In the old days, a law firm, like any other business, would hang a shingle…
Now more than ever, we go online to search before purchasing products and services. When we type a brief description of what we are looking for into a search engine, such as Google or Bing, we get a list of results. Most of us won’t scroll beyond the first page of search results. As an attorney trying to grow your practice, you may wonder how to get your law firm on the first page of search results when someone is looking for an attorney with your expertise.
What SEO is and How it Works
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO creates reasons for search engines to push a website nearer to the top of the list of websites with content related to a search query. Search engines rank websites by various factors, such as technical SEO, backlinks, off-page citations, and content.
Technical SEO determines whether your website is Google or browser friendly and is a major contributor to your website’s performance. UX/UI design components indicate ease of navigation, pleasant colors and images, security features, and convenient sitemaps, signaling a high-quality website. Ways to improve technical SEO include better navigation and fast page loading. Ideally, pages should load in under three seconds. Making your site easy to view on a variety of devices, especially mobile devices, will also help it rank higher in searches. Google provides tips on how to improve your website’s technical SEO in their Webmaster Guidelines.
As they relate to SEO, backlinks are like a popularity contest. Other credible and relevant websites linking to your website are votes of confidence. The more external links you have, the more favorable your site will be viewed by search engines. Internal links connect pages of your website and can keep people engaged in content longer when they want more information that is easily found.
Off-page citations are directories listing businesses by categories that you may have put your firm information on or were placed there by the platform because you were relevant to the topic. Google prefers your firm name, location, and contact information to be identical across citations and that you have at least 50 accurate listings where your information can be found. Off-page citations also act as credible backlinks to your site. Some examples of places where you can get off-page citations include:
- Legal directories, such as Avvo, ElderCounsel, and ElderLawAnswers
- Local directories, such as Google My Business
- Profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
- Content shared on social media
- Other entities endorsing you on their websites
Accruing backlinks and off-page citations is a time-consuming process, but a solid relationship with Google and other browsers boosts ranking so that your content can be visible to as many people as possible. It is worth the investment. If you want people to find your blog articles about the areas of law you practice or sign up for presentations or workshops in your area, your success depends on it.
Content and SEO
The content you add to your site can be written, visual images and videos, and audio files. Search engines will evaluate it for quality and expertise. The more relevant a website’s content is, the better chance of the site ranking high on a list of search results. Higher-quality content has a better chance of people interacting with it. If more people interact with a website, the ranking also increases.
Written Content and SEO
Written content should include industry keywords, use HTML heading codes to indicate important language on the page, and be properly formatted for easy reading with subheadings, short paragraphs, and bullet lists to keep people engaged longer. If you are not comfortable with the technical aspects of writing, content writers are skilled with writing tools to ensure these elements are integrated for you.
The content on your law firm’s website should answer potential clients’ initial questions and give them confidence that they should hire your firm. Here are some questions potential clients may have.
- Does this firm practice the type of law I need help with?
- Is this law firm near me?
- Does this law firm provide high-quality service?
- Is this law firm within my price range?
- Do I want to consider hiring this law firm?
You can best answer these questions, and others, by having different types of content that are related to frequently asked questions. For example, you can have a description of the law services you provide, blog posts addressing different aspects of the practice area, and client testimonials recommending your firm for specific matters.
Getting Help with SEO
Implementing a good SEO strategy is a time-intensive process. If you are like most attorneys or business owners in general, you probably don’t have enough time to learn about SEO and create quality content. Luckily, you can hire a law firm-oriented marketing and communications agency, such as Law As a Business (LAB), to help you maximize your SEO strategy.
Take your firm’s SEO to the next level.
During this recorded webinar, you will learn about the fallacies spread about SEO and what you can do to help your potential clients find your website. We will take a look under the hood of websites, show you what to look for on your own law firm’s website, and share some simple fixes to help its overall health and functionality.