SEO for Lawyers: Start with Google & Drill Down

Here is Google’s 2010 Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide which not only includes lots of great tips but more importantly conveys key principles when thinking about SEO.

Focus on your website visitor first

This is the key message from Google both for SEO and the user experience.  There are lots of companies offering SEO and if they are employing “tricks” to push your website up in the rankings, there will be a cost and the nonmonetary portion will most likely be paid by your website visitors.

Specific terms related to your practice

If you just follow Google and their various optimization tools they will suggest you use terms very common to your area of law. For example, if you are a divorce attorney, they include lots of variations on “divorce” but they may not look at “legal separation” or “annulment.”  They won’t look at more granular terms like child support, visitation rights, alimony, spousal support and the like.

Think about someone facing a divorce

They may have a specific issue that they are trying to understand before they hire an attorney. They may have heard about legal separation but not understand what it means.  If you spend a few sentences helping a visitor get the difference between that an a divorce and annulment, they will have a positive opinion about you and be more likely to contact you if you are nearby.

Don’t Obsess about Keyword Popularity

Many times it will be your specific discussions that grab people not your sprinkling “divorce lawyer” liberally on every page so don’t be a slave to popularity.

Remember to think like a non-lawyer

If your client base isn’t other lawyers, then remember to translate your legal terminology into plain english.  Don’t exclude legal terminology because often people hear a legal term and want to learn more but don’t focus on those terms exclusively either.

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