SEO for family law attorneys is one of the most important things you can do to find your website online. When people are looking for a family law attorney, whether that includes a divorce lawyer or child custody lawyer, they will use search engines to find the best lawyer for their needs. You will miss out on potential family law clients if your website isn’t optimized for search engine results.
This guide will show you how to optimize your website for search engines to attract new clients and grow your practice. After all, your competition is probably already doing SEO for their family law firms, so you must also make sure you are.
We’ve been doing SEO for small businesses for years and we know what it takes to rank a site on search engines. With this guide, we’re imparting our knowledge and hoping you can make the most of it. Ready? Because it’s thorough!
Do law firms need SEO?
You understand that the answer is a resounding YES if you’re here!
SEO is not a luxury for law firms; it’s a necessity. After all, what’s the point of having a website if potential clients can’t find it? That’s why your law firm exists. To get more clients, serve them, rinse and repeat.
The competition for online visibility is fierce, especially in the legal industry. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on SEO for family law firms.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about SEO, from keyword research to link building to content marketing. By the end, you’ll have all the tools you need to rank higher on the search engine results pages, drive more organic search traffic to your website and generate more business leads.
Why is SEO important for lawyers?
We touched on it briefly, but it bears repeating: SEO is important for lawyers because it helps them get found online.
Consider this— when someone needs a lawyer, they’re not going to randomly pick one out of the phone book (if those still exist!). They will turn to the internet and type in a search query like “family law attorney in XYZ city.”
If your law firm doesn’t appear on the first page of the search results, or worse, your site isn’t indexed, you’ll miss out on many potential clients. In fact, according to SEOmoz, 91% of searchers never make it past the first page of the SERPs (that stands for search engine results pages).
So you must invest energy and time into family law SEO so that your law firm’s website ranks highly in the organic search engine results. Not sure where to start? Keep reading— we’ll show you how!
What about family law SEO?
Not only for lawyers in general, but local SEO is also important for family law firms specifically. After all, the competition among family law lawyers is incredibly fierce.
Think about it— when someone goes through a divorce or child support battle, they will not pick any old lawyer. They will want the best divorce or lawyer child support lawyer possible to help them through this tough time in their life.
And the best way to find a great lawyer is by searching online.
If your family law website needs to be optimized for search engine results, you will miss out on potential new clients. And remember, your competition is probably already doing SEO for family law, so you must ensure you are too.
Basic steps to follow to optimize your site for the search engines.
There is no magic button you can push to make your site rank number one in the search results. Search engine optimization is an ongoing process requiring effort and dedication. It’s a little bit of art and a little bit of science.
That being said, there are some basic steps you can follow to get started on the right foot. These steps will help you lay a strong foundation for a successful SEO campaign.
Define your target market and audience.
The first thing you want to do is define your target market and audience. This will help you determine what keywords you want to target, what content you need to create, and where to promote that content. Don’t worry. We’ll cover all of that shortly.
For example, as a family lawyer, you most likely deal with families going through a divorce, child custody battles, and other sensitive issues. Based on that, you could rule out those under 20 years old and those older than 50. Now with some quick stats, we know that around 60% of all divorces include adults between 25 and 39. You might also want some income demographics depending on how good of an attorney you are. Nonetheless, you get the idea.
Ensure you brainstorm all aspects of your target market, including gender, age, location, income, interests, etc. The more specific you can be in the beginning, the better. You can always cast a wider net later on if you want to.
Use a CMS that supports SEO.
Before you can even contemplate SEO, you need to have a website. After all, how else are people going to find you online? We recommend using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress if you’re starting from scratch.
Of course, there are other platforms such as Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix. While these platforms can help get a website up quickly, they’re not always the best option from an SEO standpoint.
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms on the market, and for a good reason— it’s easy to use, has a ton of features and plugins, and is highly customizable. That last point is crucial because it allows you to make your site your own and optimize it for the search engines.
If you already have a website, take a look at what platform it’s built on. You might want to consider switching over if it’s not WordPress (or another SEO-friendly CMS). It’s not always possible or practical to do so, but if it is, it could make a big difference in your SEO efforts.
Technical SEO needs to be a priority.
Since we’ve discussed the platform, we should also mention technical SEO— a fancy way to ensure your website is technically sound and up to par. This includes site speed, XML sitemaps, mobile friendliness, and more.
You want to ensure your web host can support a fast website. Site speed is not only important for SEO but also user experience. 26.9% of people will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. And since Google now considers site speed a ranking factor, it’s more important than ever to ensure your website loads quickly.
As for XML sitemaps, there are two types: sitemaps for your website’s pages and sitemaps for your website’s images. XML sitemaps help the search engines index your site to show it in the results. It’s a good idea to create both types of sitemaps and submit them to Google Search Console. Several plugins can help you generate them, like Yoast SEO for WordPress. We will discuss Yoast a little further later on.
And finally, mobile friendliness is also now a ranking factor. Your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Google has even started to roll out a mobile-first index, meaning they will index your site based on the mobile version first. There are plenty of responsive themes for WordPress that can help with this.
Making sure your website is technically sound is essential for SEO and user experience. If visitors can’t use your site or it takes forever to load, they will not stick around.
Get your on-page SEO in order.
At this point, you have a beautiful website running on WordPress, and your host is fantastic. Now you have to ensure your content is optimized for the search engines. That’s what on-page SEO is all about.
There are a few key things you want to keep in mind when optimizing your family law firm content:
- Use keyword-rich titles and meta descriptions. Use H1 title tags and sub-tags such as H2, H3, etc., when creating the format for a page. Meta descriptions aren’t a ranking factor, but they can influence whether or not someone clicks through to your website. This is where you will “hook” your potential clients. Your family law practice has one shot to impress them, so make sure you do it right.
- Include keywords throughout your content (but don’t overdo it!). If you’re targeting the keyword “tips to win a custody battle” or “divorce lawyer legal services” you want to ensure you use that keyword in your title and throughout the body of your content in a way that sounds natural.
- Make sure your website is easy to navigate. The search engines want to see a well-organized site with a logical hierarchy. If they can’t make sense of your site, they’re not going to rank it as high as one that’s easy to use.
- Images must include ALT tags. This is not only good for SEO but also accessibility. The ALT tag is the text that appears if an image can’t be displayed. It should describe what’s in the image and include your target keyword. Those visually impaired will be able to understand what’s on the page, and the search engines will get another opportunity to index your site for that keyword.
- Implement schema markup. You can add this code to your website to help search engines return more information about your site in the SERPs. For example, if you’re a law firm in New York City, you can use schema markup to tell Google your address, phone number, reviews, and more. The more the search engines know about your business, the better you’ll rank.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on optimizing your website for search engines. Just remember to take your time, research, and focus on creating quality content that’s useful for your visitors. Your SEO is competing with other family law firms, so your website must be the best it can be.
Develop a thorough content strategy.
Before putting pen to paper, or more accurately, fingers to keyboard, you must develop a content strategy. What are you going to write about? How often are you going to publish new content? What type of content will you create? These are all critical questions that need to be answered before you start cranking out blog posts and articles.
Your content strategy should be based on your target keywords. For example, if you’re a divorce lawyer targeting the keyword “divorce in New York,” you’ll want to create optimized content for that keyword. That could be a blog post about the different grounds for divorce in New York or an article about what to expect in a divorce proceeding. Remember to focus on the keywords.
You also need to create a schedule for your content. If you’re only going to publish one blog post a month, that’s fine, but be consistent. The search engines like to see fresh, new content regularly. It doesn’t have to be daily, but try to stick to a schedule, so the search engines know when to expect new content.
Finally, you need to decide what type of content you will create. Will it be blog posts, articles, whitepapers, e-books, or infographics? There’s no right or wrong answer here, but mix it up a bit to keep things interesting.
By developing a content strategy before you start writing, you’ll be able to create informative and keyword-rich content, two essential components of any good family law SEO strategy.
Publish engaging and authoritative content.
With your content strategy complete, it’s time to start writing. But it’s not enough to just write about your chosen topic. Your content must also be engaging and authoritative if you want people to read and share it with friends and followers.
To make your content more engaging, use an active voice and include images, infographics, and videos whenever possible. People are likelier to read and share content that’s easy on the eyes and includes multimedia.
To make your content more authoritative, back it up with data and citations. If you’re making a claim, support it with evidence. This will not only make your content more credible, but it will also allow you to include more resources for your potential clients. Search engines like to see that you’re providing value, not just cramming as much SEO as possible into a page.
I’ll use this article that you’re reading as an example. We’ve created a holistic outline that covers all of the SEO tips for law firms that we think you need to know. But we don’t just stop there. We back up our claims with data from credible sources. And for those more visual learners, we’ve included relevant images to help you understand more about SEO for family law.
Build backlinks to increase your site’s authority.
This is where SEO for family law gets tricky. You can have the best content in the world, but if no one links to it, you will not rank very high in the search engines. That’s because backlinks are seen as a vote of confidence. The more backlinks you have from high-quality websites, the more authority your website has.
There are a few ways to build backlinks. The first is creating great content that people want to link to. If you can do this, you’ll naturally attract backlinks. They’ll be few and far between, but we’ve had it happen with several high-authority sites. Those are big wins for sure. These may happen naturally once your site has developed enough content and authority for others to find you.
Another method, and the most practical for most people, is to reach out to other websites and ask for a link. As an SEO agency we call this link building. This can be done through email or social media. But before you start sending out requests, take a look at the website you’re reaching out to. Are they high quality? Do they have a similar target audience? If so, there’s a good chance they’ll be open to linking to your content.
The last method, and the one we use most often, is guest blogging. This involves writing an article for another website in your industry with a link back to your website. It’s a win-win because you get a backlink, and they get great content. Just be sure that you’re the only guest blogging on high-quality and relevant websites, or you could damage your website’s reputation.
Develop localized citations.
Citations are mentions of your business on other websites. They can be in the form of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP), or just your NAP. Localized citations are especially important for law firms because you want to make it as easy as possible for people in your area to find you.
There are a few ways to develop localized citations. The first is to make sure your NAP is consistent across all of your online listings. This includes your website, social media profiles, and directories.
The second is to claim as many local directories as possible. There are hundreds of them out there, but some of the most popular ones include Google My Business, Yelp, and Angie’s List. For lawyers specifically, one great resource is FindLaw.
The last way to develop localized citations is to leverage a service such as Brightlocal or Yext. These services help you to automatically populate your NAP across multiple directories. They also help to keep your NAP consistent, which is important for both search engines and potential clients.
Tips and tricks for maximizing your family law SEO.
For the most part, that’s all there is to SEO for family law. But there are a few additional tips and tricks that we wanted to share with you to help you get the most out of your SEO efforts.
Use a plugin such as Yoast.
We mentioned using WordPress earlier, and one of the reasons we recommend it is because of the Yoast plugin. Yoast is a plugin that helps you with your on-page SEO, and it’s essential for any law firm that wants to rank higher in the search engines.
Fun fact and side note, we’re certified with Yoast in a few areas of SEO.
Yoast will analyze your page and give you a score based on how well optimized it is. It will also give you suggestions on how to improve your page. For example, it might tell you to use a more keyword-rich title or to add more internal links.
Yoast is an excellent tool for those just getting started with family law SEO because it takes the guesswork out of optimization. But even if you’re more experienced, it’s still a valuable tool to have in your arsenal. Remember, it’s only a tool and won’t necessarily rank you higher by itself.
Leverage tools to help you analyze keywords.
Speaking of tools, there are more than a few out there that can help you with your keyword research. These tools will help you find the right keywords to target and give you insights into how difficult those keywords are to rank for.
Our favorite is Ahrefs, but there are plenty of other great options like Moz, SEMRush, and KWFinder. No matter which tool you choose, ensure you take advantage of the keyword data they provide. This data is essential for crafting a successful family law SEO strategy.
These tools will provide keyword data such as search volume, difficulty, and opportunity. Search volume is how many people search for a particular keyword each month. The problem is how difficult it is to rank for a keyword. And the opportunity is how much potential there is to rank for a keyword.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to decide between two keywords: “family law” and “divorce law.” Both have a high search volume, but “divorce law” has a higher opportunity because it’s less competitive. That means it might be easier to rank “divorce law” than “family law.”
Of course, you’ll also want to look at the other data points to make sure you’re choosing the right keyword. But opportunity is a great metric to keep in mind when trying to decide between similar keywords.
Internal linking is essential.
Remember when we discussed backlinks and how they help your website rank higher? Well, internal links work similarly. By linking to other pages on your website, you’re allowing the search engines to crawl and index your site more effectively.
Internal links also help to keep people on your website longer. And the longer someone stays on your website, the more likely they will contact you about your services. So, it’s a good idea to ensure that your website has plenty of internal links.
A few places you can add internal links are in your blog posts, on your website’s menus, and in the footer of your website. Just be sure the links make sense and are relevant to the page they’re linking to.
Publish content, then publish more.
Consistency is vital, but if you can consistently publish high-quality content, you’ll be well on your way to ranking higher in the search engines. Posting new content regularly gives the search engines more opportunities to index your website and also helps show that your website is active.
If you’re unsure how often you should post new content, start with once a week and then increase your frequency as you’re able. Just be sure that you’re not sacrificing quality for quantity. It’s better to publish one high-quality piece of content than five low-quality pieces.
And when it comes to family law attorney search engine optimization, there’s no such thing as too much content. The more content you have, the more opportunities you have to rank for relevant keywords. So, if you’re unsure what to write about next, consider creating a blog post, FAQ page, or video.
No matter what type of content you create, be sure it’s helpful and informative. If it is, you’re sure to see an increase in your website’s traffic.
Use images and videos where necessary.
Family law is probably not the most image-rich or video-rich industry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use visuals to your advantage. In fact, images and videos can be a great way to break up text and make your content more engaging.
For example, let’s say you have a blog post about divorce. You could include an image of a couple going through a divorce or a video of yourself discussing the divorce process. These visuals will help make your content more engaging and allow it to stand out in the search results.
Just be sure that you’re using images and videos that are relevant to your content and that add value. Don’t just add them for the sake of adding them.
Keep your family law attorney social media updated.
When you publish new content, share it on your social media channels. This will help increase its reach and signal to the search engines that your website is active.
Honestly, we could talk for days and days about social media. Still, the biggest takeaway is to have 1-3 social media accounts and leverage a tool like Metricool to post to them simultaneously. You can schedule your posts ahead, so you’re not spending all day on social media.
And while we’re on social media, it’s also a good idea to add social sharing buttons to your website. This will make it easy for people to share your content with their networks and will help to increase its reach even further.
You should also ensure that your social media profiles are up-to-date and complete. Include links back to your website and make sure to use relevant keywords in your profiles. This will help you rank higher in the search results and help potential clients find you more easily.
Need extra help? We have a search engine optimization resource for you!
SEO for family law firms doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these simple tips, you can improve your website’s ranking and start to see more traffic and more clients.
However, if you’re having trouble or don’t have the time to implement these tips, we have a solution for you. We are an SEO company with years of experience. Our SEO experts can help you improve your family law website ranking and get more organic search traffic and clients.
We’ll work hand in hand with you to create a custom law firm SEO strategy that’s tailored to your needs. Whether that includes on-page optimization, off-page optimization, technical SEO, or a link building strategy, we’ll have a plan of action for your family law firm.