Local SEO for Lawyers

Local SEO for Lawyers

Here’s 5 Local SEO Tips for Lawyer (2022)

Tip #1:  Be a mobile first law firm

Google is now a mobile first index.  As such, your law firm website needs to be build first for the mobile web, and optimized for mobile search.

Tip #2:  Add Schema to your law firm website

Schema markup for lawyers is critically important.  When it comes to local search, Schema markup can help lawyers get additional information and data points integrated into the search results.  The more data and information you can provide to a someone searching, the more likely they are to call your law firm.

Tip #3:  Add legal Q&A’s via blog posts

When people are searching for lawyer, they typically start by asking a question about their particular case or their unique situation.  As such, if you fill up your blog with great question and answer based content, your law firm will start showing up for the hundreds or thousands of legal related questions your local clients are searching.

Tip #4:  Leverage authoritative lawyer directories

Lawyer directories serve a lot of purposes.  Most importantly, they act as a citation distribution source for your law firm’s local business data.  The more citations you can build, the more trust and authority you build back to your law firm’s location.  Lawyer directories are also great sources for backlinks.  Not all are do-follow, but a lot of them are.  Regardless, just getting backlinks from these high DA legal directories can add a lot of authority to your law firm rankings in Google.

Tip #5:  Account for multi-lawyer law firms

This means, if your law firm has multiple lawyers or partners, then your website should account for them accordingly.  Each lawyer should have a detailed attorney profile page with a lot of great local business data and information.  Also, attorney profiles are a great place to post highly rated client testimonials.

Update:  Saturday, February 1st, 2020

It’s now 2020, and improving local rankings for lawyers has never been more important for generating new clients and growing your practice.

Today, over 65% of all Google searches are now mobile searches.

Google Maps SEO Rankings for Lawyers

One the keys to implementing effective attorney SEO strategies is to understand that proximity, or the distance of the searcher to your law firm, weighs heavily now, more than ever, at influencing the search results your potential clients see in Google mobile search.

Most people see the top 3 local search results on their phone and assume those are the 3 best law firms in their city.

And Google is getting better, every day, at discrediting backlinks that are spam and coming from toxic link environments.

All of this comes together and quickly separates the wheat from the chaff so to speak in the search results.

The top 3 law firms for any local search are getting the majority of the phone calls.

Effective lawyer SEO in 2020 means your law firm needs super clean data (citations) distributed far and wide across the web, and without a single glitch in discrepancies.

Your law firm needs super high DA (domain authority) backlinks pointing to your homepage and other top tier pages.

Each of your top tier pages within your law firm website needs long form, LSI rich content that answers a lot of your potential client’s questions.

Along with a large portfolio of high quality citations, your law firms needs a lot contextually relevant citations from legal specific directories (yes, this is super important).

There’s a lot of attention and buzz around getting great reviews for your law firm.

Now, I would never discredit the importance of the brand impressions can give your law firm.

But I just don’t agree that reviews are a huge ranking factor Google Maps / Google local search.

There are many examples where personal injury lawyers in large metro areas are nowhere to be found in Google local search, yet have 10X the number of reviews vs. the top ranking law firms.

So I think it’s misguided prioritization if you are focusing more on getting reviews than the other factors mentioned above.

In large metro areas, local SEO for lawyers is the difference between getting found and getting phone calls from new clients, or being completely obsolete in Google local search… which is where the majority of new clients will come from.

Search Engine Optimization for Law Firms

Law Firm SEO Strategies – How To Grow Your Law Firm With Search Engine Optimization

Law firm SEO is challenging, especially in large metro areas where thousands of people a day are searching for the best lawyers to meet their needs.  More than likely there are hundreds of competing law firms in your market, and rising above the crowd requires a purposeful, definitive strategy.  Here’s how savvy law firms succeed in search.

3 Components to Law Firm SEO

  1. domain authority
  2. location authority
  3. brand authority

Law firms that succeed at both are the ones you see at the top of the organic and local search results over and over again, and their lawyers are called the rain makers, as a result of the inbound traffic and calls coming in from new clients.

Domain Authority for Law Firm SEO

Let’s start with building domain authority for your law firm website.

Domain authority has two major components that fuel your rankings in search and inbound traffic to your website.

These two components are inbound links and site structure.

Building inbound links for law firm SEO

Since the fallout of the Panda / Penguin algorithm updates from Google, law firms have been petrified to build backlinks to their websites.  In fact, I’ve had many clients come to us for the purpose disavowing (removing) large groups of backlinks pointing to their website.  This idea of disavowing links is relevant, but only where you know for certain that you have backlinks in toxic environments.  Low value, spammy link farms are a great candidate for disavowing.

Otherwise, I’ve seen situations where people have gone overboard with disavowing backlinks.  And by doing so, they end up removing a backlink that’s providing substantial amount authority for their domain.

So what’s a backlink strategy for law firms that will actually build domain authority and contribute to growing your presence in search?  Here’s a technique we use that has been delivering powerful results for clients for nearly 10 years.

First, we turn to Google and search a keyword phrase we know to be highly competitive.  And we target that search to a large metro area in the U.S.  For example, “houston car accident attorney”.  Here’s what I see in Google when I search that phrase:

search SEO for Law Firms

You’ll notice how I overlooked Findlaw that’s sitting in the #1 organic search result.  I did this because Findlaw is a directory, not a specific law firm website.  In this exercise, I’m only interested in law firm websites that are actually achieving top rankings in Google.

We look at both the local and organic search results to identify the #1 ranking law firms, then grab their website URL and start analyzing their backlink portfolio.

The main tool we use for this analysis is Moz SiteExplorer, which will show you the backlink portfolio for any specified URL.

In the local search results above, Attorney Charles J. Agento is the #1 local / Google Maps search result, and Smith & Hassler are the #2 organic search result, outranked only by Findlaw.

Let’s see what happens when we look at Charles J. Agento’s URL in SiteExplorer:

SEO strategy for law firms

Looking at the Page Link Metrics, you see this domain has a total of 50 backlinks coming from 20 root domains.  If you look under the “Link Type” column, you’ll notice I’m only interested in only follow backlinks.  Also, under the DA column, I sorted the list by DA (Domain Authority).  Translating this, I’m saying I want to see the most authoritative backlinks pointing to this URL that are also “do follow” links.  In the screenshot, I’m showing the top 3 most authoritative do follow backlinks pointing this URL.

Next, I’m going to visit each of these backlink resources to see if they are a good fit for my clients.

As you can see, the #1 most authoritative do follow backlink is coming from Anaximander, which is a business directory with a Moz Domain Authority of 50 – which is pretty strong.  So this is definitely a backlink resource that I would consider for my clients.

** Important note:  before I end up submitting one of my clients to a directory like this, I perform the same type of analysis on the directory itself, to include researching its reputation on the web.  Even though a directory has a strong domain authority, there’s still a chance it has been pegged by Google as a toxic or spammy link environment.  Ultimately, doing your due diligence on backlink resources is how you protect your website from penalties, and maximize the ranking power of the back link.

Site Structure for Law Firm SEO

The second component to building domain authority for your law firm website comes down to site structure.  Site structure refers to how well organized the pages are within your domain name.  Here’s a quick drawing I put together to help illustrate the concept of site structure, or the overall organization of the pages within your law firm website:

law firm website SEO

If your website is made up of hundreds of pages without any organized structured in alignment, then your website will have a very low level of domain authority due to the lack of structure.

However, if you group your pages according to top level categories, and then link to additional pages of content that support that top level category, then your website will be seen as having a high level of site structure, which translates in to strong domain authority.

In order to understand site structure, think in terms of the way files are organized on your computer.  If you have a desktop that’s cluttered with random files, then your computer would be perceived as unorganized and of low quality (relating it in terms of a website).

However, if the desktop on your computer has one master folder that opens up to well defined sub folders, and then under each sub folder you have highly relevant and organized files, then your computer would be perceived as being highly organized and structured.

Bringing this analogy back to your website, when Google crawls and indexes a website, the crawlers always start at your top level / root domain (i.e. your homepage URL).  From there, it starts looking for a second tier level of folders, which can be represented by your main navigation bar or links on your homepage.  Then, the crawler starts looking for all of the pages that are under these sub-folders.

In fact, if you login to the server where your law firm website is hosted (via FTP), you will actually see that your website is made up of a folder structure that’s very similar to the way your computer organizes files.  Back to the analogy of your computer, Google would see your computer as your website, and the folders on your computer as the folder and page structure within your website.

Building a highly structured website takes a concerted effort on your part.  You cannot just launch a website and expect to have a high level authority from your structure.

One of the techniques I use to organize client websites is to simply use a spreadsheet to start organizing pages.  I start by logging all of the pages within a website in a spreadsheet, then I look at the website to understand where the second layer of structure would come from.  With law firm websites, this is typically represented by practice areas.

So if your law firm practiced personal injury, criminal defense, and social security disability law, then the second layer of structure would be made up the most relevant pages for these practice areas.

Finally, moving to the third layer of structure, we would start placing supporting pages underneath of your second lawyer, and so on…

Once we have the law firm website mapped out on our spreadsheet, we turn back to the site itself and start implementing the structures and bringing it live.

I’ve seen the powerful impact that site structure can have in driving rankings for law firm websites.  In some cases, the only thing we did to get our law firm clients into the #1 ranking in Google was to simply organize their website in a highly structured fashion.

Location Authority for Law Firm SEO

Location authority is the driving force for your law firm getting found in specific geographic markets or metro areas.

Location authority refers to two types of SEO for your law firms:

  1. Local SEO / Google Maps
  2. Organic SEO / Organic search results

For law firms, both of these types are heavily influenced by the location of the person searching.

Read more:  What is location authority?

More on location authority coming soon…. stay tuned!

Brand Authority for your Law Firm Website

The second key ingredient to successful SEO for law firms is brand authority.  Brand authority is a function of traffic and exposure to your website, and the overall distribution of your brand through channels like social media.  Brand authority equates to how many people see your website and recognize your brand.  The more brand authority you build, the more you open the door for natural growth in back links, social media traffic and distribution, and overall exposure for your law firm in multiple channels on authoritative websites.

How to build your law firm’s brand authority

One of the most effective ways to build your law firm’s brand is to start a blog.  Running a consistent, high quality blog from your law firm’s website will build brand authority in several different ways such as:

  • increased traffic to your website
  • increased crawl rates from Google
  • more content to share through social media
  • increased traffic from social media

And the increased traffic and exposure to your website always results in growing your law firm’s brand.

Blogging for law firms

When it comes to blogging for your law firm, there are a few different angles you can take.  You can write general topic articles around your practice areas, how to articles, and Q & A based content.

But one of the most effective strategies we’ve implemented for our client’s law firm blogs is to cover local news and information.

For the majority of our law firm clients, their clientele comes from the metro area where they offices.  As such, our strategy has been to grow the law firm’s brand directly in the local market where the majority of their clients are.

And covering local news and information has proven to be one of the best ways to drive maximum branded exposure for our law firm clients.

Here’s an example of law firm blogging by leveraging local news and information.

One of our clients is a prominent brain injury attorney in Wisconsin with offices in Milwaukee and Madison.  Our goal in building brand authority for their law firm was to drive maximum traffic and exposure directly from the Milwaukee and Madison markets first, and then from the greater Wisconsin market.

Since our client focuses on brain injury cases, we needed to figure out a way to drive traffic from their markets and associate their law firm’s brand with the topic of brain injury.

So we launched their law firm’s blog with the goal of publishing news and information about brain injuries and head injuries that occurred in Wisconsin as the result of someone else’s negligence.  And we also publish national level news and information on brain and head injury research.

The results?  Here’s a quick snapshot of the impact blogging has had on this law firm’s website over the past 6 months:

Total pageviews:
  • Total pageviews:  54,227 vs. 19,512 (increase of 177.92%)
Organic search traffic (Google)
  • Total organic search traffic:  increase of 7.22%
  • Total organic search in U.S.:  increase of 14.98%
  • Organic search in Wisconsin:  increase of 17.07%
  • Organic search in Milwaukee:  increase of 26.85%
  • Organic search in Madison:  increase of 38.91%
Social media traffic (referred from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+)
  • Overall social media referrals:  increase of 1,016.14%
  • Social media from the U.S.:  increase of 1,083.33%
  • Social media from Wisconsin:  increase of 539.68%
  • Social Media from Milwaukee:  increase of 564.00%
  • Social media from Madison:  increase of 916.67%
Other key metrics:
  • Pages viewed per visitor:  2.81 (increase of 87.44%)
  • Average time on site per visitor:  1:21 (increase of 46.84%)
  • Bounce rate:  -65..25% (which means we improved by 65.25%)
Facebook Insights:  over the last 30 days, here are some additional insights into the performance of your Facebook page:
  • Total pageviews (Milwaukee page):  117 page views (increase of 56%)
  • Page likes in past 30 days:  15 (increase of 67%)
Past 7 days of Facebook page insights (Milwaukee page):
  • Post engagement:  109 (increase of 107%)
  • Reach:  5,153 (increase of 359%)

As you can see, the impact of blogging news and information on their law firm website has been substantial in driving increased traffic and exposure from search and social media.  All of this equates to increased branded exposure for their law firm, i.e. brand authority.

This particular law firm, as a result of continually posting brain and head injury news on their blog, has been featured as an authoritative resource in Alltop in their brain injury category.  The inclusion of this law firm blog in Alltop is a great example of how blogging can build brand authority.

Again, the more brand authority your law firm website carries, the more empowered it will be to rank for your most competitive keyword phrases in search.

Social media distribution for your law firm blog content

Another powerful component to building your law firm’s brand authority is social media.  Gaining increased exposure in places like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus are critical to building your law firm’s brand, and driving traffic and exposure to law firm’s website.

But, as I’m sure you know, it’s difficult to come up with content to share across social media on a regular basis.  You probably already know it’s important to get social media exposure for your law firm, but it’s a bit cumbersome trying to come up with something to share every day.

The way we solve this problem and drive substantial results for law firms, is to share each blog post / news article across all of the law firm’s social media profiles.  Since we are already publishing news and information on their blogs, this gives us the content to also share across their social media profiles.  And as you can see in the stats I share above, traffic from social media has grown exponentially.

Here’s the impact from social media on our law firm client’s traffic:

Social media traffic (referred from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+)
  • Overall social media referrals:  increase of 1,016.14%
  • Social media from the U.S.:  increase of 1,083.33%
  • Social media from Wisconsin:  increase of 539.68%
  • Social Media from Milwaukee:  increase of 564.00%
  • Social media from Madison:  increase of 916.67%
Facebook Insights:  over the last 30 days, here are some additional insights into the performance of your Facebook page:
  • Total pageviews (Milwaukee page):  117 page views (increase of 56%)
  • Page likes in past 30 days:  15 (increase of 67%)
Past 7 days of Facebook page insights (Milwaukee page):
  • Post engagement:  109 (increase of 107%)
  • Reach:  5,153 (increase of 359%)

For this law firm client, we are publishing 30 news articles / blog posts each month — basically one new blog post each day.

But remember I said this particular law firm client has two office locations, one in Milwaukee and one in Madison, Wisconsin.  And for each location, they have four main social media profiles:  Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google Plus.

So if you do the math, we are publishing one new blog post per day, which is 30 per month.

Then each blog post is shared across their 8 social media profiles each day, which equates to 240 social media posts per month.

Facebook Instant Articles for Law Firm Blogs

Facebook is by far the most effective social media profile for driving increased branded exposure and traffic to websites.

But remember, the goal is to not just drive increased traffic to your law firm website, the goal is to also build your brand authority.  As such, it’s critically important to offer a great user experience with your content on social media, and most importantly in Facebook.

That’s where Facebook Instant Articles comes into play.  Instant articles provides a way for Facebook users on mobile devices to “instantly” access your content.  Before Instant Articles, whenever someone clicked on a news article in their Facebook feed, it would take upwards of 30 seconds or more for the website to load on their mobile device.  With Instant Articles, when someone taps on the news article in their feed, the article loads instantly because the content is coming directly from Facebook servers, and not from the server the website is hosted on.

Here’s a quick video that shows you the amazing user experience that Facebook Instant Articles delivers:

Bringing it all together:  Effective SEO for Law Firms

As I mentioned initially, there are two key components to your law firm competing in search:

  1. domain authority
  2. location authority
  3. brand authority

The combination of these two elements can come together to drive explosive growth in search traffic and rankings for your law firm.

The legal market can be brutally competitive, especially in large metro areas where many law firms are competing for just a few spots at the top of search results.

In order for your law firm to compete and connect with new clients through search, you’ll need to focus on building both domain authority and brand authority.

The law firms who are currently at the top of search results have, either directly or indirectly over time, achieved this potent combination.

Law Firm Websites are Highly Fragmented

Today, more than ever, law firm websites are highly fragmented with content.

For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta and you have 10 pages within your website that are about “Atlanta personal injury lawyer”, then your website is highly fragmented.

Less is more for law firm rankings in 2020.

You need to use Google site queries, identify your fragmented pages within your law firm website, and work to consolidate that content to one top tier landing page.

And then once you consolidate content, 301 redirect that redundant URL to your main top tier page.

We have fixed some law firm websites lately that have dozens of redundant pages (fragmentation) for each practice area.

When you defragment your law firm website, you shore up the authority and relevance to your one top tier landing page.

This unlocks massive ranking power, traffic, and total number of keyword phrases that are driving high quality traffic to your website.

Domain Authority for Law Firm Websites: The “Secret Sauce” To Higher Rankings in Google

Ranking Law Firm Websites

Law Firm Website Tips To Increase Rankings in Search

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 Capsicum who put together a great infographic on content length.  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 2,300 words.

Here’s a screenshot from their research (via Quicksprout):

law firm practice area landing page word count

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:

Silo SEO Strategy for Law Firm Websites

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.

How Law Firms Can Compete in Google And Drive Increased Traffic To Their Websites

law firm website seo

For today’s modern law firm, the ability to drive traffic and exposure to their website is becoming increasingly more difficult, especially when your highest quality prospects begin their search in places like Google.

The initial problem is the top search results in Google are becoming filled with directory sites such as Avvo and FindLaw.  And for the few law firms that do find their way onto page one in Google, there are hundreds of more that fall to the second page and beyond.  As a result, law firms are increasingly turning their budgets to pay per click platforms like Google Adwords.  However, as they soon discover, the competition in paid search traffic is even more fierce than the organic search results.

As an example of the competition in paid search for law firms, the keyword phrase “personal injury attorney atlanta” receives an average of 4,680 searches per year.  Which, according to Google, falls in the medium range of competition.  But one look at the suggested bid, and you’ll see the average cost law firms are willing to pay for just one click is an astounding $102.18.  This means, if you are a personal injury law firm in Atlanta and you expect to compete in the upper echelon of the paid search results, you better be willing to spend over $100 per click!

Take one look at the front page of Google for this keyword phrase, and you’ll find 4 out of the 10 organic search results are directories, not law firms.  This leaves 6 of the 10 front page search results made up of actual law firms in Atlanta.  But then ask yourself, how many personal injury law firms are there in metro Atlanta?  According to Avvo, there are 1,114 personal injury lawyers in Atlanta.  Granted, a portion of those work in the same law firm.  But you quickly see the point here… for every 1 law firm on the front page of Google, there are easily 100 or more that are not.  Again, the front page search results in Google is a brutal environment to compete.

Local Search Results

The competition is even more fierce when it comes to the local search results in Google.  Again, using “personal injury lawyers atlanta” as the example, you’ll find only three local search results appearing on page one Google, which is also the case on mobile phones.  To be fair, the 3 pack of Google’s local search results is not exclusive to law firms.  Back in August of this year, Google made a sweeping change in the local search results for all business categories to show only the top three local search results on desktop and mobile devices.

Read more:  Are The Top 3 Local Search Results The New #1?

So where the organic search results at least gives you 10 positions to compete for on page one, the local search results in Google gives you only three.  Now for every 1 law firm on page one in Google local search results, there are upwards of 300 that are not.  The competition for page one rankings just got exponentially more competitive.

Increasing law firm website traffic

So what’s a law firm to do?  If the odds are stacked against you in the organic search results, and even more so in the local search results, is there any hope to driving increased traffic and exposure to your law firm’s website?

Luckily there’s a lot you can do, it just requires some careful planning and a concerted effort over time.  In other words, persistence is the key ingredient to competing in Google search and driving increased traffic to your law firm’s website.

3 ways to drive increased traffic to your law firm’s website and compete in Google search

There are 3 ways for a law firm to drive increased traffic their websites and compete in Google search:

  1. Articles and blogging
  2. Social media distribution
  3. Persistence

Blogging for law firms

The most effective way to drive increased traffic and exposure to your law firm’s website from Google is to start a blog.  The advantages to running a blog for your law firm are vast, but the most important is realized in the traffic gains from Google search.  For one of our law firm clients, we write one news article per day (30 per month) on their blog, and as a result, they have increased their organic search traffic by over 152%.  This particular law firm went from a steady decline in website traffic, to now receiving triple digit gains in organic search traffic month over month.  And not only is this law firm receiving month over month gains in traffic, but they have received more leads and contacts over the past 30 days than the entire 60 months combined.

Blogging for a law firm can take many different angles on content strategy.  But the one strategy we find to be most effective is local news coverage.  Using the “personal injury lawyer atlanta” market as an example, this implies that my law firm is located in the metro Atlanta area.  And likewise, my highest quality prospects would more than likely live in the metro Atlanta area.  So we would produce Atlanta based news articles that focus on topics such as injuries and accidents.  When you focus on local area news coverage as the content for your blog, you naturally attract readers who live in your target metro area.  The more consistent your news articles are published on your blog, the more your traffic will increase over time.  The impact here is that all of the traffic is coming directly to your law firm’s website to read the news articles.  And while reading the news, your law firm is achieving 100% of the brand equity and exposure to the visitors.

This strategy is equivalent to taking out an ad in your local area newspaper.  Except with your newspaper, and the online version of that publication, your ad would compete with several other advertisers.  And this would dramatically decrease your overall brand equity for each pageview.  But, when the news articles are published directly on your law firm’s blog, your law firm now receives 100% of the brand equity per pageview.  In other words, driving traffic to your law firm’s website through the use of blog means your law firm is the exclusive advertiser for every pageview.

The reason running a blog on your law firm’s website translates into more traffic and exposure in Google is because you are no longer attempting to compete for the hyper competitive keyword phrases such as “personal injury lawyer atlanta”.  Instead, you are leveraging the search volume around the long tail phrase variations of keywords that are either directly or indirectly related to your law firm.  The point is, you go from competing for one hyper competitive keyword phrase to driving increased traffic for a wide range of keyword phrases.  And ultimately, the most critical component here is that your law firm retains 100% of the branded exposure to your visitors for every resulting pageview.

Social Media Distribution for Law Firm’s Blog Content

Building off the content being published in your law firm’s blog, each new article should distributed throughout all of your law firm’s social media profiles.  Your law firm should at have a Facebook page, Twitter profile, LinkedIn company page, and Google+ business page.  This alone equates to four key social media profiles for any given law firm.  And again, whenever you publish a new article on your blog, that articles needs to be distributed to each of your law firm’s social media profiles.

By sharing your blog content across all of your social media profiles does, in essence, create a highly effective social media marketing strategy for your law firms.  If you look at any social media marketing strategy for a law firm, you will find the core tenets being consistent content shared across a maximum number of social media profiles.  Well, whenever your law firm produces a new article on your blog, that’s a new piece of content that can be shared across of your social media profiles.  In essence, by running a blog on your law firm’s website, you are also flipping the switch on to a highly effective social media marketing campaign.

For the law firm client discussed above where we are publishing 30 news article per month on their blog, each of their articles are automatically distributed to their social media profiles.  This particular law firm client has six social media profiles combined.  They have two office locations, so they have two Facebook pages, two Google business pages, a LinkedIn business page, and a Twitter profile.  And by sharing each article across all six of these platforms daily, the social media side of their business has been ramped up exponentially.

To put it in perspective, traffic to this law firm’s website from social media referrals has increased 225% over the past 3 months.  That’s combining all of the inbound traffic to the law firm’s website from all six of their social media profiles.  Combine this