How Important Is SEO for Law Firms?

As more and more consumers search for legal services online, SEO for law firms has become increasingly important. Lawyers serving local geographic markets need to be found in local searches, or they basically do not exist to potential clients.

Traditional advertising is fading away, and the Internet is a primary source of information for legal services and scenarios for consumers. Here are the reasons why attorneys need to start paying attention to SEO.

Mobile and Local SEO

More people now conduct searches on mobile phones than they do on desktop computers. Those searches often happen in maps applications like Google Maps. The thing about mobile searches is that consumers are in a different part of the purchase cycle for legal services when they are on a mobile device. They are looking for phone numbers, and they are ready to contact an attorney.

If attorneys do not have local SEO squared away, chances are that they are not going to show up for location-based searches. For example, attorneys need to have a consistent name, address, and phone number across the Internet. They need to have contextually relevant links to their site, and they need to build citations.  

Firms with More Resources Are Getting SEO

Firms who have the resources are starting to hire SEO companies because they know they need it. For the longest time, search was one of those things that law firms didn’t really understand but knew they should be thinking about. Now, the firms who have more to lose in terms of market share are making serious investments in SEO and digital marketing.

They are doing this because they know whoever holds the top spot in Google will control their local geographic region in terms of clients won. Smaller firms who could have gotten ahead of things might be left in the dust if they don’t act on SEO opportunities. Search has effectively leveled the playing field among larger and smaller firms because it’s not necessarily the person who spends the most money that will win in search.    

People Are Researching Their Legal Situations

The funny thing is that people aren’t just looking for attorneys online, they are looking for information about their legal situations. People don’t generally start out by Googling “dui attorney,” for example. They start by Googling “how long is the jail time for second dui” or something similar to what they are going through.  It’s the attorneys who understand SEO (or who work with an agency that understands it) that will be able to develop strategies to capture that type of traffic and convert it into a paying client.

Ultimately, attorneys who are serious about growing their firms can no longer avoid SEO and the need for their firm to take a proactive stance on it. They need to figure out how they are going to outrank their competition for the keywords that potential clients are using to find them (and firms like them) in search.  

Part of that means finding an SEO firm that understands law firm content writing and is able to implement practical strategies specifically designed for the unique nature of the legal industry.  Many attorney are beholden to state bar associations that place restrictions on how those firms can advertise themselves online. Attorney-specific SEO agencies understand these nuances and are able to design effective campaigns accordingly.