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  • 10 SEO Tips for Family Law Attorneys

    10 SEO Tips for Family Law Attorneys

    As a family law attorney, your focus is on helping protect people’s rights when it comes to family issues like marital disagreements, divorce, child custody, separation of assets, abuse, and neglect.

    You are not focused on things like search engine optimization (SEO). But perhaps you should be?

    When it comes to growing your practice, generating leads is one of your primary focuses. And while there are plenty of ways to acquire new clients – including through referrals, word-of-mouth, and advertising – you shouldn’t ignore the power of organic search marketing.

    By prioritizing law firm SEO, you can finally start to leverage search traffic and turn cold prospects into warm clients.

    What is SEO?

    In the simplest terms, SEO is the process of optimizing your website in a way that increases visibility on popular search engines like Google and Bing. The objective is to rank higher in the search results for key terms that are related to your business.

    Search engines are built using specific algorithms that attempt to match a searcher’s intent with the websites that provide the most valuable information and insights. These algorithms evaluate keywords and then reward the websites that offer the most relevance by positioning them first in the rankings.

    In addition to keyword relevance, search engines also pay attention to something known as “domain authority.” Every website has a certain domain authority, which is a measurement of the site’s trustworthiness and authority. A high domain authority indicates that the content is worth serving to people, while a low domain authority figure indicates the opposite.

    For businesses, including family law attorneys, there are three main areas of SEO:

    • On-Site Optimization. This is the technical side of SEO. It might not be the most fun aspect, but it’s how you build a strong foundation for the other two areas to build off. On-site optimization includes tweaking the actual makeup of your site, including keywords, title tags, page structure, site speed, navigation, URL structure, mobile friendliness, page metadata, structured markup, etc.
    • Content Marketing. If your on-site optimization is the foundation of your SEO, content is the actual structure. Using the analogy of a house, it’s the walls, windows, doors, and roof. It’s the part that people see and connect with.
    • Off-Site Optimization. Finally, there’s off-site optimization. Most people forget about off-page optimization, but it’s actually one of the most important aspects. It’s how you put your SEO strategy over the top. We’ll go into more detail on this in the tips that follow, but link building is the primary off-site SEO technique.

    Family law firms that excel in these three areas will win the SEO game. As a result, they’ll also win the prospecting and lead generation games. This is how you build a modern and scalable practice that thrives in the digital age.

    Why SEO Matters for Family Law Attorneys

    Now that we’ve covered what SEO is, let’s dig into why exactly it matters. Here are a few of the top benefits for family law attorneys and their practices:

    • Search engine prominence. Google is a more valuable platform than every phone book, bus stop, billboard, and radio spot combined. An investment in SEO is an investment in prominent Google real estate. If you can rise to the top of the search rankings for a key search term related to your niche, you’ll never struggle to find new clients. You could turn off every other lead generation and advertising method and you’d still have a thriving business.
    • More search-driven leads. Search-driven leads are more valuable than leads generated by advertising. With an advertisement – whether it’s a Facebook ad or a billboard – you’re targeting lots of people. The majority of these people are not actively looking for your services. With Google, you’re targeting people who perform very specific searches, like how do I get custody of my child in a divorce. You know this kind of person needs your help. So a lead generated from search is much more likely to turn into a client.
    • Builds authority. When you invest in SEO and rise the search rankings, your content gains visibility. If your content is served every time someone searches for a topic related to family law, this gives you exposure and visibility. The result is inferred authority.
    • Forges connections. It’s not just about generating clients. The more visible you are in the search engines, the more exposure you get. This results in opportunities like partnerships, appearances on podcasts, media mentions, interviews, etc.

    An investment in SEO doesn’t provide immediate results. An investment in SEO takes time. Having said that, now is the time to act. There’s definitely a first-mover advantage with SEO. The sooner you start optimizing your search presence, the more likely it is that you’ll beat out the competition and stake claim of valuable digital real estate.

    10 SEO Tips for Better Results

    Clearly, SEO has the power to amplify your results as an SEO and help you grow your practice. The question is, how do you execute? In other words, what specific actions can you take to win with SEO? Here are a few of our best SEO tips for family law attorneys:

    1. Perform Detailed Keyword Research

    Perform Keyword Research

    Keyword research is at the very heart of any and all SEO you do. In fact, you can’t have a successful SEO strategy without carefully-selected keywords. The question is, how do you find the right ones?

    Keyword research is all about discovering which keywords people use to find services like yours and then reverse engineering your content strategy to ensure you’re targeting these keywords in a way that makes the search engines happy.

    In the past, keyword strategies were very cut-and-dry. If you wanted to target people looking for divorce attorneys, you would target keywords like: divorce, divorce attorney, divorce lawyer, etc. However, today’s search engines are much more sophisticated. In order to stand out, you must dig deeper. Long-tail keywords are where you’ll find the most success. So instead of using divorce as the keyword, you use longer keyword strings like how to get a divorce in Kansas or child custody for dads in New York.

    There are lots of free and paid tools that help with keyword research. This includes tools like Ahrefs, KWFinder, SEMRush, and even Google Keyword Planner.

    2. Optimize Your Website

    Armed with a list of keywords, you can begin optimizing your website. There are hundreds of little things you can do to clean up your site’s SEO, but here are a few of the low-hanging options:

    • Optimize URLs to keep them simple and organized. For each main page on your website, use clear and consistent URL structures. For example, your main family law page might look like: com/family-law. Then underneath this page, you have individual service pages, like mywebsite.com/family-law/divorce and mywebsite.com/family-law/child-custody.
    • A massive percentage of online traffic comes from mobile devices. So, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. (In other words, it needs to be responsive so that it can easily adapt to any screen size.)
    • Use proper page titles, tags, and HTML code to communicate the structure of your page to the search bots that crawl your site.

    3. Use a Pillar Content Strategy

    Most family law attorneys know they need a blog. However, very few have an intentional strategy for how they write and publish content. As a result, these blogs usually end up looking like a hodge-podge of random topics.

    The best content strategy is something law firm SEOs call a Pillar Content Strategy. This strategy is built around pillar pages of content that serve as the foundation for your blog. Pillar posts might be anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 words. (In other words, they’re beefy.) Then you develop cluster content that touches on specific topics within the pillar post. These clustered posts have backlinks that point back to the pillar post (and vice versa).

    The pillar content strategy helps create some consistency with your content. It also shows the search engine that your content is logical and related. The search bots see a web of links, which allows it to keep searching your site (rather than running into dead-ends).

    As an FYI, we use this same strategy internally. We have a main page for lawyer SEO, but parse it out further for niches like personal injury SEO and mass tort SEO.

    4. Create Content That Answers Questions

    If you’re looking for content that gets viewed and engaged with, you should shift your focus to content that answers questions. We call this semantic content.

    Good SEO content creation focuses on the way people search for content. A decade ago, most searches were very keyword-based. In other words, someone might have searched Google for divorce attorney. Five years ago, that search would have looked like this: divorce attorney near me. Today, thanks to voice search, it’s more like: how do I find a divorce attorney near me?

    Most of today’s service-based searches are now questions. If you want to appeal to these prospects, you need to create question-and-answer-based content. Simply take the top questions you find in your keyword research and use it to generate blog topics.

    5. Invest in Backlinks

    Backlinks are extremely important in today’s SEO world. It’s one of the primary ways Google and other search engines evaluate the credibility of a piece of content. If one blog post has zero backlinks and another one has 12 backlinks from authoritative websites, can you guess which one seems more credible? The one with the backlinks!

    There are multiple types of link building. There’s link attraction and there’s manual link building. Link attraction, also known as link earning, is where you create valuable content and wait for people to link back to you. This method does work, but it takes time for people to find your content. Unless one of your posts randomly goes viral, it can take months or years to play out.

    Manual link building requires you to go out and secure links. This can be done in a number of ways, but guest blogging is one of the best. With this approach, you find websites and blogs that accept posts from contributors. Then you create content and plug in backlinks to your own content.

    6. Speed Up Your Website

    Website Speed and Conversion Rate

    Your website’s page loading speed is another important technical metric in your SEO. The faster your website is, the more likely people are to spend time on the site (which Google sees as a good thing). The slower your site, the higher your bounce rate (which indicates your website isn’t useful).

    Speeding up your website is all about fine-tuning technical elements like image size, reducing redirects, caching web pages, minifying CSS and HTML, etc. If you don’t have any experience doing this, you’ll want to hire a professional.

    7. Use Schema Markup

    Schema markup, also referred to as structured data, is bits of code that are used to help search engines understand your content. There are tons of different steps you can take to get your schema markup in place, including organization schema markup, person schema markup, local business schema markup, service schema markup, article/blog post schema markup, and breadcrumbs markup. The more you take the time to refine this markup on the backend development side of things, the better your site’s “communication” with the search engines will be.

    8. Create a Google Business Profile

    Google My Business

    Visit Google.com/business to set up your business profile. This allows you to pop up on the right side of the Google search results in your own dedicated “box” when people search for your business. People can see your contact information, website, hours, reviews, and even photos.  It’s free to claim, so you might as well grab your profile!

    9. Hire a Professional SEO

    Does all of this sound like a little much? Honestly, it can be. You’re a family law attorney – not a digital marketing specialist. If you’re serious about improving your SEO and implementing a cohesive strategy that allows you to enjoy all of the aforementioned benefits, you’re better off hiring a professional SEO agency to help.

    An SEO agency that specializes in working with family law attorneys will get you up and running much faster and cost-effectively. Results don’t happen magically, but a proactive approach will get you where you want to be.

    10. Measure Your Results

    Even if you follow all of the tips outlined in this article. And even if you hire a professional SEO company to implement them for you, never assume that you’re good to go. SEO is constantly changing and results can be variable. It’s imperative that you take the time to collect data and analyze it firsthand.

    If an SEO company doesn’t provide you with regular reports and updates of your progress, this is a problem. Transparency is a must. Your SEO is either moving in the right direction, or it’s not. Let the objective data tell the truth.

    If you aren’t making any progress with your SEO efforts, be inquisitive.

    Ask why?

    And don’t be afraid to pivot or try something new.

    Search engine optimization requires a constant iteration. If you don’t adapt, you won’t be successful.

    SEO for Family Law Attorneys

    At SEO.co, we specialize in providing family law attorneys with white-glove, comprehensive SEO services that allow you to build and grow your online presence from the ground up. This includes technical, on-site SEO, content creation, off-site SEO, link building, and everything in between.

    Want to learn more about how we can help you improve your SEO as a family law attorney? Contact us today and we’d be happy to discuss options that are tailored to your business.

    Chief Marketing Officer at SEO Company
    In his 9+ years as a digital marketer, Sam has worked with countless small businesses and enterprise Fortune 500 companies and organizations including NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Washington, DC based law firm Price Benowitz LLP and human rights organization Amnesty International. As a technical SEO strategist, Sam leads all paid and organic operations teams for client SEO services, link building services and white label SEO partnerships. He is a recurring speaker at the Search Marketing Expo conference series and a TEDx Talker. Today he works directly with high-end clients across all verticals to maximize on and off-site SEO ROI through content marketing and link building. Connect with Sam on Linkedin.
    Samuel Edwards