SEO for Lawyers

You have a strong legal practice. You have the credentials and the experience. You may even have the right team in place.

But what’s your law firm SEO & marketing strategy?

If you’re like most lawyers, marketing has always been a secondary consideration, and reasonably so; practicing the law can and should be your top priority. But if you want a reliable way to generate new leads and clients, you’ll need to think about how you market your law firm.

And one of the best ways to market your law firm is with search engine optimization (SEO).

What exactly is search engine optimization for lawyers? And how can you put together the best strategy?

SEO for Lawyers: What Is Attorney SEO?

We’ll start with some of the basics. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a way of changing and growing your law firm’s website so it’s more likely to rank highly for relevant keyword searches. When prospective clients conduct searches relevant to your law firm, they’ll see a list of organic search results generated; your goal in SEO is making sure your law firm is at the top of the list.

There are many key elements you’ll need in place to accomplish this, since Google has more than 200 ranking factors that it considers when arranging results. That’s a lot to keep in mind, but most strategies and tactics can be boiled down to one or more of the following categories:

What is Attorney SEO?

Onsite technical optimization. 

Google preferentially ranks websites that perform well from a technical perspective. It wants its search engine users to find law firm websites that load correctly, quickly, and securely. Accordingly, if you want to maximize your chances of ranking high for your target keywords, you’ll need to practice onsite technical optimization. That means streamlining your site, testing it to make sure it’s working properly, and optimizing its performance for various devices and browsers. Thankfully, much of this work can be done up front; it doesn’t require much ongoing effort from you.

Onsite content

You’ll also need to think about your onsite content. Onsite content helps to build the authority of your website, which increases your likelihood of ranking for a wide variety of different terms. This content is also a great opportunity to optimize for specific keywords and phrases. By focusing on topics and titles that are highly relevant to your target audience, you can maximize your chances of getting to rank one for valuable terms.

Offsite optimization and links

Even with excellent onsite content, your site probably isn’t going to rank unless you also have offsite optimization support. Google and other search engines evaluate your domain’s trustworthiness, or authority, based on several offsite factors, including how many websites are linking to yours and the relative strength of those links.Accordingly, your strategy needs to include persistent link building efforts, offsite content development, and even the cultivation of good reviews on review sites.

The Value of SEO for Lawyers

Why is SEO so valuable for lawyers and law firms?

For the most part, it’s valuable for lawyers for the same reasons that it’s valuable for other individuals and organizations.

Reputational value

Getting your law firm featured at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) is a massive win for your reputation as a lawyer. You’ll be seen as more of an authority, you’ll generate more visibility and brand familiarity, and you’ll enjoy those benefits for years to come if you’re able to hold those positions.

Lead generation

Attorney search engine optimization is one of the most effective strategies for lawyer lead generation. It’s even more effective when combined with other lead generation strategies, allowing you to cultivate prospects from many different angles and from specific target demographics.

Reputational value

 Getting your law firm featured at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) is a massive win for your reputation as a lawyer. You’ll be seen as more of an authority, you’ll generate more visibility and brand familiarity, and you’ll enjoy those benefits for years to come if you’re able to hold those positions.

Lead generation

Search engine optimization is one of the most effective strategies for lawyer lead generation. It’s even more effective when combined with other lead generation strategies, allowing you to cultivate prospects from many different angles and from specific target demographics.

Support for other strategies

Another advantage of SEO is that it plays well with other strategies. In fact, it needs support from other strategies and lends support to those strategies simultaneously. When working together, search optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and other strategies all synergize with each other and enhance each other.

Cost effectiveness

Some lawyers love SEO as a marketing strategy because of its cost effectiveness. When calculating ROI, you’ll usually find that the benefits of this strategy far outweigh the costs. Even if you’re shelling out a few thousand dollars per month for a law firm, you should more than make up for what you spend if you pursue this strategy long-term.


Long-term value

One of the weaknesses of SEO is that it takes some time to get up and running; You probably won’t see meaningful results in the first month, and your momentum will be sluggish for the first few months beyond that. However, what SEO lacks in immediate speed it makes up for in long-term value. All the assets you create for your brand are functionally permanent, meaning they’ll continue to generate value for you indefinitely. And as the authority of your website increases, it’s going to get easier and easier to rank for the keywords you’re targeting.

Why SEO Is an Ideal Marketing Strategy for Lawyers

There are dozens of different marketing and advertising strategies available for lawyers, from traditional radio and TV ads to social media marketing. Why should you choose search engine optimization over all of them?

We covered some of the general benefits of SEO in an earlier section, so let’s see how it stacks up against some of the other effective strategies available to you.

Social media marketing is free, but there’s a strict upper limit to how much organic reach you can generate using these platforms. While scalable, social media management also gets expensive if you’re paying for exposure. Plus, it takes just as much time and effort to scale up a social media strategy as it does to scale up a search optimization strategy.

Pay per click (PPC) advertising is extremely useful for early momentum, since you can immediately generate traffic if you’re willing to pay for each click. It’s also an indispensable strategy for targeting specific audiences, and it can serve as a shortcut for topping the SERPs (though your entry will be marked as an ad). The real downside is that PPC ads don’t scale as well as SEO, so SEO is typically better in the long term.

Email marketing is a very inexpensive way to reach an audience you’ve already built. But if you’re trying to reach new people, you’ll need a way to generate more organic traffic and visibility.

Keep in mind that practicing SEO doesn’t mean you have to avoid other marketing and advertising strategies. In fact, the benefits of SEO are enhanced when you use it synergistically with other marketing approaches.

Keyword Research and SEO Strategy for Lawyers

One of the first steps you’ll take when preparing a search optimization strategy for your law firm is conducting keyword research. Essentially, your job here is to find strategic keywords to target as part of your campaign. With better keywords, you’ll be more likely to reach the right audiences, you’ll generate more total traffic, and you’ll spend less time and money doing it.

Initially, you can generate keyword ideas based on your intuition and based on interactions you’ve had with your clients and prospects in the past. After that, you’ll need to rely on research tools to generate more objective data.


Good keywords have three qualities in common. They’re highly relevant to both your audience and your brand. They’re high in search volume, meaning lots of people search for them on a regular basis. And they’re low in competition, meaning there are a few other businesses competing to rank for these keywords.

This is a tricky balance to find, since high volume keywords tend to attract significant competitors. Do your best to juggle these variables and find the best targets for your brand.

Content Marketing and Onsite Optimization for Lawyer SEO

Many search optimizers insist that the true heart of SEO is written content – and that’s largely still true.

Writing optimized content for your website helps you accomplish several things simultaneously. You’ll build the authority of your site, you’ll introduce new pages that can rank and start generating traffic for your brand, and you’ll have the opportunity to pepper in strategic keywords whenever and wherever you need them.

When developing onsite content, you’ll also need to think about factors like page titles, meta descriptions, alt tags for your images, and other secondary considerations.

If you develop high quality content often enough, and if that content is strategically optimized, you should have no trouble generating momentum for your search optimization strategy. You’ll see even better results if you spend time and effort promoting your best work, attracting more traffic and building your reputation in other ways.

Offsite Optimization and Link Building for Lawyers

Unfortunately, onsite content alone typically isn’t enough to build the authority necessary to reach rank one for competitive keywords. For that, you’ll need to generate more authority in other ways.

The offsite side of the equation gives you an opportunity to do this. Google frowns upon rank manipulation, so you’ll need to be careful here; simply spamming links or mentions of your brand across the web is likely to get you penalized. Instead, you need to introduce links pointing back to your website as naturally and relevantly as possible.

The primary strategy most players use in this approach is offsite guest posting. By featuring your content on external publishers and linking back to your main website, you’ll generate referral traffic, increase the visibility of your brand, and boost your domain authority in the process.

Local SEO for Lawyers

Many lawyers and law firms also benefit from practicing local SEO specifically. For the most part, local SEO is the same as national SEO, with the key distinction being that local SEO focuses on one city, state, or area. With more specific geographic targeting, you’ll have far less competition and more relevance to your target audience. In other words, you’ll save money and generate more specifically relevant leads for your business.

In addition to following best practices for general SEO, local SEO requires you to optimize local reviews, earn more local citations, manage your Google Business Profile, and more.

Hiring a Lawyer SEO Firm

There are many ways to pursue search optimization for your law firm. You can try to do the work yourself or hire contractors to do it, but it’s usually better to hire a lawyer SEO firm – an SEO agency that specializes in helping lawyers and law firms.

These are some of the advantages in doing so:

Expertise and authority

Venturing into the world of SEO for the first time can be overwhelming and intimidating. There’s a lot to learn and there are many ways that your strategy can go wrong. When you work with a dedicated SEO firm, you’ll have a team of experts and authoritative leaders who can answer your questions definitively, guide your strategies, and reliably resolve any problems you encounter along the way.

Resources for all strategic elements

If you work with contractors, you may be forced to find many different people with different specialties to help you conquer all the strategic elements of an SEO campaign. But when you work with a lawyer SEO firm, you’ll have access to resources for all necessary strategic elements. In other words, you’ll have access to keyword researchers, content writers, publisher relationship specialists, data analysts, and all the other personnel you need to make your strategy work.


Ongoing consulting and direction

 Do you want to switch up your keyword selection? Are you ready to adjust your content direction? Do you have questions or concerns about where your campaign is headed? When working with an SEO firm, you’ll have access to ongoing consulting and direction, so you feel more confident about your decisions.

Flexible, scalable strategies 

Whether you’re just starting out with a small plan or you’re interested in rapidly expanding on a national level, SEO firms typically support the flexible, scalable packages you need. You can keep adding resources and scaling up your strategy as your business grows.


What to Expect: Your Attorney SEO Strategy

What does a proper law firm SEO strategy look like for the typical attorney practice?

While every case is unique, the general process looks something like this:

Brainstorming and planning

You’ll start by brainstorming and planning. Who are your target demographics? Who are your top competitors? What are you trying to accomplish with this campaign? What is your budget? Which keywords do you think are most relevant to your law firm? This phase is especially helpful if you’re working with an SEO agency who can help you ask the right questions and answer them intelligently.

Keyword research

Next, you’ll work on keyword research. What are the specific keywords and phrases that your target audience is likely to use when searching for a law firm like yours? Ideally, you’ll select a range of keywords that support decent traffic volume while still being low in competition.


Competitive analysis

 It’s also a good idea to conduct a competitive analysis, so you understand who your top competitors are in the SERPs – and generate strategies for how to topple them. Outranking competitors by even a single rank is valuable.

Initial optimization efforts

At this point, you’ll be ready to begin initial optimization efforts, overhauling your law firm website from a technical SEO perspective, tweaking your existing content, and generating new content. You’ll also need to build links, cultivate reviews, and practice elements of local SEO if relevant.

Early results

During your first few weeks, you’re unlikely to see significant measurable results. But remain patient; if you use this strategy correctly, you should begin to see some momentum after a few months of effort.

Momentum and progress

 As you get some feedback from the data you generate, you’ll be in a position to optimize your strategy further. You can stop putting effort toward keywords you’re already dominating, cycle in new attractive keywords, alter your content development strategy, and scale up your link building. As you keep making changes and pushing your momentum forward, you’ll see more and more progress.


Law Firm SEO Services

Measurement and analysis

Throughout this process, you’ll need to carefully measure and analyze your results, generating reports so you know which of your tactics are most effective and which ones are falling flat. You’ll need to keep making tweaks and adjustments to your efforts to stay in line with your data analytics.

Do you need help with your search engine optimization strategy? Do you want to use the power of search engines to fuel your law firm’s lead generation strategy? Are you looking to unify your digital marketing presence and see better results? You’re in the right place. Contact us for a free consultation today!