Your law firm boasts a talented team of legal experts specializing in services the people in your area need right now. Potential clients are searching for law firms just like yours on their PCs, tablets and smartphones, and a targeted SEO strategy ensures your practice appears near the top of their search results.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), some states have nearly 90 lawyers for every 10,000 residents. The higher the concentration of law firms in your area, the more competition there is for clients. Your firm needs to stand out from the crowd by showcasing the unique expertise you offer in your area of practice. SEO for law firms is essential if you want to be visible to the 97 percent of consumers using the internet to research local services.
A stellar website showcasing a brilliant team of lawyers won’t be propelled to the top of results simply by sitting back and waiting for search engines to realize how amazing you are. Being on the first page of search results, preferably in the top five, draws the most traffic to your law firm’s website. The majority of searchers don’t bother to look at the second page of results, so you need to adopt the right strategies to push your site closer to the top and keep it there.
Your SEO strategies should highlight the location of your practice and the area of law in which you specialize. The key is to focus on visibility above competitors operating in similar niches in the surrounding area. You want to show prospective clients your firm is the best in the business and no one else can offer the same quality of service, level of expertise or peace of mind. To drive traffic and start getting more clients from organic searches, start with these four basic but powerful lawyer SEO tactics.
Title tags and meta descriptions tell both search engines and prospective clients what each page of your site is about. Search engines use this information to determine if the offerings of your practice match up with a user’s search terms, and people looking for lawyers can quickly see which law firms provide services meeting their needs. Your titles and descriptions should be unique and communicate the most important information about your practice in a clear and concise way. In titles, include the name of your law firm, the type of law you practice and your location. Use meta descriptions to add other important information, such the number of years you’ve been in practice.
Each title and description should also include keywords relevant to your firm. Incorporate these in a natural way while keeping titles to 60 characters or less and descriptions under 160 characters. This ensures all your information will appear in search results without being truncated. Avoid repeating the same keyword or similar words multiple times in one tag. Keywords should also be included in page URLs to reinforce the subject matter of the page and help potential clients decide which search results are best.
About 54 percent of Americans use the internet instead of the phone book to search for local businesses, including law firms. While it’s not a bad idea to have a phone book listing, you’re likely to get more contacts from internet searches. Smartphone users rely on their devices even more, with 95 percent reporting they use their phones to look up local information. This makes local SEO an essential part of your law firm’s strategy to improve visibility in search results. You not only need to include keywords on your website pertaining to the location of your practice but also claim listings on as many local directories as possible. Google, Facebook and YP.com are some of the most popular, but there are also sites specifically for lawyers, including Avvo, Nolo, Lawyers.com and FindLaw.com.
Reviews are also integral to your SEO strategy. Ninety-three percent of consumers use online reviews to help them make decisions about which businesses to contact, and many trust reviews as much as or more than personal recommendations. Develop a review collection strategy to get feedback from current clients, and add testimonials to your website to increase trust with potential clients who click through from search results.
Search engines like Google and Bing look for relevance and quality when determining how to rank sites in search results. When sites known for providing authoritative content pertaining to your area of practice link back to your law firm’s site, search engines see this as a vote for quality. Building a network of these backlinks also increases the number of places around the web where potential clients can discover your law firm. Even when your site doesn’t rank high for a particular keyword, a piece of content containing a backlink might rank instead.
To get started with a backlink strategy, contact all of your friends and colleagues in law who offer services complementary to those provided by your firm, and see if they’d be willing to exchange links. Reach out to your law school with an offer to write an article or blog post for their website with a link included in your byline. Connect with respected legal bloggers on social media, and build relationships with those from whom backlinks would be most beneficial.
Potential clients come to you with questions, concerns and legal difficulties, and they want to know you can provide the help they need. Show them you understand their problems by providing high-quality blog posts, videos and other content. Consider the questions people ask most often when they get in touch with your law firm, and use your content to provide enough information to address the basics. Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) in every piece of content to encourage people who find you via organic search to get in touch for detailed legal advice.
Use content to increase search visibility by targeting specific keywords. Focus on providing information people can’t find anywhere else or putting a unique spin on a common topic. The best SEO content is distinctive, pertinent and presented in a layout designed for the way people tend to skim websites, especially when they’re using mobile devices. Include social sharing options to support your backlinking strategy and get your content seen on as many platforms as possible.
Your law firm needs a comprehensive approach to SEO to boost your search engine rankings and drive client traffic to your site. The best SEO strategies start with widespread initial optimization of your total online presence and continue with ongoing optimization strategies tailored to keep you ahead of the competition and in line with all the latest search algorithm updates. Having someone to help you build authority in your area of expertise, make sure the information in your local listings is correct and maximize the benefit of local SEO ensures you don’t miss out on leveraging a single tactic.
Contact SEO Direct today for an assessment of the SEO strategies you’re using right now and an analysis of the current tactics of competitors in your niche. SEO Direct has the tools and experience to identify issues holding you back from your best possible search rankings and is ready to offer suggestions to optimize everything from your network of relevant backlinks to how easy it is for search bots to crawl your site. Get started now with the in-depth strategies you need to make your law firm the one potential clients call as a result of their internet searches.