Every Law Firm Needs SEO

dog-142328_1280People use search engines to find lawyers now.  That’s all there is to it.  Rarer and rarer is the person who sees a television commercial and immediately places a call to the number on the screen.

Instead, a person is seeking out a lawyer one of two ways.  They’re going in blind, conducting a basic search for “personal injury lawyer” or whatever other type of attorney they’re in the market for and they’re perusing the search results to determine who is the best choice in their vicinity.  Or, they’re taking their knowledge of a given firm within the area and conducting a brand name search, seeing what kind of internet presence the firm has before contacting that practice.

Even if you have name brand recognition within your community, there’s always an opportunity for some other lawyer to come and intercept the client.  This is especially the case if you haven’t taken the time to see to your SEO efforts, as search engines have become a vital form of marketing for your law firm.

A new article in Search Engine Land provides some great points about what it will take to put forth a successful SEO effort in the coming year, and you should take a look at that to figure out if your law firm is set up the way it needs to be to continue acquiring clients well into the future.  Perhaps the most important takeaway is the idea that SEO is no longer separate from marketing and neither can your Search Engine Optimization agency be.  Whoever’s responsible for marketing needs to be responsible for SEO given the interconnectedness of the two.

Today, we’re going to provide a little more detail on what your law firm needs to set itself up to achieve visibility on a search engine depending on whether or not you already have brand recognition.  By putting these insights into action, you can make the shift to accommodate the ever-changing habits of the modern client.

silhouette-376538_640 (1)Making The Unknown Known

Let’s start out with the assumption that maybe you don’t have the visibility of some other law firms in the area.  Perhaps you’ve just started a new practice or your law firm has been able to skate by largely on the word of mouth you’ve acquired based on the great job you’ve done helping your clients in the past.

You probably already have a website (and if not, then you’ve got a whole lot of work to do before you even reach the point where you can begin your ongoing SEO campaign in earnest).  What you need to start doing is the kind of work that will actually bring people to that website.  If it just sits there without attention paid to raising awareness, you’ll never be able to make a dent in the world of SEO.

Think of your website as the phone number of yesteryear.  It’s where you’re trying to get people to go to introduce them to what your practice can offer.  Before the internet, that could only be accomplished by asking them to give you a call, and then they’d have to decide if they would come in for an office visit.  Well, now you have to get a person to your website, then get them to dial a number (or fill out a form), and then get them to your office.

Shift your awareness efforts away from a phone number and toward your website.  Start by making your domain attractive to search engines and clients alike.  You do that with great content that hits upon the keywords your law firm will need to rank for.  Update your personal injury blog with the latest personal injury news on a daily basis, and sift through every other page on your website to figure out what’s missing and what a client could benefit from.  If you come at everything from a position of wondering what’s going to help a prospect navigate a tricky legal conundrum, you’ll necessarily and naturally gain keyword saturation and be rewarded with higher search rankings.

You then have to look at what could be done outside your web domain to further funnel people toward your site and boost your search ranking.  Go on social media.  Twitter and Facebook are a great start, and you can further improve your stature by getting on a site like Instagram or LinkedIn.  Then offer your legal insights on other web domains that may be thrilled to have an astute legal mind contributing content.

When all else fails, purchase some PPC ads.  If you’re just starting SEO, you have to realize that other firms may already have a jump on you.  It will take some time to gain the same search footing as them, but in the interim, you can guarantee your position by purchasing ads.  That way, someone who searches out your practice expertise will be introduced to your law firm.  This can cost you, but that cost is more than outweighed by the value of a new client.

seo-441400_640Brand Together

If your law firm already has visibility and you know that a lot of people are searching you out, your job becomes influencing a client to do more than just search.

You have to conduct all the steps we laid out above, and in fact, they become even more important.  When people already know who you are, they expect certain things from your online presence.  Whereas an upstart law firm might skate by with slightly lower quality content and maybe even a few typos, you have no such free pass.  Any signal of a lack of professionalism is a red flag to readers.  The content on your website must be pristine.  You got people there, so now your job becomes showing your qualifications and your ability to relate to a reader’s tough situation.

You must also defend your search position, knowing that there a lot of people trying to usurp your ranking.  Get on local directories and assorted social channels so that a brand name search returns numerous results, and never take shortcuts with your SEO work.  A shortcut leads to a drop, and suddenly your heretofore enviable position is gone.

Marketing = SEO

No matter where your firm is at the moment, you stand to gain by folding SEO in with the rest of your marketing.  There is simply no other choice in the modern world.

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Posted In: law firm SEO