Clients hire lawyers, not law firms, so it’s no surprise that attorney bio pages are the most frequently visited content on most law firm websites. People come to your website to vet a referral, check on some desired experience or expertise, or put a face to a name. Put simply, a great bio has the power to help turn prospects into clients.
In fact, 85 percent of 209 firms surveyed by LexisNexis said attorney bios were the most visited pages on their sites. A bio with strong search engine optimization (SEO) can increase your visibility when prospects search for your kind of expertise, and it helps them evaluate your qualifications more quickly.
Five Ways to Improve Your Bio’s SEO
SEO is the process of enhancing the visibility of a website within a search engine, typically with the goal of getting a specific web page (or a collection of pages on a site) to appear frequently at the top of the search results for a set of search terms. With a better-optimized bio, potential clients can more easily find your page through a search engine, social media, or blogs and articles. Here are a few ways to boost your bio’s performance.
1. Integrate social media and use your full name in the URL. A FindLaw.com survey found that 38 percent of respondents would use the Internet to find an attorney. Make sure your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles and posts link back to your website bio page for clients interested in your credentials. Also be sure to incorporate your full name into the bio’s URL — for example, “https://www.yourfirm.com/attorneys/john-doe.” This signifies to search engine indexes that this page is heavily related to your name as a search term, making the page easier to locate for clients. Getting your name out there as much as possible is a sure way to help clients remember it when they need legal advice.
2. Include information like areas of expertise and recent cases. Just calling yourself an “attorney at law” won’t always sell. Clients need to know if you can meet their specific legal needs. Incorporating simple, important and up-to-date information about your experience, educational background and recent cases can turn curious website visitors into phone calls, as well as drive more visitors to your site through organic search results.
Mention identifiable terms (“family law,” “administrative law,” etc.) within descriptions of your expertise areas, and add key terms that your clients might use when searching for you (“alimony payments,” “transactional representation,” etc.). Using key terms increases the likelihood of your bio popping up when clients search for those terms.
3. Emphasize awards and accolades. Let your accomplishments speak for themselves by featuring awards, accolades and rankings in your bio that illustrate your proficiency and acumen. (Be mindful of your state’s ethics and advertising guidelines, of course.) Then, if a client uses a specific term related to an award or ranking of yours, your name should show in search results. Recognition of your abilities by others can be an enticing form of publicity.
4. Rein in the legal jargon. Know your audience and write for it. For many matters, potential clients know they need representation, but they likely don’t know all the terminology. If they have limited legal expertise, terms such as “jurisprudence” or “voir dire” mean nothing to them. If you’re a corporate lawyer, including specific terms and details relative to your practice may make sense for your audience. Complex jargon usually confuses more than it informs. If it’s in your bio, consider making it subordinate to other content that may be easily scanned and quickly understood.
5. Use professional, up-to-date pictures. While only loosely related to SEO, having a relatively current, professional picture on your bio page can make you more relatable to clients and give them an idea of whom they’ll be working with. Photographic styles for bio photos have evolved to be more personable and less like your high school yearbook picture. Anything that positively affects a potential client’s perception of you — like a photo — is worth including and keeping updated. There are no substitutes for a professional photographer, artful photo editing and high-quality display on your website.
Bonus: Keep information fresh. Frequently updated, pertinent content rises to the top of search-engine indexes. Keep your bio updated consistently to reflect your background and skills and to share recent news. Coupled with website content related to your areas of expertise and experience, and optimizing that content correctly, this should produce more organic search traffic along with more business opportunities.