SEO For Lawyers

SEO for lawyers is one of the most powerful forms of law firm marketing in the modern age. To put this in perspective, the most prominent search engine (Google) receives 63,000 searches per second and has a market value of $1.7 Trillion. As a result, lawyers who are able to leverage this powerful digital platform can grow their client base exponentially.

The SEO strategies listed throughout this page have been thoroughly researched, tested, and applied to numerous law firms around the U.S. These strategies have contributed to substantial growth for several legal practices including a Florida based law firm who generated over 4,900 leads from their website in a single year.

SEO for lawyers graph displaying an upward curve

What is SEO For Lawyers?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for lawyers involves maximizing your law firm’s organic visibility on search engines such as Google. This helps potential clients to find a lawyer when they search for legal services.

Not to be confused with paid search advertisements, SEO refers specifically to organic results below the sponsored listings. This includes both  local business listings (a.k.a. 3-pack or snack pack), as well as traditional organic website rankings.

The goal of SEO for lawyers is to attract more potential clients by appearing at the top of search results for specific legal keywords or search queries relevant to the services provided by the law firm. There are many components involved in the algorithm that search engines such as Google use to chronologically index various law firm websites.

Components of SEO For Lawyers

Google’s Search Algorithm uses a highly complex formula to determine where a website ranks on their search results page. In fact, there are over 300 factors involved in this calculation. For the sake of simplicity, we group these factors into several primary categories.

On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO involves factors that contribute to your law firm’s organic search engine ranking for a given keyword that are found within your domain. This includes factors such as the relevancy of your website, the quality of your content, the quantity of content on your website, etc. In short, when entering a search query, search engines are likely to display websites with high quality content that’s relevant to that specific search.

Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO involves factors that contribute to your law firm’s organic search engine ranking for a given keyword that are found outside your domain. This includes factors such as the number of domains linking to your website, the quality domains linking to your website, and the relevancy of these links. Basically, when entering a search query, search engines are likely to display websites that are linked to by reputable domains which are relevant to that specific search.


Technical SEO refers to the aspects of search engine optimization that aim to improve a website's underlying infrastructure, making it easier for search engines like Google to crawl and index its pages. It does not involve the actual content of the site, but rather the foundation upon which the content sits. This includes aspects such as website speed, mobile-friendliness, website structure, XML sitemaps, robots.txt file, 404 errors/re-directs, etc. In short, when entering a search query, search engines are likely to display websites that are well-organized, provide a great user experience with minimal technical issues.


Local SEO

Local SEO involves aspects such as creating a Google My Business profile, optimizing for local keywords (i.e. "probate lawyer in Fort Lauderdale"), and ensuring the law firm's name, address, and phone number are consistently listed across the web. One of the most important aspects of local SEO for lawyers is obtaining positive reviews on platforms such as Google and Yelp. This not only improves rankings, but provides “social proof” for potential clients.

Example of SEO For Lawyers

In this section, we are going to do a test search on Google to demonstrate a point. When we search for “family attorney” Google calculates ~300 factors in order to determine which websites should be indexed where. Some of the most notable factors involve content, links, and user-experience. Search engines also take the user’s location into account as well.

Google Search for "Family Lawyer" and showing the search results

For this example, one of our partners, a Michigan family law firm came up at the top both organically and via paid search.

Ahrefs traffic report for the keyword "Family Attorney" showing a keyword difficulty of 26, and volume of 4900.

According to the AHREFS keyword planner, the search term “Family Attorney” receives an average of over 4,900 searches per month. As a result, appearing at the top of searches for this keyword is highly valuable for their law firm.

Attorney SEO Keyword Research

Attorney SEO keyword research is the process of identifying and analyzing specific search terms that people enter into search engines while looking for legal services. The aim is to optimize a law firm’s website and content around these terms to rank higher in search results and attract potential clients.

Here are some steps involved in this process:

These are general terms related to the legal services you provide. For example, if you’re a personal injury lawyer, core keywords might include “personal injury lawyer,” “accident attorney,” or “injury law firm.”

These are more specific, usually three or more words long, and often contain a core keyword. For example, “personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles” or “best accident attorney near me.” These keywords often have less competition and can be easier to rank for.

Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Ahrefs can help you find keywords relevant to your services. These tools provide information about search volume, competition, and related keywords.

Look at the keywords your successful competitors are ranking for. This can provide ideas for additional keywords you could target.

Consider why people are searching for a particular term. Are they looking for legal advice (“how to file for bankruptcy”), trying to find a lawyer (“bankruptcy attorney near me”), or something else? This can help you create content that matches what users are looking for.

Why Is SEO For Lawyers Important?

Attorneys face some of the highest competition in the world of search engine marketing. With potential cases netting a significant financial return for law firms, ranking high on Google search results is a top priority for firms seeking consistent new client acquisition. To put this in perspective, Google processes approximately 70,000 searches per second, with 99% of searchers clicking on a link showing on the first page of search results. This means that showing on the first page, particularly towards the top, is crucial to success.

It can be argued that paid search traffic, known as Google Ads, can bring in a significant amount of leads and new clients. However, this is a relatively short term solution that can have high cost per acquisition. In fact, on average for law firms, only 27% of website traffic comes from paid search ads. Compare that to an average of 53% of traffic to law firms coming from organic search results and it becomes obvious why a solid SEO strategy is the best choice. 

Ranking on the first page however isn’t a simple or easy task, especially in competitive markets. There is no quick way to rank, with success dependent on the implementation of a systematic and focused search strategy over the long term. This may be over a period of several months to even a year, depending on the particular market that is being targeted. Content is king for high rankings, with the average first page result containing 1,447 words. This effort is worth it in the long run as establishing and maintaining a strong Google presence puts your leads on autopilot. People trust the top results on Google, and the goal of an SEO strategy is to put your firm at the top.

How To Influence SEO for Lawyers?

As a law firm, In order to climb to the top of Google’s steep search mountain, you need to show Google beyond a reasonable doubt that you deserve to be at the top. To breakdown this highly complex endeavor, you can positively influence your law firm’s search engine rankings by implementing the following SEO strategies,

1. Creating sufficient high quality content related to a keyword
: One of our law firm partners is a well known probate lawyer in Florida. Our experts created a very detailed guide on Florida probate laws. This guide was considered so detailed and elaborate that search engines consistently show it at the top of their search results page, above the state’s court system for probate related searches.

2. Acquiring sufficient links from sources related to that keyword
Example: Using the same law firm partner as an example, our experts developed a strategy where other law firm’s in different states consistently reference this article; furthermore, this probate article is consistently referenced by real estate buying and selling agencies due to the detailed breakdown on Florida probate rules in regards to inheriting property.

3. Providing the best possible user experience for visitors to your website
Example: If your law firm practices in multiple areas of law, your website should have a legal practice area section with neatly categorized pages based on the area of law. The URL’s should also reflect this. A well organized layout with a neatly categorized URL structure makes it easy for the user to navigate which will likely translate to positive website metrics and ultimately improved search rankings. Here’s an example of one of our law firm partners who practices in numerous areas of law.

A line diagram showing the URL structure of a lawyer website

Lawyer SEO Strategy

The foundation of any successful lawyer SEO strategy is keyword research. This involves identifying the terms or phrases that potential clients might use when looking for legal services. High-volume, low-competition keywords are ideal, but it’s also crucial to consider long-tail keywords, which are more specific. For example, instead of just targeting the term “divorce lawyer,” consider including “divorce lawyer in Boston” in your strategy. Though long-tail keywords might have lower search volumes, they can draw in more targeted and potentially valuable traffic. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Ahrefs can be helpful for conducting this research.

Once you’ve established your target keywords, the next step is to optimize your website. This includes embedding keywords in strategic places like meta tags, headers, and the body of your content. Website optimization also involves ensuring your site is mobile-friendly, given that a significant portion of searches now come from mobile devices. Further, your site should load quickly, as slow speeds can deter visitors and negatively impact your search rankings.

Structuring your website correctly is also essential, with clear, intuitive navigation and relevant, authoritative content on each page. Remember, the goal of SEO isn’t just to drive traffic to your site—it’s also to keep visitors there long enough to convert them into clients.

Why Hire a Professional Lawyer SEO Agency

Managing an effective SEO strategy is a challenging endeavor. While some firms attempt to manage their online presence themselves, this is usually not something that is successful in the long term. With legal services being a highly competitive field online, it is critical that these firms work with search engine optimization professionals in order to successfully rank on the first page of Google and other search engines.

SEO agencies specialize in search engine marketing, and have at their disposal a number of tools that assist in rankings and the optimization of content for search engine algorithms. Combined with real world experience successfully managing SEO strategies, a good agency can be the difference between ranking on the forth, fifth or sixth page, and ranking on the first or second page, with a dramatic increase in leads and prospective clients to go along with it. 

Additionally, hiring an SEO agency that specifically works with attorneys provides even further expertise in not only local competition but also differences in how to strategize for legal marketing purposes. This is a key difference when hiring a lawyer SEO agency over a regular agency without a specific focus. Because they focus solely on legal matters, writers and strategists for law firm SEO agencies become subject matter experts themselves, resulting in higher quality content that ranks better in search engines.