Not only is it vital for law firms to be armed with a successful, savvy team of lawyers that get the job done, but it’s also necessary to possess a steady inflow of clients who are satisfied and spread the good word about their positive experience.
SEO for Law firms is the way to go for a comprehensive method to bringing-in organic traffic, and attracting a larger base of local clients. The following information will serve as a guide to generating a solid legal SEO structure that will set your law firm apart from the rest.
“Studies show that 96% of the public seek the Internet when searching for a good law firm” – Google Consumer Survey, 2013
Rather than just being another website for the sake of providing information, planning for a profitable end-result has to be the key objective. With legal SEO the content becomes the greatest importance, rather than the aesthetics or form. Thus, the website is optimized for search engines to locate first, subsequently ranking higher and ensuring stronger visibility.
More Visibility Equals New Clients
According to Montgomery in her article, “How to Increase your Firms’ Visibility and Get More Clients” (Montgomery, 2014) a lack of visibility is common amongst clients working with professional service firms. The author suggests that firms require a strong brand presence, solid, reliable reputation, and high search engine visibility. This will result in new client opportunities, while maintaining a stronger bond with existing clients.
Building a Brand is Beneficial to Lawyers and Creates a Connection with Clientele
Much like accounting firms, the ‘About Us’ page bridges the gap between organization and clientele as it creates a bond that allows the firm to present more relevant results in relation to the client interests and needs. This is especially advantageous for lawyers as it allows them to promote themselves on the website and connect with potential clients.
Law Firms in the Time of COVID-19
Times are certainly strange right now. 2020 has been challenging for much of the world to adjust to. For others, it’s been a blessing. For those who’ve excelled there’s a reason and it usually comes down to productivity from an entrepreneurial perspective. Basically, how progressive, and creative those who work from home, can get.
According to Web Marketing Content organization Paper Street, the legal industry is one of the least-affected by COVID-19. This is because of the efficiency to update their online presence such as ensuring the public that they can still operate (albeit remotely or over Skype, Zoom, etc). Furthermore, this allows the firm-in-question to experiment outside of their niche in order to shift from their core area and serve a diverse market. Specializing in a certain market that may be heightened during this time would be a massive bonus for the law firm’s chances of gaining notoriety.
It’s also a good time to update old blog posts, adding additional content such as strategies on how to deal with legal issues during pandemia, and also cleaning, auditing, and updating meta-features to fit with the relevant keywords that correlate with any new services.
Investment during this time – while a gamble, has great potential to produce positive results as the world slowly starts to have greater demand for services. Therefore, hiring the necessary freelancers to ramp up business for specific departments is a risk worth taking. While competitors scramble for workers after COVID-19, a law firm with a comprehensive website able to serve diverse clients stays one step ahead of the game.
More Clients Mean More Chance of Conversion
It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out the more clients know about a specific law firm; the more chance those clients will seek that firm’s services. SEO focuses on creating that bond with prospective clients, subsequently building relationships and gaining trust. Again, because of the pandemic one-on-on meetings may not be available, but that doesn’t stop firms from creating Webinars that double-up as free consultations, and it creates an efficient method of providing the answers to clients’ questions without the hassle of one-to-one free consultations that doesn’t guarantee a return. And while establishing SEO doesn’t guarantee a return in the short-term, its longevity means that a high level of quality is is maintained long-term.
SEO Targets QUALITY Traffic
Speaking of quality, law firms want to create a demand for their services, but also want to focus on the bigger clients as it not only generates higher income, it also establishes them as a legitimate force in the legal industry. SEO is an Inbound Marketing Strategy. What this means is that the targeted audience will find the necessary law firm (or service) they desire rather than the service reaching out to consumers who may or may not want to be contacted.
Outbound vs. Inbound:
Outbound: Interruption – Cold Calling, SPAM Emails, Marketer-Centric
Inbound: Permission – SEO, Blogging, Customer-Centric
A study by Hubspot recently noted that an impressive 59% of marketers cited Inbound Marketing as the highest quality leads for their sales team. This is down to the difference between providing information related to the industry that the target audience is actively searching for, versus attempting to coerce the general public to seek legal advice from a specific firm as a basic marketing strategy.
Moreover, Inbound Marketing provides an opportunity to reach an audience who already may be considering contracting a service, and therefore leading to a greater chance that the marketing strategy will lead to sales or leads.
Advertisements Are FREE in SEO
The term “nothing is ever truly free” generally counts as nine-tenths of the law, but in this case it’s true! Google’s organic rankings revolve around what the algorithm determines as the best results for a given query, and so once the search engine sees a website as a legitimate source of information, it is able to direct traffic to it for months, perhaps even years. Basically, there’s no added cost on-top of the initial website investment. Sure, organizations can choose whether to hire freelancers to boost their blog posts, web content, etc but it’s not the only option should someone within the company be multi-skilled and able to churn out the content themselves.
SEO Generates More Clicks than PPC
What is PPC exactly? Well, it is the basis with which advertisers use to pay publishers every time that an ad is clicked. Pay-Per-Click involves advertiser’s essentially purchasing traffic to a specific website, rather than the target audience clicking organically. However, SEO generates more clicks than PPC as users tend to trust Google’s algorithm, as they know which spots advertisers pay for, and instead choose to visit pages that search engines determine to be the best. According to Zero Limit Web Marketing, 71.33% of searches result in a click on an organic result on the first page. Organizations that appear on the first page of an organic search suggests that the website-in-question (as well as the business) are leaders in that niche bracket, and therefore most likely to generate the greatest income.
SEO and PR Go Hand-in-Hand
According to Kohler in his article, “How to Combine PR, Content Marketing and SEO” (Kohler, 2017) PR, Content Marketing, and SEO are often seen as competitors for budget, resources, yet both should not be carried out in isolation. This is because they tend to work best when working together. Kohler uses the example that, “the terms ‘public relations,’ search engine optimization,’ and ‘content marketing’ lead to 100 different definitions and opinions on the tactics they involve” (Kohler, 2017).
Public Relations: Method of having people write about a specific company, or service in a positive light.
Content Marketing: Practice of producing content (designed by industry experts within the company) that educates and engages a certain target audience.
SEO: Technical, Content, Website performance optimization with the objective to rank high on Google in an attempt to boost traffic.
How they work hand-in-hand involves SEO being used as platform for content marketing (keyword research, building a relationship with clients, etc.) while content generate press coverage (for example journalists being drawn to a website – or even writing for the website), and press coverage ends-up garnering the right kind of attention and gaining the trust of potential clients who have seen industry experts promote the organization. Meanwhile, PR improves SEO as it helps build high-quality content, subsequently building the profile of the organization and giving it a better chance to rank for more competitive keywords.
How This Relates to Law Firms
This is important in the legal industry as the combination of all three marketing strategies help legitimize law firms and gives them a fighting chance amid vigorous competition. The National Law Review states that out of 87% of people who contact and eventually hire an attorney, 72% of them only end-up contacting one attorney. If the website of a law firm isn’t ranking in the top three, then it doesn’t stand much chance of being looked at.
Furthermore, the combination of all three will ensure that content is being designed for the purpose of ranking well in the search engines and also entice clientele with informative, relevant information – as opposed to simply producing content for the sake of building a database. According to Martin in his article, “Attorneys Win More Clients with SEO and Content Marketing” the author argues that, “digital marketing and content marketing work like peanut butter and jelly” in that with 80% of new clients coming from referrals (and not marketing), the aim is to generate a marketing campaign like quarterly newsletters and social media posts, while also improving credibility and providing a boost in search engine results (Martin, 2020). This in-turn will lead to improving landing pages while posts that include the keywords “how to choose a personal injury attorney” for example, will result in strengthening the ranking on Google’s search results page, and also helping connect with new clients who have little knowledge of the industry.
Resolving Potential Drawbacks
Like anything, there are potential roadblocks to achieving the desired goal. For example, organic SEO may not always be the most efficient form of marketing, as it tends to take time to increase website ranking in the search engine results. However, optimizing on-page SEO ensures that key terms in the web title pages (URLs) are given greater in-depth relevancy to the product (or in this case the service provided).
In the cut-throat world of the legal industry, special attention has to be taken to ensure that your law firm ranks amongst the top three in the search engines. Therefore, as well as specifying keywords; brand presence, reliability, trust, and legitimization must be placed at the forefront of any marketing strategy. Creating quality content in various forms such as video presentations, free Webinars that serve as a double function for free consultations, industry-produced blog content written by known personalities, as well as distributing advice with regards to recent global developments (COVID-19) will all help build a brand that is comprehensive in content, one that clients can build a relationship with, and an organization that is on-the-ball with the ever-changing global industry spectrum.
Furthermore, providing diverse services to the various types of legal departments will set you apart from the law firms who stick to one specific type of legal system, or those who closed down during the recent pandemic. Finally, blending numerous types of marketing strategies such as public relations, content marketing, and SEO allow for them to work together to monopolize the search engine results rankings and provide the greatest chance of being recognized.
To carry-out further research into what YOU need to do to utilize SEO for law firms as well as its benefits, contact 1st on the List so they can share their invaluable experience and knowledge in order to provide top-notch SEO for your organization.
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