If you are new, welcome aboard, please be sure to read how personal injury attorney SEO works.
This article is part of an ongoing blog series: Local SEO Case Studies.
PPC, AdWords remarketing, radio ads, television commercials, and content, oh my. Raleigh’s personal injury attorneys advertise quite a lot.
On the other hand, there personal injury attorneys in Raleigh who have no website at all! They have all the cases they need or get more than enough cases referred to them via professional relationships. You can’t judge a law firm by their website. This article is simply a very brief look at the top sites, as of July 2015.
No matter how good you are there is always room for improvement. Content is hands down the biggest missed opportunity in the area. Content holistically improves search ranking and allows for more exposure in search. I’ve personally advertised in Raleigh North Carolina using everything from radio shows to video and have been able to stop ALL forms of advertising once a good SEO & content plan was in place (real world examples happily provided upon request). Simply adding articles to a site is useless – most attorneys need someone who does this for a living and can target people who are actively searching for answers related to their injuries and car accident questions. Contact me today if you need this. The Internet does not need articles like “teen driving tips”, it needs answers to questions such as “what if I am injured as a passenger in a car accident?”.
How Raleigh PIs are ranking:
I will not discuss in detail in this article the methods used to get any particular site to the top, however, I will say that many of the firms in the area are sponsoring local events, running contests, and trying to build backlinks without violating (many of) Google’s policies.
Backlinks, content, and a usable site are, by far, the most important aspects of SEO for law firms right now, with technical / on site SEO becoming less and less important by the second.
Also: I work with firms on the West coast and I can tell you first hand that it is a whole ‘nother world over there. It is highly competitive and at any moment page 1 and 2 of search results are littered with sites implementing spammy tactics. This is good though: Raleigh area attorneys on page 2 or 3 could nudge their way on to page 1 with the right SEO guy and content strategy in place. Other than random directory links, the space is refreshingly spam free.
Mobile search observations:
- There are sites on page 2 which rank in both desktop search and mobile search which are not “mobile friendly”. I’m not sure if they were bumped from page 1 down to page 2 or if they were just never on page 1 to begin with. I do feel that Google’s mobile friendly algorithm is still rolling out though (Mobilegeddon has yet to fully take place.)
- Raleigh NC and surrounding suburbs have tech savvy users searching from their mobile devices. According to the data I have here, I feel comfortable estimating that around 47% of searches for the term “personal injury attorney” are done via a mobile device in this area.
Local Search Results
Local search results / map results / pack results are highly correlated with organic rankings (at the moment). The F & G position have been fluctuating a bit lately and pulling firms from page 2 of search. Sometimes, like in the screenshot below, we’ll see Kassor Law, other times, Lanier displays. Kurtz & Blum have, by far, the most reviews- and they provide a variety of services which people review.
The top 10 sites organically ranking in Google for: Raleigh Personal Injury Attorney
As of July 2015, these are the top 10 sites ranking organically in Google Search. Keep in mind that Google is a computer and this has nothing to do with which law firm is “better”.
- Whitleylawfirm.com – Whitley Law Firm has an interesting custom site with an on-site blog. They’re blogging about once or twice a month.
- AVVO – AVVO is ranking in nearly all major cities at the moment.
- Farrin.com – The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin is running a custom PHP site. A second site, FarrinLawBlog.com, complements the primary site. We have been seeing sites like this more and more in search. For SEO, we still prefer the blog on site, but having it off site seems just as good these days. A lot of attorneys have an off site blog if they are not using WordPress. WordPress makes creating and adding content easy. Farrin’s blog is WordPress. Good choice.
- Findlaw – Like AVVO, FindLaw is showing up everywhere lately.
- LawyerNC.com – Hardison & Cochran Attorneys At Law are running WordPress. In many larger cities, it is not uncommon to see the top 5 sites all running WordPress. This site is clean and simple and has an on-site blog with content going on to it that is being searched. Keep an eye on this one! They seem to favor Vimeo video embeds which is interesting..
- www.kurtzandblum.com – Kutrz & Blum has a custom site and does blog a bit. It appears that they do DUI, criminal defense, divorce, and injury law. Offering criminal defense services presents a variety of new places to obtain backlinks. If you’ve never obtained criminal defense backlinks before; they are like PI links but can be easier to obtain. Although I avoid them, there are also many directories available for defense attorneys. This high ranking site displays well for all of their niches. They are using an interesting cloud hosting video solution (Amazon S3) and videos are online at: www.kurtzandblum.com/video-center/ which I’ll be taking a closer look at one rainy day. Unlike YouTube videos, I have never seen their videos in search but if you use video search they do display as seen below.
This is neat as it takes the searcher directly to the site but I can’t help but wonder which method would produce more exposure. I personally add videos everywhere I can. It would be great if this video rich snippet showed up in search and I’m sure that was the intention of their SEO person- and maybe they do and I just haven’t seen them yet. Either way, this is very interesting.
- Kurtz and Blum again – Typically when a site ranks twice on page 1, the days are numbered. At some point Google will choose which page is more relevant to the search performed and drop 1 of the 2 pages. If this happens to you, you can adjust page titles and content for uniqueness.
- Thumbtack – This site is everywhere lately. I am unsure of its impact in the personal injury field as it has yet to break through in the competitive markets I am working in.
- Lawmed.com – Henson Fuerst, PA is using a custom site and does blog using WordPress on a subdomain, blog.lawmed.com.
- Lawyers.com – Between AVVO, FindLaw, Thumbtack & Lawyers.com, 4 of the top 10 positions are consumed by these big sits. Yelp is nowhere to be seen lately.
Page 2 and beyond
Martinandjones.com – This is a static, non-responsive site with no ongoing content. It still displays in mobile search results.
HardisonWood.com – Law Office of D. Hardison Wood is a nice site running WordPress. This one has potential to get onto page 1.Keep an eye on this one.
Lanierlawgroup.com – Lanier Law Group’s website itself is a non-responsive, custom WordPress theme.. This site has a mobile site mirroring the main site… And a very active media section: http://www.lanierlawgroup.com/media/ They’re blogging. There are office pages set up and configured to target the various cities around North Carolina where they have offices, including Burlington, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Hickory, Jamestown, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem. They have an app and there is a lot taking place on this website beyond the scope of this article. This site should be on page 1.