Lawyer SEO Case Study

What Is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is, quite simply, optimizing your website so it performs better on search engines. In other words, our goal is to make your company show up first in the search engine results pages when prospective clients are looking up certain keywords (like, in this case study, “Winnipeg defence lawyer”).

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Why Is SEO Important For Lawyers?

SEO is important for all law firms, from massive firms like Kirkland & Ellis to firms focused on defending local clients. Why?

According to a 2019 report by Clio, 17% of legal consumers searched for a lawyer online. Outside of referrals, it’s the most used method for finding legal counsel – tied with the law firm’s own website.

And SEO does something that your website can’t do alone: it helps you acquire clients who are otherwise completely unaware that you even exist. What’s more, much of the work involved in SEO revolves around optimizing your website. That can increase conversion rates for the people who visit your website directly.

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By ranking higher in Google results, you’re winning on two fronts – you’re increasing your client acquisition, all while limiting the client acquisition of competing firms. The #1 search result for a keyword gets 10x as many clicks as the #10 results. What’s more, results on the second page are only clicked by 0.78% of Google users. The top 3 results get 75.1% of all clicks.

If you’re not on top, you’re losing out on a lot of potential clients. And that’s without even getting into Google Maps results (which we’ll talk about in a bit).

Everyone will need a lawyer, or knows someone who will need a lawyer at some point in their lives. That means if they’re not going to you, they’re going to your competitors. 

Don’t let nearly 20% of your potential clients go to your competition. Start optimizing for search engines.

Case Study

This client came to us with an already established word-of-mouth presence as the top criminal lawyers in Winnipeg, but they wanted to grow their exposure by also dominating the Winnipeg SEO space.

In just over twelve months we took all of their high buyer intent keywords to position 1 and maintained their positioning.

lawyer seo

As the rankings increased, so did the exposure for the client. As we can see, we grew the number of clicks their site received by over 200% and the number of impressions by over 300%!

seo results

The increased exposure then translated to a higher amount of traffic for the client. Alongside recurring users increasing, we can see that the number of new users also grew impressively. Our efforts in ranking at the top of search results generated an increase of over 142% in unique visits to the site and all from organic searches!

Alongside improvements in keyword rankings, we also increased the exposure for their Google My Business profile. As you can see in the last twelve months we evidently improved overall profile views both on organic and map search with SEO from just under 2,000 views to over 3,500 monthly views. 

How We Do It

We specialize in local SEO for lawyers. That means we’ll help you rank better for terms like “law firms near me” or “attorney in your city”. We work with lawyers who offer all kinds of different legal services. From elder law to defence attorneys, we’ll customize our services to your niche.

We don’t use any blackhat tactics that could get you into hot water. Everything we do is above board. It’s nose-to-the-grindstone hard work and gumption – and we’ll save you the thousands of hours it would take to do your law firm SEO in-house.

So let’s take a look behind the curtain. We’re going to explain to you exactly how we do things. No secrets, here – just a team of dedicated specialists who are committed to getting your firm to rank #1.

The 6-Pillar Approach

We’ve developed 6 pillars for our SEO strategy. Don’t accept any less – if your SEO agency isn’t doing all 6 of these things, they aren’t doing enough. The 6 pillars are:

Find the most searched, highest converting keywords, and optimize for them.

Optimize the backend of your website to make it easier for Googlebot (and users) to crawl and understand.

Optimizing the content on your page for keywords, semantic relevance, and appropriate schema.

Developing a network of connections to your website to increase its authority.

Optimizing your listing in the most powerful business directory in the world, Google My Business.

Creating relevant content to boost both your on-page and off-page SEO.

Seems simple enough when it’s written out like that, but we could write doctoral dissertations on every single one of those topics. 

These pillars all work synergistically (what a great buzzword) to boost your ranking in Google. They stonewall your competitors and boost every point of your sales funnel, from awareness to conversion rates.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the pillars, and how they work together for our attorney SEO strategy.

Keyword Research for Law Firms

Keyword research is about figuring out:

  • Which keywords are getting searched for the most often
  • Which keywords have the highest conversion rates
  • Which keywords are the most relevant to your niche

In the case of most attorneys and law firms, local keywords are the most relevant and the highest converting. Local keywords are anything that includes the name of your city/neighbourhood/region, or searches for lawyers “near me”.

Of course, the keywords themselves vary from niche to niche. While a defence attorney might do well to rank for “murder lawyer near me”, someone who specializes in business law might want to rank for “corporate restructuring your city”. 

We don’t use guesswork to figure out which keywords will be useful. SEO is a data-driven practice. We use our existing client base to better understand which keywords tend to work for different niches – we work with a lot of attorneys and firms. We also use keyword analysis tools to see what’s being searched for – and what’s converting.

We’ll also reverse engineer what your competitors are ranking for, in an effort to intentionally disrupt their client acquisition. By ranking better than them for those keywords, we send clients that would have been theirs to you.

Technical SEO

Our next step is evaluating how well your website performs on various devices for a variety of users. Mobile searches are increasingly popular – even when people are looking for a lawyer.

We’ll optimize your site for Google’s Core Web Vitals metric, ensuring that every page:

  • Loads quickly
  • Is easy to interact with
  • Is visually stable

As part of our SEO campaign, we’ll also ensure your site is secure through SSL certification. We’ll make duplicate pages invisible to search engines, so they won’t cannibalize your rank. We’ll improve the structure of your site, ensuring a shallow structure that’s easy to navigate – for robots and humans.

This technical work is essential – if your website isn’t easy for robots to crawl (and for users to surf), it won’t rank well.

Off-Page SEO

Precedent is key in law. There’s a similar principle in academics – when a paper is cited frequently by other papers, especially other well-reputed papers, it’s taken to be authoritative.

This principle applies to SEO, too. When your practice gets links from well-reputed publications and websites, you can see a substantial boost to your rank.

Without off-page SEO, your firm will not rank well. That’s where we come in. We’ve developed one of the most comprehensive off-page SEO strategies in the business. 

We’re engaged in outreach efforts to respected publications. We’ll develop comprehensive resources for your website, and encourage those publications to link to your website – more on that in the “Blog management” section. 

We’ll also do a competitor analysis to see which sites are linking to your competitors. We’ll develop resources that will blow your competitors out of the water, then ask the sites linking to other practices to link to yours instead.

As you can probably tell, our eye is always on moving the needle both ways – developing your SEO while hindering the efforts of your competition.

Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is the most powerful business directory in the world. Google wants their search engine to answer every question a person could have – including which law firm is the best in the city.

serp lawyer

These are the first results when you look up “Law firms in Toronto” – they show up before the plain text organic search results. You can see the locations of the businesses, reviews, hours of operation, phone numbers, how many years they’ve been in business, and more.

Google My Business search results are incredibly valuable. (By the way, if you’re in Toronto, and you don’t see your firm in the top 3 results here, give us a call – we can help).

If you don’t have a GMB Profile set up, call us right away – we’ll set it up for you. They’re invaluable for law firms – if you don’t have a GMB Profile, you cannot show up in the results we displayed above.

Setting up a GMB is easy enough – optimizing it is trickier. We’ll do it for you. From weekly posts to off-page name, address, and phone number optimization, we’ll ensure your GMB is poised to get you in the coveted Map results – also known as the 3-Pack.

Blog Management

Last, but certainly not least, is blog management.

Google knows that you say you practice law. But what kind of law do you practice? Prospective clients may know that you practice law – but if they’re looking for information, and they’re not ready to hire a lawyer yet, how will they find you on Google?

That’s where our blog and content management comes in. It helps with on-page SEO, by creating quality content that’s relevant to keywords potential clients will look up. The content is also semantically relevant to your niche, giving Google a better idea of your areas of expertise.

Blog and content management is essential to off-page SEO, too. Want to get links from relevant websites in your area? Websites that are well-reputed, and associated with your niche? 

You need content that they can link to. We’ll provide it.

Call us today

You’ve seen the case study. You’ve read about how we do business. You know that SEO can seriously boost your client acquisition – it’s effective digital marketing for a fraction of the price of most traditional marketing.

The next step is simple. Give us a call. After all, we’re willing to wager you found this page on Google – and if we rank this well for a niche keyword like “lawyer SEO”, just imagine what we can do for your practice.

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The purpose of First Rank is to help businesses generate leads from their websites. We put a focus on SEO, because we believe it is one of the most cost effective and highest converting forms of traffic generation, however traffic alone is not enough on its own to grow your business. SEO should be combined with conversion optimization, email marketing and retargeting to maximize the ROI of your advertising dollars.