Law Firm SEO Case Study + T
Increase In Organic Traffic Over
310%. With Zero Content.
A study showed that 78% of “local” searches on Google resulted in offline purchases or “
In this post, I’m going to break down the exact “local SEO” tactics we used to help Scottandsmithlaw.com increase local keyword rankings and organic traffic by over 310% in just 12 months.
Ranking them #1 for all of their locations they ultimately hit client capacity and hired a larger team to handle more cases.
I will get the same results for your business
Specifically, I will be covering 6 “local SEO” tactics we used to achieve this growth:
- Keyword Research
- “On page” optimization
- Schema + Structured data
- Google My Listing Optimizations
- Citation audit and cleanup
- Local PR campaign for backlinks
I will get the same results for your business
1: Find keywords + map intent to pages
Doing proper keyword research is straightforward – there’s plenty of research on Google about this and best tools to use.
The challenge is trying to identify localized keywords when:
- You have multiple office locations
- You have multiple keywords with different intent
For Scott and Smith Law, we had to tackle both.
Not only does Scott and Smith Law have more than 1 location, but its model is a full-service law firm – personal injury, family, divorce, and criminal law.
Each of these searches (E.e. “location + service”) triggers a different set of results in Google.
This tells us that Google sees each keyword as completely different. It’s can be challenging to rank the same page for multiple terms that Google sees as separate services.
A: Build out /location-service/ pages on the website to target main keywords.
Before working with us, the website was relying on the homepage to target all keywords, across all locations.
- scottandsmithlaw.com/freeland-lawyer – a dedicated landing page for each physical office location. These pages would contain unique descriptions of that office, hours, map embeds (with driving directions), Schema Markup, reviews and photos.
- Scottandsmithlaw.com – the homepage was already indexed on page 4 for their region so we decided to stick with ranking the homepage for the region to save us time and resources.
Ranking these pages for primary keywords allowed us to dictate the office hours, Attorneys on Staff and services offered for potential clients.
B: Using “Legal Queries ” sites to grab more exposure.
Ranking in the legal niche is tough. In today’s age you are no longer competing against other law firms websites but also against aggregator sites (Avvo, Yelp, etc) this leaves about 25% of traffic to organic results in a competitive market.
Aside from just ranking their website, we wanted to deploy additional tactics to gain traffic.
Instead of trying to fight aggregator sites, we took advantage of them. Avvo, Justia, Super Lawyers – they are monster sites.
We optimized their profiles to rank for their “money keywords” almost immediately.
- Build location pages on the website to capture “main” keywords
- Rank their homepage for a larger area
- Optimize each Attorney ’s query listing page to gain more traffic faster.
2: Correct “on page” elements
We focused on a few key elements:
Set up a standard naming for Titles and Headers:
Oak Harbor Lawyer – Family Law – Attorney Andrew Scott
We then used citation page titles to capture other keyword searches.
Scott and Smith Law – Oak Harbor Lawyers
Google My Business:
Scott and Smith Attorneys at Law PLLC – Oak Harbor Lawyers
Google Map embed
Remember, NAP should be set correctly on the landing page of each location.
I like to add external links to create an association between relevant online properties.
- Google My Business listing
- Google Maps/directions to the office
- Social media profiles (link to location-specific ones)
- Other important citations like Avvo
This helps clean up what is shown for branded search.
3: Add proper Schema Markup to location pages
“You can help Google Search understand the meaning of a page by including structured data in your code. Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content.”
Use JSON-LD Format
You don’t need to be a technical wizard to write this code – you can use an online free tool like JSON-LD Schema Generator
Add Local Business microdata
You can use schema to tell Google your page is attached to a physical location. We added this markup to each of the “location” pages we setup.
4: Build, verify and optimize “Google My Business” pages for each Location.
Completely Fill Out Your GMB Info
Leverage keywords in title
You’re able to edit the title of your GMB page to include keywords. You have to be careful not to “stuff” titles, or you’ll get spanked by Google.
Keyword + Brand
Oak Harbor Lawyer Scott & Smith Attorneys at Law
Brand – Keyword
Scott & Smith Attorneys at Law – Oak Harbor Lawyer
It’s subtle, but it makes a diff.
Ask for Reviews
Our two favorite methods other than point blank asking are:
“Locked” wifi to solicit reviews + social growth
To unlock the wifi (in the waiting room) we implemented a prompt to leave a review (or follow their Facebook page).
Used our 5 Star Review Link + Email
We set up a link tool that you send to clients. If that client is signed into Google (95% people are) a pop up will happen with a pre-filled 5 stars.
Try it here. Feel free to ask us about this tool.
5: Find, build & clean up citation pages
Creating citations helps with local SEO because it tells Google you’re a legitimate business and you want to be found.
- Clean up existing citations.
- Discover new opportunities.
- Create new citations
Clean Up Existing Citations
- Citations for SEO purposes. These help boost rankings (i.e. includes a link), but serve no real value to your clients as these citation sites are NOT heavily used.
- Citations for client purposes. Sites that people are actively using to find local businesses – Yelp, Avvo, Justia, etc.
When it comes to cleaning up citations for SEO purposes, we typically outsource using these companies:
Citations for customer purposes (Yelp, Avvo) we clean up in-house. Not only do potential clients actively search these sites, but we can also rank them in organic search for valuable keywords (mentioned way above).
These get way too much visibility to trust outside work.
For the client-focused citations, we optimized them for “on page” SEO, just like you would for a website’s page.
For example, we were targeting Andrew Scotts Avvo page to rank for “Criminal defense attorney” keywords.
Your primary Avvo “category” pulls through into the SERPs.
Make sure to select the main category based on the keywords you want to rank for.
Other items to optimize:
Description – Add unique blurb of text here for each location.
Images – Unique images to that location (you can use the same from Google my business).
Links – ALWAYS include a link to your site. If you have more than one location, make sure to put the link to that particular landing page.
2. Finding New Citations
We want to pick local, relevant sites – it’s best to find them manually. We do this 2 ways:
The simple method
Quick hack: Go on Google and search: Your niche + 50 best citations
The better method
Whitespark has a quality tool that does the legwork for you. They will generate a full list of citations your business should be on. They also show what citations your competitor has and doesn’t have.
Creating New Citations
6: Launch a local PR Campaign for high quality backlinks
- To build high-quality links to power up Scott & Smith’s website and improve SEO rankings.
“Local News” articles
(to rank for “secondary” keywords)
It’s a simple outreach process to secure coverage in these articles:
a) Use Google to find “law” articles relevant to attorney blogs, car accident related.
c) Record their contact info
d) Repeat until you have a large list of opportunities.
e) Send a personalized pitch via to each prospective author.
My name is [Sage]. Our agency manages the marketing for [Scott & Smith Law].
We’ve got a new case that we think would be a great fit for your column on helping people after an accident. We’d love to share our data with you
If interested, please let me know and we can schedule a call.”
f) Secure the opportunity.
Scott & Smith’s firm saw such tremendous growth with our local SEO efforts that they asked us to pull back our efforts to rank them for more locations. After about 7 months together they were maxing out their capacity to handle more cases and eventually added to their legal team.
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