The best way to market your legal practice has moved from traditional to digital marketing. Gone are the days of Yellow Pages. If someone needs an attorney, they’re likely looking online.

Google is the number one search engine of choice, with roughly 3.5 billion searches per day.

If you want to show up in Google’s search results and rank high enough to get visitors to your website, then you should care about law firm search engine optimization.

SEO For Law Firms

According to a survey by the Global Web Index, 81% of people in need of legal services conduct their searches online. That means your target audience is more likely looking for your firm online. In the same report, 52% of consumers reported purchasing a product or service via mobile devices.

Grow Your Firm With More Traffic, Visitors and Clients.

You went to law school to become a Lawyer, not a SEO expert!

SEO is time consuming and complex. We have the knowledge and experienceto handle all of your SEO campaigns to make sure you stand out from your competition.

Let Just A Web Company handle your search engine optimization needs while you focus on servicing your clients.

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What Is Law Firm SEO?

What is SEO for Attorneys?

Search engine optimization (SEO) for law firms, or attorneys, is a key part of any law firm marketing strategy.

It involves improving the quality of your law firm’s website so that it becomes more attractive to search engine algorithms, including Google.

SEO is not just for Google, it is also about providing quality and relevant content to your potential clients.

SEO is all about generating more organic traffic from search engines. This is opposed to non-organic, paid search traffic using paid online ads. With the help of SEO, law firms can achieve a better search ranking position on the search engine results pages (SERPs). When your firm’s website is optimized, it will appear higher in the results when someone searches for terms, or keywords, related to your practice. This leads to more clients and billable hours as a result.

Google is the most popular search engine but optimizing correctly also increases the amount of business your law firm can receive from other search providers such as Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo. Generally, optimization done correctly will net your results from a variety of sources.

Organic search results appear more credible to users than paid advertisements, though PPC and SEO can be complementary channels in your marketing strategy. SEO is also one of the only online marketing channels that can continue to pay dividends over time, while paid advertising tends to be the most beneficial early in your marketing strategy. A solid piece of content will continue to help your firm rank for the right keywords, while advertising requires continuous funding.

SEO isn’t only about making sure your firm gets noticed online. Search engine optimization is as much about the search engine users as it is about the search engine. SEO generates traffic to your website by helping users find your firm’s website easily, but it also depends on user input. Most users now go to the Internet to find the products and services they need using specific keywords to find what they are looking for. Search engines use those keywords to find the most relevant results.

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Why Is SEO Important?

The way potential clients find, research, and choose a law firm to represent them has changed drastically in recent years.

If you are operating a law firm, you need a digital marketing strategy for attorneys.

A legal website can act as the central hub for your SEO strategies and business branding. It is the foundation of everything you will do to put yourself in front of your potential clients and promote your brand.

Why Is SEO Important?

Having a website, however, is not enough. It needs to be optimized to drive sustainable online traffic to your site. Where you rank is directly linked to your caseload and your firm’s bottom line, and since most people only hire one attorney, you want to make sure your practice is visible when potential clients are looking.

With SEO, you can increase awareness of your law firm’s brand and drive potential clients to your website, which can help your business grow. Vying for a top position on SERPs has never been more important than it is now. First page ranking positions are generally the only ones to get clicks. Most people do not drill down to page two or three when conducting searches.

The way potential clients find, research, and choose a law firm to represent them has changed drastically in recent years. If you are operating a law firm in today’s digital era, you need a law firm website. A website can act as the central hub for your SEO strategies and business branding. It is the foundation of everything you will do to put yourself in front of your potential clients and promote your brand.

Having a website, however, is not enough. It needs to be optimized to drive sustainable online traffic to your site. Where you rank is directly linked to your caseload and your firm’s bottom line, and since most people only hire one attorney, you want to make sure your practice is visible when potential clients are looking.

With SEO, you can increase awareness of your law firm’s brand and drive potential clients to your website, which can help your business grow. Vying for a top position on SERPs has never been more important than it is now. First page ranking positions are generally the only ones to get clicks. Most people do not drill down to page two or three when conducting searches.

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Benefits Of SEO

SEO Benefits

Optimizing your website through SEO comes with many benefits. From increased online traffic to higher conversion rates, it is one of the most sustainable ways to boost your business.

When you have a website up and running, your goal should always be to bring in more searches and potential clients.

It can be costly to maintain a website, especially if it doesn’t perform well.

SEO helps with a law firm’s website performance. With SEO, you’re not just creating a website, but a profitable website. It can help your law firm stand out and prioritizes the quality of the content over the quantity.

Keyword research and discovery is the first step in developing an optimized website. During this phase we can analyze online traffic data and gain a better idea of what your potential clients are looking for. Using those keywords then drives traffic toward your website. Constant analysis of the landscape gives us data to increase traffic and better optimize your content.

Once you have the keywords, you can use those terms to create compelling content for your website. This can take on the form of blog posts or informational articles. Content, in turn, boosts your online visibility and brand awareness.

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Clear Concise Messaging

SEO keeps your content clear and understandable. Law firms often talk in very technical terms.

Visitors to an attorney’s website may get intimidated or overwhelmed by the number of terms they do not understand.

SEO helps by emphasizing readability and providing alternate terminology that can be easier to understand for potential clients.

Clear and Concise Messaging

Well-optimized websites must also focus on design and functionality. By following the best SEO practices, you ensure your website looks and functions as it should. This includes structuring your website in such a way that is easy to use, understand, and consistent. A well-designed website will boost a potential client’s trust in your firm and its work. 

Using several different strategies within SEO works to increase your website’s online traffic. This turns into better leads and higher conversion rates, turning more website visitors into clients and cases.

Keep in mind, SEO also requires consistent and constant updates and analysis to keep your business ranked higher in search results. There are no shortcuts to optimization. Analyzing data and researching keywords are key to better SEO. Search algorithms and user habits change constantly, so your website must be continually optimized to make sure it is up to industry standards.

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SEO Strategies

SEO Strategies

Creating a comprehensive and effective SEO strategy for your law firm is essential to attract the right clients and continue to create content that engages and eventually converts your audience.

Since most users never scroll past the first page of SERPs, appearing on page one in search engines comes with many benefits, including boosting traffic and conversion rates.

Keyword research is the optimization tool most people are familiar with, but there are other tools necessary to improving your SEO. Backlinks, off-page citations, and technical SEO – how search-engine friendly your website is– also affect how well your website and content performs. SEO involves several parts that add up to improving your website’s visibility.

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Keyword research for law firms consists of using professional tools and strategies to discover how people are searching for the specific legal services you offer.

Some keyword tools offer free services, but the most sophisticated and useful are typically not free.

Consider paying for a subscription or outsourcing keyword research to experts who offer SEO services to attorneys.

Best Keywords for SEO

SEO, especially via keyword research, is a long-term effort, so keep that in mind. Examples of keyword search tools include Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush and MOZ.

The ideal keywords should be highly targeted, with steady levels of traffic and reasonable levels of competition. It is more difficult to rank for words with high levels of competition. For example, if you tried ranking for the keyword “attorney,” you would have a higher level of difficulty in making the first page with your website since it is such a highly competitive word.

As you research your keywords, you will need to analyze any keywords found for commercial intent. Though they may get less traffic than other terms, they are easier to rank for and tend to convert at a much higher rate because people searching these terms are looking to purchase services already. For example, there may be a small number of people searching for “San Diego legal services,” which means these users are looking to purchase services from a law firm in San Diego.

To diversify your search, you should find and use keywords with research intent. Question keywords, starting with “why” or “how,” make for great content creators. You can use blog posts to answer user questions, which in turn will boost your relevance and authority.

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Content For Lawyers

Content For Lawyers

One of the most effective ways to build your law firm’s brand is through content creation.

Running a consistent and high-quality website helps build brand authority in several ways.

It increases traffic to your website, improves a websites rankings in the SERPs, and provides content you can also share through social media, adding an additional form of marketing.

When it comes to creating content for your website’s blog, there are a few different angles you can take. You may discuss general topic articles about your specific area of legal expertise, how-to articles, and question-and-answer based content. Your blog can even cover local news stories and provide helpful legal information for people in similar circumstances.

General topic articles are one of the easiest ways to improve your website’s SEO. By including key words and phrases, you can boost your visibility on a certain topic. This is where word count is especially important, though it should not be the only factor you consider when writing content. Well-optimized meta titles and descriptions can also place your website higher than your  competitors.

It is likely that people searching for legal expertise also have questions regarding how to go through aspects of the legal system. Well-researched, informative articles give you authority not only with Google, but within the local community as well. How-to articles allow you to demonstrate your expertise to potential clients, building trust with them before they even call your practice for a consultation.

You can also use your blog to post question-and-answer type content, which allows your practice to start showing up for any relevant, legal related queries your local clients are searching for. Like the how-to articles, it can also build up your authority in the community and SERPs.

Posting regular content can be difficult when you are focused on client cases. The time spent researching, writing, proofreading, and optimizing an article for publishing can take away time spent on working with clients.

The writers on our team consistently provide quality content that gets results. They know how to create keyword-rich content that flows well to boost your authority with search engines. It doesn’t matter what kind of article; our writers make sure each piece of content is optimized and relevant to your business. We handle the research and writing process so that you don’t have to.

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Link Building

Link building is increasing the number of links to your website.

These types of links are often called inbound links, backlinks, or incoming links.

A good link-building strategy boosts your SEO and improves your overall ranking.

Backlinks should come from reputable sources covering relevant topics in order to benefit you and your website.

Website Link Building

When another website links to yours, this shows Google and other search engines that your content is valuable and relevant. It also adds another way for people to discover your website online.

When working on link building, you should focus on getting links from other, authoritative websites. Directories, such as Google My Business or Justia, can provide backlinks, however these links are often easy to achieve and featured on several pages on a directory website. This provides diminishing returns on your backlinks and Google tends to rank these lower than a backlink from another, non-directory-related website.

You can gain backlinks through methods such as guest posting on other websites or using social media. Directories, as mentioned earlier, also provide backlinks, although those are often of lower quality.

Link building is important because it boosts organic traffic. Getting other websites to link to your site signifies that your website is helpful and acts as a recommendation for users, telling them your website is an excellent place to access credible information. Put simply, if a high-ranking and high-authority article backlinks to your website, their values and status as a credible source helps you treamendously. Like with any backlink, it is a signal of confidence in your expertise and information.

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On-site SEO

Webpage Optimization

On-site SEO refers to the way you build your digital infrastructure to allow your website and its contents to get noticed by search engines.

Examples of on-site SEO include site structure, title and description tags, organized content, and website speed.

On-site SEO is about enhancing the user’s experience when on your website. This can also be referred to as technical SEO.

If you cannot provide a visitor to your website with a great experience, they are more likely to bounce. That is, they will likely navigate away from your website and look elsewhere for the content they were searching for to begin with. The better optimized your website is, the more likely they are to stay and read your content, which leads to the visitor contacting you for your legal services.

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Meta Titles

Meta titles, also known as title tags, are important for SEO and should be focused on the page and its top keywords.

Google reads a page’s meta title to get an understanding of what the page is about.

Title tags are also the first thing a potential client will see in SERPs.

SEO Meta Titles

Google typically displays the first 70 characters for title tags but the exact length is actually calculated on pixel width of the text characters. This is an increase from the previous 50-60 character limit Google used in the past. On mobile, longer snippets are allowed. Longer title tags are not necessarily a bad thing if they are still useful when cut off.

You don’t have complete control over meta titles. Google may add your brand name or other words without your permission. Regardless, you do not want to stuff your meta title with keywords. Make sure to include location, if it is needed, and a relevant keyword or two. Those are the most important.

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Meta Description

Meta Descriptions for Lawyers

The meta description is the text Google shows below the meta title in SERPs. While you can provide this information, and always should, Google will not necessarily display it.

Google may input other text from your page depending on what keywords the searcher used in their query.

Descriptions are generally shortened to display 155-160 characters.

Your meta description should draw the potential client to click on your website and possibly contact you. Adding a phone number to the meta description can be a good way to increase the number of potential client contacts.

Heading Tags: One of the most important tags is the Heading 1 (H1) tag. Heading tags help structure your page, with the added benefit of making it easier for search engines, such as Google, to read and index your content more efficiently. Like site structure, Google favors content that “makes sense” and is presented in an orderly manner. This can help optimize a page’s contents for SEO and local SEO, especially.

Headings can range from the largest and most important H1, to the smaller and less important H6 subheading. Typically, headings are used to differentiate between sections of a page using formatting such as larger fonts or different colors. Subheadings create further distinction between content.

Headers, especially the H1, should include your law firm’s location to strengthen your domain authority. Using keywords in the H1 can also increase your rank in SERPs. Though subheadings are not as important as H1s, consider making them keyword rich to boost your SEO.

Alternate Text: The alt text description can play an important role in optimization. It allows Google to understand what an image is about, making them accessible to other search engines that use alt text to search for keywords. An added benefit is that alt text can make your law firm website more accessible to those with disabilities, potentially netting you more clients.

Local keywords can useful but are not always necessary. Do not underestimate the effect your website’s design and site structure has on your rank.

Law firm websites that have not been optimized tend to be highly fragmented with their content. For example, if you are a car accident attorney in San Diego and your website contains 10 pages about “San Diego car accident attorney,” your website is highly fragmented. When it comes to ranking in SERPs, less is more.

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Clear Site Structure

Site structure is how well organized the pages are within your law firm’s website.

If your site is made up of hundreds of pages without a clear, organized structure, your website will have a low-level domain authority due to its lack of structure.

Web pages that are grouped according to categories, with links to additional pages of content have a high level of site structure and a stronger domain authority.

Attorney Website Structure for SEO

Consolidate content, redirect or remove old URLs, and cut down on the redundancy in your website. As stated earlier, this will increase your domain authority with Google, which increases your rank.

Law firm websites typically include core practice area pages, such as personal injury, DUI, or criminal defense. There are also admin pages, which would include the home page, attorney profiles, and contact pages. This is where a silo structure comes in to elevate the relevance of your practice area landing page and help Google understand which page should rank for any given keyword phrase.

The silo strategy emphasizes the core landing page in a search using related sub-pages within your law firm’s website. There should be a main page, such as “Car Accident Attorney” along with supporting pages that provide additional content relating to the main page. Each of your supporting pages should link up to your main landing page and link across to the other sub-pages. With each link, the focus is on the main, or core, page.

Each of these landing pages should also be optimized for keywords and phrases. This includes title tags, description tags, and on-page content. The most effective approach is a one-on-one relationship between your practice area (core keyword phrase) and landing page.

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Page Content Length

Content Length

There is a relationship between content length and position rankings in SERPs.

In most cases, the higher the word count, the higher the website ranked in Google.

Avoid producing content for the sake of achieving a certain word count.

Website content should be unique, high quality, and well researched.

Google can tell when you are including filler content for the purpose of fulfilling a word count higher than your competitors, and it works against you in the rankings.

There is also a relationship between content length and position rankings in SERPs. In most cases, the higher the word count, the higher the website ranked in Google. However, avoid producing content for the sake of achieving a certain word count. Website content should be unique, high quality, and well researched. Google can tell when you are including filler content for the purpose of fulfilling a word count higher than your competitors, and it works against you in the rankings.

Mobile Friendly: Lately, Google has begun to rank websites optimized for use on mobile devices higher than those websites that are not. Due to the increase in search volume on mobile devices, it is important your law firm’s website is optimized for searches on any device.

An optimized website should be easy to navigate even on a small screen. Clear text, fast-loading images, and straightforward call-to-action buttons are some of the optimizations that can keep visitors on your website longer.

Every aspect of your website should be scalable to fit whichever device a potential client is using. Make sure that any images or text is still readable or viewable without sacrificing the functionality of the website.

Schema: Schema is a collaborative effort by all major search engines to read, interpret, and promote structured data on the web using a vocabulary of tags to enhance your page displays in SERPs. For law firms, the key is to leverage the specific attorney schema library of code or data sets.

The main advantage to using Schema in your law firm’s SEO strategy is that few law firm websites use it. By using Schema code structures within your firm’s website, you will be one step ahead of your competition. 

Website Speed: For both mobile and desktop users, loading speed is everything. Users online are more likely to move on to a competitor’s website if its loading speeds are faster and are less likely to return to a website after they’ve had a bad experience. By improving your law firm website’s performance, you are more likely to retain visitors and gain more clients. Google correlates slow site speed with poor user experience, lowering your rank.

You can improve your website’s speed several ways, such as reducing the size of images, updating plugins, and minimizing the HTTP requests required for downloading different aspects of web pages on your website like graphics.

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Off-site SEO

Off-site SEO encompasses optimization efforts outside of your own website or online channels.

Link building is one example, but client reviews, guest blogging, and social media are also types of off-site SEO.

Client reviews increase your credibility and your rank, while guest blogging and social media offer backlinks and other ways to boost credibility besides your website.

Off Site SEO

SEO has significant technical requirements and requires optimization beyond your own channels. Investing time and resources into both components, known as on-site and off-site SEO, will yield positive results for your legal practice.

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Local SEO

Local SEO for lawyers

Most law firm agencies operate within a specific region or area.

This is where local SEO comes into play. Local SEO refers to optimizing your website so that it shows locally, in queries such as “law firms near me” or in local search results in general.

This specified type of SEO is useful for law firms who only want to compete locally, rather than nationally or internationally.

It allows content to target a specific community, bringing in local clients who are more likely to be converted.

Location directories, such as Google My Business, come into play with this type of SEO. Like SEO, the focus is on relevancy, distance, and prominence. The key factor here is distance. You will want to make sure your address is correct on all directories, not just Google My Business, so that distance is accurately calculated, and local users can find you more easily.

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Site Audit

SEO is not a “do it once, never again” type of strategy.

With so many factors determining your website’s rank, it is important to monitor your website’s performance and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

If you have an existing website, the first step in your SEO process is conducting a site audit, this is your blueprint and roadmap going forward. 

Websiter Audit

An SEO audit involves going through your firm’s site and examining all the factors that go into search optimization. The basic idea behind this practice is to find what elements are working and which need improvement or adjustments.

There are five key performance indicators to keep track of when auditing your site. These are:

  1. Ranking and click volume for relevant keywords
  2. Increases or decreases in organic web traffic
  3. Increases or decreases in website conversions from website visitors
  4. Increases or decreases in backlinks and conversions through these links
  5. Improvements or deteriorations in your local SEO presence

Top keywords and user search habits often change. On-going keyword research is important, it is needed to understand where and how to improve existing content or new content on your website. This research also helps in cases where search algorithms have changed, such as when Google runs experiments to test features of a SERP and adjusts the algorithm accordingly.

Running regular site audits means you stay on top of changing keywords, user search patterns, and algorithms. You need to stay on top of these, as they severely affect your ranking and the amount of traffic to your website.

Keep an eye out for webmaster guideline updates, competitors gaining ground on your business, and how changes to your website affects its performance.

We understand maintaining a website is difficult and we will work with you to optimize your firm’s website, so you can start seeing results quickly. We create separate landing pages for each location of your business and make sure that every page is specifically tailored for that area of practice.

Our team creates and includes the meta titles and descriptions for your pages so that your law firm gets noticed. Site speed and performance are regularly monitored to make sure you’re not losing clients to a slow loading page.

We understand mobile optimization is increasingly important and use best practices to develop what you need.

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Why Hire a Marketing Agency?

SEO Company for attorneys

SEO is critical to marketing your services online.

It is an extremely time-consuming process that requires constant monitoring and updating.

This is why many law firms choose to hire a marketing agency to do the work for them.

With a marketing agency, you will be able to leverage their expertise in your favor. SEO consultants are already experts in their field. It takes a lot of energy and time to learn and maintain a degree of expertise in this field because SEO practices are constantly changing. SEO specialists stay up to date on current SEO practices, so you don’t have to. 

Hiring an agency will also save you time. As a lawyer, you are already busy with cases and clients, as well as running your firm. By putting your firm’s SEO in the hands of an expert, this frees up time for you to focus on running other important areas of your legal practice.

With an expert, you are rest assured your website is following the current SEO best practices. SEO experts know what these practices are and can make sure that your website follows all the best practices to rank well.

SEO professionals perform a variety of tasks for your law firm. These include site audits, content marketing, on-site, off-site, technical, and local SEO.

At Just a Web Company, our team uses a user-focused approach to make search engines and potential clients notice you. We constantly collaborate with you to improve SEO, including researching keywords and optimizing your website so it is both user and search-engine friendly. Real-time data allows us to make sure your website is working for you. If not, it helps us adjust our approach so you can rank higher in search page results.

When hiring a marketing agency, it is important to determine your budget. Quality SEO services come with a cost, so it is important to determine how much of your marketing budget will go to your SEO expert.

We work with you to determine how best to use your budget on our SEO services. This includes providing reports to show you your website’s progress and what your money is going toward. 

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Looking for a marketing agency to help you with your law firm’s SEO? Call us today and ask how we can help you increase your online visibility no matter your legal practice. We are more than happy to talk over the specifications of our practices so you can determine if we are the right fit for your law firm.

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