There is a dire need for SEO education for car accident lawyers. Especially now as they are struggling to keep pace with increasing online competition, varying consumer behaviour and other barriers related to online marketing.
SEO is a way of configuring a website such that when you search for specific keywords and phrases, it appears on the first page of results. Google provides the most significant share of search engine usage with approximately 70% of searchers using it. There are many tactics for optimizing websites for various industries. However, when it comes to the legal industry, SEO has to be tailored specifically to suit because marketing in the legal sector has certain limitations set by state bar associations.
Lawyers have to take caution when it comes to online marketing. State bar associations have instituted penalties that will apply to any law firm that violates advertising guidelines and ethics.
The following SEO tips can help you as an attorney to get your site ranking on the first page of search results.
Keyword Research and Discovery
Keyword research is the first step to take. Car accident attorneys should target keywords that prompt the searcher to hire them for the legal services that are being offered. Ensure that the terms that you are using have a decent search volume to create traffic on your site. For example, using the phrase “car accident lawyers in Las Vegas” is preferable than using “car accident attorneys in Las Vegas” because it has more searches than the latter.
The secret is finding out what words people are using in their searches. Use the following tips for researching keywords and the phrases you should target first:
- Find words that relate to your area of expertise
- Make a comparison of your target keywords and find out what people are looking for
- Use words that have high search volume but without too much competition.
- Find words with low competition that you can include in your SEO.
- Incorporate terms and phrases that are similar to your primary target keyword.
- Discover phrases that your competitors are using and polish your content to be better.
Attorney-Specific Calls to Action
A call to action serves the purpose of prompting the visitor to take a specific action. When it comes to lawyers, the strategy is a little different. Attorneys should design their call to action in such a way that the visitor seeks to find more information. Typically, the phone number should be placed strategically on each page and at a conspicuous location such as in the header or footer.
Lawyers should have multiple ways through which visitors can contact their law firms. Do not rely on just a phone number or a contact form. Provide more methods so that the searcher has a variety of options to consider.
The schema is code used in HTML to make any content machine-understandable. It enables the search engines to put together correlated pieces of content. There is a set schema for the legal industry, which allows the search engines to determine when a piece of content is related to a law firm or the legal professional.
Lawyers should use schema in the following content on the law firm’s website:
- Phone numbers
- Attorney biographies
- Attorney names
Schema markup assumes many forms. It goes together with text snippets such as star reviews or even manifests itself in the form of site links, video thumbnails, and breadcrumbs. Marking up your content with schema can increase the click-through rates on search results.
Creating Legal Content Umbrellas
There is a systematic and methodical manner in which Google indexes and crawls content. It is best to organize the content on your site in such a way that you group each practice area on a page in a logical manner which will make it easier to find content on a lawyer’s website.
The following format will assist attorneys in organizing content on their site:
- Have the website focus on one general theme like car accident law.
- Let the site then go more in-depth into subtopics under the central theme. For example, an attorney who focuses on car accidents should have pages about topics like car, truck and motorcycle accidents.
- Each page should cover a single topic.
If attorneys can build their content in this manner, it will be easy for the search engines to organize it, and for searchers to find it.
Content Written For Lawyers by Lawyers
Another thing that is unique to lawyer SEO is the fact the content has to be written by legal professionals such as attorneys, JDs, and paralegals. Some state bar associations have restrictions when it comes to publishing legal advice on a website. If the lawyers wish to generate content, they should do it in-house, or hire a knowledgeable writer, or outsource to a content writing agency that has the appropriate resources.
Local Attorney SEO: Maintaining Visibility in Search
Local SEO is essential for lawyers as they serve local demographics with significant competition. Furthermore, Google receives revenue from local search by including ads that compete for searches when searching locally in ‘Google My Business’
If attorneys wish to stay visible in local search, they should apply the following strategies:
- Join the local legal and traditional directories
- Claim their AVVO profile
- Claim the Bing business listing
- Create a page specific to a particular location based on the location’s terms and conditions
- Create a Google My Business profile and verify it having filled it out completely
- Sign up for Yext and get listed on many local websites
Link-Building for Lawyers
Links have a direct influence on the ranking of pages in search. However, all links are not equal, and lawyers need links from high-quality and contextually relevant sources like Justia, Avvo, NOLO, and Lawyers.com. An attorney’s website will achieve a favourable ranking if it has many high-quality links.
Many people are now searching online to find relevant information about legal services; this makes online marketing compulsory for attorneys. As a car accident lawyer, you should have a comprehensive marketing plan so that you can appear on the first page of Google’s search results.