SEO for Criminal Defense Lawyers: 13 Tips To Rank Higher

Written by Rahil Joshi

Rahil Joshi is a seasoned digital marketing expert with over a decade of experience, excels in driving innovative online strategies.

May 15, 2024

Featured image for blog 'SEO for Criminal Defense Lawyers: 13 Tips To Rank Higher', combining SEO elements like a magnifying glass and bar graphs with legal imagery such as a gavel and scales of justice.

Criminal defense lawyers face the highest competition in the legal industry. A criminal defense lawyer and law firm must put in extra effort to stay ahead and attract more clients. This article is dedicated to SEO for criminal defense law firms and lawyers and will dig deeper into tips they can use to rank higher and get more clients. You might be getting confused with terms like on-page, off-page, or technical SEO and further sub-categories, here we aim to provide you simplest actionable tips to rank your website higher and achieve criminal defense attorney marketing goals.

Why SEO is Important for Criminal Defense Law Firms

96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine. (Google Consumer Survey, Nov 2013), today you’re in 2024. Nearly everyone is searching for legal help via Google and this is why SEO for criminal defense lawyers is important.

Having a criminal defense website is not the only thing you need, that is the most basic requirement. You need to employ an effective SEO strategy. With an effective SEO campaign, you can achieve the following apart from higher rankings

  • Establish yourself as a brand
  • Reach out to targeted clients
  • Increase credibility and trust
  • Giving you a competitive advantage
  • I can ramble on and on but you get the essence

How SEO for Criminal Defense Law Firms is Different from Regular

Well, honestly basic SEO process remains the same for every website for any industry, what changes is the approach? Like keyword research, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, backlinks approach, content strategy, compliances, the horizon of targeting, and more.

For example, a regular website can ramble on and on about the greatness of its product or services but a lawyer’s website needs to be precise with their content.

Ethics plays a crucial role in designing the content of any criminal defense law firm’s website.

The keyword research process for a criminal defense law firm is different from regular services website.

13 SEO Tips for Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Follow

Before we start, let me make one thing clear. SEO strategies are different from the term “digital marketing strategy”. Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the combination of different marketing used over the internet. Now is the time for tips, in this section, we will be talking about SEO efforts and tips for a criminal defense attorney website to improve their search engine optimization efforts and rank higher in Google SERPs to get higher website traffic.

1. Start With Google My Business Profile

Now, you will be thinking why Google’s business profile is important for criminal defense SEO strategy. But when it comes to local SEO strategies, GMB listings play a crucial role in getting leads.

With proper GMB optimization, a criminal defense law firm can get a high amount of quality leads in the form of direct phone calls.

Other than that there are many advantages of having a Google My Business profile

  • Increase your overall local visibility
  • Enhance credibility and trust
  • Direct client engagement
  • Showcase your services directly to potential clients
  • Easy to update
  • Integration with other Google services and tools
Screenshot of search results for criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles, showing three listings

2. Signup for Relevant Directories

Screenshot of a Justia Lawyers profile for Michael Eric Kraut, a criminal lawyer serving Los Angeles, CA.

Listing your criminal law firm website can significantly boost your website’s online presence as well as help you create credibility and authority. Remember that legal directories are the priority here and in the second stage you can go for established and credible general directories. Here’s the list of credible listing websites for criminal defense lawyers

  1. Avvo
  2. FindLaw
  3. Justia
  4. Martindale-Hubbell
  5. Lawyers.com
  6. Nolo
  7. HG.org
  8. Super Lawyers
  9. Expertise.com
  10. LegalMatch
  11. Thumbtack
  12. LawTally
  13. UpCounsel
  14. NOLO’s Lawyer Directory
  15. State and Local Bar Associations
  16. Yelp

3. Keywords for Criminal Defense Law Firm

Keywords and keyword research, this is where actual search engine optimization starts. For a criminal defense law firm, keyword research is a little different, they need to abide by ethical obligations, therefore they can’t use any type of keyword that has a high search volume.

A good keyword research for an attorney website helps you to create content that has the potential to rank higher in Google search results. You can search keywords around “criminal defense attorneys”, “criminal defense lawyers”, “criminal defense law firms”, “criminal defense firm”, and more.

You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner or paid tools such as Semrush and ahrefs for this purpose. Conduct comprehensive keyword research for your law firm website and integrate those terms properly.

Apart from that good keyword research will help you create a good content marketing strategy for your criminal defense firm.

Generic keywords for criminal attorney SEO can help improve visibility and attract potential clients searching for general criminal defense services. Here are some commonly used generic keywords:

  1. Criminal defense attorney
  2. Criminal defense lawyer
  3. Criminal defense lawyers
  4. Criminal Attorney
  5. Criminal lawyer
  6. Defense attorney
  7. Defense lawyer
  8. Criminal law firm
  9. Criminal defense firm
  10. Criminal defense law firm
  11. Top criminal defense attorney
  12. Best criminal defense lawyer
  13. Experienced criminal attorney
  14. Local criminal lawyer
  15. Affordable criminal defense lawyer
  16. Criminal defense legal services
  17. Criminal defense consultation
  18. Criminal justice attorney
  19. Legal representation for criminal charges
  20. Criminal defense expert

These keywords can form the basis of your SEO strategy, helping your website rank higher in search results and attract more relevant traffic.

Screenshot of Keywords planner

4. Local Keyword Research

Did you notice how many people are searching for “criminal lawyers near me”? That is why local SEO efforts for criminal defense lawyers are very important these days. Local SEO can’t be ignored in the legal industry and especially in criminal defense marketing.

A good local SEO strategy can help you attract clients within your geographical area who need immediate legal assistance. And for that purpose, you need to do local keyword research and curate content accordingly.

The goal here is to rank higher for local search terms used on search engines to find criminal lawyers.

Some ideas to localize your keyword research for criminal defense SEO are –

  1. Criminal defense attorney near me
  2. Criminal defense law firm near me
  3. Criminal defense lawyer near me
  4. Local criminal attorney
  5. Local criminal lawyer
  6. Criminal attorney [city]
  7. Criminal lawyer [city]
  8. Best criminal defense attorney [city]
  9. Top criminal defense lawyer [city]
  10. DUI lawyer [city]
  11. Drug crime lawyer [city]
  12. Domestic violence attorney [city]
  13. Criminal defense firm [city]
  14. Criminal defense lawyer [zip code]
  15. Defense attorney [city]
  16. Affordable criminal lawyer [city]
  17. Experienced criminal attorney [city]
  18. Local defense attorney[City]
  19. Criminal defense attorneys[City]
  20. Criminal defense lawyer
  21. Criminal justice attorney [city]

Above are just a few examples of keywords for criminal defense lawyers, but these can be far refined based on your requirements, services, location, and more. For assistance, you can always reach out to our keyword research experts for more help.

The goal here is to appear higher on local search results.

5. Create Resonating Content

Creating content that resonates with your audience is crucial. This includes writing informative blog posts, case studies, and articles that address common legal questions and concerns your potential clients might have.

Remember while writing any content you should keep the goal in mind for ranking higher on search engine results pages. Content should be clear, concise, and authoritative, establishing your firm as an expert in criminal defense law.

The best ways to make content resonate with clients are

  • Talk about providing legal assistance
  • Establish that you’re a criminal defense law firm
  • Showcase your team of best criminal defense lawyers
  • Avoid overusing the term but using where ever possible
  • Talk about your expertise as a criminal lawyer and relevant case studies
  • Present yourself as one of the credible criminal defense websites
  • Employee good On-page SEO strategy
  • Use relevant keywords
  • Keep the URL as designed in your SEO campaign
  • Use criminal defense law content
Screenshot of CTAs

6. Create Separate Service Pages

Having dedicated service pages for each area of criminal defense you handle (e.g., DUI defense, drug crimes, domestic violence) helps search engines understand your areas of expertise and improves the chances of ranking for specific keywords related to those services.

Remember that SEO for defense lawyers starts at the website level but in the longer run web pages are the actual lead magnates. It is recommended for a law firm to create service pages for all types of consultations they provide.

Following are the reasons why law firm websites should have separate service pages

  • Improved SEO
  • Better keyword optimization and clustering
  • Clarity in navigation
  • Ability to integrate relevant keywords
  • Gives you an edge over other websites in the same niche
  • Stay relevant to the needs of potential clients
Note: We do not represent this firm or provide any services. We're using these screenshot as reference for educational purpose.

7. Create Converting Landing Pages

You did everything right in criminal defense SEO and started getting website visitors, what next?

Design landing pages that are optimized for conversions. This includes having clear calls to action (e.g., “Contact Us,” “Schedule a Free Consultation”), client testimonials, and easy-to-navigate contact forms. These pages should be tailored to the specific needs of your potential clients. Following are a few ways to make your landing page highly converting

  • Use a clear call to action
  • List positive reviews from happy clients
  • Optimize load speed, this might look weird but this is the top reason for the bounce rate
  • Showcase your legal expertise on top

Remember, a website that doesn’t convert, wastes the marketing efforts.

8. Research for Good FAQs

Having a comprehensive FAQ section on your website can address common questions and concerns, reducing bounce rates and improving user engagement. This section can also help you rank for long-tail keywords.

There are 3 ways to research for good FAQs

  1. Using your own experience: List down the common questions that potential clients ask based on your experience.
  2. Using Tools: Use tools like also asked and answer the public to find FAQs
  3. Use related searches: You can also use the terms in related searches and people also asked for to frame FAQs
Screenshot Google search related searches list
Screenshot Google search people also ask list

9. Schema Markup for Featured Snippets

Did you ever noticed the small box on the top of search engine results pages that looks different from other websites?

screenshot from google search featured snippet

This special status from Google can be achieved by implementing schema markups. Search engines prefer websites that provide the best and most relevant information for the query, and schema helps you to provide maximum information in the way that search engines love.

This not only gives you a top spot in search engine results pages but also helps you gain credibility in front of potential clients. Every criminal defense law firm should properly integrate schema.

10. Work on E-E-A-T

Google emphasizes Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) as key factors for ranking high in search results. Ensure your website reflects these qualities by showcasing your credentials, publishing high-quality content, and maintaining a professional design.

Creating authority for criminal defense lawyers is important, as it impacts the decision-making of potential clients. A law firm trying to gain results from SEO for criminal defense and related terms should work on the overall authority of its website. Criminal defense SEO is not easy and authority plays a crucial role in higher rankings.

11. Work On Sitemap and Robots.txt

Ensure your website has a well-structured sitemap and properly configured robots.txt file. This helps search engines crawl and index your site more effectively, improving your SEO for criminal defense services websites.

12. Guest Post to Create Authority

Guest posting on reputable legal blogs and websites can help you build backlinks, which are crucial for SEO. It also positions you as an authority in your field and exposes your firm to a broader audience. A lawyer or consultant from a law firm can improve their authority by writing as a guest on reputable websites of the legal industry.

The strategy is simple, choose from good criminal defense topics and put in your experience and knowledge in the article. This will help you to increase your online visibility across websites and in front of different audiences.

Apart from this, some sites offer inbound links to the author’s official website that will help you generate traffic and eventually convert high-paying clients.

Backlinks from high-authority websites can significantly boost your SEO. Focus on acquiring links from reputable legal directories, industry blogs, and news websites. Quality matters more than quantity, so prioritize building relationships with credible sources.

Link building is an art, so beware of fake artists out there. You can hire experts from Web Zodiac for your link-building campaign.

By implementing these SEO tips, criminal defense firms can curate an effective SEO strategy and improve their online visibility, attract more clients, and ultimately grow their practice. You can also reach out to Legal SEO experts at Web Zodiac for assistance.

Note: We do not represent any of the lawyers in the screenshots above. We used the screenshot for educational purpose.

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