SEO is something businesses in every industry should think about, and law firms are no exception. This article will first discuss what search engine optimization is and why attorneys should care about it. Then, it will discuss some important considerations for an effective lawyer SEO marketing strategy.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy used to gain organic traffic from search engines like Google. It is not only about increasing the quantity of your traffic, but also the quality of it. Quality traffic comes from people who are actually looking for what you are selling. Although it is easy to only focus on the search engines, focusing on the people behind the searches is important too. You must understand what people are searching for, how they are searching for it, and what answers they are hoping to find. Combining what the search engine and the people using the search engine are looking for will give you the best results.
Why Lawyers Should Care About SEO
Search engines are the go-to form of research for the majority of people today. The law industry is no exception. According to the National Law Review, 96% of people looking for legal advice use a search engine during research. In addition, 74% of consumers visit a law firm’s website to take action with a law firm. This is why making sure your website is easily accessible and navigable is so important. An increase in prospective clients, more conversions, and higher return on investment are some of the benefits of having an attorney SEO strategy.
Basic Considerations of Lawyer SEO
When somebody searches for “lawyers in my city,” you want your website to appear on the first page of results. 90% of users only look at the first page of results. SEO is how you can improve your organic search engine rankings to hopefully get on the first page.
Before creating a lawyer SEO strategy, lawyers should analyze the existing online footprint of their law firm. Then, they will be able to take a variety of actions to make their business stand out compared to competitors. We will discuss these actions below. Finally, after establishing an attorney SEO strategy for the long term, they will be able to reap the benefits of greater organic visibility.
SEO is a long-term marketing strategy. You may see some immediate results, but the biggest benefits will come from a continuous commitment to your SEO strategy. Some law firms may choose to do this themselves, while others will get the assistance of a professional SEO firm.
Important Factors of Lawyer SEO Marketing
These are three easily customizable areas that should be considered for law firm SEO marketing.
These are generally behind-the-scenes changes that will not make your website look any different. However, they will boost your ranking on Google. Things like your header, content, URL, image, title tags, and meta attributions show Google how to index your website. This gives Google an idea of how to make your website conveniently available to your target audience.
First impressions are everything. If your website is difficult to navigate, people will not stay on it long enough to even consider becoming your client. This also affects your SEO ranking. The amount of time people spend on your site, on each page, and how many times they click your website only to push the “back” button right away affect your SEO. These characteristics affect what is known as your bounce rate. The less time people spend on your website and the quicker they leave it, the higher your bounce rate. Making it as easy as possible for people to find the information they want will improve your bounce rate and your ranking.
Although it is easy to think keyword stuffing is the best approach to creating content, this is not true. Relevant, informative content that is updated on a regular basis is what will draw users to your site. It will also show Google that you are active and contributing something worthwhile. This is also the best way to generate backlinks to your site. Backlinks are discussed further later.
Analyzing Your Website
Before you can begin creating your lawyer SEO strategy, you should start with an analysis of your current website. This includes analyzing your usage of keywords, among many other things.
Using keywords that are the most relevant to your industry will increase your chances of reaching your intended audience. These keywords should not be selected without proper research. Think about what your target customer would be searching for that would lead them to your website. Doing a competitive analysis can help you identify what keywords your competitors are using. This may showcase words that you need to use more often or may have neglected altogether. Google Analytics and Google Keyword Planner are easy ways to find the best, most searched for keywords relevant to your industry.
Dead ends or 400 errors
Dead ends are when users are unable to find the information they are looking for. 400 errors occur when the page is not set up correctly and therefore does not load. Both of these errors increase your bounce rate, as people will generally then leave the website altogether.
Your website’s structure determines how easy it is for a search engine to crawl your website. The more logical, easy to follow your structure is, the better your ranking will be. Plus, users will spend more time on your site because they understand where they need to go to find the information they need.
As mentioned earlier, backlinks are an important consideration for SEO marketing. A backlink is a link on one website that leads to another website. Search engines like seeing your website be referred to by others. The more often another website includes a link to your website, it brings the search engine back to you. These connections will improve your ranking. Backlinks should never be purchased. This will actually harm your ranking.
Internal links are a way to connect a page of your own website to another page on your website. These links give users a reasonable place to visit next and bring search engines to additional pages on your site.
External links are links on your website to another, separate website. These show the search engine that you did your research, making you more credible. You should attempt to include links to other sites that rank highly.
This is one area many people, unless they are SEO experts, do not consider. Search engines are going to find a website that has 20,000 words on a certain subject much more authoritative than one with only a couple 500 word articles on the same subject. The more comprehensive information you can give, the higher your website will rank.
On-Site Law Firm SEO
The elements included on your own website make up on-site (or on-page) SEO. Having a strategy for these elements ensures that relevant traffic comes to your website. It helps users to find your pages useful and makes search engines think your website is worth ranking. This includes using the right keywords, creating unique content, and maintaining an easily navigable website.
Unique content is an increasingly important aspect to improve your SEO. The content you offer should give your audiences useful information. It should also be easy to read at a variety of knowledge levels, have engaging pictures and visuals, and be in long form. Blog posts like this one are a popular way to continue providing current, relevant information to your audience. This area of lawyer SEO marketing is a place to show off your knowledge and experience. Plus, with every post you make, you are producing another potential reason for someone to visit your website. Blogs also provide an area for comments, which can start a conversation with potential clients. These blogs are one of the best places to include internal links to your site. For example, making a post about updated DUI laws can give you a place to link your service offerings.
People don’t like waiting. For anything. The longer your website takes to load, the lower Google will rank you. Make sure your website loads quickly on a variety of search engines and across devices, whether mobile or desktop.
Off-Site Law Firm SEO
Off-site improvements are ones you may not have direct access over. They happen outside of your actual website. This is where backlinks come into play in your lawyer SEO strategy. The number and quality of backlinks leading to your website will affect your ranking. An effective link-building campaign will help you accumulate the right backlinks that will increase organic traffic to your site. Your backlinks should come from quality, relevant sources to your law firm. Industry journals, quality news sources, and well-regarded blogs are some examples of quality sources. More backlinks will show search engines and users that you are a trustworthy source. It also will give you more authority on the search engine results page in relation to other law firms.
If you are looking for an SEO company to assist your strategy, contact SEO Design Chicago today!