Search engine optimization can be a difficult topic to understand. Many agencies offer it as a service, but is your law firm really getting its money's worth?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a subset of digital marketing, but it has become an entire industry in and of itself. If you look online, you’ll find any number legal marketing firms that promise to get you at the top of internet search results. Selling lawyer SEO marketing is vastly different than putting it into action, however.
SEO is challenging. Tactics change as quickly as Google’s algorithms. Some legal marketing firms are still using the same tactics that they used years ago. Some even use the same tactics for each of their unique clients.
There is no exact science to search engine optimization, but there are actions you can take to get real results. To be successful, your SEO strategy needs to revolve around three things: your website, your content, and your links.
Lawyer SEO marketing begins and ends with your website. Your website is where online searchers will convert into leads. Your ultimate goal is to get more people viewing your website so they have an opportunity to convert. With the help of designers and web developers, you’ll optimize your web pages to rank higher in search results and increase conversions.
When a search engine like Google crawls your website, it looks at your title, your description, your image alt-texts, and your content. It also reads your website navigation and your sitemap.
In fact, Google is now sophisticated enough to take into account your backlinks and recognize “black hat” SEO tactics, like keyword stuffing and invisible bodies of text. Black hat tactics can have a negative impact on your search rankings.
A web developer will create an attractive, modern website that adheres to all the standards that Google and other search engines look for. They will also optimize the meta descriptions, image alt texts, and other web page elements. Optimizing a website takes time and is an ongoing process. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see more website traffic.
Of course, lawyer SEO marketing isn’t just about getting website traffic. That traffic has to lead to real clients, which means your website has to be optimized for humans as well. You can earn clients by adding contact forms, content offers, buttons, and phone numbers to all of your web pages.
Every conversion opportunity should be accompanied by helpful content so that visitors know exactly what will happen when they submit their information. You can also add a live chat feature to make it easier for visitors to talk to you.
You need to produce written content regularly for lawyer SEO marketing to be truly effective. Every piece of content should be optimized for a keyword or keywords. Most businesses accomplish this by including a blog on their website.
Blog posts create more pages for search engines to index. Each post provides you with an opportunity to rank for a keyword in search results. Digital marketers use special software to determine which keywords represent a ranking opportunity.
Ideally, a potential client who is seeking legal help will type a query into a search engine, find one of your web pages or blog posts, and contact you directly after reading. If you don’t have the time to produce large amounts of written content, rely on a marketing copywriter to write it for you.
They’ll create content for each of your web pages and produce blog content regularly. You never want to stop creating new blog content if you want to rank for relevant keywords.
Both internal and external links are important to your search rankings. You can build trust with your website visitors by providing them with hyperlinks to external resources, like government law websites. You can also link internally to your own blog posts and web pages. Marketers often place an internal link at the bottom of a piece of content to encourage readers to engage more.
Acquiring backlinks is also beneficial for lawyer SEO marketing. Backlinks are links on other websites that send viewers to your own website. There are several ways to acquire backlinks, but some are considered black hat tactics. The best way to acquire backlinks is to do so organically.
If you put up blog posts and other pieces of content that people find useful or interesting, they will be more likely to link back to it through social media or on their own blog posts.
Promote content through social media to get more readers and encourage people to share. Create arrangements with legal bloggers and journalists to link to one another’s websites. Host articles by guests on your own website to acquire more backlinks.
You can even write testimonials in exchange for backlinks. The key to organic backlinking is building trust.
SEO is Ongoing
Unlike a one-shot ad campaign, lawyer SEO marketing is ongoing. If you stop producing content, conducting keyword research, and updating your website, you’ll eventually fall behind in search results. You also have to take into account the changing algorithms of search engines. As Google becomes more sophisticated, new SEO tactics will become necessary.
To ensure that your SEO is up to date, partner with a digital marketing team. Make sure your team keeps web developers and copywriters in-house so they can provide you with all the necessary services for lawyer SEO marketing. Organic search is the #1 driver of traffic to content-rich websites. Make sure your potential clients are finding you at the top of their search results.