Search engine optimization or SEO is an important part of law firm marketing. Those wanting to capture more traffic and leads place an emphasis on SEO within their overall marketing strategy. It helps ensure visibility among people who are actively looking for legal representation through internet searches.
If you are new to SEO, it’s important to understand the impact it has on your search engine ranking and how this can make or break your success with digital marketing.
Proper execution of SEO can help you achieve a first page ranking for each relevant keyword search, and this is by far the best way to drive traffic to your site.
Industry statistics indicate that more than 67 percent of Internet users will click on one of the first five websites listed for each search term. Without properly optimizing your website, it will be difficult to attract the attention of new prospects on the internet.
To help you get the most out your SEO, I have compiled a list of misconceptions and myths that you need to avoid.
Myth #1 – You can get to the first page of Google in a month
Unless you have the only law firm in town or a very unique specialty, it will be practically impossible to achieve a first-page ranking within the first 30 days.
Be cautious of anyone who promises that they can make this happen. They likely will NOT be able to deliver on that promise.
This doesn’t mean you won’t ever make it to the first page. And this shouldn’t be an excuse to ignore your law firm’s SEO entirely.
SEO is a long-term strategy, and if you remain focused on your goals and the execution of your strategy, you should see your site’s ranking increase slowly over time.
Myth #2 – The more links, the better
Backlinks are important, but they are not all created equal. In a nutshell, a backlink is a link on another site that directs traffic to your website. You could generate links from news coverage or guest blogging, for example.
You see backlinks almost everywhere, and it may be tempting to exchange links with any random site that is willing to do so. This can be a bad idea because Google doesn’t view every site as equal – some sites are more reputable than others based on a number of factors.
Instead, you want to focus on getting your link shared on sites that have a high reputation score. At the same time, the outbound links you place on your website should also link to top-notch sources.
Myth #3 – SEO is a once and done process
Your website has been built and launched using all of the latest SEO techniques. You have posted a few blog articles and you’re updating your social media accounts a few times per week.
At this point, you might think that you are done with SEO and the rest will take care of itself.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you truly want to achieve and maintain a high search engine ranking, you need to tweak your SEO regularly to remain compliant with Google’s algorithm changes – meaning your website will need periodic updates.
Blogging consistently (typically twice per week) is one of the best ways to improve your search ranking. Every blog article you publish is an opportunity to get found on the internet and educate prospects on your niche.
In addition to updating your blog, make sure you share your articles via social media. As you build your social media following, your content will get shared. As your expertise spreads, you’ll generate website traffic and build backlinks naturally.
Myth #4 – It’s too late to start SEO
It is never too late to start using proven SEO techniques. Every site can be re-written and you always have the opportunity to tweak your content, begin writing blog articles, launch social media pages and take advantage of Google AdWords.
No matter what ranking your website currently has, you have the ability to improve your law firm’s visibility and bottom line by putting SEO to work for your company.
Again, this is not going to provide instant results, but if you stick with it, you will be rewarded with a higher search engine ranking.
Myth #5 – SEO leads are always poor quality
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about internet leads. Business owners had a bad experience and they write-off all internet-based leads as people who just want free advice.
Sure, you will get that from time to time. But the latest data indicates that SEO leads have a close rate of 14.6 % while outbound leads (print advertising, direct mail) have a close rate of only 1.7%.
The way to handle price-shoppers and advice-seekers is to pair your SEO strategy with an inbound marketing approach that nurtures the best leads through the buyer’s journey. You want to talk to the people who have educated themselves with your blog content and are serious about your services.
This is what they buyer’s journey looks like:
Make sure you consider these steps as you develop your SEO strategy so you can create content that will be relevant for each stage in the process.
Because SEO is technical and intangible, it’s easy for business owners to get lost in the jargon and the execution of it. As a result, many law firms decide it’s easier to continue with the status quo, relying on referrals and word of mouth.
Yes, those are important sources of business for law firms. But just imagine how much busier your firm could become by making it easy for qualified leads to find you online.
The vast majority of consumers who are looking for any new product or service (including legal services) use the Internet for research. When you maintain good internet visibility, you can experience a steady influx of new leads who are serious about hiring you.
If you’re looking for some quick ways to improve your visibility, check out this collection of digital marketing ideas that you can implement quickly to help boost your internet presence.
Have more questions about SEO for law firms? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond!