The Basics of Law Firm SEO

The idea behind search engine optimization (SEO) is simple: It’s about being found online. Actually making that happen? Well that’s not so simple.

Look at it from the search engine’s perspective. In the old days (say, a decade ago), all a search engine did was deliver links. But “black hat” SEO shops figured out ways to jigger the results so that links to sites which only distantly addressed what a person was looking for would rank ahead of more useful ones. Like yours, for instance.

Google and the rest got wise, and they’ve continually redesigned their algorithms to deliver quality links. So if you want your firm’s site to be one of those quality links, it has to be a credible source for the kind of information that potential clients are looking for. Here are some basic tactics for being that source—and earning high search rankings:

  • Be an authority. The more you can demonstrate your expertise online, the better. Blog posts and FAQs on your site are two ways you can do that. Another way to do that is:
  • Make connections to your content. Link to articles you’ve written, places where you’re quoted (as an authority), awards you or your firm has won. The more links, the stronger your SEO.
  • Keep your data up to date. Find every instance where your firm’s name, address and phone number appears. Make sure it’s correct—and consistent. You’ll have a harder time building credibility with search engines if your firm’s name (or your own, for that matter) appears in different forms.

For a deeper look at SEO strategies and other online marketing techniques you and your firm can put to use right away (rest assured: you don’t need to be a tech whiz), download FindLaw’s newest digital book, “Lawyer Marketing 102: Websites for Small Law Firms,” here.

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