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SEO strategies to help law firms rank online successfully

by on February 29, 2020 in Digital Marketing, Latest News, Lead Article, Nuggets, Search Marketing, Small Business, Startups

SEO strategies to help law firms rank online successfully

Having a website is crucial these days, but it’s not enough.

If you want your law firm’s website to bring in clients, you need to develop an SEO campaign that will get your law firm to the top of the search engine results page (SERP) and get clients clicking through to hire your lawyers.

Thankfully, this article will cover some law firm SEO strategies that should be helpful for your business.

It’s not a surprise that most of the world uses the internet to do their research. In fact, 96% of people use a search engine to seek legal advice. What’s helpful for law firms is that most people don’t casually read up on legal services. If they’re searching for issues regarding the law, they often need legal help right now.

Of the people looking for legal information, about 74% of them are there to take action. With the right law firm SEO strategies, you can bring these potential clients to use.

There are dozens of search engines available, but Google has over 90% of the market share. Hence, maximizing your SEO efforts for Google algorithms will be your best approach. That said, ensure that you are visible on Google’s first page.

Here are some SEO strategies to help your law firm successfully rank online:

Choose Your Keywords Wisely

Keywords are the key for potential clients to find your website. Your keywords should be words and phrases that your potential clients will be typing into search engines. These terms will often include what services they need, so you will want to optimize for these terms. As a tip, Uber Suggest and Answer The Public are free tools that will help you identify the most successful keywords that you should target.

Additionally, you can use unique keywords and long-tail keywords to drive more traffic to your website. For example, searching “trial lawyer” will result in hundreds of hits and covers a broad range of services. However, the search term “Assault lawyer in Bend, Oregon” will result in a more specific list of sites.

By having a specific search term, long-tail keywords, you have a higher chance of placing in a search engine’s first page and you can easily haul in potential clients, converting them to a retained client.

Go Mobile

Remember that your website is a direct reflection of your firm. More than half of all internet activities take place on smartphones. That being said, make sure your website has a responsive design or at least a mobile version. If a potential client has a hard time reading your website on their phone, they may opt for another site that is more mobile-friendly.

You can also create a mobile app to keep clients engaged, especially if it helps them stay connected with you during and after their case. As a tip, if you include a “Referral” button, your clients can refer their family and friends to you.

Get Going on Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool for brick-and-mortar companies. GMB gives you control over how your business appears on Google Search and Google Maps, including your company name, business category, locations, hours, photos, reviews, and more.

GMB is a function of local SEO, which helps people find companies and services that are close to them. When someone needs to hire a law firm, they’re looking for someone in their area who is familiar with local laws. Hence, your law firm’s SEO strategy has to include the answers to a searcher’s legal questions but also have localized keywords, such as your city name and local information.

Once you’ve registered and verified your GMB business, you can begin optimizing the data in your firm’s listing. Include as much information as you can, such as your hours, accessibility, languages spoken, a list of your specialties, the names of your attorneys, and so on.

Updating your GMB listing should be an ongoing step in your law firm’s SEO strategy. Having out-of-date information, like old reviews, could cause potential clients to scroll past your listing.

Ask Clients for Feedback

The review section is a key feature of GMB. A central piece of your law firm’s SEO strategy should include monitoring what people say here. Reviews that include specific details about your firm, your location, which attorney handled the case, and what type of case you managed will have a positive impact on your search ranking.

If your client is happy with the outcome or with the work you’ve done on their behalf, ask them to leave a review for you on Google. It can be as simple as “Great immigration lawyer in Huntsville, AL,” which conveys the client’s satisfaction, your specialty, and your location.

Respond to each review by thanking your client for a positive review. Negative reviews are trickier, but don’t ignore them. Respond politely and thoughtfully. Acknowledge their disappointment and explain (as much as possible without violating attorney-client privilege) why you couldn’t resolve their issue or anything else that affected the outcome.

Make Sure Your Law Firm’s Directory Entries are Accurate

Schedule periodic reviews of online directories to ensure your information is consistent.

You should have business profiles on sites, like FourSquare, Yelp, and Yellow Pages. Keeping these pages updated is an often overlooked piece of law firm SEO strategy.

If your law firm appears in more than one directory (and it should), all information should be identical across the board. It may be confusing if one directory lists your office at one address but the other has you in a different part of town.

This also goes for your services. If your law firm brings in a child custody lawyer, you should update the directories and your website to include child custody, so your firm will appear in searches for the new area of practice.

Automate the Accuracy of Your Website Listings

You can always outsource the creation and review of your law firm’s directory listings. Listing management services, like Moz Local, Synup, or Yext, will make sure your firm’s information is accurate across major directories. When you have an update, you just need to enter the information once, and the listing management service will syndicate the change on your behalf.

When choosing a listing management service, make sure they cover as many directories as possible. Also, be sure to verify what happens with your data if you decide not to renew the service at any point.

Update Your Website’s Structure and Content

If your law firm’s website has been around for a few years and you haven’t updated the content, consider doing a thorough review to see where you can improve it. Search engine algorithms have changed over the years. You want your law firm SEO strategy to make your site appealing.

The good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch. Your existing content can be updated to incorporate new legal rulings and changes in the relevant laws. To optimize your website’s search engine result page (SERP) ranking, look also for new keywords that are gaining popularity and add them. Lastly, consider removing content about older cases if you have more recent successes to highlight.

Add a Page for Each Area of Practice

Your home page should have general business information, including a list of all your law firm’s focus areas. Each of those listings should link to individual pages about those specialties with information and case studies that demonstrate your expertise in those fields.

Breaking up your site into several pages will give potential clients confidence that you are well-versed in the types of problems they need help with and that you offer a variety of services.

When it comes to law firm SEO strategies, the specialty-specific content will also help your site rank for keywords for each specialty. Google will look at each page individually and see that you offer a range of services, which might mean that you are desirable to searchers.

Expand on Your Practice Areas with Specific Service Pages

If you’re a single service attorney, try to differentiate between types of cases you’ve handled in that specialty. Potential clients will be more likely to hire your law firm if they understand that you have experience with their type of case. For example, a music copyright specialist can include pages about common questions regarding lyrics, songs, performances, and similar topics.

If you have an area of practice that can be broken down into more specific services, create supporting pages for each type of service. For example, a bankruptcy law firm can have separate pages for Chapter 13 filings, Chapter 7 filings, and so on. A personal injury law firm can have pages for car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and slip-and-fall cases.

These specialty-specific pages should include information about the law that governs those types of cases, an informational guide on how that type of case generally proceeds, and examples of successful cases. Be careful to only include public information, so that potential clients understand that their privacy will be protected.

Add Topically-Relevant Articles that Will Help Future Clients

Consider starting a blog. Post relevant articles that will answer a potential client’s questions. If there are significant updates in the law or a case is making headlines, post articles about those as well. You want your law firm to be perceived as the expert in your area, and commenting on the latest cases will show this.

Follow your law firm’s SEO strategy when writing these articles. Include long-tailed keywords that will push your law firm’s website up in the rankings, exposing your firm to a broader array of potential clients.

Build trust with potential clients by delivering value. Offer free information that is useful to them. You can prepare a guide that explains what the client has to do in order to prepare for a workers’ compensation case or how to fight a traffic ticket. At the end of this content, include a call to action for your law firm to start building their case.

Social Media for Law Firms

Social media marketing can be very effective and has a big role in law firm SEO strategies. In addition to providing additional ways for people to find you, your social media posts can, indirectly, boost your search rankings.

Keep your posts light and interactive so that users will comment or like your content. You can post videos that explain legal topics or answer common questions. Whatever it is, make sure you include hashtags to target topics and local areas, such as #newyorklawyer.

Your social media posts should reflect your company culture, which will also help recruitment when it’s time for your firm to expand.

Free Tools to Help with Research

There are several tools that you can use to track what your competitors are writing and how their SEO strategies are working. That said, the simplest and most effective way is the occasional Google search.

The search results will tell you who is dominating those topics. Add trending topics to your website and use relevant keywords to ensure your posts rank higher on the SERPs. Search your competitors’ URLs to learn which of their posts are getting the most traffic, and write posts that provide better information for readers.

Search a general topic in your field and use the “People Also Ask” results as a guide for what potential clients want to know. These are a set of questions that people have about the general topic which you’ve searched for. Each question includes a further set of People Also Ask questions as well, so you can really go down the rabbit hole here.

Answer the Public is a tool that incorporates questions that people have searched on Bing and Google into a search cloud. On this site, you can see which questions are asked most often in a neat, visually-appealing way. Choose a few popular items from the list and make sure you answer them in future blog posts.

Bringing It Together

SEO is not a single activity. There is an array of options available for law firms to better their placements.

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