As a personal injury or mass torts lawyer, you spend most of your time advocating for your clients and trying to obtain favorable results in their cases. To be sure, winning your cases is a great way to generate new cases, especially referrals.
However, if you really want to grow your law firm, you have to invest your time and money in personal injury marketing. Specifically, you need to invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to increase your digital presence and get in front of the right potential clients at the right time: when they are looking for an attorney.
Continue reading for a discussion on the importance of lawyer SEO, the challenges of this type of marketing, and what goes into a winning SEO strategy.
Gone are the days when you could rely on word-of-mouth advertising alone to grow your client base. Studies show that the internet is now the most popular way to research and find an attorney. If you want to grow your law firm, you must have a high-quality website.
However, having a website is necessary but not sufficient for growing your business. Over 95% of people looking for legal advice will perform an online search. Most people will use Google, which accounts for 93% of search engine traffic in the U.S.
If you want to get your website in front of the most prospects, you’ll need it to appear in Google searches. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO means optimizing your content and web pages to make them “speak” to search engines.
Most Attorney SEO strategies revolve around ranking for a particular keyword search term in their geographic area. For example, a personal injury law firm in Houston may want to rank for the search term “Houston personal injury lawyer” or “personal injury lawyer in Houston.” But how do they do this?
Google considers many factors (over 200) when deciding which pages to rank for a given keyword. But it mainly comes down to your content, links, and user experience (UX).
Google ranks pages with high-quality, relevant information — information that addresses the keywords and questions users are searching for. If you want to rank highly for a competitive keyword term, you need good content.
Ideally, other websites will recognize your strong content by linking to it on their website (known as a “backlink”). These links show Google that other people find your content relevant and useful. Google will then be more likely to elevate your pages in its rankings.
Google will also analyze the user experience on your site to determine whether it should rank your site. Visual appearance, site speed, accessibility, and on-site optimization are all important to UX. And Google may count it against you if these features aren’t present on your site.
For example, Google may ding your site if visitors leave after only viewing a single page (which may indicate a poor user experience). However, it may reward your site if users stay a while on your web pages (known as dwell time).
SEO may sound like a lot of work. It is. But it’s a necessity for growing your law firm in an increasingly competitive legal market and digital space.
Lawyer SEO is about increasing your digital footprint and getting your website where users will see it: search engines.
Specifically, you want to appear on the first page of search engines like Google. Only around two to three percent of users visit the second page of Google after performing a search. Likewise, fewer than 10 percent of Google users scroll to the bottom of the first page.
Therefore, you’ll want to appear in the top organic search results if you really want your website to be visible to users. Studies have shown that the first-ranked page on Google is 10x more likely to get clicks than the tenth-ranked page.
A top ranking for competitive legal keywords corresponds with more website traffic and increased leads. But how do you get to the first page of Google? The answer is simple: SEO. SEO aims to optimize your website and content to make it appear higher in Google’s search results.
There’s no sugar coating it. Marketing for personal injury lawyers and mass torts lawyers is highly challenging.
There are a few factors that make this type of legal marketing unique.
Faced with medical bills, lost income, and other damages, injury victims are often anxious to find a lawyer to help them recover compensation for their losses. That means first impressions are critical in personal injury and mass torts marketing.
Online users typically spend less than a minute on a webpage. If your website isn’t engaging and user-friendly, a prospective client may jump to the next site before they really have a chance to learn about you.
Most mass torts and personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means your marketing needs to target injury victims whose potential settlement or award will justify the law firm’s time and investment in the case. Not just any injury case will do.
If you’re a mass torts attorney, you likely have a physical office where you base your practice. But mass torts are nationwide in scope, which means you might look beyond your immediate geographic area for clients.
This makes legal marketing and SEO difficult. Traditional SEO will target keywords users are searching for in your geographic area, e.g., “New York Roundup lawyer or “Roundup lawyer near me.”
While you might still target such keywords, your SEO strategy may need to encompass other words and techniques to cast a nationwide net. You’ll also have to set yourself apart from other mass torts attorneys who are trying to do the same.
Legal marketing is competitive. There are lots of law firms and lawyers and only a handful of spots on the first page of search results. One way to explain how competitive personal injury and mass torts marketing are is to look at some of the most expensive keywords for paid ads.
Lawyers can create paid ads targeting keywords on Google and other forums and only pay for the ads when/if a user clicks through to their site. This is known as “pay per click.” According to some studies, the average cost-per-click for legal keyword terms is around $6.75. The average cost-per-click for medical services is only $2.62.
Paying for an ad for the keyword “personal injury lawyer” in some markets may cost over $550 per click. An ad for the non-geo-modified keyword “mesothelioma attorney assistance” can cost up to $490.00 per click. Compare that to the most expensive keyword for the most common types of doctors, which is “urgent care EMR” at $90.00 cost-per-click.
Since legal marketing is so competitive, you’ll want to make sure you invest the necessary time and resources to get your marketing right.
The best legal websites make users want to stay on the page. More than that, they make the user want to go deeper. Your website should have dynamic graphics, images, videos, and content. It should also use a consistent color scheme to set the tone for the user experience.
Such features will encourage visitors to remain on and interact with your website. The more time a user spends on your site, and the more internal pages they visit, the more they get to know about you and your legal experience. This increases the chances they will pick up the phone and call your firm for help with their legal issue.
At a minimum, a visually-appealing website will:
Your visually-appealing website should also be optimized for mobile devices. Around 60% of web traffic is based on mobile phones. Therefore, your website must display well for mobile users if you want to keep visitors on your website.
Prospective clients usually begin their search for legal help not by looking for a lawyer but by looking for information on a legal question. They frequently discover a website after accessing a secondary landing page, such as a practice area page or blog.
Accordingly, your website should have a catalog of helpful content — content that addresses common questions and issues clients face after an accident or injury.
When you fill your website with authoritative content, you will establish credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of prospective clients — and with search engines. The goodwill you generate through your content will ultimately drive more traffic to your website. More traffic to your website means more leads contacting you for a consultation.
The content you should focus on most are:
Incidentally, having good content is a great way to drive users to different pages on your website. You can place links to your other pages in all your articles.
While your law firm’s website is pivotal to the success of your digital marketing efforts, off-site SEO is also important.
Off-site SEO refers to marketing strategies that go beyond your website to increase your brand awareness and improve your search engine rankings.
One of the most effective off-site SEO tools is link building, which refers to increasing the number of external links to your law firm’s website. When a trustworthy and authoritative website backlinks to your website, it indicates to Google that your content is reputable. Link building can improve your rankings and increase your organic traffic.
Some helpful ways lawyers can build quality backlinks include:
Another essential part of off-site SEO is online attorney reviews. Reviews are the cornerstone of many potential clients’ initial attorney search. They help people determine if they want you to represent them in their personal injury or mass torts cases. If you have limited client reviews, you may lose client leads.
Tracking your SEO results is another crucial element of a successful marketing campaign. You can implement several SEO strategies, but not all may work for your law firm. You need to be able to determine what is working and what needs to be improved.
Some of the primary key performance indicators (KPIs) include:
Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Pro Rank Tracker will help you track the first four KPIs listed above. Local Falcon and CallRail will help you track the success of your local SEO efforts. If you enlist the help of a reputable SEO agency, they’ll track these KPIs for you.
Keep in mind that your SEO campaign may take time, particularly if you’re in a competitive legal market. It’s beneficial to track your results and adjust your strategy accordingly, but don’t expect results overnight. It could take months for your efforts to pay off.
By now, you should realize the importance of attorney SEO if you want to grow your law firm. You should also realize how time-consuming good legal marketing will be. If you’re focusing full-time on your cases, you need someone focusing full-time on your marketing.
LawRank, the best SEO agency for law firms, can manage all aspects of your legal marketing, from website design and SEO to paid advertising and social media. We have a proven track record of ranking personal injury firms for the toughest keywords in the most difficult geographic markets. We’ve helped firms double their website traffic and increase their first-time calls by as much as 1,000%.
We can help you achieve your marketing goals, increase your online presence, and grow your firm. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to see what we can do to help your legal marketing.