SEO Strategies for Attorneys and Law Firms
Regardless of what kind of business you run, search engine optimization (SEO) should never be overlooked. What is SEO you may ask? SEO is a way of improving your website’s search result rankings across all of the major search engines. It helps you fall in line with the algorithms that are commonly used by big companies like Google, Bing and Yahoo so that you actually show up. It’s a process that needs to be implemented in order for you to gain meaningful visibility online and the stronger your SEO efforts are, the higher your business and website will rank. This is particularly important for law firms since first page rankings often translate to more credible and trustworthy attorneys.
When your attorney or law firms website doesn’t appear on the first page of search results, the chances of someone finding you is extremely low. Nobody has time to click “next page” these days. Therefore, through the use of targeted keywords and a bit of website management your law firm can gain free marketing and reap the benefits.
How SEO Can Help Law Firms
If you’re still wondering how SEO for lawyers makes a difference then keep reading. For instance, did you know that 96% of people use the Internet to find an attorney? People barely use yellow pages or remember the giant billboard they passed during their commute this morning. The Internet is fast, free and accessible, which is why it’s the first place a person turns to when they’re in a bind.
Additionally, out of the 87% of people who contact and go on to hire an attorney, 72% of them only contact one attorney. This means they make their search in Google, Yahoo or Bing, pick a law firm and almost ¾ of them choose the first one they picked. If your website isn’t ranked in the top 3, you’re going to be washed out by the competition. Still not convinced? Here are some other ways that SEO can significantly help your law firm.
1 – Established Market Position
The higher you rank in search engines the more established your law firm would be in your market. This is because people often see higher ranked law firms as more reliable, trustworthy and professional than those ranked lower or on the second page. How do you get this established market position? Through tried and true effective SEO tactics.
2 – Targeted Traffic
When people visit a search engine chances are they know exactly what they’re looking for. By optimizing your company’s website for specific keywords in your field, you’ll make yourself more widely available for this kind of targeted traffic. This is much more effective than say, pay per click advertising on social media networks, because the audience that sees those ads don’t always need your services. Relevant traffic is 10x more beneficial than irrelevant traffic.
3 – Influx in Prospective Clients
Once you start to rank highly and increase your organic search traffic you’ll start to see an influx in prospective clients contacting you. Strong SEO tactics for attorneys allow you to get more business with half the work.
4 – More Conversions
The more prospective clients that reach out to you, the more chances you have to convert them into paying clients. Not to mention, with SEO bringing people to you you’ll have more time to focus your efforts on other parts of your business. This means more face-to-face time with new clients, more research and more time for you to prepare your cases without worrisome marketing distractions.
5 – Higher ROI
Regardless of your law firms’ focus, there’s bound to be competition. In the world of law, this can get intense. Luckily when you boost your SEO efforts efficiently you can easily put yourself ahead of your competition without spending much time or money on your efforts. It’s a lot of work at the beginning, but once your website is optimized and your law firm starts following SEO best practices, clients will come rolling in. The ROI for SEO is much higher than other marketing strategies available.
How to Improve Your Law Firm’s SEO
The benefits of implementing SEO for attorneys are unmistakable, but how do you start? It’s likely that if you’re an attorney, you already have tons of things on your plate. Finding the time to optimize your website can be tough, especially if you’re not the tech-savvy type. As a general rule of thumb, here are the 10 basic ways to improve your law firm’s SEO.
1 – Get More Reviews
An easy place to start is by simply getting more online reviews. The more positive online reviews you have, the more likely search engines are to boost you up in ratings. Ask your clients to give you testimonials so that you can use them on your website. The more respected a source is, the more it will help to increase traffic to your site. Additionally, when a prospective client visits your site and sees all of the great reviews your past clients have left you they’ll be more likely to trust you as their legal advisor.
2 – Pick the Right Keywords
A big thing to remember is that SEO is all about utilizing effective keywords. If you optimize your site for a keyword that’s never searched then you’ll never get results. Instead, analyze the competition, use keyword research tools and find keywords that are relevant to the legal world. The more relevant your keywords are, the stronger the results will be.
3 – Avoid Intense Legal Jargon
It’s no secret that lawyers are phenomenal writers. Mastering their way with words is what they do for a living. However, a lot of legal writing comes hand-in-hand with legal jargon that can be difficult for every day people to understand. In order to increase your SEO efforts, make sure that you write in terms that someone without a law degree can understand. Use the keywords you researched and you’ll be climbing the search results rankings in no time.
4 – Correctly Optimized Meta Descriptions
A Meta Description is the short description of your website that appears underneath your direct link in search engine results. They’re quick summaries that give your target audience a description of what they’ll find when they visit your site. Oftentimes, these blurbs are pulled from your site automatically but if you can write a killer description then it can help increase your search results rankings as well as increase your click-through rate.
5 – Increase Visual Appeal
Something that most companies don’t realize affects SEO is the visual aspects and appeal of their websites. Google and other popular search engines have recently put a greater emphasis on user experience in the ranking process. When your site is more visually appealing, and has a good user interface, you’ll grow on search results pages. Consider adding videos, up-to-date web design and make sure that your entire site is mobile friendly.
The addition of video is gaining particular importance, especially in the legal SEO world. Videos are quick, easy to view and allow people to get a preview of the personality they’d be working with. Create some short videos for common questions you receive and implement them in your blog or home page. It’s also a great way to increase the content you can post on your social media pages.
6 – Think Local
Local searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo are often the most popular, especially in the legal field. People want to be able to make the drive and meet face-to-face with who will be representing them. This is why it’s important to make sure that your SEO is targeted toward your local communities. Link to any local events you’ll be attending, join local chambers and groups and always make sure that your name, address and phone number are uniform across all online listings.
7 – Be Consistent with Content
Finally, make sure that you’re regularly producing some sort of content and posting it weekly. Regardless of whether you decide to publish vlogs, blogs or a mix of both, regularly posting content is a great way to improve your company’s SEO. There are a lot of law firms that start a blog and then fall off the face of the Earth a few months in. However, a huge piece of the algorithms for search result rankings include producing new content. Try to aim for at least 1 new blog post every two weeks that includes relevant backlinks (both internal and external) and share them on your social media page. Make sure that the writing is fresh, unique and creative in order to get the best result. Who knows, you might even create something that goes viral.
If you’re a law firm looking to increase your client base or simply gain more website traffic, it’s time to focus on improving your SEO. Everything we mentioned here will help you propel past your competitors and climb in the search results rankings. The importance of SEO for attorneys has never been stronger so make sure you start to implement it as soon as you can. If you don’t think you’ll be able to find the time you need to successfully implement effective SEO, contact us and we’ll take care of it for you.