Broaden The Horizons Of Your Law Firm SEO

write-593333_1280If you’re a copywriter, you write copy.  When you’re an athlete, you play the sport you’re good at.  When you’re a window cleaner, you clean windows.

But when you’re a Search Engine Optimization expert?  Your functions aren’t quite as clear-cut.  The other jobs described above have obvious duties that are pretty much contained within the job title.  SEO has a job description that’s a little more complex.  It says something that we don’t typically call persons with this job a Search Engine Optimizer.  We call them SEO experts or even SEOs.

When your law firm decides to hire an SEO or conduct some SEO on its own, there isn’t one job that you can point to and say:  “Aha! Here’s what we’ll do to acquire new clients.  This single tactic will clear the way to the top!”  It’s not as simple as that.  SEO is composed of a number of different elements.  You could be doing something different every single day in a bid to scale the search results.  In fact, you sorta have to do that, because relying solely on one tactic may actually be harmful to your ability to get great search rankings.

A recent article in Search Engine Land highlights the many hats that persons involved with SEO in the modern world have to wear.  And a lot of hats there are.  In order to truly succeed with SEO, you have to be willing to become an expert in a disparate number of tactics, all of which could have an impact on your position.

Read that report and then come back here, as we’re going to highlight precisely what this means for law firms.  If you’re ready to embrace SEO, you had better be ready to embrace a whole slew of other things, as the more strategies you apply, the easier the time you’ll have acquiring clients.

hat-185447_640Trying On A Lot Of Hats To See What Fits

If you imagine that someone involved with SEO is sitting in some dark, decrepit office, toiling away at a computer for the vast majority of their time, then think again.  While huddling over a computer will be a necessary part of SEO at some point, it’s not the only part.

In truth, a really successful SEO effort will find the people responsible for the gambit alternating between working on a computer, talking on the phone, meeting with assorted persons in the office, and going out into the world to develop relationships within the community.

The reason that all of these things are an essential part of SEO is because links are an essential part of SEO, and you get those from a number of different sources.  You start with simple emails to the places you want a link from.  Do you want a local blogger to do a story on your practice?  Shoot them an email making note of a case of yours that’s deserving of garnering some small amount of publicity.  Send a press release to local media entities that can take the announcement you put together and use that as a basis for a story in the local paper.

That’s the “hunched over a computer” side of things.  But what about those other things we covered?  Well, rather than just rely on the idea that a media entity will do a story based on your press release, actually pick up the phone and call a few of those news groups to give them a heads-up about the matter.  Tell them you have a noteworthy case that’s about to reach a decision and you were wondering if they’re interested in doing a story.  Barring that, offer your expertise on public interest stories they’re putting together.  Lawyers are a great soundbite generator for news rooms, and you want to make yourself available for such a thing.

There’s also something to be said for meeting face to face with persons who might give you links.  When you’re in a meeting with clients in your office after you’ve gotten them the settlement or court victory they need, ask them to go online and provide reviews and links on the sites they frequent, be they directories or social media channels.  Outside the office, make an effort to join Chambers of Commerce and assorted other organizations, legal or otherwise.  By joining these groups, you can get your firm’s logo and a link to your site on a domain that carries authority with a search engine.

These techniques are a far cry from the stereotype of someone merely sitting in front of a computer, the only light coming from the glow of the screen in front of them.

finger-280200_640 (1)Changing The Channel

It’s true that a bulk of what’s being done will take place on the law firm’s website itself, as you’ll be creating content and placing keywords in their necessary spots so that you can earn a place on the first page of Google’s search results.  But the other big misconception a lot of law firms have about Search Engine Optimization is that all the work is going to take place directly on their web domain. 

You also need to venture far outside your website in terms of content creation and interaction.  A great SEO doesn’t just sit idly by and wait for business to come to them.  He or she goes out and becomes proactive about drumming up interest in the law firm.

Take to social media to speak about the legal issues of the day.  Everyone might be talking about a recent lawsuit or court decision, and the voice of a lawyer who’s uniquely qualified to speak on that subject matter will cause people to listen a little more closely.  If they like what they hear, they’ll create their own social messages that link right back to your practice.

Go to local directories and fill out every profile you can think of to the best of your abilities.  Yelp is only the start of where you can nail up a signpost that leads to your practice.  There are many directories out there, each of them acting as a gateway to the businesses who have taken the few minutes or so necessary to claim a spot, and it’s a shame that more companies, law firms especially, don’t utilize these.

SEO encompasses more work than you probably imagine.  But it’s work that’s worth doing if it means your practice can reach the top of a search engine.

Tags: , ,

Posted In: law firm SEO