Law firm SEO marketing strategies must be planned in advance to ensure your law firm is displayed on the first page of organic search results.
When it comes to internet marketing, there’s no such thing as planning too far ahead. The budget has been approved, and the site’s SEO results from the previous year are in. Now is the time to retool your law firm SEO marketing. But not everyone knows what SEO is and how vital it is to a company’s visibility on the Internet. Getting your website listed on the first page of Google or Bing should be the main contributor to your overall digital marketing strategy. SEO has the power to get you ahead of your competitors and seen by more prospective clients. And as technology changes, so do the rules for SEO strategy.
All decent law firm marketing strategists, (and most of the general public,) know that Google search is the most popular by far, but Bing cannot be overlooked.
Google and Bing both have a business page section that provide law firm website listing profiles. Once correctly established both will help gain traffic and conversions from your target audience. Digital marketing plans must include both Google My Business listings and Bing places for business listings. Be sure to also include practice area search engine optimization as another key to attracting potential clients to your law firm website.
Google creates algorithms for ranking then crawls the web for anything that fits into these algorithms. It has things it likes (e.g., NAP on every page, great content) and things it doesn’t (e.g., keyword stuffing). To keep digital strategists on their toes, Google is constantly changing its algorithms to yield better, more precise searches for its users. When we think about SEO from a potential Google user’s perspective and don’t try to “cheat the system” we ultimately find there are many things we can do to improve search engine optimization which will, in turn, improve your conversion rate.
Let’s discuss some lawyer SEO tactics that can help improve your search engine rankings.
Actionable Law Firm SEO Methods
Content marketing and SEO campaigns go hand in hand. There are areas to look at when trying to improve your website’s ranking.
- The first tip has to do with Branding. This may not seem like the number one SEO related tip now, but as you read on, you will understand why branding is so important to SEO. Do you have a personal brand for your law firm? This is more than just having an eye-catching logo; it’s about being recognized, which means getting your name out there and proving you are an authority in your practice areas, achieved by blog posts, videos, and engaging online.
a. Creating profiles on social media networks that are appropriate for your firm.
b. Consistently sharing great content from other lawyers or law professionals along with your insight.
c. Engaging with your target audience – Respond back to those who left a review, commented on your Tweet, shared your infographic… etc.
d. Consistently publishing content on your website (i.e. blog) and in publications. It doesn’t hurt to republish or update an older blog.
e. Presenting CLE Courses and publishing them on your social media channels. This will automatically affirm your authority in your practice area. Another bonus of presenting is you can practice your skills in front of the camera and get your CLE done for free.
f. Publish video content! This has just been considered in your ranking in the past 6 months, so if you add videos NOW, it will raise your SEO ranking almost overnight. These videos can be short introductions to your firm, 5-minute talks on a certain topic, or anything your viewers may find valuable.
- Load Time – The faster a page loads, the better the user experience, and the longer the searchers will stay. Google will dock points for anything over five seconds, so 5 seconds or under is crutial. Ensuring a faster load time will help improve organic search results, but will take some technical seo work or site SEO optimization. If you are a smaller firm and you need IT talent, I recommend trying Upwork. I have had great results hiring on this platform, and it reduces a lot of the headache and expense of hiring an IT firm. Try these first for faster load times:
b. Compressing images.
c. Implementing browser caching and Grip compression.
- Link Building – To build your link profile, you have to work at it. I have a section on CLE Companion titled “Guest Contributors.” This is where I highlight my contacts individual businesses or skill sets that I think my customers may find valuable. Then I link to their site and ask them to do the same. I give them a post to add to their site with my site linked back. It’s a win-win for both parties involved, and you may get some original leads from the posts.
Additionally, you should also make sure your law practice is listed on Avvo, Yelp, and other legal directories and is getting positive reviews. Directory listings work as great backlinks for your business page.
- Schema – This is HTML code that you add to keywords and phrases to help Google’s bots tag and categorize them, which mean even lead to a cool snippet on the first page. The tags let Google search (and other search engines) know that they are related to the legal profession and your law firm. You can attach the schema to emails, contact information, online reviews, images, and more.
- Organization – This is very important to not only visitors but for SEO marketing campaigns. People find content on your website by page (aside from keywords) as part of its organization. For example, you should have a page for each attorney and practice area and the user should be able to navigate the site easily. The more web pages your law firm’s website has, the more opportunities for keyword searches.
- SEO Paragraphs – You already have a blog with quality content for your website, which should be at least 600 words. But what about the descriptions for your images and video? Instead of just a few words, you should write small paragraphs to describe each image and video. The paragraphs should be at least 200 words. Google uses the title tags and meta descriptions to categorize the images and videos. And you’ll rank for your target keywords with your blogging.
- Create Keywords – In addition to using SEO tools to conduct keyword research and create your target keywords, you can create your own short and long-tail keywords. These are sentences ranging from 5-8 content words describing your post. This will generate more specific search results. Implementing short and long tail keywords is especially beneficial when you write about a brand (your law firm), process, or technique you created and name it. Since they are unique, these search terms will always rank #1 with your law firm’s website.
- Optimized Google My Business – Creating your Google My Business account and optimizing your law firm website’s listing is one of the easiest and smartest efforts you can make with your SEO services. When a potential new client conducts a Google search to look up law firms, chances are they are going to gravitate towards the high-quality Google My Business listing on the first page and call their phone number. When it comes to both legal SEO and local SEO, you do not want to neglect your Google My Business.
This information may sound complex for a novice just jumping into SEO, and it is. My advice would be to take it piece by piece. Start with a good social media plan and a google my business account, along with a few well produced videos. Whenever you make a change to your SEO or Digital Marketing strategy, track progress in your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts. The positive results will motivate you to dive deeper into SEO for even better results!