SEO is a big deal. It’s a topic we discuss often on this blog, and it’s a topic we get a lot of questions about from lawyers. Do you have questions about SEO for lawyers? Keep reading for the top 15 SEO questions and their answers.
SEO for Lawyers
1. What does SEO mean?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. You engage in SEO when you try to get a website page to rank higher in the SERPs (search engine results pages) of a search engine, with the ultimate goal of increasing the targeted organic traffic to this page.
2. What SEO techniques are popular?
Where to start? Link building. Keyword research. Authoritative content. Site audits. SEO on the page. All are important. Download our free eBook, SEO for Law Firm Websites, if you want to understand all these techniques.
3. How much does SEO cost?
SEO for lawyers costs nothing and can be done yourself if you know how to do it. However, if you wish to hire an expert or agency to assist you in your efforts, the cost may vary.
Like many things, this varies greatly depending on several factors. Marketing agencies that offer low prices tend to save money, while high-quality partners will require a bigger investment. The fees you pay an agency are for their expertise, ethics, and years of experience.
4. When I start SEO, how long will it take to see results?
It is important to know that SEO is not an overnight strategy. The activities of the first months are centered on the realization of updates that the crawlers will index. Depending on the complexity of your site and the changes required, you should see new rankings in 3-9 months.
5. When can I expect an increase in traffic?
Traffic is usually a direct result of rankings. As the rankings increase, your traffic will also increase. Again, this process will take a few months.
6. Which is better, SEO or SEM?
SEO is just one of the disciplines encompassed by SEM (Search Engine Marketing). SEM includes PPC and SEO. If it’s in the search engine, you can assume it’s search engine marketing.
7. Should I do PPC in addition to SEO?
Google pay-per-click (PPC) ads are a great way to supplement your SEO efforts. PPC can help improve overall relevant traffic faster than SEO. The downside is that it is much more expensive. PPC makes more sense for some businesses than others, so ask a reputable agency about a holistic digital strategy.
8. What is Domain Authority? What is my Domain Authority score?
Developed by SEO software company Moz, domain authority is a search engine ranking score that predicts a website’s ability to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). Domain authority ranges from a score of 1 to 100. The higher your score, the better your website will rank. You can check your domain authority with Moz’s free tool.
9. If I already have good rankings, why should I continue SEO?
Achieving rankings is only half the battle, and SEO for lawyers is constantly evolving. Since algorithms change often, rankings can also change quickly. Maintaining a solid ranking position requires constant research, updating and testing.
10. Can we just buy links?
Link building is very important, but it is not the same as buying links. Bought links and links from spammy websites or “bad neighborhood” sites can actually hurt your rankings. This practice is called “black hat SEO”. Google knows how to recognize and is always on the lookout for Black Hat SEO techniques such as link buying. Too many of these bad links will result in a penalty from Google which can be difficult for a lawyer’s website to recover.
11. Will blogging help SEO?
Yes – as a lawyer you should blog. Every piece of new content you create is another opportunity to rank for a target keyword related to your law practice. The more high-quality blogs you create, the more you expand your network through organic search results in your industry.
12. I want a guarantee of my rankings – can marketing agencies provide this?
Agencies with integrity know that they cannot guarantee something based on factors beyond their control. If a company claims they can offer this guarantee, you should be wary of them. Beware of any company that claims to have a special relationship with Google or can “submit first” to Google to secure ranking positions.
13. Can you help me rank for general terms such as “lawyer”?
General terms like “lawyer” are very competitive and extremely expensive to get a ranking. It’s not even a practical strategy. It is more important to rank relevant terms that correspond to your particular geographic area or specialized practices. For example, “New York child custody attorney” or “Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorney.”
14. Which search engines get the most searches?
Google gets the majority of search traffic, with around 67% of total searches, with Bing second at 17% and Yahoo and a few others behind those.
15. How often do search engines update their algorithms?
This is a fairly common question we get about SEO for lawyers. Only the technical minds working on these search engines know for sure, but Google web spam manager Matt Cutts has been quoted as saying that over 500 updates are made every year. It is important to assume that search engines will change without your knowledge. This is why working with an agency whose whole job is to understand the algorithms is the most effective strategy.
There you have it, a lawyer’s main questions about SEO answered. SEO for lawyers is complex, and it’s only natural that you’ll have questions before committing the significant time and budgetary resources needed to move the needle. These are the 15 most frequently asked questions by lawyers about SEO, but if you have any other questions, let us know in the comments below!
This post has been edited and reposted as of December 15, 2020.