SEO for Lawyers: A Beginner’s Guide (With 50+ Examples)

SEO for Lawyers

Are you interested in getting your firm to the #1 position in Google’s search results?

Of course you are. Who isn’t?

SEO for lawyers remains one of the most effective ways for law firms to attract quality clients.

Consider these legal stats:

  • 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine.
  • 74% of consumers visit a law firm’s website to take action.
  • 62% of legal searches are non-branded (i.e., generic: Phoenix divorce attorney).
  • 72% of people seeking legal advice only contact one attorney.

You don’t have to be a digital marketing expert to implement a law firm SEO strategy. Our guide is carefully crafted for beginners, giving you the information you need to know to get to the top of Google (without the fluff).

Let’s begin.

Is there a law firm SEO tactic you think we missed? Have any tips of your own you’d like to share? What’s worked for your law firm’s website? Reach out and let us know.

Chapter 1:

Introduction to Lawyer SEO

What is Law Firm SEO?

Law firm SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving the visibility of your law firm’s website on search engines like Google. A successful SEO campaign will see you ranking highly on Google, increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.

As a marketing tactic, SEO for lawyers requires in-depth keyword research, onsite optimization, link building, citation building, Google Business Profile optimization, content marketing, and analytics configuration.

lawyer seo infographic

All of those items feed into one thing — making your law firm’s website the most relevant and high-quality resource for your practice area. The more boxes you check, the more likely you’ll meet Google’s criteria.

Here’s a quote from Google itself on the purpose of its search engine.

Search engines exist to help people find what they are looking for. To do that, search engines must provide a diverse set of helpful, high-quality search results presented in the most helpful order.

When done right, SEO outperforms other channels that prospective clients use to find a lawyer, including social media and word-of-mouth.

Our client, Trey Porter Law, experienced an 827% increase in website traffic with a well-optimized SEO campaign. He ranks highly for several competitive, local keywords that get him tons of monthly leads.

san antonio dwi defense

We tell all of our clients that SEO is a long-term investment. It’s the only channel that nets you compounding returns over time. It might start slow, but you’ll experience steady growth.

Why is Law Firm SEO So Important?

When we want to find a new service in our area, most people don’t think about things like YellowPages. They head straight to a search engine.

In fact, one study found that up to 96% of people looking for legal advice go to a search engine.

That won’t come as a surprise to most people. The majority of people use Google to answer questions and queries, research products and services, and even rely on it for legal and medical advice.

If the goal is to become more visible online and attract prospective clients to your website, you need to focus on SEO.

The potential for growth is like no other marketing channel. Google processes 8.5 billion searches a day.

And around 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search (and Google alone gets 89% of all desktop and mobile search traffic, respectively).

attorney seo stats

So, you know you want to be present on Google. But it’s not enough to sit on the second page.

Only 0.63% of Google searchers will click a link on the second page, while the #1 result in Google’s organic search has an average CTR of 27.6%.

law firm seo stat 1

Your placement on Google’s SERP (search engine result page) affects how many visitors you get to your law firm’s website. The more website visitors you get, the more paying clients you get.

And because most people only hire one lawyer, placing higher on the SERP is even more crucial for law firms

How high?

As high as you can go. Settling for the bottom of the first page won’t get you the results you expect. The #1 result in Google’s organic search is 10x more likely to get a click than the tenth result.

And the top 3 results get 54.4% of all clicks, with the majority going to the #1 spot.

law firm seo stat

Out of all the marketing channels out there, SEO for lawyers produces the highest return on investment. And it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

But it will only get more important as time goes on to rank highly on the SERP.

If your law firm’s website can’t be found on search engines, you’ll have to rely solely on referrals. While word-of-mouth is powerful, SEO is much more sustainable and is in your control.

Get More Traffic & Leads

Talk to a marketing expert

“My website continues to dominate all the top website searches in my industry and my business has grown 10 fold as a result.”

Micheal Oykhman
Oykhman Criminal Defence

Chapter 2:

Lawyer SEO Ranking Factors

What are Google Ranking Factors?

For years, the basic principle of SEO marketing has remained the same:

Google wants to return the most accurate, credible, and authoritative information to its users.

Google fiercely defends its search results and updates its algorithms regularly for greater accuracy. They assess each website for a large variety of factors called the Google Ranking Factors (of which there are over 200).

At JurisPage, we believe the following factors most impact a website’s search engine rankings in Google’s search results.

top google ranking factors

That’s really the core of what law firm SEO is about. If you pay special attention to these ranking factors, you’ll inevitably rank higher for those valuable keywords and draw in more traffic.

We’ll dive into the ranking factors we think are worth understanding more in-depth below.

Key Ranking Factor #1: Content

Content refers to any written or video content optimized and published on a firm’s website.

Writing original, informative content is the cornerstone of law firm digital marketing — and optimized content is a key ranking factor.

Related – Law Firm Marketing Strategy: 23 Tactics: A list of the 23 best law firm marketing tactics.

It must be topically relevant, optimized for keywords, informative, and easy to read and share.

In addition, all content is ranked on its:

  • Quality
  • Uniqueness
  • Freshness
  • Search intent match/keyword usage

We’ll go into more detail on these factors below.

But first, what type of content should you publish?

types of law firm content

Content creation, be it articles, videos, or podcasts, is one of the most effective marketing techniques for a firm to invest in.

By consistently publishing valuable content, you create the perception of being a subject matter expert. It increases your website and social media traffic, ultimately contributing to more quality sales leads and prospects.

Quality, Uniqueness, and Freshness

As we’ve mentioned, Google’s aim is to rank the highest quality content that exists. To do that, they evaluate content quality, uniqueness, and freshness.

Quality is self-explanatory.

The best content on a subject is:

  • Thorough: It completely answers someone’s search query.
  • Useful: It satisfies what a user expects to see.
  • Structured: It’s easy for users to find the answers they want.

At that point, your content should be the most comprehensive and well-structured piece on the internet. But is it unique?

It’s not enough to regurgitate all of the same information that your competitors are putting out there.

Your content needs to be different or better than what’s already ranking for the keyword you’re going after.


The above example showcases a blog with a table of contents, which is something that not all blogs include but goes wonders in improving usability.

Google also cares about freshness — that’s why new content generally gets an (albeit temporary) rankings boost.

The key here is to regularly update your content so that it’s up to date.

Most content needs to be updated at least once a year.

Using Keywords and Matching Search Intent

Many people fall into the trap of only writing for Google — that is, stuffing in keywords at the expense of user experience.

The truth is great content is written for people first, then optimized for search engines. High-quality content speaks to the reader first, then incorporates keywords and phrases naturally. (More on keyword research later.)

Just as important as keyword research is search intent. Make sure your content matches search intent — in other words, your content should answer the intention behind the search. What is the user’s goal when typing those keywords into Google?

There are four types of search intent:

  • Commercial Investigation: Searching for products or services to compare and make informed decisions.
  • Transactional: Searching with the intent to purchase or complete an online activity.
  • Informational: Seeking knowledge or answers to questions.
  • Navigational: Looking to access a specific website or webpage.
types of search intent

If you know the user’s search intent, you can carefully craft your content so that it specifically answers their query.

For example, someone searching for “file for divorce” could be looking to find information on filing for divorce or explore their options.

If you look at what types of results Google is already showing for that keyword, you can better understand what exactly searchers want and craft your content to address that.

In this case, a searcher is likely looking to hire a divorce attorney in Austin.

match search intent

YMYL (Your Money Your Life) and E-E-A-T

Before we move on, we have to dive into YMYL and E-E-A-T.

Google E-E-A-T and YMYL

YMYL (Your Money Your Life) is a name given (by Google) to types of content that…

“could significantly impact the health, financial stability, or safety of people, or the welfare or well-being of society.”

Legal topics fall under this category. Someone searching for an attorney — or just looking for answers to common legal questions — could be in dire need. The answers they land on could significantly impact their welfare.

Google goes the extra mile to ensure YMYL content is accurate and delivered in the best possible way.

To do that, Google puts a greater emphasis on E-E-A-T for all YMYL topics.

Google evaluates a website’s E-E-A-T when deciding where to rank its content — that is, Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.

  • Experience: This involves knowing your practice area inside and out and leveraging your history in the legal space to deliver insightful and relevant content. It’s about using your past experiences to show off your credentials and qualifications.
  • Expertise: This is about creating content that fits the user’s needs perfectly. It’s not just about the keywords they use but about the reason they turned to Google in the first place. How long users stay on your site and their engagement level gives Google clues about the quality of your content.
  • Authority: This is the recognition of your expertise by others. It’s achieved when reputable websites link back to your page or your content is widely shared on social media.
  • Trustworthiness: This involves avoiding any negative user feedback. Factors such as negative reviews, high bounce rates, an unsecured HTTP domain, or a subpar mobile experience can all decrease your trust score.

To sum it up, you can address YMYL and E-E-A-T by creating exceptional content answers and anticipates audience queries, builds valuable insights recognized by others, minimizes negative feedback, and draws on past experiences.

Key Ranking Factor #2: Backlinks

A backlink is formed when other websites link to your website. The more (and higher quality) backlinks you have to point to your website, the more trustworthy and authoritative Google will view your website.

law firm backlinks

What does this mean for you? Think about all of the content that’s out there. Now consider how Google determines which of the thousands of blog posts covering the same topic should be on the first page.

While the impact of backlinks and how their value is calculated has evolved since Google’s introduction, links continue to play a leading role in determining a website’s position in Google’s search results.

Today, quality, relevance, and quantity matter. But what do each of these areas mean?

  • Quality: Does the source website have a high Domain Authority? If so, it is deemed to be of higher quality than those with low Domain Authority.
  • Relevance: Is the website related to your practice area? If not, the link may carry less weight than one from a highly related source.
  • Quantity: How many quality, relevant links has your website received? The more links pointed to your website, the higher it will rank on Google.

Every authoritative link that points to your website is seen as a digital vote of confidence, but where do you get links?


Some other ways to evaluate link quality include:

  • The position of the link within the content
  • The credibility and reputation of the website or page providing the link
  • The number of outgoing links present on the external website
  • The anchor text, which is the clickable text used to link back to your site, and the context in which it’s placed
  • Links tagged as “do-follow,” which pass on SEO value, as opposed to “no-follow” links, which do not

We’ll touch on this in a bit more detail later on.

Key Ranking Factor #3: Technical SEO

We could get really into the weeds when discussing technical SEO, but it wouldn’t do you any good.

Instead, we’ll simply give you some easy-to-implement pointers.

  • Use special headings and titles on each page to help search engines understand what your pages are about.
  • Include descriptions for pictures so search engines and people with visual impairments know what they show.
  • Add links to other pages inside and outside your website to help people find more information.
  • Make sure your website loads quickly so people don’t get frustrated and leave.
  • Make your website work well on computers, tablets, and phones so everyone can use it.
  • Keep your website safe with an updated SSL certificate, shown by “HTTPS” and a padlock icon in the address, so people know it’s secure to visit.

Related – Best 101 Law Firm Websites: The 101 best law firm website designs.

Key Ranking Factor #4: Page Experience

Page experience involves evaluating factors like:

  • Do pages have good Core Web Vitals?
  • Are pages delivered in a secure fashion?
  • Does content display well for mobile devices?
  • Does the content contain an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • How easily can visitors navigate to or locate the main content of your pages?
  • Is the page designed so visitors can easily distinguish the main content from other content on your page?

Google announced previously that as of May 2021, certain factors related to page experience would be used in Google Search rankings.

This is what Google had to say:

“At Google Search, our mission is to help users find the most relevant and quality sites on the web. The goal with these updates is to highlight the best experiences and ensure that users can find the information they’re looking for.”

While content is king, page experience comes into play when evaluating multiple pages with similar content.

And Core Web Vitals is one important piece of the puzzle.

Here are the three main Core Web Vital factors to know about, plus a few extras.


It can get a bit technical, but the main takeaway is this: if you prioritize user experience (UX), you’ll score well on Core Web Vitals.

User experience is the way people engage with your website and its content.

A well-designed UX guides visitors effortlessly through the process of finding what they need. When they arrive at your site, they can quickly locate the information they seek.

By directly tackling any concerns or problems, you prevent users from becoming frustrated and leaving your site too soon.

The better your UX is, the longer visitors stay on your website and the more likely they’ll contact you. It naturally improves your dwell time and reduces your bounce rate, two easy-to-track parts of Page Experience.

dwell time and bounce rate