Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for any law firm looking to increase their online visibility and attract more clients. However, SEO for family law is very important for law attorneys, as many people search online when looking for divorce lawyers or assistance with child custody cases. Implementing effective SEO strategies allows family law firms to appear higher in search engine results for relevant keywords. This means they are more likely to be found by potential clients researching divorce or child custody lawyers in their local area. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore important SEO tactics and best practices specifically for family law attorneys and firms.
Family Law SEO Plan at a Glance
Here is a sample family law SEO plan in chart format:
|Increase website traffic||10% increase in monthly organic traffic||Conduct keyword research and optimize website content for relevant keywords||3 months||Organic traffic from Google Analytics|
|Improve local search visibility||Rank in the top 3 for local search results for relevant keywords||Optimize Google My Business profile, get listed in local directories, and build backlinks from local websites||6 months||Local search rankings in Google Search Console|
|Generate more leads||Increase the number of contact form submissions by 5% per month||Create high-quality content that addresses the needs of potential clients and include a call to action on each page||9 months||Contact form submissions from Google Analytics|
|Establish thought leadership||Position the law firm as an expert in family law by publishing high-quality blog posts and articles||Publish 2 new blog posts per month and distribute them through social media and email marketing||12 months||Backlinks to the law firm’s website from high-quality websites|
This is just a sample plan, and the specific activities and timeline will vary depending on the law firm’s goals and resources. It is important to track and measure results on a regular basis to ensure that the SEO plan is effective.
Keyword Research for Family Law Firms
The first critical step in developing an effective SEO strategy for any law firm is conducting thorough keyword research. This allows you to identify high-value search terms and topics that potential clients are searching for online related to divorce and family law.
Here are some tips for conducting keyword research as a family law firm:
Examine Current Website Traffic
Your Google Analytics account will provide insight into current website traffic and the keyword terms driving visitors to your site. Review your existing top organic landing pages and source keywords. This can help identify initial target keywords to focus your SEO efforts around.
Leverage Keyword Planner
Google’s free Keyword Planner tool allows you to discover new keyword variations and average monthly search volumes. Make sure to include relevant seed keywords like “divorce lawyer [city]” and “child custody attorney [city]”. Keyword Planner will then provide additional keyword suggestions to target.
Analyze the Competition
Search for your primary target keywords and examine the websites ranking on the first page of Google. These are your main SEO competitors, so analyze what keywords and content they are optimizing for to inform your own strategy.
Research Long-Tail Keywords
Focus on ranking for longer, more specific long-tail versions of your target keywords. Long-tail keywords have lower competition and are more likely to convert, as they indicate a user’s intent. For example “child custody lawyers in Houston”.
Track Keyword Search Volume
As you build out your list of target keywords, be sure to note the average monthly search volumes. This will help you prioritize higher traffic keywords to focus your SEO content around.
Once you’ve conducted thorough keyword research, you can begin optimizing pages and content for your priority keywords.
On-Page SEO for Family Law Websites
The technical optimization of your website pages plays a major role in improving SEO rankings for your target keywords. Here are important on-page SEO tips for family law firms:
Optimize Page Titles
Your page titles (the blue clickable headline in search engines) should contain your primary keyword and compelling copy to gain clicks. Include your location for local SEO as well. For example: “Austin Child Custody Lawyers | Johnson & Associates”.
Include Target Keywords in Headers
Work your priority keywords into page headers H1 and H2 tags for improved SEO value. But avoid over-optimization.
Create Keyword-Focused Content
Each page should contain lengthy, useful content focused around specific keyword terms. Include your keywords organically throughout the copy without overtly stuffing them in.
Enhance Page Speed
Slow page speeds hurt your search rankings, so optimize images and enable browser caching to enhance performance. Use Google PageSpeed Insights to catch issues.
Optimize Meta Descriptions
Your page meta descriptions summarize page content in search engines. Include keywords naturally and use compelling copy to generate more clicks.
Improve Site Navigation
Make it easy for visitors to navigate your site by linking relevant pages using keywords as anchor text. This also aids SEO rankings.
By continuously optimizing these on-page SEO elements, you can boost organic search visibility for priority family law keywords.
Link Building Strategies for Family Law Firms
Securing high-quality backlinks from relevant websites remains one of the most impactful tactics for improving search rankings. Here are some of the best link building strategies for family lawyers:
Publish Guest Posts
Contact legal blogs, attorney directories, regional news sites and other legal publications to contribute guest posts with embedded backlinks pointing to your website. Offer value to the audience by providing useful legal insights and perspectives.
Get Listed on Directories
Build links via profiles on targeted legal and local business directories like Avvo, Lawyers.com, Manta.com, Better Business Bureau and more. Maximize citations by consistently using your law firm’s name, address and phone number.
Participate in Link Roundups
Reach out to legal news sites and bloggers to be included in their regular link roundup articles, featuring commentary from various law firms and links to their sites.
Sponsor Relevant Organizations
Search for local legal associations, family law groups and regional bar associations that offer sponsorships. Sponsorships often include placing your law firm link on their website.
Obtain .edu Backlinks
Contact law schools and accredited universities in your state to see if they have resources or programs where you can contribute expertise and gain a backlink in return. Educational links are highly authoritative.
Overall, diversifying your link building efforts through a combination of digital PR outreach, local citations, sponsorships and guest content placements is key for multiplying the strength of your backlink profile over time.
Leveraging Local SEO for Law Firms
Given the nature of family legal issues, most people search for local divorce lawyers and child custody attorneys in their specific city or metro area. That makes optimizing your law firm’s local SEO extremely important. Here are effective local SEO tips:
Optimize Google My Business
Completely fill out your Google My Business listing with photos, business info, service categories, FAQs and more. This helps you show up prominently in local searches.
Target Local Keywords
Research and target keywords that include your city or region, like “divorce attorneys in Miami”. Local keywords can have less competition.
List Your Location
Prominently display your full business name, address and phone number on your website to strengthen local signals.
Get More Local Citations
Pursue citations through local directories, associations and review sites to bolster your local SEO authority. Monitor citations with Moz Local.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Generate more local Google reviews, Yelp reviews, Avvo reviews and other local review site rankings. Customer reviews build trust and local relevance.
Sponsor Local Events
Look for local family law seminars, networking events or conferences relevant to clients and see about becoming a sponsor. This expands regional engagement.
Ranking higher locally for your law firm’s target practice areas brings in clients from your own backyard. So, optimizing local SEO should be central to your strategy.
PPC Advertising for Attracting Clients
While SEO focuses on organic search, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising allows your family law firm to tap into paid search traffic as well. PPC ads complement your organic efforts and provide these benefits:
Target Relevant Keywords
Display your PPC ads next to Google search results for your most valuable divorce and child custody related keywords.
Reach Local Searchers
Geotarget your PPC ads to only appear for users searching in your metro region.
Control Your Budget
Set daily budgets, maximum bids and adjustable targeting to control your spending.
PPC ads allow for easy tracking of phone calls, contact form submissions and other conversions generated.
Your ads show around the clock on all devices to attract clients anytime.
When set up correctly, PPC ads deliver qualified leads and website traffic to supplement your organic SEO. Dedicate 5-10% of your marketing budget to PPC for enhanced results.
Optimizing Google My Business for Law Firms
As highlighted in the local SEO chapter, optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing tremendously benefits overall visibility. Make your GMB profile shine by following these best practices:
Completely Fill Out Your Profile
Provide your law firm’s full name, address, phone number, website, hours, photos, services, FAQs, attributes and other information.
Link to Your GMB
Place your GMB link in your email signature, website footer, and anywhere else it can be listed as a citation.
Ask happy clients to leave detailed, positive Google reviews describing their experience. This builds social proof.
Check your GMB dashboard weekly for trends on searches, calls, direction requests and other insights that can inform your local marketing.
Respond to Reviews
Whether positive or negative, always respond professionally to any Google reviews left for your business. This shows customers you’re engaged.
Regularly Update Content
Keep your GMB listing fresh by adding new photos, updating business details, creating posts and more consistently.
A fully optimized Google My Business profile makes your law firm more discoverable in local search results when potential clients look for divorce lawyers in your metro region.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy
Creating regular educational content related to family law provides many SEO benefits for attorneys. Valuable content also demonstrates your knowledge and establishes trust with prospective clients. When developing a law firm content strategy, include these elements:
Informative Blog Posts
Publish weekly blog articles covering family law topics like divorce, child custody, prenups, alimony, mediation, and more. Optimize each post for specific keywords.
Detailed Legal Guides
Create expansive “Ultimate Guides” exploring various family law situations in depth, from divorce process guides to child support content.
Design infographics that distill complex legal issues like asset division or the grounds for divorce into easy-to-understand visuals.
Produce short videos for your law firm’s YouTube channel, providing family law overviews, attorney bio videos and more. Transcribe and optimize each video.
eBooks and Resources
Develop and promote downloadable eBooks, like “The 10 Most Important Things to Know During Your Divorce”. Gate them behind a contact form to capture leads.
Distributing this blend of useful content builds domain authority, generates website traffic, secures backlinks, and establishes expertise – collectively enhancing your overall SEO.
Tracking SEO Results for Law Firms
Analytics, reports, and tracking should play a central role in any law firm’s SEO strategy. Here are the key metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) you should monitor:
Search Engine Rankings
Use tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz to track your keyword rankings in Google. Compare against top competitors. Target improving rankings for priority keywords.
Measure monthly organic traffic in Google Analytics to assess how much search volume your SEO efforts are driving to your site. Traffic should increase over time.
Track submissions from your website’s contact forms, emails, and calls from organic search. These are your SEO leads. Closely monitor this number.
Link Building Results
Use link analysis tools to check your domain authority and total backlinks over time. Growing your link profile strengthens SEO.
Understand your true return on investment by tracking the costs associated with SEO (tools, contractors, etc) and the revenue generated from organic leads.
With consistent tracking of these SEO KPIs, you can identify successes to expand upon and shortcomings to improve. This keeps your efforts aligned with core business goals.
Things to must consider before doing SEO for family law
Here are some important safety considerations when doing SEO for family law:
- Be mindful of confidentiality. Family law matters often involve sensitive personal information that should remain private. Avoid revealing specific names, dates, locations or other identifiable details in content. Use general descriptions instead.
- Get client consent. Before optimizing content around divorce, child custody, etc. get written consent from the client to use their case details online. Make sure they understand how the information may become public.
- Follow court orders. If a judge has sealed a case or ordered certain details to remain confidential, be sure to strictly follow those directives. Do not try to find loopholes to promote content.
- Use ethical tactics. Avoid spammy or manipulative SEO tactics when promoting law firm websites. This includes keyword stuffing, sneaky redirects, fabricated content, buying links, etc. Stick to best practices.
- Be discreet with internal links. When linking between pages on a family law site, use generalized anchor text and don’t overtly optimize those links. Keep them natural.
- Update or remove outdated content. If a case settles or details change over time, update or remove pages so outdated information isn’t still ranking and findable.
- Don’t hide negatives. Avoid trying to push down negative content in results about a lawyer or firm. Be transparent and address it ethically if needed.
- Check links. Know where others are linking from to family law content. Avoid shady directories, forums or networks. Disavow spammy links.
- Claim listings. Make sure business listings on directories like Google My Business are claimed and have accurate info. Monitor reviews.
The main goal is optimizing visibility ethically while respecting client privacy and confidential info. Proceed cautiously and get legal guidance if ever in doubt!
SEO for family law is essential for any law firm seeking to expand its client base through search engine discovery and website traffic. To achieve this, family lawyers need to follow a comprehensive strategy that focuses on relevant divorce and child custody keywords, optimizing for local search, generating backlinks from legal websites, creating engaging content, and monitoring the right SEO metrics.
Investing time and effort in SEO for family law is worth it in the long run, as it can significantly increase online visibility and attract more clients from search. The leads and inquiries generated from improved search engine rankings provide a highly valuable pipeline of motivated new clients. For family law attorneys who are looking to attract more divorce, child custody, and other family law clients, understanding how to plan a top SEO strategy from scratch is a key ingredient for growing a successful modern practice.
Q: What are some important on-page SEO elements for family law websites?
A: Critical on-page SEO factors include optimized page titles, strategic keyword integration in headers and content, fast page speeds, compelling meta descriptions, internal linking, and overall ease of navigation. Properly optimizing each page improves relevance for priority keywords.
Q: Why are backlinks so valuable for SEO rankings?
A: High-quality backlinks from external websites help signal search engines that your content is trustworthy and authoritative on a given topic. Building backlinks through guest posts, directory listings, and other methods helps family law websites rank better.
Q: How can I incorporate local SEO as a family lawyer?
A: Target your city name and metro area in keywords, create locally-optimized Google My Business and Bing listings, encourage local reviews, sponsor regional organizations, and participate in local legal events. This improves visibility for local divorce lawyer searches.
Q: What PPC opportunities exist for family law firms?
A: Pay-per-click ads allow family law firms to appear in paid search results when users search for relevant divorce and child custody keywords. Geotargeting focuses PPC spend on local searchers ready to hire an attorney.
Q: What type of content should family lawyers create?
A: Informative blog posts, detailed legal guides, infographics, videos, eBooks, and other resources focused on divorce, child custody, and family law topics can attract prospective clients while improving your SEO at the same time.