition to the use of SpyFu (our choice platform)
Using BuzzSumo, we can quickly see the highest ranking pieces of content for our target keyword. Ideally; in a perfect world we’d be able to get these top sites to link to our content within their top ranking content. However; this is often times a competitor (who is very unlikely to link out to a third party website….)
So it’s important to pay attention to what types of websites you’re reaching out to. Top 10 lists are a great place to start. These are often referred to as ‘link roundups’ – because they round up a bunch of relevant links and add them to a page.
You can explore the average monthly organic clicks, domain authority and keywords ranked on a page. But one of the most important features is the outbound links detected on a page.
*The more outbound links detected on a page – the more likely they are to be open to adding another one!
LAW FIRM SEO STRATEGY
When we create an action plan for law firm SEO, we want to make things perfectly clear… these are not guaranteed to improve your rankings. Nothing is. Google could change their entire ranking system tomorrow (or by the time you’re reading this) that render this entire strategy useless.
That’s why it’s so useful to be able to tap into an expert resource who’s always on top of these things. (Like our SEO Team!)
That way you don’t have to spend time:
- researching current SEO strategies
- Identifying valuable keywords
- implementing on-page SEO throughout your website
- Identify prospective link opportunities that can help rank your website
- execute an efficient outreach system to secure these links to improve your law firm SEO.
Nevertheless, we’re going to take away a step by step system that you can employ to rank your law firm higher without jumping through all sorts of unnecessary hoops. Keep in mind; this strategy is only as effective as the level to which you implement it (or have it implemented)
👉 IDENTIFY YOUR CURRENT KEYWORD OPPORTUNITIES:
Conduct a complete website analysis to identify the possible keyword opportunities that you can leverage to start ranking your website. These do not have to be highly searched keywords – ranking 1st for a keyword with 20 monthly searches is better than ranking 100th for a keyword that gets 2000.
👉 ON-PAGE OPTIMIZATION FOR IDENTIFIED OPPORTUNITIES:
Optimizing your law firm’s website to leverage your keyword opportunities begins with each page individually.
Sometimes, this can be as simple as changing a few headings to include the identified keyword – other times this can be building links out to these pages / content to more quickly increase your rankings in a less organic way as opposed to on-page optimization.
👉 EXPLORING RELATED KEYWORDS:
Relevancy is key when it comes to finding high value keywords related to your law firm. That’s why we focus heavily on related keywords that you may have overlooked and therefore aren’t leveraging the opportunities to rank.
This process takes a little more time (since you’re starting from scratch) with nothing more than your gathered data to guide you along. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.
It’s often the case that the initial 60-90 days of any SEO campaign are dedicated strictly towards mapping everything out and executing in a drip fashion. (To avoid penalties and to better gauge results)
👉 CREATING A RELEVANT CONTENT STRATEGY:
As we’ve mentioned multiple times throughout this extensive law firm SEO strategy – content is king. You want to have a lot of it!
But… beware of content for content-sake.
Each and every piece of data on your website – be it a database file or an image – headline or video MUST serve a purpose. It’s not worth the additional resource-usage that inevitably slow down your website and therefore damage your visitor experience.
*You don’t have to be a writer! You can hire experts (like us) or freelancers (on Fiverr / UpWork etc…) to write your content for you.
The main thing to keep in mind is that every piece of content should be aimed towards ranking for a specific keyword. (But not just any keyword – it should be a relevant keyword to your industry)
👉 LINK BUILDING CAMPAIGN:
There is no ‘magic number’ of links that you should build for your content and pages. More often than not, you’ll hear that you should ‘have more than the highest ranking sites on the SERPs’ – however this isn’t always true.
There are just too many factors that come into play.
Are their backlinks high quality? Spammy? Legitimate? What’s the domain authority of each backlink?
Should you spend your time going through and analyzing each and every backlink of each and every top ranking piece of content / website?
OF COURSE NOT.
Start off with 3-5 high quality links that you research very thoroughly and can guarantee / verify the quality. SpyFu is a great tool – however Ahrefs works incredibly well too!
👉 EXECUTE, TRACK AND ADAPT:
It’s not enough to get a system in place and let it go. You need to monitor everything.
See what people are searching for – how they behave when going through the results on the search engines. These are all important factors that can help you then make modifications to your law firm SEO strategy to get even better results over a much longer period of time.
We offer a minimum 12/mo. agreement with all of our SEO clients to better illustrate and execute the high powered systems in play within our innovative SEO strategies. Law firm SEO is especially time-dependent as there are a wide variety of factors to consider.
- – Areas of practice
- – Location
- – Rates / compensation
- – Search-intent
- – etc…
It’s definitely in your law firm’s best interest to invest heavily in the optimization of its website through a similar high performing law firm SEO strategy.
If you leverage the strategy above for your law firm SEO it’s very likely that you’ll get much higher rankings for your most valuable keywords.
You can do this on your own or hire a team of experts to do it for you. The main point is; you need to do this for your law firm. With the rise of Facebook page restrictions, more and more social media limitations – having an ecosystem that you control completely and can influence its exposure is critical to sustaining your law firm.