If generating more leads to your law firm in 2020 is a focus of yours, I have some good news.
Firms across the world are utilizing a process called SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to spread the good word of their business.
However, there’s a lot to learn about SEO before getting your site to rank for the best lawyer keywords.
From basic on-page SEO guidelines to technical off-page techniques, we have everything you need to know about law firm SEO in this ultimate guide.
So let’s learn how your law firm can rank on Google like an SEO pro.
We’ll start simple.
1.0) What is SEO?
Search engine optimization refers to techniques and processes that improve how your website will rank for terms such as “law firms near me” in search engines like Google.
These tactics can range from taking advantage of Google algorithms with no physical difference to a page, to developing content providing value to users strictly. Anything to optimize the search engine performance of your website can fall under SEO.
There are two types of SEO:
- On-page SEO — Visual aspects of a site to increase user experience and Google indexing
- Off-page SEO — Background tactics that don’t make a difference to your physical site
Google’s AI crawls the web to scan all websites. And the point of Google crawling pages is to find the content of your page and what it means. Once Google crawls a page, the AI indexes that post to appear in relevant keywords.
Including the right keywords is just the basics. The top websites know how to implement both on-page and off-page SEO. Then when both aspects of SEO are implemented, it’s clear to Google that their page should be ranking.
When appropriately combined, these tactics will drastically improve your online presence. Then before you know it, the flood gates to massive traffic boosts will open.
What most people don’t realize is the amount of hard work, knowledge, and money that top-ranking websites invest before getting to Google’s first page.
1.1) There aren’t any shortcuts in SEO.
The bad news is that there are no shortcuts or “hacks” to SEO that you can use to cheat the game. Making certain moves with your website could even penalize your rankings and plummet your traffic.
We’ll go over the dos and don’ts of SEO later on.
For now, you can find comfort in one thing:
Your competition will have to abide by the same quality standards as you. Hard work, attention to detail, and providing your users with the best value will be the driving factors in getting results on Google.
If you’re wondering why we’re not mentioning other search engines like Bing or Yahoo, Google SEO is our specific focus for a few reasons:
- Google is the most popular search engine by far, with over 80% of search traffic.
- When it comes to AI ranking algorithms, Google has the most intelligent systems.
- Optimizing for Google will generally lead to the optimization of other engines like Bing or Yahoo anyway.
With over 225 million searches every hour, Google is where most people are daily. Some search terms (also called keywords) have thousands of potential clients flooding into Google looking for services like yours. The trick is getting to them.
2.0) Finding your target audience: Law firm keywords
Keywords are phrases that commonly appear in search engines. Ranking for keywords and phrases on Google is the golden ticket for SEO.
The two main aspects of a keyword are:
- Keyword traffic — The monthly amount of searches
- Keyword Difficulty — The level of competition surrounding that keyword
It’s easy to think that the best keywords always have a low keyword difficulty (KD) and a high amount of search volume, but this often isn’t the case.
The best course of action is to mine for keywords that are most relevant to what will help your users.
2.1) Understanding user intent in keywords
Getting into why people are searching for a keyword is called user intent. And understanding this process unlocks a whole new side of keyword research.
Always ask yourself this before committing to targeting a keyword:
If I were searching this phrase, what content would help me the most?
You can also work backward with this trick to find new keywords for a post that you already have. Study the value that you’re trying to spread with your website, then target keywords that people who need that value would search.
You have a superpower that SEO tools don’t, and that’s your human perspective. Never get too caught up in the search volume or KD of a specific phrase. The best keywords have user intent that’s relevant to your page.
Another way to find user intent is to look at the pages that are ranking for a keyword. Pages with the most relevant value will rank the highest.
In this example, “How to Get a Divorce in Texas” is filled with informative blogs answering a question. The value provided here is free information to help educate users.
Keywords with rankings populated by law firms in the area are considered high-conversion local keywords. The search phrase “Divorce Lawer Texas,” is an example of a local keyword that can act as a funnel for potential clients.
As a law firm, there are two types of keywords:
- Local keywords that will attract new leads and clients
- Global keywords providing valuable information that’s not location-related
Because your firm is, most of the time, a local business, it’s easy to think that the only profitable keywords are local phrases. These keywords are populated mostly by potential clients, and ranking for local phrases will make you the most money.
However, although global keywords don’t make you money directly, they can help boost your website authority. And more authority will help your local rankings be more competitive.
Establishing an informative blog is one of the best ways to rank for competitive local keywords.
We’ll discuss more on how to create an excellent blog later.
The best part of having a blog?
Very few local law firms have a blog, and even if they do, you can blow them out of the water by optimizing the content.
3.0) Authority and backlinks explained
Although user value is vital to Google, building the authority of your website will deliver massive boosts in your local rankings.
A well-established website is a trustworthy source of information, and site authority is Google’s trust measurement.
Using Ahref’s measurements, we can see significant components in this site’s authority:
- UR (URL Rating) — The authority of a specific webpage
- DR (Domain Rating) — A website’s overall authority rating
- Backlinks — The number of inbound hyperlinks to this site
- Referring domains — The total number of website domains linking to this site
While Google’s #1 measurement for a trustworthy source is a site’s authority, backlinks are the #1 way to boost that authority.
You can think of backlinks as a mention from one website to another in the form of a clickable link.
If you visualize the internet as a real world-wide-web, backlinks represent the individual strands of webbing going from one site to another. However, every website is itself, a web, and you’re the spider responsible for yours.
To build a foundation, you’ll need to spread authority across all of your pages using internal links before focusing on collecting web links from others.
The best backlinks are from relevant sources.
Google sees backlinks as referrals of approval, and referrals carry much more weight coming from relevant sources.
Manually obtaining backlinks for your site is one of the most valuable aspects of SEO, and if done correctly, it will skyrocket your rankings.
3.1) What not to do With backlinks
No matter what you do, never get caught buying backlinks.
If Google discovers that you bought a backlink directly, you could get penalized. Getting penalized will negatively affect or even erase your rankings in Google.
However, organic backlink outreach will consist of reaching out to blog owners and providing them with a view offer. Outreach is one of the best backlink building strategies.
The most popular form of outreach is offering a guest post that you provide to them in exchange for a backlink from their site. Just make sure that you target websites that’ll benefit you.
A backlink from a relevant high authority site will work wonders on a page’s Google rankings.
The first step to building your foundational web is creating a blog content plan relevant to your firm.
4.0) Optimizing main law firm landing pages
Often your homepage, main pages are what provides your most conversions and is the page that probably appears on Google for local keywords.
Your primary business pages will represent your firm more than anything. Landing pages will be the direct source of most of your client conversions using SEO.
Include your physical information (phone number, email, address, social media, office hours, etc.) toward the top of the page, allowing users to reach out to your business immediately.
Next, be sure to represent your business image by providing information about your practice, as well as any pre-approved testimonials from previous clients (notably high profile clients).
If you can think of anything that a potential client would need to know, include it toward the bottom of the page.
Some firms will include an FAQ (frequently asked questions) section near the footer of the page to cover general inquiries ergonomically. An FAQ section could also lead to potential keyword rankings if users directly Google search those questions.
4.1) Implement main keywords into page titles.
Always include your main target keyword in the title of your page.
You should have an intriguing title that will draw users, and a search phrase in exact words for Google to recognize the relevancy of your page.
The best landing page keywords will probably be your practice, then your city or state.
Remember to keep your title tags under 60 characters long, or else your text will trail off like the second result above.
4.2) Proper URL indexing
In the form of green text beneath a page’s title, the URL structure of a result can make a huge difference in rankings.
Google can more easily recognize what your page is about if the URL is neatly categorized, which will lead to more accurate indexing.
Google AI indexes pages when it scans the internet. This indexing is how your site is put in front of users when they search for your relevant topic.
However, a sloppy URL is harder to index, and Google will algorithmically prioritize pages with more structured URLs. A neat URL won’t necessarily boost your rankings, but a sloppy one will penalize them.
The solution is to structure your pages in a silo-fashion.
Siloing is organizing your site like Russian nesting dolls with every nested subpage belonging to the parent page linking to it.
Keeping this organization will help Google understand your relevancy, portray your site as more professional to users, and will even put you on better terms with Google’s SEO AI.
4.3) How to detail meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are the sub-text below a site’s URL in Google. As the name suggests, a meta description should provide quick insight into the content on that page.
Always address your main target keyword in your meta description, and just like in your title, mention your exact keyword phrase by the letter.
Doubling-down on your target keyword will ensure Google’s understanding of your aim with this page.
Aside from mentioning and addressing that search phrase, give a quick preview of how users can benefit by clicking on your page individually. Keep user intent in mind, and offer the reader the type of value that would help.
For main local conversion pages, include a summary of your practice, how you help your clients, and where your firm is based to help your local SEO rankings.
4.4) Optimize page speed for SEO
Pagespeed is a significant factor in Google rankings.
As I’ve mentioned before, the user is Google’s main priority. And Google recognizes page speed as a factor of user experience.
However, Google doesn’t just penalize you algorithmically, but also by user traffic.
Studies by Google have shown that over 50% of mobile users abandon a webpage if the loading process takes longer than 3 seconds.
With these numbers, your rankings in Google won’t climb to the top until you’re hosting quick pages.
Not sure what your page speed is? Google has a free tool for you to measure called PageSpeed Insights.
There’s a way for you to improve your page speed quickly, and it doesn’t take an expert.
4.4.1) Compress your images to speed up pages.
Images are usually the main culprit for a slow-loading page since most images are excessively large unless trimmed down. Using an image compressing tool like the free-to-use Kraken.io, you can shave p to 70% of file size without affecting the quality of an image.
Simply compressing images will drastically improve page speed, and it only takes a couple of minutes after signing up.
5.0) How to quickly rank in Google for local lawyer keywords
As I said, there are no shortcuts or hacks to Google rankings. But there are a couple of ways for you to rank quickly without focusing as much on organic SEO.
These tactics can work as the only SEO technique for law firms with little to no competition in their area. However, areas with many well-optimized websites will need to implement these tricks and more — unless they’re willing to shell out thousands of dollars.
5.1) Obtain positive client reviews for local snippets.
For an already well-optimized main page, the next most crucial local law firm SEO factor for your business will be the ratings and reviews from previous clientele.
Of course, positive reviews are a good thing for any business as a way for people to gauge the quality of your establishment. But there is much more to ratings than what people read.
The leading organic SEO factor for local snippet rankings is the number of positive ratings that the business has received.
What are local snippets?
Snippets, in general, are featured sections attached to particular search phrases. There are many different kinds of featured snippets that are especially prominent in global searches that we’ll touch on later.
A local featured snippet is a list of available businesses relevant to a search phrase.
As you can see, the keyword phrase “San Diego Law Firms” has a local snippet attached featuring the best results that Google decides.
Google’s #1 ranking priority is providing value relevant to what people want to see.
There are a lot of technical tips and tricks around ranking, but users speak louder than any other factor.
Here’s the truth:
If people prefer one page to another, that first page will eventually outrank the other.
So, having hundreds of fantastic ratings won’t only bring in people via personal preference, but Google will also prioritize you over the other guys algorithmically.
Now that we know how important ratings are let’s go over how you should target them.
5.1.1) Incentivising previous clients to leave reviews and ratings
Unfortunately, most people don’t feel the need to rate places that they’ve already been to. People are naturally lazy — it takes time, effort, and minimal benefit in return to leave a positive review.
The key, then, is to incentivize your clients to leave honest, positive reviews without putting pressure on them that could backfire.
My favorite way to offer value to clients for a review in return is a simple offering of a future discounted service.
Although even 5% of law clients is potentially thousands of dollars that you’re forfeiting, that review is worth it. Good Google views will help your business a countless amount of times. They’re invaluable.
If you manage to secure 200 reviews, your services could rank at the very top of some local Google snippets. In turn, you’ll receive more than enough clientele to compensate.
Never demand a rating, but you shouldn’t be afraid to ask politely. Speaking to your clients as people and leveling with the fact that honest ratings help you improve your business will add humanity to the situation.
Don’t be afraid to offer your employees bonuses if a positive review mentions their name. This will incentivize your team to help get more positive reviews and even encourage better employee performances.
5.3) Paying to rank for local lawyer keywords: Adwords campaigns
There are many ways to advertise your law firm, but Adwords is tailored explicitly for SEO.
Adwords is a service offered by Google that ranks websites for specific keywords in exchange for a fee per click. With this service, you can simply pay Google to put you at the top of your keyword rankings.
Sites with an Adwords campaign appear on Google with the label of “Ad” next to their URL.
Sometimes seeing “Ad” can deter some users that understand the importance of organic rankings. However, most users don’t notice the tiny label and click on whatever appears first.
Plus, remember that you don’t pay for your ranking until someone decides to click on that page.
The main downside of Adwords is the ongoing cost to maintain your top position. Ideally, you’re making enough money from bringing in new clients to at least sustain your positioning, but that isn’t always the case.
Especially for more competitive keywords, the CPC (Cost Per Click) will take more of a chunk out of your new potential earnings. And the last thing you want is to run your budget dry.
You can run a campaign for any keyword. But investing money into global search phrases won’t bring you the same return as local ones.
Starting an ad campaign targeting the term “Defense Attorney” would cost $25 for every click to your page.
Granted, this could be worthwhile if profits from this page justify $2,500 per 100 users. Generally, local keywords are less expensive, but the same problem will arise regardless:
Relying strictly on an Adwords campaign is a never-ending cycle of spending for your rankings.
The alternative to ongoing fees is by targeting your keywords with organic SEO tactics.
6.0) Starting a law firm blog to build your firm’s authority
The best way to solidify your Google positioning is to rank for as many organic keywords as you can. Even if these keywords don’t target your potential local clientele directly, providing value in your space will improve your relevant authority in Google’s eyes.
Relevant authority entails having a site that is well-established in one specific space. The key is to know the area that your website fits into, then create rankable content inside of it.
For example, you’re targeting a local keyword like “food distribution lawyer in Michigan,” but can’t quite break through to higher rankings. An article about how food distribution works with informative content will help boost your authority for that relevant local keyword.
To establish relevancy in a specific space, you’ll need to post new content onto your site regularly. These informative posts are called blogs, and your competitors probably aren’t utilizing them properly.
Business owners are busy, of course, and you might not have the time to establish an entire blog for your site. For lawyers with their plates full, you can outsource blog creation to a marketing agency and sit back for your rankings.
If you’re on a tighter budget with more free time, you’re in the right place. We’re going to go over how you can do it yourself and get results.
Before we write even a word, though, the best organic blog posts are well-planned and have a specific purpose.
7.0) Planning a law firm blog post that ranks on Google
Planning a blog post will dictate how smoothly and efficiently the creation process runs.
By the end of planning, you should have the framework that you or a hired writer can fill out with ease. The goal is to remove as many decisions from the writing process as possible. Creating the content itself should be as easy as following the steps that you’ve laid out ahead of time.
There are five basic components in a planning stage of creating a blog post:
- Topic research
- Main keyword analysis
- Ranking competitor analysis
- LSI keyword and featured snippet mining
- Heading optimization
Not only will these steps help the efficiency of writing later, but by the end of planning, you’ll have an in-depth understanding of the purpose of this post.
To begin, let’s go over how to find the best topics to create content around.
7.1) Topic research: Finding the best law firm topic to cover
As a professional, you know what people ask about the most, and you’re aware of how to inform clients on subjects in your practice. This prior knowledge gives you a head-start on your content planning.
Odds are, you have a few article ideas that would make a great addition to your website, and these ideas could jump right into the keyword mining stage.
But, if you’re not sure what to write about, what would your topic research entail?
The best way to structure an informative post is to answer a question that a lot of users ask. It’s also a massive bonus if there isn’t any blog content covering that question.
A popular question without clear answers is called a crack, and filling these cracks is a great way to start your blog.
Here’s a quick tip: If a forum is ranking for the #1 spot, then congratulations, you found a crack.
Cracks don’t have competition like more prominent keywords do. Competing with forum results is much easier than beating an established blog site.
7.1.1) Using forums to find user problems
Websites like Quora or Yahoo Answers is a great place to find questions in your field. Just search a relevant word in your space like “leaving a will.” You can then filter for the most popular questions, and use Google to see if there is an answer online.
Check to see if another page is fully covering this topic already. If not, that’s a crack to target.
Even if you do find an answer to a popular question, your goal will be to include as much informative content on this subject later anyway, so try to get into a competitive mindset.
“Can I create better content than this”
If the answer is yes, then it’s time to see if targeting that subject is worth it.
7.1.2) The fishing method
Another way to fish for great topics on Google is to use Google itself.
After entering a simple search phrase, Google will suggest relevant topics. The best part is that all of these suggestions have been searched enough by users for Google to recognize them as a possible new search.
The ABC fishing method is adding letters a-z to the beginning of a search phrase to juice as many suggestions as possible. You can even start stacking “ab” and “ac” to the beginning of searches.
Each of these suggestions is a potential keyword. Fishing is just a matter of checking out the stats, then deciding if creating a good post is worth your time and money.
7.2) Analyzing keyword stats for potential lawyer topics
As we mentioned before, the two main components of a keyword are KD and search volume.
You can find a keyword’s stats by using an SEO tool like Ahrefs.
Ahrefs will give you everything from keyword info, to details about websites, but it costs $170 per month for the full basic version.
If you can afford to invest in an SEO tool, it’s worth it. Otherwise, there are free alternatives like Niel Patel’s Ubersuggest.
Ubersuggest gives relevant keyword suggestions, as well as both organic keyword difficulty and paid keyword difficulty.
Keyword mining is imperative to getting your content to users. Even if you have the most valuable blog post online, no one will read it unless you target keywords.
However, the best keywords aren’t just promising in stats. You should only focus on keywords that have the relevancy to support your website foundation.
For example, if you’re building a website as a defense attorney, you should focus on keywords relevant to those clients. The more consistent a blog topic is to your main website focus, the more authority you will build in that space.
7.3) Checking out the competition
After finding a good keyword topic, check to see who’s ranking now and why.
Checking your competition will be a prime example of what you’re going to improve on, as well as the current user intent for that keyword.
These sites will be below advertised pages or sites like Wikipedia or Google. You’re looking for blog posts just like the one that you’re looking into creating.
The first thing to look for will be the type of content that is ranking for your keyword. If your post is more similar to results on the second page than the first, don’t expect to rank with those top sites.
Next, pay attention to the amount of value these top sites are providing.
If articles with 1000 words are on the first page, then plan to double that word count with more valuable content. You want to be the most effective result for that keyword, and you’re wasting time if that’s impossible.
If you’re confident that your post can compete in value, it’s time to look behind the curtain at their website stats. You can copy a page URL and paste it into your SEO tool of choice to see how you measure up.
Competing with very high authority sites is difficult, especially when they have multiple backlinks to that specific page.
Examples like the one above will take some work but aren’t impossible to outrank with good content. Although they have a high domain rating, there’s only one backlink for this specific page. With great content and some backlink outreach, a smaller website could overtake their position.
We can also use the “Organic keywords” section of Ahrefs to checkout some LSI keywords.
7.4) LSI keywords explained for law firm SEO
After finding your main keyword topic, you need to compile a list of LSI keywords.
LSI keywords are phrases similar to your primary target keyword. These keywords are generally lower in traffic, and you’ll be sprinkling them into your subheadings and throughout paragraphs in your article.
It’s crucial to target LSI keywords for a few reasons.
For one, ranking for secondary keywords will bring more traffic to your page, and will boost the overall authority of your website. However, the main reason for targeting LSI keywords is to widen your relevancy.
Think of your keyword strategy as a net that you toss over the internet. Each relevant keyword weaves together, making this net bigger and more capable of catching higher traffic.
A great LSI list will consist of at least 25 secondary keywords to implement during the writing process.
To start the search of secondary keywords, think of different terms for your primary search phrase.
If you’re targeting “How to Sue a Business,” look into other terminology like “Serving a Business with a Lawsuit” in your SEO keyword tool.
You can usually find a few decent keywords by guessing, but using the SEO tool, Ahrefs gives you a full list in seconds.
7.4.1) How to find LSI keywords using the competition
By pasting a page’s URL into Ahrefs, we can see everything that the other guys are ranking for, and their position in Google.
Now we have access to all 504 keywords that this page is ranking for on Google. Take note of any search phrases that’d make an appropriate addition to your list of LSIs; you’ll use them later.
Using a similar tactic, we can find featured snippets for subheadings.
8.0) Featured snippets explained
If you’ve ever Googled a question and received your answer straight from the search page, you’ve seen a featured snippet.
Snippets only exist in 12% of search terms, and it’s rare for a page to occupy them unless it’s already within the top three rankings for that keyword.
This is an example of a paragraph snippet, which is just one of the 5 types of possible featured snippets:
- Paragraph snippets — the most common type of snippet
- Numbered list snippets — usually detailing a step-by-step process
- Bulleted list snippet — often lists ingredients or reasons for a subject in no order
- Table snippets — the least common snippet type, table snippets list variables in different categories (i.e., products with corresponding prices)
- Local snippets — As discussed earlier, local snippets will rank places within the search area (not an informative snippet-type)
Snippets are usually the very first thing that a user sees when searching for keywords.
The best thing about snippets is that ranking for them won’t eliminate your natural page ranking — so one page can rank for a keyword twice.
8.1) Finding featured snippets with Ahrefs
Just like LSI keywords, we can use SEO tools to find featured snippets.
By applying “featured snippets” to the SERP feature filter, Ahrefs will only show keywords with featured snippets actively attached.
8.2) Finding featured snippets for free with Google
A slower, but free, alternative to using Arefs is to utilize two Google features.
By searching “what to wear to court,” we can firstly utilize the “People also ask” section to find the most popular related questions.
These questions are almost always keywords with featured snippets attached.
If the recommended questions are relevant enough to your subject, note them down. You will use these as subheadings (or in an FAQ section) later on.
Another great way to find free featured snippets is on that same search page.
Toward the bottom of most searches is a “Searches related to…” section. Related searches also provide popular search phrases that are often featured snippets keywords.
With our list of keywords and available snippets, it’s time to put together the framework of headings.
9.0) Creating a title and organizing subheadings for blog posts
Headings are imperative to both the organization and SEO indexing of every blog article. Google uses headings as the most substantial influence of relevancy when crawling pages, so your net of relevancy comes together here.
That said, the most crucial heading is the title of your blog.
Your main title (also called an H1) will have your main keyword embedded into an intriguing SEO title under 60 characters.
A good starting point for creating an intriguing title is to include the type of post it is.
For example, if you have a guide to doing something, include titles like “How to…” or “5 Ways to..” inside of the title. Use words like “Explained” or “Breakdown” for informative pieces, and don’t stray away from including “Fastest” or “Easy” to attract users.
Fun fact: Posts with odd-numbered lists in the title receive more traffic than posts with even numbers by 20%.
People want the most straightforward way to get their information, so seeing words related to a quick fix will make for an intriguing Googe title.
Next, try to aim each subheading toward LSI keywords. Start with the most relevant and desirable LSI phrases and work your way down.
But heads up:
As beneficial as it is to include keywords in your work, never keyword litter. Keyword littering or stuffing is spamming and sacrificing user experience to cram as many search terms as possible. The key is to base your content around keywords so that you can mention them organically.
10.0) Setting up an FAQ section to tackle more traffic
Odds are, you’ve run out of relevant subheadings and have some leftover LSI keywords or featured snippets kicking around in your list.
You can’t always include all of your snippets or keywords, but there is a way to make some more room for some extra content.
By setting up a frequently asked questions section toward the bottom of the page, you can focus on featured snippets and LSIs without looking like spam.
FAQ sections are advantageous for a couple of reasons:
- Additional subheadings will add more width to your net of relevancy, attracting the maximum amount of users from search terms surrounding your main keyword.
- A higher word count of genuinely valuable content will add weight to your rankings, and Google will prefer your source over thinner posts.
Now that you have an outline for your article, we can go over how to create the best blog content for a firm.
11.0) How to create the best law firm blog content for blogs
Once you have all of your topic points covered, it’s time to get into the meat of your blog.
Writing is where all of your research is tested.
Your list of LSI keywords and pre-planned subheadings will serve as a framework during the writing process.
Whether you plan to write the posts yourself, or a writer is doing it for you, the process will be 10x smoother and more efficient with your research.
Now that you’ve focused on reaching users, it’s time to provide them with what they need.
11.1) Google’s #1 priority: Providing value to users
Before getting into the technical tips and tricks, the one thing that you need to provide to your audience is value.
You can include hundreds of little tricks to appease Google algorithms, but if users don’t stay on your page and interact with your site, you’ll never rank #1.
How is this value provided to users?
Largely about the search intent of the users that we discussed earlier, how you’re able to provide value is case-by-case. Although, there is one consistent rule to delivering value.
Fix users’ problems and fix them immediately.
If you’re asking Google about the penalties of tax evasion, you won’t be interested in scrolling through the history of taxes before arriving at your answer at the bottom of the page.
Think of a paragraph as an upside-down triangle of value.
Give the reader what they want first, then elaborate with the supporting information and examples.
Especially true for featured snippets, Google will have a much harder time recognizing your answer provided in the first sentence.
11.2) Make content simple and easy to understand.
Get your message across as plainly and straightforward as possible as soon as you can.
Although having a higher number of words than the competition is essential to outrank them, it’s less about the size of your message and more about the amount of value that you provide.
Unless your content topic is very technical, you’ll mostly be informing outsiders with much less perspective than you. So assume that your users know nothing about your subject and include everything.
Avoid using overly-complicated phrasing, and explain acronyms in parentheses.
A tip about hiring writers: Unfortunately, when hiring some writers, they’ll notoriously add extra words to fluff content to milk your money. If you’re a freelance writer, please stop doing this. And if you’re hiring writers, keep your eye out for this annoying habit.
If a 9th grader could read your content and understand, then you’re on the right track.
11.2.1) How to create easy-to-read law firm content
It has been shown that users prefer broken-up text over bulky paragraphs.
Which of these pages would you prefer to read?
The right-hand example is much less intimidating at first glance, while most users would click away to avoid the left-hand paragraph entirely.
Not only is separated text preferred by users, but more lateral space makes a post taller. Users will have to interact with your post by scrolling to receive the value of your information. Google recognizes these scrolling interactions and boosts rankings in return.
11.3) Organically implement keywords into the content.
Without spamming, be sure to mention those LSI keywords from your list, and especially aim to use your primary keyword three to five times in the first 500 words of your post.
Remember that Google algorithms will prioritize the content toward the top first, so your opening paragraph and first few headings will be the most important places to include your keywords.
11.4) Adding relevant images to help the user
Using images throughout your post is more than making it look pretty.
According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, people retain visual information 60,000 times faster than when reading text.
A picture can get a message across almost instantly, while a post or blog without pictures is boring in comparison.
The trick is to use pictures that genuinely help prove your point. Don’t use photos for the sake of adding them. Try adding relevant images to provide your audience with perspective instead.
The best pictures are ones that you’ve taken or edited. Never use someone else’s images without their consent. You don’t want to get hit with a lawsuit or Google penalty.
If you don’t have original images at your disposal, you can sign up for a stock image site. There are hundreds of cheap sites in which you can become a member.
But don’t worry, there is also a free solution to public-domain usage in Google images.
Filter your search for “Labeled for reuse” to be shown images that you won’t get penalized for using.
11.5) Create linkable assets for your content to attract backlinks.
Linkable assets are features on your page that might attract other sites to use as well.
When one site uses or references your linkable asset in a hyperlink, it boosts your authority.
You should note that graphics don’t always get linked to from other sites, but users also love to see them, so you’re benefitting regardless.
Hiring a custom graphic designer on Fiver or UpWork will cost you $5 – $15 per graphic, depending on what you want.
Checking on your stats online to see that another site linked to you for free is worth hundreds of dollars, so I’d recommend including graphics on every page you post.
11.6) Internally link to other pages to distribute authority.
Linking from one page to another within your site distributes your rankability. Using these internal links boosts how your law firm will benefit from having a blog in the first place.
Spreading your authority from global-ranking pages to your local money-making ones will act as a reference in Google’s eyes.
Although not quite as powerful as a backlink from an external site, internal links are still very beneficial.
Aside from the algorithmic advantages, a blog post could also send users to a local page. Although your blog traffic might not be coming from your ideal geographical location, it’s still very possible.
Implementing an internal link is as easy as mentioning the subject of that page organically in your content.
You’ll see these internal links often enough in blog posts, and they’re just one SEO tactic that you can use in your law firm strategy. See what I did there?
11.6.1) Internally Link From Other Pages
As you linked from your new page to others, linking from already established pages on your site to this one will give it a quick boost.
However, don’t link two pages to each other. Keep your links as a one-way street; otherwise, the authority distribution will cancel out.
11.7) External linking to foreign sites
Contextual linking externally to other websites will help your blog post’s authority.
Helpful links give users a chance to read more about a subject without needing to add irrelevant content to a page.
One of the best external links you can use is linking to statistics. Not only does it show you referring to a source, but it also shows Google you did your homework.
Another big benefit is external links can also improve user experience and your session duration according to Global Media Insight.
Google’s AI prefers when pages link to external sites. Search engine algorithms run off of backlinks and traffic patterns, so Google discourages when a website hordes all of its users.
So remember not to be a culdesac of information. Use at least a few external links every blog article to keep growing the world wide web.
The best pages to send links to are strictly informative sites that don’t compete with you at all like Wikipedia, Google, or Government sites.
The last thing you want to do with your law firm site is to link to another law firm that could take your potential clients.
11.8) Triple edit your content to make it perfect.
This article was read, edited, and checked various times by multiple people before this article even made it to your screen.
The worst thing to happen to a blog owner is reading through published content to find typos or grammatical errors. Not only will these mistakes affect your professional image, but misspelling keywords or headings will damage your rankings.
Using Grammarly is arguably the most effective way to check for errors in writing quality. The free version is decent, but the premium can improve your writing’s tone, consistency, spelling, and grammar.
If you plan to outsource your writing, Grammarly also has a plagiarism checker to ensure your writers aren’t taking illegal shortcuts.
Aside from your own triple editing, it’s never a bad idea to ask a colleague or anyone with good English skills to double-check your content. Sometimes it just takes another pair of eyes to find vast improvements.
12.0) Promote your content to get the word out.
With your blog article planned, written, and edited, it’s time to get it in front of the eyes of users.
Ranking with Organic SEO can take months — especially for a new site — which makes the first few hundred users imperative to how quickly a page appears for keywords.
Getting the word out about your post manually attracts immediate user traffic to your new page. When a page is first published, just a few users can help Google see the trustworthiness in your article.
Share your post on social media, and tell your friends and colleagues about the article to get as many visits as possible in that early stage.
Think about who this content will actually help. Visitors that read the entire post and interact with your page will be substantially more beneficial than users that leave immediately.
12.1) Using forums is an excellent strategy to get more exposure.
A great way to bring users to your site is to answer posts on Reddit, Quora, or Yahoo Answers with a link in your answer.
By searching for your post topic in these forums, you’ll find users that are asking questions that you’ve already answered.
If you take 5 minutes to type a quick summary of your article, you can answer their question like the professional you are. The traffic comes into play when you link from the answer to your blog post.
“If you want a more detailed breakdown, I just made a full guide about this very subject here: *insert link*”
A significant benefit of this tactic is that when someone clicks on that link, they’re likely to read the entire post.
Getting help for your law firm SEO and marketing strategy
We’re living in a digital age owned by big tech and Google.
And there’s no doubt about the insane amount of traffic coming in through Google when it comes to the law niche.
If your law firm isn’t taking advantage of the benefits to organic SEO traffic, you’re missing out.
Even if you’re still completely clueless on what to do after this article, hiring a professional team is a legitimate option.
Ready to get started with your law firm SEO marketing strategy? Contact us to get started. Don’t forget to request our media kit and review our case studies today.