One of the benefits to working with law firms over the years is the insights we’ve gained into effective content strategies that get pages ranked in search, even for their most competitive keyword phrases and practice areas.
Law firm websites are typically made up of the following structure:
- core practice area pages (personal injury, DUI, criminal defense, etc…)
- admin pages (homepage, free case evaluations, attorney profiles, etc…).
And the pages that most law firms are interested in getting ranked in Google are their core practice area pages.
For example, if you are a personal injury law firm in Chicago, then you probably have landing pages optimized for the following keyword phrases (as an example):
- Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
- Chicago Brain Injury Attorney
- Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
- Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
For each of these landing pages, your goal would be to rank in Google for their related keyword phrases, as this is what would drive the highest quality traffic and new business to your law firm website.
The problem is, for each of these core keyword phrases, the search results are highly competitive as many other law firms are also fighting for top rankings in Google.
So how can your law firm differentiate itself in the search results, get higher rankings in Google, and ultimately attract increasing amounts of high quality traffic to your law firm’s website?
Here are some tips to remember when building out your core practice area landing pages within your law firm website.
Learn more about how your law firm can compete in search for your hyper competitive keyword phrases.
1) 1:1 relationship between targeted practice area and landing page
If your law firm wants to rank in Google for “Chicago Car Accident Lawyer”, then you need a landing page designated to this specific topic. The search results are entirely too competitive for you to combine multiple practice areas on one landing page and expect to compete.
This means, for each targeted practice area, you need one designated landing page optimized for that practice area.
This would include your title tag, description tag, and all on-page content being highly focused on that one specific topic or keyword phrase. And not just repeating that keyword phrase over and over again, as this would been seen as keyword stuffing, but creating a high quality, well researched page of content centered on the topic. Taking this approach would naturally create a high quality page of content, and Google would see your keyword phrase in the meta data and use that as the signal for ranking.
We’ve worked with many law firm clients who optimize their homepage for many different practice areas. As such, they struggle to gain any substantial traction or presence in the search results. Or they create a personal injury landing page and attempt to optimize many different sub-practice areas within that one page.
For example, we’ve seen law firm websites with a personal injury landing page attempt to rank for car accident lawyer, personal injury lawyer, and brain injury lawyer, all within the same page of content.
This approach will dramatically dilute your topical relevance for any one practice area. Which is why they struggle to gain any substantial amount of traction and rankings for their most valuable keyword phrases.
The most effective approach is to create a 1:1 relationship between your targeted practice area (core keyword phrase) and landing page.
2) Word count for practice area landing pages
One of the more interesting studies on the relationship between content length and position rankings in Google came from Serp IQ who analyzed the top 10 search results for over 20,000 keyword phrases. They found that the top 3 search results in Google all shared a common trait, which is a word count / content length of at least 2,400 words. Here’s a screenshot from their research (via Quicksprout):
Notice the correlation between word count and rankings in Google.
I decided to do my own test with legal practice area related keyword phrases, and for the top ranking law firms have a similar correlation.
For the keyword phrase “car accident lawyer”, as an example, the law firm Morgan & Morgan had the #1 ranking in Google with this page.
The word count on this page is only 946 words, which is far less than the 2,400 words as the optimal content length from the Serp IQ research.
Another highly ranked page from Morgan & Morgan for this keyword phrase is their non geo-targeted page here.
This page has a word count of 1,873 words. Again, far short of the optimal 2,400 words.
What I see from the Morgan & Morgan example, as it relates to the research from Serp IQ, is the huge opportunity for law firms to rank in Google who produce landing pages consisting of at least 2,400 words.
Contact Bipper Media today to learn more about producing high quality law firm content & landing page optimization
But for each of the pages mentioned from Morgan & Morgan, even though the content length is much shorter than 2,400 words, the content consists of 100% unique, high quality, well researched content.
So you want to avoid producing content for the sake of achieving a certain word. Including filler content for the purposes of word count would easily be detected by Google and would ultimately work against you in the rankings.
But if you produced at least 2,400 words of high quality, well researched content around a specific practice area, your landing page would be very difficult to beat in the search results.
3) Silo structures for law firm websites & practice area landing pages
Finally, creating one page of content for a specific practice area that’s at least 2,400 words in length may not be enough to drive you into the top rankings of Google search results. You may need some help from supporting pages within your law firm website.
This is where the concept of siloing comes in to help elevate the relevance of your practice area landing page and help Google understand which page specifically to rank for any given keyword phrase.
The silo strategy is designed to emphasize a core landing page in search through the use of related sub-pages within your law firm website.
Here’s an example of a silo structure designed to emphasize a landing page targeting “Chicago Car Accident Lawyer”:
- Main landing page for Chicago car accident lawyer
- supporting page 1
- supporting page 2
- supporting page 3
The main landing page represent the page your law firm wants to rank for the keyword phrase “Chicago Car Accident Lawyer”.
The supporting pages are additional pages of content that provide support to emphasize your main landing page.
From an internal linking structure perspective, which is where the term “Silo” comes from, each of your supporting pages will link up to your main landing page, and link diagonally across to each supporting landing page.
So your main landing page would be a stand alone page.
Your supporting pages would each have a link pointing up to your main landing page.
And each supporting page would have an additional link that ties all supporting pages together.
Here’s a quick sketch I put together to help illustrate this concept of siloing:
As you can see, the emphasis is on the main landing page with each supporting page providing internal linking to help increase the relevance and authority around the targeted keyword phrase on the main page.
Also notice how the main landing page is not linking down to the supporting pages. The supporting pages link up to the main landing page and then across to one another.
This creates a substantial amount of relevance and bouyancey to the main landing page as Google will see the highly organized internal linking structure and place the majority of the emphasis on the main landing page.
Want to learn more about optimizing your law firm website and core practice area landing pages for search? Contact us today for a free analysis.