SEO for Lawyers: Your Top 15 SEO Questions, Answered – JD Supra

SEO is a big deal. It’s a topic we discuss often on this blog, and it’s one we get a lot of questions about from lawyers. Have you had questions about SEO for lawyers? Keep reading for the top 15 SEO-related questions along with their answers.

SEO for Lawyers

seo for lawyers

1. What does SEO stand for?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. You engage in SEO when you attempt to get a website page to rank higher in a search engine’s SERPs (search engine results pages), with the ultimate goal being to increase targeted organic traffic to that page.

2. Which SEO techniques are popular?

Where to begin? Link building. Keyword research. Authoritative content. Site audits. On-page SEO. All are important. Download our free eBook, SEO for Law Firm Websites, if you want to understand all of these techniques.

3. How much does SEO cost?

SEO for lawyers does not cost anything and can be done yourself if you know how to. However, if you want to hire an expert or agency to help your efforts, the cost may vary.

Like many things, it varies greatly depending on several factors. Marketing agencies who offer low prices tend to cut corners, while high-quality partners will require more of an investment. The fees you pay to an agency are for their expertise, ethics, and years of experience. 

4. When I begin SEO, how long will it take to see results?

It’s important to know that SEO isn’t an overnight strategy. Activities in the first few months are centered on making updates that crawlers will index. Depending on the complexity of your site and the changes required, you should see new rankings in 3-9 months. 

5. When can I expect increases in traffic?

Traffic is typically a direct result of rankings. As rankings increase, so will your traffic. Again, this process will take a few months. 

6. Which is better, SEO or SEM?

SEO is just one discipline encompassed by SEM (Search Engine Marketing). SEM includes PPC and SEO. If it’s in the search engine, you can assume it’s search engine marketing.

7. Should I do PPC along with SEO?

Pay per click (PPC) Google Ads are a great way to supplement your SEO efforts. PPC can help enhance overall relevant traffic quicker than SEO. The downside is that it’s way more expensive. PPC makes sense for some firms more than others, so check with a reputable agency about a holistic digital strategy. 

8. What is domain authority? What is my domain authority score?

Developed by the SEO software company Moz, domain authority is a search engine ranking score that predicts a website’s ability to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). Domain authority ranges from a score of 1 to 100. The higher your score, the better your website will rank. You can check your domain authority with Moz’s free tool.

9. If I already have good rankings, why should I continue SEO?

Achieving rankings is only half the battle, and SEO for lawyers is constantly evolving. Since algorithms change often, rankings can change quickly as well. Maintaining a strong ranking position takes constant research, updates, and testing. 

10. Can we just buy links?

Link building is very important, but that’s not the same as buying links. Purchased links and links from spam websites or ‘bad neighborhood’ sites can actually hurt your rankings. This practice is referred to as “black hat SEO.” Google knows how to recognize and is always looking for black hat SEO techniques such as link buying. Too many of these bad links will lead to a Google penalty that can be difficult for a lawyer’s website to recover from. 

11. Will blogging help SEO?

Yes – as a lawyer, you should be blogging. Each piece of new content you create is another opportunity to rank for a target keyword related to your law practice. The more high-quality blogs you create, the wider the net you cast across your industry’s organic search results.

12. I want a guarantee of my rankings – can marketing agencies provide that?

Agencies with integrity know they cannot guarantee something based on factors they can’t control. If a company is claiming they can make that guarantee, you should be wary of them. Beware of any company claiming they have a special relationship with Google or can ‘priority submit’ to Google to guarantee ranking positions.

13. Can you help me get ranked for general terms such as “lawyer”?

General terms like “lawyer” are very competitive and extremely costly to achieve a ranking on. That’s not even a practical strategy. It’s more important to rank for relevant terms that align with your particular geographic area or specialty practices. For instance, “child custody lawyer New York” or “motorcycle accident lawyer Philadelphia”.

14. Which search engines get the majority of searches?

Google obtains the majority of search traffic, with about 67% of total searches, with Bing in second at 17% and Yahoo and a few others coming in behind those. 

15. How often do search engines update their algorithms?

This is a fairly common question we receive about SEO for lawyers. Only the technical minds who work at those search engines know for sure, but Google’s head of Web Spam, Matt Cutts, has been quoted saying that more than 500 updates are made each year. It’s important to assume search engines will change without your knowledge. That’s why working with an agency whose entire job is to understand algorithms is the most effective strategy.

Takeaway:

There you have it, a lawyer’s top SEO questions, answered. SEO for lawyers is complex and it’s natural that you’ll have questions before committing to the significant time and budget resources required to move the needle. These are the 15 most commonly asked questions we get from lawyers on SEO, but if you have other questions, let us know in the comments below!

This post has been edited and republished from Dec. 15, 2020.

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