Technical SEO for Lawyers

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO for lawyers refers to actions you take to optimize your website and server that help search engine spiders crawl and index your site, organically improving your online rankings.

Part of the technical part of SEO is following the most recent algorithm changes and how they impact your Law Firms placing in the organic search engine result pages.

We will go over the most important optimizations you need to make to your law firm’s website for it to have the best chances of ranking in today’s competitive organic search market.

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If you are looking to discover the secrets that help drive a steady stream of prospects through SEO for law firms – this is for you.

Important Google Algorithm Updates

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Google Released their BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) algorithm in 2019, which at the time they called it “one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search.” This update helped Search engines better understand the intent behind users’ search queries by using neural networks (pattern recognition algorithm) along with question + answering models to fulfill a majority of queries.

The BERT Algorithm update set up the grounds for MUM. MUM is built on the same Transformer architecture model as BERT, but it is 1,000 times more powerful! This Algorithm update is closer to AI than anything Google had released before. Google says that MUM is also:

“trained across 75 different languages and many different tasks at once, allowing it to develop a more comprehensive understanding of information and world knowledge than previous models. And MUM is multimodal, so it understands information across text and images and, in the future, can expand to more modalities like video and audio.”

MUM helps Google search fully understand the content provided on a given webpage, therefore it knows how to deliver the best content for a user’s query.

Website & Server Security

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Build Your Law Firm’s Website with a CMS

A content management system (CMS) is computer software that helps businesses create and manage their digital content. The exact functions of each CMS vary, but many allow you to build your website through the software. 

We personally recommend WordPress, but others are available too. WordPress provides several benefits to lawyers with regard to website design and more. You don’t need coding knowledge to build a website for your law firm. WordPress makes it easy because they have tons of great plugins that add powerful functionality to your site. You will find loads of tutorials, articles, and other resources available to guide you as you use the platform. You will also find no shortage of attractive, inexpensive themes for your site.

If you are even somewhat tech-savvy, you can likely set up a website on your own. It’s easy to add and update content because WordPress is a stable CMS. Don’t let the technical talk scare you away. WordPress is user-friendly and often referred to as the gold standard among these types of platforms.



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Keeping Your Website Secure with an SSL Certificate

With the occurrence of regular security breaches online, keeping your website secure is of the utmost importance. Google takes extra measures to ensure the safety of its users. They want to be a trusted search engine that only lists secure websites in their SERPs, so they strongly encourage users to implement an SSL certificate on their websites.

An SSL certificate is a collection of small pieces of data that encrypts your website’s data when you attach it. The certificate provides authentication for a website, secures data transfers, and enables an encrypted connection. Additionally, an SSL certificate protects your information, including logins, passwords, transactions, and general personal information.

What You Need to Install an SSL Certificate

To complete the integration of an SSL certification on your website, you will need:

  • Access to your website server
  • A purchased SSL certificate

Integrating an SSL certificate into your website is a fairly straightforward process. However, you do need to take care when purchasing one. Costs for an SSL certificate range from next to nothing to thousands of dollars per year. Not all certificates are the same or provide the same level of security. In fact, you can choose from the following three types of SSL certificates:

  • Domain-validated (DV) certificates are free or really cheap. They are great for internal projects, but not the best choice for the open web. It’s likely you will collect client information on your firm’s “contact us” page, so it’s best to avoid DV certificates for your website.
  • Organization-validated (OV) certificates typically are the best entry-level option for businesses, including law firms. Organizations that validate certificates already have been authenticated at some level with a governing body, making it easy to verify their legitimacy.
  • Extended Validation (EV) certificates are the most trusted level of SSL certificates. Guidelines for EV certificates are thorough and strict. You will have to provide proof of identity and the location of your business to be verified. These certificates are more expensive but worth the investment to protect your data and client information from hackers.

You should also know that DV and OV certificates have two options. One is a certificate for a single domain, such as Single-domain certificates typically are cheaper. The other option, commonly referred to as a wildcard certificate, allows you to protect sub-domains. This is useful for law firms with multiple offices, each with its own domain. These tend to be more expensive. If you choose an EV certification, you must get a single-domain certificate because of the added security measures. You will have to buy multiple certificates to cover each domain you have.

You can buy an SSL certificate from many places, but it’s best to go with one of the major players. Google and the world trust some issuers more than others. You can find a cheap certificate, but you will likely have to take additional steps to get your law firm recognized. This can create issues for those who visit your webpage, ultimately causing them to find another law firm. Take the time to shop around, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for.

We recommend purchasing an SSL certificate from one of these reputable companies:

  1. Symantec
  2. Go Daddy
  3. Network Solutions
  4. Entrust Data Card
  5. Digicert
  6. Global Sign

Steps to Request and Install an SSL Certificate

The steps to install an SSL certificate on your website vary based on your platform or operating system. However, the general process is similar.

  1. Request Your SSL Certificate
  2. Verify Your SSL Certificate
  3. Download Your Certificate
  4. Install Your Certificate

If you choose, you can get into the nuts and bolts of manually installing your certificate. However, it’s easier and less stressful to use other tools to help. If you use WordPress to build your website, the easiest way to install an SSL certificate is to activate one of their plugins—Really Simple SSL. Once you purchase an SSL Certificate and enable Really Simple SSL, it only takes one click to install and set up your certificate.

Behind the scenes, Really Simple SSL redirects all incoming requests from http: to https:, changes your URL, fixes all insecure content on your site, and sets secure cookies for visitors. From a visual perspective, the biggest change that occurs when you add a certificate to your website is the difference in your URL protocol.

Instead of your URL beginning with http:, it will begin with https:. This makes your website safe in Google’s eyes, and you increase your chances of converting visitors to clients because users will remain on your site when they see it is secure.

CPanel Security

The Cpanel of your website is a  web hosting control panel software, or web host manager. You do not only want to have a strong password for your login, but you will also want to set a strong and different password from the login, for all of your files inside your file manager.

In order to keep your law firm’s website, you need to make sure no one other than the people you have already given permission to log into your Cpanel. This can be viewed inside the File Manager part of the Cpanel, by looking at the “lastlogin” file. Make sure you can recognize the IPs listed.

Pro tip: Make a list of the IPs of the people who have access to your Cpanel. This can be easily done by Typing “what’s my IP” in Google Search which will provide you with your current IP. Make sure the FTP login has been disabled so that the data is more reliable for the user’s logins.

Google Tracking Tools

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You cannot engage in beneficial SEO practices for lawyers that improve your online presence without knowing how your website is performing. Google provides a powerful suite of free tools for website owners to provide insights about website performance. We provide a broad overview of many of them below.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a staple for website performance tracking. It tells you everything you need to know about your users and how they interact with your website. Once you integrate Google Analytics to your law firm’s website, you can analyze metrics such as page views, sessions, average time on page, bounce rate, and much more.

Integrating Google Analytics to Your Website

Setting up Google Analytics for your law firm’s website is an easy process that only takes a few minutes. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit Google Analytics and create an account. If you already have an account head to the Admin portion of the platform.
  2. If you have WordPress, you can use a Google Analytics plugin to set it up on your website. With other platforms, you need to acquire your Google Analytics UA code snippet.
  3. Add the UA code there or use Google Tag Manager.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is another one of Google’s free products that you can use for SEO purposes. It gives you the ability to monitor and optimize your website’s page rankings, impressions, click-through ratio (CTR), and more as it relates to Google Search results. Google Search Console helps you understand and optimize by focusing specifically on Google as a search engine with powerful tools and insights that improve visibility and help increase your website’s presence on SERPs. When it comes to optimizing organic traffic that comes to your website and increasing your presence and visibility, you won’t find a better tool than Search Console.

Google Search Console allows you to see which queries bring traffic to your law firm’s website. When you have information about how users find your website online, you can optimize several things to organically improve your SERP rankings. Let’s go over a few of Google Search Console’s tools that help improve how your law firm’s site is indexed:


Here you will find your website’s organic performance displayed by the queries users input to find your law firm’s content pages. This section provides information such as rankings for specific keywords, and your number of impressions, number of clicks, and CTR for each of those keywords.

URL Inspection

The URL Inspection tool shows any errors you have with your website. For example, you can see if you have errors in Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs). The URL Inspection tool also shows structure and indexing errors in the Schema Markup and data about Google’s indexed version of a specific page. This tool is especially useful when you want to ensure Google indexed the correct or most recent version of a page on your law firm’s website.


Google recommends that those with at least 500 pages on their website to review the coverage report. The report shows the index status of all pages that Google spiders attempted to crawl on your site. The results of the report are grouped by status and reason. For each page, you will see one of the following messages:

  • Valid. This message indicates that the page has been indexed.
  • Warning. Your page is indexed, but you need to be aware of one or more issues.
  • Excluded. The coverage report displays this message when Google believes you intentionally excluded a page from indexing, often indicated by a “no-index” designation.
  • Error. When you have an error message on the coverage report, the page is not indexed. These are the issues you should focus on immediately. A 404 error, such as “File not found” or “Page not found,” is the most common reason Google does not index a page.

You should not expect 100 percent of your pages to be indexed at one time. However, you can use the report to fix any errors and issues that show up, naturally increasing your chances for better rankings.


sitemap is a file that shows the structure of your website. It shows information about each page and the relationships between pages. You typically think of a sitemap as a tool for users to find something on your website, but Google reads these files to crawl websites. Sitemaps tell Google the importance of files in your website and provide information such as when the page was last updated and how frequently you change the page. When you submit your sitemap in Google Search Console, you can instruct Google on which pages to crawl.


The Removal tool is used to remove pages of your site from Google search temporarily. If you have a URL that needs to be removed quickly, this is the tool to use. When you use the tool, Google will remove the page from their results and also erase their cached version of your page for around six months.

Pro Tip: Abstain from using this tool frequently, so you don’t accidentally remove something you intended to keep. Remember to be careful when using this tool.

Core Web Vitals

Core web vitals are a set of metrics that quantify elements that make up the user experience on your site and each one of your pages. They’re there to ensure only websites that have both great content and a great user experience rank in top positions, which, in turn, makes sure that: Ranking websites are more likely to have qualified traffic and, hence, convert visitors.

The search engine’s reputation as a reliable information provider is preserved.

  1. Ranking websites are more likely to have qualified traffic and, hence, converting visitors.
  2. The search engine’s reputation as a reliable information provider is preserved.

Specifically, the newest Google core web vitals update revolves around the new SEO ranking factors that focus on:

  • How quickly the page loads
  • Whether buttons or text move about on the page while it’s loading
  • How quickly the user can interact with the page upon landing on it.

How to Install Google Search Console

Installing Google Search Console is similar to installing Google Analytics. You will either have to add a code snippet to your site’s child theme or use Google Tag Manager to integrate the code into your law firm’s website. You can also add a TXT record at the DNS level of the domain. The easiest option could be using your Google Analytics Account to create your Google Search Console. If you take this route, you don’t have to worry about implementing a code snippet to integrate Google Search Console into your website.

The installation is simple. You need to sign up for Search Console and enter your domain or URL. The search console shows information that only the site owner should have access to, so Google will prompt you to prove you are the owner of your site. Once you complete these steps, you will have access to the information and reports we discussed above once analytics has enough time to process data.

Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

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We mentioned the popularity of mobile searches in a previous chapter. Consumers and clients demand mobile-friendly websites. If a potential client gets frustrated while visiting your website, they are sure to go to your competitor’s site. This not only means your site needs to run well on a laptop and desktop, but it needs to run well on mobile devices.

You no longer have the simple luxury of only having a desktop version. As of 2021, almost three billion of the world’s internet searchers are on smartphones, representing more than half of all mobile searches worldwide. Additionally, about four billion people have smartphones, meaning some will eventually begin to use them for internet searches. Having a mobile-friendly site is a need for all businesses, including law firms.

Google Search Console’s Mobile-Friendly Test will let you know if your website is mobile-friendly, and it’s free!

Type in your URL and run the test. You’ll quickly find out if your website is mobile-friendly and will also be able to open a mobile usability report. Follow Google’s recommendations, make the necessary changes and hire a web developer, if needed, to make sure your site is mobile-friendly. More importantly, make sure your site is responsive so that your site visitors are able to view your law firm’s website on any platform.

Frequently Asked Questions about Law firm Website Technical SEO

We will go beyond the basics and reveal advanced strategies for successful SEO campaigns. We will answer questions like: 

  1. How often do Google algorithm updates happen, and what should law firms know about this?
  2. Are there any seasonal trends in SEO performance for law firms that clients should be aware of?
  3. How do you manage a drop in rankings after a Google algorithm update, and how does an agency like Consultwebs take a proactive approach?
  4. Are there any recent core updates law firms should be aware of, and should law firms panic if they see a drop in their rankings because of updates?
  5. How can law firms mix and match content with ChatGPT or AI tools while providing quality above all?
  6. How long does it generally take to start seeing measurable results in SEO, traffic, and lead generation?

But before we dive right into it, let us first quickly introduce Roman Adamita. 

Roman technical seo consultwebs

How often do Google algorithm updates happen, and what should law firms know about this?

Google algorithm updates are like the apps we have on our phones. Every app has an update occasionally because it needs to fix bugs and have a user-friendly interface, a better user experience, better speed, etc.

That’s why Google also does algorithm updates – to improve the quality of results on their search engine. To ensure that your website will be safe, you need to make decisions for longer terms. 

Doing an optimization on the page or having a backlink because the top competitor did the same is not always necessarily correct, as that optimization may be against Google’s guidelines.  So, it’s always important to know what to do before taking actions that may cause worse results in the future.

The competition in SEO is like a highway with a never-ending journey. You go further when you are focused on the way and the traffic. Everyone is going the same way at the end of the day.” – Roman Adamita

Ever wonder how SEO is similar to Formula 1? Here’s an analogy that will help you paint the picture:

Are there any seasonal trends in SEO performance for law firms that clients should be aware of?

“[For law firms] This will depend on each practice area and website. 

For example, for personal injury, law firms need clients who need assistance for some injury. Still, on the people’s side, injuries don’t happen every single day or at least in the location where the law firm is based and might not necessarily need a lawyer. In a nutshell, you can’t foresee when an injury will happen.

But, when people do need assistance because of an injury, they might search for that, e.g., “What should I do if I was involved in a car crash”. It’s important to be in the top search results when a long-tail query like this is searched by your potential clients.

So, what can law firms do?

On the firm’s side, the way they can check for seasonalities in searches is through platforms like Google Trends with the Glimpse extension integration or by simply using their Google Analytics or Search Console data to see if there’s a spike in the past year and oversee what is coming.”  – Roman Adamita

Personal injury lawyer trends

Now that we’re diving deeper into the art of managing SEO let’s talk about the common misconceptions…

Some may think that SEO is a set-and-done deal, but the truth is that SEO is all about:

✅ Constant Optimizations

✅ Be Always Different

✅ Being Authoritative

✅ Adjustments

✅ A/B Testing

While we often talk about the benefits, it’s important we discuss what happens when a law firm stops investing in SEO or if these optimizations are mismanaged. 

  • Unoriginal or fully AI-written content gets flagged. 
  • Website’s rankings may decline as other competitors may do things better.
  • Your competitors will get more business than you do.

Marketing outsourcing comparison

That’s why working with the right SEO marketing agency for law firms is a necessity, which brings us to our next question…

How do you manage a drop in rankings after a Google algorithm update, and how does an agency like Consultwebs take a proactive approach?

To begin with, the law firm shouldn’t panic; your agency should know how to take action. At Consultwebs, we take a proactive approach as a legal marketing agency. 

For example, we check the pages because when, e.g., a core update is rolled out, it doesn’t usually affect the entire website. No algorithm update will affect every single one of your pages; it usually affects certain pages that don’t match with guidelines or other resources that did better than your pages.

It all boils down to the quality of the content. Usually, the first pages your legal marketing team should take care of are the poor-quality pages and analyze items like the internal/external links, images, originality of the content, call-to-actions, etc. This is also why constantly updating your firm’s pages and content is important.

As an agency, when a firm sees a drop in rankings, we’ll compare and contrast and see which pages were impacted with metrics like clicks, CTR (click-through rates), and their ranking. At this point, Google Search Console + Screaming Frog SEO Spider, Semrush, or Ahrefs is coming very helpful.”  – Roman Adamita

To learn more about interpreting marketing metrics – click here. 

And if you want to learn more specific details about the law firm SEO services at Consultwebs, check out this video:

Are there any recent core updates law firms should be aware of, and should law firms panic if they see a drop in their rankings because of updates?


Yes, there was a recent core update in August and September 2023. 

Basically, core updates aim to refine Google’s search algorithms to provide more helpful and reliable search results. 

Therefore, law firms should not panic when their rankings drop a little after the update.

Google stresses that pages impacted by core updates aren’t necessarily flawed. As always, Google advises site owners to focus on quality content as a response to fluctuations in search rankings.” – Roman Adamita

“Core updates are Google’s way of investigating which websites create better content compared to the millions of other pages that cover the same topic.” – Roman Adamita

Another noteworthy insight from Roman regarding core updates and enhancing user experience is that the web pages that will typically rank lower are…

 “The websites that are putting too many ads on the page, pages with slow speed, and pages with content that aren’t focused on quality and are AI-generated will usually have a negative impact on their SEO rankings. 

On the flip side, the websites that continue to rank well are those focusing on quality content. Regarding quality content, there are many factors to keep in mind. 

For example: adding internal links, providing a good user experience, good user interface, quality content, technically in a good condition, etc.”  – Roman Adamita

Now that we’ve tackled the importance of quality content let’s understand the Google guidelines about content creation.

How can law firms mix and match content with ChatGPT or AI tools while providing quality above all?

“With the rise of different AI tools like ChatGPT, many businesses are tempted to create AI-generated content because, let’s be honest, it’s easier and it’s cost-effective that way.

Ai legal automation stats

However, having fully AI-made content is not sustainable for long-term growth, as search engines like Google are starting to flag AI content whose primary purpose is manipulating ranking in search results. 

Learn how law firms can become AI-savvy while still following the legal guidelines here 👇

  Master the Legal AI Revolution With The Top 20 Resources for the AI-Savvy Attorney

And now we better understand the hows, whats, and whys, we’ve finally come to the last question…

How long does it generally take to start seeing measurable results in SEO, traffic, and lead generation?

“At Consultwebs, we focus on ethical growth. That means we don’t take cheap shortcuts that give firms false promises and false results. 

When investing in SEO, patience is key. It takes time, in general around 12 months, sometimes more, sometimes less.

For example, if you’re optimizing the content on 10 pages that already are ranking, the impact can be visible within a month. But if you’re making a significant change on the website, the results may take longer.

At the core, firms need to take action by:

  • having their content managed,
  • solving technical issues that may naturally arise, 
  • optimizing page speed, 
  • headlines, 
  • and so many moving pieces.

My best advice for law firms is to learn from others’ mistakes. We can always learn from others and make things better. I’m a stan of SearchPilot’s experiments, which can be a beneficial resource for those who want to know the impact on the performance before taking a major action.” – Roman Adamita

How Consultwebs Works

In a nutshell, having the right SEO law firm marketing agency partnered with your firm is your best option to achieve your SEO and business goals. 

We’re saying this because we experience it first-hand. 

Law firms that are investing in Consultwebs, whether a firm’s market spend is small, medium, or large, all of them see an increase in their ROI.