How can search engine optimization (SEO) help your law firm?
In the age of the internet, your online presence can make or break your business or career. This is true for all kinds of niches, the law niche included. If you are still not convinced, consider this: according to a Google Consumer Survey in 2013, 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine.
But nowadays, having a website for your company is not enough. You also have to make sure that your website appears on the first page of Google’s search results so that your old clients can reach you and so that you can reach new clients.
SEO helps you achieve exactly that.
In this article, we’ll explore how you can compete in the cut-throat world of law SEO. Specifically, we will discuss the value of content marketing and link-building in scaling your company.
Let’s start with some key SEO terms.
Defining SEO Terms: Content Marketing and Link Building
As explained earlier, SEO is concerned with improving your website’s ranking on the search results. Content marketing and link-building are just two of the ways to do that.
There is more to content marketing than blogging, contrary to popular belief. It is the process of creating and distributing high-quality content to a specific audience to gain additional customers.
Aside from blogs, other types of content include ebooks, infographics, newsletters, webinars, videos, and podcasts.
However, content marketing does not aim to sell a product or service explicitly. Instead, its goal is to convince customers that your company is trustworthy and keep them returning to your website for their various needs until they purchase.
The next step is getting your content to a big, relevant audience.
If an individual in need of a lawyer has no specific firm or attorney in mind, what are the chances that they will be directed to your site?
Getting to the top of the search results is one option. But reaching your site through a hyperlink on a different law-related website is another.
This situation helps put the importance of link-building into perspective.
In other words, building links is essential to boosting your SEO, especially in highly competitive niches.
Inbound links refer to the links that lead to your website or a specific page on your site. Aim to get links from authoritative websites within the same industry. Avoid spammy, low-quality link-building techniques as these may harm your site’s ranking or even get you penalized.
Good links drive organic traffic to your site and, in connection to the previous section on content marketing, they are a sign that many people find your content worth reading and sharing. Moreover, it signals trust towards your firm and improves your ranking.
That is why useful and well-produced content is vital to building links.
How Link Building and Content Marketing Can Scale Your Firm
“Scalability” in the finance and business industries refers to the capacity to cope with an increased scope or workload.
Let’s put this in the context of legal SEO.
Link building and content marketing is a huge step towards increasing clients, eventually increasing workload, and scaling the law firm’s capabilities. In other words, if you produce much relevant content and get several quality links, your firm’s caseload and bottom line will increase as well.
To that end, here are simple law SEO tips, especially for link building and legal content marketing.
1. Make Sure Your Website Provides an Excellent User Experience.
In optimizing your law firm’s website, your job does not end at getting clicks. If your website takes too long to load or isn’t easy to navigate on mobile, you could lose customers quickly.
These website characteristics, along with title tags and the structure of your site, are all part of technical SEO. While we will not discuss technical SEO in detail here, note that the content of your website is organized depending on the kind of services you provide (e.g., single services such as divorce attorneys). One of the core goals of SEO is to provide a user-friendly experience, so design your website with your customer’s convenience and satisfaction in mind.
2. Understand and Monitor the State of Legal SEO.
At a glance, here is the state of Google search results for law-related queries:
Top spots are taken by paid ads and local results
Almost half of the organic search results are dominated by aggregator sites (e.g., Justia, Avvo)
Competition is stiff, and the cost per click is ridiculously high
So, how should this affect your law firm’s SEO strategy?
First of all, paying for ads will get you on top faster and easier than waiting for your page to appear on the first page of organic search results. But ads are expensive, and, more importantly, 80% of Google users ignore paid ads. So, it is often more worthwhile to invest in SEO.
However, big aggregator sites take up 50% of organic search, competing for spots is tough. But instead of trying to beat aggregator sites, you can get citations from them and rank your profile there instead. You can also buy ads for a lower price on those sites.
3. Write Helpful Content for Your Clients in Multiple Formats.
Consistency, relevance, and newness are essential when delivering content. Establish a regular schedule for publishing new content so that your website or blog can stay active and answer emerging questions in the legal field.
Additionally, high-quality long-form content can convince your clients that you are an expert in your field. Creating much content also allows you to be more visible online to cover more search queries.
Common types of content for law firm pages include the following: practice area pages, bio pages, frequently asked questions, blog articles, infographics, podcasts, and videos. You can add value to your content by incorporating multiple media formats, especially if your competitors are not using them.
4. Choose the Best Keywords You Use in Your Content.
Keyword research should be part of your SEO strategy. Specifically, you should answer these questions:
What keywords do you want to rank for?
How easy or difficult would it be to rank for these keywords?
What are the recent trends for keyword search in your industry?
You can use tools like Google Trends, Moz, or Semrush to identify, track, and optimize your keywords. Next, determine the keywords with high search volume and low competition. Incorporate these keywords into your home page, landing pages, and other relevant pages.
Don’t forget to add your location in your web content so that you can appear in searches conducted by people in your area.
5. Include Good External and Internal Links.
Internal links help your clients navigate through your website with ease. This style of linking will help them find the information they need and quickly, e.g., call a lawyer immediately.
Meanwhile, excellent external links help you improve your domain authority and overall visibility. Getting listed on directories like Avvo is one way to build good backlinks. Other strategies include guest posting, a.k.a. guest blogging. Guest blogging involves writing content for a website in a relevant niche so that the readers of that site can reach yours.
Conclusion: Why Invest Your Resources in Legal SEO
A robust online presence is a must for legal firms. Building links and producing content at scale might seem complicated, but it is a worthwhile endeavor, considering the number of clients it will earn you. Fully-managed SEO might be the best fit for you if you don’t have a team dedicated to legal SEO yet.
Again, it’s time to debunk the idea that lawyers cannot take advantage of SEO. Like other industries such as dentistry, it is crucial to invest in digital marketing.