At Hennessey Digital, we prioritize sharing law firm SEO knowledge with each other, our clients, and industry partners.
This agency was founded on the ethos of “educate and empower” and I love sharing what I know to help others. To that end, I share digital marketing tips for the legal industry in this space and I’m a regular contributor to Inc. and The National Law Review.
When clients can see our work delivering results, they’re sold on the value of SEO. Our first guiding principle at Hennessey Digital is “be honest and transparent” and it’s how we do business as an agency. Clients see everything we do behind the scenes through our HD Platform.
And in my new book Law Firm SEO, I teach lawyers what to know and what to expect of a potential SEO partner they’re looking to hire. I also share my 20-plus years of knowledge as an SEO practitioner and digital agency executive.
The book officially dropped on August 3 and just became an Amazon Best Seller and was also named a #1 Amazon Hot New Release in the Search Engine Optimization category. I’m proud of the book and am thrilled that it’s already making an impact in the SEO world!
So in the spirit of “educate and empower,” here’s a preview of select chapters of Law Firm SEO with actionable tips to start implementing your SEO strategy.
What to know about law firm SEO
SEO can grow a law firm’s website into a lead generation machine. But it’s important to know the fundamentals before you start talking about SEO strategy and tactics.
First, SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. (I don’t code, and you don’t need to either.) Law firm SEO is all about business value and involves optimizing your website to boost traffic. There are several ways to do this.
There are three main components of SEO: relevancy according to search engines; popularity with users; and data integrity. Top-ranking websites have each of these components.
The key to your SEO strategy? Content. Fresh, relevant content is what Google needs to know to push you higher in search results.
Behind the scenes of the Google algorithm
Google is the dominant player in the search engine game and is how most online users will find you. Ultimately, Google has two goals: be profitable, and create a good user experience for visitors. As such, it’s important to create a good user experience for your website users.
The factors that go into the Google algorithm change frequently, but your website should always load quickly and publish fresh, high-quality content with relevant information for users.
Google continuously searches the internet to index web pages and display results in SERPs (search engine results pages). Your website must also be free of technical errors for Google to properly crawl it.
If you know how Google’s algorithm works, you can use it to your advantage to increase your rankings—and boost your law firm’s revenue.
A blueprint for law firm SEO strategy
SEO efforts can fail for several reasons. If you think SEO is a “one-and-done” kind of effort or generic SEO strategies will get results, it’s time to reset your expectations.
You need a personalized, specific SEO strategy before you start writing content. Plan out the pillar pages for your website and how in-depth subpages will link back to those.
Is there a competing law firm in your area that outranks you? Study their strategies. Use tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and Screaming Frog to look at competitors’ websites and see which keywords they rank for.
If you can reverse-engineer the successful strategies your competitors are using, you can dominate the market share.
Your law firm digital marketing team
I sometimes hear “SEO sucks!” from skeptics and even clients who’ve been burned in the past by bad SEO practitioners. In many cases, they’re already on their fourth or fifth agency.
I get it.
SEO is hard to get right and it’s unfortunate that there are charlatans out there taking advantage of people.
For most law firms, it makes sense to hire an agency versus bringing SEO in house. A great SEO agency has expertise in content writing, technical SEO, and data analytics to constantly test and verify results.
The right SEO partner brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to nail your SEO strategy. Robust agencies have experts in marketing, PR, technical SEO, paid media, graphic design, web development, and more.
Though I’m known as an SEO expert and speak frequently on the topic, I’m most proud of the team we’ve built at Hennessey Digital. Even if you don’t hire us as your digital marketing agency, we want to empower you with the information you need to hire the right SEO partner.
Remember, accountability is key. Law Firm SEO gives you the information and questions to ask a potential digital marketing partner so you’ll know you’re hiring the right team.
Tools to measure SEO success
Google is your most powerful SEO tool. It offers features like Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights, and Google Search Console to monitor your site’s speed and analytics.
I mentioned a few key SEO tools earlier in this post, but there are many more tools available to boost your SEO. Third-party tools for link analysis, online visibility, conversion rate optimization (CRO), and duplicate content detection play a crucial role in your digital marketing strategy.
Accessibility is also a factor in making your website user-friendly for a wide audience. Tools like UserWay help make your site compatible with accessibility requirements.
Content is the engine behind your SEO strategy, but technical SEO is equally important.
Technical SEO is a complex area and refers to the functionality of your website. Many law firms outsource this function due to the depth and breadth of knowledge needed. It’s hard to fix problems you don’t know exist!
An SEO professional should start the process with an audit of your website. A good technical SEO expert will monitor your site for factors like crawl depth and errors, URL structure, duplicate content, and page speed.
And if you’re interested in learning more about technical SEO, iloveseo.com is a resource for SEO tips and industry news. It’s also Hennessey Digital’s sister company: we love SEO so much we launched a separate site!
Turn web traffic into more signed cases
Did you know Google uses AI to look at photos and videos for keyword relevancy?
Text isn’t the only element on your website involved in SEO. The images and multimedia you include affect how your site loads and is perceived by users and search engines.
You want to have high-quality photos and videos that optimize your site for chosen keywords. Do a Google search for “attorney” or “personal injury lawyer” and see what images Google serves. This will give you an idea of what the search engine associates with your target keywords. Now, think about how you can create your own original photos to post to your Google My Business listing.
Media production can be expensive but is a worthwhile investment for your firm. It can lead to more backlinks, increased traffic, better rankings, and more leads.
This is what law firm SEO is all about: turning all the web traffic you’re getting into revenue.
The Law Firm SEO Community
These tips are just the beginning. Law Firm SEO gets into the finer details of important tools like Google Maps and tactics for photos and video on your site.
The book doesn’t cover every single technical aspect of SEO. But after reading it, you’ll know exactly what to ask a potential SEO partner—and how to launch your own SEO strategy.
I eat and breathe SEO and I’m proud to do what I do and share what I know. My legal industry relationships and involvement with executive coaching and leadership groups like Vistage and YPO have helped me be successful as a leader.
Law Firm SEO came about because I wanted to set the record straight with SEO. But any success I’ve had is thanks to relationships built over the years and the love and encouragement from my family and friends.
Hennessey Digital is part of a community of digital marketers and legal industry partners, and our relationships have shaped us as an agency. As such, I owe a big thank you to our clients, team members, and partners for making us a success.
Get the book
Order your copy of Law Firm SEO on Amazon.
Reach out to me on LinkedIn and Twitter with your burning SEO questions.
And for attorneys: if you haven’t already, join my Legal Marketing Brain Trust. Share ideas with your peers on the business of marketing and running a law firm. It’s a great group with great people—join the conversation!