Updated: June 19, 2024.

The most comprehensive guide to lawyer SEO (attorney SEO or SEO for lawyers) on the internet. It’s both for lawyers and SEO professionals doing SEO for lawyers. 

Lawyer SEO (also called attorney SEO, or SEO for lawyers) is a vast and complex topic that could easily warrant a 50,000-word guide. However, for the sake of brevity and practicality, this guide will focus on the most critical aspects of SEO for law firms.

Keep in mind that the strategies and techniques discussed here merely scratch the surface of what’s possible in the world of attorney SEO.

If you are interested in lawyer SEO, look no further.

My name is Olga Zarr. I’m an experienced SEO consultant with 12+ years of experience in SEO and 3+ years in lawyer SEO.

Not only did I work as the SEO director at a lawyer SEO agency, but I have also helped 15+ law firms grow their SEO as an independent SEO consultant.

With a bit of humor and sarcasm, this guide walks you through all the important aspects of SEO for lawyers:

  • It reveals smart optimization strategies I’ve developed over the years.
  • It talks a great deal about common lawyer SEO mistakes I come across every single day.
  • And more!

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

Also, depending on the aspect of lawyer SEO I discuss, I will switch perspectives and talk to either a lawyer interested in lawyer SEO or an SEO consultant providing lawyer SEO for their clients.

Lawyer SEO show

A note about this lawyer SEO guide (before you begin)

Writing this comprehensive lawyer SEO guide was quite a journey, taking many weeks to complete. Along the way, my writing style and tone may fluctuate, ranging from academic and formal to frustrated and sarcastic. 😅😒

If you come across unexpected quips or biting remarks, know that it’s part of the authentic experience of diving deep into the world of lawyer SEO.

I poured my heart and soul (and maybe a bit of sanity) into this guide, hoping to help you navigate the complex landscape of SEO for law firms.

Whether you’re a lawyer or an SEO professional, I trust you’ll find value in the content, even if you must endure the occasional sarcastic jab. 😉

I utilized AI tools like Gemini, Claude AI, and ChatGPT to refine my writing, but the core content remains a product of my own experience and expertise in lawyer SEO.

So, grab a coffee, get comfortable, and let’s embark on this wild ride through the world of lawyer SEO together! ☕️

The lawyer SEO guide in the making. Pepsi is not my sponsor. 🤣

P.S. If you want to get access to the most advanced and off-the-record tactics, join SEOSLY Pro.

SEO for lawyers (video)

This guide is also available in the video version which you can access below:

Who am I to talk about lawyer SEO?

As mentioned in the introduction, I’ve been specializing in SEO for law firms for 3+ years (and I’ve been in SEO for 12+ years). I know this niche inside and out.

I’ve helped many law firms achieve killer results and saved many lawyer website migrations.

This gave me a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities in this ultra-competitive industry.

I’m always neck-deep in the latest SEO strategies and trends. I live and breathe SEO.

I’ve spoken at major SEO conferences where I shared my hard-earned knowledge with the best in the business.

This is me, Olga Zarr, talking about in-depth SEO auditing at the SEO Mastery Summit in Saigon.

Bottom line: when it comes to lawyer SEO, I know my sh*t. So if you want to tap into my expertise and take your law firm’s SEO to the next level, you know where to find me. 😉

However, my time capacity is very limited now, so you may want to get on my waitlist before I help you.

Why lawyers need SEO

Believe it or not, most people STILL use Google to find a lawyer, and SEO will help your law firm’s website be easily discovered by potential clients seeking specific legal services in your area. 

Without SEO, your website gets buried in search results, and prospective clients may never find you, regardless of your qualifications. 

As the running joke goes, the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google, which still holds true today, even with the rise of AI chatbots and AI Overviews in search results.

SEO for lawyers

Effective SEO ensures potential clients can discover and select your law firm when searching for terms like “Personal injury lawyer near me,” “Chicago personal injury lawyer,” “DUI lawyer Chicago,” or “Workers’ compensation lawyer New York.” 

SEO provides 24/7 promotion (in contrast to paid ads which stop the moment you stop paying for it) to deliver qualified leads from prospects already seeking your services. 

What is lawyer SEO?

Lawyer SEO (search engine optimization) involves the strategic practice of enhancing a law firm’s website to achieve higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords and phrases. The primary objective is to increase the website’s visibility, attract a larger number of potential clients, and generate qualified leads.

In essence, lawyer SEO is traditional SEO tailored specifically for law firm websites, and -if done right – it helps:

  • Rank higher for key search terms: Ensures your website appears prominently for relevant legal keywords.
  • Attract more website visitors from search: Increases the number of potential clients visiting your site.
  • Generate leads from people interested in your services: Converts site visitors into actionable leads.
  • Establish expertise and credibility: Positions your firm as an authority in your field.
  • Showcase credentials and build trust: Highlights your qualifications and fosters trust with potential clients.
  • Get more cases: Drives more inquiries and consultations.
  • Grow your practice: Supports the expansion and success of your legal practice.

And more! Keep reading to learn all about the intricacies and benefits of lawyer SEO.

Subscribe to my SEO newsletter to stay up to date with lawyer SEO

If you are an ambitious SEO or a business owner, you may benefit greatly from subscribing to my SEO newsletter, where I share my knowledge for free.

My top tools for lawyer SEO

Below are the top tools I recommend for attorney SEO.

Lawyer SEO tools

I mention these tools many times throughout this guide because they are integral to my SEO process. While I am an affiliate of some of these tools, I recommend them because I genuinely love and use them daily for their effectiveness and reliability.

  1. Cora SEO Tool. Provides detailed analysis and recommendations based on competitor data, includes a Volatility tool for tracking keyword fluctuations.
  2. JetOctopus. A powerful cloud-based crawler and log analyzer used to identify and fix SEO issues. This is my favorite tool for cannibalization analysis as well.
  3. Semrush. A comprehensive tool for keyword research, competitive analysis, site audits, local SEO, and link analysis. It’s my favorite tool for local SEO.
  4. seoCrawl. The best tool for making sense of Google Search Console data and generating actionable insights.
  5. SE Ranking. One of my favorite rank trackers for monitoring keyword performance.
  6. Ahrefs. Best for competitive analysis, keyword research, and rank tracking, with excellent backlink analysis capabilities.
  7. Screaming Frog. Desktop-based SEO spider for in-depth technical SEO audits.
  8. Google Search Console. Essential for monitoring site performance and fixing indexing issues.
  9. Google Analytics. Tracks website traffic, user behavior, and conversion metrics.

This list is by no means complete but includes the tools I find most valuable for lawyer SEO.

Law Firm target audience

For law firms, identifying the target audience is a crucial step in developing an effective SEO strategy. Google prioritizes user experience and meeting users’ needs, so understanding your audience deeply is essential.

Here is a screenshot from Google’s extensive Search Quality Evaluation Guidelines, which discuss users’ needs extensively.

Law firms must recognize the specific requirements and characteristics of their target audience.

This involves tailoring the language of the site and calls to action (CTAs) to align with the audience’s education level, preferences, and needs.

Potential target audiences vary based on the practice area:

  • Personal Injury Representation Seekers: Individuals injured in accidents seeking legal assistance to obtain compensation for damages and medical expenses. They need clear, empathetic communication that outlines the steps to get help and the benefits of legal representation.
  • Workers’ Compensation Help Seekers: Employees injured on the job requiring legal representation to navigate the workers’ compensation process and ensure fair benefits. Language should be straightforward, explaining their rights and how the law firm can assist them.
  • Corporate Legal Services for Business Owners: Entrepreneurs and business owners seeking legal assistance with contracts, intellectual property, compliance, and other corporate matters. This audience appreciates detailed, professional language that highlights the firm’s expertise and successful case histories.
  • Family Law Issues Navigators: Individuals dealing with family law matters such as divorce, child custody, adoption, or estate planning, seeking sensitive and knowledgeable legal guidance. The communication should be compassionate and clear, addressing the emotional aspects of their situations.
  • Criminal Defense Clients: Individuals facing criminal charges who require legal representation to protect their rights and navigate the legal system effectively. The language must be assertive and reassuring, emphasizing the firm’s experience and success in criminal defense.
Law firm SEO target audience

The SEO strategy may vary based on the primary practice areas, which makes it essential to define the target audience at the outset.

Understanding how the target audience conducts their searches and what information they seek is the next critical step.

Keywords or search phrases for lawyer SEO

Keywords are the specific words and phrases that people type into search engines when looking for legal representation (or anything for that matter). 

These include terms like “personal injury lawyer,” “criminal defense attorney,” and thousands of variations.

Keywords play a crucial role in lawyer SEO by bridging potential clients and your law firm’s online presence. 

Keywords and their correct and strategic use form the basis of any successful SEO strategy, including lawyer SEO. 

These are the main elements for correctly using keywords to benefit SEO:

  • Keyword Research. It is important to start SEO work by identifying the specific words and phrases used by potential clients when searching for legal services. This forms the foundation of a successful SEO strategy. The best tools to do keyword research include Semrush (click to check), Ahrefs, and SE Ranking.
This is Semrush Keyword Tool showing the data for the “personal injury lawyer” keyword.
  • Keyword Metrics. Keyword research requires experience, as it is easy to make mistakes that can impact traffic and conversions. To choose the right keywords, it is important to analyze all relevant keyword metrics, such as volume, potential, or competitiveness. 
This is Semrush Keyword Tool used to look for keywords around “personal injury lawyer”.
  • Search Intent. It’s essential to ensure that the keywords you select align with potential clients’ search intent. Consider the intent behind different queries, such as informational, navigational, or transactional, and optimize your content accordingly. The most effective method to assess the search intent of a specific keyword is to type it into Google and see what’s ranking. Are these blog posts or service pages? Or maybe something else?
The Semrush Keyword Tool shows you the intent of each keyword.
  • Long-Tail Keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keyword phrases that typically face less competition than shorter, more generic ones. Targeting long-tail keywords at the beginning of an SEO campaign helps ensure faster website growth. These keywords often have lower search volumes but attract highly targeted traffic.
  • Competitive Analysis. Assessing the keywords used by your competitors to identify opportunities should be done both at the start and regularly. This can help you discover new keyword ideas or refine your existing keyword strategy. When analyzing any keyword, always check what pages are ranking.
Semrush allows you to see the pages ranking in SERPs.
  • Keyword Placement. Identifying the right keywords is not enough unless you strategically put them in page titles, headings, meta descriptions, content, and other strategic SEO places. The Cora SEO tool will help you optimize your keywords.
This is the first page of the Cora report with the main recommendations for “lawyer SEO” keyword.
  • Local Keywords. When incorporating location-specific keywords for local SEO, it’s crucial to strike a balance and avoid overoptimization. Overusing local keywords, such as excessively mentioning “Chicago lawyer” for a law firm based in Chicago, can actually confuse Google and make it think your website is more about the city itself than your legal services.
  • Keyword Cannibalization. Another essential aspect of effective SEO is preventing keyword cannibalization, which occurs when multiple pages on your website target the same keywords. This can lead to internal competition, diluting the ranking potential of each page and confusing search engines about which page to prioritize. Your SEO provider should be able to identify instances of keyword cannibalization and implement strategies to resolve the issue. I use JetOctopus to analyze cannibalization.
JetOctopus lets you easily check if your website has cannibalization issues.
  • Keyword Mapping. Identifying the right keywords is one thing but mapping them to the correct pages is another. The entire SEO strategy might fail if keywords are not mapped correctly. 
  • Keyword Tracking. Monitoring keyword performance is crucial and allows you to adjust strategies.  My favorite rank trackers include Semrush, Ahrefs, and SE Ranking. When tracking keywords, you should know about the phenomenon called time-sharing. Check my video below, which explains the Cora Volatility Tool in detail.
In this video, I talk about the Cora Volitality Tool that allows you to better track rankings.

Proper keyword research is crucial for a successful lawyer SEO strategy. Skipping this step can tank your entire SEO campaign.

When hiring an SEO consultant or agency, make sure they have the skills and experience to do effective keyword research.

Find out exactly who will be working on your SEO. Your strategy’s success depends on having knowledgeable, skilled pros in charge.

Website optimization for lawyer SEO 

Website optimization is crucial for lawyer SEO. Let’s briefly discuss the four main aspects of website optimization for lawyer SEO. 

Is your law firm website helpful?

Google is forever talking about making your site user-friendly, and helpful. Here are the three most important aspects of that: 

  1. Google’s Helpful Content System: Google’s helpful content system aims to better rank pages based on how helpful they are for searchers. Content that provides value is rewarded, while content that seems unhelpful or low quality is less likely to perform well in search rankings.
  1. Google’s Page Experience: Google Page Experience emphasizes the importance of a website that provides a good page experience. This includes factors, such as Core Web Vitals, safe and secure browsing, or eliminating intrusive interstitials. However, my experience has shown that this is less important for SEO, but plays a role in CRO.
  1. Satisfying Users’ Needs: A helpful website goes beyond basic information and aims to address the needs and concerns of your target audience.

Your SEO expert should take into consideration all of these factors when auditing or optimizing your website. 

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) for lawyers

Optimizing your website for conversion rates is essential to maximize the number of inquiries, phone calls, messages, and requests from potential clients. 

The most important aspects of the CRO for lawyers include. 

  1. Easy Communication Channels: Incorpore a chat feature on your website, which enables visitors to initiate real-time conversations and ask questions conveniently.
  2. Easy Contact Options: Make it easy for visitors to make a phone call or submit a contact form. 
  3. Conversion Tracking: Track which contact forms (chat, form submission, phone call) or pages (service pages, blog posts, or Google Business Profile) generate the most leads and capitalize on them.

Please note that CRO is not SEO! It is not your SEO’s job to take care of CRO.

UX and lawyer SEO

While these are just the basics and only scratch the surface, enhancing user experience (UX) is essential for lawyer SEO.

UX and lawyer SEO

Key practices include:

  • Responsive Design: Ensure your site is mobile-friendly and works seamlessly on all devices.
  • Fast Load Times: Optimize images and use efficient coding practices to reduce loading times.
  • Clear Navigation: Implement a straightforward menu and site structure.
  • Accessible Contact Information: Make it easy for visitors to find contact details and forms.
  • Quality Content: Provide valuable, easy-to-read content that addresses client needs.
  • Visual Hierarchy: Use headings, subheadings, and visual elements to guide users through the content.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons: Place prominent, compelling CTAs to encourage user engagement.

Implementing these practices improves usability, increases engagement, and enhances SEO by aligning with search engine preferences for user-friendly websites.

It’s important to note that while good UX is crucial, it is not the SEO’s job to work on UX directly, but to ensure that SEO practices complement a strong user experience.

SEO For Lawyers: E-E-A-T & YMYL

E-E-A-T and YMYL are the concepts that originally came from Google’s Search Quality Raters’ Guidelines that human raters use when assessing websites. 

E-E-A-T stands for Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life” and it refers to website content pages that provide advice or information on topics considered sensitive because they can directly impact a person’s money, livelihood, health, safety, or other vital areas.

Some examples of YMYL topics include:

  • Legal information and lawyer advice
  • Medical, health or drug information
  • Financial guidance (loans, insurance, investing, taxes)
  • Educational and career development offerings

Google holds YMYL pages to an extremely high standard when it comes to experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T quality standards). 

Many law firm website pages fall squarely into YMYL territory. This includes legal advice content, attorney biographies outlining experience, practice summaries promising specific capabilities, case studies around past performance or results, etc.

As such, law firms need to ensure all YMYL pages targeting searcher needs fully demonstrate quality, accuracy, and ethical/judicial integrity through E-E-A-T signals. 

Here is how you can showcase the E-E-A-T components on your lawyer’s website: 

  • Expertise: Showcasing your expertise in specific practice areas is essential for establishing yourself as a knowledgeable legal professional. Highlight your deep understanding of the law, your specialized skills, and your ability to provide effective legal solutions based on years of experience.
  • Experience: Highlighting your experience is crucial in demonstrating your ability to handle complex legal cases and deliver favorable outcomes. Showcase your track record of successful cases, notable achievements, and years of practice. Emphasize your experience in handling similar cases to instill confidence in potential clients.
  • Authoritativeness: Establishing authoritativeness is key to being recognized as a reliable source within the legal industry. Publish informative and well-researched content that showcases your thought leadership and industry knowledge. Demonstrate your authority by offering insights, analysis, and commentary on legal matters that are relevant to your target audience.
  • Trustworthiness: Building trust is critical in the legal profession. Clients entrust their legal matters to lawyers they perceive as trustworthy and reliable. Foster trust by providing transparent information about your firm, displaying testimonials from satisfied clients, and showcasing your professional achievements, certifications, and affiliations.

Your SEO specialist should know that having strong E-E-A-T does not equal demonstrating E-E-A-T effectively. This is your SEO’s job to make sure your law website screams E-E-A-T. 

Some of the questions you may be asking to analyze the EEAT of your law firm website include.

Subscribe to my SEO newsletter to get a free 76-question EEAT/Google Quality audit template that you can use to audit any law firm website in terms of Google’s quality signals. 

Site Speed in the Context of Lawyer SEO

Many incompetent lawyer SEO agencies become fixated on meaningless speed metrics (green scores in PageSpeed Insights).

These agencies misleadingly use speed as a sales tactic by claiming that green Core Web Vitals scores are crucial, even though speed is just one of many ranking factors and a relatively insignificant one.

“Beware of agencies who obsess over PageSpeed Insights grades while neglecting foundational SEO best practices. For most firms, a reasonable site speed paired with expertise in other critical areas drives the best lawyer SEO results. Don’t let speed become a shiny distraction.”

Olga Zarr, Lawyer SEO Consultant

In most cases, improvements in website speed do not significantly impact SEO success or user experience. Therefore, instead of aiming for arbitrary speed targets, the most important question to ask is whether your site is too slow for real visitors.

Google PageSpeed Insights and lawywer SEO

If the field data (data from actual users shown in Google Search Console) shows acceptable speeds, shift focus to high-impact SEO factors like on-page optimization, content quality, keyword research, and technical SEO.

The place to check field data is the Core Web Vitals report (for mobile) in Google Search Console. 

Accessibility in lawyer SEO

Accessibility compliance is vital for lawyer SEO, ensuring websites are usable by all individuals, including those with disabilities.

This not only broadens your audience but also improves your site’s SEO, as search engines favor accessible websites. Key aspects include:

  • Alt Text for Images: Provides descriptions for visually impaired users.
  • Keyboard Navigation: Ensures all site functions are accessible via keyboard.
  • Readable Text: Uses clear, legible fonts and sufficient contrast.
  • Accessible Forms: Labels and instructions should be clear.
  • Compliance with WCAG: Follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for legal standards.

Failure to comply with accessibility standards can result in legal penalties and fines, as well as potential lawsuits.

Many countries have strict regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the U.S., which mandates accessible web design to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Ensuring your law firm’s website is accessible not only helps avoid these penalties but also demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and broadening your potential client base.

By the way, Google offers the Lighthouse Accessibility Audit which I strongly recommend you check.

CMS for Lawyer Websites

WordPress is the most common and best option for lawyer websites due to its extensive SEO customization capabilities. However, out-of-the-box WordPress requires significant customization to optimize for SEO effectively.

Many lawyer websites are custom-coded within WordPress, which can lead to compromised security and poor performance if not done correctly.

Tag and attachment pages are often unnecessary and clutter the site with low-value content; custom page templates not blocked from indexing result in thin content pages that harm SEO; custom coding without proper security measures exposes the site to vulnerabilities; and lawyer WordPress sites often have 50+ active plugins, slowing down the site.

Despite these challenges, WordPress has the greatest potential for SEO when properly customized and secured. Using the right SEO plugins (like Rank Math, not Yoast SEO) and following best practices can turn WordPress into a powerful tool for lawyer SEO.

On-Page SEO for lawyers 

On-page SEO contributes to 85% of your SEO success, despite the common emphasis on backlinks. 

While backlinks can be effective, they should be built strategically for pages that have reached their limits with on-page SEO. 

Building backlinks for a website that hasn’t been optimized for on-page SEO is a waste of time and money. 

Olga Zarr, Law Firm SEO Consultant

Surprisingly, many law firm websites fail to implement even the most basic foundational elements of on-page SEO correctly, not to mention the more advanced stuff you could do with Cora, the best on-page SEO tool out there.

If you haven’t heard about this tool, make sure to watch this video. 

In this section, I’ll briefly discuss the most crucial aspects of on-page SEO for lawyers.

Meta elements optimization in lawyer SEO

When it comes to lawyer SEO and SEO in general, meta tags (welcome to SEO basics), including title tags and meta descriptions, play a crucial role in optimizing your web pages for search engines. 

These tags provide valuable information about your content to search engine crawlers and influence how your website appears in search engine results.

It is essential to effectively use meta tags by incorporating relevant keywords, keyword variations, LSI, and entities.

This is Cora report showing the recommendations for meta elements in lawyer SEO.
  • The title tags (also known as title links) serve as the clickable headlines that appear in the search engine results, and it’s crucial that they precisely summarize the webpage’s content. Incorporating relevant keywords that potential clients might search for will increase the chances of your website appearing prominently in search results.
  • Meta descriptions provide a brief summary of your web page’s content beneath the title tag in search engine results. While they do not directly impact search rankings, they can play a significant role in attracting potential clients. Having relevant keywords in meta descriptions can make the entire site better optimized and more topically relevant.

Google, of course, likes to rewrite both title tags and meta descriptions from time to time. However, it is still super important to use them strategically and to always put your target phrase (and a supporting phrase) in them. 

I’ve ranked tens of lawyer websites with the help of Cora. Also, make sure to check my review of the Cora SEO tool.

Heading structure for law firm SEO

Headings are like chapters in a book. A website with a messy heading structure is like a book without proper chapters or subchapters.

Many lawyer websites use headings just for styling, often created by people who don’t understand SEO. This leads to messed-up headings that hurt both users and search engines.

Heading structure in lawyer SEO

To fix this:

  1. Use a clear, well-structured heading hierarchy (H1, H2, H3, etc.).
    • Headings organize content and improve user experience.
    • They help users and search engines understand your content’s structure.
    • It’s not just about SEO, but also accessibility.
  2. Search engines use heading text to understand your content’s context and relevance.
    • Don’t use headings just for styling or break the logical hierarchy.
    • Match headings to the content beneath them.
    • Use relevant keywords in headings, especially right after the title and meta description.

Fixing heading structure and content can dramatically improve rankings. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times.

Now it’s your turn… 

Show me your headings, and I will tell you how good your SEO agency is. You can check your headings with the Chrome Web Developer tool or any of the popular SEO Chrome plugins.  

If you see something like this, think about a new agency.

If you see something like that, congratulations on choosing people who know at least the basics of SEO.

Lawyer SEO Keyword Optimization

Keyword optimization is a crucial aspect of lawyer SEO that requires a strategic approach.

In this section, I’ll discuss the best practices for keyword optimization that will help your law firm’s website rank higher and attract more qualified leads.

Keyword research and keyword mapping

The first step in effective keyword optimization is conducting thorough keyword research to identify the terms and phrases your potential clients are using when searching for legal services online.

Once you have your target keywords, map them to specific pages on your website.

One of the biggest mistakes I see in lawyer SEO is what I call “random SEO,” where keywords are selected but not mapped to specific pages.

The golden rule of SEO is ensuring that every canonical page on your site has a target keyword mapped to it.

In this video, I explain that in more detail. 

Strategic placement of keywords

When optimizing your page content, use your target keywords and their variations naturally throughout the text.

Place keywords in strategic locations such as meta elements (title tags, meta descriptions), headings (H1, H2, H3), body text, image ALT text, and internal link anchor text.

To get the most out of your keyword placement, leverage the Cora SEO tool for detailed optimization recommendations based on your page and your competitors’ pages.

This is the Cora report that shows you specific ranking factors, their weight, and your performance against your competitors.

It will also tell you exactly what words to put and where to place them.

Keyword stuffing vs keyword density 

One of the most common concerns in SEO is keyword stuffing – the practice of cramming as many keywords as possible into your content.

While it’s true that you should avoid keyword stuffing, don’t be too afraid of having a higher keyword density than you might think.

Remember, Google’s algorithms don’t read your page like a human would. They rely on various signals to determine what your page is about, and keyword density is one of those signals.

In many cases, you can (and should) have a higher keyword density than you might initially think is necessary.

This is the Cora report showing keyword density.

The key is to maintain readability and natural language while ensuring that Google has no doubt about the main keyword you’re targeting.

Cora SEO tool

If you’re serious about taking your law firm’s keyword optimization to the next level, I highly recommend investing in the Cora SEO tool.

This advanced tool is designed for SEO geeks who want to gain a significant advantage over their competitors.

Cora analyzes hundreds of ranking factors and provides actionable insights on how to optimize your pages for maximum SEO impact.

It’s not a tool for beginners, so if you’re not an SEO geek yourself, I suggest partnering with an SEO consultant who knows how to use Cora effectively.

Cora SEO Software has been an absolute game-changer for me. This tool measures thousands of factors and tells you exactly which ones appear to influence rankings and how much you need of each to compete with higher ranking competitors. 

You don’t need to believe what I’m saying. Just try for yourself! I have a special lifetime deal 25% OFF (and free unlimited training) for my visitors.

There is a lot more to strategic keyword optimization, but I’m not spilling all the secrets here because I know what I’m doing and I’m great at it. Plenty of lawyer SEO agencies would love for me to drop an SEO nugget they can exploit and monetize.

Nope. The real SEO nuggets are reserved for my SEO clients and SEOSLY Pro Premium members… 😈

Lawyer SEO image optimization

SEO optimization of images is another super important aspect of on-page SEO for lawyers.

While other on-page SEO elements can be complex, image SEO is relatively easy to manage and can yield a good return on investment. Here’s what you need to know:

Use unique images

Using unique images on your website enhances user engagement and improves SEO. Stock images, while convenient, can make your site look generic. If you must use stock photos, create unique images by cropping, flipping, or editing them to make them distinctive.

Optimize ALT text

ALT text (alternative text) provides search engines with descriptions of your images and enhances accessibility. Optimize your ALT text by including relevant keywords to help search engines understand the context and content of your images.

Personalize stock images

If you use stock images, personalize them to make them unique to your law firm. Add your logo, adjust colors, or customize them to match your brand identity. This helps differentiate your website from others using the same stock images.

Showcase authenticity

Authentic images of yourself, your staff, or your office can significantly boost your law firm’s credibility and authenticity. These images add a personal touch and help potential clients connect with your firm on a more personal level.

Avoid AI-generated images

While AI-generated images can be tempting, they’re not recommended for lawyer SEO. Law firm websites fall into the “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) category, where Google places a high emphasis on E-E-A-T (Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), especially trust. Using authentic, real images helps build trust more effectively than AI-generated visuals.

However, for the purposes of this lawyer SEO guide and the amount of sarcasm I have, AI-generated images seem to work awesome.

Internal Linking for Lawyer SEO

Internal linking is often overlooked as a powerful SEO technique, despite being entirely within your control, unlike backlinks (external links).

Many lawyer websites fail to implement even the most basic internal linking best practices.

If you’re not implementing the following two fundamental strategies, it’s time to reassess your SEO approach.

Create silos corresponding to your practice areas

The first foundational strategy for internal linking is to create a clear and concise hierarchy for your website’s content. 

This involves organizing your pages into a logical structure, with each page linked to the most relevant parent or child pages. 

A well-defined hierarchy ensures easy navigation for users and helps search engines understand your content’s structure and relevance.

Blog as part of your internal linking strategy

Having a blog is essential for your SEO strategy, but its structure requires careful planning.

Here’s how you can optimize your blog structure:

  1. Organize blog posts into categories that align with your practice areas (e.g., ‘Personal Injury Law,’ ‘Criminal Defense,’ or ‘Estate Planning’).
  2. These categorized blog posts will naturally strengthen your practice areas’ topical and thematic relevance.
  3. To prevent cannibalization issues between category pages and practice areas, implement a rel="canonical" tag on category pages pointing back to corresponding practice areas.
  4. Embed a list of top articles from each blog category on the corresponding practice area page and link specific blog posts to the practice area to further strengthen its topical authority.
  5. Stop writing blog posts without keyword research. A lawyer’s website is not a news site, and accident news posts are a terrible idea. They won’t rank and will only dilute your site’s topical authority. It’s a complete waste of time, money, and energy. Remember, the goal of your law firm’s blog is to attract qualified leads, not to report on recent events or legal developments.
This is an example of a lawyer blog that talks about car accidents.

Use optimal anchor text 

Picture this: you’re browsing a lawyer’s website, and then you see it – a sea of “Read more” links staring back at you. It’s enough to make your blood boil! 😡

Internal linking for lawyers

Every link is an opportunity to strengthen your SEO, and generic “Read more” links are nothing but wasted potential.

Olga Zarr, Lawyer SEO Consultant

When creating internal links, it’s not just about using descriptive text; it’s about strategically incorporating your target keywords or their variations.

And don’t even get me started on image links! 😤 If you’re not using relevant ALT text that mimics the anchor text of a text link, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to help Google understand the main topic of the linked page.

Now, here’s the hard truth: if you want to do internal linking right, you need to start with solid keyword research and mapping from a lawyer SEO consultant who actually knows their stuff.

So, take a long, hard look at your lawyer website. Are you guilty of the “Read more” link crime? If so, it might be time to give your SEO agency a serious reality check. 😒

Sure, there’s a lot more to internal links than just this – PageRank sculpting, multiple links, JavaScript-based links – but here’s the bottom line: the bigger and more visible your site becomes, the more powerful internal links become. 

If you’ve neglected them for years, you’ll be in for a world of pain trying to undo the damage. 

Structured data/Schema for lawyer SEO

Structured data, also known as schema markup, is a standardized format for providing search engines with information about a webpage’s content.

Even though it is not a ranking factor (at least officially), it helps search engines better understand and interpret the content of a page by classifying and labeling the page’s elements using a specific vocabulary and format.

For law firms, implementing structured data on their websites can be particularly beneficial for several reasons.

  • By using structured data, law firms can make their web pages eligible for rich results in search engine results pages (SERPs). Rich results are visually enhanced search results that can include additional information, such as ratings, reviews, or event details.
  • Structured data helps search engines better understand the content and context of a law firm’s webpages. This improved understanding can potentially lead to better search rankings for relevant queries.
  • Law firms can use structured data to highlight important information about their services, such as practice areas, attorney profiles, office locations, and contact detail
  • By using structured data to showcase attorney credentials, case studies, and client reviews, law firms can demonstrate their expertise and authority in their practice areas. This can help build trust with potential clients and improve the law firm’s online reputation.

Types of Schema for lawyer websites

Here are several types of schema that are particularly beneficial for law firms, along with explanations and examples. This list is by no means complete.

1. Local Business Schema

Local Business Schema helps identify your law firm’s location, services, and other essential business details to search engines. This is crucial for improving local SEO and appearing in local search results.

Example:

{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "LegalService",
  "name": "Best Lawyer",
  "description": "Best Lawyer is a leading law firm specializing in personal injury and family law in Chicago.",
  "address": {
    "@type": "PostalAddress",
    "streetAddress": "123 Main Street",
    "addressLocality": "Chicago",
    "addressRegion": "IL",
    "postalCode": "60601"
  },
  "telephone": "+1-555-555-5555",
  "openingHours": "Mo-Fr 09:00-17:00",
  "url": "https://www.bestlawyer.com",
  "priceRange": "$$$",
  "sameAs": [
    "https://www.facebook.com/BestLawyer",
    "https://x.com/bestlawyer/",
    "https://www.linkedin.com/company/bestlawyer"
  ]
}

2. Attorney Schema

Attorney Schema provides detailed information about individual lawyers, including their credentials, areas of expertise, and contact details.

Example:

{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "Person",
  "name": "John Smith",
  "jobTitle": "Personal Injury Lawyer",
  "worksFor": {
    "@type": "LegalService",
    "name": "Best Lawyer",
    "url": "https://www.bestlawyer.com"
  },
  "telephone": "+1-555-555-5556",
  "email": "[email protected]",
  "address": {
    "@type": "PostalAddress",
    "streetAddress": "123 Main Street",
    "addressLocality": "Chicago",
    "addressRegion": "IL",
    "postalCode": "60601"
  },
  "description": "John Smith is a highly experienced personal injury lawyer with over 20 years of experience in handling complex cases.",
  "sameAs": [
    "https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnsmith",
    "https://x.com/bestlawyer"
  ]
}

3. Review Schema

Review Schema allows you to display client reviews and ratings, which can enhance credibility and attract new clients by showcasing positive experiences.

Example:

{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "LegalService",
  "name": "Best Lawyer",
  "aggregateRating": {
    "@type": "AggregateRating",
    "ratingValue": "4.8",
    "reviewCount": "125"
  }
}

4. FAQ Schema

FAQ Schema enables you to mark up frequently asked questions and their answers, which can enhance your visibility in search results with rich snippets.

Example:

{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "FAQPage",
  "mainEntity": [
    {
      "@type": "Question",
      "name": "What should I do after a car accident?",
      "acceptedAnswer": {
        "@type": "Answer",
        "text": "The first thing you should do is ensure everyone's safety and call the police. Then, document the scene and seek medical attention."
      }
    },
    {
      "@type": "Question",
      "name": "How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?",
      "acceptedAnswer": {
        "@type": "Answer",
        "text": "Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay if you win your case."
      }
    }
  ]
}

5. Service Schema

Service Schema provides detailed information about the specific legal services your firm offers, helping to clarify what you specialize in.

Example:

{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "Service",
  "serviceType": "Personal Injury Law",
  "provider": {
    "@type": "Best Lawyer",
    "name": "Best Lawyer",
    "url": "https://www.bestlawyer.com"
  },
  "description": "Comprehensive legal services for personal injury cases, including car accidents, slip and falls, and medical malpractice.",
  "areaServed": {
    "@type": "Place",
    "address": {
      "@type": "PostalAddress",
      "addressLocality": "Chicago",
      "addressRegion": "IL"
    }
  }
}

6. About Schema

About Schema is used to indicate the main topic of the page by linking to a related authoritative source.

Example:

{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "WebPage",
  "about": {
    "@type": "Thing",
    "name": "Personal Injury Law",
    "url": "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_injury"
  }
}

7. Mentions Schema

Mentions Schema highlights related topics mentioned on your page, linking to relevant authoritative sources.

Example:

{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "WebPage",
  "mentions": [
    {
      "@type": "Thing",
      "name": "Car Accidents",
      "url": "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_collision"
    },
    {
      "@type": "Thing",
      "name": "Medical Malpractice",
      "url": "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_malpractice"
    }
  ]
}

8. Article Schema

Article Schema can be added to blog posts on a lawyer’s website to help search engines understand and display your articles more effectively in search results.

Example:

{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "Article",
  "headline": "How to File a Personal Injury Claim",
  "author": {
    "@type": "Person",
    "name": "John Smith"
  },
  "datePublished": "2024-04-12",
  "image": "https://www.bestlawyer.com/images/personal-injury-claim.jpg",
  "publisher": {
    "@type": "Organization",
    "name": "Smith & Associates",
    "logo": {
      "@type": "ImageObject",
      "url": "https://www.bestlawyer.com/images/logo.png"
    }
  },
  "description": "This article explains the steps involved in filing a personal injury claim, including how to gather evidence and contact a lawyer."
}

Enhancing SEO with Schema Markup

Using schema markup is also great opportunity to add relevant keywords, keyword variations, entities, and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) terms to your site’s code.

While Google may not always read the visible text on your page, including these elements in the structured data (schema) can make your page more topically relevant.

This helps search engines understand your content’s context and improves your website’s visibility in search results.

Cora SEO Tool

The Cora SEO tool can be invaluable in this process. It allows you to learn what LSI words, entities, keywords, and keyword variations should be included in your content and schema markup.

Enhancing SEO with Schema Markup

Using schema markup is an excellent strategy for incorporating relevant keywords, keyword variations, entities, and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) terms into your site’s code.

While Google may not always fully process the visible text on your page, including these elements in the structured data can enhance its topical relevance.

This approach can be particularly beneficial if your law firm client is hesitant to add more content to the page.

By updating and enriching the descriptions in Schema markup, you can effectively boost the page’s relevance and improve its chances of ranking higher in search results.

The Cora SEO tool can be invaluable in this process.

It allows you to learn what LSI words, entities, keywords, and keyword variations should be included in your content and schema markup.

Cora also has a dedicated report for Schema that shows you exactly what types of Schema your competitors are using and whether it is impacting their SEO.

This is the Cora report showing Schema types used by top competitors.

Local SEO for Lawyers 

Local SEO for lawyers is complex and deserves its own comprehensive 10000-word guide.

There are many advanced and highly effective local SEO techniques that lawyers (and other local businesses) can use to achieve great success. 

Despite this, most lawyer websites fail to implement even the basic local SEO best practices.

That’s why in this section of the lawyer SEO guide, I will walk you through the basics of local SEO for lawyers.

Local SEO for lawyers

For more advanced tips, I recommend using Cora or joining SEOSLY Pro Premium.

Google Business Profile (GBP) for lawyers

The Google Business Profile (GBP) is the most important tool for lawyers in terms of local SEO. 

Lawyers can list their firm’s name, location, contact number, website link, operating hours, services, and more.

If your law firm’s GBP isn’t optimized, you may not appear in local search results or map packs.

Clients are 2.7 times more likely to consider your business reputable if it has a complete, optimized Google Business Profile. They’re also 70% more likely to visit the location.

Here are the most fundamental techniques for optimizing Google Business Profile for lawyers:

  1. Complete all information fields. Ensure that every section of your Google Business Profile is filled out accurately, including your law firm’s name, address, phone number, website, and business hours.
  2. Choose the most appropriate category. Select the most accurate primary category for your law firm, such as “Law Firm” or “Attorney,” and add secondary categories to specify additional services.
  3. Add high-quality photos and videos. Upload professional photos of your office, team, and logo. Include videos that introduce your team and showcase your firm’s services.
  4. Write a compelling business description. Craft a clear and informative business description that includes relevant keywords and highlights your firm’s specialties and unique selling points.
  5. Keep your hours updated. Regularly update your business hours, including special holiday hours, to ensure potential clients know when you’re available.
  6. Utilize Google Posts. Use Google Posts to share updates, announcements, legal tips, events, and blog articles. This keeps your profile active and engaging.
  7. Encourage client reviews. Actively encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews and respond promptly to all positive and negative reviews to show engagement and build trust.
  8. Answer questions in the Q&A section. Populate the Q&A section with common questions and provide thorough answers to help potential clients get the information they need quickly.
  9. Add service areas. If your law firm serves clients in specific regions, add those service areas to your profile to appear in relevant local searches.
  10. Ensure consistency across all listings. Make sure your business information is consistent across all online directories and platforms to avoid confusion and improve local SEO.
  11. Enable messaging. Allow clients to contact you directly through the messaging feature on your Google Business Profile for quicker and more convenient communication.
  12. Add attributes and services. Detail the specific legal services you offer and use attributes to highlight special features of your firm, such as “Free Consultations” or “Spanish-speaking.”
  13. Optimize for keywords. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally in your business name, description, and posts to improve search visibility.
  14. Track performance with insights. Regularly review the insights provided by Google Business Profile to understand how clients find and interact with your profile, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  15. Regularly update content. Keep your profile fresh by regularly updating photos, posts, and other content to reflect your firm’s latest news and achievements.
  16. Utilize backlinks. Build backlinks from local directories, chambers of commerce, and other reputable sites to boost your profile’s authority and improve local search rankings.
Semrush allows for tracking rankings in maps.

NAP consistency (name, address, phone number)

NAP refers to the “Name, Address, Phone number” for a business. Having a consistent NAP is important for local SEO and citation signals.

Key elements include:

  • Name: The full and proper business name for your law firm or practice. Such as “Dewey, Cheatem & Howe LLP”.
  • Address: The complete office address including street number, street name, suite/floor number, city, state and zip code.
  • Phone Number: Primary phone number for your office. Format as (xxx) xxx-xxxx.

Having a consistent NAP means this critical “identity” information appears matching across all citation sources like your GBP, website, online directories, social profiles and anywhere else users can publicly find references to your practice’s locations and contact info.

Inconsistency creates confusion around the business details and splits relevance signals. Standardizing on proper formatting for name, address fields, and main phone presents a unified NAP for aggregators and customers. 

This optimization best practice maximizes the ability for searches containing elements of this data to connect to your firm’s listing.

Semrush has a set of nice local tools that allows you to monitor the NAP consistency which I strongly recommend using:

  • Listing management
  • Map rank tracker
  • Review management
Local SEO for lawyers
Listing Management in Semrush.

Local SEO for Lawyers: Managing Reviews

Managing reviews should be a priority for law firms to showcase credibility within local listings and profiles. 

This includes monitoring and responding to feedback on your Google Business Profile, Yelp page, Avvo profile, and other sites referencing your practice.

Best practices for managing lawyer reviews include:

  • Address all reviews, whether positive or negative, professionally. This shows that you actively listen and care about meeting client expectations.
  • Prompt satisfied clients to leave genuine reviews based on their positive experiences. Authentic, first-hand experiences build trust and credibility.
  • Keep an eye on the number and pace of reviews compared to your competitors. An increase in total reviews over time indicates growing awareness and authority.
  • Examine reviews for insights into your firm’s strengths and areas for improvement. Use this feedback to make necessary enhancements to your services.
  • Prominently display excerpts from your best reviews. Highlighting positive feedback reflects favorably on your firm’s capabilities and culture.
  • Actively report any fraudulent negative reviews that aim to unfairly harm your reputation.

During an SEO audit of a lawyer’s website, negative reviews on their Google Business Profile revealed serious issues with their website and customer appointment system.

By addressing the valid feedback provided in these reviews, the client was able to fix the issues, which resulted in happier clients and improved overall service.

Semrush Review Management tool also lets you easily manage reviews and even create auto-replies.

Listing Management in Semrush

Local SEO for Lawyers: Local Citations

Local citations play an important role in lawyer SEO by reinforcing the association between a law firm and its geography/location. 

Key points about optimizing legal citations include:

  • Citations essentially “vote” for your business locations to be recognized as authoritative in the community.
  • Consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) matching your GBP listing builds relevance. Even minor inconsistencies can split signals.
  • Directory listings, chambers of commerce, media mentions, yellow pages, and other platforms each contribute votes for authority.
  • It’s quality over quantity – reputable platforms carry more weight even with fewer citations.
  • Auditing inconsistencies, outdated details, and falsely claimed listings ensures accuracy.

Earning citations from trusted legal, local government, and community sources demonstrates engagement while directory-based citations at scale widen reach.

Balance both to reinforce your firm’s meaningful area presence.

Ongoing citation monitoring protects and expands visibility as the trusted neighborhood law practice for clients.

Optimized GBP + Optimized Law Firm Website = Local SEO Success

To achieve local SEO success, it’s essential to understand that neither a Google Business Profile (GBP) nor a website alone is sufficient. 

However, when used strategically, they can significantly enhance each other, enabling your law firm to rank highly in both Google Maps and organic search results. 

Achieving this requires a deep understanding of SEO in general and local SEO specifically.

Consider the following questions:

  1. Are you aware that your website’s optimization can influence your Google Map rankings?
  2. Do you know that “personal injury lawyer chicago” is not always considered a local search?
  3. When tracking local rankings, do you or your SEO team consider proximity – how far from your physical location you appear on page 1 in the map pack?
  4. Is ranking number 1 in maps when searching from your office building always a true success?
  5. Do you check what percentage of time your client ranks number 1 for their top keyword? Is it 100% or 10%?
  6. Are you familiar with alternative methods of ranking in specific geographic locations, beyond creating location pages based on a keyword plus city combination?
  7. Do you know that creating multiple location pages based on the keyword plus city variation is not always a good idea?
  8. Do you know that the number of location pages does not necessarily need to equal the number of areas served?
  9. Are you aware that over-optimizing for local keywords can confuse Google and potentially harm your rankings?
  10. Have you ever played with manipulated URLs?😈
  11. Do you know that you do not need a huge budget to move local SEO for lawyers?

The answers to these questions are available for my SEO clients only and for the members of SEOSLY Pro Premium. 🙂

Technical SEO for Lawyers

While lawyer websites are typically small, technical SEO still plays a critical role in their performance.

Despite their size, many lawyer websites suffer from severe technical SEO issues that jeopardize their search rankings or prevent them from ranking altogether.

Here are some of the most common technical SEO mistakes I’ve encountered on lawyer websites.

  • The Japanese keyword hack. The site: Search shows that the website has been hacked and has many indexed pages with Japanese characters. Sometimes, it gets so ugly that even Ahrefs starts showing a lawyer site’s main keywords as being in Japanese or totally irrelevant (like products). Here is an example of a hacked lawyer website ranking for e-commerce terms.
Here are the ecommerce keywrods a lawyer website used to rank.
  • Pages stuck in “Crawled – currently not indexed”. Pages are crawled but not indexed. In most cases, pages in this bucket have serious quality issues in Google’s eyes. Excessive duplication and cannibalization can lead to quality issues and both can be mitigated with the proper technical SEO optimization.
  • Thin-content pages. Often leftovers from design templates, these pages offer little value and can negatively impact the website’s overall quality and topical relevance.
  • Low-value internal links. Links labeled as “Read more” or “Learn more” without context dilute link equity and confuse users. Those can be often fixed at scale with one line of code modifying the website’s template.
  • Design Issues. Beautiful designs with special effects, such as JavaScript, can make the main content invisible to Google. JavaScript SEO can lead to problems if SEO idiots are coding your website.
  • Misplaced no-index tags. Important pages mistakenly tagged with no-index prevent them from being included in search results.

My approach to technical SEO for lawyers begins with an in-depth SEO audit that includes a thorough technical SEO review. I analyze all relevant data in Google Search Console to identify and address these issues.

To learn more about my approach to SEO auditing and why I always recommend starting with an analysis of Google Search Console data, watch the following videos:

Content Marketing and Lawyer SEO 

Producing top-notch content is crucial for attorney SEO. 

Techniques such as blogging, utilizing FAQs to answer client queries, showcasing client testimonials and case studies, and incorporating video content are fundamental. 

Despite the clear benefits, not all lawyer websites employ these strategies effectively.

Is content KING?

For law firms, content must adhere to rigorous standards of accuracy, expertise, and ethical conduct—especially pages providing client advice. 

For example, lawyers must ensure that their content aligns with legal guidelines and refrain from using prohibited terms like claiming to be specialists or experts.

This imperative comes from the previously mentioned Google’s E-E-A-T and YMYL quality guidelines.

“E-E-A-T represents demonstrated Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. YMYL flags professional “Your Money or Your Life” topics directly impacting user welfare. Law pages fall squarely under YMYL scrutiny.”

Olga Zarr, Lawyer SEO Consultant

So yes, content is KING for lawyer SEO (even though it is not the only KING in SEO for lawyers). 

Lawyer SEO blog

As long as Google exists, there is just one reliable way of constantly growing your website’s organic traffic: through blogging. 

However, I don’t mean writing blog posts about random law topics that your legal writer comes up with without doing any keyword research (or worse, not knowing what keyword research is). 

I mean writing blog posts based on thorough keyword research through which your SEO specialist identifies your target keyword phrases (most likely related to your practice areas) and lots of supporting subtopics that you can explore as part of blog posts. 

Here are question keywords for the “personal injury lawyer” phrase in Ahrefs.

If your legal writer writes out of thin air, you are wasting your time and money. Just stop.

I came across a comically tragic example of the above. A legal writer chose to write about April Fool’s pranks to connect with victims of bad pranks seeking personal injury help. 

However, the writer had no clue about SEO, so the main keyword this law firm was ranking for was “April Fool’s pranks.”

Should I laugh or cry? 🤣

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Learning what questions your target audience has and answering them while paying attention to SEO is one of the most powerful elements of a successful SEO strategy. 

You can easily learn your audience’s questions by reviewing your contact forms, checking keyword questions you already rank for in Google Search Console, or looking specifically for question keywords while doing keyword research.

  • Frequently asked questions can be turned into awesome stand-alone articles, assuming there is enough search volume. Both Semrush and Ahrefs allow you for filtering question keywords around any topic.
  • When adding FAQs to your content, mark them up with H3 headings to improve readability and help search engines understand the content structure.
  • To save space on your page, consider placing your FAQs in an accordion-style format. This allows users to easily expand and collapse the questions and answers.
  • FAQs are an excellent opportunity to naturally incorporate relevant keywords, entities, and LSI terms into your content, which can improve its semantic relevance.
  • FAQs can also act as supplemental content that makes your content more in-depth and optimized for a given topic. The best place to add relevant LSI words, entites, or keyword variations.
  • It is also a brilliant idea to answer questions that appear in the “People Also Ask” (PAA) section of search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Finally, you can mark up those FAQs using Schema so that they are displayed in a richer format in SERPs. However, it’s important to note that SEOs have heavily overused this tactic, so getting real estate in SERPs in the form of FAQs should not be the core of your FAQ strategy. 
Examples of questions your law firm website may want to answer if it deals with workers’ compensation.

Client testimonials and case studies 

Leveraging client testimonials and case studies is a powerful strategy for enhancing your law firm’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) and YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) signals.

There are various ways to present client testimonials or case studies on your website, with the most common being a dedicated page. However, it’s essential to ensure that an SEO specialist oversees the creation and presentation of these pages to avoid potential SEO pitfalls.

Here is a case study that may make you laugh. 😁

I’ve encountered multiple instances where lawyer websites contained hundreds of thin-content pages, each displaying a single testimonial that was originally presented on a single, comprehensive testimonial page. These individual testimonial pages were not optimized for SEO and ultimately diluted the topical authority and relevance of the entire site.

To prevent such mistakes, your SEO specialist should be involved in the implementation process. If your coder chooses a suboptimal approach, your SEO expert can recommend adding a no-index tag to these pages or suggest a more SEO-friendly alternative. 

The key takeaway is that every aspect of your law firm’s website should be developed with SEO in mind to avoid inadvertently undermining your own efforts. 

Olga Zarr, Lawyer SEO Consultant

Neglecting SEO considerations can easily lead to self-inflicted damage. Again, I’ve seen this too many times.

Lawyer SEO and video content

Video is a powerful tool that can be leveraged in various ways to enhance your lawyer SEO strategy.

Here are some of the most effective techniques using video for lawyer SEO:

  • Video testimonials. Featuring video testimonials from satisfied clients can have a profound impact on potential customers’ perceptions of your law firm’s credibility and trustworthiness.
  • FAQs and legal questions. Using video to address popular legal questions and frequently asked questions (FAQs) is another excellent way to leverage this medium. When both your article and video rank for the same query, you get more real estate in the search results, which increases the likelihood of attracting potential clients.
  • Content repurposing. Video content can be easily repurposed into other formats, such as blog posts or podcasts. Transcribing your video content into a blog post allows you to target relevant keywords and provide search engines with crawlable text. Additionally, extracting the audio from your videos to create podcasts expands your reach to a broader audience who prefer to consume content on the go.
Example of a SERP where both website and a video ranks.

Videos can effectively engage potential clients by providing a personal touch and conveying complex legal information in an easily digestible format.

Videos such as client testimonials, FAQs, case studies, and informational content help build trust and credibility, showcase expertise, and improve user engagement.

Additionally, video content can enhance your website’s SEO by increasing visitors’ time and improving its overall user experience.

Moreover, incorporating video content can significantly improve your site’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness).

Just do video!

Off-page SEO for lawyers

If you know me, you know I’m not a huge proponent of building backlinks, especially those built blindly without a strategic approach. 

I prefer to treat backlinks as the icing on the cake. Once you’ve optimized your on-page SEO and your rankings have plateaued, it might be time to consider building a few strategic backlinks.

Off page for lawyers

Backlinks are often overemphasized, and many people waste money buying links with little to no return on investment. 

With that in mind, here are the types of link-building strategies I recommend for lawyers:

  1. Press Releases. A single well-done and well-optimized press release can give stagnant keywords a significant boost. Approach press releases with the same level of SEO care as your web pages or blog posts. Use Cora to optimize the content of your press release.
  2. Parasite SEO. It allows you to leverage the authority of high-ranking websites by contributing content or getting mentioned. LinkedIn seems to be the best for that. When doing parasite SEO for your lawyer SEO client, account for Google’s Site Reputation Abuse policy.
  3. Link magnets. Comprehensive legal guides, statistics, or original research that others in the industry will want to reference.
  4. Local backlinks. Sponsoring local events, joining local business associations, or collaborating with community group
  5. Newsletter. Send a monthly/weekly newsletter featuring recent blog posts, case studies, and legal tips. The most recent Google’s leak confirms that driving clicks and traffic to your content can indeed help it rank higher (not that we didn’t know about that before).

I’ll say it again: Ensure your on-page SEO is fully optimized before you begin link-building.

And when deciding to buy/earn/get a link, make sure that a given page actually needs backlinks.

The Cora SEO Tool can easily help you decide whether a given page’s SEO deficit lies in links or something else.

Below you can clearly see that the analyzed page (position 20) definitely needs more backlinks for the “personal injury lawyer” query.

This is the off-page SEO report in Cora.

SEO Analytics and Reporting for Lawyers 

You cannot hit a target you cannot see, and you cannot measure a target you cannot see either. This principle is especially true for SEO, including SEO for lawyers.

Measuring and tracking key metrics is essential for evaluating the success of your SEO efforts. 

“Proper analytics and reporting will let you avoid burning money (or it will at least inform you when your money is being burned). “ 

Olga Zarr, Lawyer SEO Consultant

Key metrics to track in lawyer SEO

When tracking SEO analytics, it’s important to monitor both direct ROI metrics like signed cases as well as operational metrics that evaluate the health of your overall SEO straategy.

As you can see, some metrics focus on business results while others assess SEO progress. Both are crucial to track, especially in early stages when SEO has not yet driven outcomes.

Leading SEO indicators ensure efforts stay on track during initial months before traffic and conversions ramp up.

Always remember to prioritize quality over quantity for all metrics. Relevant, high-intent visitors that convert to signed clients are more valuable than a raw number of site visitors.

Some metrics to track in lawyer SEO:

  • Organic traffic
  • Rankings (but never let them be more important than organic traffic), including time-sharing (something that the Cora Volatility Tool allows you to track)
Here are the rankings for “personal injury lawyer” in Chicago in the Cora Volatility tool.
  • Phone calls
  • Contact form submissions
  • Lead quality
  • Signed cases
  • Overall site visibility
  • New keywords
  • Click-through-rates

To help you get started, I have two free Google Looker Studio Dashboards that can help make lawyer SEO tracking and analytics way easier:

  1. Google Looker Studio Dashboard to track website traffic, conversions, and positions.
  2. Core Web Vitals Dashboard to monitor Core Web Vitals.

Subscribe to my SEO newsletter to get access to these two dashboards for free and start leveraging the power of data-driven SEO for your law firm.

Pitfalls to avoid when tracking lawyer SEO

Unqualified SEOs often run into issues with incorrectly tracking and interpreting analytics data.

Some common problems include (a lot of sarcasm here):

  • Tracking vanity metrics like sessions rather than business outcomes. Focus on leads and conversions, not just pretty numbers that make you feel good about yourself. 😏
  • Setting up Google Analytics goals incorrectly. Ensure conversion tracking is implemented properly. It’s not uncommon to see a site with little to no traffic that has hundreds of conversions in GA4, where basically everything is set as a conversion. But who cares about reality when you can live in a fantasy world where your website is a conversion machine? 🎉
  • Not segmenting traffic sources. Always filter for organic traffic when assessing SEO efforts. You don’t want to be patting yourself on the back for a job well done when it’s really just your team visiting the site a hundred times a day. 😂
  • Focusing on keyword rank over actual traffic value. Some #1 ranks bring little traffic while other keywords in lower positions deliver more visitors. But hey, at least you can brag about being #1 for that obscure keyword no one searches for! 😎
  • Not customizing dashboards for key business objectives. Create custom reports to highlight critical SEO metrics. Because who needs relevant data when you can have a bunch of generic charts that tell you nothing? 🤷‍♂️
  • Using only last-click attribution. Consider multi-channel journeys to see true ROI across marketing efforts. But let’s be real, it’s much easier to just give all the credit to the last thing someone clicked on, right? 😴

Work with experienced SEO analysts who know how to leverage the full capability of Google Analytics while avoiding common configuration and reporting mistakes.

Qualified experts translate analytics insights into high-impact SEO opportunities tailored for your law practice.

Hiring a lawyer SEO agency vs. an SEO consultant 

One of the most crucial decisions you’ll face is whether to hire an SEO consultant or a lawyer SEO agency.

Both options have their pros and cons, and it’s essential to understand the differences to make an informed choice.

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s take a moment to consider a critical question:

  • Do you know who exactly is working on your SEO?

I strongly recommend you watch the video where I discuss potential red flags in SEO consultants and SEO agencies.

The pros and cons of hiring a lawyer SEO consultant

Hiring an independent SEO specialist can offer several significant benefits for your law firm:

✅ You know exactly who is working on your SEO. You are sure that your website is in the hands of a skilled professional, not a low-wage junior SEO being paid $1 an hour while you’re paying the agency $15K a month.

✅ You have direct contact with the SEO expert, which allows for clear communication and quick problem-solving.

✅ An SEO consultant is laser-focused on your individual law firm’s goals and needs. You get personal attention from the consultant who acts as an extension of your marketing team. You are not one of 100 other SEO clients. You are one of a few clients at most.

✅ SEO consultants are nimble and quick to adapt their efforts as new opportunities or challenges arise.

This Olga Zarr, a lawyer SEO consultant, with John Mueller from Google. 😁

However, there are also potential drawbacks to consider when hiring an SEO consultant:

❌ Expertise and experience come at a price. You won’t find a decent SEO consultant charging less than $5K a month.

❌ An individual consultant may have limited ability to scale efforts rapidly across large websites.

❌ Some specialties, like link building, may rely more on outsourcing

The pros and cons of hiring a lawyer SEO agency

On the other hand, hiring a lawyer SEO agency can provide a different set of advantages:

✅ You gain access to a specialized team with a wide range of skills and resources.

✅ Many agencies offer a full spectrum of online marketing services, including SEO, PPC, web design, and more.

✅ Agencies often have established reporting frameworks and analytics dashboards in place.

✅ Agencies may be cheaper.

But there are also potential cons to keep in mind when considering an SEO agency:

❌ You may not know exactly who is working on your SEO, which can lead to uncertainty about the quality of work being done.

❌ With multiple clients to manage, agencies may not provide the same level of personal attention as a dedicated consultant.

❌ Urgent needs or requests may take longer to address due to agency bureaucracy and communication channels.

❌ Agencies may be less willing or able to customize their efforts around your specific goals.

For a more in-depth comparison of SEO consultants and SEO agencies, I strongly recommend reading my comprehensive article on hiring an SEO consultant vs hiring an SEO agency.

Common lawyer SEO mistakes to avoid

As an SEO professional, I can’t help but chuckle at the SEO blunders I’ve seen on lawyer websites. It’s like they’re competing for the “Most Beautiful Website with Zero Traffic” award!

Common attorney SEO mistakes

Here are some of the most common lawyer SEO mistakes I’ve encountered (prepare to facepalm):

  1. Neglecting internal linking. Apparently, “Read more” buttons are the new SEO secret sauce. 🙄 Newsflash: they’re not! Proper siloing and meaningful internal links are crucial.
  2. Skipping keyword research. Who needs targeted keywords anyway? Just write about random legal topics and watch the traffic pour in… not! 😒
  3. Messy heading structure. H1, H2, H3? More like “Help me, I’m lost in a sea of headings!” A clear, organized structure is essential for both users and search engines.
  4. Ignoring technical SEO. Sure, let’s just sweep those technical issues under the rug. It’s not like they affect your website’s performance or anything. 😴
  5. Buying spammy links. Because nothing screams “trustworthy law firm” like a bunch of irrelevant, low-quality backlinks! 🙊
  6. Content cannibalization. Let’s create multiple pages targeting the same keywords and watch them fight for scraps of search engine attention. May the best page win! 🥊
  7. Forgetting local SEO. Who cares about targeting your geographical area? I’m sure people across the country are dying to hire a lawyer they can’t even visit.
  8. Redesigning without SEO in mind. Go ahead, give your website a fancy makeover. Just don’t be surprised when your search rankings take a nosedive.

Phew, that was therapeutic!

Honestly, I could go on and on about these SEO sins. But I think you get the picture. If you want your law firm’s website to rank and attract clients, steer clear of these common mistakes. Trust me, your SEO will thank you. 😉

Is your lawyer SEO done right?

If you’re questioning whether your law firm’s SEO is being done correctly, I hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights and a better understanding of SEO for lawyers.

My aim is not to gain a multitude of new lawyer SEO clients from this guide, as my capacity is already limited and there is a waitlist.

Instead, my sincere hope is that this information will empower you to either improve your own SEO efforts or to more effectively evaluate and screen your current SEO provider.

Do you need help with your lawyer SEO?

Lawyer SEO frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is lawyer SEO and why is it important for law firms?

Lawyer SEO, also known as attorney SEO or SEO for lawyers, involves optimizing a law firm’s website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords and phrases. It increases the website’s visibility, attracts potential clients, and generates qualified leads. Without SEO, a law firm’s website may get buried in search results, making it difficult for prospective clients to find them.

Who is Olga Zarr and what is her expertise in lawyer SEO?

Olga Zarr is an experienced SEO consultant with over 12 years of experience in SEO and over 3 years specializing in lawyer SEO. She has worked as an SEO director at a lawyer SEO agency and has independently helped more than 15 law firms improve their SEO.

What are the key components of effective lawyer SEO?

Key components include keyword research, on-page optimization, technical SEO, local SEO, content marketing, and building quality backlinks. Each aspect plays a crucial role in improving a law firm’s online visibility and attracting potential clients.

How can structured data/schema markup benefit a law firm’s website?

Structured data, or schema markup, helps search engines understand the content of a webpage more effectively. For law firms, implementing structured data can enhance search results with rich snippets, highlight important information about services, and improve the site’s visibility in search results.

What is the role of content marketing in attorney SEO?

Content marketing involves creating valuable, relevant content that attracts and engages the law firm’s target audience. This includes blog posts, FAQs, case studies, and video content. High-quality content can improve a site’s SEO, establish the firm’s expertise, and build trust with potential clients.

What tools are recommended for lawyer SEO?

Some recommended tools include Cora SEO Tool, JetOctopus, Semrush, seoCrawl, SE Ranking, Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics. These tools help with keyword research, site audits, rank tracking, and competitive analysis.

How important is local SEO for attorneys?

Local SEO is crucial for lawyers as it helps their practice appear in local search results, such as Google Maps and local SERPs. Optimizing Google Business Profiles, ensuring NAP consistency, managing reviews, and earning local citations are essential strategies for successful local SEO.

What are common lawyer SEO mistakes to avoid?

Common mistakes include lack of internal linking optimization, absence of keyword research and mapping, disorganized heading structure, technical SEO issues, purchasing low-quality links without a strategy, content cannibalization, lack of geographical relevance, and redesigning websites without considering SEO.

What are common lawyer SEO mistakes to avoid?

Common mistakes include lack of internal linking optimization, absence of keyword research and mapping, disorganized heading structure, technical SEO issues, purchasing low-quality links without a strategy, content cannibalization, lack of geographical relevance, and redesigning websites without considering SEO.

What is the significance of E-E-A-T in lawyer SEO?

E-E-A-T stands for Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It is crucial for law firms as their content often falls under YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics. Demonstrating E-E-A-T helps establish the firm’s credibility and trustworthiness, which is essential for ranking well in search results.

How should law firms approach keyword optimization?

Keyword optimization involves thorough keyword research, strategic placement of keywords in meta elements, headings, body text, and image ALT text, and avoiding keyword stuffing. It’s essential to align keywords with search intent and target long-tail keywords for better results.

What is the difference between hiring a lawyer SEO consultant and a lawyer SEO agency?

Hiring a lawyer SEO consultant provides personalized attention and direct communication with an experienced professional, while an SEO agency offers access to a team with a broad range of skills and resources. The choice depends on the law firm’s specific needs and budget.

Why is accessibility important for lawyer websites?

Accessibility ensures that a website is usable by all individuals, including those with disabilities. It broadens the audience, improves SEO, and complies with legal standards like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Key aspects include providing ALT text for images, keyboard navigation, readable text, and accessible forms.

Olga Zarr is an SEO consultant with 10+ years of experience. She has been doing SEO for both the biggest brands in the world and small businesses. She has done 200+ SEO audits so far. Olga has completed SEO courses and degrees at universities, such as UC Davis, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University. She also completed Moz Academy! And, of course, has Google certifications. She keeps learning SEO and loves it. Olga is also a Google Product Expert specializing in areas, such as Google Search and Google Webmasters.
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