The ultimate guide to Search Engine Optimization for Lawyers

This article has all the details about search engine optimization for lawyers.

The reality on the ground is that very many people are heading online to discover information and compare what’s out there.

If your law firm is hard to discover or find online, you are likely missing out on a bunch of potential clients.

But no worries, we’ve got your back to enhancing your SEO skills.

Our guide is all about the ABCs of SEO for law firms.

It’s designed for lawyers who are taking their first steps in creating a strategy to find new clients online.

Illustration of Google Search
Illustration of Google Search -Image by Freepik

What is an SEO in law?

Imagine SEO as a digital magnet that pulls more people to your law firm’s website.

It’s like making your site shine brighter on search engines like Google or Bing, so when folks look for something, your link pops up.

Picture this: if your law firm lands near the top of those search results – especially on the very first page – you’ll see a bunch more visitors coming your way.

And the coolest part? SEO isn’t about those ads you might see on the results page.

Here’s the scoop: when visitors click on your link among the regular results (we call these “organic” results), and if your site gives them the info they’re after, they’re likely to contact you and try to know more about what that you do.

It’s like serving them a tasty appetizer that makes them want the main course – your awesome service!

Is Your Law Firm on Google?

Google Search operates through three fundamental phases that enable it to discover, catalog, and deliver results in a ranked order, ensuring users find what they’re seeking when they explore the internet.


Imagine Google as a tireless explorer sending out virtual scouts across the web.

These scouts, known as “crawlers” or “spiders,” comb through web pages, scrutinizing content, links, and more.

They gather data on what’s out there and create a sort of map, or index, of the internet.


Once the crawlers bring back all their findings, Google organizes this information into a vast digital library, or index.

This index isn’t just a plain list; it’s like a massive catalog with details about every web page’s content, keywords, and other elements.

It’s this index that makes it possible for Google to find the most relevant results for any given search.

Serving Results for Search Queries

When you type something into the Google search bar, the magic happens.

Google’s algorithms kick into gear, sifting through its index to locate the most fitting results for your query.

The algorithms assess factors like relevance, credibility, and user experience to rank these results in order of importance.

And voila! The search results page appears, giving you a list of websites that should have what you’re looking for.

So, think of it as a journey from exploration (crawling) to cataloging (indexing) to delivering (serving) the right information at your fingertips.

How to Determine if Your Site’s Indexed

Ready to find out if your website made it into Google’s index? Here’s how:

1. Go to
2. Type “” into the search bar.
3. Hit that enter key on your device.

If your website pops up in the list of regular search results, congrats!

That means you’ve secured a spot in Google’s index.

SEO concept illustration
SEO Concept Illustration – Image by storyset on Freepik

Can’t Find Your Site on Google?

If your website doesn’t show up when using the site: operator, a few things could be at play:

  • Limited External Links

Google might not have enough external links pointing to your site, making it hard for them to discover it on their own.

  • Freshly Minted Site

If your site is new, it might be waiting its turn in the crawl queue to get indexed by Google.

  • Design or Code Constraints

Certain website designs or underlying code could make it difficult for Google to crawl your site effectively.

  • Server or Technical Issues

There could have been a hiccup on your server or some other intermediary that resulted in an error when Google tried to crawl your site.

  • Crawling Restrictions

If you’ve put certain policies in place that restrict Google from crawling your site, it won’t appear in the index.

Checking these factors could help you figure out why your site isn’t showing up in the search results using the site: operator.

Getting Your Site on Google

You’ve got two ways to get your website noticed by Google. You can either tell Google about it yourself or wait for Google to find it on its own.

But waiting around isn’t a great plan. Instead of that, learn how to tell Google about your website manually using something called Search Console.

If you check Search Console and see that Google came to your website but didn’t really settle in (meaning it didn’t put your site in its index), here are some things to think about:

  • Tech Problems

Is there anything techie causing issues? Like some rules that are stopping Google from coming in, problems on the server, or content on your pages that Google can’t figure out.

  • No Spam Allowed

Make sure you’re not doing anything that Google considers spammy. Like adding content that looks like it was made by a robot, or breaking Google’s rules in some way.

  • Content check

Take a look at what you’re putting out there. Is it helpful and real, made for people? Or is it just there to get you higher on Google?

It’s good to find a balance.

So, don’t be afraid to show your website to Google, and if you see any problems, try to fix them so Google can understand and like your site more.

What are the benefits of SEO for lawyers? Does it work? 

Is SEO effective for lawyers? Absolutely, but only when executed correctly.

The ongoing challenge with SEO for law firms is mastering the art of getting your law firm to shine at the top of organic search results.

While many vendors offer lawyer SEO services, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy or guarantees to secure the number one spot in organic search results.

Thankfully, there are numerous ways to boost your odds of landing on the coveted first page of search results.

By grasping the fundamental criteria search engines use to determine which websites are most valuable to online users, you can stand out amidst the market noise and catch the attention of potential clients.

Breaking down law firm SEO ranking factors, they fit into three main categories:


This encompasses the words and other content types like images found on your law firm’s website pages.

Having top-notch content enhances user experience and contributes to better search engine rankings.

This is particularly true if your content aligns with what users are looking for.

Backlinks and Off-Page Citations

This revolves around how your law firm’s online presence, credibility, and authority compare to other law firms.

It’s influenced by the number of external websites and pages that direct traffic to your site.

Technical SEO

When Google ranks your site, the user experience is a major influencer.

This entails factors like page speed, title tags, and site structure.

Focusing on these aspects as long-term goals can lead to positive outcomes.

In a nutshell, yes, SEO can significantly benefit lawyers, provided you navigate the landscape wisely.

How to implement SEO for lawyers

There are two main approaches to successfully carry out a good SEO plan:

1. Do It Yourself (DIY) SEO: This means taking care of your SEO needs on your own, like a busy lawyer, or forming a team within your company to handle it.

2. Hiring an Expert: Alternatively, you can also choose to hire someone who specializes in SEO.

If you’re thinking of handling the SEO for your law firm either on your own or by creating an in-house team, the following is a simple, step-by-step guide to help you understand the process of legal SEO.

Create a Law Firm Search Engine Optimization Strategy

Embarking on an SEO campaign without a clear plan is similar to creating a contract without grasping the legal consequences of its terms.

Just as you wouldn’t do that, you shouldn’t start without a tailored strategy for attorney SEO marketing to boost your visibility online.

This strategy should effectively distribute your efforts across three key areas: content, links, and technical optimization.

To identify where improvements are needed, you can perform a thorough website examination using various tools like Ahrefs or Semrush.

Optimize Your Google Business Profile

A simple way to quickly generate some leads is by taking advantage of an easy opportunity.

This involves claiming your free Google business listing (previously known as Google My Business or GMB).

This process entails providing essential information about your law firm, such as its name, address, phone number, and website.

Additionally, you’ll need to select the main category that best represents your business.

This choice significantly influences your local rankings.

Therefore, it’s important to carefully choose a category that accurately aligns with your area of legal practice from the list provided.

This can greatly benefit your online visibility.

Google Business Illustration
Google Business Illustration


Craft a Memorable Website Design

Your lawyer website’s design serves as a representation of your legal expertise.

It’s the potential first impression your brand makes on millions of internet users in the US.

A professionally designed website not only instills trust in new visitors but also enhances its recognizability.

Moreover, a well-designed website forms the bedrock of your SEO campaign to connect with more potential clients.

Google aims to provide its users with high-quality content that’s both easily accessible and presented in a sophisticated, user-friendly manner.

A positive user experience is key to keeping visitors on your site for longer and encouraging them to interact with it.

With Google’s shift to a mobile-first index, it’s important for webmasters to ensure a seamless experience, even on smaller screens.

Therefore, consider whether your website visitors can easily navigate your site and locate the information they are searching for.

This consideration can greatly impact your online success.

Begin Local SEO – Why local SEO is important for law firms?

Ever thought about the buzz around local SEO?

Well, let’s break it down.

Local SEO is like a bright neon sign that screams, “Hey, we’re right here, ready to assist!”

When folks hunt for legal services in your neck of the woods, you want them to spot your law firm first.

Here’s why local SEO for law firms is a big deal:

Laser-focused outreach

As a law firm, your main gig is serving your local crew.

Local SEO guarantees you’re on the radar of the folks who matter most—your neighbors!

By fine-tuning your online presence for local searches, you up the odds of connecting with potential clients in your vicinity actively seeking legal services.

Building trust

When your firm pops up in local search results, it adds a touch of credibility.

People tend to trust businesses nearby.

Local SEO helps weave a tapestry of trust and faith in your law firm, as potential clients view you as a reliable, reachable option for their legal queries.

Better shot at turning leads into clients

When someone’s in urgent need of legal advice, they often lean towards local solutions.

Local SEO ensures you’re their top pick.

When your law firm stands tall in local search results, it boosts the chances of attracting super-relevant leads.

These leads are more likely to become clients because they’re actively seeking legal services in your area.

Moreover, folks often scout for legal services while on the move.

Mobile searches frequently aim to find businesses nearby.

So, ensuring your law firm’s website is mobile-friendly and geared up for local search ramps up the odds of getting these mobile users.

Conduct Keyword Research

Similar to the careful selection of words in a legally binding contract, the SEO strategy for law firm websites should revolve around purposefully chosen phrases that your intended audience is actively searching for.

Whether you’re crafting content for pages dedicated to your practice areas, blog posts, or other landing pages, it’s essential to focus on using pertinent keywords.

But what exactly are these keywords?

They are the phrases related to your legal services or areas of expertise that your potential clients are typing into Google’s search bar.

So, how can you identify them?

While we offer a dedicated guide on keyword research for attorneys, you can start by entering some initial keyword ideas into a tool like Ahrefs.

The goal is to pinpoint keywords that you can realistically rank for.

For instance, consider the phrase “Texas agreed divorce forms.”

While this term yields various government websites and organizations sharing forms, if you’re a divorce attorney in Texas, it might be more beneficial to omit this keyword from your strategy.

Create On-Page Optimized High-Quality Content

After discovering suitable words for your campaign, your next step is to craft content that matches what users are looking for.

Take a glance at the content that ranks high on the first page.

Do you see many lists or informative “how-to” pieces? Or are there pages promoting the legal services of lawyers?

Take cues from this.

For instance, consider the keyword “hire accident lawyer.”

You’ll find informative articles about when and how to hire an accident lawyer.

If you’re targeting this keyword, creating a similar informative blog post could be a smart approach.

Sample google search for "Hire an accident Lawyer"
Sample google search for “Hire an accident Lawyer”


Link building, which falls under off-site SEO, can be a bit of a chore. It requires reaching out to website owners and requesting them to link back to your site.

Although it might not be the most glamorous task, it’s essential.

By promoting your content through link building, you’re increasing the chances of it being found by your desired audience.

Remember, you can’t simply pay media outlets to link to your content, as that goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Instead, consider utilizing these SEO link building strategies specifically tailored for attorneys.

Measure Your SEO Performance

Unless you’re sure that SEO is positively impacting your business outcomes, you might hesitate to keep putting resources into it.

That’s why it’s important to pinpoint the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your campaign and monitor the outcomes.

You can establish tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to assist with this.

Depending on the results, be ready to fine-tune your strategy accordingly.

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