Learning Center: Lawyer SEO, SEO for Lawyers

The Personal Injury Lawyer Guide To SEO Success

So you’re wondering about the importance of SEO for personal injury lawyers? Allow us to paint a picture. You’re a dedicated law firm working hard to guide your clients through the treacherous waters of the legal system. You employ all your skills and dedication to earn fair settlements for your…

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    So you’re wondering about the importance of SEO for personal injury lawyers?

    Allow us to paint a picture.

    You're a dedicated law firm working hard to guide your clients through the treacherous waters of the legal system. You employ all your skills and dedication to earn fair settlements for your clients.

    You’ve won awards for your work. You’re widely respected in your industry.

    Just one problem: you’ve neglected SEO.

    So when a person in need of a personal injury lawyer – someone completely ignorant of your reputation – heads to Google to find a law firm, you are nowhere to be found.

    Not a big deal, right? After all, how many people even use Google to find lawyers?

    We have some bad news – 96% of people use a search engine to find legal advice.


    So how do you stop this from happening in an intensely competitive field?

    You optimize your website for SEO (and you keep reading to learn how).

    What Is Personal Injury Lawyer SEO?

    Personal injury lawyer search engine optimization is the process of ensuring a high search engine ranking for your website. It’s a powerful tool that enables you to find clients through organic searches rather than relying on references from past clients or paid adverts.

    Let’s quickly compare paid adverts and SEO to explain the difference.

    If you engage in paid digital advertising, you deliver ads across Google, social networks, and the internet at large. Each time someone clicks on one of your ads, you have to pay a fee to the publisher (i.e., Google or Facebook). This is a short-term fix to your ranking issues.

    However, with SEO for lawyers, you follow a set of optimization techniques to make sure search engines (primarily Google) pick up your content and rank it for specific keywords. In this way, when people search for those terms, Google serves them your content, and searchers navigate to your site for answers. You don't need to pay for a single click – these free clicks are known as organic clicks and are a far better long-term solution.

    You might be thinking to yourself, “Well, surely Google prioritizes paying customers, so paid ads have to deliver better results.”

    That’s not the case – since 72% of Google users have a clear preference for organic results, the clicks are actually skewed in favor of organic results. Just think that the number one organic result has an average click-through rate of 31.7%, taking home nearly a third of the people that search for that term.

    No wonder search engine optimization was recently rated as the most effective online marketing channel by 79% of surveyed marketers.

    Another reason to love legal SEO is that 62% of legal searches are non-branded.

    This means your law firm doesn’t have to be a well-known industry leader or have a universally-recognized brand to succeed with personal injury law firm SEO and take the top spot on Google.

    Why is SEO important for personal injury law firms?

    As aforementioned, 96% of potential clients use a search engine to find a lawyer.

    With such astounding numbers of people using search engines, SEO for personal injury lawyers isn’t something law firms can decide to overlook. It is an absolute necessity.

    If companies fail to implement personal injury lawyer SEO best practices, they essentially do not exist for 96% of clients. This makes turning a profit very challenging as your firm can only be top of mind for the remaining 4% of the market.

    Enough with the stick; how about we show you the carrot to explain why you really should be investing in SEO for personal injury attorneys?

    For starters, it is far more effective than the alternative, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Organic and local searches make up 69% of digital traffic, compared to only 8% garnered by PPC.

    Secondly, SEO ties closely with your efforts to collect online reviews. It’s a virtuous circle: the more positive Google reviews you have, the better chance you have of ranking; the better you rank, the better your chances of attracting new customers and more positive reviews.

    Finally, SEO is also a wise investment, especially when you consider the costs of investing PPC on search engines, where lawyer-related keywords can cost you up to $300 per click.

    SEO, on the other hand, typically sets you back around $5,000 to $20,000 per month, which sounds like a lot until you calculate its ROI.

    Let’s demonstrate it with a simple example:

    You hire an SEO agency and pay $10,000 per month for a comprehensive campaign.

    Even taking the worst-case scenario, where you have a new website that’s yet to rank well and has low conversion rates, you can still expect to attract at least 1,000 new visitors per month, and of those one thousand, 5% to convert into leads.

    Out of these 50 new leads (5% of 1000), we can conservatively estimate that 10% will also convert into clients, meaning you sign up a monthly average of 5 new cases thanks to your SEO investment.

    Despite the poor visitor-to-lead and closing ratios we’ve used in this calculation (which you can improve over the course of the relationship with your SEO agency), five new personal injury claims from the internet a month can have a tremendous benefit on your bottom line. Just consider that some settlements range between $20,000 and $70,000, and there are those that can be in hundreds of thousands (or even more).

    Now let’s move on to breaking down the elements of an SEO campaign.

    The Key Elements of Personal Injury Lawyer SEO

    Element Summary
    SEO audit ●     Analyzing the weak points of your SEO strategy and creating a roadmap for improving it
    Keyword research ●     Discovering what clients are searching for and which terms represent opportunities for your firm
    Website optimization ●     Improving your website’s performance and making it more mobile-friendly
    Content creation ●     Establishing yourself as a thought leader across a variety of channels to attract traffic to your website
    Internal and external link building ●     Fulfilling one of the top criteria of Google’s SEO algorithms and establishing your domain’s authority
    Local SEO and Google Business Profile ●     Ensuring your business ranks well within your local area by optimizing your Google Business Profile
    Tracking performance and committing to continuous improvement ●     Monitoring your website’s analytics and recognizing potential areas for further improvement and optimization

    SEO audit

    An SEO audit is a process that involves analyzing how well your SEO strategy compares to the best SEO practices used by top-performing websites.

    Essentially, every successful SEO strategy contains a set of principles and rules you need to follow in order to signal to Google and other search engines your website is the one to rank.

    The point of an SEO audit is to determine whether or not your law firm's website adheres to these practices.

    A good SEO audit will reveal:

    1. Technical SEO issues
    2. Structural issues on the website
    3. On-page SEO issues
    4. Competition comparisons
    5. Content problems

    Then, once the issues have been identified, you can make a step-by-step plan on how to improve your SEO performance through:

    1. Keyword research
    2. Website optimization
    3. Content creation
    4. Internal and external link building
    5. Local SEO and Google Business Profile

    Any of these five aspects of SEO optimization can shore up a weak point in your strategy and boost your SERP (search engine results page) rankings.

    Let’s walk you through them, one by one.

    Keyword research

    Keyword research is the business practice of discovering and analyzing the terms and phrases people enter into search engines. We then use this information to improve our website's SEO ranking for those specific terms.

    In a nutshell, keyword research aims to find actionable opportunities in the market.

    The more competition there is for a specific keyword, the harder it is to rank for it. Your ultimate goal is to identify frequently used keywords with low to medium levels of competition so you can outshine the other content and grab one of the top spots on the SERP.

    Of course, discovering which keywords to avoid is also an important part of keyword research – we recommend you avoid keywords with low search volumes or extremely high levels of competition.

    No law firm wants to waste its energy on SEO marketing only to discover that people aren't actually searching for their selected keywords, or they have no chance to ever rank because the SERP is dominated by famous sites with hundreds of thousands of weekly visitors.

    If you were to use Google Ads, this is what the process might look like:

    1. You input your main keyword in the Keyword Planning Tool.
    2. You check the number of monthly searches and the level of competition.
    3. You have a look at the keyword ideas to see if there is a better-suited keyword.
    4. You decide on the main keyword for your site.
    5. You now check the other suggestions to identify other long-tail keywords (lower volume) you could target with specific content. Feel free to get creative and do a variety of searches with different keywords.
    6. You create a shortlist of feasible long-tail keyword candidates.
    7. You move on to the next stage of SEO.


    Website optimization

    When it comes to personal injury lawyer SEO, website optimization focuses on four main elements:

    1. Website design
    2. Mobile-friendliness
    3. Website performance
    4. Keyword usage

    Website design comes first. It takes about 0.05 seconds for a website visitor to gather an impression from a company’s website. That means the design has to be up to standard, or all the other aspects of your website won’t matter.

    You need to have a bold color palette, plenty of white space, beautiful imagery, easy navigation, and all the other elements of good website design.

    The second aspect of website optimization in SEO for personal injury lawyers is ensuring your website is mobile-friendly. Why?

    Because 61% of all online searches are now conducted on mobile devices, and with this level of dominance, mobile can no longer be thought of as a nice-to-have.

    You have to ensure your website is designed for mobile first – no more landing pages that don’t fit the resolution of a mobile screen, no more website structures that are impossible to decipher on mobile.

    Aim for a site that looks and feels like it was designed for a phone, like this example:


    The next part of website optimization is ensuring your website is lightning fast.

    Here are two stats to consider:

    • On average, it takes a website 3 seconds to fully load on a desktop and 27.3 seconds on mobile
    • 25% of visitors abandon a website if it takes more than 4 seconds to load, and 46% of users never revisit poorly performing websites.

    Notice the problem?

    Good. Now make sure your site loads in under 4 seconds.

    Finally, you should take time to ensure that your main target keyword is present across the key pages of your site.

    For example, if you’re a personal injury lawyer in Chicago, you could add “personal injury lawyer Chicago” to your website’s meta description, homepage, about us page, and contact us page. Just use them naturally and avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.

    Content creation

    Content creation is the process of producing valuable information for your target audience. In SEO, it’s generally used to target the long-tail keywords you identified in the keyword research stage.

    When we say content, we are primarily referring to:

    1. Blogs and articles
    2. Videos
    3. Podcasts
    4. Social media posts

    You should aim to offer potential clients high-quality, relevant content that educates and/or entertains them.

    Content creation is a highly effective tactic that 70% of marketers actively invest in to drive traffic and generate leads.

    These statistics offer further evidence of its benefits:

    • 84% of video marketers say content helps them generate leads
    • Companies that blog generate 97% more backlinks and 55% more visitors than businesses that don't
    • Marketers that blog are 13 times more likely to generate a positive ROI than those that don’t

    Internal and external link building

    External link building consists of obtaining hyperlinks from third-party websites. Its main purpose is to establish your website as an authority platform in the “mind” of Google’s algorithm, which leads to higher rankings on SERPs.

    Consider the external links we’ve added in this very article – the websites we’ve chosen will enjoy positive SEO effects because we’ve signaled we think they are high-quality sources.

    On the other hand, internal link building is the process of connecting various pages within your own website to ensure none of them are “stuck on an island.” Internal links also improve each page’s individual chance of achieving a higher SEO ranking.

    The good news is that it’s pretty simple to add internal links – all you need is patience and a decent amount of quality content.

    However, the bad news is that external link building isn’t quite as easy. In fact, 41% of experts claim it’s the hardest part of SEO. After all, the only way to convince people to link to your website is to offer the very best content in your subject area.

    Even if you succeed in collecting links, it will still take time for them to have an effect. 51% of marketers say it takes roughly three months to start seeing the results of link building.

    Is all this effort worth it?


    13% of experts say links are the most valuable SEO tactic because of their strong impact on your overall SERP rankings, and 92% believe they will still be an important ranking criterion in 5 years.

    So despite link building involving plenty of time and effort, it’s more than worth it because links will pay SEO dividends for many years to come.

    Local SEO and Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)

    Google Business Profile is a tool that allows you to manage and optimize your Business Profile on Google.

    To create a Google Business listing, all Google needs is a business name, a location, and a category. Then Google creates the listing, and you’ll start appearing on Google searches and Google Maps, where customers can interact with your profile, add photos, or leave reviews.

    This is what a Google Business Profile looks like on a SERP:


    First things first, you should verify your business listing with Google and prove you’re a legitimate business.

    Next, you should interact with your profile and use it to manage your customer's experience. We suggest responding to reviews, uploading photographs, providing an updated phone number, listing your practice areas, and posting regularly.

    All of these activities help law firms improve their local SEO ranking and show up in location-related searches, like the one below, “personal injury attorneys toronto:”


    If you want to see your law firm show up in the local pack (the first three results), then optimizing your Google Business Profile is only the first step.

    The next one is, once again, mobile-friendliness. Google (rightfully) believes that a mobile-friendly website is a key aspect for its users who are out on the street, phone in hand, trying to find information about a business.

    Finally, the third step is building citations in local business directories (more on that later).

    Tracking performance and committing to continuous improvement

    Performance tracking refers to the process of gathering and analyzing SEO data with the aim of improving your law firm’s performance moving forward. This involves using tools like Google Analytics, which provide you with heaps of data about your optimization efforts.

    By analyzing this information, you can understand:

    • Which content is driving traffic
    • Which keywords you are successfully targeting
    • Which strategies are working

    Ultimately, you can pinpoint key strengths and weaknesses and use these to improve the ROI of your SEO efforts.

    Yet, despite these benefits, 41% of lawyers don’t have access to marketing data, and another 21% don’t bother viewing them.

    These lawyers will never improve, and you’ll surpass them on the SERPs if you keep a watchful eye on your own SEO performance.

    6 Top SEO Tips for Personal Injury Lawyers

    Tip Summary
    Base your SEO efforts on your competition ●     Identify the strategies employed by your competitors and find ways to improve upon them
    Never forget to optimize your website ●     Ensure a high ranking on SERPs by creating one of the top-performing websites in your area
    Collect reviews on your Google profile ●     Encourage reviews and respond to them to improve your ranking
    Keyword optimize all your existing content ●     Optimize every existing page on your website to target a specific keyword
    Perfect your Google My Business page ●     Add photos, respond to reviews, and create weekly Google posts to keep up your account active
    Build citations in legal directories ●     Build high-authority links from directories to improve your site’s credibility

    Base your SEO efforts on the competition

    A good SEO strategy aims to structure a website’s content in the way that’s most likely to improve the website’s overall ranking on relevant SERPs.

    The best way to figure out what works is to look at what top-ranking competitors are doing, or in words, pulling up your sleeves and doing an SEO competitor analysis.

    Once you understand their strategy, you can use it to inspire your own.

    We recommend you also identify weak points in their strategy and develop a solid plan on how your website will outrank them in the long run.

    To build this, you’ll need to:

    • Identify the keywords your competitors are targeting
    • Identify their top-performing pages
    • Identify their weakest content that’s ranking
    • Improve upon your competitor’s content – make it better suited to the search intent, include more research, and add more actionable advice
    • Analyze their backlinks and develop a strategy for earning your own

    Never forget to optimize your site

    We know we mentioned website optimization earlier on, but we just have to repeat it. It’s that important when it comes to SEO.

    You have to ensure your website loads quickly and is mobile-friendly. Google will penalize you otherwise.

    You don't have to stop here, though. You could consider other website optimization elements to further improve your SEO efforts.

    Two of our favorites are:

    1. Ensuring high-quality website copy as 74% of website visitors pay close attention to grammar and spelling
    2. Scaling your content creation efforts as publishing more than 54 posts increases the traffic by over 75%

    If you need inspiration, drop by Grillo Law’s Personal Injury Blog, as it’s a fantastic example of both quantity and quality.

    Collect reviews on your Google profile (and answer all of them)

    Collecting and answering reviews on your Google profile can go a long way toward improving your SEO ranking.


    However, SEO isn’t the only reason to encourage your clients to leave online reviews on your Google profile.

    The other pivotal factor is that 88% of customers trust online ratings as much as personal recommendations, making them one of the most important signals of trustworthiness available to lawyers.

    How can you collect more?

    1. Personally ask your clients to review you on Google
    2. Create a Google reviews page on your site
    3. Add a CTA to leave a review on your website's footer

    Keyword optimize all your existing content

    Going back and optimizing your existing web pages has a number of benefits for personal injury lawyer SEO – namely, it’s faster, easier, and cheaper than creating content from scratch.

    All you need to do is:

    1. Take the keyword you’ve discovered in your research and match it to the most relevant page on your site.
    2. Add it to the page’s description and meta tag. This won't influence the rankings; however, it can affect clicks, as these tags are often shown in SERPs and influence users.
    3. Include it in the page’s title, at least one header, and four to ten times in the body of the page. Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.
    4. Improve the content based on top-ranking competitors, recent social media and YouTube discussions, and the displayed search intent.
    5. Use analytics to track its performance and make further improvements if necessary.

    Perfect your Google Business Profile

    This task doesn’t require Herculean efforts. In fact, it demands nothing more than a few hours of your time.

    So pull up your sleeves and:

    • Claim your business profile
    • Complete every section of your account
    • Ensure your contact information and working hours are accurate
    • Set a reminder to publish one Google post a week


    Following these simple steps will make your Google business profile a real SEO asset.

    Build citations in legal directories

    Citations are nothing more than online references to a law firm.

    The more citations your law firm has from various legal directories (and there are hundreds of them), the more search engine algorithms begin to consider that law firm “prominent.” Or in other words, the more you improve your law firm’s SEO ranking.

    The only caveat is that you need to ensure the information about your law firm in local directories is accurate, or else this might trigger warning bells.

    We also advise you to create citations for all the individual lawyers at your firm and not just your law firm as a whole. By doing this, you can easily get more citations from each directory.


    Other great ways to build relevant citations include:

    • Sharing your expertise on Terkel
    • Getting mentioned in reputable local newspapers and websites

    How To Get Going With Personal Injury Lawyer SEO

    When it comes to getting started with personal injury lawyer SEO, you have three options:

    1. Learn SEO and DIY it
    2. Hire a team of in-house SEO specialists
    3. Trust an SEO agency

    Learn SEO and DIY it

    You can most certainly start an SEO offensive on your own.

    Just stock up on Nespresso capsules and follow the steps outlined in this article, implementing all the tips we’ve mentioned.

    You should be able to reap reasonable benefits from your efforts.

    However, there’s a question we need to ask you:


    As a lawyer, you should focus on your cases and your clients. Diverting your time and energy toward SEO optimization is a total waste of your skills and resources.

    Simply put, the opportunity cost of becoming an SEO expert is too high, and the potential benefits too low.

    This leaves you with two other options:

    Hire a team of in-house SEO specialists

    Hiring a team of experts secures your firm a wealth of SEO knowledge and frees you up to focus on your legal work.

    However, this option is only feasible for large law firms with sizable marketing budgets.

    For everyone else, the cost is unsustainable. The salaries, the benefits, the office spaces, and the taxes are more than enough to burn a hole in your P&L statement.

    Plus, you also need to consider that it’s likely you’ll have to go through several employees before building the right team, and the costs of hiring and onboarding are not something to sneeze at, either.

    So, perhaps, the last option is the one that might serve you best.

    Trust an SEO agency

    With a marketing agency, you get the best of both worlds.

    Yes, we’re an SEO company for law firms, but we aren’t saying this because we’re biased.

    Give us a second to explain.

    First up, reasonable costs – when working with an agency, law firms get to choose the size of their budget, and the agency has to work within those parameters. That’s all there is to it – no need to onboard employees, manage them, or pay benefits and bonuses. Every red cent goes straight to implementing your SEO strategy.

    Best of all, if you pick an agency like dNOVO, you can rest easy knowing that your team of experts will never work with one of your competitors.

    The second advantage is that SEO agencies make a point of hiring the best talent in the industry. This means they have the technical know-how and the experience to guide your SEO strategy through choppy waters.

    The third and final benefit of agencies is that they don’t require hands-on management. You always remain the client, and as such, you don’t need to worry about day-to-day operations or anything that might interfere with your billable hours.

    So how do you pick the right agency?

    Here are the three factors we’d definitely look at:

    • Proof of their expertise: Case studies and testimonials are a great way to see the kind of clients and challenges has successfully tackled in the past
    • Their working culture: Do their values and work ethic match yours? Will working with them be natural and easy, or will it be strained from the get-go?
    • Their commitment to their clients: Will your law firm be a key client, or are you destined to be just another client that waits for ages for a reply?

    Conclusion: Where To Next?

    Personal injury attorney SEO is a complicated process that requires a specific skill set and extensive experience — but law firms that get it right reap the rewards of dominating SERPs and gaining front-of-mind awareness in their target audience.

    Every personal injury law firm should:

    • Conduct an SEO audit
    • Research keywords
    • Optimize their website
    • Create content
    • Build internal and external links
    • Optimize for local SEO, and
    • Build citations in local directories

    If you would like some assistance with any of these SEO activities, contact us and schedule a free consultation to discover how we can take your website to the top of SERPs.

    However, if you’d like to continue learning about SEO strategies, make sure to check out our article on blogging for lawyers!