Thinking about ways to find new clients? The options are endless, but ranking on the first page of Google and other search engines is a great place to start when you want to generate leads. According to marketing agency Junto, 75 percent of people don’t scroll past the first page when using a search engine. How do you get your website higher on search engines like Google and Bing? You have a lot of options, but one of the most effective is having a comprehensive, strategic approach to SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it involves increasing the traffic to your website through organic search engine results. You can improve your SEO by creating engaging content, like articles and blog posts. Publishing regularly — several times a month, but ideally, several times a week — can help your law firm rank higher on search engines like Google.
Suppose someone is looking for help with a legal issue. In that case, they may enter a query like “medical malpractice lawyers in Florida,” and ranking on the first page of Google for that phrase can help a Florida attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. SEO isn’t only valuable for local searches. If you rank highly for a term like “what is medical malpractice,” people who land on your website will get the answers they’re after, and they may be more likely to return. One caveat: it’s much harder to rank for generalized, broad topics.
Focusing on local, niche topics when publishing blog posts can be one way to reach your desired client. Using the medical malpractice example, an article covering class action medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida is specific enough that you’ll have an easier time getting the results you’re after.
Legal SEO: How To Improve It
Being strategic with your SEO will help you achieve the results you want effectively. Search engine optimization doesn’t happen overnight, and most SEO results will show up after four months to a year. To see the changes you’re after, you must have a plan. Unsure where to start? Ranking highly on Google can seem like a mysterious impossibility, but Google’s own recommendations give us guidelines that any law firm can use and benefit from.
Analyze page speed: One of the easiest ways to improve your SEO rankings? Make sure your website speed is optimal. Page speed is one of the metrics used by the Google algorithm when ranking webpages, so it should be important to you too. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to get a list of improvements that can be made to a website.
Optimize your website for mobile: Research has shown that people are more likely to use their mobile devices to visit a search engine. Make sure your website is easy for cell phone users to navigate. Format videos and photos to be mobile-friendly and create a site menu that’s easy to scroll through.
Build backlinks: When a site contains a link to an external page or website, that’s known as a backlink. If you have many reputable sites linking to yours, you’ll seem more trustworthy and authoritative in the eyes of search engines. One way to build backlinks is by creating helpful web pages that people want to share.
Publishing content frequently: When the Google algorithm ranks pages, it rewards those that produce content regularly. It makes sense — no one wants to land on a website with outdated information, and publishing instructive articles on a regular basis is a fantastic way to avoid that. Creating a content calendar is one way to make sure you’re publishing content as frequently as you should.
Crafting an SEO-rich Content Strategy
Creating a content marketing strategy focusing on SEO is relatively simple. Google provides guidance on types of content more likely to rank highly. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, and it’s a metric that Google uses when determining the value offered by a webpage. Here are a few questions Google has its human search team ask when manually evaluating pages.
- Is the content created by someone with expertise in the subject they’re discussing?
- Is the author of the content authoritative?
- Is the content trustworthy, and is the author credible?
If the content meets all of these standards and passes the E-A-T test, it’s more likely to rank well on Google. The search engine also has very high standards for YMYL pages, which stands for “Your Money or Your Life.” These web pages provide information that could affect someone’s wellbeing, health, or finances. If you are giving legal guidance, you have a YMYL website. This means that Google holds you to a very high standard, and it’s imperative that your content meets the E-A-T standard and provides accurate, valuable knowledge.
Benefits of SEO
Should you prioritize SEO over other options when considering marketing for your firm? Digital advertising, print advertising, and broadcast advertising are all options to consider and can be used in conjunction with SEO, but focusing on SEO strategy has some benefits.
Cost-effectiveness: Once an SEO-rich piece of content is published on your website, it will continue to attract traffic for months or even years. You may invest in a digital marketing agency or a company offering writing services, but that initial investment will pay off and produce results for a long time to come. You’ll show up prominently on Google without having to pay for it, which is markedly different from paid advertising, where you often pay-per-click.
Providing value: When a potential client uses Google, it’s often to find the answer to a question or find out more about a topic. If you provide useful information on your website, your audience will view you positively and, perhaps most importantly, find you trustworthy. When SEO is done right, you aren’t publishing spam text stuffed with keywords; instead, you are producing well-written articles and blog posts that are engaging and easy to read.
Generates leads: According to AccuRanker, legal services is one of the most competitive niches in online marketing. Because many attorneys are vying for the same clients, you will face competition as you build out your SEO plan. But once you’ve established your online presence, you can expect people to inquire about your services, and some of those people may become clients.
Investing in SEO for your law firm pays off, and it’ll likely generate more leads, phone calls, and positive reviews. Prioritizing content marketing helps you succeed online, and generating well-written content on your firm’s website is a great place to start.