In a world that is increasingly digitalized, online presence is becoming more and more important for every profession. For lawyers and law firms, this is not just a question of modernization, but a necessity in order to remain competitive. The days when clients were acquired by word of mouth or via the telephone directory are giving way to an era in which online visibility is crucial. Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a central role here.

Imagine a potential client is looking for legal advice online. Without SEO, your law firm will remain hidden on the back pages of search results, invisible to those who may need your services the most. SEO ensures that your law firm is visible by positioning your website at the top of the search results. This is essential, as studies show that most users only check the first few search results. If you are not there, you will not be seen.

In addition, a strong online presence conveys credibility and professionalism. A well-designed, search engine optimized website can serve as your digital calling card, a place where clients can learn about your expertise, successes and services. This creates trust even before the first personal meeting takes place.

How SEO works for lawyers

As with almost all topics, the search for a lawyer begins for most users with the help of search engines like Google. At the same time, the search usually does not exceed the first page. In fact, most only get an overview of the top search results. So, for your law firm to be found, good SEO is essential for your website. It ensures that you as an attorney can achieve effective and sustainable success.

SEO for lawyers briefly explained

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and refers to the search engine optimization of a website. It ensures that the website is displayed as high as possible in the search results for search queries. The higher a page is listed in search results, the better its organic search engine ranking and the more visitors it can generate.

Good and effective SEO includes onpage optimization, which is everything that takes place on your own website, such as targeting content and keywords. Another part is off-page optimization, such as backlinks. These are links on external websites that redirect to your own website.

Why do you need SEO as a lawyer?

Search engine optimization has one main goal: to make your website visible and successful. This fact alone makes SEO so important to you as an attorney. You should always consider SEO as a long-term and dynamic marketing strategy to achieve the greatest success. The advantages are comprehensive:

  • High positioning in online competition
  • High range
  • Good placement for your relevant keywords
  • Easy contact with potential clients
  • increasing acquaintance

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to SEO for lawyers and law firms. Search engine optimization must be carried out taking into account the advertising restrictions for lawyers.

In the next chapter, we will explain what these advertising restrictions are all about and how they affect the SEO of your website.

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Why do you need SEO as a lawyer?

Search engine optimization has one main goal: to make your website visible and successful. This fact alone makes SEO so important to you as an attorney. You should always consider SEO as a long-term and dynamic marketing strategy to achieve the greatest success. The advantages are comprehensive:

  • High positioning in online competition
  • High range
  • Good placement for your relevant keywords
  • Easy contact with potential clients
  • increasing acquaintance

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to SEO for lawyers and law firms. Search engine optimization must be carried out taking into account the advertising restrictions for lawyers. We’ll tell you in the next chapter what these advertising restrictions are all about and how they affect your website’s SEO.

The advantage of SEO for lawyers over paid advertising

Why go through the effort of long-term SEO when you can achieve quick results with paid advertising? Visibility in paid advertising disappears as soon as you stop paying for it. Basically, this means that the visibility of your website is only rented. Especially in the legal industry, you have to pay very high costs for pay-per-click and sponsored ads.

SEO, on the other hand, you can consider as a long-term investment. It achieves lasting results without you paying for every click. It is true that even with search engine optimization, you need to make regular updates and optimization. But the foundations are already in place with good SEO advice and do not expire.

Advertising restrictions as a feature of SEO for lawyers

Some time ago, the placement of advertisements for law firms and lawyers was prohibited. Given the ever-increasing competition, it is virtually impossible to stand out from the crowd with your expertise if you are not allowed to advertise it. Legislation recognized this difficulty over time. Advertising restrictions on lawyers and law firms are gradually being pushed back. Thus, lawyers are allowed to use legally approved advertising measures to promote themselves and their legal services.

Here the emphasis is on
Legally permitted
. Because even though the general ban on advertising for lawyers was abolished in 1987, this did not give you a free ride. The German Federal Lawyers ‘ Act (BRAO) lays down a number of rules that you, as a lawyer, must adhere to when engaging in advertising activities of any kind.

This is stated in section 43 sentence 2 of the BRAO:

“He shall prove himself worthy, within and without the profession, of the respect and confidence which the position of attorney requires.”

Further, § 43b states :

“Advertising is permitted to the lawyer only to the extent that it provides factual information about the professional activity in form and content and is not directed to the award of a contract in an individual case.”

So you should make sure that your advertising, including your website, meets the following rules of thumb. It should

  1. factual
  2. job-related
  3. generally valid, i.e. not limited to the extraction of individual cases

be aligned.

Permissible advertising as a lawyer

Before we get into exactly what SEO measures you should use as a lawyer or law firm, let’s take another look at exactly what you are allowed to do. The permissible advertising measures for lawyers set the framework for what content you are allowed to place on your website and how you use it for SEO.

  • You may publish information about yourself as an attorney and the scope of legal services you provide.
  • You can also specify your area of law as your focus of interest. So you get to explain why you are in this particular area of our legal system.
  • You may refer to (former) clients, i.e. advertise with them. However, you must first obtain your consent.
  • You may disclose your fee.
  • The URL for your website may contain your name or that of your law firm. However, this must also be formulated in a factual manner and without an advertising message. For example, it must not be der-beste-anwalt-mustermann.de.
  • In addition to your own website, you may also have other online presences, for example on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. A profile on lawyer platforms as well as professional networks such as LinkedIn and Xing are also permitted. The form and content should always be factual, job-related and generally valid.
  • You may also publish articles on legal topics – both on your own website, for example in the form of a blog, and on your social media platforms

Inadmissible advertising for lawyers

In addition to the permissible means of advertising, there are also the following non-permissible points that you as an attorney should be aware of and that can affect your SEO efforts:

  • You may not specifically apply for an individual case in order to obtain the associated mandate.
  • Refrain from publishing success and sales figures.
  • Do not advertise your accreditation. This is a basic requirement for the establishment of a lawyer anyway.
  • Do not mix advertisements and legal articles. Both should always be clearly recognizable as the respective.
  • As an attorney, you are prohibited from publishing promotional materials in a puffery manner. So you should also refrain from exaggerations on your website and instead remain factual and informative.

Using lawyer platforms instead of investing in SEO?

To be on the safe side when it comes to advertising activity, some attorneys and law firms use advocacy platforms. A perfectly justified approach, nevertheless, the lawyer platform should not be the only means to create as visibility and reach on the Internet. The profile on such a platform does not make a good SEO of your website obsolete. Because before users search for the right lawyer or law firm on platforms, they search via search engines such as Google. Therein lies your first chance to attract attention and stand out from the crowd of competitors.

Tip: Use your profile or legal articles written by you on a lawyer platform as off-page SEO and thus refer to your own website. Even if the potential clients get to your website this way, you can convince them about you. On-page SEO helps you with this, for example, with the structuring of your website or appealing content.

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Which SEO measures should lawyers use?

Search engine optimization for your website as a lawyer or for your law firm is composed of four sub-areas: On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO, Local SEO and Technical SEO. The actions within these subsections all contribute to placing you as high as possible in search rankings.

On-page SEO for lawyers

This is the optimization of the content and structure of your website. It is composed of three important measures:

Keyword research

The keywords are the terms with which users search for information on the Internet and through which your website is in turn found. As a first step, you should find out what the search intention of potential clients is. This is the purpose of keyword research, where you define the keywords that are suitable for your law firm and legal advice.

Most searches for a lawyer were composed of three terms. They are the three most important keywords for your website:

  1. Lawyer Family Law Berlin
  2. Law Firm Criminal Law Munich
  3. Lawyer/law firm + legal field + place

In this way, you will not only be found by potential clients, but will receive only serious inquiries seeking legal advice in your area of expertise.

You can find more keywords that are suitable for you by considering the following points during your research:

  • most searched terms for lawyers and legal topics
  • Long-part keywords or other alternative search terms
  • Search volume by lawyers and specialties
  • Keyword competition
  • Frequency of keywords in competing texts

In addition to your keyword research, you should also take inventory. Which search terms have your clients used to find your website so far? Once you have captured the current state, you can use the results of your keyword research to determine the terms you want to rank for in the future.

For keyword research, you can use free tools such as Ubersuggest or Google Ads Keyword Planner.

Structuring your website

Hardly anything ensures a faster bounce rate than an unstructured and unclear website. A well-organized website not only makes a professional impression, but also improves the user experience. To structure your website, you should divide your keywords into topic clusters. For example, a main keyword could be family law.

The associated secondary keywords could be: divorce, prenuptial agreement, alimony, custody, gain, pension equalization. For each of the terms, both main and secondary keywords, you should create independent and informative content.

Content creation

The content on your website is designed to provide value to your visitors and potential clients – value they won’t find with your competitors. Content includes texts, for example legal articles, videos, images and audio material. Keep in mind here that the content you publish and use to promote yourself as a lawyer must always be factual, professionally relevant and generally valid.

When creating content, your keywords come into play. You should use them in headlines, texts, captions and link texts. Make sure your content doesn’t sound too SEO-heavy. There should be a natural reading flow that is not interrupted by the obvious accumulation of keywords.

Off-page SEO for lawyers

In addition to your own website, you should also use external websites to improve your visibility on Google. These links are called backlinks and work like a good recommendation. Firstly, this way your website will be found without the user having searched for your keywords. On the other hand, it is better rated by Google due to the backlinks.

However, only if the link-giving website is relevant to the topic and serious. As recommended earlier, you can also use advocacy platforms to draw attention to your own online presence.

Local SEO for lawyers

As a lawyer or law firm, you are locally bound. For legal advice, most users look for a provider in the local area. You should take advantage of this. Ensure more visibility in the search results of local users by always referring to the location of your law firm.

You can also be very specific and use not only the city name, but also neighborhoods or famous places. For example, you could then also be found under the following example searches: “Law firm for family law at Alexanderplatz” or “Lawyer for criminal law Berlin-Mitte”.

Technical SEO for lawyers

Of course, in addition to all the keywords, content and backlinks, the technology should also play a role. Users appreciate an up-to-date, straightforward and secure website. You design them with the help of technical SEO. Important points to consider are:

  1. an up-to-date CRM: Customer Relationship Management is used for contact management, sales management, productivity improvement and much more
  2. Speaking URLs: So URLs that are naturally readable. They are also called clean or clean URL.
  3. SSL encryption: Secure Sockets Layer encryption is about the connection between a server and a client being encrypted. Thus, it cannot be viewed by third parties.
  4. Crawlability: In order for a website’s content to be easily found by web crawlers, a website must be crawlable. This means that the website links must work and not be a dead end. If the website is crawlable, it can be indexed.
  5. Indexability: Every website must be both crawled by Google and indexed in the Google Index. This works like a registration, through which the page can only be displayed in search results.
  6. correct HTML labeling: Crawlers check HTML tags for keywords and other content to find the right website for a search query. So HTML tags should be labeled SEO compliant.

In addition to these measures, an appealing design, simple navigation and fast loading time also play an important role in good technical SEO.

SEO fuer Anwaelte

Do you need SEO advice as a lawyer?

So far, we’ve given you an overview of why SEO is important for lawyers and what goes into good search engine optimization. But there are a few more steps to consider to ensure your website ranks in the top of search queries, helping you attract more clients. Besides learning the SEO theory, especially the implementation of a good SEO is very time consuming. In addition, it is not done with one time. Search engine optimization is a very dynamic topic and to achieve long-term success, you need to follow the latest trends and developments.

With an SEO consultant, you can rely on their expertise to save you time and money – while your website appears higher and higher in Google search rankings. An SEO expert offers you a wide range of services from SEO inventory, through the development of a strategy, to its implementation.

Even if you leave the SEO of your website to an expert, you should know the basics of good search engine optimization. A sound knowledge of SEO can’t hurt even as a lawyer. The better your basic knowledge is, the better you can keep track of your SEO consulting and the easier it will be to work with your service provider.

Conclusion

Investing in SEO is not only a question of customer acquisition, but also of professional reputation. In a market with over 165,000 lawyers, you cannot afford to be lost in anonymity. Your presence on the internet must reflect your presence in the courtroom: professional, visible and respectful. SEO is not just a marketing tool, it is an essential part of your professional identity and presence.

As a leading SEO agency, our professional consultants will develop the right strategy for your law firm, keeping in mind all the important factors such as advertising restrictions for lawyers and law firms, as well as current trends and developments.

Über den Autor

CEO at | +49 89 54195608 | alexander.sperber@unitedads.de | + posts

Alexander Sperber ist Geschäftsführer und CEO von UnitedAds.
Seit fast 20 Jahren beschäftigt er sich mit den Themen Google Ads und SEO.

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