When considering tactics to increase your law firm profits, marketing should be high on your list – paying close attention to your online presence. Without proper online marketing, you miss out on some valuable opportunities for increased prospects and higher earnings. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital to creating an effective website and maintaining a suitable online presence. This post will explain what SEO entails and how you can put it to work for your firm.
What is SEO
SEO is a strategy used to improve the visibility of your law firm among internet search engines, focusing on unpaid, or organic, results. It uses technical and creative elements to ensure that search engines understand the structure of your site for maximized rankings. Web traffic is generally driven by three major search engines:
This means that most traffic to your site starts with an individual using one of these engines to search for specific terms. If the search engine does not find these terms on your site, it will not list your firm in the provided search results. But SEO isn’t solely about search terms. In addition to determining the relevance of a site, these engines also use algorithms to look for the value of your site’s content, as well as popularity.
Why Your Firm Needs SEO
- Higher Search Ranking – When potential clients search for a legal service provider on the internet, they tend to go with one of the highest-ranking options. This is because consumers often equate higher search engine results with better quality of service. Even if completely inaccurate, people view a high ranking as a sign of greater reliability and professionalism.
With an effective SEO strategy, you can increase your firm’s ranking among the three major search engines and be characterized as the professional firm your existing clients know you to be.
- Target your Audience – When you use a search engine, don’t you use very specific terms? Well, your clients do the exact same thing. By including specific keywords across your site, you are able to make your website more “findable” for your ideal audience. When you identify your model client, you can choose keywords that this audience would likely utilize when searching for legal services.
- Increased Prospects – Higher search rankings can result in increased numbers of prospective clients. As more people see your site in their organific search results, they will start contacting your office to inquire about services. More prospective clients mean more paying clients, which means more profit overall.
- A Return on Your Investment – SEO does not have to be an expensive endeavor. While there are plenty of professional marketing agencies to choose from for outsourcing this task, it is one that you or a member of your firm can absolutely take on. It can take considerable effort at the onset, as you learn the steps and identify the best options for your firm. But, once you jump the first hurdles, SEO can be relatively easy and cost-effective to maintain.
Even better, effective SEO will increase profits into your firm, which means that you can potentially see a high rate of return on a relatively inexpensive investment. Remember, the more traffic you get from prospective clients, the more opportunity there is for conversion into actual clients. With the right SEO strategy, you can place yourself high among the crowd of law firms in your area, without breaking the budget.
How to improve your firm’s SEO
- The Right Keywords – Keywords consist of words and phrases that Internet users enter into search engines to find websites that match what they are looking to access. One of the most important aspects of SEO is using the right keywords. If you fill your firm’s website with terms and phrases that no one uses, you will not get any traffic.
To identify valuable keywords, take a look at your strongest competition. Pay attention to which words and phrases you see throughout their sites and then try to incorporate similar keywords into your own firm’s site.
Online keyword research tools can also be useful for identifying the most relevant keywords. Just start with one potential keyword and let the tool do the rest. It will automatically search for similar high-value words and provide you with a list of results.
- Skip the Legalease – Your website is not the place to show off your impressive grasp of the complex legal language. Every day people are not using these terms when searching for legal service. Make sure you identify keywords that the average non-lawyer would use. For example, is your client more likely to use the phrase “intentional tort” in their search or the word “assault.” Think about those small differences when choosing SEO keywords.
- Positive Reviews – Positive online reviews can also be useful in improving your website ranking. Search engines like positive rankings and they use them to boost your search results. When a case ends with a positive outcome, ask your client to write a testimonial or go online and post a positive review. They not only help with search engine rankings, but they also work to impress potential clients visiting your site.
- Keep up the Content – Search engines love updated content. Whether it’s regularly updated blogs, newsletters, or news stories, regularly updated content can make a major difference in your search engine rankings. Just one blog every couple of weeks can mean the difference between a top ranking and the bottom of a very long list. Keep your content creative, relevant, and original for the best results.
- Think Visuals – Don’t underestimate the power of visuals on your website. In recent years, search engine algorithms have placed increased weight on the visual aspects of a website. As such, sites that better engage users with enhanced visual appeal rank higher in the search results. The addition of quality pictures and short videos can really pay off in your website search rankings. As an extra bonus, you can easily repurpose this content for inclusion in your various social media platforms.
- Maximize Meta Descriptions – An interesting meta description can mean the difference between a potential client clicking on your website or scrolling past your search listing. The meta description is the short synopsis listed beneath your direct link in search engine results. This description lets search engine users learn a little about what they can find on your website. With effective wording, you can convert that search result to an actual website visit.
SEO is important to maximizing the effectiveness of your website. Done correctly, it can improve your search engine rankings, attract more potential clients, and ultimately result in greater profits for your legal practice.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, The Legal Writing Studio, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.