Is Your SEO Agency Wasting Your Budget?
Is your law firm website guilty of bad SEO?
I’ve witnessed it far too many times.
Law firm got bad advice.
The law firm didn’t do any link building.
The law firm didn’t add any content – or, if they did create content, it ended up being incredibly similar to other content already on the website, low quality, and without purpose.
Basically, their websites are just broken. Broken links, broken redirects, broken everything!
The result of all this bad SEO? Not enough traffic due to poor organic search visibility. And a lot of wasted money!
But now isn’t the time to pass judgment. Now is the time to get it right.
Ready to find out how?
You’ll need to get links that drive traffic to your website. You’ll also need to get your technical SEO right.
A content strategy? Yep, you’ll need that. And you’ll also need to do some good old-fashioned marketing.
Here are some ways you can bail out your website and start driving more traffic and results (conversions). Now.
Connect YouTube & Your Website Correctly
So many lawyers are creating and posting useful and helpful videos on YouTube.
Yet many law firms are failing to link strategically from their YouTube to their website.
This is a huge mistake. These are pretty much the easiest links you can get!
YouTube is one of the most popular websites, with more than a billion users every month.
Any link from YouTube is valuable. Although YouTube links may be nofollowed, remember our goal is driving traffic. We’re not worried about rankings right now.
Oh, and you need videos-the most powerful type are FAQ videos.
Have videos? Are you marketing them? Putting them on YouTube and on your website is NOT enough. You need to have a robust video SEO program in order to get your videos seen by potential clients. It is well worth the cost-videos convert more than any other type of marketing medium.
Four things to do here:
Make sure you link to your website from your YouTube channel.
Go through any videos you have posted. Within the description, be sure to link to the most relevant page(s) on your website, whether it’s a practice area page, a blog post, or your FAQ page.
Create videos continually-keep them fresh. The cost of video production has gone down dramatically.
Implement a video SEO strategy.
A link in one of these places might just send you your next client. The more places your video is found (via your video SEO strategy), the more likely your videos will send you clients.
Do an SEO Audit & Make the Fixes
An SEO audit can uncover issues that are hurting your organic search visibility and website performance.
After completing an audit, and implementing all the necessary fixes, we’ve seen website traffic increase by anywhere from 250 percent to up to 2,000 percent!
These are the 10 most common errors we discover doing audits for law firms:
Overall bad advice from previous marketing partners.
They never set up Google Search Console, so they don’t know if Google is having problems crawling and indexing the site.
Too many toxic links have been built over years and may not have been disavowed.
Many unnecessary 301 redirects and broken links.
Not paying attention to page speed and website performance.
The website isn’t responsive or mobile-friendly.
No one has set up AMP versions of webpages.
Images aren’t compressed.
Inconsistent NAP profiles throughout the web.
Multiple pages competing for similar keywords, resulting in cannibalization. This problem is huge.
How can so much go so wrong?
Many law firms hire a web designer to make their website.
But a web designer and SEO web developer are two different skills sets.
So, if you’re going to hire a web design agency to build your website, you also need an SEO web developer who will ensure the website is coded correctly and correctly follows website navigation best practices.
Bonus tip: While you’re making all your technical fixes, make sure to add Attorney schema to your website.
Schema can indirectly help your rankings, because it helps Google better understand your pages, and it can help improve targeting.
The best way to get traffic is to rank well in search engines for the right keywords, whether it’s for certain locations or practice areas.
To accomplish this, you need a foundational content strategy.
There are three types of content pages that will help you rank:
Primary: These are your content pages that target high-value keywords relevant to your practice areas.
Secondary: These are your content pages optimized to rank for keywords relevant to your services.
Tertiary: These are your content pages that target long-tail keywords.
Another foolproof way to drive traffic: email.
Here are three types of email campaigns that work well in the legal industry:
New lead follow-up campaign: Show a client or a prospect what the next steps are. You could show them a journey through your law firm (e.g., with a video), explain what the next steps would be, or what it takes to hire a lawyer.
Lead magnet: Give away an ebook or premium piece of content (e.g., 6 Steps to Winning a Personal Injury Case, How to Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer).
Capture reviews from past clients: As soon as someone’s case is settled, they should fall into an email campaign asking for a review (or maybe taking a survey about their services). As mentioned in the last section, adding more positive reviews can only help drive more traffic to your site.
It’s worth investing in a good email management system, especially one that is also a CRM and has the ability to create email autoresponder campaigns.
Past Client Testimonials / Reviews
Do you ask your current and past clients for testimonials or reviews? You should be asking every single client for a review, whether good or bad. Unlike weight loss testimonials which aren’t believed for the most part, attorney testimonials still influence potential clients’ decisions heavily.
No, 2, 5 or 10 testimonials isn’t enough. Any testimonials you have is a great start, but evidence shows that attorneys who have more than 10 testimonials convert far better than attorneys that have few or none. 20, 30, 50, or 100 testimonials does take time to gather, but at a certain point, the proof that you’re a good attorney becomes overwhelming.
Before you start asking for reviews from clients, find the reviews that are already out there on the internet, in your desk drawer (ones written on paper and sent by mail), your email account (some clients will email a thank you note or review), and in the forgotten minds of your staff.
Nowadays, client reviews tend to occur mainly online – places to search are: Yelp, AVVO, Google My Business, Judy’s Book, Superlawyers, Lawyers.com, Martindale-Hubbell, Yellowpages.com, Citysearch, Better Business Bureau, Yahoo local, LinkedIn, and more.
Find all of your reviews online at these websites, as well as googling: “Yourname StateName Attorney reviews” or “Your name State Name Attorney client reviews” ex: “Joe Blow NY Attorney client reviews”.
Once you’ve gathered all the reviews you can from all sources, you’ll want to both post them on your website and gather them format them uniformly, and print them out on as many sheets of paper as required, to give to potential clients, and email them as well (by creating a pdf of the testimonials).
How to Make Each Testimonial More IMPACTFUL (the more specific the name on the testimonial, the more powerful)
Written testimonial with photo
Audio testimonial with photo
Video testimonials-these are our favorite and carry the most weight influencing others that you are the attorney of choice.
Specifically Worded Testimonials Are Far More Powerful
Weak example: “Attorney John Smith did a great job. Thanks.”
Powerful example: “I thought that a DUI arrest wasn’t that big of a deal, and I ended up losing my driver’s license because I waited too long to contest it being taken. Attorney Smith was able to help me avoid pleading guilty to a 1st offense, and even got my breath test thrown out due to a lack of calibration logs and operator training. My case was dismissed, and I only lost my license for 90 days. If I had given up and pled guilty or tried to handle it on my own, I would’ve had a nightmare on my hands – whew!”
How to Use Testimonials Once You’ve Got Them
On your website, everywhere
On your website, associated with specific pages that add to the credibility of that specific page such as on a page discussing breath test results, have a testimonial of a client that you ‘saved’ by showing the weaknesses of the specific model of breathalizer used against them and how they were found not guilty as a result.
In emails to potential clients (follow up emails)
In newsletters to past clients to stimulate referrals
In books you’ve authored
In your videos on YouTube
Reviews / Testimonials From Other Attorneys
Clients who say you did a good job are vital – but including other attorneys’ comments of how good you are makes your persona even more compelling and believable – don’t ignore or forget these important reviews as well.
Scour the web, your office, email, and ask your staff who they think would give you a positive review (or find existing ones online) – once found, create a separate pdf, printed document, and put them on your website as well.
Same rules as with past client testimonials – the more you have, the more powerful your attraction to potential clients.
If you don’t have enough, or any, call up some attorney buddies and ask them to write you some – everyone has SOMEONE who will speak for them.
Past Case Stories / Studies / Results
Another powerful way to demonstrate your virility as an attorney is to recount as many successful past client case stories as possible.
Case studies show how you think, in story format, instead of having to tell a potential client that “they should hire you”.
Done right, compelling case studies communicate how you prevailed or mitigated the circumstances of a case – they show how you think, various legal strategies to obtain good results for clients, and have a chance of making a potential client say, “wow – this person had very similar issues to MY CASE and this attorney helped them”.
Case studies can be VERY powerful – think of them as testimonials in expanded form, with a reason how that shows not only the end result, but HOW it happened and WHY the result was positive.
Answer Your Reviews
As I already mentioned, consumers rely on online reviews when choosing a lawyer.
One simple thing that law firms can do themselves is respond to reviews in a timely manner.
This means responding both to positive and negative reviews.
Google puts a lot of weight on reviews, so definitely respond to any on Google.
If you can increase your rating (ideally you want to shoot for a 4- or 5-star rating), that should also impact the number of potential clients who click on and visit your website.
But also answer your reviews on sites like Avvo, Yelp, and anywhere else your firm might get reviewed.
All five of these things can help you immediately if you need more traffic and SEO visibility.
Out of all of these options, I highly suggest you start with the SEO audit. You need to figure out the health of your website before you start adding any content or links. Think of it like going to the doctor before you start a new workout routine.
Once the audit is done, fix everything you need to. Then build out your content strategy.
Then it won’t be long until you start seeing much greater results from your SEO efforts.
4 Pillars of a Successful Legal Content Strategy
Want a legal website that attracts clients who are ready to convert and earns great organic search rankings?
Then you need a content strategy.
Too many legal websites I see are simply blogging or creating content for the sake of it.
However, there’s a lot more to a content strategy than just creating content.
Let me say it again: you need a content strategy to be successful.
Every piece of content you publish should have a purpose.
You should build content based on:
Your practice area.
Keyword research and analysis.
Ready to up your legal content game?
Here are four pillars you need to have for a successful legal content strategy.
Your legal content strategy starts with foundational content.
For legal marketing, foundational content means increasing the visibility and organic search rankings of your practice area pages (and your homepage).
Within foundational content there are actually three types of webpages you need to know and use:
Primary Content Pages
As you do your keyword research, you’re going to discover that certain keywords have more value than other keywords (typically because they have high search volume and they are incredibly relevant to your practice area).
Simply, primary content pages are your main pages that target a high-value keyword. These are the main keywords you want to rank for.
For instance, you might design and optimize your primary content pages to rank for keywords such as:
Personal injury lawyer
However, the SEO competition for these high-value terms is typically incredibly high. So, you will need to create content that is better than your top competitors.
As you build your foundational content around these keywords, always make sure the content you publish is relevant to the services you offer.
Secondary Content Pages
Secondary content pages are optimized to rank for keywords that are relevant to the services you offer.
So, if you’re creating content for a personal injury lawyer website, for example, some keywords you’ll want to target might include:
Tertiary Content Pages
Tertiary content pages are for deeper, long-tail keywords you want to target.
You can dig really deep at this level.
For example, you can target multiple types of car accidents:
- Car accident while hit by drunk driver.
- Hit and run accident.
- Left turn accident.
Developing more foundational content means you’ll have more fishing poles in the water, which means more opportunities to attract clients who need the legal service you offer.
Every new piece of content you create is an asset that can add two types of value:
To your website: Your content helps improve your search visibility, which makes it easier for people find your website.
To your law firm: There is a tangible, measurable ROI on your content investment (as long as the page is converting).
One other type of foundational content, which may not apply to all legal websites, is localized content.
This is for law firms that serve more than one location.
If this is the case for your firm, you’ll want to create content specific to those locations, targeting local keywords (e.g., city, town, or county names).
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ content has been around forever, but it has become even more important with the rising popularity of voice search.
People are using their smartphones and smart home devices like Alexa to ask more questions – and their queries are longer and more conversational.
Google’s search features (e.g., autocomplete, people also ask, searches related to…) make it super easy to find additional FAQ content to develop and write.
Another way to uncover additional frequently asked questions is by speaking to your client.
For instance, if you’re talking to a personal injury lawyer, find out what questions their intake department is getting. Are people asking about drugs? Back injuries? Other types of injuries?
Google can then feature this FAQ content as featured snippets, as long as the content has been optimized and the site has built up enough authority.
A lot of FAQ content has become a featured snippet.
For instance, here’s a search for [how much can someone sue for a car accident]:
Here’s another example, for [how long does dui stay on driving record]:
The best part? You don’t have to rank in Position 1 to get a featured snippet. As long as you can get to Page 1 of Google (ideally in Position 1, 2, or 3), you have an opportunity to appear in the coveted “position zero” above the first organic search result.
And if you’re doing any PPC marketing, that will help your law firm take up even more SERP real estate.
For your FAQ content, you’ll see best results by making sure each new page you create is optimized and:
Answers just one question.
Has an SEO-friendly URL.
Is at least 500 to 1,000 words.
This is the blog content you, the attorney, creates.
We encourage lawyers to really give a personalized approach to the law, either by sharing their opinions, writing about certain cases, or doing case studies.
We also recommend lawyers get super technical here. Use state case numbers and violation codes – Google will find this information and show it to searchers who do a case number lookup.
If you see an interesting and relevant legal case you want to write about, do it!
Or, if you’re a divorce lawyer, it might be a good idea for you to share your opinion on the most famous divorces. That said, don’t write for the sake of writing, especially if it’s outside the scope of your practice areas.
While you want to grow your website and show Google that you’re investing in your website, you don’t want to saturate your website with subpar content.
At best, low-quality pages or off-topic content won’t help you or add any value; at worst, it could hurt you (either how Google or potential clients view your site, based on the quality of your content).
Ultimately, authoritative content isn’t meant to convert.
Authoritative content is more of a branding play meant to increase authority and influence – to help lawyers become leading experts in their area of legal expertise.
There’s more to content than just the words on a webpage.
Always think about the user experience.
For instance, adding images or visual content (such as banners or videos) is a simple way to break up the content:
Another thing to think about is how you are going to internally link your pages.
Don’t think about links just for ranking purposes (though smart website navigation will help with that).
Instead, think of your internal links a way to lead your visitors one step closer toward a conversion action (links to your practice area pages) or to find more information (links to content pages on relevant, related topics, either within your site or on an external source).
For instance, your tertiary pages should be used to lead visitors who have just discovered your law firm to your primary and secondary pages via a call to action.
Ultimately, if you make your users happy with your content experience, and follow SEO best practices, you should be rewarded with better Google rankings.
Experience has shown that the more credentialed you appear to potential clients, the higher a percentage of your website visitors will call you versus leave your site WITHOUT calling.
If a visitor does not call or email you, you’ll never convert them to a retained client. No, you can’t even get close to turning every website visitor into a potential client call, but when the legal industry’s standard is 1 in 200 visitors calling, there’s a TON of room for improvement.
The combination of foundational content, FAQ content, authoritative content, user experience and testimonials is powerful. These five of these elements must be part of your legal content strategy.
Ready to get started?
Start going deeper using Google’s search features, especially autocomplete, to find FAQ content.
You can also discover what types of legal content are attracting the most shares and links with a tool like BuzzSumo.
Once you’ve created your content, enhance it with visuals. This will improve the user experience – and boost your SEO performance.
Finally, always measure your results. Not everything you publish will be successful, but when you figure out which types of content tend to bring in lots of leads or traffic, learn from it – and try to replicate your successes.
Need help implementing your new strategy?
Call ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing at 855-943-8736 for a FREE consultation and proposal.
And as always, your feedback, questions or potential project ideas are welcome.
Edward Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A.
President and Managing Partner
ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing, Inc.
Ed can be reached at (or visit his websites)