the many benefits of SEO

Originally posted on

#1 – Increased targeted organic traffic from search engines

The most obvious benefit of a well-optimized site is increased traffic from search. Using estimated search volume, site owners can predict how much traffic their site may receive once it’s ranking in top positions for their desired keyword phrases.

By doing some research on their target market, site owners can develop content and optimize pages for keyword phrases that their audience is using in search. Eventually, a large percentage of site visitors will be those that care about their business’s products or services. This post from Ahrefs illustrates how a strategic SEO campaign can improve organic traffic from search.

#2 – Long-term investment vs. leasing visibility

There’s a lot to be said for paid advertising and it’s an important component of many digital marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, if you stop paying, your positioning is lost. This is in stark contrast to SEO, which has the potential to be evergreen.

Attorneys should never stop optimizing and improving their site, but SEO work already done has a staying power that paid solutions cannot match. Optimizing for organic search does take a little longer to get rolling, but once it snowballs, it can have long-lasting positive impact on lead generation and brand awareness.

#3 – Compounding returns

When you add money to a mutual fund consistently over time, the account compounds with interest, along with reinvestment of dividends and (of course) the money you regularly add to it.

Search engine optimization behaves in much the same way. By optimizing and refining a website over time, site owners will begin to see the impact of their efforts grow. Better exposure in organic search leads to things like an increase in social sharing activity, organic link building activity, mentions of your law firm name on other sites, and editorial opportunities on news-based websites.

#4 – Strengthen your entire web presence

A strong SEO campaign is beneficial for a law firm’s overall web presence. In order to successfully market a site in search, attorneys need to optimize many elements of their onsite structure and their offsite presence. Those tactics indirectly get lawyers additional exposure beyond good search rankings.

For example, links on other sites send visitors to your own. Building out citations increases the likelihood that more relevant results will be shown to searchers looking for a law firm. Content published on the web in an effort to build links also builds the authority of a law firm in the eyes of consumers.

#5 – Build brand authority

People place a lot of trust in Google, so when your site is at the top of search results, that trust transfers to your brand. Users rarely travel to the second and third pages of Google search results, so showing up on the first page effectively conveys to searchers that these results are the best there is.

Some data even shows that consumers trust search engines more than traditional media when searching for information online. Ranking on the first page of Google search results doesn’t just drive traffic, but it also provides a proof statement for the law firms earning those coveted spots.

#6 – Generate shareable & linkable assets

During an SEO campaign, assets like content, infographics, images, and video are created for a variety of purposes. These can be repurposed for outreach campaigns to acquire links or to share on social, regardless of their initial intended use.

For instance, infographics built to submit to image-sharing sites (for link acquisition) can be repurposed for sharing on Pinterest. Guest and blog posts on an attorney’s site can be used to generate snippets for social sharing and link building campaigns built around controversial issues have the potential to get picked up by national media outlets.

#7 – Generate useful data

Tracking platforms like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, SEM Rush, and Moz are all SEO tools that can track data related to search campaigns. That information can be useful for informing other marketing and business decisions.

For instance keyword data people are using to find legal services can be used to inform content strategy.  Plug keyword phrases into Ahrefs and use the Questions tool to see what types of topics people are searching for answers on.

Question ideas from Ahrefs


Analytics data from Google’s URL shortener can be used to inform social strategy.  Plug in the ID from a Google shortened URL and you can see how much activity the content has gotten from different platforms.

Using Google's URL Shortener

Google URL Shortener Data

#8 – Create barriers to entry for competitors

In the early days of SEO, it was relatively easy for site owners to rank well. Building as many links as possible and stuffing content with relevant keyword phrases did most of the work for you.

Now the game has changed and the bar for ranking on page one is much, much higher. Attorneys can effectively lock out their competition by getting links on sites that their competitors may not have the budget or the ingenuity to touch.

For example, running a scholarship campaign has the ability to earn lawyers coveted .edu domains from respectable institutions and even earn secondary editorial links for their efforts.


Referring .edus in ahrefs


#9 – Rank for a broader range of keyword phrases

One of the side effects of SEO is that once you start ranking in top spots with some of your pages, you can funnel that link equity to other pages of your site. All else being equal, that can help you rank other pages for additional keywords.

For example, ranking a blog post for the phrase “car accident lawyer” on the first page of Google allows a site owner to then link that post internally to relevant practice area pages. This, in turn, boosts the visibility of their service pages.

#10 – Increase activity on social

Getting your content to rank well in Google search means more people see it. Blog posts that are full of useful, shareable information tend to be rank really well for their given keyword phrases. Through a combination of visibility and utility, other site owners tend to link and share those pages.

#11 – Grow your email subscribers

Top ranking pages in search can be prime candidates for building upon other marketing initiatives, like email marketing. A popular way to build an email list is with a content opt-in.

Lawyers who have high-quality content ranking on page one of Google can repurpose those pages to capture emails for things like a newsletter, white paper, or other content.

#12 – Improve your local ranking

General optimization tactics (like building links and many onsite tasks) can help improve a law firm’s visibility in local search, particularly Google My Business. According to Moz’s annual survey analyzing local search signals, link signals were among the top factors influencing local organic and local map listings.


#13 – Improve your site’s usability

Google has made usability elements (like page load speedmobile friendliness, and site security) ranking factors in their search algorithm. Consequently, properly optimizing a site for search means improving on all of these elements.

The positive side effect is that users will have a much better experience using your site. They feel more secure submitting information, the content they want to see loads quickly, they can easily browse your site on their phone, and the architecture of the site is simply more intuitive.

#14 – Capture clients at each phase of the buying cycle

Organic search engine optimization enables attorneys to attract visitors who are at various stages in the buying process and potentially convert them. Since each page on a site can rank for a unique keyword phrase, it makes sense to rank for both purchase intent keywords and longer-tail information-based phrases.

This helps lawyers build authority by educating their potential clients at the top of the funnel while still converting those who are further down the funnel (and have already made a decision).