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Basic SEO Advice for Law Firms

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is key to getting seen by your potential clients – pushing your law firm's website to the top of the results when people search for the kinds of services you offer. But how does this SEO actually work, and how can you get the best results without investing a huge amount of precious time and money?

Basic SEO Advice for Law Firms

1. Keywords short and long tail – words and phrases people might use when they’re searching for a law firm like yours. For example, if you offer a continuing healthcare claims service you could think about terms around that topic – such as “CHC”, “continuing healthcare funding” or “care home costs”.

2. Use online tools like Wordtracker or create an account with Google AdWords and use the Keyword Planner to work out how popular those terms are and how much competition there is. Popular terms with low competition will give you the best return.

3. Link-building and back links are vitally important for boosting your SEO and law firms’ online visibility. Links to your website from quality and trusted websites count towards your search engine rankings. So to get more of these quality links you need to contribute to online forums (using a link in your signature), ask complementary sites to link to you and do some good basic marketing to encourage people to write about (and link to) your firm.

4. Make sure your legal firm’s website structure is easy for search engines to understand. As a general rule, if it’s easy for a visitor to find their way around, with logical navigation, it’ll also be clear to the search engines. This is called usability and is a vital part of how Google ranks you.

5. The way the content on your site is organised should also be intuitive. Put all the key and ultra-relevant information (such as your key people, services and contact information) no more than a click or two from the home page – don’t bury it away in complex menus or downloadable pdfs. Your future clients will be looking for succinct information as this will show them you handle their business and needs in the same way!

6. Keep measuring how your SEO is doing – a web analytics tool like Google Analytics (which is free) can help you work out what’s working and what isn’t, so you can focus your efforts better.

Things to Avoid In Marketing Your Solicitors Firm Online Strategy!

7. Be careful when you use images, videos and animations. While a site with slick graphics might look impressive, search engines find them difficult to understand. Be sure you put all your key information and keywords on the site in text, not embedded in images and provide text alternatives in the site HTML for your pictures.

8. Make sure you avoid what’s commonly known as “black hat” SEO – these are underhanded ways of trying to ‘trick’ search engines, such as using hidden pages or invisible text. They can and will get you blacklisted by the search engines and come across as unethical – not the type of reputation you want - especially for a law firm!

9. Avoid keyword stuffing – this is the act of trying to cram in as many keywords and phrases as possible into your content, even when it makes it read badly. Try to keep the text sounding natural – a specialist web writer may be able to help but common sense will prevail here and if it reads well and you make a point of not overloading the content - you should be fine.

10. Be careful about which other sites you link to – if they’re using bad SEO techniques, it could reflect badly on your office.

11. When you’re trying to build links, don’t be spammy – make thoughtful and helpful contributions to forums that add value to the discussion. Please don't just agree with comments, be relevant and add to the conversation with open ended comments.

12. Don’t expect instant results – SEO can take time to bed in properly. You can try other marketing methods to drive people to your website in the meantime, like paid search ads or promotions.

Finding an SEO Consultancy for Your Legal Business

13. Consider outsourcing your SEO to a reputable internet marketing expert, especially if you don’t have the skills in-house. This might be the firm who built your website or a separate specialist. We would suggest you need not enter into months and months of paying out for this, but for a good start it is a good idea.

14. Even if you do have someone in-house who takes care of your website and online marketing, it’s still well worth using the consultant to check your SEO at regular intervals, and then to make recommendations – Google's search engine algorithms and best practice are updated all the time.

15. Beware of any SEO expert who promises super-fast results – they’re likely to be using less-than-ethical techniques. SEO takes time to work. You generally will NOT see a result in the first couple of weeks - be patient it will be worth it!

16. The same goes for “too-good-to-be-true” claims. Anyone promising they can get your website to the top of the search rankings straight away – especially for a popular search term like “law firm” or “care home costs” – should not be trusted. A reputable firm will know it takes work and time to climb the rankings slowly.

SEO, Social Marketing and Social Content Marketing

17. It’s tempting to see SEO as a technical issue, to be put aside when fee-earning demands your time, but it should really be at the heart of your firm’s marketing efforts – after all, your competitors will be using it. Finding a bit of time to invest in SEO properly could mean a long-term boost to your business.

18. Google and other search engines like sites to be fresh and regularly updated. Add new content as often as you can – that could be blogs, your business, market or local news, new case studies, testimonials, photos, videos, podcasts, and so on. The only limit is your imagination and time.

19. Get social – search engines these days also look at social media when they rank your site. Include links to your new content in Twitter messages and Facebook posts – when they’re retweeted or shared, your SEO will get a boost.

20. Finally, never forget that the customer is king. If you build your website around the types of content that visitors and potential clients would find interesting and useful then you’re already halfway there.

Tags: SEO For Law Firms, Online Marketing Services For Solicitors