29 Top Strategies for Law Firm SEO (Actionable Steps)

Are you looking to revamp your law firm’s website?

Your website is not generating any leads?

You are considering ramping up your online presence to dominate your legal niche?

No matter what your intention, we have you covered!

In this article we will provide you with 29 proven Law Firm SEO techniques to implement in order to turbo-charge your law firm’s online presence and rank on page one of search engines like Google. We will go over each technique one by one so you can immediately start using them. 

This is crucial for your law firm as more than 97% of consumers turn to Google to look for products and services, including legal services.

Make sure you read the entire article and use it as your blueprint to implement your law firm SEO strategy.

In this article we will cover the following topics:

  1. What is SEO for law firms?
  2. Build a stronger online brand using SEO strategies
  3. Why is SEO the best client acquisition strategy for law firms?
  4. Deep dive into 29 top strategies for law firm SEO
    1. Website optimization techniques
      1. Assess your online assets and define your strategy
      2. Compare yourself to your competitors
      3. Optimize your existing website pages
      4. Increase your site loading speed
      5. Add videos and media to your page
      6. Make your site mobile friendly
    2. Keyword strategies
      1. Do your keyword research
      2. Select your keywords based on intent
      3. Target low competition keywords as well
      4. Optimize your local search SEO
    3. Content strategies
      1. Create a user-centric content
      2. Create pages about your areas of practice
      3. Create an amazing home page
      4. Provide great legal content to your users
      5. Create content with sufficient word count
      6. Create your SEO-friendly content
      7. Build missing SEO pages
      8. Organize your website content
    4. Link strategies
      1. Get rid of 400 errors
      2. Remove zombie pages
      3. Create amazing internal links
      4. Link to authoritative websites
      5. Build backlinks for SEO
    5. Finishing touch strategies
      1. Get user to give you reviews
      2. Leverage the authority of other websites
      3. Link to other legal resources
      4. Get your SSL certificate
    6. Monitoring and review strategies
      1. Measure your SEO performance
      2. Reassess your SEO strategy
  5. Conclusion

Let’s dive in.

1- What is SEO for law firms?

Law Firm SEO

Law firm search engine optimization (Law Firm SEO) is a process through which a law firm devises and implements SEO strategies and best practices on their website so they can better rank on search engines. Law firm SEO is a strategic online marketing tactic allowing law firms to leverage their website for client acquisition purposes. 

What does this mean in simple terms?

It means: you better make sure you do this!!!

Law firm SEO is a powerful way for you to turn your website into a 24/7 salesperson and generate a continual stream of leads to your firm. Who wouldn’t love that…

2- Build a stronger online brand using SEO strategies 

Law Firm SEO

By developing an awesome website and employing amazing law firm SEO strategies will complement your law firm’s brand strategy.

If you don’t have a brand strategy, then this can be a great way to start your law firm’s online branding.

A user coming onto your website will judge your law firm’s credibility within the first thirty seconds of being on your site. 

Web credibility is for real!

If you succeed at delivering a powerful message right out the gate, you significantly increase your chances of converting the customer.

To get a user on your site, you need to implement outstanding search engine optimization techniques to get your website to rank on the first page of search engine page results. 

Get on the first page, get more business. That’s how it goes…

3- Why is SEO the best client acquisition strategy for law firms?

Law Firm SEO

For the longest time, law firms stuck to traditional ways of finding new clients. Today my friend, that’s no longer a good strategy.

Yellow Pages used to make amazing print phone directories and sell advertisements. Would you agree that that’s no longer the proper strategy today? 

We are not saying that just like Yellow Pages’ obsolete business model that the law firm’s traditional client acquisition techniques are obsolete, far from that. Many lawyers are successfully driving their business in the good old fashioned way!

What we are proposing to you so for you to create a new and complementary client acquisition strategy, online. Having a website drive leads is a long-term and recession-proof client acquisition strategy!

Let’s use your website as a powerful lead generating machine.

74% of consumers visit a law firm’s website before contacting them and taking any type of action.

In the next section, we will do a full and comprehensive review of 29 law firm SEO techniques to turbo-charge your business…

Let’s get cracking.

4- Deep dive into 29 top strategies for law firm SEO 

Law Firm SEO

In this section, we have done a thorough analysis of the search engine optimization strategies that your law firm should employ to dominate your niche and bolster your online presence.

We have categorized these techniques in four categories as follows:

  1. Website optimization techniques
  2. Keyword strategies
  3. Content strategies
  4. Link strategies
  5. Finishing touch strategies
  6. Monitoring and review strategies 

You will love every single one of these strategies and we’re excited to go over them…

A. Website optimization techniques

Law Firm SEO

Website optimization techniques are actions and steps you must take directly on your website from a structure, design and architecture perspective to optimize your law firm’s online SEO.

If you want to win at a Formula 1 race, you are not going to take your family van to win the race. The competition is fierce out there.

You need your own super-charged Formula 1 race car to beat the others. A properly designed and well-architectured website will be your Formula 1 car to drive you to the finish line first and put you on the first organic listing on Google.

i. Assess your online assets and define your strategy

To start this process, you need to define your SEO strategy.

Do you already have a website? Does it have an awesome design? Is it up-to-date? Do you have a webmaster or someone in charge of your website? On what platform did you build the website? Is it scalable?

These are some of the initial questions that you must ask yourself to understand the online assets that you already have and that you can immediately leverage.

You will need to define your strategy. 

What is your law firm SEO objective? Why are you doing this? Are you looking for immediate results? Will you put in the effort for many months to make it work? What’s your commitment to this process?

Let us be clear.

A search engine optimization strategy is not one that you work on for one week and abandon afterward.

You must work on it, keep working on it and continue to work on it. That’s what it takes.

ii. Compare yourself to your competitors

Time to find out who are your online competitors!

You must do a thorough search online in your legal niche and learn about the other lawyers and law firms competing in the same space as you.

Are you offering legal services locally, nationally, internationally? Assess your competitors based on your business model. Do you offer legal services in many areas of practice or only a few? 

Take the time to do your research so you know exactly who you are competing with. Who is appearing on the first page of Google when you do a keyword search in your line of business?

For example, if you do a search for “Business Lawyer Montreal”, which business law firms will appear on the first page of Google for searches targeting the city of Montreal? To broaden your search, you can do “Business Lawyer” to see who is appearing on the first page of Google for this broader search keyword.

Once you have defined your primary competitors, you’ll need to analyze their website and see what makes them stand out. Try to understand why Google is ranking them number one on Google.

Make a list of strategies they have deployed that you believe has helped them achieve a high ranking on Google. You’ll need to include all of that in your own law firm SEO strategy.

iii. Optimize your existing website pages

If you already have a website, you need to make sure that each page of your website is properly optimized for search engine optimization.

Every page should have a solid title and a captivating meta description. This is what a user will see on the search engine results page (SERP) when they do a Google search. 

Which pages of your website are currently doing well? Which ones can you make better? Which ones should you get rid of?

You can deploy both on-page SEO and off-page SEO techniques to optimize your website pages.

iv. Increase your site loading speed

Your site must load fast both for desktop users and mobile users. If your site does not load fast, you are sure to lose a significant part of your traffic. This is not acceptable.

You work hard to build a great website and deploy all the right SEO techniques, if your site does not load well, then the user will be lost, potentially forever.

It’s like you open a boutique, offer the best product out there, your boutique looks beautiful from the outside and the inside, but if your door is locked or when someone walks in, it takes time for your client to be served, you will lose business.

You can go to Google PageSpeed Insights and test the loading speed of your website for both desktop and mobile. Google will give you some recommendations to improve your site speed.

Implement Google’s recommendations!!

Don’t be the one losing good business!

v. Add videos and media to your page

Adding media to your web pages will help boost your ranking on search engines. Linking to a video, adding useful and descriptive pictures or infographics will help the user coming on your page and therefore Google will give you a rankings boost.

Have your web designer create clean pages and make use of a sufficient number of images and videos to convey the message you are intending to convey.

Don’t overdo it as Google’s algorithms will detect that you are overdoing something and penalize you.

vi. Make your site mobile friendly 

Your website MUST, ABSOLUTELY MUST (sorry for the capital letters) be designed for mobile. A mobile-first design is therefore crucial for your law firm SEO strategy.

Today, more searches are being done by users on their mobile devices than on desktop. If you are not on the mobile bandwagon, you might very well lose the fight and the battle. 

Your website must be responsive and designed in such a way that the pages are properly displayed on a mobile device of any screen size.

Law firm websites that offer mobile-friendly experience to their users are surely ahead of the game.

B. Keyword strategies

Law Firm SEO

Moving along in our law firm SEO strategy review, we will now deal with your keyword strategies.

i. Do your keyword research

Based on your legal practice areas of expertise, do your keyword research for SEO to see the best keywords that you should target.

If you are a business lawyer in the City of Montreal, you may want to look at the following keywords:

  • Business lawyer
  • Experienced business lawyer
  • Business lawyer in Montreal
  • Business law firm
  • Top business law firm in Montreal

As you can see, you are targeting variations of your primary keyword: business lawyer or business law firm

Make a short list of the primary keywords that you consider relevant to your law firm areas of practice.

ii. Select your keywords based on intent 

When you are looking for your keywords, make sure you consider the search intent behind the keyword.

There are a few intentions that are notable when someone does a search on Google for instance:

  • Informational intent
  • Navigational intent
  • Transactional intent
  • Commercial intent

Informational intent is someone just looking for information such as “largest law firm in the world”, “global law firms” etc. 

Navigational intent is someone who types a keyword to direct him or her to a precise website like: “facebook”, “twitter”, “Baker McKenzie”, “Morrison Foerster”.

Transactional intent is when the user is looking to purchase a product and they know what they want. For instance: “affordable business lawyer” or “business lawyer near me”. 

Commercial intent is when the user is looking for a specific product or service but still needs to make a decision about it. They will do a search like: “business lawyer reviews”, “experienced business lawyers”.

iii. Target low competition keywords as well

To complement the primary keywords that you want to target, make sure you select a few low competition keywords or keywords that do not have a high search volume but are highly targeted.

Long-tail keywords can provide you with much higher conversion rates than head keyword terms

A head term can be “lawyer” or “business lawyer” and a long-tail can be “business lawyer for commercial contracts”. As you can tell, the head terms will have a lot of volume but the intent is not clear. Is the user looking for information, looking to buy or transact? We don’t know.

With the long-tail keyword however, you can really tell that the user has the intention to find a business lawyer particularly for their commercial contract. 

The transactional intent is clear and could be a profitable keyword to pursue.

iv. Optimize your local search SEO

Optimize your local SEO search.

A significant portion of users searching online are looking for a local business or service provider. 

So if you have a great local SEO strategy, you will reap the benefits accordingly. Local SEO will get you on top of search engine pages for local service areas.

You must therefore ensure you go to your Google My Business and claim your account and business. With that, you will optimize your local SEO results.

C. Content strategies

Law Firm SEO

Moving along to our content strategy for optimizing your law firm SEO.

Your website is fundamentally to communicate with your clients and prospects. You must have awesome content and super useful for the users visiting your website.

Your content strategy will be at the heart of your law firm SEO success.

62% of legal searches are non-branded searches, such as “business lawyer Montreal”, “best business lawyer” or “affordable business lawyer”.

i. Create a user-centric content 

Your website must have top-notch and user-centric content.

We have written this page by speaking directly to you. This is a user-centric approach to our content strategy.

It feels so much more personal to speak to you in the way we are doing now than to speak a neutral way.

Consider this example: “by working with our lawyers, our client will be in good hands” or “by working with us, you will be in good hand”. 

We are conveying the same message, but they don’t quite feel the same.

Writing in such a way that you are personally speaking to your user is a much greater technique.

ii. Create pages about your areas of practice 

Create web pages where you clearly provide details about your areas of practice.

If you are a business lawyer, talk about your experience, what services you offer, your pricing. Think about the questions your prospects will have and address them directly.

You can talk about offering contract review and drafting services, you could talk about your commitment to quality and speed of execution.

Let the user clearly understand what you do and why is your value proposition.

iii. Create an amazing home page

Creating a knock-out home page is crucial.

Your law firm’s credibility as a whole will be judged by the user navigating your website, particularly your home page.

Your home page should be clean, well-presented and informative. Your call to action should be clear, the navigation menus orderly and logical and the user should be able to access the relevant pages of your website within seconds.

Your home page should have a modern design and convey your law firm’s brand image. 

Make sure you beat your competition in this area.

iv. Provide great legal content to your users

Your website should have an FAQ section or a blog where you transmit useful information to your users.

Some users will come to your site to inquire about a specific legal question.

If you have a blog, you can write about legal subjects that you enjoy and that will help your user.

For example, a business lawyer could write about the best practices in drafting a commercial contract or content that will educate the user with respect to an indemnification clause.

A blog will increase your chances of ranking on search engines by 434%, this is nuts!!

v. Create content with sufficient word count

Your pages should have a sufficient number of word count to help search engines rank you. There is an optimal number of word count that will rank better in Google.

This is not about keyword stuffing where you keep repeating the same keyword a million times. We are talking about you taking a topic and thoroughly address it.

As you can see, this article is about law firm SEO. We spent a lot of time and effort in researching the law firm SEO topic and writing about it.

We are providing you with a full and comprehensive guide going over all the SEO tactics that you can deploy.

Studies show that articles with over 1,890 words tend to rank better than shorter articles

This is how you can thoroughly cover a topic on your website.

vi. Create your SEO-friendly content 

Create your content so that search engines can find you.

Through a blog, you can write content on a daily basis or at a regular interval. A blog will drastically increase your chances of ranking higher on Google.

People like to do their searches online before making a decision or to try to find answers to their problems. 

Someone who wants to work on a commercial contract will probably search on Google on how to write or draft a commercial contract and the best practices. 

If they are unable to do the job, they will then look for a lawyer to do the job.

Make sure you have SEO-friendly content where you pinpoint user questions and problems and provide a clear and useful response.

vii. Build missing SEO pages

If you have pages missing, you need to make sure you build them.

For example, if you are offering business law services, you want to have a page for the services you offer regarding commercial contracts, company incorporation and corporate maintenance. 

These are all different services that require to have their own dedicated page where you present to the user your service offerings.

viii. Organize your website content 

Organize your website content so that a user can easily navigate your entire site without getting lost.

Make sure that your user can find a few critical pages: your home page, your service or offering page and your contact page.

There should be a logical connection between these pages.

For example, if a user comes onto your website by finding useful content on your blog, from there, you want to be able to direct the user to your service offering page and from there to your contact page.

In three clicks, your user will be in a position to call or email your law firm.

D. Link strategies 

Law Firm SEO

We are doing great. We’ve covered several key and major areas regarding a law firm’s SEO strategy.

We are now going to look at the link strategies such as internal link building, external link building, anchor links and so on.

Let’s do this…

i. Get rid of 400 errors

The first thing that you need to do is to get rid of 400 errors.

What do we mean by this?

A 400 error is an error that your website will render when your page is temporarily or permanently no longer available.  A 400 error is a band request response where your request to access the web page cannot be processed.

You need to make sure that every page indexed in search engines leads to an active and operational page of your website.

With 400 errors, a user will quickly exit your website resulting in a high bounce rate signaling to Google that users do not see relevance or value with your website and are leaving very quickly.

This will penalize you from a ranking perspective.

ii. Remove zombie pages

Remove all the pages on your website that bring little to no traffic. 

These pages are zombie pages and their track-record and performance are significantly below par. Why keep these pages?

You should not have a bloated website with hundreds of useless pages. Instead, what search engines love to see is a website offering their users the best experience and value.

This means, if Google has rendered your page a zombie page, this is a clear signal that Google does not appreciate that page nor the Google search users.

Zombie pages hurt your SEO.

Get rid of the zombie pages and refurbish the content.

iii. Create amazing internal links

Make sure your website provides valuable internal links to users therefore elevating the overall user experience.

Don’t throw internal links left and right! Make strategic decisions about which pages you internally link to.

Internal linking will help with your page ranking on Google. If you have an important page about your services and offerings, you should have several pages within your website that point to that offerings page.

Your goal is to lead the user to quickly get to know who you are, direct them to your offerings to prove to them that you are the best lawyer in town and them give them all the channels possible to reach out to you, contact form, phone number, 800 number, email, chat, you name it.

iv. Link to authoritative websites

In your website content strategy, you should strive to write about your area of expertise so you can acquire a level of authority on search engines.

You want Google to recognize you as an authority in your area of practice.

To demonstrate that you have authority, you should link to external authoritative websites for good SEO like law associations, law society websites, legal studies, law school and universities and credible organizations that write specialized content.

By linking to authoritative websites, Google could tell that you know what you are talking about and that your topic was well researched.

v. Build backlinks for SEO

Building backlinks is also considered to be an important SEO strategy.

Backlinks are other websites, hopefully authoritative websites with high domain scores, linking to your website and content.

The more you have the world wide web link to your page, the more Google gives you a rankings boost as the backlinks signal that your page is liked and appreciated.

Depending on your niche, you may or may not need to break your head or the bank in acquiring backlinks.

From our perspective, if you provide quality content to the users, your users will naturally share your web page with others who may eventually link to it.

If your legal niche is not very competitive you may get away without having a robust backlinking strategy.

If your legal niche is highly competitive, you should then consider adopting strategies to have others link out to you. Try sharing your content on social media and through email marketing so you maximize the number of people that see your content.

E. Finishing touch strategies 

Law Firm SEO

Wow, you have read this article and are still sticking around!! This means that you are dead serious about your law firm SEO, so exciting.

In this segment, we will cover some additional law firm SEO strategies to fuel your online presence and get you to rank on the first page of Google and other search engines.

i. Get user to give you reviews 

Depending on your local law society rules governing the way you can market and advertise, you may be authorized to show client reviews on your website.

In some jurisdictions, like in the Province of Quebec in Canada, the law society prohibits law firms from putting user reviews on their website. If you do not have this limitation, make sure you show user reviews.

Social proof is one sure and solid way for other users to trust you.

We are always curious about how others felt when they worked with you. Are your other clients happy when engaging with you or paying you for your services or did they run out of your office as fast as they entered. Your user wants to know.

You have many websites out there that rank lawyers and offer reviews like lawyerratingz.com or bestlawyers.com. These guys are thriving as people are hungry to find out who they will be dealing with.

Users will try to look up your law firm online and read about your reviews before making a decision to hire you. If you think this is not the case, you are just fooling yourself.

This strategy should not be overlooked as 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation

ii. Leverage the authority of other websites

Leverage the authority of other websites so you can rank better on Google.

This is called the Barnacle SEO strategy as you latch onto someone’s name, authority or fame in order to promote your own.

If you are a business lawyer and you want to increase your own visibility, you may want to consider other famous lawyers out there in a different niche who have notoriety and leverage them to show up on Google.

So if someone does a Google search for “Robert Shapiro”, one of OJ Simpson’s lawyers involved in one of the most famous legal cases in history, you may want to leverage this keyword search to have your own webpage appear on Google’s ranking.

This strategy will give you more visits to your website and potentially increase your conversions. 

iii. Link to other legal resources

When you link your website to other legal resources and authority websites that will further help the user answer a specific question or better understand the legal consequence of a certain topic, you will increase your ranking on search engine results.

If Google sees that many users come to your site and through your site are moving to other sites, it signals that the information you have the user was useful enough to make them click on that link. 

As a result, Google will give you a few brownie points for that good user experience.

iv. Get your SSL certificate

An SSL certificate, or Secure Socket Layer certificate, is a standard security technology establishing a secure and encrypted connection between your web server and your browser.

You will typically see the padlock icon appearing on your web browser showing that the link is secure.

Also, the link will start with “HTTPS” as opposed to just “HTTP”. The “S” is to show it is secure.

Consider that 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses. If you are operating a smaller law firm, you will be likely attached at some point or another. Be prepared.

Having SSL on your website should be an important part of your law firm SEO.

F. Monitoring and review strategies 

Law Firm SEO

In this section, we will look at how you monitor the SEO results of your law firm and adjust yourself, tweak things around, bank on your success and steer your website in the right direction.

i. Measure your SEO performance

You will want to measure your SEO performance to assess if you are on the right track or not.

Using tools like Google Analytics is a great place to start to track your website performance indicators such as your rankings, traffic volume, page views and leads.

Google Analytics will provide you tons of useful information about your website that you can monitor and measure.

Make sure you use all the Google Analytics feature to understand your site users and track your website’s performance.

ii. Reassess your SEO strategy 

When you have implemented all the useful strategies we’ve talked about and monitored your results, consider making tweaks here and there.

Try out new page layouts, different types of internal linking, change your content around and monitor how well your site users will respond.

SEO is an iterative process where you try something, wait for the results to come in, assess and tweak again.

The cycle goes something like: strategize, implement, track results, assess and repeat.

5- Conclusion

Law Firm SEO

Here you have it.

29 essential SEO tactics for law firms and lawyers.

We hope that you can use this article as your blueprint to optimize your website, build your online presence and dominate your niche.

Increase your profitability through the best law firm website optimized for SEO!!

Does your law firm website generate a satisfactory volume of leads? Have you implemented some SEO strategies for law firm websites? What was your experience?

We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment!