10 Costly SEO Mistakes Law Firms Must Avoid

We all make mistakes – but making big mistakes in your business could be the difference between a ton of new legal cases or none at all. When it comes to law firm marketing, you can’t always afford to leave money on the table. 

We’ve talked about the many benefits of law firm SEO, but it’s not always easy to get it right. In this guide, I’m sharing the top 10 biggest law firm mistakes to avoid – and what to do instead! 

Mistake #1: Not investing in SEO at all

SEO is one of the most effective forms of marketing for law firms. This is because potential clients most often use search engines (like Google) to find legal services. SEO allows law firms to attract users who are already searching for their services.

So, not investing in SEO at all means missing out on a huge source of traffic and potential leads. It means being outranked by competing law firms and, in the worst case, not having a search engine presence at all.

While other forms of marketing – like social media and paid ads – can drum up new business, SEO is far and away the most effective (and affordable) form of marketing for law firms. 

Mistake #2: Targeting the wrong keywords

There’s a huge misconception that SEO is all about ranking #1 for target keyword – like “lawyer” or “best law firm”. But users don’t search this way, and even if they did, these terms are far too broad and competitive for your targeting purposes.

If you focus on the wrong keywords, you risk attracting the wrong type of audience or attempting to rank for super competitive terms. It’s much better to target terms specific to your niche; for example, “Seattle DUI lawyer”, “LA probate attorney”, “Denver family law firm”, etc.

What you need to do is research the terms your target audience is likely using to find services like yours. Then, use a reputable SEO tool like semrush.com to look at the search volume and competition level of said keywords. That way you will target the right keywords for your audience and market. 

Mistake #3: Having a poor web design

User Experience (UX) is a key component of website performance and a potential contributor to organic rankings. You could be the best law firm in the world, but if you have poor UX and web design, users are unlikely to convert into new clients.

Imagine looking for an online clothing store and being met with an outdated website, no way to add items to your cart, poor-quality product images, and missing contact information. You’d likely shop somewhere else, right?

Law firm websites often have the same issues – broken image links, outdated information, poor functionality, etc. – and these can deter potential clients. 

If you want to not only drive traffic to your website but convert that traffic into clients, then you will want a good web design. This means a site that is fast, visually appealing, up-to-date, and functional.

If you can’t make these updates yourself, consider hiring a web designer to help. This can make a huge difference for your business. 

Mistake #4: Ignoring local SEO

Local SEO is a type of SEO that focuses on targeting users based on local interest and location. So, rather than targeting a national or international audience, you are focusing on people searching for services in your area.

This is usually the way to go for law firms because most law firms work with clients within their city, county, or state. Plus, this reduces the competition pool to local law firms only.

Ignoring local SEO is a huge mistake because then you are up against way more competition and aren’t targeting geo-specific keywords. The right approach is to have a strong local SEO strategy, focusing on localized content and directories. 

Mistake #5: Writing boring content

You might have a stellar website but if you have lackluster content, you’re unlikely to convert visitors into new clients. Potential clients are looking for law firms that understand their needs, build trust, and communicate their values. Content is key in getting this messaging across.

Whether it’s your web pages or blog posts, your content should be written to appeal to your target audience. It should be engaging, informative, and helpful. Even better, it should be compelling enough to make people want to work with you.

If writing isn’t your strong suit, consider hiring a copywriter to write your content for you. This could help increase your visitor-to-client conversion rate.

Mistake #6: Not optimizing for mobile

Mobile accounts for approximately half of all web traffic. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you could be missing out on half of your potential clients!

Poor mobile optimization usually means that your site doesn’t readily load on mobile devices, has too small of font, is missing/resizing images, and is difficult to navigate. This can deter potential clients and send them searching for other options.

Great mobile optimization entails a fast load time, correctly sized images, readable font, and easy navigation. To achieve this, it is best to pick a website theme that has mobile optimization built-in or to work directly with a website designer. 

Mistake #7: Forgetting about site speed

Similar to Mistake #6, forgetting about site speed is another way to deter potential clients. If your website takes a long time to load, users will likely go somewhere else. 

The Pagespeed Insights tool will tell you how your site measures up in terms of site speed on desktop and mobile. A score of 90 or above is considered good, 50 to 89 needs improvement, and below 50 is considered poor.

Again, many modern website themes are built with page speed in mind, while reputable web designers may help you optimize for this. If your website has a poor site speed score, consider making these improvements. 

Mistake #8: Keyword stuffing your Google Business Profile

A Google Business Profile (previously called a “Google My Business listing”) is a Google-hosted platform that allows businesses to showcase their information and attract customers. On the flip side, Google Business Profiles help users navigate to businesses, read reviews, find business contact information, and so much more. 

Your law firm should have a Google Business Profile in order to help clients (new and existing) find you. But you should not stuff keywords into the name of your business listing, as this can get you dinged by Google.

Best practice is to include your actual business name. You should also include your phone number, address, hours, and website URL. You can also collect user reviews, add your Category, write a business description, and more.

Mistake #9: Not keeping your business info up to date

Have you ever done a Google search for a business, checked their business hours, and driven to the location… just to realize that the business was actually closed? Frustrating!

Not keeping your business information up to date can be super confusing for clients and also confusing for Google. If people can’t trust your contact information or when your business is open, they may go somewhere else.

Similarly, Google is less likely to display your business to users if the algorithm questions the accuracy of your information. So, be sure to keep your website, Google Business Profile, and other online listings up-to-date. 

Mistake #10: Expecting immediate results

SEO can be a bit of a slow burn. From designing your website to writing content to optimizing for keywords, it can take Google a while to “index” your site and start ranking it in the search results.

So, don’t expect to see immediate results but DO keep optimizing your website. Because once Google does pick it up, you’ll be happy that you put in the work now.

This means keeping your content fresh, optimizing for keywords, updating your Google Business Profile, and improving your site health and mobile optimization. These improvements will slowly start to pay off in terms of traffic and leads. 

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National Law Review, Volumess XIII, Number 55