Updated: Aug 20
A Lawyer SEO Guide On User Intent And Optimization
In Lawyer SEO, searchers stick around when you're able to give them what they're looking for. With millions of competing pages for every keyword search, being the one who can answer questions and offer solutions is one way to win over new clients and blog readers.
What Is User Intent?
Users go on search engines because they have a need that they want to fulfill. This need can either be an answer to a nagging question or a product or service that addresses their current concerns. Your goal is to give them exactly what they need in accordance with their intent.
A user only looking to know more about Personal Injury Laws in California doesn't want or need a promotional page to get an appointment from a lawyer—they only require you to answer their questions about personal injury laws.
Similarly, when a user is looking to set up an appointment with a law firm, they don't want to be directed to a 3000-word legal guide on Personal Injury Laws. Chances are, they already know enough about it and are only looking for a fitting attorney to handle their case.
User intent can dictate your use of keywords, internal links, and page titles. The two hypothetical scenarios above explain why you need to match your keywords and site optimizations to relevant pages.
3 Types Of User Intent
In order to give users what they need, you have to know how to spot for clues. Here are the three types of user intent, how to spot them, and how to give users what they need.
Informational searches, as the name implies, only seek information or knowledge about a specific topic. Thus, though users are open to hiring law firms, it is not their immediate need.
If they wanted to see a specific list of damages they can sue someone for, they wouldn't want to be on your lawyer directory page.
To clue you in on whether the user intent is informational, try looking for these words:
Make sure you deliver informational results when you have informational searches. Don't try to offer your legal services to the users because they aren't looking to hire anyone. Preferably, they should be directed to your legal blog, where they have access to informative how-tos and guides on the specific area of law they want to read about.
Remember: Just because they're only looking to find information on the subject, that doesn't mean you can't add internal links that point to your contact information.
The purpose of your informative content is to educate a user on how the law works and why they need a lawyer. So feel free to add a few hyperlinks and Calls To Action (CTAs) that nods towards your promotional pages.
When you have navigational queries, you won't need to do much in conversion optimization. When the user intent is navigational, they're only using the search engines to specifically look for your pages. This could mean that you've already have won the user's trust from an SEO standpoint.
Navigational searches can look like this:
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To ensure that people get to where they need to go, you'll need to optimize your pages, so that site links appear in the SERPs. If they can't find your pages (or you're buried in the rankings), users might give up and find other similar domains that can offer the same things.
You'll also want a solid social presence to boost brand awareness and social signals. Having a Twitter or Instagram account can help your online visibility. When search engines can't find your domain, they'll sometimes boost social media your social media profiles instead.
When it comes to transactional intent, it means users are likely already looking to hire someone. For all transactional searches, make sure you have a landing page for your contact information. If your law firm's website offers an online application system, make sure those pages are optimized for transactional searches.
These transactional searches can look like any of the following examples below:
"Law firm address"
"Lawyer contact number"
Although your "service offerings" page isn't strictly a landing page, it is still a great source of conversions. Use bold headlines, calls to action, and photos, to make them look and feel like landing pages.
Remember: Most users who are looking to hire law firms will select one that's in their state or city. This is especially important if their case has grounds based on state laws. So don't forget to optimize for Local SEO.
Why Should You Let LawyerLeadMachine Help You?
Attorney SEO can improve traffic and conversions on your Law Firm's website. With enough study and practice, you'll be able to use the right keywords and discern which types of user intent you want to optimize for.
If you're an SEO beginner, a busy firm, or simply need automation to free up schedules for your law practice, you can review options to work with us here.