Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) can be one of the most productive and cost-effective ways to promote a small law firm online. If search optimization is done correctly and regularly maintained, it can sustainably and affordably drive high quality visitors to a law firm website that are ready to hire a lawyer.
Unfortunately, search engine optimization is one area of law firm marketing that often feels overwhelming and confusing to our clients. All of the funky lingo, ever-changing rules, and numerous algorithm updates can feel daunting, until you find an SEO expert who knows what they’re doing and can correlate their efforts with increased business.
We’re here to define what optimization should include, why it’s important, and how our law firm SEO services have helped attorneys like you. Our approach and philosophies may be different from most other SEO agencies, but that’s okay, because we have proven results.
It’s Not Magic… Just Good Hard Work
At The Modern Firm, we believe that successful search engine marketing campaigns are driven by good hard work. While there are literally hundreds of ranking factors for a website, here are the three primary areas to focus on that will get your website ranking in the top results.
#1: User Experience and Website Structure
In recent years, Google and other search engines have focused their attention on user experience. What this means is that they expect websites to be
mobile-friendly, load quickly without disruption, have easy navigation, are accessible for all people, and guide users through the site encouraging them to stay longer, rather than bounce off.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, it’s not as simple as it seems. There are all sorts of things going on in the backend of the website that impact user experience from the perspective of search engines. They are looking for things like cumulative layout shift, first contentful paint, largest contentful paint, and yes, many more items that fall under that funky lingo category mentioned above.
This is why, many times when potential clients inquire about law firm SEO services with us, we require the website to be built on, or converted over to our WordPress framework. Our website design process and the functions we have built into the website structure automatically address user experience and cover the fundamentals you will need to begin marketing your firm online.
#2: Quality Content Written by Industry Experts
The actual words on a law firm's website really matter. A website needs to effectively describe what the law firm does and offer a wealth of information on the areas of law in which the firm practices. A growing body of content shows search engines that you are an expert in your industry, and that your website is an actively-maintained resource. In return, Google will reward you with high rankings for the search queries and keywords for which you want to show up.
But, when it comes to attorney SEO, it is important to know that not just any content will get search engines juiced up and rewarding your website with top rankings. Writing for the web has specific criteria that works, and many times a blog post or page that sounds like it was copied from a law book does not perform well. Additionally, it is important to have keyword-based topics and optimization of those terms on the page so Google and Bing can properly match your website to people searching for those keywords.
Not only is producing content on a regular basis a difficult task for a busy attorney operating a small law firm, but SEO needs web-friendly content and proper optimization to work. We have assembled a team of attorney copywriters who work with our SEO experts to create blogs and other high-quality law firm website content on behalf of our clients.
#3: Ongoing Maintenance and Optimization
SEO is not a “set it and forget” marketing service, and if your current website had optimization work done 3, 6, 12, or more months ago it may not be working as effectively as you think.
You may have heard that SEO takes time, and that is true, not just for small law firms but all businesses. Many times, you can expect changes to your SEO strategy as new requirements roll out, algorithms update, AI and generative search functions become more prevalent, and more. Additionally, ongoing research, metadata review, content updates, technical audits, Google Business Profile updates and review management all play an important role in getting your website to climb to the top of the page.
If your plan is to grow your small law firm and generate business from your website, we recommend an ongoing SEO plan. Although we do not have long binding contracts, most of our clients invest in search engine optimization and content writing services for the long haul. Not only is their long-term commitment to our services a tribute to the relationship we build with our clients, it is a result of successful search engine optimization campaigns.
Hard Work Pays Off
When we help small law firms and solo attorneys improve their site with a sustained effort we typically see website traffic, phone calls, and new client inquiries increase dramatically. Most importantly with this type of marketing, our clients are signing up more of the clients they want and are experiencing a significant return on their investment. Below are examples from two of our small law firm clients that are using our marketing services.
This first example displays real results from our efforts for Stickler, Platnick, & Hatfield. Geoffrey Platnick and his family law firm have had our SEO services since their website launched in September 2021. This chart shows the organic traffic growth from the beginning of their services until now (July 2023). This is a prime example of the natural ebbs and flows of organic traffic, the impact of algorithm updates, and the results of a sustained effort with optimization and ongoing content creation.
The next client is Harrison Estate Law. McCabe Harrison is an estate and probate lawyer that has been a SEO marketing client since September of 2019. His account is a primary example of the importance of investing in ongoing optimization services. You can see here that he started off with just about 50 monthly organic users, and has increased to 10,000 monthly organic users.
Let's Chat About Our Law Firm SEO Services
The first step to creating a law firm SEO plan is filling out our online contact form and scheduling a discovery call with our Director of Online Marketing. During this call, we will discuss your practice, determine your goals, and ensure we're the right fit for each other. From there, you will receive a formal proposal that aligns our discussion with the SEO services we believe are right for your firm.
Many times, your plan will include local marketing and attorney-written content along with your monthly optimization services. If you are not a current TMF client, we may pair our online marketing proposal for your firm with a proposal to upgrade your existing law firm website or build a new website for your solo or small firm.