Go All In On Law Firm SEO

play-593207_1280If your law firm has been a touchstone of the local legal community for years, then it’s very possible that you’ve never had to worry about Search Engine Optimization.  For a long time, you may have been able to coast on reputation alone, relying on former clients to provide the kind of positive word of mouth that brings new business.  If you supplemented that kind of buzz with billboards and a couple ads, you didn’t have to fret that much about digital marketing.

Unfortunately for law firms in that situation, those days of being able to coast are just about over.  Even if your previous clients are happy with your services, that no longer means what it used to.  Someone who hears from a friend or family member about how skilled you are is likely to turn to Google.  They may scan the first page of results looking for your name, but if they don’t see it quickly, they’re just as likely to turn to another law firm that has the online visibility you’re so sorely missing.

People are using search engines to find attorneys, and as a result, they’re turning away from those law firms that have achieved visibility in the traditional sense.  This has created an opening for upstart firms to make their mark in the community, muscling out the practices that might have the decades of experience a prospective client is looking for.

Sitting on the sidelines in terms of SEO is no longer an option, and lest you think we’re exaggerating, we’d advise taking a look at a new report featured in Small Business Trends.  That article highlights the many reasons why it might be time not just to start up an SEO campaign, but to hire an outside entity to see to such a campaign.

We’ve already delved into why it’s in an established law firm’s best interest to put search engines to work for them, and we’re going to expound upon that idea further.  You don’t want to miss out on an audience that’s in the market for the legal services your firm offers.  Whether you’re a new practice or a firm that’s been around for 50 years, the information we’re about to cover will be worth your time to understand.

archery-472932_640Being An Expert On Everything Gets You Nothing

Imagine for a second that you’re widely considered to be the foremost personal injury lawyer in a 50-mile radius.  That’s certainly an enviable position to be in.  In a time before SEO became the de facto method with which people found the attorney who’s right for them, you would be able to rely on a steady stream of clients visiting you for help on all number of different cases.

But the circumstances have changed, and you might not be fielding the number of phone calls that you used to.  Why is this?  After all, it’s not like you stopped being the premiere handler of personal injury matters in the city and state.  You’re still getting great results for your clients, and your ads continue to emphasize your expertise in a number of practice areas.  Maybe you even have a website that further illustrates your personal injury prowess as a whole.

The problem has to do with the search habits of your prospective clientele.  While an individual may head to a search engine to input a term as broad as “personal injury lawyer,” it’s just as likely that they’ll type in a far more specific phrase.  They could search the term “slip and fall lawsuits” or even a phrase dedicated to an ultra-individualized case, like “attorney for (insert product name) lawsuits.”

When someone conducts such a search, that person will be given results that emphasize the exact terms they’ve plugged into Google.  Therefore, the firms that have taken the time to create content and optimize for the precise words people are searching will pop up ahead of a practice that has only really paid attention to personal injury in the broadest sense of the word.

Therefore, even a firm that’s conducted what it thought was a valid SEO effort may find that they’re still coming up short.  You have to not just think of what you got your law degree for, but all those things that could comprise your overall experience.

search-engine-optimization-586422_640SEO Is More Than Just A Website

It’s also not entirely accurate to say that SEO begins and ends with just a website.  While that will certainly be the globe that everything else orbits around, it’s really only the start of what a valid SEO effort will take into consideration.

Successful SEO requires links and a large digital footprint.  You need to create a number of social media accounts in which you’ll be constantly active, relating legal insights and messages that cater to clients and an audience interested in matters of legal note.  You need to claim your place on local directories that provide links and a wider scope for your visibility.  You need to issue press releases and reach out to local media entities that can provide you with further prominence and exposure.

These things are what enable your website to elbow its way higher and higher up the search results.  Creating a great website is step one, but these components will allow you to surpass all those other law firms that stopped once they had a web domain established.

But we haven’t even gotten to the best part.  All those strategies we just described that aid your SEO?  They’re also able to stand on their own to help you acquire clients.  While it’s true that a large number of people are using search engines to find a lawyer, they’re also connecting with law firms long before they make a decision.  They’re following them on Twitter, they’re reading the reviews a law firm has acquired on Yelp, and they’re seeing what kinds of mentions and accolades a firm has received from the media organizations they trust.

Maybe you’ve been doing these things already and didn’t realize how they could benefit your SEO.  It’s more likely, though, that these have also been missing from your strategizing.  Start changing things now so that you don’t miss the clients who could be headed your way.

It’s Up To You

We’ve laid out the path you need to foster success online, and it’s now up to you to take that path.  Bring back your audience by investing in SEO.

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Posted In: law firm SEO