A Beginners Guide to Personal Injury SEO

As a personal injury lawyer who provides legal services to those who have been injured, your goal is to provide respite to your clients. However, finding new clients may not be as easy as it used to be before the internet was such an essential part of our lives as it is today.

To stay competitive in today’s market, you must know how to position your business for success on the internet. This is particularly important because the new generation (yep, including me) was practically born on the internet, and they rely on it for everything. If you want to succeed with personal injury in 2022, you need to be where your clients are.

In this article, we will discuss the basics you need to know about personal injury SEO to give you an introduction to what can be considered the most powerful tool for marketing on the internet today. If you’re looking for a way to organically attract clients, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get started!

What Is Personal Injury SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation for Lawyers scaled

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. In the case of personal injury lawyers, personal injury SEO is the method through which you make your website appear on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or otherwise.

It is the process of targeting search engine result pages (SERPs) to bring high-quality traffic to your law firm’s website. A well-thought-out SEO strategy will ensure that your target clients organically discover your website while browsing search engines.

The key to succeeding with personal injury SEO is to figure out what your potential clients are searching for on Google. By answering these questions, it lets you position yourself as the expert and build trust and credibility with your audience.

When it comes to a successful personal injury SEO campaign, it boils down to the following:

What are Search Engines?

Google SEO scaled

Search engines are automated systems that sift through billions of content across the internet and use thousands of factors to see which ones are most likely to answer a user’s query. The most popular search engines are Google, Bing & Yahoo.

Google Search operates using bots in the background that identify and catalogue all available content on the Internet (text, photos, videos, etc.) through a process known as “crawling and indexing.” The bots then rank the content based on how well it fits the query.

Although there are many search engines used around the world, the only search engine that you really need to worry about is Google. Google has a massive market share in the English-speaking world and even much of the non-English world. While there are outliers, such as South Korea where Naver is king, Google is the most important search engine for the vast majority of personal injury lawyers.

Why Is SEO for Personal Injury Lawyers Important?

Personal Injury Law SERP

Search engine results for the term ‘Personal Injury Lawyer Melbourne’

When you set aside the hype around paid advertising, social media, etc., as means to generate traffic for websites, you realize that the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines.

Organic search results optimized with SEO have the potential to attract 20x more visitors to your website than paid advertising. The main reason for this is that your target audience is more likely to trust a search result they found organically because it ranked at the top of the page (or close to it) than they are to trust you just because a popular influencer recommended you or an ad appeared promoting your brand. This fact is reinforced by statistics that reveal that only 2.8% of people who search in the US click on paid advertisements.

Of all the methods of promoting your brand, SEO is one of the only methods that, set up correctly, continue to pay dividends over time. If you provide stellar content that is of great help to your target audience, and it includes the right keywords, your traffic can snowball over time. Advertising, on the other hand, requires continuous funding to send traffic to your site.

The fact is that Search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) want you to succeed. If you can provide helpful content which they can present to their readers in search results, everyone stands to benefit. To buttress this fact, Google even has a Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide to help you understand what you need to do and to avoid to succeed.

If you study the Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, one thing that will pop out is this: Don’t play games. Don’t try to trick the search engine. Focus, instead, on providing visitors to your website with great content that will meet their goals.

Some of the other guidelines included in the Starter Guide are basic principles such as:

  • Make pages primarily for users, not search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. If it doesn’t help your audience, it shouldn’t exist on your website.
  • Work on developing content that makes your website unique, valuable, and engaging, or any of the three.

It also includes some things that you should avoid:

  1. AI-generated content. Put your blood, sweat, and tears into your content.
  2. Taking part in link building schemes
  3. Making pages with little or no fresh content
  4. Cloaking: The practice of serving different material to search engine crawlers than to visitors
  5. Text and links that are hidden

Who should you target with Personal Injury SEO?

Personal Injury Law Local SEO scaled

As a Personal Injury Lawyer, your business relies on physical interactions with your clients and the ability to physically meet them. Due to the importance of location, we advise you to adopt a localized personal injury SEO strategy. 

The localized SEO personal injury strategy means that you should be targeting a local audience within your state of residence, and if you want, you could also include surrounding states to broaden the potential client pool. 

There are two factors to consider here. How large of an area are you willing to work in? Working state-wide might cause issues down the line with difficulty meeting clients. If you have multiple branches, this might be an option. The second factor to consider is ‘where are you trained to practice law?’ You don’t want to be targeting a neighbouring state or country if you can’t work within that region.

With personal injury SEO, it’s key to begin local. If you’re based in London, someone visiting your website from New York is irrelevant. Of course, if you’re an international firm this is an exception. For the majority of firms, however, you want to put all of your SEO efforts into your local area. These are the clients that are most likely to become leads.

Personal Injury Marketing for Lawyers: A Step-by-step Guide

Step 1: Google My Business

Personal Injury Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) search results.

A Google My Business listing is available if you have a local office from which you operate. Having your business listed on the Google My Business database will lend credibility to your website and personal injury lawyer SEO-optimized content because potential clients will be presented with all of your business details right on the Google Search Results page. 

To get listed, you must abide by Google’s strict standards which guide what you should and shouldn’t do when generating and managing a listing for your local business.

To have your business included in the Google My Business database, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a physical address
  • You must serve clients face-to-face
  • Some of the other details you will be required to submit are: 
    • Name
    • Phone number
    • Website URL
    • Company category
    • Hours of operation

All this business data must be represented honestly and accurately to avoid being penalized.

Step 2: Know Your Audience

Personal Injury lawyer Target Customer scaled

To be successful with your personal injury SEO strategy, you must know your audience. This thorough understanding of their needs will enable you to position yourself to fulfil their needs and meet their desired outcome. If you are an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer, then you can build off of your personal experience, but if you are new (perhaps you have just graduated and are trying to build your clientele), it may be best that you go out and ask questions.

No one ever conducts searches just for the sake of it, certainly not in the personal injury space. If the individual is searching for something, there is a goal they have in mind.

Some user search goals to consider are:

  • Knowledge: People who fall into this category are searching for information. One example of a search term is “what is the personal injury claim process?”. A user who searches this is clearly looking for information. If this is something your target audience would search for, then you should have content on your website that would answer this query.
  • Navigation: People who fall into this category are searching for something in particular, it could be a particular website or a particular location. An example would be “personal injury lawyers around me”. A search result for this query would most likely highlight personal injury lawyers located around the user. This is why it is important to ensure you have a Google My Business listing in place, complete with the exact location of your business. 
  • Transaction: People who fall into this category are interested in making a purchase. An example of a search term that would fall into this category is “Bestselling books in personal injury law”. You could have content on your website that lists out bestselling books in your industry to satisfy the needs of people who make this type of search.

Find out what your clients are searching for and why, that will serve as the basis for your next steps.

Step 3: Use the Right Keywords for your Content

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Keywords as seen on Keysearch.

The reason we have emphasized step 2 so much is that in reality, the kind of content you believe is ideal is usually wildly different from what your audience wants. By developing a thorough understanding of your audience, you will find it much easier to use keywords to position your content optimally.

If you did the research recommended in Step 2, you should already have a list of keywords. To determine if the keywords you have found are as valuable as you think they are, you should consider using a keyword research tool. Keyword research tools like SEMrush, KWFinder, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, and Google Keyword Planner provide you with the average monthly search volume, and variations on your keywords that may be more popular with searchers, common questions, as well as content ideas you might not have considered.

As you go about using the keyword research tools, try to avoid the mistake of thinking that keywords with a higher search volume are the most appropriate ones for your website. In reality, higher search volumes mean tougher competition. Sometimes the competition may be websites owned by companies that are well known in the industry and have more resources available to acquire top Google search results. 

In most cases, the best approach is to use specific search terms with mid-high search volumes and less competition. This allows your website to get seen by potential clients with a higher chance of being converted to paying customers. 

A second benefit to applying mid-high search volume keywords is that although higher search volume keywords may attract more visitors to your website, those keywords tend to be vague, hence the larger number of searches. Keywords with low or moderate search volumes tend to be more specific, so they are likely to be used by people who are ready to purchase a product or service. It’s much better to have 3,000 visitors a month, of which 100 become paying customers; than to have 100,000 visitors who may still be undecided, and convert just 10 of them.

An alternative route to building keywords for your website is as follows:

Find Keywords Used by Your Competitors: 

Explore your competitor’s websites and use a mix of tools (keyword research tool, webpage/website rank checker tools, number of comments, etc.) to determine which content attracts the most topics and what the keywords are for that content.

You could use the results of your search in one of two ways:

  • Use the keywords to develop content for your website: If a large number of people are already consuming that content, you might as well jump on the bandwagon.
  • Avoid the keywords altogether: If your goal is to build a truly unique website, then you can use the results of your research to determine what you should avoid.

Find Popular Keywords in Your Region:

You could also build your list of keywords by using keyword research tools to find the top keywords in your region. Tools like Google Analytics and Google Trends will be particularly useful for this as they will enable you to discover what keywords and topics are trending in your region. This information will help you determine the best keywords to use and what topics to explore as you go about developing content for your website.

Keyword/Topic research tools to consider for Personal Injury Marketing:

  • SEMrush
  • KWFinder
  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Trends

Step 4: What are your goals?

SEO Goals scaled

SMART goals are essential for SEO.

The success of your personal injury lawyer SEO depends on the Key Performance Indicators you pick from the beginning. What does success look like for you? This is what your KPIs will summarize. It is important to have this documented to serve as a guide for your SEO marketing activities.

Some examples of potential KPIs are:

  • Email signups
  • Contact form submissions
  • Clicks-to-call
  • Clicks-to-website
  • Clicks-for-driving-directions

KPI Goal Setting Tips:

  • Simple: As you begin your SEO journey, you do not need to set overtly complex goals. Take it one step at a time. Start with something simple and reasonable.
  • Trackable: Whatever the goal you choose, it needs to be trackable. If you cannot track it, then you cannot control it.
  • Achievable: Avoid being outlandish, do you think you can capture the entire market for Personal Injury in your state or country? Set goals that are achievable. This doesn’t mean you should aim low; it just means you should set goals that are feasible and within your capacity to achieve given enough effort.
  • Be specific: Be clear about what you want. What do you want? By what date do you want to have achieved it? What business results will it achieve?

Whatever the KPIs are, they should centre around concrete goals that will impact your business in the real world, instead of vanity metrics that look good on paper. That is the mistake many newbies make. They see huge visitor numbers and feel good about it. That’s great if your business relies on a website attracting lots of traffic, but SEO for a personal injury lawyer needs to go beyond metrics like ranking and traffic.

SEO used in Personal Injury marketing for Lawyers should centre around conversions because it is only by adopting this focus that your SEO efforts will yield solid results for your business.

Step 5: Measure your Progress

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At this point, you already have everything in place. You have an understanding of what Personal Injury SEO entails; you know your audience; you understand keywords, how to find them and how to use them; and you have your goals in place. All that’s left is to understand how you should go about measuring the effects of your SEO strategy.

Monitoring your engagement metrics will enable you to evaluate the health of your website and the effectiveness of your SEO strategy. Engagement metrics help you gauge how visitors to your website are engaging with the content on your website. Some popular metrics for gauging the level of engagement are:

Conversion rate: This has to do with your KPIs. Let’s say, for example, your SEO KPI is Clicks-to-calls. The conversion rate will help you measure how many visitors are clicking through to your website and then taking your contact information to potentially make a call. To measure this, you use the following formula:

Number of conversions (In our example, how many people copied your contact info?) divided by the number of unique visits.

Measuring this metric allows you to discern what the return on investment (ROI) on your website is.

Time spent: This helps you gauge what kinds of content or what pages your website users find most engaging. For example, if you have a video on personal injury law or personal injury law compensation, the number of time users spend watching it, compared to the amount of time it should take, will reveal how engaging your content is. 

Pages per visit: This metric reveals how many pages visitors to your website viewed before ending their session. The usefulness of this metric is tied to your goals and the customer journey you have prepared. For example, if your goal is to draw clients to your website using an article, and then prompt them to visit your “Contact Us” page at the end of the article, this metric will show you how many users did that.

Scroll depth: This metric measures how far down visitors scrolled on individual pages of your website. If there is important content that you want visitors to see, it may be better to keep it at the upper portion of the page, where it is easy to find, so that it can keep visitors engaged and scrolling.

Bounce rate: This collects the number of times where users viewed only one page and then left your website. It is important to try to understand why this may be the case. If there is something wrong with your landing page or whichever page it is visitors are seeing first, you should fix it. 

Points to Consider

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Before concluding this article there are a few points that you should always keep in mind when it comes to personal injury SEO. We’ve worked with a lot of firms over the past few years, and all too often they forget about one of these key things.

While these might seem obvious, many firms forget about these basic marketing principles when it comes to SEO.

The Client must always Come First

Whatever your client acquisition strategy may be, you must create your content in a way that will ensure it appeals to your target audience. If your goal is to increase the number of Gen Z personal injury victims you represent, there is no use in creating content that is geared toward the needs and interests of other audiences. Put yourself in your client’s shoes, and think about what they need to know. What are their pain points?

Educate, Don’t Always Sell

They say that you should never ask a girl to marry you on the first date, this is applicable in digital marketing as well. A crucial mistake law firms make is going for the hard sell on the first interaction. Your goal when it comes to digital marketing should be to position yourself as an expert.

People don’t want to follow or consume the content of people or businesses who are always selling. Even influencers, who make a living off of promoting brands and their products have to strike a balance between being helpful for the sake of it and being helpful because they want to make an income from it. 

So first and foremost, seek to be helpful! Position your brand as the expert that can be trusted regarding any issue surrounding Personal Injury Law and you will win in the long run.

Conclusion: Next Steps

You should have a handle on what personal injury SEO entails. It is not an overly complicated process, but it requires effort and the will to continue to learn if mastery is to be achieved.

Now that you have a grasp on the basics of what personal injury lawyer SEO will entail, the next step is to put everything you have learned in this article into practice. One of the biggest mistakes we see people new to SEO make time and again is going too far with their studies.

They want to know everything there is to know before they even take the first steps. While this could be good, it is an inefficient way to go about marketing your services because there is far too much information out there for you to be able to consume it all in a lifetime. 

Take the first steps by putting everything you have learned on lawyer SEO to practice, and you will be on your way to achieving success like you could have never imagined.

Personal Injury SEO FAQ

Personal Injury SEO FAQ

Do Personal Injury Lawyers Need SEO?

In 2022, everyone can benefit from SEO. In particular, personal injury lawyers can benefit from having a constant stream of organic leads, brand awareness, and an increase in authoritativeness.

What Is SEO for Personal injury Lawyers?

SEO is the process of optimizing your website content for search engines. This means giving your personal injury website and content more visibility through Google and other search engines.

How can I Do Personal Injury SEO?

To do personal injury SEO you will want to focus on three elements of SEO – onpage, offpage and technical. On page are changes that you make on your own website, offpage SEO are links that are added to your website from other third-party websites. Technical SEO includes elements such as your website page speed.

What ROI Can I see from SEO?

To be realistic, this is impossible to predict. However, many firms see ROIs in the hundreds of percent after a few years.

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