How To Succeed with Personal Injury Law SEO
Personal injury SEO is one of the most competitive industries we deal with across our client verticals.
The average cost per click (CPC) on Google for personal injury attorneys can exceed $80/click. When you can achieve high organic Google rankings for PI attorneys, this earned placement is one of the most profitable forms of marketing.
I will share the success story of Kurgis & Associates, our personal injury client in Columbus, OH. We got this firm ranking towards the top of Google for the coveted keyword, “Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer.”
After reading this article, you will better understand the tactics that helped this firm reach the top of Google. You can leverage this strategy for your own firm. To start, it’s essential to understand some foundational SEO items that play a significant role in the overall strategy.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Succeed with Personal Injury Law SEO
- 2 Understanding Authority Score & SEO
- 3 Acquiring Links for PI Attorneys
- 4 Keyword Research for PI Attorneys
- 5 Other Areas of SEO Focus for PI Attorneys
According to Ahrefs, authority is the strength of a particular domain. The stronger your site’s authority, the easier it is to rank on Google’s first page. The authority score is predicated on the number of external links pointing back to your site.
Kevin & Associates has an authority score of 11/100. You might not think this is great, but for a local business, anything above a ten is considered above average. Some top competitors in Columbus have a higher authority score: BG Miller (19/100) and Elk & Elk (33/100).
Note: Our agency loves the domain overview tool from SEMRush (screenshot below). I recommend comparing your authority versus competitors ranking ahead of you on Google to understand the separation.
If you’re a personal injury lawyer with a low authority score, it can take longer to outrank your competitors, regardless of how well your content is optimized.
A lot of times, SEO agencies will guarantee page-one rankings in a short amount of time. The reality is that if you have a low authority, it can take time to build backlinks to boost your credibility in the eyes of Google.
If a personal injury law firm has been around for over 50 years, won hundreds of large settlements, and has had a website since the late 90s, it makes sense that Google will prioritize this site over a brand new PI firm. It takes time to build credibility and trust.
The best way to start building your domain authority is to get backlinks pointing back to your site. This is an important element of SEO, as these links from authoritative sources help show Google your site’s authority and credibility.
We search the first page of Google for the query we’re trying to rank for to find relevant local directories. For the query “Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer,” FindLaw, Super Lawyers, and Justia have directories that rank on the first page of Google (highlighted below). We recommend adding your firm to each of these directory sites. While these backlinks are no-follow, they still drive relevant traffic from the query you’re looking to rank for.
Local Directories & Local Sponsorships
In addition to industry directories, we recommend local directories. Examples of local directories include the Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce. Search for sites in your city that showcase local businesses and add your firm. This is an excellent way to establish local authority.
I also recommend a personal injury lawyer sponsoring community events, such as a youth hockey league. This helps with awareness in your local community, and you can earn valuable local backlinks if those community events list their partners on their websites.
Earlier, I mentioned that despite only having an authority score of 11, Kurgis’ backlink profile is strong. There are external links from influential sites linking to kevinkurgis.com. BizJournals.com, for example, is a news publication with an authority score of 67. The article linking to kevinkurgis.com discusses how a “Texas company was ordered to stop using Columbus attorneys’ names in Google searches.”
When you win a significant case or have news to share, reach out to local media outlets. This can enhance your website’s authority and credibility. You will also notice the local directories linking to kevinkurgis.com in the backlink profile below.
Keyword Research for PI Attorneys
Building a list of the primary keywords that your business is trying to rank for is important. This will help you outline your strategy on the SEO side.
Alignment on Practice Areas
When we onboarded Kurgis & Associates, we developed a comprehensive keyword list based on their practice areas (see practice area list below). We need to understand their most important practice areas to prioritize what to tackle first with our SEO deliverables.
- Auto Accidents
- Drunk Driving
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Dog & Animal Bite
- Workplace Injuries
- Social Security Disability
- Property Damage & Vehicle Claim
Alignment on Keywords
Once aligned on practice areas, we start compiling keywords we want to rank for. We run these keywords by the client to ensure relevancy.
Below is an example of formulating our keywords into a Google Doc.
Adding Keywords into Tracking Tool
Once the client approves the keyword list, we add the keywords to SEMRush for tracking purposes. Tracking keywords allows us to monitor progress versus competitors.
Below, you can see that Kurgis & Associates ranks #1 on Google for “Auto Accident Lawyer Columbus” and “Car Accident Lawyer Columbus,” coveted keywords that drive profitable organic clicks.
Your personal injury law firm should always track keywords versus competitors. Changes made to your site should positively impact SEO rankings if you have the right strategy.
Want to improve your rank on Google? Learn more about The Media Captain’s SEO Services!
Additional Notes on Keyword Tracking
- The SEO tracking tool provides an official rankings benchmark before and after changes, allowing measurement over time.
- Since most personal injury searches are localized, ensure you track keywords at the city or state level.
- Based on the number of practice areas and locations, we usually track hundreds of keywords for most personal injury clients.
You now have realistic expectations for how long it will take to rank based on your website’s authority. You also know how to track progress versus competitors with keyword tracking. It’s now time to dive into on-page optimization.
- Please read my blog about location pages. Attorney-clients often build many pages across suburbs and cities throughout their state. My blog post lists the pros and cons of this strategy.
- If you are an attorney looking to drive more leads on Google, check out my blog on how to generate more leads via Google Local Service Ads.
Other Areas of SEO Focus for PI Attorneys
Long gone are the days when you could add 1,000 words of fluff onto a practice area page, sprinkle in keywords, and rank well. Google wants informative content from experts, answering the questions website visitors seek.
I will focus on the auto accident page on the Kurgis & Associates website for the quality content example. This page is informative, showcases expertise, and provides valuable information on auto accidents. Rather than just being a fluff piece with many keywords, the information on this page is helpful to someone seriously hurt in an auto accident who is considering a personal injury lawyer.
The bullets below highlight the most important parts of the auto accident page. Google liked the content on this page, which helped catapult Kurgis toward the top of Google for the coveted keyword “Columbus car accident lawyer.”
- Firm Experience: Kurgis & Associates has experienced Columbus auto accident lawyers to help file lawsuits and ensure proper compensation.
- The firm assists with accidents caused by weather, road hazards, mechanical failure, reckless driving, etc.
- They have experience with various types of accidents – rear-end, hit-and-run, drunk driving, etc.
- They help clients get compensated for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses related to the accident.
- Kurgis & Associates documents injuries compassionately and updates clients on claim progress.
- Causes, Laws, Insurance, and After Effects: Many accidents are caused by distracted driving – texting, calling, eating, etc.
- Ohio has laws banning texting and using hand-held cell phones while driving to reduce distracted driving accidents.
- Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts, so having a lawyer ensures proper reimbursement.
- Psychological issues like PTSD, anxiety, and depression are common long-term effects of auto accidents.
- If you are a personal injury lawyer, review the content on your practice area pages. If you weren’t the one to write the content, you’ll likely find room for improvement. This expert-written content can help bolster your keyword rankings.
- We love asking our personal injury lawyers questions to expand on content on specific practice area pages. If you read our blog about the AI tools we love using, you’ll learn how we efficiently gather expert content.
Optimizing headings is some of the lowest-hanging fruit that can lead to quick SEO wins. It’s important to incorporate practice area and location keywords for your headings.
For Kurgis & Associates, Columbus Car/Auto Accident variations are referenced in the headings. There are also keywords we’re trying to rank for sprinkled onto the page. The strong content was the main reason this page ranks so well, but the strong headings certainly help.
- “Columbus Auto Accident Lawyers” in the H1
- “Car Accident Lawyers in Columbus” in the H2
- “Columbus Car Accident Lawyers” within the body text.
- Google likes authoritative pages on your site linking to other relevant pages [learn more about internal linking].
- Kurgis’ auto accident page has internal links to the “about us” page along with the FAQ and “understanding your rights” page. Google likes to see people click from one page to another, showing they find your site’s information informative.
- It’s recommended to link to other authoritative pages throughout your site internally. For example, on the auto accident page for Kurgis, there’s more of an opportunity to link to the drunk driving, motorcycle accidents, and trucking accident pages.
- After analyzing hundreds of personal injury attorney blogs, they often miss the mark.
- I deleted over 200 blogs for one of our personal injury clients on their website. The content was thin and received little traffic. Each blog also had a high bounce rate.
- If the blogs on your website aren’t relevant, it could be hurting your website for thin content, causing more harm than good.
- When analyzing a blog for a personal injury lawyer, I like to ask the following questions. If the answer is no, the blog may not be worthwhile.
- Would the attorney share the content with a current or prospective client?
- Would a prospective client find the blog informative in the research phase before contacting an attorney?
- Would a news organization or other industry site link to the blog since there is such valuable information?
Below are some compelling blog topics for a personal injury attorney in Ohio:
- What to do if a drunk driver hits you in Ohio
- Steps to take after a truck accident in Ohio
- Will you receive more compensation if hit by an expensive car in Ohio?
When I was at the Filevine conference, a personal injury attorney from New Hampshire shared that they had won a $1 million case based on a YouTube video they recorded.
The attorney set up a studio in their basement with a green screen, began recording videos, and uploaded them to YouTube.
After a severe slip and fall accident, a victim in the hospital with a broken neck found the attorney’s YouTube video on Google and contacted them. The rest is history.
When you write a blog based on the topic selection strategy referenced above, you can also record a YouTube video and embed it within the blog. Google frequently showcases videos on the first page of Google, allowing you to rank beyond your website.
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. Take advantage of this for your PI firm!
Note: For Kurgis & Associates, we take all of their TV spots, upload them to their YouTube channel, and serve them as video advertisements on YouTube. This isn’t technically an SEO strategy but a good video marketing plan.
Related Article: YouTube SEO Strategy
The local pack gets 44% of clicks on Google’s first page [source]. When someone searches for a personal injury lawyer on Google, they typically search based on location. If you appear in the local pack with positive reviews, there’s a strong chance you’ll win this type of business.
I recommend reading my Google Business Profile optimization checklist to understand better what it takes to rank in the local pack.
Experience, expertise, authority, and trust (E-E-A-T) are essential Google ranking factors. Google wants to make sure your website is trustworthy. For attorneys, we recommend the following items listed below. Remember, E-E-A-T cannot be done on one specific page; it’s a variety of on-site and off-site factors.
- Create strong bio pages showcasing each attorney’s experience, expertise, authority, and trust.
- Showcase all of your significant verdicts and settlements on an accolades page.
- Display trust indicators on your site, such as awards and accolades, like Best Law Firms by U.S. and World Reports, SuperLawyers Top Attorneys, etc.
- Have attorneys contribute article content to their blog, showcasing their knowledge of specific.
- A tremendous external trust indicator is when media and news organizations quote or publish an attorney.
- Showcase reviews from actual customers on your website
- Embedding a third-party widget is an excellent way for reviews to appear in real-time on your site.
Design of Website
UX continues to become an important Google ranking factor. Google wants the user to have a good experience on your site.
After we redesigned their website, Kurgis & Associates saw a significant uptick in rank. If you look at their auto accident page, it’s easy to scroll through and read all of the key points on this specific page.
Combining good design, UX, and well-written content can significantly improve your rank. I encourage you to view websites we’ve designed for other legal clients.
At the Filevine conference, I spoke with a personal injury attorney who incentivized attorneys within their firm with a $1,000 bonus for each Google review they received. They weren’t incentivizing clients, which is against Google’s guidelines; they wanted more buy-in from their lawyers.
Once the firm implemented this review strategy, it surpassed 2,000 reviews, significantly helping its local SEO rankings.
Someone at your law firm should be responsible for overseeing review management. This effort will help boost your reputation and improve your local SEO.
The example of Kurgis & Associates provides the tactics used to help them rank on the first page of Google. We also outlined other important areas of SEO to help yhou gain page one visibility.
Your personal injury law firm can hopefully achieve more SEO wins by following this roadmap.