October 6, 2023
Darren Stewart

SEO for lawyers and law firms

The legal landscape is evolving, and the way potential clients seek legal assistance has dramatically changed. As more and more individuals

The legal landscape is evolving, and the way potential clients seek legal assistance has dramatically changed. As more and more individuals turn to search engines to find legal services, having a strong online presence through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become paramount for law firms. 

SEO not only enhances visibility but also builds credibility, attracts targeted clients, and provides a competitive edge in the highly competitive legal field. In this blog post, we'll delve into why SEO is a game-changer for lawyers and explore the key reasons it's an essential component of successful law firm marketing strategies.

In this article we will talk you through a blueprint for an effective local SEO strategy for lawyers and law firms that we have used in the past and that is proven to give results when done well.

Local & Global SEO

The foundation of this SEO strategy is local SEO done globally. How you use this strategy depends on the scale of your law firm’s operation. If you are a local lawyer or law firm operating in a certain location it is going to be a much smaller SEO operation than a global law firm, but the theory is the same. 

Most people will look for a service in their local area by adding on the location to the search, for example “lawyers in Manchester” or “law firm near me”. These types of geographical or ‘local’ searches trigger results in Google Maps and Google places more weight on the companies that have a physical presence near the searcher. 

This is called the Google Local Pack and this is a good example for London. Note, this is more catered towards small law firms as larger firms will deal for large corporates who won’t operate in this way usually.

There are some things SEO cannot do, and putting a physical office in an area you are not currently in is not one of those but, if you do have a presence in that area but are not ranking well in search engines there are some things you can do to improve this.

Create a Google My Business page 

Another important part of local SEO for law firms is having a Google My Business page and keeping it up to date and relevant. If you can, try and get customers to leave some Google reviews too. It is the same principle as when you look for the nearest restaurant in a new city…

Google My Business Example

Targeted Content Creation

One of the most important aspects of SEO for law firms, lawyers and other professional service companies is creating targeted content for all of your audience segments. An example of audience segmentation would be as follows:

A law firm may have several audience segments, depending on their practice areas and the nature of their services. Here are some common audience segments for a law firm:

Individual Clients:

Business Clients:

Real Estate Clients:

Specialized Practice Areas:

Each of these audience segments has distinct legal needs and requirements. Effective audience segmentation allows the law firm to tailor its marketing efforts and content to address the specific concerns and interests of each group, increasing the likelihood of attracting and serving clients effectively.

Search intent and content segmentation

When understanding how to create targeted content for search engines. You need to take your audience segments beyond what we call ‘solution’ based or ‘commercial’ search queries where someone would search for ‘personal injury lawyer’. This type of query tells us that the person knows what they are looking for and they probably want to speak to someone. This type of search is ‘high intent’. 

How search intent works in its simplest form.

There is however a whole bunch of people who will be searching for something like “compensation for an injury”. This is a more general term and they are most likely at the early stages of the investigation or research. This search may indicate that they are aware of their injury and are interested in understanding the concept of compensation, but they may not yet be committed to pursuing a legal case. 

They could be researching what compensation entails, how it works, or the types of injuries that might qualify for compensation. It's a broader and more informational search rather than a direct request for legal services.

What this means is that you need to be producing content not just for these high-intent search terms, but also for these more general, low-intent and educational search terms. 

Create web pages for each office

If you have multiple offices, create a separate web page for each office. This is so you can optimise each page for the specific location. Don’t just list your offices in one general page, this will not improve you SEO performance.

White & Case Office Page Example

Here you can see White & Case have a web page for each office. Although they could do better in terms of the design and the content on the page, they have the right website architecture and you can also see the navigation breadcrumbs in the top left that shows the parent page of this page which is a collection of all the offices.

If you are a single location law firm, that is ok, just make sure that you have all the location of your office on a single office page.

Create web pages for each region & country

Beyond office pages, some people actually look for regional experience, so rather than looking for a New York law firm, they may look for expertise in EMEA as one example. In this case you should have regional pages like the one below.

Clyde & Co Regional Page Example

Create pages for each practice area

Creating a web page for each of your practice areas is an obvious one but sometimes overlooked by companies. By creating a page for each practice area you should be able to cover off people looking for that specific service rather than based on location.

Use words that searchers use 

One of the most common and biggest mistakes that law firms make is not using the words that their buyers use. So on a page talking about their expertise you need to describe the exact service rather than something a bit ambiguous. Below is an example from a large law firms website that is too generic with its page title of “healthcare”, they would be better with something like “healthcare law firm”. 

This may seem a bit repetitive when doing it for every page but remember, you are seeing the website as a whole, most people will only visit 2 or 3 pages on your website, they will not look at the healthcare page then also look at a page talking about marine insurance law. You have to think about it from the end-user’s perspective, not yours.

The Healthcare page on the Clyde & Co Websote

Create blog posts explaining basic legal information

The next thing is to make sure you create useful blog content that explains basic legal phrases and topics relating to your business. For a family lawyer this could be explaining what a PreNup is and so on.

Some SEO tips for lawyers

What we have covered in this article is a more of a top-level content strategy for SEO that impacts your website. This is really important but you also need to do some of the smaller things too. 

If you are looking for some smaller tweaks and specific advice we wrote this really long article on keyword research for B2B companies which should help and there is also another article we wrote on a 5 minute SEO hack that is also worth a read if you want to learn more yourself.

Optimize local and legal directories (links)

Although the majority of people search on Google— some people use apps and directories like Yellow Pages or Yelp. Sometimes, these sites will also come up on local search results.

Ensure you cover all major local and legal directories. This way, you’re making your website as visible as possible for potential clients. Make sure your law firm address, phone number, email address, and other relevant information stay consistent across listings. Search engines favor consistent address information, thereby making this a crucial step in local SEO for lawyers. 

Examples of business listings for local SEO firms include Yelp, Yellow Pages, Apple Maps, Bing Places for Business, etc. You can also find a lot of legal-specific directories such as the Legal 500 in the UK where you can have a listing for your law firm. 


There are other aspects of SEO we could go into but from our point of view what we have covered here is more than enough to get started. Nail the things we have covered in this article and you will find your SEO improves dramatically.

If you can take one thing away from this article it should be that targeted content creation for your audience segments is the most important part of this. Once you have the content the rest will fall into place with small tweaks and time. Happy SEOing!

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