According to a study by IBISWorld, the personal injury legal industry was worth $57.5 billion in 2022. Even with such a lucrative, growing industry, your personal injury law firm may struggle to find clients. Have you considered that part of the problem may be your online strategy? Now more than ever, clients are looking for their lawyers online. Can they find you?
Read on to learn about how SEO can help your personal injury law firm stand out among your competitors, how to start your SEO journey, and why hiring a top-ranking digital marketing agency is a valuable strategic choice.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical component of website development. Having a website is not enough. You need to show the search engines, like Google, that your website is valuable. To do that, you need to use a set of practices that fall under SEO.
The personal injury industry is very competitive. Increased demand means greater opportunity for market share. However, that also means that as a lawyer, you will have far more competition than those within a less competitive niche.
SEO can help. This process enables us to optimize your website so that the people most likely to use your services can find you when they search for the help you can offer. If you do not optimize your site like this, it will fall behind or not even rank in the search engines. That means your competitors will get those clients instead.
Personal injury lawyers have the opportunity to help people through some of their most difficult life challenges. Yet, no matter how great your services are, if those people cannot find your website, they have no idea how you can help them. Apart from making your website visible to potential clients who need your services, a well-designed SEO strategy provides numerous benefits to you as a company.
It can be cheaper than pay-per-click (PPC) ads, especially in a competitive market.
SEO is an investment that keeps paying off. If you use Google ads or other PPC campaigns, you may spend a significant amount each time someone clicks on your link. However, that is a one-time investment that does not always translate into a client, and you’ll pay the same high fee (or more) each time you want to get someone to your site.
Law firm SEO is more affordable in the long term. That is especially true for competitive markets and keywords, which cost much more. PPC ads for highly competitive keywords in personal injury, such as those related to “car accident lawyer,” can be very expensive, even costing $500 to $1,000 per click, regardless of whether they take action.
PPC is only effective while you are paying for it. The benefit disappears when your ad campaign ends. An SEO campaign, by comparison, will continue to benefit you over time. SEO is a long-term investment that grows in value and lead generation over time.
When a person types in a search term, they are taken to the search engine results page (SERP). This page contains a long list of companies that may meet their needs. Your goal is to be on this page and as close to the top as possible. Your SEO company will work to make that a possibility.
Here’s why — less than one percent of users click on Google search results listed after the top 10 of that page. If your listing is not in one of the top 10 — and often the top five — you are losing leads and clients to your competitors in those positions.
What happens when you are at the top of that list? The search engine’s algorithm aims to provide the websites that best match the user query. The more direct and comprehensive your marketing strategy is, the more likely your site will rank higher for search terms and lead potential clients to your website. You end up getting more people to your website. That means you end up with more leads — people filling out a form and calling you. This ultimately leads to more cases once that person agrees to work with you.
Being on the first page is important because it can also help you attract people looking for valuable information. If you want to be an authority in a specific area of personal injury, you must include data and information on that topic on your website. Google will value this and position your site higher in the search results.
For example, to attract more prospective clients around medical malpractice in emergency rooms, you must provide insightful medical malpractice content on your site. This allows you to present yourself as a thought leader in that area. Thought leadership and comprehensive topical information improve your Google rankings and visibility to searchers. Ultimately, this is likely to help you to get more clients.
Attorney SEO is also a valuable component of building your brand. You need SEO marketing that can help you reach a wider audience than local TV or radio ads. Keep in mind that most people today will go online to learn about law firms in their area long before they call a phone number on a random radio ad.
This type of marketing campaign helps prospective clients get to know you. It enables them to find your website and learn about your practice areas, but it also lets them know what type of attorney you are. They can get a sense of your firm’s values and work ethic and determine if that aligns with their specific needs and goals.
Now that you understand the value of SEO for your personal injury law firm, how do you build an SEO strategy to start growing your practice?
There are numerous steps and strategies to put into place to build out your personal injury law firm’s website to achieve the benefits of SEO. Here are some of the most important for personal injury attorneys.
Your marketing efforts will be much more effective if you can learn what your competitors are doing and where the gaps in their SEO strategy are. You will want to attract new clients to your law firm based on your own skills and services, but understanding where your competition excels is just as important.
To do that, you first need to determine who your competitors are. A simple search of your location and practice areas can help. For example, “dog bite attorneys in New York” will pull up a list of competitors for New York personal injury law. Once we know who your competitors are for the keywords you want to address, the next step is to complete a full SEO competitor analysis.
This analysis will look at the following:
A competitor analysis performed by an experienced SEO company can guide some of the first steps of building out your campaign.
When we talk about keyword research, the goal here is not to focus just on the keywords you think your website should rank for, but on all keywords that people are using in search queries that directly relate to your legal practice. Our goal is to:
Keyword research is a critical tool, and it shouldn’t be something you put in the hands of an inexperienced provider. The more accurate and thorough this is — and how often it is updated — can play a role in your success online.
Content marketing is creating content in various forms to provide valuable information to prospective new clients and search engines.
Many of the benefits of law firm blogs relate to SEO. That includes:
You can create a blog to help you to do this. You can use it to help you answer questions from prospective clients, as well as to communicate your opinions and encouragements to your prospective clients. Content marketing is what ultimately builds out your brand.
Another aspect of your SEO strategy is on-site SEO. On-site SEO refers in part to the structure and content of your website. When your site is structured with SEO in mind, the search engine’s crawlers have an easier time indexing every page and evaluating your topical authority. Google values websites with intention and topical authority and will use the information given through structure and content to place your site within its algorithm structure. User experience — or how people move through your site and get the information they need — can dramatically influence the number of visitors that turn into leads.
Another aspect of on-site SEO is creating a mobile-friendly website. Nearly 60 percent of all Google searches happen on a mobile device. If your site isn’t easy to read and navigate on a mobile device (and that takes some specialized formatting), it will cost you clients.
Backlinks are links to your website that appear on other websites. Backlinks help Google to see the worth of your website (like a popularity contest). If your website is linked to various high-profile, high-ranking, and high-demand websites, that is going to impact your search engine rankings in a positive manner. We can build backlinks into your SEO efforts in various ways, including:
It is not enough to put several strategies in place and hope for the best. Rather, you need to use metrics to monitor the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. You need to see who is coming to your site, how they are getting there, how long they stay, what’s working, and what’s not.
Personal injury law firm SEO is often very localized. Your potential clients are likely within a certain range of your office or within the city, county, or state. Local SEO is a way for you to signal to Google who to send your way based on geographical factors.
Three factors influence local SEO:
When you update your Google Business Profile, start a legal blog, and participate within your community, you are improving your local SEO. Your Google Business Profile provides your office location to Google, which can lead to your firm showing up in local searches. You can incorporate local keywords for your city into your blog to signal to Google that you practice in that location. When you participate in your local community through sponsorships and community service, you can gain backlinks from reputable sources like news journals.
There are some steps you can take to see improvements in your local search and overall search engine rankings.
While writing content that performs well in search engines is a goal, you want to write content that genuinely helps your clients. For example, take inventory of the questions that new clients frequently ask. Write out answers to those questions for blog articles or social media posts. If your clients are asking those questions, others are likely to ask them as well. Incorporate related keywords to rank for search intent, but above all else, be clear and informative.
Content isn’t just about blogs. The more types of content you use, the more value you are adding.
Your law firm marketing needs to incorporate your Google Business Profile. Be sure that all of the information is accurate and up to date. In particular, check that your business name, business address, phone number, and website link are all up-to-date.
Reviews help to establish your online presence and turn visitors into leads. Having these reviews is great, but it’s even better when you respond to them and create opportunities for engagement. Responding to a negative review politely indicates professionalism and that you care about your clients’ experiences with your firm. This can improve potential clients’ perception of your firm and increase your chance of converting site users.
Legal marketing isn’t an exact science, but it is something you can improve, especially by avoiding some of the most common mistakes.
As an SEO agency, we see this often. Attorneys and less scrupulous SEO companies sometimes stuff their websites with keywords to manipulate the algorithm. They don’t put much time into the basics that create a quality user experience. However, Google’s algorithm is not fully transparent and is constantly changing. Trying to game the system doesn’t work well. Your content should be written to the people you want as clients.
There are some SEO practices Google frowns upon, called blackhat SEO. This includes methods like keyword stuffing and misusing schema markups. The goal is to fool the algorithm.
It never works.
It may create a very short burst of traffic, but when Google recognizes these tactics, it may punish your site, making it much harder to recover. If a marketing company promises instant results, you should be wary of its methods.
Don’t jump into SEO without an understanding of the process. You also need an understanding of the following:
Skipping the research phase will ultimately lead to money that’s not well invested and results that don’t happen.
Be sure to come back regularly and update your older content. This helps to keep it relevant to your audience. It also gives Google another reason to return and reassess your site for improved ranking. You can add fresh statistics, new information, and any new legal developments.
A call to action (CTA) is a tool that helps people to take action. CTAs use phrases like “set up a free consultation by calling us now” to encourage users to contact your firm. This prompt encourages people on your site to take action and become leads.
This depends on how competitive your market is, the existing state of your website, and your budget. Making changes to your website that improve SEO will improve your ranking, drive more traffic to your website, and increase leads. However, various factors impact how long that is going to take.
If you are in a more competitive market, it will take longer to rank because other firms have been doing this work for longer than you. If your competitors consist of firms that have been investing steadily in SEO since 2015, outranking them for the #1 spot within a year is not realistic.
The more work that needs to be done, the more time it will take to see the best results. That shouldn’t deter you from taking action now. The best time to start SEO may have been years ago, but the second best time to start is today.
Additionally, the bigger your budget is, the more aggressive your strategy can be. Where you set your budget is ultimately a determining factor in the speed of your website’s success.
Typically, it takes about a year for personal injury law firms to start seeing results from their SEO efforts. That’s only a baseline. Some websites see significant improvement within six months. Other times it takes a year and a half. It all depends on the factors listed above. The more consistently you work towards improving your SEO, the more likely your site will rank higher in a shorter amount of time.
Set an ongoing budget for SEO. SEO is not something that you do for a set number of months and then stop once you see results (or don’t see results). SEO is an ongoing marketing strategy you invest in to remain competitive in the search engines as an accident attorney or personal injury litigator.
Speaking of budget, you may want to know what it will cost. SEO experts set their own rates, and it’s impossible to provide a specific figure that fits all expectations. SEO is an ongoing investment, much like your other marketing strategies. We encourage our clients to consider setting aside a specific percentage of their revenue for marketing. We recommend dedicating between five and 15 percent of your revenue to your marketing efforts. You can do more or less based on your objectives.
For a free assessment of your website and an estimate of SEO costs, get in touch with our sales team!
At Array Digital, we empower our clients by providing the information they need to understand SEO, law firm digital marketing, and how to evaluate their marketing results. Yet, there is still a very strong benefit to hiring SEO experts to help you make it happen.
Having a team of experts who know how to handle all of the steps in a legal SEO strategy is going to make sure your site gets as much focus and attention as possible. Rather than dedicating your valuable time to learning the intricacies of SEO, conducting research, and writing content, you can hire SEO experts to manage those tasks while you focus on your firm and your clients. Hiring a law firm SEO company also helps you to stay up-to-date on the constant Google updates to the algorithm that necessitate changes on your site to remain competitive.
Additionally, a digital marketing firm specializing in law firm SEO knows how to maintain ABA compliance. This is one area that helps Array Digital to stand out, as not all marketing companies can say they do this. We are incredibly familiar with the ABA marketing rules in each state and strictly uphold them in your content to avoid penalties.
We know how to prioritize the user experience and balance it with technically-optimized site infrastructure. You can utilize our services to update and optimize your existing site, or we can design a new one for you. In either case, we know what steps to take now that will make the biggest difference in your site’s success.
We view personal injury SEO as a collaborative process. That is, we know SEO. You know personal injury law. We always seek your input on each piece of content we create for you, ensuring it meets your objectives and Google’s. You can review every piece of content and make changes before posting on your website, keeping you empowered and confident that the information tied to your name is factually correct.
Array Digital can deliver the type of website you’re proud to call your own and one that ranks in the search engines to bring leads to your firm. To learn more, set up a free consultation with us by calling 757-333-3021 or filling out our contact form now.