SEO for Personal Injury Lawyers
People rarely consider law firms a business, but that is not the case at all. Even lawyers need people to know about them and their vital services.
Personal injury attorneys play the unique role of ensuring fair compensation for those who’ve suffered from others’ negligence. But these legal experts can only help when people come to them after learning about them. In this age of information technology, search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial.
All legal attorneys, not just personal injury lawyers, can benefit from the online visibility offered by SEO. With 98 percent of people using search engines to find lawyers, no further proof is needed.
Are you looking to improve your personal injury SEO marketing? Maybe you’re a new lawyer aiming to jumpstart your practice by building an online presence. Online marketing company Grey Smoke Media can help you come up with a top-notch SEO strategy. Grey Smoke Media is the agency record behind the growth of one of the biggest personal injury brands in North America, Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.
Speak to one of our experts in personal injury SEO.
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According to Google, search engines exist to give people access to diverse, high-quality information presented in the most beneficial order. When 90 percent of online searches also happen on Google, it helps to pay attention.
Anyone with a fair grasp of SEO knows that “order” is synonymous with website rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). In determining these rankings, Google wants four critical elements on point:
Content for legal marketing can be anything on a personal injury website, such as practice area pages, blogs, resources, and even videos and images. It’s how the lawyer tells potential clients how they can help with their cases. As Bill Gates famously put it in 1996, content is king.
This is not necessarily true today. According to some camps, context has dethroned content. But as long as Google gives importance to content, it will remain crucial to SEO.
When deciding what content to show after a search, Google relies on keywords. These are words or phrases that encapsulate a website’s content. When people search for information related to these keywords, Google will see the connection. Then that website gets a better chance of landing on the search engine’s results.
Google matches keywords between user searches and website content using RankBrain. After interpreting what users want based on their search terms, this AI tells Google what to display in the results.
Hence, using keywords alone is not enough. It’s essential to research commonly used keywords relevant to the website and focus on them for effective content optimization.
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Jordan Whelan, a spokesperson for Diamond Lawyers and president of public relations agency Grey Smoke Media, told the Star Thursday night that “after consulting with counsel, we will be appealing the decision.”
Having worked with many brands in Canada, however, Jordan Whelan, president of Toronto-based Grey Smoke Media, doubts that his clients would embrace a programmatic exchange for podcast ads.
“Media buyers and marketing companies don’t want to stray from what’s working,” he said. As a media buyer for major Canadian brands, Whelan said that many are skeptical compared to similar media, such as radio.
I spoke to Jordan Whelan, Toronto Media Buyer at Grey Smoke Media and client of mine, who builds customized media campaigns. According to him, “ I’ve tested campaigns on Twitter that received more clicks but resulted in low conversions. Facebook capitalized on user psychology in a way that reached your target customer, despite the higher CPC.”
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“‘We’ll get a client a media hit in a major news outlet and then also parlay that into getting them on page one of Google,’ he says, collaborating with search-engine-optimization experts in tandem.”
Read the full feature here >
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Even with RankBrain, Google needs help identifying quality content and what people think of the content available online. That’s where backlinks come in.
Backlinks connect one website to another, and Google views them as votes of confidence for the destination website. Thus, a personal injury website with more backlinks will likely rank higher, although not all backlinks have the same impact. Here are three characteristics of a quality backlink:
- It sits within the content instead of some inconspicuous corner of a website, such as the footer or sidebar.
- It comes from an authority website or a website with few outgoing links.
- The anchor text used to create the backlink is relevant to the content with the outbound link.
Needless to say, websites with fewer or lower-quality backlinks can come off as less credible or authoritative to Google. The result is a lower search rank.
Structural elements allowing search engines to identify a specific website make up technical SEO. The more a search engine recognizes the website, the higher its overall ranking.
Technical SEO requires header tags, image alt text, and other items that allow search engines to crawl and display content. Note that this aspect of a website impacts everything else in it. Poor technical SEO can prevent Google from crawling a web page, putting even the most credible, authoritative content to waste. After all, what good is content that no one can see?
User experience (UX)
User experience (UX) covers a website’s navigation ease, visual appeal, and responsiveness. More specifically, there are four factors considered critical to UX:
- Core Web Vitals (CWV). Part of SEO is ensuring the optimal operation of a website. It requires metrics known as Core Web Vitals, which measure a website’s loading speed until a user can seamlessly interact with it.
- Intrusive interstitials. Anything that blocks a user’s view of web content is called an intrusive interstitial. It is usually a promotional element, such as a banner, pop-up, dialogue, and even an overlay. Not only are interstitials anti-UX and therefore harmful to SEO, but they can be frustrating for users too.
- Mobile readiness. Since 2018, Google has prioritized mobile-friendliness as a critical metric in ranking websites. It means websites that work less effectively on mobile devices will get lower page ranks in search results.
- HTTPS. The acronym stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, a safe data transfer protocol that secures websites and improves search rankability.
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How To Do SEO for Injury Law Firms
Like all the rest considering SEO, personal injury lawyers must first decide between doing it themselves and hiring an expert. Both scenarios require work.
SEO takes time and hard work, but it’s a straightforward task that can start with a review of Google’s requirements. Here are the basics of implementing personal injury SEO based on the search giant’s ranking factors:
- Keyword research
Content quality is more important than keywords, but researching keywords before writing content is wiser. Once the content is done, it can be challenging to insert keywords naturally, and Google doesn’t like forced keywords.
When researching keywords, start with a list of the firm’s legal services, locations, and target audience. For example, a personal injury attorney serving Houston, Texas, might use “car accident personal injury houston,” “car accident lawyer houston,” or “houston medical malpractice attorney” as keywords.
The idea is to use different synonyms and word placements to cover a broader base of potential user search terms. The good news is many free online keyword research tools can cut the job in half.
- Content creation
After deciding on a set of target keywords comes content creation. But SEO content marketing goes beyond publishing keyword-enriched articles and letting them steep. Google values freshness, which means it considers content updates when ranking websites.
Preparing content topics in advance, therefore, makes a good SEO habit. Writing the content beforehand is even better as it ensures a steady stream of new content. That said, SEO is an ongoing process requiring a reasonable investment, especially in first-rate content creation.
- Building credibility through backlinks
There are several ways of getting backlinks to a personal injury website. One is by claiming all of the firm’s online profiles, especially Google Maps and Google My Business. With some integrations, clients can book appointments right on these listings.
Another good link building strategy is listing the firm with various local directories using tools that automate the detailed process. Soliciting and publishing client reviews can also help.
Countless backlinking techniques can help build a website’s online credibility and authority. However, a good benchmark is 40 homepage backlinks and up to 100 backlinks for every other page. Note that PageRank scores will make an impact, with higher values reducing the number of links needed to increase rankings.
- Polishing technical SEO
Crucial to SEO are the nuts and bolts holding a campaign together in all the right places. Those nuts and bolts are technical SEO. While an earlier section quickly broaches the subject, there is so much scratching to do on that tricky surface.
SEO experts spent years studying Google and its ways. There’s no way to soak up all that knowledge in a day or even a year. At any rate, meeting the technical requirements of effective SEO is complicated, but Google’s Webmaster Guidelines can be a good start for any amateur.
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Hiring an SEO company
The reality is most personal injury lawyers don’t have the energy or interest to learn SEO. With the rigors of their job, it would be impressive for them to even find the time. For this reason, many consider working with experts to get the job done.
Then again, not all companies offering personal injury attorney SEO services are created equal. Here are six tips for choosing a good one:
- List down goals
Goal setting is the first and most crucial step in choosing an SEO agency. Writing things down makes it even more effective. The law firm may want a lower bounce rate, more conversions, or more traffic for a particular keyword. Maybe they want all of those and more. Whether they want national or local SEO for personal injury lawyers, a list can help prevent confusion and increase satisfaction from the potential partnership.
- Explore client reviews and case studies
Vetting an SEO agency can start with reviewing their services and whether they’ve worked with law firms or just clients in general. They should be ready with their portfolios and case studies for their prospects or new clients to explore. It also helps to read client reviews published on third-party websites, and talk to client references provided by the agency.
- Review the company’s progress-tracking processes
Any SEO agency worth its salt will have a method of tracking its campaigns’ progress through key performance indicators (KPIs). Conversation rate is one important KPI for SEO, and so is page load time for its undeniable impact on bounce rate. Beyond numbers, everyone involved should be on the same page in defining what makes the campaign successful.
- Inquiring about other services
Not surprisingly, reputable SEO agencies offer various complementary services, such as web design, content creation, etc. After all, these are all part and parcel of good SEO. Also, of course, using one company for everything isn’t only cost-effective but incredibly efficient for the team.
- Scoping for chemistry and effective communication
When people work amicably together, they tend to achieve more. This is also true for personal injury lawyers and SEO agencies. Communication is integral to the process, especially in analyzing the campaign’s current state and where it’s going. No law firm should have to interpret SEO data themselves, even if they know about Google Analytics or similar systems.
- Checking for long-term partnership
Nothing is more pivotal in choosing a law firm SEO company than assessing it for a long-term partnership. At the very core, it is the stuff a successful SEO campaign is made of, and here are two reasons:
- Google is unpredictable
Innovation brought Google where it is, and it’s not about to stop. Innovation is change, for which Google appears to have an infinite propensity. Its algorithm changes at least 500 times a year, for starters.
While they announce the major variations, only they know when the next one will come. This constantly shifting landscape of SEO requires a parallel continuum of adaptive responses that work best between long-term partners with a solid history to build on.
- Lawyers must put in the work too
SEO companies know what to do in terms of implementing campaigns, but attorneys will have a role only they can play: lead tracking. Leads, or prospective clients, can come from forms on the personal injury law firm’s website and calls on a phone number displayed solely on that site.
Law firms can learn how to generate personal injury leads, but it doesn’t end there. They should take note of vital information, such as the number of leads per month, any increases or decreases over time, and the impact of the seasons. Lead tracking helps define the campaigns’ progress and the lawyers’ returns from their SEO spend.
“Grey Smoke Media is exceptional and in a league of its own. Jordan has played a pivotal role in our explosive growth over the past decade. His raw creativity is inspiring.”
Senior Partner,Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
“Grey Smoke Media took me from 50 keywords on page one to over 250, more than doubling my traffic, in just 8 months. They are more than an agency. They are a business partner that I can depend on at 10pm on a Sunday. Their work is beyond reproach.
Owner of Nussbaum Family Law
“In short, Grey Smoke Media is outstanding. We came to them with a reputation management problem that two other agencies failed to solve and they had a custom plan to us in 24 hours. They played an enormous role in our 2021 revenue rebound and we are forever grateful.”
publicly traded pharmaceutical company
We have secured links for our clients on some of the largest media outlets in the world. This marriage of traditional PR outreach and SEO has resulted in an indisputable and inimitable advantage for our clients.
Lawyer SEO and Rules of the Bar
Personal injury lawyers deserve great SEO, but it can be a landmine for those who don’t pay enough mind. After all, attorneys are still bound by the standards of the bar associations in which they belong.
Also, their licenses are on the line with everything bearing their names on it, including their websites. To avoid regulatory pain points with personal injury attorney SEO, here are quick tips to keep in mind:
- Responses to client testimonials should be in generalities to avoid slips of case information that violate lawyer-client confidentiality.
- Backlinking must be done with caution, especially with linked content bearing the lawyer’s name as the author.
- Some regions require advertising disclaimers.
- Law firm websites must avoid publishing false claims, such as taking credit for a sizable settlement from another lawyer’s case.
- All lawyer websites must adhere to bar guidelines.
Cost of Personal Injury SEO Services
The price of general law firm SEO can range from $3,000 to $12,000, but note that personal injury is a highly competitive niche. A multitude of factors can impact the price, including the following:
- The practice. Not all practice areas are the same. Personal injury is one of the more challenging, resource-intensive, and, therefore, expensive fields in terms of SEO services.
- Goals and target ROI. As in other industries, budgeting and target returns for personal injury SEO will always depend on the campaign’s goals.
- Required services. Costs will adjust accordingly, whether the project calls for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, latent semantic indexing (LSA), etc.
- Past SEO. Any SEO marketing efforts done for a website will always impact subsequent campaigns. This requires diagnostics, which adds to the cost.
- Location. Law firms in bigger cities with more search queries require more SEO efforts and higher costs.
- Backlink quality. Quality backlinks are a must for good SEO, but building enough to impact search engine rankings requires time and effort. More backlinking means higher costs.
- Content quality. Google doesn’t only want good backlinks but also good content. Better-quality content requires a better-quality production team and, of course, a higher cost.
- The agency. There’s only one rule to remember here: everyone gets what they pay for.
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Trust Grey Smoke Media for Your Law Firm's SEO Needs
So much has changed since the first recorded use of “SEO” in 1997. Most are surprised it predates even Google, back when Yahoo and other older search engines only worked as directories. When companies weren’t happy with their directory placements – including, as the tale goes, the manager for the rock band Jefferson Starship – SEO was born.
Today, personal injury lawyers need as much SEO as any other company online. The help of a proven, results-driven SEO company can make all the difference.
Grey Smoke Media is a digital marketing agency with an impeccable background in personal injury attorney advertising and SEO. Their strategic knowledge and experience allow them to drive effective SEO campaigns that translate to tangible benefits for firms across Canada.
Elevate your personal injury SEO with Grey Smoke Media today.
FAQs on SEO for Personal Injury Lawyers
Keyword density is a value that indicates the frequency of a keyword occurring in content. For example, a 100-word article that mentions a keyword four times will have a keyword density of four percent. Keyword density used to be a big deal in SEO, but natural keyword placement is now given primary importance.
There is no single law firm marketing strategy that works for all. Everything comes down to their goals, time, and budget, but SEO and PPC can be beneficial, whether individually or combined. While PPC can help with the firm’s short-term personal injury lawyer advertising goals, SEO can bolster law firm marketing plans for the long term.
Webmaster’s guidelines for search engines such as Google and Bing can change from time to time. You should check them regularly to ensure that your legal SEO campaign continues to abide by the rules. Following the webmaster’s guidelines prevents any potential violation your website may have.
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