Of all the different practice areas that law firms tend to practice law, personal injury is perhaps the most competitive, hence personal injury lawyer SEO is crucial to success. If you live in a relatively higher population area you have undoubtedly seen an increase in competition over the last couple of years. Personally, I feel that the COVID pandemic spurred much of this because many law firms that had not focused much online became very focused when that was the only option to see clients.
In order to stay competitive and rank highly in today’s competitive online world, it is crucial that search engine optimization be a key component of your law firm’s marketing strategy. It is also important to note that this is not a field recommended for DIY. SEO is a field that requires a lot of experience in a variety of disciplines including writing, technical SEO analysis, on-page optimization, off-page optimization, link building, and more.
This is why at FORWARD Lawyer Marketing, we recommend hiring experienced professionals to handle these tasks for you. We have been providing lawyer marketing services across the U.S. since 2013 and have numerous satisfied clients that have given us our Five Star rating. We have literally built hundreds of custom websites for law firms and have helped law firms as much as double their revenue in under a year.
In this post we are going to go over personal injury lawyer SEO and why it should be important to you if you operate a personal injury law firm.
Most lawyers that I have known are continually looking for a leg up over their competition. It doesn’t matter whether it is in court or being on top of the rankings online in their local area. In the old days prior to the advent of the internet, you could just lease billboards on busy streets and intersections or buy high-dollar display ads in the Yellow Pages and have success.
Nowadays, most people don’t even pay attention to billboards anymore and younger people don’t even know what Yellow Pages are! With a handheld computer on their cell phone, most people today will do a search for “personal injury lawyer near me” to get the results they are looking for.
>Before we go further I am going to dive a little deeper into how to optimize for “near me” searches and maximize the potential benefits and it begins with optimizing for local search also known as Local Seo.
Recent research and data from ThinkWithGoogle.com show that the number of “near me” searches in 2015 doubled while the total volume of such searches has increased 34 times since 2011. These numbers will only continue to increase as the number of people using their mobile devices for searches continues to increase.
While some people have difficulty understanding the technical aspects of “near me” searches, it is really very straightforward. When a user performs a “near me” search, Google’s algorithm uses the current location of the user and delivers the most relevant results closest to them. This is also why you may see different results when searching while out on your mobile versus at home on a desktop or laptop.
To get the best possible results from “near me” searches, here are a few tips you need to know to optimize your law firm’s online presence.
First, be sure that your website is optimized for your location. The way we do this is by writing content that mentions local communities, neighborhoods, and landmarks and linking back to some of them. This sends a signal to Google that your website is relevant for a given search, such as the one above for “personal injury lawyer near me” while searching in Schaumburg. If you have multiple locations you should set up specific pages for each focused on that specific location and areas of interest.
Formerly known as “Google My Business”, your Google Business Profile is a free tool offered by Google and is crucial to online success. As you may or may not know, Google shows the results from Google Maps above the regular organic search results on a given search. When a searcher is performing a “near me” search the algorithm will search for businesses with locations closest to the location of the searcher in real-time. This is why it is so important to have accurate information on your Google Business Profile, including name, address, and phone number.
Google also allows you to add more locations near you as well as additional services you offer. Once verified by Google, these optimizations can help you show up for even more searches because Google uses these to return accurate results to searchers. See our Guide To Google Business Profile Best Practices for comprehensive information.
Obviously, in order to take advantage of these “near me” searches your website has to be mobile-friendly. In order to encourage this, Google implemented a mobile-first indexing initiative that gives a better ranking to websites with a great mobile experience. If you are relying on an old outdated website to drive traffic to your law firm you are dying on the vine. If you intend to be competitive in 2022 and beyond you absolutely must have a responsive website that displays optimally across all devices. If you have an old, outdated website, see or page on Web Design For Lawyers and see examples of law firms just like yours that we have built custom responsive websites for.
This is extremely important because it not only helps Google display the best results but also allows the person performing the search to quickly see that the search results are representative of what they were looking for. This is also why personal injury lawyers should also have separate pages for practice areas such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip & fall, etc. Each page stands on its own and if someone is looking for a car accident lawyer in Glendale, your website should have a page optimized for that if you want clients from that area.
Title tags, which are H-tags, are also crucial to search engine rankings. The title tags show in search results and are clickable, the more relevant the title tag is to the intent of the searcher the more likely they are to click through.
Reviews are important, PERIOD. Most people will peruse reviews when trying to decide on a business and law firms are no different. I know on a personal level that my fiance’ will not even consider a business with less than a 4-star rating and she prefers closer to a 5.
In addition to encouraging the reviews, we also want to respond to them in a timely manner whether they are good or bad. This is a known ranking factor that Google considers when ranking websites as well as Google Business Profile pages. Google best practices on reviews.
So, why are reviews important for ‘near me’ searches on Google? Here’s an example of what comes up when I search “personal injury lawyer near me” in Schaumburg, Illinois.
As mentioned above, competition among personal injury law firms is particularly intense, especially in larger metropolitan areas. There are only so many personal injury cases at any given time and an enormous number of attorneys trying to retain their business. The increased competition has led to an exponential increase in paid advertising making it even more difficult and more expensive.
Over 80% of all prospective clients research attorneys online before engaging. For law firms and lawyers that deal with the public, like a personal injury lawyer, that number jumps to 92%. About 1/3 of search engine users will only click on the very first search result and around half will only click through to the top two, maybe 25% ever make it to the second page. This makes personal injury lawyer SEO even more important.
SEO is evergreen and a long-term play. Depending upon the competition, it can take as much as a year to see significant movement in rankings from SEO. That said, we have clients at FORWARD Lawyer Marketing that we have been able to get first-page rankings in less than 90 days. The duration of time it takes to rank depends on other factors as well such as content and backlinks.
Due to the fact that it does take a little time to reap the benefits of SEO, we recommend at least a small budget for PPC or pay-per-call in order to bring in immediate leads.
One of the great things about SEO is that even the “little guy” can compete with larger corporate law firms. Google doesn’t reward companies based on their size or income, it is solely based on performing the search engine optimization tasks to get rankings.
Search engine optimization is a highly specialized field with sub-specialties as well. It is nearly impossible to find someone that can perform all of the tasks required to fulfill all of the needs of even one website. At FOWARD Lawyer Marketing, we have an entire team and we have consistently been able to outperform larger law firms because of our expertise in SEO for personal injury lawyers.
Unlike traditional advertising such as billboards, ads on buses and benches, or TV ads, SEO can be easily tracked. You can utilize tracking codes for traditional ads that can give you some data on people that actually take action and call but with SEO we can even monitor the “lookers.”
Utilizing analytics we can not only track the page that someone clicks on but even the keyword they used to get there. This is impossible with traditional advertising. This is one of the first things we do when taking on a new client so that we can generate monthly reports that show the client how the SEO campaign is performing.
We only work with one law firm in a particular practice in each geographic area, unless it is a very large spread-out metropolitan area.. We put the efforts of our entire team of SEO professionals, designers, developers, writers, and data analysts into helping your firm succeed.
This case study shows how a single-attorney family law practice started attracting more high-asset, financially complex divorce cases.
Click here to read about a family law firm that increased caseload five-fold in a few months.
At FORWARD Lawyer Marketing we believe in taking a “leave no stone unturned” approach when it comes to our legal clients. With that in mind, we employ extremely experienced people in the industry. Our SEO Director has been marketing online for well over two decades and oversees all SEO tasks including editing content and performing on-page optimization as well as internal and external linking. Our specialty is law firm marketing and SEO for lawyers at FORWARD Lawyer Marketing, call us at (888) 590-9687 to discuss how we can increase the revenue of your law firm.