Is your law firm on page 2 of the Google search results? Maybe even further back? Well, you might as well be invisible.
To the overwhelming majority of Google users, the first page is the only page. For that matter, most of them won’t even scroll to the bottom of it.
That’s why getting a top page rank for your law firm is so important. Google search results are the new Yellow Pages, and an increasingly large share of calls and cases are coming directly from search engine traffic.
But getting to the top of Google isn’t a game of luck or chance. There’s a real science to it, and as legal marketing experts, we see ourselves as the scientists.
Specifically, the science is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. It’s the process of crafting your website (and its content) to attract visitors from search engines and drive business.
Unfortunately, SEO for law firms isn’t easy. There’s a lot of competition, for one thing, and many of your competitors have been chiseling into the SEO mountain for the better part of a decade.
If you’re a newcomer, it can be hard to wedge your way in. But “hard” isn’t the same thing as “impossible.”
While it’s important to be realistic about how competitive some keywords can be, it’s equally important to be smart and determined. Success comes down to strategy, timing, and mindset.
Below, we’ll share some of our most valuable insights in SEO for lawyers, from long-term content investments to more immediate approaches that can make a meaningful difference sooner than later.
SEO: An All-Important Long-Term Strategy
Organic marketing is the art of enhancing your web presence with excellent, high-quality content that is strategically designed to match the terms users are searching for.
This organic approach is different from paid search (e.g. “Pay-Per-Click advertising”). Both approaches can get you onto page 1. Paid works faster, but it also costs a lot more, and the effect usually only lasts as long as you’re shelling out the money for it. We’ll look more closely at PPC strategies for law firms later in this article.
SEO, meanwhile, takes longer to conquer. Mind you, it isn’t free — you still have to invest in creating honest, high-quality content that both Google and human readers will respond to. That’s much easier said than done, so it’s worth working with experts to achieve.
As an added benefit, the impact of an organic approach can last longer as search engines learn to associate your website with key search terms over time.
Content for a law firm’s SEO strategy can take many forms:
- Blog articles
- Practice area webpages
- White papers
- Educational videos
- Social media posts
- Press releases
- Much more
You can ask ten different legal marketing agencies which is their favorite form of organic content and get ten different answers. We believe in a balanced approach.
With any content, what you’re ultimately looking for is engagement and conversion. In other words, you want people to click on your links and share them with friends (engagement), but you also want those people to bring you new cases and even become long-term clients (conversion).
There’s a lot to know about SEO for attorneys, and we’re only scratching the surface in this article. But for now, the most important thing to understand is that organic search is a reliable long-term way to improve your page rank and get off of page 2.
Local SEO Literally Puts You on the Map
As web users are increasingly accessing the internet from their mobile devices, local SEO is becoming more and more important to advertisers. It’s a type of SEO marketing that focuses not only on what people are searching for but also where they’re searching from.
If you use a smartphone or tablet yourself, you’ve probably noticed that your top results tend to be businesses nearby. Law firms are no exception. In fact, local SEO is extra relevant in the legal services industry because your business is inherently local.
The people running legal-related searches within your physical vicinity are exactly the people you want to reach, and it just so happens that there’s now a tool to make that connection directly.
The major players in local SEO include Google, Bing, and Yelp. Indeed, those services sometimes work from shared databases, so it’s important to target all of them as part of a strategic local search marketing initiative.
The first step in smart local SEO for lawyers is to “claim” every listing that already exists for your firm online. Chances are high that many of these services have already auto-indexed your firm in their databases simply by accessing public records. “Claiming” those entries gives you control over what the public will see when they find them.
From there, you want to add more of these entries — business listing and mini-profiles across a wide network of popular online directories. These profiles will feature your law firm’s name, number, address, important details, photographs, and even calls to action.
All of it matters, and at least in the context of local SEO, more is better. The more relevant listings you have online, the more likely you are to turn up in people’s local searches.
Using Paid Search (PPC) to Compensate for Organic Search in the Short Term
Among the digital approaches to law firm marketing, paid search is usually the most expensive. But as we noted earlier, it’s also the fastest.
In fact, sheer speed to market is the single biggest benefit of using PPC for lawyers.
To run a PPC ad campaign, you will need to use a major service like Google’s AdWords and “bid” for keywords.
Let’s say you want people to find you when they search “Denver personal injury lawyers.” That’s a popular and valuable search term, so you won’t be the only law firm wanting it. Google only displays a limited number of ads within a given set of search results, so you’ll need to compete with those other firms for the space. Ultimately, placement goes to the highest bidders.
Unfortunately, because attorney advertising is so competitive, legal PPC keywords are some of the most expensive out there. But while that might sound dismaying, consider this: it’s expensive because your competitors realize its worth.
Stated differently, PPC works. There’s no faster way to reach those page 1 results, and as we mentioned earlier, that’s the only page that counts.
Network Affiliates: Law Firm SEO Experts
Don’t settle for being a “page 2 law firm” anymore. Start bringing in the business you deserve.
Getting onto that first page means everything, and at Network Affiliates, we’re prepared to get you there. Reach out to our office and ask how we can help improve your page rank. Call 877-461-1016 or contact us online right away.