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Male AAPI lawyer reviews his personal injury law firm's website

by OppGen

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is often misunderstood by those who don’t work with it on a regular basis. It’s seen as something that’s easy to do, requires minimal effort or a handful of keywords repeated on a page, or something that should bring in results overnight.

At OppGen, we hear many misconceptions as expectations from personal injury law clients, who are beginning to consider an SEO strategy. Unfortunately, these expectations are unrealistic and in some cases, unobtainable.

So we want to share some of these SEO expectations for personal injury law firms to create a clearer picture of what goes into SEO and why these expectations are not rooted in reality, along with what they can expect from a solid SEO program.


How long does it take for my personal injury law firm to rank higher on Google?

Unlike paid search advertising on Google and other search engines, where it is easier to position your ads in better locations on search engine results pages (SERPs) in a relatively short period of time, SEO has more variables that can affect your personal injury law firm’s SERPs ranking. Due to these variables, it takes longer before you start seeing an increase in web traffic and conversions.

It can take anywhere from 3 months to even a year to start seeing results from an SEO strategy.


Why am I not seeing any improvements in traffic after optimizing my website for SEO? I’m creating great personal injury content, so why isn’t my site ranking higher?

There’s a more lot that goes into SEO than just creating great content or a streamlined website, as SEO is a multifaceted strategy with several variables one must consider.

OppGen takes the the following variables into account when creating an SEO plan for your law firm:


Technical SEO

Technical SEO focuses on the technical aspects of your website: your site’s speed, whether or not it functions well on mobile devices, and your site’s design and navigation.

A site that is easy for anyone to access regardless of their device and loads quickly is a site that Google will be more likely to rank higher on SERPs.


Local SEO

For local businesses, local SEO is a must. When someone searches for “personal injury law firm near me,” search engines use that person’s location to show them results closest to them. This means that it’s important for your law firm to show up in the local results.

Setting up a Google My Business listing for your law firm is absolutely a must because it can put your firm on Google Maps and therefore easier for prospects to select instead of any competitors. You’ll also want to have your personal injury law firm on other relevant legal directories. It’s always good for your law firm to be easy to find in multiple places; it makes you more competitive within your local market, too!


On-page SEO

On-page SEO involves creating relevant content featuring information that will be valuable to your target audience. We are far past the days of keyword stuffing pages, which actually can work against you. Today’s search engines are able to read much more like us, so you need to make sure your content is digestible and not loaded with jargon.

You’ll still be focusing on relevant keywords, but you need to know how difficult a keyword is to rank for. Some keywords are more competitive than others while others are rarely searched. It helps to have an SEO expert like those at OppGen to guide you through what keywords are likely to be effective for your law firm.


Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is about spreading the word about your personal injury law firm. This can be done through social media sharing, glowing five-star reviews, and link building. Link building is a process that involves other websites linking back to your website. The more links that point back to your website, especially when these other sites are excellent resources that rank well, too, the better, because it tells search engines that your law firm is a good resource. When you also include positive reviews and content shares on social media, that’s even more telling to search engines about the quality of your law firm

SEO has so many variables to take into account. It’s not enough to just optimize your website for speed — you need to take other things into consideration, too, such as the keywords you are trying to rank for, as well as the content you’re making.


Why am I getting more traffic but roughly the same number of clients?

Getting higher traffic does tend to result in more clients, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting the quality of clients your firm needs. Conversion should be the more important focus, not the number of web users visiting your website.

To improve conversion rates, make sure that your site is easy to navigate with a clean design. It should load quickly and operate smoothly on all devices, not just desktop computers. Your website should be optimized for mobile devices, and that’s a shift Google has been making when it comes to ranking high on the SERPs. 


Is it better for my personal injury law firm to be a featured snippet, a Google Maps listing, or a text-based result? Why can’t I rank twice on the same page?

Sometimes the ranking numbers for SERPs rankings can be confusing; after all, there’s a position 0 (which is just a fancy way to say the first PPC ad on a page) and sometimes it’s unclear if the first position (position 1) is a search result or a featured snippet… or even a Google Maps listing.

For our intents and purposes, we view the Google Maps listing as a type of featured snippet, which is ultimately the best ranking you can have on SERPs. Though these featured snippets/Google Maps listings aren’t technically considered as a numbered position on SERPs, they are the ultimate goal for ranking purposes. Featured snippets/Google Maps listings take up most of the traffic for keyword searches because they’re highly visual and are positioned before the rest of the results. 

However, it is highly unlikely for your law firm to be listed twice on the same page (that is, as both a featured snippet/Google Maps listing and a traditional search result), due to Google’s algorithms.

Remember: if your law firm appears as a featured snippet or as a Google Maps listing on the first page instead of a traditional search result, do not panic. That is the best case scenario for SERPs.


I’ve seen more new clients thanks to SEO, so can I stop optimizing my personal injury law firm’s website?

While you can stop optimizing your PI law firm’s site for SEO at any point, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do so. SEO is a process that is always evolving and changing. If you want to keep bringing in more clients through organic searches, you need to keep creating content, monitoring traffic and keywords, and pay attention to any changes to Google’s algorithm. Though Google doesn’t make these changes public, there are experts who pay close attention to the company’s announcements and policy changes that could have an effect on SERP rankings.


Why should I invest in SEO instead of PPC?

It may seem like PPC and SEO are ultimately incompatible, but we believe that PPC and SEO actually complement each other, and that is especially the case for the legal industry, which has the most expensive average cost per click for PPC ads

You can think of your PPC strategy as a quick fix; it’s sort of like putting a broken arm in a sling. It’s quick and it keeps the (your law firm) arm intact for a brief period of time. But relying only on PPC can become expensive and risky — it’s probably in your law firm’s best interest to find a more stable ongoing solution. SEO, then, is like a cast and physical therapy for that broken arm.

SEO takes longer to work (like the cast) and will also take continued upkeep (physical therapy), but it tends to strengthen the law firm (the arm) by establishing it as an authoritative place for information as well as by building trust and a good reputation with clients.

Unrelated to the broken arm analogy, SEO is also an organic marketing strategy, which means you do not have to pay Google or Bing or any other search engine directly for your website to be positioned for certain keywords. 

Though SEO requires a greater investment of your time, it doesn’t require as much money as PPC, making it a more feasible strategy for your personal injury law firm’s long-term success.

That doesn’t mean you should drop your PPC strategy, either; it may be easier to target leads for certain keywords with PPC than SEO and vice-versa.


Contact OppGen for more SEO information

Hopefully you now have a better idea of what SEO is, what goes into a good SEO strategy, how it can help your personal injury law firm bring in more leads, and how long it takes to start working. But if you still have questions about SEO, contact OppGen today for more information. Alternatively, you can fill out our free digital audit for your personal injury law firm’s website, and we’ll give you feedback on how your website can be better optimized for search engines.

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Male AAPI lawyer reviews his personal injury law firm's website
SEO Expectations for Personal Injury Law Firms