Website Optimization for Personal Injury Lawyers

The first thing I should mention is that if you’re looking for a quick and dirty way to get content for your website, then this page isn’t for you. My brand of SEO is creating the best content possible and then building high authority links to it. You can put up some cheap content and build a ton of links to it and rank that way. To be honest if I just graduated from law school and was starting a personal injury firm I might consider doing some quick and dirty tactics just to get the phone ringing. I’m not above it morally and I’d be lying if I said I’ve never done that type of SEO in the past, however as an agency I’ve been doing SEO for way too long to use quick and dirty tactics knowing that it’s a matter of time before you’re #canceled.

I strongly suggest that if you’re doing the SEO for yourself and you’re able to write half decently, that you write your own content. I could have easily outsourced this article (and all of the content on our site) to someone who writes for $.03 per word and had a bunch of low quality content on the cheap. It would have saved me a ton of time but at the end of the day I doubt you’d be reading it. It’d be low quality fluff and you’d right away know wasn’t an written by an expert. The content on your practice area pages is the same. If you use low quality content and get the phone ringing, great, but you should definitely reinvest and up the quality of your content so that when your potential clients land on your site they’re not reading 2000 words of fluff on car accidents in Des Moines, Iowa.

When we write content for our clients we write content that anybody would be proud to have on their website. We’re able to do this because we’re laser focused on personal injury lawyers. If someone hired us to do SEO for a bankruptcy lawyer or a mold removal service, we wouldn’t have the expertise necessary to write content on those topics. If you’re doing the SEO yourself for your website, then take the time to write it yourself and write good content that people actually want to read. It will make ranking that content so much easier and save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

It should also be mentioned that the absolute first thing we do is the SEO audit, from there we make a plan for the website structure. Once those are in place, and we’ve already done our keyword research, that’s when we start optimizing the website itself as detailed below. Also keep in mind these are the steps we take for the practice area pages, not necessarily for the blog posts. If you’re looking to optimize your blog posts then check out our page on content marketing for personal injury lawyers.

Practice Area Page Content for Personal Injury Lawyers

The first thing I want to tackle on this page is explaining how we do the basics of content for a personal injury law firm’s practice area pages. This part of the page is going to bleed into Conversion rate Optimization (CRO) because not only do we want people to come to our pages, we also want them to take action once they arrive. I’m not going to use hyperbole and say that if you rank #1 and your content is written poorly you won’t get any leads, because we all (should) know that’s horse sh*t. By nature of being #1 overall for a heavily searched term you’re going to get phone calls and people contacting you, but if you can improve the amount of calls you get while just making tweaks to your page – it’s an extremely efficient way to increase your case load.

With that being said, the first goal when you’re writing content should always be to get the visitor to take action. The second goal should be to satisfy as many search intents as possible. I’ll explain this in detail later so stick with me if that went over your head. The third goal of your page should be to provide a new angle. If every firm in your city has a car accident page, what makes your page better? Writing 2000 words of blah blah bah content isn’t giving you an advantage over your competitors. You can hammer a page to the top using link building but links are expensive and sparse. It’s much more efficient to have everything in order before doing your link building so that you can outrank your competitors with fewer links.

Alright, enough theory let’s get into practice.

How do you write personal injury lawyer content that gets the user to take action?

The vast majority of people will scan your page for something that catches their interest. They’ll read your first paragraph and then scroll the page looking for something that catches their eye. The above the fold content on your practice area pages are crucial to getting their attention. Treat it as a hard sell on why they should call you right now. The best things to highlight in our experience are as follows:

  • Free Case Evaluations
  • No win/no fee, fee arrangements
  • They can speak directly to a lawyer.
  • You’re experienced.
  • You’re willing and able to take cases to trial when necessary.
  • You seek maximum compensation.
  • They’ll be treated with respect and given the attention they deserve.

That’s it, it might seem like a long list but it’s really basic stuff – or at least I’d hope you’d consider it basic. If you can quickly touch on all of those points above the fold while being relevant to the topic they’re searching about, you’ll greatly increase the amount of calls you get from your search engine traffic. Here’s an example:

Experienced Denver Car Accident Lawyers – Helping car accident victims in Colorado since XXXX with over $X in settlements for our clients

Were you injured in a car accident? Call now, we offer free case evaluations where you can speak directly to a lawyer to discuss your options. (555) 555-5555

We know the games that insurance companies play. Don’t settle for a settlement mill. When you work with our firm our experienced lawyers will seek the maximum compensation and make the insurance companies pay you what you deserve. We will walk you through the process and it never costs money out of pocket to work with our firm, we only take a fee if we win. If you’re suffering from injuries sustained in a car accident, get in touch with us now. When you hire us, we will always make time for you and answer all of your questions.

Call (555) 555-5555 Now to Discuss Your Options

The first two and last lines would be headers, H2 for the first line and H3 for the other two. I’m weaving in a fair amount of keywords, I’ve placed the phone number in the copy twice and I’m making a direct pitch about why they should work with you instead of your competitors. I’m not talking about car accident statistics or steps to take after a car accident, I’m treating them as though they have phone in hand in and they’re trying to decide who to call right now.

After the above I’ll slow things down, if someone sees the above and then they scroll down the page – they’re either (a) looking for more background on your firm before they make their call or (b) they’re not looking to call someone right now and they’re looking for more information. If someone is looking for more info, you don’t want to continue giving them a hard sell. You want to pull back and switch to the second goal, which is filling searcher intent.

How and why do we want to cover as many search intents as possible on personal injury lawyer practice pages?

As you may have guessed, search intent is another way of saying ‘the reasons why people searched for what they searched for’. Understanding search intent isn’t rocket science, if you graduated from law school I’m confident in your ability to decipher search intent handily. What you need to do is think of your main keyword, in this example ‘Denver car accident lawyers’, now back the scope out to the widest possible keywords. For this example, let’s go with ‘car accidents’. Now, think of every possible reason why someone would search for ‘car accidents’ in Google.

  • They’re looking for a lawyer
  • How much a lawyer charges for car accident lawsuits
  • Who can sue after a car accident
  • What are the laws regarding car accidents and lawsuits
  • They want traffic accident stats
  • Common causes of car accidents
  • Common types of car accident injuries
  • Average settlements of car accident lawsuits
  • etc.

The more you can come up with while being relevant, the better. I’d organize them from top to bottom based on the ones that are most relevant to someone who is about to call you. I wouldn’t go through the history of car accidents at the top of your page. I’d focus on content like “How much does it cost to hire a car accident lawyer?” you can highlight the nature of the contingency fee, emphasize the free case evaluation, etc.

Then you can have a section like “How much can I sue for a car accident?” obviously you can’t tell them what their case is worth before even speaking to them but what you can do is explain how the amount they’ll be entitled to depends on the severity of their injuries, being able to prove the severity of the injuries and that they were caused by the accident, etc.  You can also explain how it depends on the amount of insurance coverage.

This is a good time to highlight some previous successful cases where you recovered large amounts for a victim of a car accident. You might not want to include it directly in your copy, but you can break up the paragraphs by having successful recoveries listed in between the copy.

By breaking the page down into different subsections and writing content for as many different search intents as possible, you’re making sure your page has something for everyone regardless of the reason they searched for this keyword in the first place. This is what Google wants, they want to be sure that your page satisfies the searcher’s intent for as many different search intents as possible within reason.

How do you differentiate your personal injury lawyer practice area pages?

This one is not as straight forward as the others and you’ll need to think outside of the box in order to come up with some fresh ideas. My intent is to explain why it’s necessary and give you a couple of ideas to get you started in the right direction.

The reason why you want to differentiate your content is because literally all of your competitors who take their SEO somewhat seriously are doing the above with search intent. You can outdo them and if they have 1000 words of content covering 5 search intents, you write 2000 words covering 10 search intents but at the end of the day tacking on another 5 search intents at the end will help you rank for more long tail keywords but it won’t necessarily increase your authority for ranking for the short tail keywords. Having a new angle can help you make your content different in a sea of articles that by most metrics look the same to Google. When done properly, differentiating your content also increases your authority and the more authoritative your content the easier you’ll rank for more keywords.

Here are some examples:

  • Include outbound links to authoritative websites.
    Don’t just randomly slip in a link to, but rather if you’re quoting stats of car accidents then link to the source of those stats. If there’s an article in your local newspaper that you can cite, link to the article.
  • Include quotes from well known people.
    Quote a trial lawyer that you look up to about the need for preparation before litigating. Quote medical doctor about the seriousness of whiplash. Quote a psychologist or therapist about PTSD of car accident survivors, etc. Contact a local professional in your jurisdiction that’s willing to provide a quote and you can also link to their website. Make sure they’re reputable of course.
  • Use original images/illustrations.
    Most people use the same old stock images, go to a website like and get someone to make unique illustrations to stand out from the crowd.
  • Be specific about laws, cases, jargon, etc. 
    You don’t want your practice area page to be full of legalese, but to make it obvious that you know what you’re talking about instead of saying “The law says…” cite the actual law you’re referring to. If there’s a legal term for what you’re describing, use it and then define it for everyone else.
  • Reference relevant local events. 
    Most of the content written for practice area pages are written by writers in other parts of the country or even other countries entirely. They might Google the local laws for quick reference but they probably don’t mention specific landmarks in the city or events that received mainstream coverage. Mentioning them on your page can increase local authority.

Our process for writing content for our client’s practice pages includes all of the above three goals. This is our exact process:

  1. We conduct a recorded interview with our client and ask them point blank each search intent.
  2. We write unique content for all of the search intents. We don’t have word targets for these, but we try to make sure they have little to no ‘fluff’ in them.
  3. Last but not least we evaluate the content and try to increase the page’s authority using the various tactics described above.

Once we have that content ready, we move on to the following:

To bold, or not to bold for Personal Injury Lawyer Practice Area Pages

That’s a bit of an oversimplification on my part, but the idea is that there are certain things you can do to dress up your content which are important so we’ll cover those in this section:

  • Add Header Tags: Basic HTML has six header tags. There’s plenty of info about them on the internet and they’re not overly complicated so I’m not going to get into too much detail about them here. However I will quickly mention that it’s important that every page have at least one H1 tag and it should preferably be broken down into several H2 tags. If you have a page that’s 1000 words, you don’t want it to be a wall of text. Dress up your headers to each section using header tags and it not only helps your SEO efforts, it makes the page easier to read.
  • Bold and Italic Text: By using bold text that’s relevant to your content you’re sending a bit of an extra signal to Google of what the page is about but the real reason for bolding your text is that it improves the user’s experience. If you Google a medical condition that you’re not familiar with and open the first three results in separate tabs, scan them for the information you think is most relevant and you’ll naturally gravitate towards the headers and the text that’s bold. Don’t bold your phone number and words like call now, because it’s salesy and not helpful. It’s better to bold the info they’re looking for rather than what you want them to see.
  •  Image Optimization: I mentioned above that you want to use unique images, but it’s a good idea to also optimize those images. You can do so by naming them with relevant file names like instead of img_001.jpg rename the image to denver-car-accident-lawyer.jpg. You should also geo tag your images with either your office’s or your city’s geo coordinates. You can do this easily for free with this website. Last but not least you want to add descriptive text of your images in the alt tags that includes your keywords.
  • Embed your Google My Business Listing: If you only have one office location then I would recommend embedding your GMB on your pages as it helps your local SEO efforts but it also improves user experience by letting them know you’re local to them and have an office.

Page Titles For Personal Injury Lawyer Practice Area Pages

Page titles should not be overlooked. Simply changing your page titles can increase your rankings significantly. I’ve made adjustments to our client’s page titles and see them go from page 2 to #1 instantly. There’s a lot of different schools of thought when it comes to page titles and at the end of the day once you start seeing some results you can play around with them and use your experience to craft the best possible page titles but I’ll explain the two main schools of thoughts and then explain my take on them:

  • Optimizing Page Titles for CTR: The page titles are prominently displayed in the SERPs and some people think the most important thing is writing a title that people will choose to click on. CTR itself is a ranking factor for Google’s algorithm and so by optimizing for CTR you can boost your rankings. A quick example would be, you rank #3 for your keyword ‘Denver car accident lawyers’, you write your title for CTR and more people click on your site than the sites in spots #1 and #2. The obvious signal to Google is that your page is more relevant and so they move you up to the #1 spot based on this alone. An example of a page title written for CTR would be something like “Denver Car Accident Lawyer – Were you injured in an accident?”
  • Optimizing Page Titles for Keywords: The idea here is that by including as many keywords as possible in your title, you can rank for the widest net of keywords possible. If you didn’t include any keywords in your title and just optimized for CTR, you would have a much tougher time ranking for any keywords. If you notice in the example above, the first portion of the title is still a keyword. So an example of a title optimized strictly for keywords would be something like “Denver Car Accident Lawyers – Car Crash Attorneys in Denver, Co”. By going this way you’re including variations like car crash instead of car accident.

My advice when it comes to page titles is that if you’re starting out with a new website and you currently don’t rank for anything, then use the ladder method of optimizing page titles for keywords. You want to rank, it’s not the time to get cute and give up valuable real estate. However if you’ve been ranking #2-5 for a valuable keyword and want to increase the amount of leads from that keyword, then try changing your title and see how it goes. The good thing about page titles is that you can change them, submit the page for reindexing in GSC, wait 10-15 minutes and see the result. If you kept your current ranking – leave it and see if it improves the CTR and if it ultimately improves your position. However if you get it reindexed and it drops off the face of the earth, I’d still wait a little bit, but if it doesn’t recover then I’d retreat to the original title that was working.

Each page on your site should have unique page titles and make sure they’re not too long. Google will display a different amount of characters based on the device (mobile vs desktop). Most searches are done via mobile so I generally optimize for mobile.

Meta Descriptions for Personal Injury Lawyer Practice Area Pages

Meta descriptions are not a direct ranking factor with Google. Meaning, what you put in your meta descriptions will not directly affect your page’s ranking in Google. However they can massively affect the CTR which as we discussed above, is a direct ranking factor in Google. Writing unique meta descriptions with strong CTRs for each practice page on your site is absolutely necessary.

When we write meta descriptions for our clients the formula we follow is two sentences, each with a specific purpose.

First Sentence: Ask a question that’s directly relevant to the practice area page. For example, ‘Were you or someone you love injured in a car accident in Denver?’ You want to include the keywords because they’re usually bold text in the SERPs and that helps stick out but by asking the question you’re getting their attention. Rather than saying something like “We are experienced car accident lawyers in Denver” which doesn’t get them thinking actively.

Second Sentence: Use this second sentence to convince them why your firm is the best firm to work with. I usually use something like “Find out how FIRM NAME can help you during this difficult time, we will fight for every penny.” Meta descriptions should be unique in the first sentence but the second sentence doesn’t need to be unique. I would recommend trying a couple of different variations and then looking at your CTR in GSC for those pages and see which one has the strongest CTR.

Sometimes Google doesn’t show the meta description you’ve provided and 99% of the time this is because (a) the text you’re using doesn’t appear on the page itself. If you want to ensure that the meta description you’re supplying is used by Google, then make sure it’s pasted somewhere in the content of your page. (b) If the query (search keyword) is very specific Google will pull the description from that part of your page to make it more relevant. In this case I wouldn’t recommend fretting over it, as it’s probably for the best.

Tweaking Your Personal Injury Lawyer Practice Area Pages

Last but not least is making tweaks as necessary to your page based on what’s already ranking. I could give you a ton of examples where we adjusted a client’s practice page because it was too different from the rest of the sites currently ranking for the target keyword and we immediately saw results. In general, it’s my theory that if you write the content with the above best practices in mind, your website structure is on point and you’ve done proper link building  – you should rank for your keywords. But sometimes there’s a couple of stubborn keywords in the mix where you just can’t get them to breakthrough.

In these situations there are some paid tools which are relatively inexpensive to help you analyze the SERPs and make more scientific decisions. They’ll scan all of the pages currently ranking for the keyword you’re targeting and tell you exactly what they’re doing and compare your website to them. This gives you a clear actionable path on what to tweak on your page in order to improve the results.

We used to use Page Optimizer Pro and in some cases I still do. However as an agency we’ve switched over to Surfer SEO just because it’s much easier to use and train someone on it and we also use it for keyword research and competitor backlink analysis.

The first thing you want to do is login to your account and make sure you’re on the SERP Analyzer page, you should see this:

Pop your desired keyword into the search box. Select your city to get localized results. If your city isn’t in the list then choose the closest large city. For example Scottsdale or Glendale aren’t in the list, so you’d choose Phoenix. I don’t use the NLP but it’s just because it’s new (I think?) and I haven’t had the chance to play around with it yet, you can give it a whirl if you’re interested. I also normally select mobile (as opposed to desktop) as most searches are done on phones. I leave screenshots selected as well. On the next page this is what you’ll see:

  1. The first thing I do is set the average to 1. It’s default to 10 which means it lumps the websites ranking 1-10 into one group. I use this tool on a granular level to go from #8 to #1 so grouping all sites in on the first page into one group isn’t helpful, I want to see where each site falls on the chart.
  2. I click on “Exclude all pages” next and then go through and select the ones I want. Google ranks practice area pages differently than a directory like I also don’t want to compare our client’s site to a site that ranks on the 7th page. I want to zero in on the ones that are ranking well. If our client is ranking #8 I’ll select another 20 sites because I want to see what the sites behind us are doing as well.
  3. Once I’ve selected the ones I want I’ll shrink the graph to the top 20 or 30 since the other sites have been deselected and I want to zero in on the top ranking websites.
  4. Now in the left hand menu I want to look for the metrics that have green charts that show a strong correlation.
  5. Select those one by one so I can see what the landscape looks like.

It’s important to understand that correlation does not mean causation. Just because the top website has a certain keyword density it doesn’t mean that if you match it exactly you’ll outrank them. There are certain takeaways where there’s a strong correlation, for example if you see that the top sites all have 2000+ words on their page and all of the sites on page 2 all have 1000 keywords, it’s pretty safe to assume it’d be a good idea to have 2000+ words on your page. I recommend going the left hand menu and taking a look at everything one by one and seeing which ones have a strong correlation (green bars).

Once you’ve gone through them all you can go to your website and click on the audit button.

In this example I took a random website that was ranking on the second page for the keyword I was looking.

On this page Surfer will now give you a bunch of suggestions. I put an arrow on the column where the action column to show you that you can sort them based on their status codes. I’d sort them so the ones showing warnings are listed first and then go through them all one by one. I don’t blindly make changes, for example, if the website structure for the site is /phoenix/personal-injury/wrongful-death/ and it’s saying you don’t have the keyword in your URL, I’m not going to break the client’s website structure and change it to /phoenix-wrongful-death-lawyers/ just to please this tool.

However if there are other suggestions it makes which have little or no trade off, I’ll make the changes and make note of them, then submit the site for reindexing and see what effect it had. The good thing with these type of on page optimizations is that you can see the result almost instantaneously if you submit it for reindexing. I wouldn’t recommend making tons of changes and constantly resubmitting it, but you do want to be able to isolate the changes you make to know what made the difference. I don’t like making a 10-15 changes, waiting for Google to reindex and then weeks or a month later checking the page because at that point you’re a cook without a recipe.

If you have any questions about this feel free to drop a comment down below and I’ll be happy to help!

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