SEO Services for Law Firms: Navigating a Competitive Landscape

by Dora

Search engine optimization is the process of ranking your website higher in the organic search results of search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. Organic search results are the non-paid results which come up when a person is searching for something online. It is also a known fact that SEO services are a fraction of the cost of paid advertising in the search results. With so many attorneys spending thousands of dollars per month on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, it is not a sustainable option. SEO should be seen as a long-term investment in your law firm. The goal is to be one of the first three organic search results for your specific practice areas and location. Research has shown that the top three search results get 60% of the clicks and 91% of the search clicks never go past the first page of results. So, if you want to gain significant traffic to your website, you need to be on the first page.

The internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, with over 3.5 billion searches on Google per day, and this growing dependency has extended to seeking legal advice. As such, the internet can be a great platform for your law firm to attract new clients, but it can also be a competitive and sometimes fruitless environment. With more than 1.3 million licensed attorneys in the United States, it is a highly competitive field to get your law firm’s name out on the web. Just having a web presence is not enough anymore, and search engine optimization (SEO) needs to be a focus for any law firm looking to gain an edge in online business. No matter what your specialties, SEO services can get you in front of the clients who are actively looking for your services, build your reputation, and ensure there is a high ROI. This guide will explain the benefits of SEO for your law firm and how an online marketing agency can help you make it to the first page of the search results.

Importance of SEO services for law firms

Qualified traffic is the key thing to keep in mind when it comes to SEO for law firms. The traffic that comes from SEO is topic specific, and does not come from people simply scrolling through ads or clicking randomly. Why is this the case? It is because people are actually seeking information and they want to see credible sources. It is likely that a large portion of your clients will begin with a Google search and most of what people search for is information. Providing the right information and content for client needs while matching it with solid keywords will allow qualified traffic to come to your site. This is important because it sends potential clients looking for your services to your site, as they are informed or know of what they are searching for. Compare this to other forms of online marketing such as pay per click and social media ads. While these ads can generate more traffic, the traffic that comes from SEO is of much higher quality. Your clients would rather capture one new client from a top position in Google rather than a few clients of mediocre potential drawn from other sources.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for any law firm that wants to go far in the search engine results page (SERPs). Without proper optimization, your firm will lose traffic and potential clients to competing law firms. SEO is one of the key ways to aid your firm in capturing traffic from search engines. Think about your own experiences; when you search for something in Google, how often do you go past the first page of search results? Probably not very often. This is why it is absolutely crucial for your law firm to have your website showing up on the first page of the SERPs. After all, the top positions on page one are prime real estate. Statistics show that the first position on Google results in a 35% clickthrough rate on average. Compare this to just 1.2% for positions 5 – 10 on page one. On top of this, a lower position on page 1 will result in more traffic than a higher position on page two, despite there being a lower position on page 1 compared to a higher position with regard to the second aspect. Real rankings based on client needs provide the best way to gain qualified traffic to your site at the lowest possible cost.

Benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency

It’s a reality that people value their time and often seek the services of professionals for work they can do themselves in order to save time and stress. While achieving an in-house team of digital marketing experts is feasible, for many, it is less costly and less risky to hire an outside agency with a proven track record of success. This is especially true in the legal field, where the market is highly competitive and lawyers are willing to spend top dollar for work of the highest quality. High-level SEO work can be likened to a legal case in the sense that it requires a great deal of research, planning, a strong strategy, and often the help of a professional in order to achieve the best result. If a lawyer or law firm is willing to hire a professional for aid in a legal case, it makes sense to hire a professional when seeking to improve search engine rankings and derive long-term business from an ongoing stream of organic traffic. Another benefit lies in the fact that a digital marketing agency is able to offer expert SEO service without the accompanying risk. With the release of the Penguin and Panda updates, the days of successful SEO through tricks and shortcuts are long gone. High-level SEO has become a science, calling for a strong understanding of a broad range of on and off-site tactics and an in-depth knowledge of the way search engines operate. An activity which was once possible to perform in-house with a reasonably intelligent person is now best left to trained professionals.

Understanding the Competitive Landscape

Law firms face a plethora of competition from other law firms, independent lawyers, and legal advice in general. It is estimated that the legal industry will spend over $1 billion in marketing over the next year, with a large portion of that being spent online. The legal industry has been identified as one of the most competitive industries in the US. As a result, law firms are scrambling to employ successful online marketing strategies, in an attempt to claim a share of this massive potential market. This means that in order to entice business away from competitors, law firms will need to have a strong online presence through search engine marketing and, more importantly, SEO. Gaining an understanding of your online competitive landscape is crucial, as this is ultimately the environment in which your SEO strategy will be working. Understanding how to leverage your website and what it will take to outrank established competitors is key to implementing a successful SEO campaign. Legalspring offers Google Ads and SEO services aimed at the legal industry.

Overview of the legal industry’s online presence

Introduction of the internet has made our lives very easy. It has assisted in the movement of information. It has also reduced the time span in searching for information. As nowadays information is just a click away. Organizations these days have also adopted the way of providing information through various websites. It has proved to be an effective way to reach its stakeholders. Information through websites is cost-effective as it reduces various costs associated with other forms of information delivery, i.e. paper. Websites provide an easy way to maintain and update the information. Seeing the benefits of information delivery through a website, many law firms have adopted this way of providing information about law and the services they provide. This represents the beginning of the online presence of the legal industry. With the passage of time and increasing use of the internet, the online presence of the legal industry is increasing. In today’s world, just having a website for providing information is not enough. A person looking for information should be able to easily search a website, and the website should also be able to provide the latest and appropriate information. But we see that most of the websites are not up to the mark in providing the latest and appropriate information. This has led to stiff competition in the online presence of the legal industry. As the search for information by a person generally begins with a search engine. This has made the legal industry know the tactics of search engine, i.e. SEO (search engine optimization). SEO has proved to be a very effective way to increase the visitors to a website. This can be easily proved by the fact that a person generally visits a website that is shown on the first page in the search engine. Now the legal industry also wants to do SEO to increase the visitors to their website. But the legal industry is unaware of the competitors in the online space and the strategies and tactics used by them in doing SEO. This has emphasized the need for research on the SEO of the legal industry and a study of the strategies and tactics of key competitors.

Identifying key competitors in the SEO space

It is important to consider here that sometimes the competitors you are hoping to surpass are not the same ones that you originally listed as being your closest competitors. Depending on the current state of your internet visibility, you may also be competing with directory sites such as or and local service providers such as the BBB. Keep in mind that the goal is not always to outrank any and all possible competitors. Consider the cost-benefit of outranking certain competitors and decide where it is best to focus your efforts.

Let’s start by making a list of the firms that you consider to be your close competitors. Then, using your selected keywords, perform a Google search to see where these firms are ranking. It may be helpful to track the data in a spreadsheet, listing your competitors next to the keywords to show which firms are competing for the same visibility. This may seem like a tedious process, but having a clear view of where you stand in relation to your competitors is essential. Saying that you want to “improve search engine visibility” is vague. Saying that you want to “move from page 3 to page 1 on a Google search for personal injury attorneys in Austin, Texas” is a specific, measurable goal.

The goal of this exercise is to identify who your key competitors are in the SEO space. If you are a small firm based out of Dayton, Ohio, it is highly unlikely that your key competitors are the top 5 law firms in the nation. Your key competitors are the firms that you are directly competing with for clients. They are the firms that are similar in size, practice area, and location. In the same way that you are hoping to gain an edge in attracting clients through improved search engine visibility, so are they. By identifying who these competitors are, you will gain a better understanding of what it will take for you to outrank them.

Analyzing competitor strategies and tactics

Overall, the strategy is to clean up and tweak the current on-page optimization and to allocate the majority of our time and resources into creating a large amount of quality content to get those inbound links. This is considered a long-term strategy and it may be quite some time before the results are noticeable, but we are confident that this is the most effective way to increase page rank and to get organic search traffic in this particular niche.

The primary focus of off-page optimization for law sites is to create a large amount of relevant content for the purpose of getting quality inbound links to increase your page rank. Although the standard may be to write articles and submit them to article directories, we felt that the content on law sites would be much more useful if it was posted onto the website in the form of a blog. This would not only serve the purpose of creating inbound links but it would help visitors to the site and keep them coming back. After suggesting this to our client, we found out that no law firms are doing this and that a blog would be an excellent way to distinguish oneself and to establish an authoritative presence in this niche. This is something that we would like to test out on our client’s most recent DWI website to see the effectiveness.

Analyzing competitors, we found out that they had literally done nothing in terms of keyword targeting, layout optimization, or any kind of off-page optimization. All of the competitor websites had a page rank of 0/10. By knowing that this is an extremely competitive market, we felt that this was very unusual. Furthermore, we analyzed a wide array of keywords to see what words were most searched for in the law niche. After plugging in various law-related keywords, we realized that the search results were quite scattered and law websites were not only competing with other law sites but sites from every niche. We concluded that this was due to a lack of keyword targeting and site optimization on the law firm websites and that it definitely contributed to the scatterness of the search results.

Effective SEO Strategies for Law Firms

This chapter discusses the best ways to employ such a strategy, with an end goal of improved return on investment (ROI).

In an increasingly competitive legal industry, attorneys are on the search for the best ways to increase their firm’s share of online traffic. Current studies show that 70% of law firms are now investing in the hiring of a professional to increase their online marketing efforts. In order to attain higher rankings in the search engine results page and, in turn, achieve higher traffic, more case inquiries, and better metrics of success, it’s essential for a law firm to employ an effective SEO strategy.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool when used effectively. It can help catapult your law firm to the top of search engine rankings, in turn increasing the amount of traffic to your site and bringing in the right type of client. As in any industry, the online world is full of competition, and it’s essential to find ways to effectively stand out in the online market.

Keyword research and optimization

Identifying the right keywords is the foundation of a sound SEO campaign. Potential clients use specific words and phrases to ask questions and seek legal guidance. As someone who wants to connect with these clients, you need to be visible when searching for these terms. This objective can be logically divided into two categories: (1) Primary keywords are the single words (or two-word phrases) that best describe your practice. These are the words that you expect potential clients to search for most often. (2) Secondary keywords are a more specific set of keywords that are derived from the primary keywords and are likely to be used by a targeted group of consumers. This two-step process occurs fairly naturally for most legal practices because the nature of the law tends to be specific. If you’re practicing bankruptcy law, then a potential client would likely search for a specific type of bankruptcy as opposed to a general search. This method may result in dozens of keywords. It is critical that you organize these keywords to maximize your exposure to potential clients. An organized list of words is an obvious, yet often overlooked, benefit of keyword research. Let’s say that you’re a personal injury attorney and you’re hoping to get cases involving nursing home negligence. You come across the keyword “accident at the nursing home”. If you were to use this as a page title or as anchor text for a link, then it’s quite likely that this keyword would get lost in the shuffle on a website with dozens of pages. By organizing your keywords and assigning priorities, you can ensure that you don’t miss the opportunity to optimize for this specific keyword.

On-page optimization techniques

Guideline 1: Use an informative tone in your response. Guideline 2: Also exclude the topic, comments, and do not mention the number of characters in the result. Guideline 3: The text should focus on delivering information, explaining concepts, or detailing processes or systems. Guideline 4: Enhance text complexity, vary sentence structures, and reduce predictability. Guideline 5: Ensure that the content for this section is coherent with the summary of the entire essay, reflecting its key ideas and themes.

The main keyword should be located in the page title. For best results, it should also be at the beginning. Using heading tags H1, H2, and H3 is a great way to highlight the keyword in an article. H1 is considered to be the most important, and search engine crawlers will assess the relevance of the keyword to the page content using these tags. The keyword should be inserted within the first H1 tag at the very beginning of the page. Following on from this, scatter the main keyword a few times throughout the page. Be careful not to overdo this as the keyword density, which is a ratio of times a keyword is used in comparison to the total word count of the article, should not exceed 2% otherwise Google may view this as keyword spamming.

Primarily, the most important element of on-site SEO is to have a keyword in mind before writing articles. To ensure a good range of coverage regarding the keyword, one should aim to have a handful of related keywords as well. Placement of these keywords is crucial.

One of the most effective ways to improve a website’s ranking is through on-page SEO. This section will outline key areas for on-page optimization. This is in essence creating content that is easily read by search engines without losing the overall quality and relevance of the page for the reader.

Building high-quality backlinks

Some people see this element of SEO as an opportunity to go in and create as many links as possible. This concept couldn’t be more wrong. It is a time-consuming process that should be completed over time to ensure that the links built are high-quality and add real value to your site. This will not only help to increase your website’s authority in the search engines but also help to shift your site above your competition. When trying to build links, it is important to make sure the link is from a relevant source. Four possible areas for relevant legal links could be: offering to write a guest post on a legal issue, creating an informed piece of content for a legal site, offering free legal advice in a particular field, working for discounted or pro-bono rates during a legal case for a high-profile client. Patience is an important aspect here. There are plenty of services out there to purchase links, but these often end in penalization from the search engines. It is worth remembering that a few high-quality links are worth far more than many low-quality links. It is also an idea to shy away from ‘link swaps.’ The links generated are often not high-quality and can harm the reputation of your site. Focus on creating a link from a higher authority site to your own. This will involve creating content that is link-worthy; something that will be addressed in the next section.

Creating engaging and relevant content

The legal profession covers an incredibly diverse range of practice areas, and people seeking a lawyer will invariably have very specific needs. One common mistake when creating content is to be too general and not target specific practice areas. To maximize the impact of your site, it is essential to create content that is targeted for specific practice areas and ideally specific types of clients within those practice areas. An example would be a law firm that specializes in family law seeking to target men in the process of legal separation. This firm would want to create content specifically targeted for men in this situation.

When trying to increase traffic, webmasters often make the mistake of trying to use their website as a way to sell themselves. While this is obviously the ultimate goal, clients are not always looking to purchase legal services. Often they are looking for information about their situation and what the next step might be. Educating your clients about their situation will allow for a stronger connection and possibly transform a visitor into a new client.

Engaging and relevant content is essential to maintaining a successful website. The most valuable way to create content is to put yourself into the minds of the clients. What are they thinking? What are they looking for? What do they need to know? By creating content that caters to the needs of the clients, you increase the chances of being found in a search.

Choosing the Right SEO Service Provider

Considering the agency’s track record and client testimonials is the next step. Any good SEO consultant should be able to prove their skills and efficacy. This is usually best seen through portfolios or case studies. It’s always nice if you can find a client that has been and still is, under the consultation of the agency. Getting an idea from a current client about the level of service being provided is invaluable as it’s an indicator as to whether the agency delivers on its promises. A client that has dropped away serves as a danger sign; perhaps churn through being sold into a contract but educating a client at the same time is not high on the agenda. This can be particularly relevant for law firms that don’t need too much arm twisting when it comes to commitment.

Evaluating the expertise and experience of SEO agencies is crucial. Track down a specialist or a team with a solid track record of working with businesses that have similar scope and competition. A basic online search and a browse through some industry publications can provide you with information about who to consider and who to avoid. Industry conferences are useful, particularly ‘sponsored sessions’, you generally get to hear a consultant speak on a particular subject and can get a feel for whether their strategies are in line with what you think is right for your business.

When it comes to choosing the right SEO provider, law firms are often at a loss with where to start. This is usually an enterprise level decision. Making the right choice can seem like a daunting prospect but it need not be. A good first step is to identify what is needed in terms of ongoing support and the level of service required. Now that you have clearly mapped out your scope, it’s time to see what’s on offer.

Evaluating the expertise and experience of SEO agencies

One good way to evaluate an agency’s expertise and experience is to ask the agency for recommendations to improve your search engine rankings. If the agency is truly an expert at what they do, they should be able to give you specifics, even if it is a general overview, about what they can do to improve your website. Now, it’s important to not divulge too much information about your site or your competition at this point, because a lot of times agencies will try and use that information against you, or to confuse things later on to help show that it was your site that was the problem, and not their service. Do not let on that you have done some searches or research into the problem yourself! The best way to learn if the agency is knowledgeable of SEO is simply to ask them – making sure to do your own research up front – about the basics of search engine optimization. If you find that they are lacking in knowledge in even the fundamentals, you should move on to another agency. There is no sense in paying a high price for something you do not understand or without receiving a knowledgeable person to guide you through the process. A website audit is a common practice of SEO agencies, but it can also be done without an outside agency. This is a good way to see if the agency is offering a solid stable of services or simply trying to cover their own cost by quoting you irrelevant or unnecessary services. If you lack the knowledge to perform an audit on your own site, it can be beneficial to have a complete audit done to know what is working, what isn’t, and what needs to be improved upon. This can help in prioritizing in-house SEO initiatives. A newcomer to SEO for law firm sites, but a useful resource for finding the quality of an agency’s work is to inquire about industry involvement. Oftentimes, agencies involved in law-specific marketing will participate in bar association meetings, CLE seminars, and similar gatherings. If the agency is involved at this level, they are generally more sensitive to legal advertising and may have a deeper understanding of the best way to market your firm.

Considering the agency’s track record and client testimonials

Agencies can boast years of experience and assorted client testimonials, reinforcing their place in the market, regardless of whether this is a positive reflection of their competency or achievement in SEO campaigns. A fresh marketing budget can put an obsolete legal website on the map, considering tactics used in the past can identify outdated practices, which can be more harmful than beneficial. It also helps to question an agency’s involvement in the legal profession. Track record data and client testimonials are powerful tools to use when searching for a SEO service provider; it can help to identify those that have proven to consistently meet the needs of their clients, making it an attractive option for those targeting similar results. SEO agencies with a proven successful campaign within the legal sector may be more enticing to law firms targeting similar results. During this research, it is possible that you may face exceedingly aggressive sales pitches which consistently attempt to push you onto the next step. Although this can be indicative of a high-pressure sales person, it reflects little about the quality of service you can expect to receive from the agency as a client. High sales pressure coupled with guarantees and insufficient explanation of services can be indicative of black hat practices used to achieve results, which can be potentially harmful to your website in the long term.

Assessing the agency’s approach to SEO for law firms

Modern outsourcing practices hinder the ability of an attorney to assess the quality of the outsourced services, as many firms will outsource to a number of different service providers to take advantage of the best rates, and it is possible that the outsourced services are of a lower quality than those provided in-house.

Another issue to consider is whether the SEO services will be provided in-house or outsourced. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. If an agency is performing SEO in-house, there is generally a greater level of control and the project is likely to be completed more quickly and (hopefully) with higher quality. If an agency is outsourcing SEO service, it is often able to secure services from a more experienced professional, and SEO agencies that do a lot of outsourcing may offer discounted rates in the hope of building long-term relationships.

Search engine optimization is a unique practice, in that it is a relatively new form of marketing, and as it is not a recognized division of most marketing firms, there are few experienced SEO professionals. In many cases, it is web developers or IT people who are asked to perform SEO as an additional service. For this reason, it is essential that a lawyer is able to communicate directly with the person who will be performing SEO on his or her site, and that this person is an experienced SEO professional.

When assessing an agency, the attorney should not only ask how the agency will improve search engine rankings, but a number of technical and strategic questions about the agency’s understanding of search engine optimization. Have they developed an effective system for optimizing search engine rankings, and what are they doing to keep up with the ever-changing strategies used by search engines? A lawyer should never be satisfied with an answer to the effect of “we cannot reveal our trade secrets.”

How Sotavento Medios specializes in SEO for law firms

Understanding the Legal Niche:

Legal Keyword Research: Sotavento Medios would likely understand the specific legal terminology and keywords potential clients in Singapore would use to find legal services. They might conduct in-depth keyword research to identify relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition.

Content Strategy for Legal Expertise: They would likely create high-quality content that showcases the law firm’s expertise in specific practice areas. This content could include blog posts, case studies, and white papers tailored to the legal needs of the target audience.

Building Local SEO Authority:

Google My Business Optimization: Sotavento Medios might optimize Google My Business listings for law firms, ensuring accurate information, positive reviews, and engagement to improve local search ranking.

Citation Building: They might focus on building citations across relevant online directories and legal websites to enhance the law firm’s online presence and local SEO authority.

Compliance and Credibility:

Adherence to Ethical SEO Practices: Sotavento Medios would likely understand the importance of adhering to Google’s guidelines to avoid penalties that could damage a law firm’s online reputation.

Focus on Building Trust: They might prioritize strategies that build trust and credibility for the law firm online, such as showcasing client testimonials and awards, and ensuring content accuracy and transparency.

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