SEO for Lawyers: The Basics (With Tips and Examples)

SEO for Lawyers: The Basics 
(With Tips and Examples)

Less than 1% of users go past the first page of Google search results. So when people are looking for a “Lawyer in [your location],” landing on that first page is paramount. 

Having a mere online presence is not enough for today’s law firms. It’s crucial to effectively make your website visible to potential clients, a task accomplished through the strategic implementation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 

Applying SEO techniques can significantly enhance your law firm’s website visibility, stimulate more organic traffic, and potentially attract more clients. How to adopt legal SEO, and what does your practice need to become visible in the eyes of Google? Read on to learn everything about it.  

Why Lawyers Need SEO

SEO can help legal firms stand out online. It makes your firm easy to find and helps it appear earlier in search results. This can bring more potential clients to your website and help build trust. Moreover, using local SEO for lawyers can make your firm a top choice in your area. It also helps improve your website, making it mobile-friendly and faster to load. 

Local SEO is a process of improving your business’s visibility in Google’s local search results.

But, to make the most of attorney SEO, you must understand its basics. This includes knowing how to use the right keywords and other SEO techniques for your website. Starting with the basics can make the whole process simpler and more effective.

Keywords Research

At the heart of SEO are keywords — words or phrases that prospective clients type into search engines when seeking legal services. There are 19,881 high-volume keywords with more than 100,000 monthly searches in the U.S. alone, presenting ample opportunities for visibility.

A high-volume keyword is a word or phrase many people search for on the Internet. Conversely, low-volume keywords are terms or phrases with fewer searches, but they can be more specific and targeted to your audience.

Keywords can be as straightforward as your law specialization, like “divorce attorney,” or more specific, like “family law specialist in Chicago.” The objective is to align your website’s content with the search terms your target audience will likely use.

Here’s your step-by-step process for finding the ideal keywords:

  • Think like your client: Begin by envisioning your clients’ search perspectives. Ponder the terms or phrases they might use to seek your services.
  • Study competitors: Look at what keywords your competitors are using. Tools like Ahrefs can help you see these results. This isn’t about copying them but about understanding what strategies they’re leveraging and gaining insights into industry trends.
  • Create topics: Now, with a broad understanding, start considering the wider topics that are relevant to your practice areas. This can help jumpstart ideation for potential long-tail keywords.

A long-tail keyword is a longer phrase, typically three to five words.

  • Use keyword research tools: Once you have a basic list, use keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Moz Keyword Explorer. These tools can provide additional keyword ideas, information on search volumes, and competition levels.
  • Review search engine results regularly: Search engines update their algorithms frequently, affecting keyword rankings. Regularly reviewing the search engine result pages (SERPs) for your targeted keywords helps monitor these changes and how they impact your site’s presentation.
  • Measure performance: Finally, use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to evaluate the performance of your chosen keywords over time. Based on the measured successes and failures, adjust your law firm SEO strategy accordingly.

By following these steps, you can effectively uncover the most impactful keywords to boost your law firm’s visibility in search engine results.

Understanding On-Page and Off-Page SEO

On-page SEO involves making changes directly to your website to make it more attractive to search engines. It involves strategically choosing the right keywords for your content, incorporating suitable meta tags, and maintaining a clear and well-structured URL. 

Off-page SEO, in contrast, is all about strengthening your website’s reputation while not making changes to the site itself. It’s about gaining website traffic or links from other high-quality sites. These could include backlinks from established websites, references on social media platforms, or listings in directories

On-Page SEO

Boosting your law firm’s online visibility hinges significantly on on-page SEO. By optimizing your website’s content and underlying code, your web pages can rank higher in search results, attract more relevant traffic, and ultimately increase client conversion rates. 

Let’s explore the essential elements of an effective on-page SEO strategy.

Meta tags 

When discussing SEO for attorneys, meta tags often refer to the pertinent information in an HTML web page’s head section. The main types of meta tags that can impact SEO are meta title tags and meta description tags.

Meta title tag: This title appears on search engine results pages (SERPs). It should be relevant to the page’s content and ideally contain your main keyword.

Meta description tags: These provide a summary of the content on your page and appear under the title in the SERPs. They don’t directly influence search rankings, but a well-written description can increase the click-through rate, indirectly improving SEO for law firm websites.

For creating an effective meta title, you can use these tips:

  • Keep it between 50-60 characters long;
  • Make it distinct for each web page;
  • Keep it brief yet detailed;
  • Highlight the keyword or keyphrase;
  • Make it engaging for the reader.

When constructing an optimized meta description, consider these guidelines to boost your SEO efforts and capture user interest:

  • Keep meta descriptions between 70 and 155 characters for ideal display;
  • Make each meta description unique;
  • Write in sentence case for readability;
  • Incorporate your target keyword naturally; avoid keyword stuffing;
  • Provide value to the user in terms of relevant information;
  • Incorporate a strong call to action.

To ensure your meta title and description are the optimal length, you can use a tool like SEOMofo. It provides a visual check to ensure your crucial information meets search engine guidelines.

URL Structure

Optimizing the URL structure of your law firm’s website is a significant aspect of SEO, as URLs provide essential clues to both search engines and users about a webpage’s content. Though they might seem minor, URLs carry more weight than you think for your website’s rankings. 

A URL is the web address (link) that users see for your page.

Here are some key recommendations for URLs:

  • Stick to concise, straightforward URLs. These are not only more readable for your visitors but are also easier for search engines to index. An example could be
  • Aim to use clean URLs free of punctuation, special characters, or numbers that might confuse visitors or search engine crawlers. A focused URL such as works better than something like
  • Implement a uniform URL hierarchy that is predictable and easy to follow, reflecting the organizing principle of your site’s various pages. For example, a uniform URL hierarchy for a law firm’s site could look like this: In this example, the URL tells users and search engines they’re on a page about alimony laws, under divorce law, within the practice areas of your law firm’s site. 


The cornerstone of a successful law firm SEO strategy lies in your content. Creating high-quality and SEO-friendly content is essential for your law firm’s website to attract more traffic. Here are some tips on how to create legal content for better SEO:

  • Utilize keywords wisely: Identify keywords your potential clients might use to search for your services. Incorporate these keywords thoughtfully into your content — but be cautious of overuse. Keyword stuffing can harm your SEO ranking.
  • Write high-quality and relevant content: Search engines prefer content that is well-written and provides value to the reader. Be sure to provide legal advice and insights or news that your target audience will find useful.
  • Use a strong structure: Your content should be easy to read and digest. Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, and short paragraphs to break up your content and make it more accessible.
  • Include optimized images: Images can significantly enhance your content’s appeal. But remember to include alt text using keywords to help search engines understand the image’s content.
  • Internal linking: Including internal links to other relevant content on your website can help search engines understand your site’s structure. It also keeps users on your site longer, improving your site’s dwell time — a potential ranking factor.
  • Call-to-action: Don’t forget to include a compelling call-to-action in your content. This could prompt a free consultation or contacting your office for more information.

Remember, SEO-friendly content increases your chances of ranking higher on search engines and establishes your law firm as an authoritative and reliable source, ultimately leading to more clients.

Off-Page SEO

Elevating your law firm’s website credibility and popularity is the primary focus of off-page SEO. This is usually done through strategies like getting other reputable websites to link to yours and driving social media engagement. Let’s take a closer look at how off-page SEO can help grow your legal practice.


For law firm websites, links directed from other sites to your website, known as backlinks, hold significant value. They help improve your position in search engine results. Simply put, if more reputable sites link to your firm’s website, search engines see you as more credible. 

This can boost your chances of appearing on the first page of search results. In fact, over 50% of sites that don’t have at least one backlink often fail to make it to the first page.

Social signals

Though not a direct ranking factor, social signals (likes, shares, comments) on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn can increase your law firm’s visibility online. Here are a few tips:

  1. Create engaging content;
  2. Encourage reviews;
  3. Stay active;
  4. Interact with followers.

Implementing these strategies can extend the reach of your law firm, resulting in an indirect SEO boost via social signals. An active, engaging social media presence can lead to more organic backlinks, further bolstering SEO for law firms’ efforts.

Local citations

A local citation refers to any online mention of your law firm’s name, address, and phone number, often seen on business directories, websites, and social platforms. Consistent and accurate local citations signal to search engines that your law firm is legitimate and well-established, contributing to higher credibility and improved local search rankings. 

Technical SEO for Lawyers

Focusing on enhancing the technical aspects of your website is also crucial. Here are some law firm SEO tips to improve your website’s technical side for better search ranking:

  • Improve site speed: Minimize the size of your images and leverage browser caching to enhance page load speed.
  • Enable HTTPS: Migrate your website from HTTP to HTTPS to provide a secure connection for your users.
  • Optimize for mobile: Ensure your website is responsive and offers easy navigation on mobile devices.
  • Eliminate broken links: Regularly check and fix any broken links on your website to improve user experience and credibility.
  • Use a flat site architecture: Organize your site content so that all pages are a few clicks away from the homepage. This ensures easy navigation for both users and search engine bots.

You can either do your research and find a freelance expert, hire an in-house specialist for dedicated work, or trust the process to lawyer marketing agencies. Regardless of the route you choose, an independent contractor agreement can be a beneficial document to clarify expectations and solidify the relationship.

Factors to Keep in Mind When Promoting a Law Firm Website

Effectively promoting a law firm’s website involves more than just launching it and hoping for the best. To truly attract potential clients and rise above the competition, it’s essential to consider a range of key factors. 

Focusing on Local SEO

Local SEO for lawyers has become paramount to increasing their local online visibility. It enables law firms to target potential clients in their immediate vicinity, making their services appear more relevant and accessible to those seeking legal counsel. 

For instance, when someone searches for a “family lawyer near me,” it appears on this list, which can drastically improve visibility. Accurate and consistent local citations and positive reviews influence this ranking. This includes maintaining a robust and accurate Google My Business profile, managing online reviews, and ensuring consistency in local citations. 

One key tool that can significantly enhance a law firm’s local SEO is the Google Map Pack. When a potential client performs a local search, the Google Map Pack showcases top local business options that fit their query, with important details and a pinpoint location on a map. 

It’s important to note that almost 64% of customers are likely to check Google reviews before deciding to engage with a local business. This significant statistic underscores the need to invest time and effort in establishing a positive online presence. 

Considering YMYL Site Features

Your Money Your Life (YMYL) is a term used by Google to categorize websites that could potentially impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety. As law firm websites fall in this category, Google evaluates them strictly on Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) parameters.

High E-E-A-T scores can boost a firm’s visibility in search results. 

  • Experience underscores the practical know-how that shapes your unique content, bringing firsthand, professional, or life experience into the equation. 
  • Expertise denotes the depth of knowledge in the relevant field, which is typically mirrored in the caliber and scope of your site’s content.
  • Authority indicates your firm has recognition in its field, often boosted by positive client testimonials, awards, high-quality backlinks, and media mentions. 
  • Trustworthiness entails the accuracy of your content, the security of your site (with HTTPS protocol), positive user engagement, and transparency about your firm’s details and lawyers’ credentials.

Enhancing Key User Experience Indicators

Core Web Vitals are a group of measurements that show how well a webpage performs. They define the quality of the user experience on a website based on three essential factors:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This measures loading performance, or how long it takes for the main content on a page to load. A good LCP is 2.5 seconds or less.
  2. First Input Delay (FID): This quantifies interactivity or the time it takes for a page to become interactive. A good FID is 100 milliseconds or less.
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This evaluates visual stability, i.e., how often users experience unexpected layout shifts. A good CLS score is less than 0.1.

Making improvements in these areas will enhance the user experience and positively influence search engine optimization for lawyers’ website performance.

Tools and Resources for Law Firm’s SEO

Numerous resources and tools are available to streamline the process of implementing the best SEO for attorneys in a law firm. These can assist with keyword research, tracking performance, and providing analytics for continual improvement. Here are some specific tools:

  • Keyword research: Use Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or to find relevant high-volume keywords.
  • SEO analytics: Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or MOZ can provide valuable insights into your website’s performance and the effectiveness of your SEO strategies.
  • Meta tags optimization: SEOMofo or Portent’s SERP Preview Tool can help you understand the right length and optimize your meta title and description.
  • Site speed: Use Google PageSpeed Insights for suggestions to make your website faster, enhancing user experience and SEO.
  • Backlink analysis: SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz’s Link Explorer can help monitor your backlink profile and identify beneficial and harmful links.
  • Local SEO: Google My Business, BrightLocal, or Moz Local to list your law firm across numerous directories and optimize for local search.
  • Learning resources: Websites like Backlinko, Moz Blog, SEMrush Academy, and Google’s Digital Garage offer a wealth of free content, tutorials, and courses to help you understand and implement SEO.

Leveraging these tools and resources can greatly enhance SEO for legal firms and overall online visibility.


Implementing the best SEO for law firms may seem challenging, but the underlying premise is simple: make it easy for potential clients to find you. This means understanding SEO basics, keeping with Google’s continuous updates, and partnering with skilled SEO professionals if needed. 

From keyword research to local SEO, the most successful lawyer SEO strategies hinge on a willingness to embrace digital marketing norms and adapt to a rapidly evolving landscape. Every change to enhance your online visibility can result in significant long-term benefits. 

Bonus: Checklist for Law Firm SEO Implementation

Article by Ilona Riznyk

Ilona Riznyk is a Content Specialist at Lawrina. In her role, she creates and manages various types of content across the website, ranging from blog articles to user guides.

Ilona's expertise lies in SEO optimization, meticulous fact-checking, and ensuring all the published content is accurate and reliable.

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