Search engine optimization is the process of getting Google and other search engines to like your website so that it appears high in search engine results. In SEO For Lawyers 101 I give actionable advice as to what lawyers can do to cause their websites to rank higher. Believe it or not, it’s actually a lot easier than it sounds. If you can write a motion, then you can write a blog post that ranks well. This post assumes you already have a website. Fret not, if you do not have one I have a tutorial for that coming soon.
1. Claim Your Listings In Local Directories
DO NOT pay companies to list you in directories. You can do this better yourself. If your business has a physical address, then you want to make sure that you are listed in free local directories. The best directory is Google My Business. There is a specific section in Google results for local businesses in the area that gives you a higher chance of getting clicks and leads. I do not think that paid directories for lawyers are worth it. The best directory is already free. Here are other directories that I have had positive results from:
2. Get Your Happy Customers To Leave 5 Star Reviews on Your Directory Listings
Online reviews are not only a positive ranking signal to Google, they are a positive ranking system to humans. Get those reviews up!
3. Use A Write For Search Engine Tool Such as Yoast
If you’re a WordPress.org user like I am, then you’ll be able to install the Yoast SEO plugin that grades your content based on how well you are using the keywords that you are targetting. If you are not using WordPress, you can create a free WordPress account, write a post and analyze it with yoast, and port it over to your blog. Or, you can consider using an alternative to Yoast that works in your browser such as WebTextTool.
4. But Write For Humans First
Prioritize making great content overwriting for search engines. There are many search engine signals that are positively affected if people stick around on your site such as bounce rate, time spent on page, session duration, and social shares. Great content increases all of this.
5. Share Your Content Yourself & Encourage Shares
Speaking of social shares, share your new blog posts in as many social media outlets as possible. Twitter, relevant Facebook groups, Pinterest, and more. Use social share buttons on your website to encourage shares. I like adding share buttons using Sumo. You can also embed click to tweet buttons to increase shares like the one below.Lawyers should use click to tweet buttons to promote shares of their content. #BrandedLawyer Click To Tweet
6. The More Narrow The Jurisdiction You Target, The Easier It Is To Rank.
The more narrow the area you target in your blog the easier it is to rank. Here is keyword difficulty from hardest to easiest:
- The Pendergraft Firm LLC, United States Real Estate Attorney (You’ll need an expert for this)
- The Pendergraft Firm LLC, Maryland & DC Real Estate Attorney
- The Pendergraft Firm LLC, Maryland Real Estate Attorney (I stick around here)
- The Pendergraft Firm LLC, Prince George’s County Real Estate Attorney (I’m here sometimes too)
- The Pendergraft Firm LLC, Hyattsville Real Estate Attorney (EASY MONEY!)
Nationwide – Consider Hiring An Expert
Statewide – Hard But Doable
Countywide – You Can Do It!
Citywide – You Got This!
7. The More Narrow Your Practice Area, The Easier It Is To Rank
Difficult to Rank – Brian Pendergraft, real property, family law, intellectual property, & estate planning attorney.
Medium To Rank – Brian Pendergraft, Real Estate Attorney
Easy To Rank – Brian Pendergraft, Eviction Attorney. (Even more specific!)
8. Blog Frequently
Fresh content is another positive search engine ranking tool. Try to publish one new blog post a week. Your lawyer competition probably isn’t updating their blog at all.
9. Get A Secure Website
Make sure that your website is HTTPS and not HTTP. A secure website is a positive search factor. Many lawyer websites are still using HTTP. You can get free encryption by using Let’s Encrypt or Cloudflare.
10. Get A Fast Website – SEO for Lawyers 101
A fast website is a positive search engine signal and humans will be less likely to get frustrated and leave website. Many CMS’s such as Squarespace or Wix take care of speed and performance for you. If you’re using WordPress.org like me, it may mean paying extra for managed WordPress hosting. You can test your website speed using GT Metrix. Try to get at least a B!
11. Do YouTube Videos To Go With Your Blog Post
Embedding a YouTube Video In Your Blog Post thank links back to the blog post will help your blog grow. And your blog will help your Youtube channel grow. Everybody wins! SEO For Lawyers 101 YouTube Video Coming Soon!
12. Sample Blog Topics/Headlines
- (Causes of Action in Your Jurisdiction) – How To File For Tenant Holding Over In Prince George’s County, Maryland – The Pendergraft Firm
- (Frequently Asked Questions Your Firm Gets) – How Long Does The Eviction Process Take In Prince George’s County, Maryland? – The Pendergraft Firm
Notice the headline formula I used and try to stick to it. ~Keyword~Jurisdiction~Firm Name~
Even doing no keyword research, by doing blog posts on frequently asked questions and on causes of action in your jurisdiction, you’re almost certain to get leads. However, keyword research tools such as KW Finder can help you find more words to try to rank for.
Install Google Analytics and Verify Your Website With Google Search Console – SEO For Lawyers 101
Google Analytics can be used to track how people interact with your website. You’ll learn what pages are the most visited, least visited, and so on. This way, you can see what works and do more of it. Google Analytics for Lawyers 101 coming soon.
Google Search Console can be used to see if Google is having any trouble indexing your website and the search terms that people are using to find it.
SEO For Lawyers 101 Case Dismissed!
Thanks for reading! I hope you picked up some actionable advice by reading SEO For Lawyers 101. Hopefully I acheived my goal of making you better than 80% of fellow law bloggers at this. The rest is up to you to post, and to be patient. It can take month’s for search engine optimization to start working, but if you keep it up it will!
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