Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for family law practices looking to attract new clients online. With more and more people using the internet to find legal representation, having an SEO strategy can help set your firm apart. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to leverage SEO to get your family law practice found.
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The Importance of SEO for Family Law Firms
There are several key reasons why SEO should be a priority:
Increased visibility and credibility
Ranking on the first page of Google establishes your firm as a trusted leader in family law. This visibility and authority make clients more likely to choose you.
SEO provides continuous results at a fraction of the cost of paid search ads. Optimizing your site and content is a smart, affordable strategy.
Every client acquired through organic search is extremely valuable, as the cost to acquire them is low. SEO provides one of the best returns on investment.
Expanded Client Reach
SEO allows you to reach people searching for lawyers beyond your local area. It greatly expands the pool of potential new clients.
In any market, ranking higher than competitors means directing more traffic to your site. SEO is necessary to stand out.
By making SEO a core marketing component, you can attract clients you may have otherwise missed. Your effort to optimize your online presence will directly impact your firm’s bottom line.
How to Do SEO for Family Law Firms
Doing SEO effectively requires an understanding of both your clients and how search engines like Google operate. Here are the key elements involved:
Research Target Keywords
The first step is researching relevant search terms, known as keywords, that clients use when looking for a family lawyer. Identify terms around practice areas, locations, and legal situations like:
- Child custody lawyer
- Divorce attorney in Los Angeles
- Child support Lawyer NYC
DIY SEO tools for Keyword research like Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Moz Keyword Explorer can help uncover new keywords and assess their search volume and competition. This informs what terms you should target in your content.
Optimize Website Content
Your website needs compelling, useful content optimized around your target keywords. This includes:
- Pages and blogs – Create location and practice area pages targeting specific terms. Regularly publish blog posts about relevant topics.
- Headings and text – Work keywords into headings (H1, H2 tags), opening paragraphs, image names, and naturally within content. Avoid over-optimization.
- Meta descriptions – Use keywords in the page description meta tag that shows under the title in search results.
Get Listed on Relevant Directories
Create and claim listings on online directories related to the legal industry. This helps search engines understand what your firm offers. Some top directories include:
- Avvo – High authority legal directory with lawyer profiles.
- Lawyers.com – Widely used directory to find lawyers by practice area and location.
- Best Lawyers – Prestigious peer review guide.
- Martindale-Hubbell – Leading directory for lawyers and law firms.
Complete and optimize all key fields on these listings, like business descriptions and areas of practice.
Build Links from Relevant Websites
The more quality websites linking back to your site, the better search engines will rank you. Focus on getting links from trusted sites in the legal field, such as:
- State/local bar associations – Many have directories of local lawyers you can request to be added to.
- Legal news publications – Consider contributing posts as a way to earn backlinks.
- Legal forums and directories – Participate in discussions and get your firm link in your profile.
- Business listings – Yelp, YellowPages, Facebook Pages, etc.
Optimize Technical SEO Elements
Make sure to pay attention to technical SEO factors search engines evaluate, like site speed, security, mobile responsiveness, etc. Optimizing these makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site.
Track and Monitor Results
Use analytics tools like Google Search Console to see how your site performs for core keywords. Identify new opportunities by monitoring which pages rank well and which need more work. SEO is an ongoing process, so continue optimizing to keep rankings strong.
Local SEO for Family Law Practices
While traditional SEO helps you rank well generally, local SEO is vital for attracting clients in your specific metro area. Tactics like optimizing Google My Business and building local links can make a big impact.
Here are some best practices for local SEO:
- Google My Business – Completely optimize your listing with photos, business hours, services, and more. This helps you show up on Google Maps and in local packs.
- City pages – Have location pages that target keywords like “divorce lawyers in Houston” so you rank for searches in your city.
- Citations – List your practice on dozens of sites like Yelp that help establish you locally. Consistent NAP (name, address, phone) is key.
- Reviews – Generate more positive Google and Facebook reviews. These build trust and rank you higher locally.
- Link building – Earn links from city newspaper sites, chamber of commerce, local organizations, and law firm directories.
- On-page optimization – Make sure you have your city and state mentioned on site pages where relevant. This reinforces your geography.
A robust local SEO strategy makes you more discoverable to potential clients in your metro area looking for a family law attorney.
The Pros and Cons of SEO for Family Law Firms
As with any marketing strategy, there are both advantages and potential drawbacks of relying on SEO:
- Cost-effective – Requires mainly time versus expensive paid ads.
- Long-term results – Rankings and traffic continue building over months/years.
- Brand building – Establishes expertise and authority in family law.
- Higher conversions – Visitors from organic search convert better than other sources.
- Mobile friendly – Google favors mobile-responsive, fast-loading sites.
- Slow growth – It takes patience to see organic growth month to month.
- Constant work – Ongoing effort is needed to maintain and improve rankings.
- Ranking shifts – Algorithm changes can force sites to be continually refined.
- In-house expertise – This may require a hiring consultant or agency to optimize effectively.
- No guarantees – Even with constant work, rankings aren’t guaranteed.
For most firms, the benefits of higher visibility and more qualified website traffic outweigh the cons of ongoing optimization. With smart SEO investment, family law practices can thrive online.
FAQs About SEO for Family Law
SEO can seem complicated to firms without experience optimizing websites. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
It can take 2-3 months to see improvements from core SEO work, like optimizing content and earning backlinks. Local SEO signals like reviews happen faster. Give it 6+ months for full impact.
Full-scale SEO with a marketing agency averages $750-$2,000 per month based on the firm size and needs. But core DIY work like blogging and link building has minimal costs.
If you don't have the in-house expertise, hiring a consultant or agency can be worthwhile to set up optimization best practices. But equipping your team with SEO knowledge also goes a long way.
Google Search Console shows how your site ranks for target keywords over time. Analytics tools like SEMrush provide position tracking, backlink monitoring, rank analysis, and other useful data.
Aim to publish long-form blog content about 1-2 times per month. More frequent posting of shorter articles works, too. This ensures fresh content is added regularly to support SEO.
An effective SEO strategy is no longer optional for firms serious about engaging prospective clients online. Appearing on the first page of Google for relevant searches should be a top priority. By researching target keywords, optimizing website content, building high-quality backlinks, and leveraging local SEO tactics, family law practices can establish themselves as trusted authorities.
Comprehensive optimization makes your firm more discoverable and drives valuable new business. SEO requires continual refinement and monitoring, but the long-term payoff is worth the effort. Follow this robust and practical guide to get your family law website found by searching for clients and significantly growing your online presence.