attorney at desk

With decades of experience in the SEO field, you learn a few things. One lesson is that all industries are not created equally. If your organization created something truly unique (and you follow SEO best practices) you can own your rankings. However, if you’re the one millionth attorney to pass the bar and build a website, you face a much harder road to ranking well. Today we’re going to cover why SEO for attorneys is so difficult and what you can do about it.

The reason why SEO for attorneys is difficult is simple, it comes down to competition and cost. There are millions of attorneys nationwide and many of them can practice in multiple regions. Given how lucrative a thriving law practice can be, the bigger agencies aren’t shy about investing in both SEO and advertising. If you’re moving into a high-cost, high competition vertical, you may find success elusive. Mortgage companies and insurance companies face the same challenges.

The news isn’t all bad however. Here are a few concrete steps you can take to increase your chances of success, even in a crowded marketplace:

If you only practice in one state or (even better) one city, stay local. If you’re in Des Moines, you don’t need to rank for keywords like ‘best attorney in america’. Instead, focus on ‘attorney in des moines’. By staying close to your physical location, you can sidestep a major barrier, competing with large national law firms.

Similarly, if you have a very specialized law practice, use that to your advantage. Instead of trying to rank for ‘lawyer in des moines, focus on ‘probate attorney in des moines’ (assuming that’s your specialty). The more specific you can be, the more likely it is that you can start ranking well. If your practice (or your website) is brand new, reaching some short term goals can help you build a reputation and some success online before you start reaching for your longer term goals.

To summarize, the difficulty you might experience in the ‘SEO for attorneys’ world is about competition and how aggressive your peers are. If you can find ways to sidestep the pack and create a niche for your practice, you’ll be more likely to create some short term wins that can help fuel longer term success.