Unveiling the Attorney SEO Mystery: When Do Results Appear? Staff Profile Picture
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To gain more clients in the digital age, lawyers need to go beyond traditional word-of-mouth marketing. A good alternative for them is attorney SEO, which is becoming one of the strategies law firms use to expand their reach. When done well, it can make their websites more visible to users searching for legal help on Google. However, since an effective SEO campaign requires meticulous planning, attorneys may wonder: How long does it take for SEO to work?

In general, it takes three to six months, depending on several factors. This is especially true for lawyer websites, which are in a highly competitive sector. Is your law firm located in a densely populated city or in a rural area? Is your practice area broad or niche? These are only some of the things to reflect on when planning an SEO campaign.

On that note, patience is a must-have. Unlike other marketing tactics like pay-per-click ads, SEO does not have immediate outcomes. Still, this does not always mean that PPC is better, as these two strategies have different roles in digital marketing. Remember that while website optimization takes time, the resulting traffic and leads will be more organic. 

Essentially, determining a concrete SEO timeline for your campaign can be a complicated process. As such, this article aims to discuss the intricacies of lawyer SEO, including what influences SEO progress and what one must do to achieve success. 

Cracking the SEO Code: What Factors Are At Play?

Unveiling the Attorney SEO Mystery: When Do Results Appear?

Does SEO really work? The simple answer is yes, depending on your business goals or targets. Since SEO is more complex than writing content and stuffing it with keywords, here are some key factors to look into before deciding what to do:

Keyword Competition

Competition is always present in business, and in SEO, you need to know your competitors’ keywords. How are they using these to rank on search engine results pages? Can you use the same queries and have identical results? If their rankings are still higher than yours afterward, what are the possible reasons? You can answer these questions by conducting keyword research.

When researching, it is essential to identify words, phrases, and questions used by clients when learning about a legal topic or searching for specific services. For example, if you are a local divorce lawyer, the query that people most likely type on Google is divorce lawyer in X rather than simply divorce lawyer. Once you get insights into what clients search for, you can use relevant keywords to optimize your content. 

Basically, there are two types of keywords in SEO: short-tail and long-tail. Short-tail keywords have a maximum length of three, meaning they are very broad in scope. While they have a high search volume, they may also have low conversion rates. This is where long-tail keywords come in. Since they are longer (at least four words), they are more specific and less competitive.

Website Authority & Age

Another factor you need to think about when planning your SEO campaigns is domain authority. Simply put, DA is tied to SERP performance. So, in the saturated legal industry, you need a high DA to get ahead of your competitors. 

If you wish to know your website's authority score, you can use various tools from Moz and Ahrefs to see what you can do to improve it. Possible solutions include using better keywords, creating relevant content, and having quality backlinks. 

Note that website age is an important factor in determining DA. The older a website is, the more likely it is for search engines to regard it as authoritative and trustworthy. Of course, to establish your online credibility, you must learn to wait. If your law firm's website is new, it is even more important to carefully prepare your SEO strategy. A digital marketing agency can help you with this endeavor. 

SEO Technicalities

Google crawls and indexes countless web pages every day. Crawling is the process in which search engines discover new content by examining website links. Meanwhile, indexing is the act of storing and organizing the content obtained during crawling. After this, Google can provide customized SERPs based on each user’s intent.

When developing an SEO strategy, you should make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website to boost your ranks. The simple practice of editing broken links to prevent 404 errors is a good way to ensure that Google successfully crawls and indexes your legal blogs or articles. Nonetheless, be sure not to ignore other SEO technicalities, such as loading speed, user navigation, and mobile friendliness.

Suppose your law firm already has lots of pages, but the appearance and functionality of the website itself leave a lot to be desired. You notice that it takes so long to load, it lacks helpful menus and jump links, and its articles become intimidating blocks of text on mobile devices. In this case, even if your content is relevant, your rankings will not improve. If you choose to redesign your website for SEO, be mindful of Google’s pertinent guidelines

Content Depth and Quality

The bulk of any website is its content, and writing pieces of high quality is an art. But what constitutes high-quality content? And what content types should you pursue to showcase your legal knowledge and credentials? 

As previously mentioned, keyword research is key to producing great content. If you are working on a guide page concerning personal injury laws in a particular state, where do you insert the keyword personal injury attorneys in X? On the main header? Subheadings? First paragraph? Also, how many times should you use the keyword? 

The rule of thumb is to aim for natural keyword placement to keep the flow of your ideas smooth. The number of keywords on a page must be balanced as well. Too many keywords could bloat your article with fluff. On the other hand, using too few keywords could make it aimless.

Another thing to consider is the depth of your content. If you are writing about the average settlement for car accidents, you have to tackle the factors influencing settlements and estimate the lowest and highest figures in your chosen area. However, if your article is too long, readers will get bored and will not read the post in full.

Overall, Google describes low-quality pages as those that fail to achieve their purpose. According to the linked resource, web pages must have the following to be considered high-quality:

  • Accurate and well-structured content: They must be edited, organized, and curated based on their purpose (e.g., a "How to File for Divorce" page must list clear instructions and links to documents that people can download to get started).

  • Originality: They must have authentic or fresh content, which can include the author’s perspective (e.g., Success Stories pages that showcase the cases you have won throughout your law career).

Backlink Profile

In the legal world, building credibility online may involve backlinks, which are like votes of confidence from other websites. The more high-quality links pointing to your pages, the higher you rank in search results. This puts your firm in front of more potential clients searching for counsel and representation.

However, not all backlinks are beneficial. While quantity matters, focusing on quality is crucial. Low-quality or toxic links can actually harm your SEO. This is where a marketing agency can be helpful, but choose one that sticks to white hat practices to ensure your online climb is safe and steady.

Establishing the SEO Timeline: What Should You Expect?

Unveiling the Attorney SEO Mystery: When Do Results Appear?

Is SEO a one-time thing? No, it is an ongoing process. The online landscape constantly evolves, and search engines keep refining their algorithms. Consequently, staying relevant and ranking well requires consistent effort and adaptation. 

Below are the different phases to expect when launching an SEO campaign for your law firm: 

Phase 1: Laying the Foundation (Weeks 1 to 4)

During this phase, you mainly research the things needed to establish the foundation of your SEO campaign. Things that you need to look into include your niche, competitive keywords for ranking on SERPs, and the performance of your competitors. 

Technical audits are also conducted during this time. This is where your website is evaluated in terms of design, user experience, content, and overall structure. Auditing your pages can lead to great changes.

Phase 2: Building Credibility (Months 1 to 3)

The next phase is mostly for content production. To make your law firm trustworthy, your website must be informative and helpful to answer readers' inquiries. If your practice area is probate, your content must revolve around it. 

You can create blog posts, articles, and case studies. Because probate laws vary by state, write about them and how they impact the probate process. Then, after a few weeks of performance monitoring, make the necessary updates to your content. 

This is also the time for link-building. Remember that the links you must use must come from trustworthy sources for your profile to be of high quality. 

Phase 3: Refining and Climbing (Months 4 to 6 and Beyond)

This phase is where you start seeing major improvements in your search engine rankings. Moreover, you must polish your strategies in accordance with Google's dynamic policies. With that in mind, it pays to keep up with SEO-related news.

Then, as established earlier, check if your site has broken links. Fix them immediately while continuing to build your profile. Furthermore, continue growing your expertise by diversifying the topics you cover based on your practice area. 

Patience and Persistence: Are They Keys to SEO Success?

Unveiling the Attorney SEO Mystery: When Do Results Appear?

When thinking about SEO for your law firm, your inquiry should not be why does SEO take so long or how long does SEO take to show results. Instead of fast SEO results, focus on creating a site that is impressive to both search engines and potential clients. This entails ongoing improvements, people-first content, and a commitment to providing a remarkable online experience.

While you will not see results overnight, the long-term benefits are worth the wait: organic traffic, qualified leads, and ultimately, more revenue for your firm. So shift your mindset, embrace the journey, and watch your website become a powerful marketing tool.

Optimize Your Law Firm’s Website with Expertise

Ultimately, doing SEO on your own can be overwhelming, but you can work with agencies to develop sound strategies for your law firm. Expertise can aid you in your search for SEO agencies and marketing consultants, enabling you to confidently dedicate your time to client relations.  


Can I speed up the process of SEO?

Yes, you can speed up the SEO process in various ways. Some things you can do are refresh stale content, incorporate relevant links, add meta titles and descriptions, and adapt your site to mobile devices. However, SEO can still take three to six months to generate results, even with the best practices in place. 

How does Google's algorithm update influence the time it takes for SEO to work?

While Google's algorithm tweaks often target specific keyword searches, major updates can send ripples across the entire SEO landscape, potentially shaking up your keyword rankings. This means you must investigate what was affected and adjust your strategy accordingly. Otherwise, your SEO progress could be stalled. 

How long should I wait before changing my SEO strategy?

When fine-tuning your SEO strategy, remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Resist the urge to make drastic changes every few weeks. Give your new tactics at least six months to truly show their impact on rankings. You might see dips or jumps in metrics like clicks and impressions, but these might only be temporary.

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