Employment Lawyer Marketing & SEO

Employment Lawyer Marketing & SEO

Table of Contents

Employment Lawyer Marketing and SEO Strategies

Our employment lawyer marketing guide covers all the essential strategies that are helpful in generating more traffic, leads, call and converting them into clients.

Table of Contents

Employment Lawyer Marketing and SEO Strategies

Marketing for employment lawyers is a challenging task. The Canadian legal services market reached $14.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow 2.1% annually. While this implies that employment attorneys can attract more business and clients, the opposite is true as well.

They must always be on the lookout for new strategies to acquire clients and drive more brand awareness than competing firms. What’s one of the best strategies to achieve these things in 2021? Search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is a process that helps search engines understand what content on the web pertains to specific keywords. It’s an effective, time-tested strategy for getting clients and organically growing a legal practice.

You may have already noticed competitors ranking on the first page of Google. While optimizing your firm’s website for search engines can seem overwhelming, we are going to break down effective SEO and marketing strategies for employment lawyers in this guide.

What is SEO and how does it benefit employment lawyers?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the practice of improving technical aspects of a company’s website and digital assets to rank higher on Google and other search engines like Yahoo or Bing. When people come to your site through targeted searches about a practice area and location, it increases the likelihood of them contacting you for a consultation. 63.57% of businesses actively invest time in search engine optimization, making it crucial for labor and employment lawyers that want to get ahead of local competition.

What is SEO and how does it benefit employment lawyers?

Proper SEO for labor and employment attorneys generates organic leads and opportunities without the need to prospect and run ad campaigns. For example, you may want to be discovered for search terms like “Toronto employment attorney” or “New York employment lawyer” as it would bring the highest quality visitors to your website.

To be successful with SEO, your law firm must optimize for both factors on and off your website. We will be discussing both in greater length ahead.

What is on-page SEO?

What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO is all of the techniques that you can implement to make your website suitable for search engine crawlers which will lead to higher rankings. Crawlers are robots sent out to websites from search engines to collect data. These are items like keywords, metadata, structured data, and more. However, that’s just scratching the surface of on-page SEO factors.

On page seo factors

On the other hand, building backlinks and managing your online reputation play a large role in SEO for employment lawyers, on-page factors are one of the best places to begin. This is because many of them only need to be completed once and then audited every quarter by your lawyer marketing team.

That brings us to our next point.

Proper keyword research and placement

One of the best places to begin with on-page SEO as a labor attorney is keyword placement. Keywords are words and phrases that users type into search engines like Google to find information. Your keyword research should focus on phrases related to your firm, location, and practice areas. This will ensure that relevant users find your business in the SERPs and the algorithm gradually understands the context of your website.

To figure out what words potential clients may be using when searching for a lawyer in your area, use a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner inside of the Google Ads platform.

Proper keyword research and placement

Click “Keyword Planner” under the “Tools & Settings” navigation link.

 

google ads settings

Enter a word or phrase related to your employment law practice and its services.

Discover new keywords

This will provide keywords and metrics such as monthly search volume and competition along with search term ideas. Ideally, you should target keywords that have low to moderate competition with high search volume.

Download keyword ideas

Save this or expert them as a CSV to reference later. Nonetheless, you will probably think, “How do I use these keywords for my practice?” and the first area to begin is the title tag of your pages.

This is the title of the page that can be seen in organic results and browser tabs. It should be wrapped in the H1 HTML element because Google’s algorithm scans these tags to learn what a web page is about. If the keyword is present, it helps rank you higher for it. It can also help with click-through rate and conversion rates as users see it on the SERPs.

Title tag meta description

Similarly, the meta description is a brief snippet below organic results. We recommend explaining what the page is about, the benefits of clicking the result, and using a call to action such as “Learn” or “Discovery.” While placing keywords in the meta description does not directly impact rankings, it can increase click-through rate which does.

We also suggest placing your main keyword in the URL of the web page. Often, content management systems will generate a string of words and numbers that are difficult to read for both people and search engines. This decreases the click-through rate and can negatively impact rankings. If you can’t fit the main keyword alone within the URL, include it as naturally as possible like these examples:

This decreases the click-through rate

When writing the rest of the web page, include the main keyword in both the introduction, body, and conclusion. Add it within header tags including H2 and H3. When uploading media such as images or video, save the file names with a keyword (while keeping it as natural as possible) and add it in the alt text of images.

Use internal and external link best practices

Internal links are hyperlinks that direct the reader to a target page on your website, whereas an external link is a hyperlink that directs the reader to another reputable site. They normally appear as blue underlined text users can click like this example from one of our client’s websites.

Use internal and external link best practices

A common misconception about linking externally is it will take readers away from your content and outside of where they want them to be. However, this might not always be true. External links can actually help Google figure out what you’re talking about in order to rank better than competitors. It also establishes credibility with prospects as you are not self-serving by only including internal resources.  Link to statistics, data, case studies, and other helpful content.

If you’re still concerned about losing users, set links to open in a new tab through a CMS. For instance, on WordPress, you can simply click “Open link in a new tab” when adding a hyperlink.

Set links to open in a new tab

Ensure that you are linking to both internal and external pages with optimized anchor text. This is the highlighted text that users can click to visit the linked page. Anchor text should preferably include the keyword the other page is targeting or a variation of it.

Don’t make the mistake of linking to another page with the keyword you’re trying to rank for on the original page. This can cause keyword cannibalization and can negatively impact your organic performance.

Improve your employment law firm’s local SEO to increase visibility

Employment law is largely a local service. That’s why it’s ideal to focus on your geographic area to rank higher in Google for the cities you serve and be found by people who are searching near where you operate. In fact, 50% of people who make a local search from their smartphone will visit a physical location in one day.

Improve your employment law firm's local SEO to increase visibility

It’s much easier and faster to rank for local keywords than national phrases too. However, you can eventually transition to national keywords that can be searched for globally if desired.

Referencing what we spoke about earlier pertaining to keyword research, include phrases within content and metadata that apply to your city or town, such as “San Francisco labor lawyer.”

For example, look at this website we created and optimized for our client Stacey R. Ball. dNovo Group ensured that “Employment Lawyer in Toronto” and similar search terms were used throughout the site’s content and metadata to improve its local rankings.

Stacey R. Ball. dNovo Group ensured that Employment Lawyer in Toronto

We also suggest placing location-based keywords in both the title tag, URL, and meta description of major pages such as your home page and service pages. For example, here is the optimized URL for one of the client’s local service pages.

Employment Lawyer in Toronto

As you learned earlier, a keyword should also be placed on the page itself, in header tags, and alt text. Write about the cities you service all throughout your website to take advantage of semantic SEO—a part of the algorithm that looks at words and phrases to understand context.

As you can see with Stacy R. Ball’s website, we also created dozens of employment law service pages aimed towards the Toronto, Ontario area. This helps them rank for more keywords that generate organic traffic and leads.

Effective local SEO strategy

Another essential part of an effective local SEO strategy for labor attorneys is creating a Google My Business (GMB) profile.  This is what will show up on Google when someone searches for your business or specific keywords related to the practice. Visit the Google My Business homepage and click “Manage Now” to get started.

Engage with customers on google for free

Type in your business name to determine if it’s already listed and claim your profile. If not, you can create from scratch.

Find and manage your business

Once you have set up your Google My Business account, it is important to ensure that the listing has been verified. Verification can be done by mail and proves that you are the genuine owner of the practice. A pin number will be sent to you which should then be entered on the verification page in order to activate the GMB listing.

Once you’ve created an account, click the “Info” tab on the left sidebar. This is where you can optimize all of the basic information about your employment law practice.

Create account in my business

The name of the business should be exactly how it’s stated on your website or known to customers; don’t add any unnecessary or inaccurate information. Include the address to your firm’s office, service areas, and available hours so prospects know where and when they can reach you. The primary category you select is the most important but secondary categories improve visibility as well.

Secondary categories improve visibility as well

Add photos of your business, team, and office next. Listings with photos are 2x as likely to be seen as credible and get 35% more clicks. Select “Photos” from the left sidebar and click the blue plus button to add a photo. Ensure that you assign one as the cover photo and logo of your profile as well.

Your profile is verified and published

Once your profile is verified, it will be published and any other changes you make will go through a short review stage.

De-indexing low quality pages

Your labor law practice may have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of pages on its website. These include service pages, blog posts, articles, and more. While many of these are helpful for clients, they can be damaging your SEO if you don’t fix them.

What do we mean by this? There are many different pages on a website that are helpful and improve the user experience but are not friendly to search engines. These include category, tag, author, and archive pages for example. You need these to navigate a website but it doesn’t make sense to have them appear in the search engine results page (SERPs).

To de-index these types of pages, you need to mark with noindex meta tags. They appear like this in a website’s code:

De-indexing low quality pages

Since this can be a very time consuming task, we recommend that your firm installs the Yoast SEO plugin if it uses WordPress as a content management system. Install the plugin and navigate to the “Search appearance” tab.

Search appearance

Ensure that all of the low quality pages like authors, archives, tags, and categories are set to not be indexed by Google. This is an easy employment lawyer SEO tactic and from our experience can boost ranking very quickly.

For illustration, imagine a legal practice has 500 pages in total. Half of these (250) are high quality service pages, blog posts, etc. The remaining half are low quality pages. In the lenses of the search engine algorithm, half of the website is not helping users and it will be less likely to rank the business in general.

Improving the page speed of your employment law website

The speed of your website plays a massive role in how well it ranks on Google. It also greatly impacts the user experience and whether prospects will convert and contact your firm. In fact, only 15% of websites on the internet meet Google’s speed standards.

Improving the page speed of your employment law website

To achieve the best possible page speed, we recommend using a content delivery network (CDN) like Cloudflare. It ensures that your site will be served up from the nearest location to your visitor and it speeds up how quickly they can access pages on your website. Register for a free account to begin.

A global networl built for the cloud

Add a website from the dashboard by clicking the “Add a site” button. It will prompt you to enter the URL and verify you are the owner of the domain.

Cloudflare add site

After it’s connected, you will have access to several tools that will improve the speed and security of your website. By default, the content delivery network is enabled once you’ve changed the nameservers to Cloudflare during the setup process. However, you should also use the other services to speed up your website and improve its SEO/user experience.

Click the “Speed” and “Optimization” tabs. Enable “Image Resizing” and “Polish” to make the images on your website load faster and convert to WebP, one of the best formats.

File size optimization

Auto minify HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to combine code and make it load quicker when users visit your website. Refresh your website and ensure that it doesn’t break any design or visual elements. If it does, experiment with different combinations until you receive a performance boost with no negative side effects.

Auto minify JavaScript CSS HTML

Brotli is a special form of compression developed by Google to help text on web pages load faster. We suggest keeping this enabled.

You can also ensure that all images on your website are compressed using a service like TinyPNG. Slow websites often have many images which are large file sizes, slowing down the site and causing users to bounce. Simply drag and drop or upload an image on the homepage.

How compression images

This will display the original file size and how much was saved by compressing it. Click the “Download” button to receive the newly compressed image.

How compression images Ottawa Ontario

After making all of these changes, how can you test whether or not they’ve made an impact? Try using a tool like Pingdom to determine how slow or fast your website is loading. Begin by entering the URL of your firm’s website and clicking “Start Test.”

Pingdom Website Speed Test

Pingdom will display metrics including a performance grade, page size, load time, and the number of requests made to fully load the page.

Pingdom test page

Aim to achieve Google’s benchmark of a load time under two seconds and a performance grade of “B” or higher. Below the metrics, you will find areas of improvement. These normally include issues with compression, caching, images, and code. Hand off this report to your marketing team or a developer to resolve them.

Applying schema markup and structured data

SEO is all about the small details and tweaks that add up to have an optimized website and user experience that outranks other labor attorneys. One of these details is a little-known thing called schema markup or structured data.

This is the strategy of adding machine-friendly data that tells search engines what the content of a website page is about. Data like this appears in Google SERPs and Bing’s right column. Schema markup and structured data are also helpful for voice assistants, smart speakers, and other devices as they may not interpret text on your site correctly without it.

Structured data comes in many different forms. Some of the main types include:

  • JSON-LD: Semantic tags that give context and help rank higher on SERP sites;.
  • HTML elements: Meta descriptions, headings, and other metadata you learned earlier.
  • XML: Syntax to embed information into your website’s code like sitemaps.

For example, an XML sitemap looks like this. It is a map or tree of all of your website’s pages. It can be submitted to Google Search Console so they can regularly crawl your website for updates and index new pages faster. It also provides insights into any bottlenecks preventing your practice from ranking.

XML Sitemap

This is normally auto generated on major web platforms like WordPress, Wix, and custom content management systems. When you optimize your website’s metadata, that leaves schema markup. For example, we rank on the first page of Google for “Law firm marketing” and have a review schema applied to display a star rating and reviews.

Review schema applied to display a star rating and reviews

You can see a full list of schema markup types on the official website. Some of the most notable ones are product, organization, local business, article, and event. However, there is schema markup for almost any purpose your legal practice needs.

Test if your website includes structured data by entering the URL into Google’s Structured Data testing tool.

Structural Data Testing Tool

The left side displays the page’s code while the right side lists structured data the tool discovered. Errors and warnings can be investigated by clicking on an individual item.

Errors and warnings can be investigated by clicking on an individual item

While you can have a developer manually write the schema code and apply it within a page’s header tags, there are WordPress plugins such as this one that will automate the process. Install the plugin on your website to start.

Install the plugin on your website to start

Enable the types of schema you wish to apply to your employment law website. This will most likely include local organization, blog post, breadcrumbs, site navigation, and web page.

Schema settings list

Most of the information will be automatically extracted from your website but you may have to fill out some fields such as company name, logo, etc.

Information will be automatically extracted from your website

Click the save button when you are finished and the schema markup will be applied. Use Google’s testing tool to confirm that it is discoverable by search engines.

Implementing open graph data

Similar to schema markup, open graph data is another element of on-page SEO for employment law practices that provides search engines and users rich information. Instead of being used specifically for search engines, open graph data is mostly for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media networks. It pulls important information from pages like the title (above example), description, featured image so users have a more informed idea of what they are viewing.

Having it enabled on your web pages will increase click-through and performance of social posts—which helps to improve search rankings since Google will understand you’re an engaging brand. Seeing as there are 3.96 billion active social media users, it’s also beneficial for your firm’s social media marketing strategy.

Social media use around the world

You can use a tool like OpenGraph to determine if your pages have open graph data. Enter the URL of your firm’s website and click “Check Website.”

Open graph meta tags

It will display previews of the page on the networks of your choice, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Image to automatically generate code

Below this, you can add a title, description, and image to automatically generate code to add to the page for enabling open graph data.

Have your marketing team or developer

Have your marketing team or developer take the code and add it to the header tag of major pages on your site, such as the home page, about page, contact page, and service pages. Run the pages through OpenGraph again to confirm the changes were made correctly. Alternatively, there are plugins and apps that can automatically implement open graph data for you.

Design a search engine-friendly website

Your website as an employment attorney is important for ranking in the SERPs, generating leads, and driving traffic. It isn’t just for branding and impressing prospects when they discover your business. In fact, 75% of users judge a company’s credibility based on its web design.

What important of design

The appearance of your website should be clean and uncluttered. This allows the user to focus on one thing at a time which makes it easier for them to navigate to service pages faster. Take advantage of white space to remove clutter and put more emphasis on calls to action and key elements. Create a hierarchy on each page that delivers the most important information first and ensure that it’s responsive for mobile devices. Here’s a full checklist for web design that your marketing department can reference.

Full checklist for web design

Alternatively, you can learn about our web design services for lawyers. We help our clients build websites that lift conversions, increase visibility, and act as a lead generation engine.

Off-page SEO for employment lawyers

Off-page SEO refers to any activity off of a website that influences how businesses rank in the SERPs. For example, getting backlinks and social media shares are all considered parts of off-page optimization. Look at this Moz infographic to get an idea of ranking signals algorithms analyze off of a company’s website.

Off-page SEO for employment lawyers

Factors include brand quality, social metrics, external traffic sources, and quality of backlinks. With that being said, let’s discuss some of the most important off-page SEO strategies for employment lawyers.

How employment lawyers can use guest posting to build backlinks

Backlinks are links from one website to another. These are often in the form of text or image links, extending extra resources and information to readers. Search engine algorithms view backlinks to your website as a positive signal that you are helping users, thus improving your organic rankings. As a matter of fact, the #1 result on Google has up to 35,000 backlinks on average.

How employment lawyers can use guest posting to build backlinks

Since backlink building can be a complex and time-intensive process, learn more about dNovo Group’s legal SEO services to have the entire process taken care of for you.

Nonetheless, guest blogging is an efficient approach to build backlinks as an employment lawyer. This is the strategy of reaching out to other websites and publications to contribute an article. The content can include a link back to your website, or at minimum, you will receive a link in the biography section.

Guest posting on blogs with higher domain authority (DA) will work better than those with lower DA, but the more links you have, the better. In fact, 55.24% of pages don’t have a single backlink.

Building links through guest posting

By building links through guest posting, you don’t just gain an authoritative link to push your website up in the SERPs. You also drive referral traffic and gain the public relations (PR) benefits of having your firm on another company’s website.

Use a platform like Linkio to find guest post opportunities. Choose a traffic level, enter a legal-related keyword, and click the search button.

Choose a traffic level

You will be provided a list of websites that you can pitch.

Rank website

Visit these sites and search for a contact form or email. These will normally be in the header or the footer like with this website for example.

Clio website

Send them a customized email with the following template:

Good morning,

My name is {Name} and I’m the {Position} at {Company}.

We would like to contribute an article to {Website} on one of the following topics:

{Topic #1}

{Topic #2}

{Topic #3}

Warm regards,

{Name}

Read each company’s guest post guidelines carefully to maximize the response you receive by aligning with its requirements. Then, follow up on a regular basis until you hear back from an editor or content manager.

How to build broken backlinks

The next strategy involves finding links that are broken on other websites and reaching out to the webmasters to have them swap the links of one of yours.  This is called broken link building.

Before executing a broken backlink building campaign, it’s important to understand that your firm must have something up value to provide as a link replacement. The best way to do this would be writing up long-form content that is relevant and helpful to their audience. It should be data-driven, practical, and actionable.

You can use a tool like Dr. Link Check to determine if a page has broken link building opportunities. Have your assistant or team prospect and build a list of websites in the labor law field, otherwise the backlinks won’t have as big of an impact.

You can also search for keywords on Google like “employment law website database” or “employment law association” to prospect through directories.

Employment law website database

Once you have a list of websites, enter the domain of the URL in the search bar and click “Start Check.”

Start link check

This will list all of the broken links across the entire domain. Visit these pages, locate the broken link (typically it’s a hyperlink), and confirm you have similar content to replace it.

Link check page

Obtain the email of the business through their website’s contact page or footer. Send an outreach message explaining that you found a broken link on their website and you have a replacement article they can use. Here’s a template you can use:

Good morning,

I just came across your article on {Title}. Thanks for the great resource.

However, I noticed that there’s a broken link at {Location} that can negatively impact your website’s SEO performance.

{Company} published a similar article if you’d like to read it and add it as a replacement.  You can find it at {URL}.

Warm regards,

{Name}

Since webmasters are busy, ensure that your team follows up on a regular basis. Studies have found that the first email in a sequence will receive an open rate of 18% while the sixth email achieves a 27% response rate.

How to use outreach to build backlinks

Employment lawyers can use general outreach to acquire backlinks. This is one of the most scalable forms of backlink building because it uses cold emailing. The steps for outreach look like this:

  1. Create a long-form valuable piece of content.
  2. Find other websites that are in your industry and organize them in an Excel sheet.
  3. Find the contact information for each website.
  4. Put together email templates that you can use for initial outreach and following up.
  5. Reach out to contacts using the template you’ve created.
  6. Perform follow-ups to maximize conversions.
  7. Reach out to prospects on social media if needed.

Begin searching for blogs and websites related to lawyers through Google, directories, and databases.

How to use outreach to build backlinks

Build a prospecting spreadsheet that includes sections for the companies you’re pitching, date of outreach, and any other columns that will help your team remain organized.

Build a prospecting spreadsheet that includes sections for the companies

Obtain the contact information of a business by entering its URL into Hunter. This will scan the website and its assets, such as press releases, to find emails.

Obtain the contact information of a business

Export the results as a CSV file to enter into your company’s CRM or click an individual email to copy it into your email provider.

Export the results as a CSV file

Ideally, you will reach out to marketing executives as they have a direct role in a website’s content. If none are available with Hunter’s data, try to get a referral to the correct individual from a higher-up individual like the CEO or Founder.

If your firm decides to use Hunter for its data collection and email campaigns, click a prospect’s profile, the “Email” button, and use the following template:

Hey {First name},

I was just reading your article on {Topic} and want to thank you for the hard work you’ve put into it.

We’ve published something similar on {Company} blog that we believe you and your audience will find very valuable.

It’s a blog post on {Topic} and you can read it at {URL}.

If you find it useful, we’d deeply appreciate it if you link to it or share it on social media.

Sincerely,

{Name}

Similar to the other outreach methods we’ve outlined in this article, ensure that your team follows up on a regular basis to increase the amount of backlinks you obtain.

Submit your website to legal directories lawyers.

Last but not least, attorney directories are platforms that list legal practices based on practice areas, location, and other filters. Submitting your firm’s website to directories will help with backlinks, SEO rankings, traffic, and potentially get you clients too.

Read our full list of directories for lawyers to see 30+ websites you can register on for backlinks and referral traffic.

Take Avvo for example. This is a paid service but will give you more exposure for your law practice than any other platform. The directory has over 70 million monthly visitors and 12 million lawyer profiles in the US alone.

It also gives you access to clients as they list where they are looking for an attorney, which can be very important information if marketing yourself as being near their location. You may even get contacted by them directly from your profile page.

Claim your profile by clicking “Grow Your Practice” in the top navigation.

Grow Your Practice

Enter your first name, last name, city, and click the search button.

Avvo claim your profile

If a profile for your law practice already exists, click the “Claim” button. If not, there is an option to create a profile.

option to create a profile

Fill out the first section including your name, business address, city, state, and license details.

business address info

Sign in to Avvo through a social network account or enter an email and password. Click “Accept terms & continue” once you are finished.

social network account

Your profile will then be published as you can see below and can be edited by logging into the Avvo dashboard.

Avvo dashboard

Include reviews for social proof, a detailed biography, updated practice areas, and contact information to generate the best return on investment from directories.

Final thoughts on employment lawyer SEO and marketing in 2021

Search engine optimization is an essential marketing strategy for employment lawyers in 2021 and beyond. Most online experiences begin with a search engine, making it critical as a part of your marketing mix. Otherwise, you will miss out on traffic, leads, and revenue. Competitors will get ahead and you’ll have to spend more on paid campaigns to keep brand awareness high.

SEO can be broken down into two categories: on-page and off-page. The first focuses on technical elements like design, user experience, and content. Reference our guide or share it with your team to determine what parts of your website and digital strategy to optimize. The latter focuses on building backlinks and reputation management to create an authoritative domain in the eyes of the search engine algorithms.

If you require a law firm marketing agency to take care of this for you, reach out to dNovo Group for a free consultation and discuss how we can help you grow through SEO.

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