Winning SEO for Criminal Law Firms

Aug 31, 2023

Patrick Carver

Patrick Carver, CEO & Founder, Constellation Marketing

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Is your criminal defense firm ready to outshine the competition?

Imagine your firm’s name topping Google’s search results, attracting clients when they need you most. SEO isn’t just an option; it’s your pathway to prominence and profitability.

With tailored strategies, witness your firm’s transformation into the most sought-after legal defense in town. More visibility means more cases, more revenue, and a formidable online presence.

Ready to elevate your firm’s success? Embark on your SEO journey today.

Why Should I Invest in SEO for My Criminal Law Firm?

SEO isn’t just tech jargon; it’s your secret weapon in the courtroom of online visibility. With 93% of online experiences beginning with a search engine, it’s time to sharpen those digital skills. Discover how SEO can boost your practice, connect you with clients, and make your firm the go-to choice in town!

  1. Increased Visibility and Credibility: SEO helps the firm’s website rank higher in search engine results, enhancing visibility and conveying a sense of expertise and reliability. Being at the top of search results can lead to more inquiries and clients.
  2. Targeted Clientele: Through SEO, attorneys can target specific keywords and use local SEO strategies to reach individuals actively seeking their services in their geographic area. This ensures that the website reaches the right audience, connecting the firm with potential clients in their community.
  3. Cost-Effective Marketing: SEO provides long-term benefits at a lower cost than criminal defense advertising, offering a high return on investment. By attracting web visitors who are actively seeking legal services, SEO can turn them into clients at a lower cost per acquisition, making it a strategic and cost-effective marketing tool for criminal defense attorneys.

Successful SEO for Criminal Defense Lawyers

seo for criminal defense lawyers SEO

In the specialized field of criminal law, attorneys aim for top online spots in areas like DUI defense and drug offenses. Standard SEO firms often falter here.

Criminal law is nuanced. Understanding these subtleties leads to authority, better rankings, more traffic, and quality leads. There is no one-size-fits-all here; customization is key. Take these elements into account:

  • User Intent: For criminal lawyers, context is crucial to attracting the right organic leads. Without it, your website may inadvertently attract the wrong audience (victims), missing those needing your defense.
  • Case Value: Not all cases are equal. You should be disproportionately marketing for your ideal cases. If you favor DUI, you should focus on that as opposed to sex crimes or white-collar crimes.

Now, let’s dive into what makes an SEO campaign successful for a criminal defense law firm.

On-page SEO

On-page SEO is an SEO strategy in which you optimize a page or pages on a criminal defense website for best Google practices, according to Google guidelines, to rank for the organic keywords you want to rank for.

We thoroughly analyze the client’s website, carefully assessing its current SEO status, content, and links while addressing the client’s concerns. We also conduct a detailed evaluation of competitors in the criminal law field to identify areas for improvement in legal content, links, technical SEO, and overall website optimization.

Our on-page process is a 10-point checklist that provides a detailed insight into our strategies:

  1. Keyword Research
  2. Page Title
  3. Meta Description
  4. URL Structure
  5. Header Tags
  6. Keyword Placement
  7. Content Quality
  8. Content-Length
  9. Internal Linking
  10. External Linking

Ongoing Optimization

In addition to the content and link campaign, we regularly optimize existing website pages in line with the best SEO practices and competitor analysis. Our ongoing efforts also involve acquiring relevant external links to boost page authority with Google, ultimately driving better rankings, increased organic traffic, and more potential leads for our clients in the competitive criminal law market.

Keyword Research

In criminal law, keyword research is more than a task; it’s a targeted mission. We dive into the phrases used on Google, pinpointing those that resonate with potential clients.

We analyze keyword volumes and relevance locally and generally, aiming to find the perfect balance for ranking. It’s not just about relevance; it’s about local resonance. People often search for criminal lawyers close to home, making geographically pertinent keywords essential.

We categorize them into primary and secondary targets. Primary keywords lead to conversions, while secondary ones support and elevate the rankings.

In criminal law, every word counts, and we ensure they’re the right ones.


Content selection and research are cornerstones of our SEO approach for criminal law. We meticulously research and craft content to target valuable keywords, focusing on areas like DUI defense and drug offenses.

Our strategy is to build topical authority in criminal law with Google. We develop practice pages and supporting content that highlight our client’s expertise, driving SEO success.

Fresh, optimized content is key. It attracts new keyword rankings and enhances existing ones, strengthening our clients’ authority and positively influencing targeted rankings in the competitive field of criminal law.

Regular updates and optimization are essential. They signal our active pursuit of specific target keywords to Google’s crawler, keeping us competitive and maximizing our client’s online visibility.

Our content strategy combines:

  • Competitor content research
  • Structuring key practice areas in a topical map
  • Identifying secondary supporting topics
  • Finding top-performing online content relevant to the practice area

In criminal law, every blog post is a calculated move toward greater online prominence.

Topical Authority

Topical authority in criminal law signifies Google’s recognition of your website as a credible source in the legal field, providing valuable content to users.

Achieving this authority is vital for SEO, with content creation and optimization at its core. We craft content that covers criminal law aspects like DWI and DUI cases, including laws, penalties, defense strategies, and court procedures.

For clients dealing with DUI defense and drug offenses, we design topical clusters to boost rankings and attract leads. By focusing on areas such as “DUI defense laws” and “drug offense penalties,” we ensure our client’s websites shine in search results. In criminal law, topical authority is a strategic asset, and we know how to leverage it.

Case Study

We took on a new client, a DWI law firm based in Missouri, with no existing search presence or organic keyword rankings. Within a year, we implemented on-page optimizations and content-building efforts to achieve impressive results.

Initially, the firm had zero organic keywords and no substantial organic traffic. However, after our dedicated efforts, they now rank for 1.9k organic keywords, attracting relevant traffic to their website. Out of these keywords, 187 are ranking on the first page of Google, showcasing the firm’s expertise and visibility in the DWI and DUI practice areas.

In terms of organic user growth, the firm has seen significant progress, now reaching 1.1k average organic users per month. These users are specifically interested in DWI and DUI cases, aligning with the firm’s primary focus.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO in criminal law involves building external backlinks to increase a website’s authority with Google.

These backlinks are vital for SEO success, as Google views them as a key factor in organic rankings. When relevant sites, such as those focusing on DWI and DUI defense, link to a criminal law client’s website, it signals authority.

Obtaining links from pertinent legal sources is essential for a criminal law client. Google evaluates the backlink profile, comparing it to competitors. A robust and natural backlink profile often leads to better rankings for target keywords in the field of criminal law.


Citations, or business profiles on online directories, are vital for SEO, especially in the criminal law field. They enhance a website’s backlink profile, making it appear natural. Being listed in multiple citations signals to Google that the criminal law practice is legitimate and recognized on relevant platforms.

Legal Directory Links

Directory links involving a stringent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) check are essential for criminal attorneys’ SEO campaigns. Serving as NAP listings, they contribute to a natural and relevant backlink profile. The thorough scrutiny and strict process of these links enhance local SEO, ensuring the relevance and authenticity of the criminal attorneys’ online presence.

Local SEO for Criminal Defense Lawyers

seo for criminal defense lawyers local SEO

Local SEO is an SEO strategy that focuses on local organic rankings in the map pack and in the vicinity of the client.

It is important to rank locally for any criminal law client that wants to attract organic leads from clients looking for a criminal defense attorney through Google in their location or near them.

GBP Optimization

Google Business Profile (GBP) optimization is a key SEO strategy for criminal lawyers, aimed at enhancing rankings within the top map pack for targeted keywords.

This method is vital for boosting local SEO, especially in “near me” searches, securing a top spot in map listings. For criminal law firms, it’s a driver for attracting local organic leads, enabling potential clients to find and engage with legal services easily.

Our focus on GBP has led to a 50-100% increase in organic leads for our criminal law firm clients through Google business profiles alone.


GBP reviews are essential in optimizing criminal law firms. Left by clients to share experiences, these reviews impact the relevancy and prestige of a GBP profile.

The number and quality of reviews and the keywords used play a crucial role in determining a firm’s online standing in criminal law. More high-quality reviews lead to improved rankings and greater visibility in the field of criminal law services.

Case Study

We’ve successfully optimized local citations for a criminal law client in Atlanta and Decatur, enhancing their local rankings. Initially lacking in local standings, they were absent from top map pack results.

Post-GBP optimization and creating relevant citations, their local SEO rankings in connection with criminal law practice in “Atlanta” and “Decatur” have seen marked improvements. Both in the map pack and organic keywords, visibility has increased. This targeted approach has been key in boosting their online presence and attracting more traffic from those seeking criminal defense attorneys in these locations.

Technical SEO for Criminal Defense Lawyers

seo for criminal defense lawyers defense websites

Technical SEO, focusing on behind-the-scenes aspects like structure and page speed, is essential in criminal law. Aligning with Google’s guidelines, a clean, fast-loading, and well-structured website is rewarded with higher rankings. This enhances user experience and provides a competitive edge in criminal law.

Website Design for Law Firms

Website design, crucial in criminal law, entails creating a visually appealing and organized site. A responsive and user-friendly website, with proper structure and design, is more likely to achieve higher rankings on Google, enhancing the online presence of criminal law practitioners.

Website Performance (Speed, Errors, Responsiveness)

Website performance, particularly in criminal law, hinges on speed, responsiveness, and error-free operation, impacting user enjoyment.

It’s essential for SEO, as search engines prefer quick, smooth sites that provide a great user experience. Poor performance can result in higher bounce rates and reduced visibility, while good performance can boost search rankings and increase organic traffic for criminal law practitioners.

Hosting and Security

Hosting provides the server to store and access a website online, while website security safeguards against threats like unauthorized access and malware, both vital in criminal law.


Measuring SEO Success for Criminal Defense Lawyers

Effective measurement is vital for criminal lawyers investing in SEO to assess the outcomes and ROI of your law firm’s marketing efforts.

Key metrics such as website traffic, conversions, and search engine rankings are all important, but we focus on bottom-line revenue as the core metric. This approach ensures they recognize the value of organic leads and view SEO campaigns as a worthwhile investment that drives revenue and contributes to their success.

By analyzing the type, quality, and location of these leads (landing page), we evaluate the success of our campaigns and make data-driven decisions to optimize our SEO efforts.

Your SEO team should continuously analyze your performance, conducting monthly reviews to assess their progress. Then, based on those findings, develop ongoing strategy improvements to increase bottom-line revenue.


Choose a Winning Criminal Defense SEO Provider

A criminal lawyer’s SEO campaign hinges on selecting the right provider, one that understands the unique intricacies of the legal field. By aligning with a provider well-versed in criminal law, you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to succeed.

At our agency, we prioritize meaningful SEO strategies over vanity metrics, focusing on real results for criminal law clients.

Our goal isn’t merely to increase keyword count but to generate revenue by attracting high-value criminal law cases. We don’t rank all keywords equally; we identify the right ones that bring valuable traffic.

By analyzing the market and competitors, we tailor SEO strategies to increase return on investment, focusing on conversion potential rather than just organic traffic numbers.

This approach is vital for criminal defense law firms, as it ensures not only higher traffic but the right traffic for specific cases. It’s about connecting those in need with the right criminal defense, reflecting the personal nature of each case.

Patrick Carver

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