The Law Firm
Page #1 Blueprint
Every law firm wants to be at the top of search engine results. With over 10,000 law firms in the U.S., it’s clear that not everyone can be in first place. The reality is – some lawyers will put in the work required to get there, but most won’t.
Since you’ve downloaded this blueprint, I’m guessing you want more clients and are willing to work for them. If you’ve got the time, you can get your law firm to rise to the top of organic search engine results by following this exact formula that we use in our agency to help law firms across the country win at the ranking game.
This Blueprint will walk you through:
Building a responsive, SEO website
Leveraging your Google My Business Page
How to do Keyword & Competitor Research
An in-depth look at Content Creation
The Importance of Backlink Acquisition
Let’s get started!
It Starts with a Well-Designed, Responsive Website
Google rewards websites that are easy to navigate and point users to the content that they are searching for. This applies equally to desktop sites and mobile sites. Since more users are accessing websites via mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure your site renders properly on mobile devices.
Don’t forget the SEO.
Include your keywords in
Claim, Optimize, and Update Your Google My Business Profile
Once you have a website, or at least a domain registered, make sure you claim your Google My Business page.
For detailed instructions on how to accomplish this, check out Google My Business Help.
You’ll receive a postcard in the mail to the address you used for your law firm. There will be a code on the postcard you will need to use to verify your page.
Once verified, you can add detailed information about services, hours, and contact information. Be sure to upload pictures and videos so people can get a feel for you and your firm. Post weekly updates to keep your firm at the top of Google’s radar.
If done right, you can get your law firm in the coveted Google “Map Pack” – the top 3 listings on the Google Map section for your area.
Research Your Competitors
The key to ranking higher on search engines is to do better than your competitors.
Who are your competitors? What are they doing to rise in the rankings?
There are a couple of ways to find out:
Google the term “your city, state practice area” – for example, if you are a Divorce Attorney in Memphis, TN, then Google “Memphis, TN Divorce Attorney” and see who occupies the top three spots. Those are your top three competitors.
Use SEO Quake to quickly find out how many pages your competitors have indexed on their site, how many backlinks they have, whether they’re using display ads, how many FaceBook posts they have, and much more.
Use Wordcounter Plus to determine how many words your competitors have on each page of their site.
Why are we doing all of this?
Again – to see what steps we need to take to beat the competition. To keep track of your competitors’ data, create a spreadsheet like this:
Fill in the data and you have your SEO goals.
Using Moz or SEMRush, find the keywords that your competition is ranking for on page one.
Look at the pages that are driving the most traffic. Model (don’t copy!) what they do, but do it better. We’ll talk more about this in the next section.
For each of your pages, you’ll want to optimize for a different Primary Keyword, like San Diego elder law attorneys, San Diego estate-planning attorneys, and San Diego trust administration attorneys.
When you do your research, you can see the volume of searches for each keyword and related phrases. Additionally, if you are planning on running paid ads on Google, you see what the average cost per click (CPC) is for each keyword for budgeting purposes.
When you create blog articles, you can use those keywords as anchor text to link back to your practice pages. Anchor text is the words you use to create links to other pages.
For example, let’s say you write a blog article about The Pitfalls of Poor Estate Planning.
Within the first 100-150 words, you’ll want to include your primary keyword with a link to the practice page that you are trying to rank for with that same keyword.
So, within that first paragraph or two, you’ll use the term San Diego estate planning attorney with a link to your estate planning practice area page.
These types of links help ensure all of your pages are linked to one another, which Google likes, and it also shows that your site is chock full of relevant content about topics on which your visitors are searching.
Let’s Talk Content
Content is what converts mere visitors into paying clients. To do this, the content must match the intent of that visitor. If the content doesn’t match visitor intent, that visitor will bounce.
For SEO purposes, Google wants you to have at least 500 words on each page of your website.
That’s the bare minimum you should have on a page. More than likely, you won’t dominate the SERPs (search engine results pages) with a 500-word article, but it’s not impossible.
If you take a discrete topic and write 500 words that cover everything someone would want to know about that topic, you just might hit #1. The key is the quality of the content.
Statistically speaking, content that ranks in the top three positions for a search term is going to be longer—on average 1,870 words. Content of this length tends to get more social shares and more backlinks.
Anything over 2,800 starts to fall in the SERPs. If you’re writing on a topic that warrants this type of high-word count, divide it into parts, like a blog series or separate webpages.
So, what goes into a long-form article?
Crafting Long-Form Content
According to SEO guru, Neil Patel, top-ranking content should have these three characteristics:
The content must be deep.
The content must have comprehensive coverage.
The content must be focused.
All of those characteristics are dependent on the keyword you want to rank for. Let’s say you want to rank for high net-worth divorce. If we head back over to SEMRush, we can use their “Topic Research” Tool to find high-performing content ideas to pull from.
As you can see, the tool provides some key information, including:
Headlines that got clicks
Topics that engaged
Subtopics to include in your piece
Using this information, we’ll use the “Skyscraper Technique” to create a piece that dominates the rest.
Just what is the Skyscraper Technique?
The Skyscraper Technique involves finding clickable topics, writing better content than anyone else has, and sharing that content across social media channels.
We’ve already talked about finding click-worthy headlines about topics that engage, now we need to create a piece that will blow others out of the water. We do this by looking at what others have written (say, the top 3 hits on Google), finding what they missed, adding our own spin, and including some magic ingredients I’m about to show you.
Now, type your topic into Google.
Step 1. Read the content that comes up in the top three spots. Jot down their headlines or create a brief outline for all of them. Identify what they covered and what they didn’t.
Step 2. Look at the “People Also Asked” and “Related Searches.” Google expects that these topics will be covered. Include those topics in your piece.
Step 3. Write! Flesh out your outline and write the content. Use the Rizely Content Checklist to make sure you include everything you need to craft a clickable, engaging, and informative article or page that Google will be happy to rank and your ideal clients will be happy to share.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You can (and should!) use this blueprint when crafting both web content (like practice pages) and blog articles. Don’t forget to link your article to a relevant practice page!
Backlinks are links from other people’s sites to your own.
They’re kind of like “votes” for your website that Google uses as indicators showing your site is worth ranking. Not all votes are created equal. Backlinks from some truly high-end influencers can get you ranking faster, while others can actually harm you. These are called “toxic” links. You can disavow those – ask us how.
You can acquire backlinks in a number of ways:
Directory Links – submitting your name, address, website, and phone number to relevant legal and business directory listings across the internet. For a ridiculously-long list of law-related directories, click here.
Share Your Content on Social Media. The better your content is, the more likely people will share it. The wider your reach is, the more likely someone else will link to it. Create great content. Schedule your social media posts. Repeat. Need a tool for automating social media campaigns based on your blog posts? Check this out.
Sponsor a Local Team or Event. Ask that they include your logo and a link to your website.
Create a Scholarship Program. Once created, reach out to educational organizations to let them know and ask that they place a link on their website to yours.
Create PR Campaigns. If you’ve got a newsworthy even, sent out a press release. This will get you high-quality backlinks from a wide variety of reputable sources across the internet faster than just about any other tactic. Want to go a step above an ordinary press release? Check out our Rize-Up Multimedia PR campaigns.
Guest Posting. Write an article for someone in a related, but non-competing field. Ask that your website address appear in your bio. Want an easy way to find guest posting opportunities? Head over to Moz.com and type in a competitor’s URL. Scroll down to the “Top Linking Domains” to see where they have been able to acquire backlinks. Contact those domains.
Go Forth and Dominate
Now you have the knowledge and the tools you need to take your law firm from zero to dominator within a matter of months.
Be thorough. Be diligent.
You can do this. If you need help along the way, we’d love to work with you.