Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a significant driver of traffic for legal / law websites, but many solicitors are unaware of how to implement a successful SEO strategy. It can be a challenge for solicitors to stand out online, given that law is a highly competitive sector.
The sensitive nature of solicitors’ work, such as personal injury and criminal law, means that firms must take a highly strategic yet creative approach to attract more clients via search engine results pages (SERPs).
Thankfully, the fundamentals of SEO remain consistent across industries. The primary aim is to provide valuable content to your audience, optimised for the correct search terms to ensure your site maintains maximum online visibility.
This article covers how solicitors can achieve an SEO friendly website to reach even more customers online.
Why is SEO important for law websites?
We mentioned previously that SEO is a primary driver of traffic for solicitors, but more specifically, it’s local SEO that is most important for gaining new customers. Local SEO is where websites are optimised for local search results on Google, making your business more visible to potential customers in your local area.
As well as searching for nearby solicitors, potential clients also search for law-related questions, so doing your research and tailoring content around these search terms will also help leverage your business.
The key benefits for solicitors who have an SEO friendly website include:
- Maximising your visibility on search engines
- Outranking local competitors
- Create a positive reputation through client reviews and publications
- Create a constant flow of traffic to your website
How can solicitors optimise their website for search engines?
It can be a challenge to know where to start when optimising your website for search engines. However, solicitors can implement various tactics to improve website rankings.
First and foremost, it’s crucial to establish which keywords you should be ranking for. The challenge during this process is to choose relevant yet specific search terms which are high volume but also low in competition. The aim is to attract the right kind of customer through your SEO efforts to avoid receiving enquiries from individuals who can’t afford your services or require a service you do not offer.
Keywords relating to your specific area of expertise, such as criminal law or family law, will help attract relevant customers. Various keyword research tools will help you define a list of specific keywords relevant to your business.
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and one of the more recent developments which will help your website rank more highly is a great user experience (UX). This change means that Google assesses the design of your website and how easy it is to crawl.
When designing a website, solicitors need to bear in mind the following:
- Page load speeds – all pages should load in under 3 seconds
- Clear formatting using simple fonts and images
- Intuitive layout so users can easily navigate around the site
- Strong calls to action so users can take the next steps
- Custom photography to make your business look more professional
- Internal linking to direct users to other resources on your site
- Ensuring no links lead to 404 errors
A crucial aspect that many solicitors overlook is maintaining a solid brand. Without strong branding, it can be difficult for your firm to stand out against the many other solicitors in your area, particularly if you are based in a large city. To achieve a strong brand, it’s crucial to create a professional logo, incorporate high-quality photography, and a proficient website. It’s essential to ensure that your branding remains consistent across all channels, using the same colours to ensure all elements remain cohesive.
Distinctive branding can help your firm stand apart from other solicitors and build a reputation as dependable, top-quality solicitors.
Technical SEO features work on the inner workings of your website, which allow for a smooth crawler experience for search engines. As a result, it’s crucial to ensure that your website is structurally sound by implementing the following:
- A cohesive URL structure
- No 404 errors
- Submitting pages to a sitemap
- Website security measures such as a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate
- Ensure your website is optimised for mobile
- Using Google Search Console to identify errors and analyse traffic
On-page optimisation is the process of ensuring that the keywords you identified during the research stage are sufficiently distributed throughout your website. You mustn’t over-use the keywords for two reasons; the first is that Google could penalise you for keyword stuffing, and secondly, it doesn’t sound natural and often makes for awkward reading. Your primary aim should always be to provide valuable content for your clients, and remember that you are writing for humans first and foremost.
Off-page optimisation refers to SEO tactics away from your website. For solicitors, this is often done through three key strategies:
- Local optimisation – creating a Google My Business profile to increase local rankings
- Client reviews – garnering positive reviews on Google My Business helps build up trust amongst potential clients, especially if they see you have a five-star rating
- Backlinks – earning links to your website from other reputable sites helps Google identify your business as a trusted source
Increased website traffic is fantastic, but if this doesn’t result in more conversions, then ultimately, there is nothing to show for your efforts. Solicitors must get into the minds of their clients and think about what will encourage them to take the next step with you.
Some key points to consider:
- Can the user quickly find the information they are looking for?
- Does the user know how to contact you?
- Can the user easily find examples of previous clients you’ve helped?
With these questions in mind, it’s always worth implementing the following:
- Simple menu navigation
- Clear calls to actions
- Client testimonials
Finally, it’s vital to create valuable content for your clients using your relevant keywords. However, to gain as much coverage as possible, it’s always best to share your content across multiple channels, communicating with your audience via social media or email marketing.
There are many aspects for solicitors to consider when looking to increase their online visibility, but you don’t have to do this alone. At Soar Online, we help our clients elevate their business through a range of digital marketing methods. To find out how we could help you, please give us a call on 0345 207 3727.