SEO for law firms is insanely competitive: we needed an edge
Delivering high-ranking web content through search engine optimization is difficult for any industry, brand, and business.
But SEO in the legal industry is particularly brutal. Writing a couple of blog posts simply won't get it done.
For one, keywords related to finding lawyers and law firms are among the most expensive across any industry. The Cost per Click (CPC) rate in Google Ads for the average ‘attorney’ keyword is $47.07, putting it at number four on Wordstream’s most expensive keyword list, only behind insurance, gas/electric, and mortgage.
For businesses providing legal services, organic search positions are at a premium. No wonder they look for only the best of the best among digital marketing agencies. As CEO of Constellation Marketing, I wanted to give them just that, which is why our company specializes only in marketing for law firms.
But the search engine ranking services are insanely competitive. We have to compete against an army of big marketing corporations and scrappy SEO companies only concerned about securing their next client and padding their profits. And we are building trust with our clients every month, trying to give them exactly what they need and exceed their expectations.
As a young digital marketing agency, we needed the right tools to help our content marketing team be more efficient, and more importantly, drive results for our clients through search engine ranking.
And with these tools, we have been able to be committed to what matters most: getting results for our clients, which has helped us establish long-lasting relationships.
Our old process for on-page optimization was a joke
In the beginning, mistakes were made.
Like with most agencies and digital entrepreneurs, I started everything myself. However, when you are a team of one, everything you come across is a learning process. Likewise, everything can become cumbersome quite quickly. And if you cannot adapt early, frequently, and successfully, you will fail.
So, our agency's first iteration of on-site SEO for our law firm clients was HIGHLY manual and incredibly costly. Our old content marketing strategy looked a little something like this:
- Identify our primary search query based on the client's target audience and retrieve the top 5-10 competitors in Ahrefs;
- Hop around and aggregate data from tools like Textise and SEO META;
- Manually tap the keyword research data into the spreadsheet and analyze.
It was a slow and tedious process that just wasn't effective. Ultimately, our end result wasn’t much better than just making edits based on our gut feeling.
Here comes Surfer—and the better way of working
We wanted to stand out of the crowd and be the best. We needed something that could streamline our optimization process and deliver a fantastic user experience while generating results for our clients.
All of our anguish seemed to dissipate when we found Surfer.
Creating legal content became much more fun, and our SEO services improved—both in terms of efficiency and quality.
But how did Surfer help us deliver the best possible results?
Let’s go into details.
Surfer saves time and improves the quality of our product
As we've grown, we needed repeatable processes that every expert on our content marketing team could easily replicate. When you're working with over 50 law firms on SEO strategy, efficient content creation procedures are essential.
So we tried simplifying the process using Surfer.
Now it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows from the get-go. The first time I used Surfer, I was overwhelmed, to put it mildly.
However, once I tackled my first audit on a piece of content, I had that "aha" moment and never looked back.
Since then, Surfer has been a core piece of our attorney SEO campaign stack.
It has enabled us to do 10x the number of optimization tasks in a month. But more importantly, we can use the data produced to optimize a website and execute our content marketing efforts without relying on our gut feeling.
For example, we learned that while high-end link profile often gets the most attention in SEO circles online, creating relevant content with strong keyword variations is equally, if not more important. That’s something Surfer analysis and hard data taught us.
Surfer-backed content improved positions 88% of the time
To put our money where our mouth is, we wanted to validate that Surfer wasn’t just a fun new tool, but was actively helping our law firm content marketing pages rank better in search engines. To do this, we analyzed all of the content optimizations created by our team in six months.
We tracked primary keyword movement after making content additions based on recommendations from Surfer. When we got the results back, it was clear: Surfer-backed content had a heavily favorable impact on law firm rankings, domain authority, and website traffic.
Here's a closer look at the numbers:
- Out of 61 pages, 45 had a positive impact on search terms in the first 1-3 months since we added Surfer content, an 88% success rate!
- We optimized 61 law firm website pages. On average, the primary keyword improved by 15 positions within 1-3 months.
- Only six Surfer-optimized law firm website pages had negative movement (12%).
Here’s how the numbers have grown for one of our clients.
Even amidst a pandemic, we're still able to create gains in Google Analytics for our lawyers. These types of results give us a ton of confidence when we are courting new potential clients. We know that we can help the pages on their sites by creating content through proven SEO strategies.
More Surfer-based findings: for law firms, bigger is better
There’s one more truth for the legal industry SEO that Surfer helped us discover. It always holds true, no matter if it's a blog post, a home page, or an attorney practice area page.
How did we discover it? For instance, we grouped our optimizations by the volume of new content we added to each page (word count). Out of all the pages that saw positive Google search result rankings, 41% had increased by at least 500 words.
Our results were a clear indication of the age-old adage: word count does matter, and it’s “the more, the better” when it comes to a lawyer's content marketing. We're excited to perform more case studies like this in the future as we test new SEO techniques and keyword strategy initiatives.
For law firm websites to get ahead, they should be investing heavily in content ideas, content promotion, and continuously optimizing their content marketing process.
Consistently earning top rankings in the difficult world of law firm SEO
Our law firm marketing SEO success story doesn't stop there.
Our content marketing results have been a huge driver of new business. Our SEO agency has earned 4,599 first-page positions on search engine results for our customers last month alone.
This includes first-page positions in highly-competitive law firm markets like Atlanta and Los Angeles.
And first-page rankings in highly-competitive law practice areas like personal injury and criminal defense.
Without Surfer's assistance, getting a foothold in those highly competitive markets would have been next to impossible for our SEO company.
Our agency’s growth and continued success rely on delivering high-performance results for every lawyer through effective content. The SEO industry is always changing. However, Surfer allows us to evolve with the dynamic landscape, making it easier to deliver superior SEO products for our customers over time.
Getting a strong competitive edge thanks to Surfer content intelligence
One of the most frequently asked questions from prospects is: how are you different?
It's all about creating website content that helps our customers meet their potential client. Link building is important, but our ability to create content at a consistently high-level is a key differentiator.
So, landing a top position in the search results can have a tremendous impact on attorneys’ revenue.
There is no doubt that Surfer has been instrumental to our growth and success, helping us deliver high-performance marketing for law firms to scale.
Surfer is the perfect fit for any SEO niche
Surfer helped Constellation Marketing:
- speed up our work;
- develop repeatable, scalable processes;
- get measurable, data-proven results in an insanely difficult market;
- win the trust of our clients—and get some new ones;
- find a competitive edge for ourselves and our clients;
- discover the power of content intelligence and data-based content marketing.
If you run a niche-specific agency too, I’m sure that you can get similar results with Surfer in no time. I trust you will get the right data to work with and create strong, effective processes.