SEO For Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury attorneys are constantly looking for new business, so they look for ways to develop new marketing channels as well as their existing ones. Search engine optimization is a perfect channel for personal injury lawyers to compete with the best law firms in their market.

What is SEO for personal injury attorneys? Search engine optimization is one of the most powerful and modern marketing channels lawyers can use to attract more clients. Its activities include optimizing your website, its content, and your online profiles so that your website ranks higher for its target keywords in search engine results.

SEO For Personal Injury Lawyers

While SEO for personal injury lawyers is very competitive, it is one of the best ways to create a large number of new inquiries, calls, and consultations that will result in more cases being signed. So how to improve SEO for your personal injury law firm?

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SEO Tips For Personal Injury Attorneys

Analyze your competitors

If you are considering search engine optimization for your law firm, the first thing you need to do is analyze the competition in your local market. Search engine optimization is very competitive in the personal injury industry. Also, the competition in one city, state, or locality will not be the same as in another. 

Site architecture: SEO your website for mobile, speed, and UX

Google is obsessed with providing its users with the best possible experience. This has a direct impact on websites that rank on page 1.

There are many aspects of your website that need to be optimized and addressed. Among them, the ones to obsessively focus on in the future are: 

Make your website mobile-friendly

Google is now performing what is called mobile-first indexing. This means that search results displayed on mobile are actually different from results displayed on the desktop. Law firm websites should be designed for smartphones and mobile devices first, then for desktop screens. This means focusing on loading speed and user experience on mobile. 

Optimize your web page load times

Google is putting more responsibility on webmasters and website owners to ensure that their web page load speeds are ahead of the curve. Ideally, you want your website to load instantly. This gives the user a better experience, which will help you achieve a higher ranking. 

SEO For Personal Injury Lawyers

Use PageSpeed Insights to measure your website load speed and related performance metrics. When it comes to speed, the main metrics you want to optimize are your overall score (out of 100) and your Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). Your PageSpeed score should be above 90 and your LCP should be below 2.5 seconds. 

Google core web vitals

SEO For Personal Injury Lawyers

Google core web vitals become a ranking factor for SEO. When using PageSpeed insights, you will want to focus on the three Core Web Vital indicators. In order to get a "boost" for your website ranking, all three indicators must fall within Google's "Good" range.

The three core web vitals and metrics you need to achieve are: 

- The largest Content Paint (LCP) must be 2.5 seconds or less.
- First Input Delay (FID) must be 100 milliseconds or less.
- The cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) score must be less than or equal to 0.1

Website architecture is an overlooked and underrated aspect of SEO. On-site SEO and the UX design of your website will affect how easy it is for your potential customers to find information on your website. That's why you need to optimize your website (especially your homepage, contact page, and navigation menu) so that your potential customers can navigate it easily. 

In this area, the biggest challenge for personal injury attorneys is developing the proper architecture of their website for navigation. Typically, personal injury law firms have multiple offices spread across several geographic areas; for example, one in San Francisco, two in the Los Angeles area, and one in San Diego. To reach the right people, you need to create the right location silos.

So how can you do this? By structuring your navigation menu correctly. The most effective way I've seen personal injury lawyers address this issue is to create a "location" tab in their menu bar so potential clients can instantly find the right location. 

Create unique content and update it regularly

When it comes to content, you need to pay special attention to your business area pages (which act as sales pages) and your blog posts (which act as informational posts for the top and middle of your funnel).

You (or your content and SEO team) should ask yourself, "Is this the best piece of content in my geographic area on this topic?" Then, review each existing piece of content and update it at least once a month, at a minimum. Of course, brainstorm new content as well. 

Think about new statistics, new responses from different opinion leaders, new images, etc. that you could use to differentiate yourself. Use the unique characteristics of your law firm to your advantage. After all, no two personal injury law firms are alike. Only you can tactically speak to your attorneys' winning experience and your law firm's success rate. Your lawyers are the ones handling cases strategically and innovatively, which gives you an edge over your competitors. Highlight that in your content. 

Add SEO keywords for lawyers in the page content

Lawyer keywords are important for Google to understand the content of your page. They are relevant to both search engines and their users. Using your target personal injury keywords throughout your content is imperative for ranking, but don't engage in "keyword stuffing."

Instead, use your target personal injury keyword and its close variants in the following places:

- Your title tag
- Permanent link / page URL
- H1 tag
- First sentence or paragraph
- Meta description
- First subtitle (H2) after H1 (use a variation)
- Use other related keywords in the following titles
- Use LSI keywords (synonyms) throughout the content. 

SEO For Personal Injury Lawyers

Keyword density used to be more important in SEO. There is no longer a strict standard, but we recommend that density be around 1-3%. Before worrying about density, prioritize keyword placement (as outlined above) and make sure your content reads naturally.

Remove thin and duplicate content

Duplicate content and thin content are ranking destroyers not only for the pages containing the content in question but for your website as a whole.

These are pages that law firm SEO companies and legal SEO content writers are often guilty of creating. When this happens, the person or agency in charge of the law firm content usually writes the main page for the personal injury attorney's primary keyword and the location they serve (i.e. a city or state). When it comes to writing subsequent pages for other locations, the content is a simple derivative of the original page. The biggest change is usually the new local keyword they are targeting.

This has a number of effects, with an overall negative impact on your rankings:

- The site as a whole may be perceived as lower quality, as thin or duplicate content offers no unique value to users and passes those signals on to other pages. 
- The most valuable pages may not receive the attention they deserve, as there is a lot of thin content for Google to crawl. 
- Google may treat similar or duplicate pages as one (canonicalization), which can result in none of them being ranked.

By eliminating and consolidating your content, you make the remaining content on your website more unique and valuable to users and search engines. If you clean up your act, you can see a noticeable improvement in your ranking. 

Refine your local SEO strategy

Google determines local rankings based on relevance, distance, and prominence. Let's focus on the prominence factor. One of the most effective ways to build prominence is to get reviews. When people are injured, they want to turn to the best personal injury attorneys they can afford. Your reviews will help them determine if you are their best option; they give your law firm credibility that gives you an edge over the competition. 

But first, ask yourself if you are a high-volume settlement firm or a low-volume litigation firm that selectively takes cases. If you are a high-volume settlement firm, you have more opportunities to get reviews from your clients. If you are a low-volume litigation firm, it will be more difficult to get reviews (but you should still strive to do so). 

Ask every satisfied client to leave you a review on Google. As a bonus, you can then take a screenshot of that review or copy and paste the text into a nice wallpaper and post it to your social channels. Also, make sure to create a "testimonials" section on your law firm website and post the best reviews there. 

Another key element of a successful local SEO strategy for personal injury attorneys is to have a dedicated team that proactively fights spam, whether it's incorrect public changes to your address on Google Maps or fake reviews. If you take a reactive approach instead of a proactive one, you risk people getting the wrong impression and false details about your law firm. 

Optimize your Google My Business listing

Your Google Business listing and how it is optimized is the main factor in ranking your law firm in the local map pack results. Make sure all relevant fields are filled out, high-quality images of the attorneys and your office location are present, and primary and secondary categories are filled out.

There are many other details that go into optimizing a Google My Business listing. Be sure to check out this guide to Google My Business for attorneys, which will walk you through the details of how to set up and optimize your GMB listing(s) step-by-step. 

Create lots of local SEO citations

Local SEO citations are an essential part of building your online presence and trust with Google. Google and other search engines want to provide the best results for internet users. They have many signals that they rely on when it comes to queries related to local businesses and local searches, including citations. As a general rule, the more prominent your firm is online, the more search engines can learn and understand your business, giving them more confidence in your firm's legitimacy.

Here's a list of the top 50 local directories and citation sources in the United States that you can use to start building your law firm visibility online. 

Fine-tune your NAP

The consistency of your name, address, and phone number (NAP) is a fundamental part of Google's trust in your business. Your NAP information is published on your website (usually on the contact page and in the footer), as well as in your schema markup and in many online business and legal directories.

Make sure your NAP information is consistent and exactly the same wherever your law firm information is published online. 

Many times when working with a solo law firm or practitioner, directories contain incorrect NAP information or outdated office addresses or phone numbers. Make a list of any examples found and begin correcting these listings. 

Prioritize Link-Building

If you've been interested in SEO for any length of time, you've probably discovered that link building is an essential part of a law firm's ability to rank in a competitive market.

Today, many agencies still use link-building techniques under the table, which we do not. This makes our job harder in the short term, but easier in the long term - not to mention better for the lawyers who work with us. 

Acquiring and earning the quality and quantity of backlinks that will rank you on page 1 for ultra-competitive keywords like "personal injury attorney san Diego" and "car accident lawyer Miami" is the most difficult and time-consuming task in search engine optimization.

Beyond building links in directories that any law firm can easily obtain, authority links from editorial sources and local websites (in your area) are what will get you page 1 results. 

In some markets, building relationships is an afterthought. In personal injury law, however, it is an area that should be emphasized and worked on, as it plays a major role in building geographic authority and trust. 

Ideally, you should get quality backlinks in the following four pillars (note that some links will fall under more than one pillar):

- Niche pillar: These are links from the legal industry (such as Avvo and Justia) that help build your relevance within the profession. 

- Local Pillar: These are links from the chamber of commerce, schools, and other institutions in your area that help you build local relevance. 

- Trusted Pillar: These are links from Wikipedia, government websites, and reputable news sources. Often these links do not have "follow" attributes and do not convey link equity, but they are still useful because they are synonymous with trust. 

- Authority pillar: These are links from authoritative sites with high domain ratings, such as major news publishers. 

By creating unique content and updating it regularly, optimizing your site architecture, refining your local SEO strategy, and prioritizing link building, you will place yourself at the top of personal injury law firms, helping your clients find you. 

Increase engagement and page views

SEO For Personal Injury Lawyers

Google cares about user experience, so it goes to great lengths to measure behavioral signals on websites that are used to infer user experience. These include bounce rate (% of users who left the site after visiting a single page) and visit time (time spent on a page or website).

All things being equal, lower bounce rates and longer visit times are better.

How can you achieve this?

Make your website as attractive as possible.

There are many ways to improve these metrics. However, the best way to simplify this task is to focus on providing richer content and improving the page experience.

Rich content comes in many forms, such as lists, multi-page guides, and videos, which increase visit time. 

Linking between pages and adding useful and relevant navigation will increase the likelihood that visitors will click through to other pages, reducing your bounce rate and, by extension, often increasing visit time. Adding related articles in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page will increase the number of pages per session, which is more or less inversely proportional to the bounce rate. 

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