No matter what kind of business you operate, you should never overlook search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a way of boosting your site’s search result rankings across all the major search engines. It helps you to be in line with the ranking algorithms that popular search engines, such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo use, allowing you to show up when prospective clients search for your services. You must implement SEO to gain meaningful visibility online and the stronger your SEO marketing efforts are, the higher your law firm and website will rank. This is important for lawyers because first-page rankings often translate to more prospective clients.
When your law firm or attorney website doesn’t rank on the first page of search results, the chances of potential clients finding you are extremely low. Potential clients don’t have time to click “next page” these days. Thus, through the use of targeted search terms and relevant keywords, and a bit of website management you can gain free marketing and reap the maximum benefits.
The Importance of Implementing SEO
The National Law Review reports that 96 percent of people use online search engines when looking for legal advice. Most of these people aren’t searching for a specific attorney—they just need help with a legal matter and want to find the best local attorney to answer their questions. Further, it’s essential to note that these legal searches are non-branded. For example, “Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer,” “Chicago real estate lawyer” or “New York divorce attorney.”
The following statistics show the importance of SEO:
- 92% of online searchers choose businesses that appear on the first page of search results.
- 70-80% of online search engine users ignore paid ads.
- SEO’s conversion rate is at a whopping 14.6%, compared to the 1.7% rate of traditional advertising methods.
Good SEO can help potential leads discover your legal practice and increase the chances that they’ll become clients. Here are five detailed reasons why you should invest more time and effort into SEO:
- More web traffic means more prospective clients. Essentially, SEO will drive more traffic to your law firm’s website. This will translate to more phone calls to your law office and higher conversion rates. Google’s Legal Services Study reports that 74% of leads that visit a law firm’s website are ready to take some action. SEO can help you get more of these people on your website and boost your law firm’s bottom-line results.
- Your competitors are implementing SEO. Even though you aren’t investing in SEO, it’s a guarantee that your competitors down the street are. According to statistics, there are ten organic search results on the first page of popular search engines, such as Google. The clicks for the law firm occupying the first position are twice those for the law firm in the second position. 75% of search engine users don’t click beyond the first page. Thus, if you aren’t among the top ten, you have a 25% (or lower) chance of getting noticed by potential clients.
- Your law firm’s website will be more engaging. Your site’s bounce rate–the percentage of visitors to your website who leave after seeing only one web page–could be through the roof. If you aren’t leveraging the right SEO efforts, you may rank high in search results for the wrong search terms or not giving prospective clients the relevant content they need when they reach your website.
- It boosts your reputation, giving you credibility. The biggest component of SEO is identifying the need of your target audience and then designing your site and web content to match that need. This gives you credibility with search engines and also with your current and potential clients.
- More ROI. The competition will always be stiff in the legal space, but a commitment to search engine optimization can help you get ahead of your legal competitors without breaking the bank. When compared to other forms of online marketing, such as email marketing campaigns and paid ads, SEO yields a high return on your investment.
SEO for Lawyers–Where Should I Start?
Maybe you know SEO can transform your law practice and give you a high return on your investment, but you don’t know where to begin. In this section, we’ll go through a few effective SEO tactics. You can tackle some of these yourself, but you might want to hire an SEO agency for lawyers to implement some of the advanced strategies.
Local SEO for Attorneys
Attorneys typically draw most of their business from targeted geographical areas. Thus, optimizing for local organic search is crucial. This means if you’re an “Atlanta accident lawyer,” for instance, then you should use that term on your site and social media posts together with your practice areas and name. Further, it’s essential to note that your Google My Business listing and other online legal directories are good places to implement local SEO. Claim every online listing and complete them correctly with your legal practice’s information, including your name, address, phone number, and email address, making sure that the information matches exactly across all online platforms.
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Optimize Your Website for Search
You should optimize your law firm’s website so that it’s simple for search engines to understand and easy for your potential clients to navigate. Some of the areas you may want to get help to optimize include:
- On-page optimization. Your firm’s site must have the right title tag, header, URL, image, and meta attributions for search engines to index your web content. Google and other search engines use this information to sort your website and help search engine users find it more easily. Ensure that any search terms you use are relevant to the content you create. If they aren’t, they will hurt your search engine rankings, and fewer searchers will see your website. Also, optimize your website so that visitors can quickly find what they’re searching for. Intuitive navigation is crucial, as is a website layout that’s user-friendly and well-designed.
- Image and video optimization. One key component of search engine optimization that’s often overlooked is optimizing the images and videos on your website. For instance, add descriptions to your images using alt text, this tells search engines the function of your images. Also, you can set a maximum image size or use a tool that can compress the images without compromising their quality.
- Mobile-friendliness. Internet users now spend about four hours on their smartphones daily, and nearly 50% of all searches for legal services come from mobile devices. When a potential client reaches your website, they don’t have to struggle with web content that isn’t mobile-friendly. Your website must be responsive, with click-to-call phone numbers for mobile phone users.
- Internal linking. Linking pages internally on your law firm’s website boosts your search engine rankings and improves the user experience. You can leverage this technique to improve the performance of lower-ranking web pages. Search engines love well-organized sites. You can “silo” your law firm’s website by creating content groupings around different legal areas. For instance, your main web page could be a “DUI Criminal Defense” page, with many supporting web pages that link to it, all related to DUI cases.
- Security. In today’s digital world, there’s a new cyber-attack every 39 seconds and 43% of these cyber attacks target small businesses. Thus, since 2014 HTTPS or hypertext transfer protocol security has become a ranking signal for Google. According to a HubSpot Research Survey, 82% of consumers reported they wouldn’t browse a website that wasn’t secure. Thus, if your attorney or law firm’s site isn’t secure, you’re risking dangerous data leaks and unnecessarily reducing your web traffic.
- Off-page search engine optimization. Having a strong off-page search engine optimization strategy plays a crucial role in the algorithm ranking of your website. Lawyers that focus on off-site factors such as high-quality backlinks, social media marketing, and directories often outperform their competitors.
- Content marketing. Your site’s content is crucial for SEO. It should include relevant keywords for the demographics you plan to target. Keywords help search engines, such as Google, match their users’ queries with relevant search results. You can use Google Trends, and Google Insights for Search to identify and target popular search terms and phrases in your content.
- Besides optimizing for search engines, you must post relevant and valuable content regularly to your website that will help visitors understand the value of your legal services. Your website’s visitors come to your site with questions and problems. Make sure your content provides them with answers and solutions to their questions and problems.
SEO is complicated, and most attorneys didn’t get into the legal business to spend their time on it. Although there are many steps you can take on your own, including posting on social media platforms or updating your online directories, consider enlisting the services of law firm SEO providers for the rest. However, having a basic knowledge of law firm SEO can help you make sense of the various SEO services offered, and give you an idea of what you should get from your digital marketing team.
How Do You Choose the Best Law Firm SEO Company?
Choosing a company to handle your law firm’s SEO marketing efforts is a daunting task. There are many companies out there promising high search engine rankings, so how do you choose the best one? Here are some of the most essential things that the SEO agency you hire should have:
- Vast experience marketing particularly for law firms. Choose an SEO service that knows the ins and outs of law firm marketing. This knowledge will be invaluable in generating more leads and more cases. Just as it’s critical when choosing a lawyer, experience in law firm SEO is crucial.
- Extensive experience researching Google’s and other popular search engine ranking algorithms. Google algorithms are extremely complicated and are updated frequently. The very best SEO agencies are constantly conducting experiments, testing to see what SEO tactics are correlated to rankings increases or decreases, and analyzing the search engine result pages. Don’t underestimate the ability to track Google’s ranking algorithms day in and day out.
- A ton of clients with high organic rankings for the most competitive keyword phrases in highly competitive practice areas. Most marketing agencies have one or two websites they like to show like the ones they have been able to get to rank high, and it may seem awesome. What you don’t see is that most of their clients aren’t ranking at all! The law firm marketing agency you choose should show you many of their clients that rank high in competitive markets. At GoEngine, we have gotten top search engine results in even the most competitive areas of law firm marketing, including criminal defense lawyer SEO, personal injury SEO, divorce lawyer SEO, bankruptcy law SEO, and employment law SEO.
- Ability to build a beautiful site that’s search engine friendly and built for boosting conversion. Your website plays a crucial role in how your site ranks on search engines. If you have installed Google Analytics on your law firm’s site, Google is analyzing the user behavior of your website visitors. If visitors leave your website quickly, that hurts your search rankings. The best websites do an excellent job of keeping visitors on their site and increasing the time visitors spend on their website, ultimately satisfying their visitors. Slow load times will also hurt your search rankings and eventually your conversions will plummet.
- In 2021, website load time has continued to increase in importance in Google’s algorithm. Finally, a beautiful website that is created with a deep understanding of what consumers want plays a crucial role in the decision-making process of consumers looking to hire a lawyer. Thus, the SEO agency you choose must have a thorough understanding of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
- Ability to create a personalized digital marketing plan that meets your law firm’s unique needs. Be wary of a lawyer SEO company that gives you pricing before carrying out an analysis on your website and your SEO competitors on search engines. You should have a customized SEO plan that meets your digital marketing goals because just like the cases you handle, no two cases are the same.
- A team of SEO specialists that specialize in all facets of digital marketing for lawyers. The lawyer SEO marketing team you choose must have extensive experience with Google maps optimization, organic SEO, keyword research, content marketing, highly experienced web developers, talented designers, and law firm PPC management experts. Why do developers, designers, and PPC specialists matter for SEO? Great developers can quickly build search engine-friendly and faster-loading websites. PPC experts can share valuable keyword impression data with the SEO team to build effective SEO campaigns.
Looking to Get Some Help?
Regardless of the size of your law firm, if your digital marketing efforts aren’t cohesive, you’ll get mixed results. For your online ranking, you can’t afford to engage in costly SEO marketing practices that conflict with your overall digital marketing plan.
At GoEngine Marketing, our SEO specialists will interview your lawyers to make sure we understand your current market, objectives, and approaches so that we can coordinate your goals properly and enhance your online search ranking. Because of thousands of marketing campaigns we’ve run over the last years, we know what works and have decades of proprietary data to pull from.
We understand what works, and dragging your offline and online marketing efforts in different directions isn’t it.
We’ll instead focus on delivering your law firm,
- Fast loading websites and landing pages to improve speed conversion,
- Organic rankings to put your law firm to the top of the search engine results page,
- Relevant content that builds authority and trust while optimizing both SEO and conversions,
- Mobile-friendly website designs with voice search optimization, a convenient chat tool, and
- Locally focused search rankings to usurp your competitors.
To schedule a free initial consultation with our law firm SEO expert, contact us today at (864) 300-0344.