If you sell legal services, then your law firm needs a website. Once you have a professionally designed site, you need to publish stellar legal content and get it to rank on the first page — so that prospective clients find you in search engines.
To guide your SEO efforts, I have compiled a list of the top law firm SEO stats you need to know for 2023. Let’s begin with answering basic questions around SEO marketing for lawyers.
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Frequently asked questions about law firm SEO
Here are answers to a few common questions around attorney SEO.
Why invest in law firm SEO: Statistics and overview
The law firm search engine market is highly competitive — even more so if you’re in a metropolitan area.
So how about paying for Google ads to get a direct berth at the top of SERPs? Why is law firm SEO important at all?
As I shared in the local SEO statistics post:
1. In a 2020 research by Brandmuscle, SEO was rated as the most effective channel by 79% of surveyed participants.
And it’s quickly growing year on year with attorneys investing more in law firm SEO.
The findings are in line with the Calibration-Legal 2020 survey findings:
2. 84% of their law firms planned to increase their spending on digital marketing technology and programs:
However, law firm SEO is challenging. Is it the most effective marketing strategy and worth investing your efforts in?
3. An analysis of 500 location-based websites by the Milestone Research department found that local and organic searches together make up to 69% of digital traffic:
- Paid search traffic dwarfs at 8% in comparison.
SEO makes even more sense for lawyers as the cost per click (CPC) for super competitive lawyer keywords can go as much as $500 to $1000.
It also helps that SEO converts well.
4. Ruler Analytics 2021 analysis of 100M data points found that:
- Organic search generates 66% of the call conversion in the legal sector,
- Further, it had a conversion rate of over 4% compared with the overall 2.4% rate of all the seven types of channels analyzed.
Avvo paid advertising conversion rates are meager in comparison.
5. A 2017 study based on the “potential clients” metric by Avvo put the overall conversion rate at a measly .0083%.
The introduction of local service ads (LSAs) for lawyers seems to have eaten organic clicks. But limited tests on commercial lawyer keywords by Juris Digital still found that the 3-Pack, traditional organic, and other searches still get over half of the clicks.
6. 27% of searchers scroll down to the map-pack and click a result there.
Law firm marketing and legal blogging statistics
1. Event sponsorships are the most used marketing tactic:
Compare that with the law firms that blog:
2. Only 27% of law firms maintain a blog, and a measly 5% of lawyers maintain a personal blog.
That shows a huge content marketing opportunity for law firms to capitalize on.
3. Client development and career development/network are among the top reasons that law firms state for blogging:
Improving the site rankings comes at the third spot, highlighting why many law firms have content gaps with competitors when it comes to their SEO.
4. Further, 46% of all bloggers state that clients retained their services because of their blogs.
So it’s time to create custom legal content for your law firm’s website and gain an edge over the competition.
And hey — you don’t need to do it all by yourself.
The Calibrate-Legal survey we referred to earlier also found that:
5. Digital marketing is the most frequently outsourced marketing/BD function in North America (alongside CRM/Database Management).
The findings align with the 2020 Websites & Marketing American Bar Association (ABA) report. It found that:
6. Site design (36%), search engine optimization (27%), and social media (24%) are among the tasks most likely to be handled by external marketing consultants.
It also makes business sense for attorneys to outsource their SEO.
Don’t take law firm marketing seriously till now?
8. Only 46% of respondents in the ABA survey above reported having a marketing budget.
9. 13% of respondents said that “no one” at their law firm is responsible for marketing in their firms.
Are you on the same boat?
Then, it’s time to dedicate up to 15% of your revenue to marketing (depending on your business goals and current growth stage).
10. a. The above Clio Legal Trends Report also found that the overall utilization rate and realization rate — KPIs law firms use to measure their performance — have increased in 2020 despite low workload overall.
b. However the overall utilization rate (as visible in the screenshot above) remains low at 31% — indicating an industry-wide problem faced by law firms. It means that, as of 2021, an average lawyer is billing clients merely 2.5 hours out of their 8-hour workday.
This means that an average lawyer doesn’t have enough clients to fill their workday or inefficiencies distract them from tackling it.
Side note: On The Map Marketing offers law firm digital marketing services for ambitious attorneys who want end-to-end management of their SEO, PPC, and site design.
Law firm website statistics
Every successful law firm has a website because that’s where all the action happens online. It’s also a representation of your law firm’s brand online. Continuing with the findings of the ABA survey above:
1. 87% of respondents said they have a website.
If you don’t have one yet, hire our law firm website design services today. We’ll craft a stellar SEO-friendly and conversion-focused attorney website for you.
But are these law firm websites any good?
2. 68% of respondents indicated that their website is mobile-friendly.
In the mobile-first world, not having a responsive site is losing business front and center.
Client expectations have changed drastically in 2020 and 2021.
The Clio Legal Trends 2021 Report found that:
3. 66% of clients seek online payments followed by automated payments.
4. Further clients are increasingly looking for remote options now when hiring a lawyer:
Does your attorney site take virtual consultations?
In terms of investment:
5. Marketing website and domain is a moderate expense for 30% of lawyers who are involved in finances:
But when asked about future investment, law firms said that they were most likely to spend on software with marketing website and domain standing at the second place:
Remember the limited tests on commercial lawyer keywords by Juris Digital?
6. It found that:
- 64% of organic clicks went to directories, review sites, and non law-firm websites,
- But 31% of all map clicks went to the firm’s website link, highlighting its importance.
Now that we’ve established its importance, here’s where law firm websites stand and lack.
7. Original research by On The Map Marketing (conducted in October 2021) of the top 50 SEO ranking personal injury law firms found that: the average domain rating (DR) for best-ranking attorney websites in Austin is 35.
- A lack of internal linking (at 73%) and not investing in proper keyword research (at 67%) are the top two issues in law firm SEO,
- The next issues include incorrect page indexation, low-value thin content, and poor backlink profile.
Local search engine optimization statistics for lawyers
Local SEO for lawyers is important to get in front of local prospects in your area that are seeking legal services. But let’s talk numbers starting with the Ruler Analytics 2021 analysis of 100M data points we referred to earlier:
1. 58% of visitors looking for legal services come from paid search visits. However, paid searches only have a 1.8% conversion rate.
2. iLawyerMarketing 2020 survey found that:
- 85% of respondents prefer using Google as a primary source for research when looking for a lawyer,
- The majority would like to talk to three law firms before choosing a lawyer,
- And 98% would read online reviews of the attorney before hiring them.
See how your Google Business profile, online reviews, and local SEO play a role in getting you hired?
Also, local SEO is mobile.
3. The majority of users rely on mobile devices and desktops both to view your website:
4. Among other interesting insights, Zahavian Legal Marketing, in its analysis of top-ranking law firm pages, found that:
- 91.5% of ranking pages from law firm sites use relatively recent and professional photos,
- WordPress is the default content management system, with 62.2% of law firm sites on page 1 using it,
- Law firms that frequently update and add more content pull in 400% traffic than firms with inactive blogs.
Social media marketing for law firms stats
Lastly, let’s look at how the numbers stack up for social media usage by law firms. The ABA tech report 2020 we referred to earlier found that:
1. 81% of law firms maintain a presence on social media.
2. The top social media platforms used by law firms are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Martindale, and Avvo:
3. 29% of lawyers said a client retained their legal services due to social media use.
4. The Good2bSocial 2021 Social Law Firm Index found that: 100% of its surveyed law firms are on LinkedIn, and 75% had podcasts.
While social media is a great brand awareness medium for attorneys, remember its conversions would come nowhere near SEO. When potential clients are looking for legal services immediately, they will use search engines for help.
SEO offers compounding returns. You’ve to invest in legal link building, creating SEO content, and optimizing your Google My Business profile for a few months. It might take 12 to 18 months to start seeing traction, but if you keep investing in law firm SEO, your site’s growth will be exponential.
Hopefully, the law SEO stats I shared in this article will help you get started with planning your SEO marketing strategy on the right foot. And enable you to rank at the top of search results, thereby lending you new clients. Up next, read our article on legal marketing statistics.
Want to learn more about legal marketing? Take a look at some of our top resources:
- SEO for Lawyers
- Best WordPress Themes for Lawyers
- Law Firm SEO Agency
- Law Firm Marketing
- Law Firm SEO Case Study
- Divorce Lawyer SEO
- Personal Injury Lawyer SEO
- PI Law SEO Case Study
- SEO for DUI Attorneys
- Local SEO for Law Firms
- SEO for Immigration Lawyers
- Link Building for Law Firms
- Best Law Firm Logos
SEO for Lawyers: (Step-by-Step) Law Firm SEO Guide