Let’s face it.
As lawyers, we are VERY good at what we do. Unfortunately, marketing isn’t one of these skills.
As a result, we may go through feast or famine phases in our business, which has nothing to do with our abilities as attorneys.
It doesn’t help that directories like FindLaw, Justia, and SuperLawyers are filling up Google and making it harder for law firms to rank their sites.
Even with these directories and stiffer competition on Google, it’s still possible to outrank them and hit the top of the first page.
Here are five tips to help you rank higher:
Redesign Your Site
Many law firms treat their website as an afterthought. Poorly designed websites that provide a poor user experience and usually aren’t optimized to rank on Google.
Because of this, you may have trouble ranking any higher than on the 2nd page of Google.
A new website can grow your business in two ways:
- If someone lands on your site and you build trust with them and make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to become a client.
- If people visit your site and stay for an extended period instead of leaving immediately, Google will notice this and decide to rank your page higher.
Sometimes, it’s worth getting a full website redesign instead of trying to do a patchwork SEO job.
Optimize Your On-Page SEO
The next step is to optimize the on-page elements of your site.
Let’s run through a few of the on-page issues we had on our site:
- Slow Speed
These days, users expect websites to be fast. When your pages take too long to load, they will find their solution elsewhere.
Site speed is also now a Google ranking factor. In other words, if your site is slow, Google will take notice and negatively adjust your rankings accordingly.
- Thin Content On Service & City Pages
If you don’t have enough content on your pages, you’ll have trouble getting them to rank.
We wanted to rank for keywords like “DUI Attorney + Our City”, but the service pages didn’t have enough content to rank.
You see, Google likes to rank pages with lots of authoritative content. This shows you know what you’re talking about and have a solution for a searcher’s problem.
Realize a common theme here?
Google wants to offer searchers the best solution for their searchers.
- Poor Site Structure
Your site structure refers to how your site is setup page by page. This not only allows your readers to navigate your site easily, but it also can give Google an easy roadmap to index all of your site’s pages.
We’ll talk about this a bit more in the next step…
Create Location Pages
You probably practice in more than one city. In my case, I’ve had clients in over a dozen different counties across Michigan.
If you want to extend your reach outside of your city, your best bet is to create city pages. These are pages that are highly targeted to a specific area.
For example, let’s say you’re a criminal defense attorney in Grand Rapids, but you also service Detroit, Lansing, and Ann Arbor, then you would create a city page for each of the additional communities.
The site structure would look like this.
Criminaldefenseattorney dot com
- Criminaldefenseattorney dot com/Detroit
- Miamidivorceattorney dot com/Lansing
- Miamidivorceattorney dot com/Ann-Arbor
City pages in smaller surrounding areas can quickly rank and send you a steady stream of leads.
Blogging is another great short and long-term strategy to increase your site’s traffic.
What we’ve found is that our ideal clients will search Google for answers to specific legal questions like, “What’s the difference between DUI vs. OWI?” and “How much does a DUI cost?”
If we’re able to answer these questions, we can get them into our marketing funnel, then get them in for a consultation.
A backlink is a link created when one website links to another. These are important for SEO because they allow Google to determine which sites are more valuable than others.
When a site links back to your site, it basically acts as a thumbs up in Google’s eyes. The more backlinks you get from authoritative sites, the more authoritative your site will be. As a result, you will rank higher on Google.
We build backlinks through two strategies:
- Guest Posting: Writing high-quality blog posts on high authority sites like Legal Services Link
- Content Marketing: Writing informative blog posts on our blog that eventually get linked back to as a source by authoritative sites in our niche.