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Law Firm Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO for criminal defense attorneys?

Criminal defense attorneys don't just need leads--they need organic leads appropriate to their practice area and to get in front of potential clients. Why? Because organic traffic captures more revenue. Organic SEO is at least five times more effective than pcc campaigns (pay per click). What's more, over 50 percent of search traffic comes from organic search, with only 10 percent coming from paid search.

What does that mean for a defense firm and its marketing strategy? It's simple. The law firm is much better off investing in an SEO campaign than spending money on paid leads, because it's proven that most website traffic comes from organic search results. Even Google ads are not as effective at generating leads as search engine optimization. By ensuring people who need exactly what you're offering find their way to your website, you'll convert more of them into clients and make the most of your marketing dollars. The key to this kind of marketing campaign is understanding how Google chooses which results to show to its users and making search engine algorithms work for you.

Best of all, this kind of campaign continues working for you long after PPC campaigns--a system that charges per lead--have used up your marketing budget.

What exactly does that mean?

Google "near me" searches have at least doubled over the past year alone and the most coveted position for criminal defense law firms--or any business--is in the 3-pack of top local results on the search engine page. To get there, focus marketing efforts on SEO strategies that will make your website one of the first seen by those searching terms most relevant to it--dui attorney, defense lawyers, or criminal defense attorney, for example. When someone finds themselves in a situation where they need to consider defense lawyers and they head to Google to find representation, they'll want a firm that:

Specializes in the defense they need (theft or dui cases, for example)

Is easy to find, close to the top of the search engine results page

Features an attorney website that is professional, employs clean and logical menu navigation and provides a user experience that instills trust

Showcases content that makes them feel the criminal defense lawyers they've chosen are experts who will get them the best results

Links to and from reliable and reputable sources within criminal law

All of this is communicated to clients very quickly through a law firm's position on the search engine results page and its website design, links, content and online reviews.

To compete with other criminal defense lawyers for clients, you need a team of professionals who can design and implement a marketing campaign specifically for criminal defense law firms, track its results, optimize your website, analyze keyword use and content and get you ranking in local search results. The best attorney marketing plan is one that is sustained, comprehensive and addresses all aspect of digital marketing.

How can a criminal defense law firm use SEO practices and search engines to guide the right clients to the firm?

If the best leads--those users who ultimately become clients--come from organic, local search results, then how can a criminal defense attorney ensure Goggle is working to bring potentials to their website? User behavior and search term algorithms are always evolving, along with technology. A marketing company that specializes in SEO will keep apprised of these changes and make sure your approach grows along with them. Many factors affect the success of your marketing campaign. Here are a few of them.

Web Design

The technical features of your site impact where it lands on the search engine results pages. It's an aspect of law firm marketing that shouldn't be overlooked, because a low quality site will simply not rank as well. The fact is, Google measures the amount and quality of your content, your sitemap, your headers, even the images you choose to use on your site.

Any digital marketing strategy should include an analysis of the current attorney site for features like broken links, slow load speeds, confusing navigation, or error messages that will have a negative impact on its rank. An SEO professional can also determine opportunities to step up what's already working and exploit every opportunity to get your law firm ranking in Google's top three for your city.

Your site's URL matters more than you might think. It should also be optimized for an SEO marketing strategy. It should include keywords you hope to target and if it doesn't, you may need to rethink it, redesign and utilize redirects. It's an involved process but one that will benefit your firm in the long run. Make sure to consult an expert before scrapping your existing URL structure, though. If you're going to go to the trouble of changing it, take care to change it in a way that will increase your site's quality score and move it up the Google ranks.

Improving Conversion Rates

When your efforts in SEO marketing bear fruit, it's time to consider how site visitors ultimately become clients and what you can do to make sure potentials stay on your page instead of moving on to a competitor. As previously mentioned, a solid web design, analyzed for optimal rank and delivering a superior experience to defense clients, is key. Clients who become confused will be back on the search results page and will soon click on a competitor's link. But aside from delivering a hassle-free experience, what else can a law firm do to convert every possible lead into a client? Here are a few proven practices that will help persuade people to call your law firm.

Put testimonials from previous clients where they will be seen--on the Home page and in other prominent locations

Use video and bullet points to break up long sections of text

Use a click to call code for mobile devices

Ensure each page includes a call to action and your name and phone number

SEO marketing for defense attorneys is a complex endeavor with a lot of variables, but at its heart, you are trying to do two things: make it easy for clients to find and use your website and then structure your site and its content to persuade them to engage your services. If your site is not doing everything it can to turn visitors into customers, you could lose them to competitors.


Even if you take all the steps listed above, new clients aren't going to engage you if your site doesn't feature high quality content that shows them you know your practice areas and criminal law in general. People approach a criminal defense lawyer at possibly the most vulnerable point in their lives. They are worried about the future and need a lawyer who can put their mind at ease. Content is a critical part of your marketing plan, because as you know, customers need to feel they will be in good hands before they make phone calls.

Google ranks sites in part through word count. Because more is often (though not always) better, it might benefit your law firm to maintain individual pages for your services: drug crimes, robbery, white-collar crime, etc. An SEO professional can determine whether your site has too much or too little and propose solutions.

Establishing Trust--Best Practices

Every defense lawyer knows how important it is to establish trust--a potential client is trusting you with their life and future. When they visit your attorney or law firm website, certain features will cue them in to your expertise. Some, like testimonials from previous clients, may be obvious, while others--Is your office location readily available? Is there a Google map embedded and directions from various areas nearby?--can be easy to overlook. Clients who have easy access to a Q&A page, privacy policy, pricing and other services will feel much more comfortable making a connection with you.

People in need of a defense lawyer are often in an emotional state--either they or a friend or loved one is facing serious legal concerns. Maybe they or someone they know has been arrested and tensions and stress are running high. It's easy for them to become frustrated when links don't lead to the pages they need or they're uncertain if your law firm is experienced with the kind of defense they're looking for. Making it obvious that you are a caring and competent criminal defense lawyer--or criminal defense law firm--will make them feel better about their situation. This impression really is communicated through your online presence. It's a client's first experience with your firm, the same as a first impression in a face-to-face meeting. Naturally, clients will assume a law firm listed near the top of a Google search is better than one that only shows up after scrolling through pages and pages of listings and pay per click ads.

Where you appear in a Google search influences how people assess your law firm's quality--if it comes in at the top of the list, clients assume there's a reason for that.

Link Building

Link building is another way to establish trust and reinforce your authority and expertise to clients. It's also a proven way to improve rankings.

Google uses links to move through the web from one site to another and to determine your site's an authority in criminal defense. If your firm is mentioned in an article about criminal law in a prominent online journal, not only is your experience reinforced, but that link shows Google you're connected to other experts in the field. Since Google wants to provide the best experience and best results to its users, it will point them to websites it has confidence in--improving their rank.

Any law firm marketing plan should include an assessment of links to and within the website as well as a plan to acquire and track new links. These should be blogs and other websites related to criminal defense, especially those that are highly recognized and respected.

Off Site SEO

Is your firm listed with all the prominent legal directories? Do you have a social media presence? Are other law firms and sites related to criminal defense linking back to you? Are you mentioned in online reviews? Is your SEO company or professional actively seeking and pursuing ways to bring every possible client to your website?

In a field as competitive as criminal defense, your SEO professional should take advantage of every opportunity to gain visibility and improve your rankings. The truth is that if your law firm isn't taking advantage of SEO to bring in every client you can, you're missing out. People who need attorneys or legal services aren't just going to give up without finding them--it's just a questions of whether the search result directs them to your firm or a competitor's firm.

If you're unsure what SEO can do for you and your law firm, contact an individual or company well-versed in this type of marketing. They can not only handle the day-to-day needs of your website and social media platforms, they'll analyze your current online presence, propose solutions to issues you might be having and bolster your rankings through keywords, search terms and website structure, among others. You will appear in more searches and you'll see your law firm growing. Don't wait to take advantage of all the ways criminal defense SEO can bring the right people to your law firm website.

NewSunSEO, while offering our services nationwide, currently has locations in these areas:

Long Island, NY

On Long Island, NY (New York), NewSunSEO offers; Long Island SEO / Local SEO Long Island / Pay Per Click / Long Island Web Design / Long Island Web Development as a full service Internet marketing company providing a full range of digital marketing services to Long Island business owners using leading SEO strategies, which include search engine optimized content marketing. As an award-winning Long Island SEO company, We also offer Local SEO, Web Design and Web Development to small and large businesses throughout Long Island NY, New York, The Tri State area & beyond.

Myrtle Beach, SC

In Myrtle Beach, SC (South Carolina) NewSunSEO offers; Myrtle Beach SEO / Local SEO Myrtle Beach / Pay Per Click / Myrtle Beach Web Design / Myrtle Beach Web Development as a full service Internet marketing company providing a full range of digital marketing services to Myrtle Beach business owners using leading SEO strategies, which include search engine optimized content marketing. As an award-winning Myrtle Beach SEO company, we also offer Local SEO and Web Development to small and large businesses throughout Myrtle Beach SC, South Carolina, The Grand Strand area & beyond.

Portland, OR

In Portland, OR (Oregon) NewSunSEO offers; Portland SEO / Portland Local SEO / Pay Per Click / Portland Web Design / Portland Web Development as a full service Internet marketing company providing a full range of digital marketing services to Portland business owners using leading SEO strategies, which include search engine optimized content marketing. As an award-winning Portland SEO company, We also offer Local SEO, Web Design and Web Development to small and large businesses throughout Portland OR, Oregon, The Beaver State surrounding areas & beyond.

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