If you’re not using SEO as part of your law firm’s marketing strategy, you’re missing out on top-quality cases, clients, and profit drivers. Law firms often make the mistake of thinking SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is only relevant to businesses that sell physical products directly to consumers. But the truth is, SEO is a critical tool for any business with an online presence, including service-based businesses.
Not only does SEO work for law firms, if your firm is not using it, but you’re also losing valuable clients to your competition.
WHAT IS SEO AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
If a potential client is searching Google for “corporate lawyers in Las Vegas, Nevada,” and you’re a law firm in Las Vegas specializing in corporate law, ideally your firm would appear on the first page of their search results. Search Engine Optimization is the mechanism you use to get your firm to on that page or even at the very top of that list, thereby driving more traffic - and business - to your website.
A range of features in your website can either increase or decrease your ranking in a search, including your website’s speed, structure, and the quality of your copy. It’s critical that businesses optimize all of these factors to ensure their site appears at the top of potential clients’ search results.
DOES SEO WORK FOR LAW FIRMS?
Yes, full stop. SEO not only works for law firms, any law firm that is not using it to improve their website’s visibility is failing to take advantage of one of the best marketing tools available. Approximately 57% of consumers look for a lawyer on their own and many searches online. If you’re not reaching those clients as efficiently as possible, your competitors will.
When law firms use SEO to improve their search rankings, their websites see increased traffic, their lawyers have an opportunity to secure more high-quality cases, and their profits grow.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR LAW FIRM HAS GOOD OR POOR SEO?
When you’re ready to jump into the world of SEO for law firms, you’ll first need to gain a baseline understanding of how your website currently performs. Data points such as website traffic, time spent on-page, and conversion rate will help you build your baseline, while tools such as Google Analytics and AHREFS will help you gather the right data.
Your baseline will show you what is working and what isn’t working in terms of your site's SEO. From here, you can adjust accordingly, and move into the phase of implementing and testing SEO strategies to see what works for your site over time. Patience is a virtue with SEO - it can take between 4-6 months to start to see results from new SEO strategies.
5 Ways You Can Improve Your Law Firm's SEO
If the metrics are telling you your SEO needs improvement, there are a number of effective methods you can implement right away to start heading in the right direction. As noted above, it will take time to see results, but the sooner you start improving your law firm’s SEO, the better.
With that in mind, here are five steps you can take to start improving your law firm’s SEO today:
1) ON-PAGE OPTIMIZATION
On-page optimization involves employing specific keywords on your website to improve site visibility and traffic. You’ll need to choose smart keywords that relate to your business and what your potential clients are searching for when they go online.
There are a number of methods for determining which keywords are projected to work best for SEO for law firms. Keyword research tools that show you what users are searching for in search engines, taking a local approach and thinking like your audience can all lead you to the right combination of keywords for your firm.
2) TECHNICAL SEO
Technical SEO involves improving the actual infrastructure of your website. Think sitemaps, URL speed, site navigation, and more. A site that is technically optimized is easier for search engines to review, and therefore easier for them to recommend your site over others.
3) OPTIMIZED BLOG POST
You can’t forget about SEO when drafting your site’s blog posts. Just like your website copy (landing page, about us page, etc), your blogs must also include smart keywords to make them easier for search engines to find and, ultimately, easier for actual humans to read (and engage with).
Like when optimizing keywords for website copy, you’ll need to research keywords for your blogs to find the ones that will be most effective for your site. Other methods such as including backlinks and multimedia should also be explored to maximize your blog posts’ ability to boost your site’s rankings.
4) REVIEWS AND CITATIONS
Search engines like seeing positive reviews of a website as well as listings of that website on certain review and aggregation sites. Think of it as getting your business in the modern-day version of the Yellow Pages. You want Google to be able to find your business among the others listed.
Addressing this aspect of SEO optimization involves including information about your business on sites such as Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, and others.
Similar to review and citations, backlinks involve getting links to your website on other websites. But in this case, those other websites should be relevant to your business - online law magazines, other law firm sites, and news stories with law angles are examples of strong backlink providers.
Think of backlinks as a vote of confidence for your site. If search engines notice other reputable sites are talking about you, they assume you must be trustworthy, too, and will rank you higher in search results, making backlinks a key factor in SEO for attorneys.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEO AND ONLINE ADS
A common misconception is that online ads will help your website’s SEO. In fact, while ads do not have an effect on SEO, they do play an important role in driving traffic to your website. This is because they will show up in the search results for chosen keywords.
With that in mind, it’s important for law firms to not only utilize online ads to attract potential clients but that those ads use the same smart keyword approach as your website and blog posts.
NEED HELP BOOSTING YOUR LAW FIRM WEBSITE'S SEO?
The bottom line is law firms that want to increase their search engine ranking and, therefore, traffic to their website, must take SEO into consideration. If you’ve never thought about SEO before, it can feel like a daunting task. Many firms find they want to improve their SEO, but either doesn’t have the expertise on their team to accomplish this or simply don’t have the time.
Yokel Local is staffed with SEO experts and can save your law firm time and money while improving your website’s ranking and your firm’s profits. Contact us for a free consultation to learn how our SEO services for law firms can push your website ahead of the competition.