Lawyer SEO Increased Visits By 4k Per Month

Want to get a huge boost in visitors to your website? 

Become the best lawyer for your practice area in the state.

That is what one of my clients did and the law firm’s website got an immediate boost in traffic of more than 4k visitors in 30 days! That is unheard of.

Report from Google Analytics Shows Best Divorce Lawyer

But being the best, and being recognized as the best can be different things. It requires getting Google to actively promote you as the best lawyer in your state by listing your website at the top of their results.

Be careful though, as claiming you are the best law firm can get you in big trouble with the ABA.

The trick is to get google to recognize you as the best lawyer in your state but not to make that determination yourself. Truthfully, it is really about just being a bit creative.

While many law firms take advantage of this tactic, it is surprising how many opportunities are still out there.

After researching hundreds of attorney websites throughout the country who were ranked in the #1 spot on Google’s search result for best attorney in a practice area, I have identified a variety of tactics that can be easily replicated (and some that you want to stay clear from).

Examples of law firms who rank as the best 

The following is a sample of ten tactics various law firms have used intentionally or not that got them to rank as the best attorneys in their state (or city) for their practice area. 

While I provide some analysis as to specific factors I believe is the primary factor that puts them on top, it is very possible other factors contribute. For example there could be an inbound keyword rich link influencing results. 

Be sure to check out my consolidated list of keywords and phrases at the end that you can use to improve the rankings as the best attorney.

1. Create a dedicated page on choosing the Best Bankruptcy Attorney

Search Term: Best Bankruptcy Lawyer in New Jersey

Google provides a little direction here why they selected this site as the number one pick. A justification on their Google Business Profile (GBP) listing shows their website mentions “best bankruptcy lawyer”

Best Bankruptcy Lawyer NJ On GBP

Looking at the pages on the website quickly reveals a dedicated page on “best bankruptcy lawyer”. This is easily accessible from the main menu as a resource on choosing an attorney.


In my opinion, this site went way overboard on their use of declaring themselves the best. The site has 105 pages the the exact term “Best NJ Bankruptcy Lawyer”.

They even go so far as to add similar text in the meta description on the home page:

New Jersey has some of strictest laws in the country about misleading marketing, and anything you do to declare yourself as the best, top or supper is not allowed.

The #2 result only has the term “Best Bankruptcy” one time on the website. This appears to be a legitimate use within an alt tag where the firm received an award as a Best Lawyer in Newark, the largest city in NJ.

The #3 result only casually mentions the term best bankruptcy in the following sentence on the home page:

“We believe our clients deserve to feel confident they are being represented by the best bankruptcy firm.”

[#4 has “best” mentioned casually 2 times on the home page. Never mentions best bankruptcy]

This is a great example displaying the progression of a highly optimized website to one not optimized at all. And it shows in the way the law firms are ranked by Google.

2. Use the term Best Divorce Lawyer in a main header

Search Term: Best Divorce Lawyer in Florida

It is my feeling that this firm wins the top spot for “best divorce lawyer in Florida” because it uses a similar term in an H2 tag near the top of the home page.

Best Divorce Lawyer Orlando Header

The term “best” is included 22 other times on the home page. The law firm also has a dedicated blog post with a main header and sub-header using similar terms.

Who Is Best Orlando Divorce Lawyer Header

Similar to the example above, this page just describes how to find a good attorney. While the title is very suggestive, they never actually declare themselves as the best. They don’t need to as few people will ever read this page from 10 years ago.

The #2 result has the word “best” only mentioned casually 8 times on the main divorce page which is linked to from their GBP listing. The page uses terms such as:

  • Best option
  • Best solution
  • Best interest

The attorney does have a testimonial page that mentions the near exact term.

The #3 spot also has the term best casually mentioned 8 times on the home page. But they have this review included on the sidebar of every page of the website.

Review Best Divorce Lawyer Tampa

3. Optimize awards

Search Term: Best divorce lawyers in New Jersey

Here is a simple tactic that anyone can employ. I’ve seen this work over and over again. Every lawyer website displays awards like these:

Law Firm Awards

The attorney for who occupies the #1 position in Google’s results just properly optimized these small images but using the keywords in the URL and Alt tags as follows:

Lawyer Award Alt Tags

But what I think really puts them over-the-top is the way the awards are described in a disclaimer at the footer of every page on the site. This NJ law firm found a way to creatively include the term “best” in a variety of ways and wants you to know it is not approved (which is required in NJ). Kudos!

Law Firm Disclaimer

The #2 listing for “best divorce lawyers in New Jersey” used a similar tactic. The law firm has the term “best” 7 times on their homepage. This includes within a sentence where the best divorce attorneys think several steps ahead, and in the title of a review:

Best Lawyer in New Jersey Header

But I think what gets them the #2 spot is the alt tag used for this award:

10 Best Award Example

You can see it effectively uses the keywords “best divorce attorneys”.

10 Best Alt Tag

It’s only used on 3 pages though, so not quite as strong as the firm in the top spot.

Interestingly the third position goes to a firm with a stellar testimonial yet the law firm failed to use this on the home page! Instead the word best is only mentioned one time.

Best Personal Injury Lawyer Testimonial

4. Clients use the word “best” in reviews

Search Term: Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in West Virginia

The first result only mentions the word “best” 2 times. In fact the site does not even come close to declaring themselves as the best lawyers on any page.

But what the law firm does have is a stellar 5-star review with nearly the exact words “Best defense attorney”.

Best Criminal Defense Attorney Review

The #2 listed law firm has the word “best” mentioned one time on the home page. They do have a review with the term “best lawyer” but that is on a testimonials page.

What is really interesting about this attorney website is that they have a review that declares them the “best DUI defense attorney”. While this did not help them get the top spot for “Best criminal defense attorney in West Virginia” it does get them a #1 result for “Best DUI defense attorney in West Virginia”

Best DUI Defense Attorney Review

Similarly, this attorney has the following review on Google Business Profile

Best Attorney West Virginia

And the law firm shows up #2 in that search.

The #3 listing in Google’s local search results has the word “best” only one time on the page. 

The law firm does fuel the term on a client reviews page though:

Best Personal Injury Lawyer Review

As well as have a few reviews on their GBP that could be helping:

Best Lawyer Review

These examples clearly show the actual keywords used within reviews matters!

5. Use all the keywords in an external link

Search Term: Best Family Law Attorney in North Carolina

In this example the #1 spot goes to a law firm that uses the word “best” only a couple of times on the home page. 

But doing a deeper dive onto one of the attorney pages, you can see that all of the words in our search term are included in the following link to the awards page:

Best Lawyer Awards

The #2 position goes to a lawyer who may be crossing the line by declaring themselves the best child custody lawyer in Greensboro North Carolina directly in an H2 header.

Best Child Custody Lawyer

When the search was switched to “Best child custody lawyer in North Carolina”, this law firm came up first.

The #3 place in Google does not have the word “best” on the home page. However, once again some of the words are included in an alt tag for one of the awards. 

Best Divorce Lawyer Alt Tag

Since they specifically used “best divorce lawyers” I checked that search term and sure enough they are #1!

This firm also has a couple of nice GBP reviews that likely help, but not enough to get the top spot:

Best Family Lawyer Review

Best Family Law Firm Review

Clearly having the text in reviews helps, but not as much as having the content on the website.

6. Write the exact search term in bold text

Search term: Best car accident lawyers in Houston

The #1 listing in Google’s search results is for a law firm that uses the exact keywords in bold font on the car accident page where the Google Business Profile is directed to.

Houston Car Accident Attorney Heading

This appears to be further influenced by the law firm cheating further by adding (Houston) next to their firm name on their Google profile. But since most of the top listings also stuffed keywords into their listings, it is likely that the bolded text was the main reason it ranks first.

Switching the search term to “best auto accident lawyers in Houston” this firm drops to the 6th position. Using “motor vehicle” in place of “car” the firm drops to 8th. Using “car crash” in place of “car accident” drops to 10th. Using “truck accident” in place of “car accident” the lawyer is not in the top 20 results.

So it again clearly shows that having the exact or near exact text on the page makes a big difference. In a highly competitive market such as Houston, ranking first for many search terms is not likely.

The attorney in the second spot on Google’s local results is a bit baffling. The firm does not use the word “best” on the home page at all. The search term is not mentioned anywhere on the website. Plus the GBP reviews only show the word “best” twice. 

As noted earlier, this attorney does have an aggressive GBP name with the keywords “accident lawyer” included. However those words are included in their logo so it is doubtful Google would penalize them.

Looking further on the law firm’s home page shows most of the keywords used multiple times which may have some impact here.

As with the first result, change the search term from “car accident” to “auto accident” and their listing drops to the 12th position.

The #3 results goes to a law firm that uses the exact phrase on another page:

Types Of Car Accidents Header

The law firm also has a bunch of location pages with the near exact search phrase on each of them:

Car Accident Attorney Pearland

7. Using keywords in different context

Search Term: Best DUI lawyer in Wisconsin

Clearly a lot of people are searching for this term as it appears when I start to enter my search phrase in Google.

Google Suggest DUI Wisconsin

The #1 listing in Google local results shows a law firm with a very similar term used in a slightly different context. It’s kind of a slogan. And the website has this header used on 7 different pages. 

Now in Houston or New Jersey, this probably would not be enough. But in Wisconsin it seems to do the trick.

Best Defense Lawyer Header

It is also important to note this text is the largest text on a page that does not have a lot of content. The page also only discusses criminal defense and OWI (another term for DUI) equally on the page.

Once again the #2 listing does not reveal a clear reason why it shows up in that spot. The law firm does have a dedicated DUI page with a primary link from the main menu and a few other places on the home page. This page uses a header with keywords in similar order to our search term.

DUI Lawyer Milwaukee

But the word best is only casually mentioned a few times on the home page. When I switch the search around to “Best Wisconsin DUI lawyer”, this firm shows up in the #15 spot. The #1 and #3 results kept their same position. 

It appears the order of keywords in a search term can have some impact on rankings.

This attorney does have a few reviews that mention “best lawyer” and “best attorney” but not in the context of DUI.

One place that does emphasize DUI is the services section of the Google Business Profile.

Google Services DUI Lawyer

Does heavy emphasis of a practice area in the GBP services impact search results? Perhaps that will be a future study.

Here is what the #3 listing in Google local results used for a meta description. I thought the meta description didn’t influence Google results?

Meta Description Tag

Meta Description Best DUI

The lawyer also has this pretty stellar review on the GBP which may be helping a bit.

Best DUI Review

What really perplexes me is the #4 listing. The law firm uses a bolded text from a review with the exact search term. Why was this not higher in the local results?

Best DUI Lawyer Wisconsin Heading

My guess is the location of the firm. We are looking at local results and this law firm is located in a community well north of Milwaukee where two of the top results are in Milwaukee and the first result was near the center of the state.

Being curious, I checked if this firm comes up when I search for “best DUI defense lawyer in Wisconsin”. They were only able to muster up a 7th place finish. 

But the law firm that was first for that query uses a Facebook page as their website! The page does not even include the words “best” or “DUI”. In fact, DUI is only used in the description of their GBP listing and one time in the services. 

But check out the URL of their Facebook page:

Best DUI Lawyer Facebook URL

Does URL matter in Google search results? Seems like it.

8. Add keywords to TITLE tag of another page

Search Term: Best divorce lawyer in Ohio

The #1 listing holds back nothing. While the word “best” has 16 mentions within GBP reviews and is casually mentioned 5 times on the home page, that’s not what gets them the top spot. When you dig a little deeper, you will see this law firm added the keywords in the title tag on their Divorce page.

Best Divorce Lawyer Ohio Title Tag

This site also ranks #1 for “Best divorce lawyer in Columbus Ohio”. In fact the law firm also added similar text to their home page designating them as the “best family lawyer in Columbus Ohio”.

They also stuffed keywords into the firm name on the GBP listing.

The #2 listing has the word “Best” mentioned 14 times in reviews

But the real advantage they have is several blog posts where the law firm announces awards they won. The posts use custom URLs with the keywords.

Best Ohio Divorce Lawyer URL

Along with a matching Title, H1 header, and text on the page.

The #3 listing has the word “best” mentioned 12 times in reviews but also has one award optimized with an alt tag on the home page,

Google sees this and even shows it in their search results

Google Results Best Ohio Divorce Lawyer

The lawyer in the 4th position has almost no optimization at all. This is another great example showing the progression of how even a little optimization can get you into the top positions.

9. Combination of factors

Search Term: Best divorce lawyer in New Hampshire

Next I took a look at results from a small state to see how hard it may be to rank when there is perhaps a bit less competition.

Interestingly, the #1 law firm has nice use of an alt tag, but the second result is much stronger. 

Alt tag for first listing:

Best Divorce Lawyer New Hampshire Alt Tag

Alt tag for second listing:

Second Alt Tag

Otherwise both websites are similar. However when you take a look at the GBP profile for each firm, the one listed first has this super-strong review.

Best Law Firm Review

In fact the top firm has 19 reviews that mention the word best vs only 5 for the second lawyer. But the use of capital letters in near exact match to the search term seems to be what puts this firm over the top.

One final observation between the first and second results in Google local is the TITLE tag of the home page.

Title for the first listing

Title Tag New Hampshire Lawyer

Title for the second listing

Title Tag Family Law Page

While the review above seems to be what gives the law firm the lead, it only says “best attorney” but does not include a practice area where the TITLE tag clearly is optimized for both divorce and family law. And the firm ranks first as the best of both. Even though this lawyer handles criminal law and estate planning, the firm’s profile does not show up anywhere near the top for those searches.

When it comes to the #3 result for this search, the website uses no optimization at all for “best divorce attorney”. The only thing the law firm seems to have working is this review.

Best Attorney Text

While sometimes the reason one website ranks higher than another is obvious, in this case there seems to be several reasons. 

10. Multiple uses of the primary term “Best Lawyers” on the page

Search Term – Best discrimination lawyers in New Jersey

For this next example a slightly less competitive practice area of discrimination law was chosen. Let’s see if it will be any easier to rank.

The 1st result used the term “Best Lawyers” 3 times on the home page and “Best Law Firm” one time to describe an award the law firm won. 

Best Lawyers Promotion

This firm also used the word discrimination 21 times in the GBP services section, but the other law firms had similar representation so that does not seem to be a factor.

Both the first and third listings have 10 pages of content on discrimination where the second listing has only 8 pages. Again, that does not seem to be a factor however it is possible the depth of those pages make a difference

The #2 listing in Google’s local pack does not have the word “best” mentioned on the home page. In fact, it is only included 8 times on the entire website. However, the home page does mention the word “discrimination” 23 times where the third listing only uses it once.

Discrimination Used 23 Times On Page

But they also have one review that describes the firm as “The BEST employment attorney” that may help.

The 3rd place lawyer does not include the word “best” on their home page either. But digging into the source code you can see there is a link to their Facebook page “employmentlawyerbest”.

Facebook Page Name Best Lawyer

In this example Google seems to have weighed having the primary keywords on the page very heavily. But we can also deduce that a website with some optimization will outperform a website that unintentionally uses the keywords.

A few simple ways you can slip the keywords into your content

Think you’re the best lawyer in your area and want to update your website to see if you can rank? Here are some example sentences you can cut and paste or modify and add to your website.

  • Getting the best divorce lawyer is a complicated matter
  • The best way to find the best divorce attorney
  • The best divorce attorneys are experts
  • We also feel very strongly that many people seeking the best divorce attorney in xxxx have not explored every possible option to avoid divorce, and that is why we encourage every potential client to at least try to seek marriage counseling before finalizing their case.
  • The best criminal attorneys in xxxx know how to
  • The best divorce attorneys think several steps ahead
  • You should think about what is the best divorce lawyer for you and your case.
  • Because of the stakes involved, finding the best divorce attorney should not be a matter of compromise.
  • Tips for Hiring the Best Divorce Attorney ·
  • Utilize these ten tips to ensure you choose the best divorce attorney in the first place.
  • Voted xxxx’s Best Divorce Attorney 9 Years in a row!
  • Often it is not the case of who is the best divorce attorney, but rather who is the right fit for your case.
  • You not only want legal representation, but you want to find the best divorce attorney near 
  •  Best Criminal Defense Attorney Strategies: 
  • …accused or charged with a crime or placed under police investigation, it is extremely important to find the best criminal defense attorney immediately.
  • When you’re facing criminal charges, finding the best criminal defense attorney can seem like a daunting task.
  • Here are some of the best criminal defense attorney secrets to know.
  • If being represented by the best criminal defense attorney is important…
  • Hiring the best criminal defense attorney near me is about more than just finding someone with experience. 
  • Striving to be the best personal injury lawyer in xxxx
  • The best personal injury lawyer is one that represents your individual needs
  • You could have the absolute best personal injury lawyer but if you fail to receive treatment your claim will be severely impacted.
  • No doubt they will want to find the best personal injury lawyer in xxxx
  • We’re proud to be rated among the best car accident lawyers in xxxx
  • Here’s a few folks who think we’re the best xxxx lawyer in xxxx
  • Why Work With the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in xxxx – maybe link this to a page on the criminal penalties or settlements won
  • If you have been in an accident you will no doubt want to find the best personal injury lawyer in xxxx 
  • Create an awards page: Are we the best xxxx attorney in xxxx? You decide

What to do if the top few search results are hard to beat?

Sometimes using the tactics outlined above won’t get you one of those coveted top few spots. When this is the case there are a few other things you can try to attract lots of visitors.

Don’t underestimate being the best lawyer in a larger city – Instead of optimizing for the entire state, consider doing it for the city. 

Use a more specific area of practice – Instead of trying to be the top personal injury lawyer, try to be the best auto accident lawyer or the first car accident attorney. Subtle differences in wording can make a big difference.

Ask for reviews – Start reaching out to your clients and ask them to post a review about why you are the best. In time you will pick up a few nicely-worded endorsements on your GBP that could launch you to #1.

Living up to being the best lawyer

If you are going to attempt to rank for the best attorney, make sure you can live up to that reputation. The page someone lands on should reinforce that you are a great attorney or law firm – one of the best. Show awards, testimonials, and accomplishments. Be reassuring. Provide excellent service. 

This article is only intended to show the effect that SEO tactics can have for a website and business. In no way is it intended to suggest that lawyers or marketers mislead potential clients. It is just not worth it.

If you need help getting new clients from your website, find an SEO expert who can start the right path for your firm with proper optimization.