Why Does My Law Firm Need SEO?
SEO is a crucial part of any marketing strategy, including those for law firms and attorneys. For those unfamiliar, SEO refers to search engine optimization, a strategy that helps you boost your rankings on search engine results pages such as Google.
SEO requires a reasonable amount of effort, but the results are long-lasting, unlike ads that you have to pay for as long as you want them to appear such as a billboard.
As a law firm or attorney, you should never overlook the importance of SEO. Where you rank in the search results will play a big role in how many people visit your website or even see your name.
Statistics to Show the Importance of SEO
To get an idea of the important role that SEO plays in law firm advertising, consider that 96 percent of people who are looking for an attorney use the internet to do so. In today’s world, it is unlikely that someone will look up your business in a physical Yellow Pages book or remember your billboard advertising when the appropriate time comes.
Another important statistic to remember is that of the people who contact and hire an attorney, 72 percent will only contact a single attorney. In other words, there is a very good chance that your potential clients will choose the first attorney whose website they click on. Appearing in one of the top search results makes it incredibly likely that you will be chosen, while being on the second page of the SERPs makes it highly improbable.
SEO Shows You Are Established
In most cases, people tend to view the law firms that are ranked lower as less established. By contrast, those that rank highly come across as more established, professional, reliable, and trustworthy. Those are all traits that a law firm obviously needs.
If you want to rank highly to improve the perception of your law firm and help confirm that you are an established attorney, then you will need to use SEO.
An Increase in Visitors
One of the main goals of SEO is to increase traffic to your website. As more people see your website’s link in the search engine rankings, this will translate into a higher number of clicks that take them to your website.
Of course, that influx of visitors to your website comes with its own set of benefits, many of which are the ultimate goal of SEO.
As more people visit your website, you inevitably will also experience an increase in leads, assuming you have set your website up in an intuitive and smart manner. For most law firms, there is a contact form, email address, phone number, live chat, or newsletter signup to gather the information of potential clients and officially make them leads.
It should go without saying that unless people reach your website, they are unlikely to see any of these contact methods or submit their contact information if they do not even visit your website. However, assuming that the proportion of people who leave you information when they visit your website remains the same, any increase in traffic will lead to a proportional increase in leads.
Taking those leads to the next level, you will find yourself with an increase in conversions, giving you more paying clients. This is via the same logic. Assuming that your conversion rate remains the same, more leads will result in more conversions.
Those conversions are what bring in your income and help you get a return on investment for your SEO efforts.
Compared to many other advertising methods, SEO gives you a better return on investment, especially in the long run. Remember that if you pay for advertising, whether on websites, social media, or even via traditional channels, like magazines and newspapers, you need to keep paying as long as you want the ad to run. That constant outflow of cash will inevitably reduce your ROI.
By contrast, the work you do with search engine optimization lasts forever. As long as your website is still there with the content on it, your ranking efforts remain. You will still have to put in an ongoing effort to maintain your ranking, but once you set up a strategy, this does not take much time, especially when you compare those labor costs to what you would pay for ads in the same time frame. Those lower costs translate into a better ROI, especially over time.
You Can Optimize for Specific Targets
Search engine optimization also gives you a great deal of versatility, letting you choose specific keywords or phrases to target. When chosen correctly, these keywords will let you target your traffic.
For example, you can optimize for targeted keywords that have to do with your specific segment of law or your geographic location. This type of optimization would help ensure that the people who see your search results are those who are more likely to benefit from your services.
That type of optimization contrasts sharply with advertising on social media, as you have less control over the demographics and specifics of those who see your ad. Remember that your goal is not just to gain traffic, it is to gain relevant traffic, and every bit of relevant traffic is much more useful than irrelevant traffic.
Better Use of Your Time
Once you have a solid SEO strategy in place, you will not have to put in as much effort to maintain it, apart from creating regular content. This will allow you to focus your time and efforts on other aspects of running a law firm, such as interactions with new clients and retaining old clients. Or it will let whichever member of your team is responsible for marketing focus on other efforts, from other types of advertising that broaden your reach to administrative tasks.
How to Improve the SEO of Your Law Firm
Now that you better understand the importance of SEO for your law firm, it is time to make sure that you have a strong strategy that will help you achieve your goals for ranking highly. You can use the following tips as a checklist of sorts to make sure that your law firm is doing everything you can to maximize your SEO efforts.
Choose Keywords with Care
To have an effective SEO strategy, you must choose your keywords properly. There are multiple elements to this, including avoiding keywords that no one searches for. After all, what good is ranking number 1 if no one ever sees your website link?
You should also be honest with yourself about which keywords are attainable. This is less of an issue with SEO than with PPC, but it is still worthy of consideration. There is no issue with optimizing for highly competitive keywords; just recognize that it may take you a long time to rank highly for them. Be sure to supplement them with less-competitive keywords, as well.
Of course, you also want to choose relevant keywords. To take this to an extreme, a law firm would not want to optimize for keywords related to swimming pools. This is not typically as extreme as that, however. As an attorney, choosing relevant keywords involves selecting ones with your practice area or location in it. An example would be “family law firm Austin,” where you could replace “family” and “Austin” with the words relevant to your practice.
Do Not Forget Meta Descriptions
During your SEO strategy, be sure to include carefully crafted meta descriptions with your content. A meta description is the description of the website that shows up on search results, directly under your link. If you do not have a meta description set up, then search engines will automatically pull content from your website. While that works, crafting a meta description with a call to action that pulls people in will be much more effective. To get the most from it, include your main keyword in the meta description.
Make Content Understandable
To rank highly and get the most from your efforts, ensure that you make your content understandable. As an attorney, you are likely comfortable using large words and legalese in your daily life. While some of this has a place on your website, you should focus on making your content understandable to those who do not have a background in law. This helps not only with SEO rankings but also with keeping people on your website once they visit it.
Produce Content Consistently
One of the most important things you need for your SEO strategy to work is consistent content. Once you choose a schedule for producing content, stick to it, whether it is once a week or twice a month. This will have multiple benefits, including showing potential clients that you are reliable, ensuring search engines see your website was recently updated, and letting you maintain your high ranking for your chosen keyword.
Add Visual Content
You may not realize it, but the visual content you include on your website will also affect your SEO rankings. Google algorithms prioritize websites that have a better user interface and are more visually appealing.
To make the most of these additions, label and tag them correctly. Images and videos are a great way to insert keywords onto your page via titles, tags, and even the name of the photo’s file.
One smart idea is to ask your clients for feedback and reviews, both on your website and other websites, like directories. Search engines are likely to improve your rankings if you have more positive reviews.
Additionally, having strong testimonials on your website will encourage people to leave their contact information or even contact you directly.
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If you are interested in discussing your digital marketing needs, we would be delighted to speak with you. We offer a free site audit along with a free consultation. We want your digital marketing efforts to be successful and we are here to help.