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Legal SEO is brutally competitive.
Fighting for rankings at the top of Google can be a frustrating (and expensive) process.
Over the last 10 years we’ve perfected that process – we’ve helped countless law firms get more customers from Google.
A screenshot of the increase in Google traffic for one of our law firm clients, Cueto Law Group.
Within the legal industries, there’s nuances. A DUI attorney requires a slightly different approach than a divorce attorney.
In this post, we’re going to break down the specific process of how to rank an immigration attorney’s website.
Let’s get into it.
Check out our videos for deeper insights, or tune in to our Podcast for legal marketing insights on the go.
For demonstration purposes, we’ve chosen to use the website of George Giosmas, an immigration attorney in Hollywood, Florida.
Our analysis always focuses on the 3 core parts of an SEO strategy:
Before we go into the results, let’s review a few key goals to focus on.
For an immigration attorney wanting to win new clients and increase revenue, the goals of SEO are:
We show you how to improve your SEO, increase web traffic, and get more clients using this example.
You can do a lot of this yourself. Or you can work with agencies, such as WEBRIS, to get the results you need.
Let’s dive in, starting with a technical review.
At WEBRIS, we always start every SEO Sprint™ with a technical SEO review.
We do this because if a client’s website has technical problems preventing them from getting web traffic, these need fixing before we can take action to increase traffic using SEO strategies, tactics, and tools.
We use Sitebulb, a website crawling tool that helps us understand how search engines view a website.
When we dump George Giosmas website into the software, we’re looking to analyze a few things:
Most legal websites are smaller in size and generally don’t have a ton of technical issues.
The Giosmas law is no different – no major red flags, aside from blog content not making it into Google’s index.
Now we review the content (web copy, content on pages, articles). There’s a good chance that’s the main reason this website isn’t getting enough traffic.
Google wants to rank website’s that are structured properly according to their Webmaster Guidelines.
When you take these Guidelines and apply them to the context of a legal website, this is the high level structure to follow:
Giosmas Law uses a top level navigation and a side (faceted) navigation covering all of their practice areas.
While we don’t have a major issue with this, we would prefer to see a folder structure organizing practice areas:
This gives the website a more comfortable structure to add more content to the website, including attorney pages, case pages and testimonial pages.
Practice area pages need to satisfy 2 goals:
On the website we audited, these pages were incredibly thing and need much more depth in order to rank well.
Here’s a quick summary of our recommendations on how to improve on page performance:
People scan and don’t read every word. But search engines do.
More text — known as long-form content — contributes to higher rankings in search engines. It’s not that Google looks at a page’s word count and decides it should rank higher.
No, it’s a little more complicated. Search engines always are. However, pages with more text (over 2,000 words), contributes to higher rankings in SERPs.
Pages with more text tend to be more comprehensive. And for search engines, that’s a big plus. It shows you’re an expert on a particular topic, such as a “Green card attorney.”
Longer-form articles are also particularly helpful if you want to pick up backlinks, which help websites rank higher.
On service pages (and blogs), subheadings need to follow a clear, logical structure.
People don’t read every word. They scan quickly, usually on a phone.
Web copy should always be persuasive, especially on service pages. Every line and sub-header should encourage people to pick up the phone, send an email, or fill out a form.
We all know people buy from people.
What made you read this article?
Maybe you’ve seen some of my videos on YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, or pictures on Instagram. You were curious, and wanted to learn more.
That’s the power of video!
We always encourage clients to start recording videos and posting them online. Videos put a face to the name. Add some personality. All you need is an iPhone, they record in 4K, and simple editing software.
Check out Michelle Murphy, Esq. on TikTok, she’s amazing!
Use images too — of you working at your desk, meeting clients, in court —to show potential clients more. Plus, make use of testimonials. Publish as many as you can get from happy clients.
At the top of the funnel, you’re trying to pull in traffic from questions people are asking in search engines, such as:
Attorneys are hired from referrals and recommendations. This also means friends and family are searching for attorneys to help their relatives and friends.
Create content that helps drive those referrals, using top of the funnel content.
Answer questions people have around immigration to capture and drive more traffic from the top of the funnel.
Now, onto the other tactics we know would increase traffic for immigration attorneys.
In this case, the majority of this attorney’s clients’ speak Spanish as their first or second language.
As 90% of his customers are from South America, Cuba, Venezuela, and other Spanish-speaking countries, this is an awesome way to pick up Spanish long-tail keyword traffic.
Use this to your advantage. Most attorneys won’t, immediately making your services more accessible in your customers’ language.
Here’s how an immigration attorney can pull in more sales leads from Spanish speaking customers:
Links are Google’s ways of registering votes in a massive online popularity contest.
For example, if Huffington Post included George Giosmas in a list of top 10 immigration attorneys in Miami, Florida, this would show Google that he’s one of the best. The backlink from the high-traffic Huffington Post would be a valuable ranking indicator.
Getting links (backlinks) isn’t easy for immigration attorneys, but here’s how to do it:
1. Fill out profiles on platforms and directories.
Go to legal directories. You can fill out a profile for free or very cheap, and even advertise. These establish foundational links — adding some much-needed oomph and credibility for your website in SERPs — and they might even drive some traffic and inbound leads.
Check out our guide to Avvo marketing here
For immigration attorneys, one of the best ways to get some free PR is to sign-up to Help a Reporter Out (HARO). This way, reporters know you’re an attorney worth contacting when they need a comment for an immigration story. It does take work, so this might be worth outsourcing.
3. Guest posting.
This is another highly-recommended way to pick up backlinks and increase your website’s position in SERPs. Perspective from a legal point of view. Pitch guest articles on legal websites and even other lawyers’ websites (where you both provide different services).
Backlinks help search engines rank websites higher. It’s one of the best ways to increase traffic and sales leads over time.
Focus on quality, not quantity. You’re doing well if you can land 20 – 30 links every year.
Before pitching to get links, you need to invest in high-quality top-of-the-funnel content.
It’s a lot harder to get links to commercial pages. However, if you’re publishing high-quality, top of the funnel search-intent focused long-form articles, then these are assets others will want to link to.
George Giosmas is based in Hollywood, Florida. Location-based content in Google would help more people looking for an immigration attorney in that area find him.
Local Search runs on a different algorithm than the core search engine algorithms. Local Search is driven by results shown on Google Maps and Google Business Profile.
If you want to rank in these search results, do the following:
Reviews help with local search rankings. It shows Google you’re an active business and that customers are happy with your services.
Reach out after helping clients. You can automate this or send manual emails. Once you’ve got positive reviews, publishing these on your website is equally helpful. This acts as social proof, showing new potential clients why they should become customers.
You can also bid for adverts within Google Map listings, using Local Service Ads via Google Ads. Start small. See what works. Or work with an agency to get an online advertising campaign launched.
And there we go. We hope you found this helpful. If you’re an immigration attorney wanting to increase web traffic and sales leads, this is how you use SEO to get better results.
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