Criminal Defense Law (DUI) SEO

You’re in one of the most competitive industries in the world: consumer-facing defense law. And criminal defense law SEO is how you’re going to actually compete.

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Last updated on December 21, 2023

Criminal defense attorneys are idealists. They’re fighters. They get wrapped up in their work.

And they sometimes forget something critical:

They need a steady pipeline of new cases to keep the doors open. And they’re up against serious competition.

Maybe YOU don’t forget that. But I’m willing to bet you’ve struggled to keep the cases coming in. Despite your great reputation and amazing legal services.

I’m also willing to bet it’s because you have failed to do SEO, invested in the wrong SEO provider, or tried (and failed) to do your own SEO.

It’s at this juncture where SEO loses a lot of DUI and defense attorneys. You feel it hasn’t worked and it’s time to move on.

I get it. I’m also telling you you’re wrong.

SEO WORKS for criminal defense attorneys. Almost too well.

When it’s done right, that is.

Below, I’m going to show you exactly what SEO done right looks like for defense firms. And demonstrate how

UppercutSEO can do it all for you and become the best investment you’ve ever made in your firm.

Keep reading.
Criminal Defense Law (DUI) SEO

The SEO Life Cycle for Criminal Defense Law Firms

It’s hard to fully explain how SEO works — not because it’s too complicated, but because it has SO many moving parts.

For criminal defense firms, the point is the flow of SEO. Not the nuts and bolts of exactly how it works.

So, I’ll walk you through it:

You have a website (hopefully). You have some webpages on it, and those pages should have content on them.

Google (and other search engines) sends a bot — sometimes called a crawler — to your website. It follows all the menu and in-text links on your site to “read” or “crawl” every page.

Then, it decides whether your webpages should be added to the massive “index” of pages in Google’s repository.

If your content gets indexed, it’s then able to be served in search results.

Now, let’s say a page on your site — Austin DWI Lawyer — gets indexed. Then, someone searches “DWI lawyer Austin” on Google.

In an instance, Google goes to its index to find content that matches that search query. Your page is somewhere in that index.

If you’ve done your SEO right, you get chosen from the index. And hopefully ranked really highly on the first page of results.

Here’s where it starts to matter for your business:

The Google user sees your page at No. 1 in the search results. They click it. On your site, your content and credentials impress them.

They click “Contact” and send you an email. They schedule a consultation.

You get the case. You solve their legal issue. They pay you. Your firm’s revenue grows.

Now, zoom out. WAY out.

That happens across dozens of webpages on your site, potentially hundreds of times per year, for hundreds of keywords that are relevant to your criminal defense firm and its services.

Now THAT is how you grow a criminal defense firm.

And I’m not just giving you hypotheticals. Google has the vast majority of the search market share, and that amounts to billions of searches every year.

You can have a portion of that. SEO is how you get it.

The UppercutSEO Promise to Defense and DUI Attorneys

Here’s what I can promise you:

(It’s what I built Uppercut to do.)

That SEO life cycle I described above? That WILL be yours if you work with UppercutSEO.

I can promise that because I’ve been doing this for more than 15 years. I’ve ranked criminal defense and DUI attorneys in the most competitive markets in the world:

  • Houston
  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Many more

I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. More importantly, I’ve gotten all that early-career failure out of my system.

I made mistakes on someone else’s time so I’ll only win on your time. Now, I have a proven, repeatable process for criminal defense firms to DOMINATE the rankings and truly grow through SEO.

Here’s another promise:

Whatever BS you’ve had to deal with in the past (and if you’ve worked with other SEO providers, you know what I’m talking about), you won’t have to deal with it if you work with my team.

I’ve assembled the top content creators, backlink builders, on-page SEO specialists, and technical SEOs in the industry.

They’re SINGULARLY focused on law firms like yours.

They’re hungry to win even more than they already have. Like me, they’re with UppercutSEO because they’re SICK of working with agencies that can’t do the job they say they can.

If you work with UppercutSEO, you’ll win. Simple as that.

What REALLY Matters in SEO for Defense Firms

When you read about “SEO,” you’ll encounter literally hundreds of ranking factors. Many of them matter long term, but for now, these are the most important parts of SEO for DUI lawyers and criminal defense firms:


Keywords are words or phrases people type into Google. You need to target the right keywords on your website in order to show up in Google when people search for them.

You find those keywords through keyword research. That means using one of the many SEO tools available, such as Semrush, Ahrefs, or Moz.


Content is how you target keywords. For every unique keyword you’d like your criminal defense firm to rank for, you need a dedicated page of content discussing that keyword.

Content for criminal defense firms can generally break down into two key categories:

  • Practice area pages
  • Blog posts

Practice area pages sell your services and target “lawyer” keywords like “Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer” and “Los Angeles DUI Lawyer.”

Blog posts target question-style and “long-tail” keywords like “what to do if you have a warrant” and “do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge?”

On-Page Optimizations

On-page SEO for criminal defense firms is all about tweaking what’s actually on your webpages to make them more “Google-friendly.”

That includes things like:


Backlinks are, arguably, the most important factor in criminal defense SEO. That’s because they’re what Google uses to understand which webpages are getting endorsements from other websites.

From Google’s very earliest days, it has used backlinks — links on other sites pointing to yours — as key factors for determining where webpages should rank for keywords and which keywords they should rank for.

Of course, it’s hard to convince other websites to link to yours. That’s why link building is an art few have mastered.
(And it’s where most SEO providers fall flat on their faces; and their clients lose as a result.)

It’s all about understanding which sites are worth pursuing for backlinks and knowing exactly how to pursue them. That’s a skill I’ve spent my career mastering.

Technical Concerns

Technical SEO is one of the hardest parts of SEO for defense firms, but it can be incredibly important to your long-term success.

It’s all about promoting a good user experience and enabling Google to reach and understand all of your important webpages.

That means technical SEO includes issues like:

  • HTML and XML sitemaps
  • Robots.txt
  • Log file analysis
  • Page speed
  • Core Web Vitals
  • JavaScript optimization
  • Image compression
  • Hosting and server logic

Among many other complex issues. While you can attempt to manage many of these items yourself, you run the risk of really messing up your website. Which is why it’s so important to consult with a professional.

UppercutSEO vs. DIY Criminal Defense SEO

Criminal defense attorneys like you work hard. To even have a successful firm, they’ve already overcome the odds — largely through plain old grit and sweat and blood.

So, it makes sense that this is one of the most common questions I get from defense lawyers:

Can’t I do my own SEO?

Yep. You can. But you shouldn’t.

You’re smart enough to learn it. You’re smart enough to do it better than 90 percent of the SEO “gurus” out there.

But you don’t have the time. SEO takes a LOT of time and investment to actually work.

You also don’t have the necessary room to make mistakes. Here’s what I mean by that:

When you’re starting out with SEO, you WILL screw it up. It happens to everyone at least once — more than that for many.

Can you afford to screw it up with your firm’s website? Can you afford to have no cases coming in and no hope of getting back in Google’s good graces anytime soon?

Probably not.

But the Uppercut team won’t make those mistakes. We know exactly what to do to get the rankings, traffic, and leads flowing in FAST.

UppercutSEO vs. the Other Guys

I’m not the cheapest date you’ll find in the criminal defense law SEO game. Just look at the “SEO services” you can find on platforms like Fiverr:

But I PROMISE you — if you pay $5 for 1,000 backlinks, you will absolutely fail at SEO. You may even get your entire firm’s site removed from Google results.

Obviously, that’s the worst of the worst. Maybe you’re looking at other professional SEO agencies.

Some of them are fine. Most of them are not.

It’s that second group that inspired me to create UppercutSEO. To provide an alternative to the lies, deception, and all-around incompetence of most law firm SEO agencies.

Here’s what you’ll probably get from the other guys:

  • Promises that sound amazing but no specifics.
  • Difficult and spotty communication.
  • Hedging when you ask for status updates.
  • A lot of disappointment and wasted marketing budget.

Don’t do that to yourself. Here’s what you’ll get when you work with UppercutSEO:

  • A transparent SEO dashboard so you know EXACTLY what’s going on with your campaigns. And where your money is going.
  • Access to one of the best, most experienced teams in the SEO industry (with specific experience in law).
  • Realistic expectations and promises we can actually keep.
  • Real results and robust reporting on those results.

Criminal Defense SEO FAQs

Providing answers you can count on is one of the most important services Uppercut SEO provides to criminal defense law firms.

Here are a few of the most common questions we get (but contact us if you don’t see your question answered below):

Do criminal defense firms actually need SEO?

Yes, criminal defense firms need SEO if they want to grow. Word of mouth matters, but it isn’t enough to get you to the next level anymore.

SEO gives you a steady pipeline of cases. When someone gets charged with a DUI, they Google “DUI lawyer” or “charged with DUi what to do” and your website shows up. That’s powerful.

You can try your luck on social media or with billboards. Nothing wrong with those channels.

But nothing beats the immediacy of showing up in Google when someone is dealing with a criminal charge. That’s how you get the clients you need to hire more, expand your firm, and improve your life.

Can I do my own SEO as a defense attorney?

If you have lots of time on your hands, you can do SEO for your criminal defense firm. But your time would be better spent on case work.

That’s doubly true when you make your first SEO mistake (and you WILL make a mistake) and see your rankings drop.

Then, you’ll feel that all the learning and hard work was for nothing AND be suffering financial anxiety once again.

But if you want to try your hand at your own SEO, there are TONS of free resources out there (the UppercutSEO blog is one of them).

Just don’t wait too long to call in a professional or your competitors will permanently surpass you in the digital marketing game.

Is SEO worth the investment for criminal attorneys?

SEO is worth the investment for criminal defense firms when it’s done right. When it’s done right, SEO pays dividends for YEARS after implementation.

That means your investment into a high-ranking blog post or practice area page can bring you valuable cases over and over again for years on end.

Compare that to the immediate lead flow of pay-per-click advertising, where you’re immediately at the top of the Google search results:

That’s awesome, of course. You can get the phone ringing right away with PPC. But it’s going to cost you.

For reference, the keyword that triggered that PPC ad you see above is “Austin DWI lawyer.” As of the time of this writing, the estimated cost per click — the amount you pay every single time someone clicks your ad — for that keyword was $57.74.

Keep in mind that 90+ percent of those who click your PPC ads won’t become clients. Can you afford that?

Most early-stage criminal defense firms can’t avoid that for long. And they watch their PPC budget go flying out the window, maybe getting a case or two along the way.

I’m not saying it’s not viable. It is. It’s just not sustainable over the long term.

SEO is. You could rank No. 1 for that same keyword — Austin DWI lawyer — and get all those leads for free.

And probably even MORE cases because people trust the organic Google results more than they trust the paid results.

So, yeah, SEO is worth it for criminal defense firms.

What’s more important for a criminal defense firm — content or backlinks?

Neither. Both.

It depends on where you are in your criminal defense SEO journey.

At first, you need to focus mostly on content. You need to publish the key pages that target the most important keywords to your firm. Pages with titles like:

  • Criminal Defense Lawyer
  • DUI Lawyer
  • Drug Charge Attorney
  • White Collar Defense Lawyer
  • And so on.

But that content will probably just sit there, doing next to nothing, if you don’t pursue backlinks for it after it’s published.

So, after your key content is published, you should go into what I like to call “maintenance mode,” where you publish a couple of blog posts per month but focus mostly on backlinks.

Then, secure high-quality, relevant backlinks to those key pages. Optimize the anchor text.

Before long, you’ll see your rankings and traffic start to climb. And then the leads will start coming in.

How is Uppercut different from other criminal defense law SEO providers?

This is a sales page for Uppercut’s services. But I’m not going to make you sit through my whole spiel again (you can see it up above).

Instead, I’ll make it simple. This is what you get from Uppercut that you won’t get from other criminal defense and DUI SEO agencies:

  • A customized dashboard where you can order content, links, and more
  • Direct access to one of the most experienced law firm SEO experts in the industry (me)
  • Complete and total transparency
  • Measurable results, exactly as promised: the backlinks you want, the content you order, the on-page SEO that actually moves the needle

Get Uppercut SEO. Get Your Criminal Defense Firm Growing.

You’re in one of the most competitive industries in the world: consumer-facing defense law. And criminal defense law SEO is how you’re going to actually compete.

There are lots of ways to go about it:

  • Trying SEO yourself
  • Hiring a cheap, unproven provider
  • Hoping for the best

But you can save yourself some time and actually get things moving if you skip the steps where you fail and regroup. And go straight for what’s actually going to work:

Working with Uppercut SEO.

Ready to get started? Create a free account to claim your SEO dashboard. Or contact me to discuss your needs and how we can help.

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