How SEO Helps Law Firms: Get More Clients With A Good Online Presence
Attorney Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about more than just using SEO for attorney services to rank on the first page of search results. SEO for attorneys is about providing your site visitors with the best experience possible. This means well-organized content that is filled with searchable keywords that are relevant to your target market. Attorneys who do not optimize their websites for search engine traffic are missing out on highly qualified prospects who are actively seeking legal services online. Search engine optimization is a must for any serious law firm that is looking to achieve a high volume of visitors to their website, convert those visitors into leads, and ultimately, convert those leads into paying clients. Attorneys have traditionally relied on word-of-mouth to attract clients. But the way people search for information has changed, now more than 80% of people search online before they speak with a lawyer.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a website to appear as high as possible on a search engine result page. Search engine optimization is best known for driving high-quality traffic to the website. Even when no one is searching for specific keywords, just having a website on the first page of search results for a search term improves your chances of having a lead convert to a paying client. All search engines, including Google, offer some sort of search engine optimization (SEO) options, some better than others. Depending on what type of website you have, you may need to tweak and customize a combination of your website’s content and design, as well as the online presence of your business name, address, phone number, and other information.
Why Is SEO Important for Law Firms
More than half of attorneys use the internet for research before choosing a lawyer. This means that there is a strong correlation between legal firm website traffic and a lawyer’s reviews and ratings. Attorneys who are not conducting thorough, SEO-friendly website research prior to creating their site often get the two most important criteria wrong; name and reputation. Thus, the right SEO strategy can help attorneys improve their online reputation and generate more leads, which, in turn, helps them maintain a loyal clientele.
How to Improve SEO for Lawyers
Many law firms fail to realize the importance of SEO. The old-school approach to SEO is to pay companies to do SEO for you, in which case, search engine optimization is rarely a focus for the law firm’s owners.
How to Rank on the First Page of Google
It is no longer enough to put a website on a search engine and expect it to rank on the first page of results. When it comes to SEO, ranking on Google is all about having a quality website that is easy to navigate and finds searchers the information they are looking for quickly and efficiently. Google is constantly changing how it evaluates sites in its search results, so if you don’t keep up, your site will be immediately bumped to the second page or even lower. With the new update to Google’s algorithm, there are also changes to SEO. If your site does not rank well with a specific term, your website may get penalized and your traffic will begin to suffer.
There are multiple ways to get your website on the first page of Google.
What are the Benefits of SEO?
Online searchers can read quality content: Google’s team of humans and algorithms can’t read legal briefs, but they can search your website. In other words, keyword-rich content on your website is a proven way to improve search engine rankings, improve lead generation, and convert visitors into clients. You can make the content on your website compelling, but if the content is generic and uninteresting, visitors will stop looking and go to another site. If you are writing content for the web, it needs to be focused on helping visitors locate the information they are looking for, not vague, generic legal information. This means telling readers what they need to know, not simply listing all of your laws and regulations.
Increased Traffic to Your Website
Many attorneys have not updated their websites in years and rely on outdated websites with non-search-friendly content. You need to make sure your website has a clean, clutter-free, and easy-to-use design that’s optimized for SEO. Google will give your website a much higher search engine ranking if your site is optimized for search engines, so it’s vital to use SEO for attorneys to attract visitors and convert them into leads.
Search Engine Optimization is About More Than Just Ranking On the First Page
It’s important to know that while SEO for attorneys is about getting your website higher on the search engine results page (SERP), that’s only part of the picture. You also need to make sure your website is engaging and easy to navigate for visitors.
Higher Conversion Rates
The easiest way for a potential client to find your law firm online is to search for it. If you do not have a website, it can be a difficult process to reach your potential clients. A website allows potential clients to:
Search for your services or job
Read reviews on your services
Request an appointment or chat with an attorney
If you do not have a website, or you have an outdated one, your number one SEO priority should be to improve it as quickly as possible. A website should be completely optimized for search engines and optimized for mobile devices, which is why mobile traffic is growing as much as 75% annually. Users find information from their phones 78% of the time. You should also have a section on your site dedicated to easy navigation.
Better Targeted Audience
Every marketing effort has its audience. That audience can be very different from those who search for similar legal services. For example, when people search for lawyers, they can use keywords like “auto accident attorney” and “family law attorney.” What people really want are their first few sentences of search queries. When they find a professional website that appeals to them in those first few words, they’ll consider their message credible and will likely visit the attorney’s website. If the website hasn’t been optimized for search, those same search queries will lead potential clients to a website that is filled with content that’s not too relevant, is poorly organized, and will not effectively convert them into paying clients.
More Professional Appearance
Getting an attorney online doesn’t just mean getting a website. You also need to make sure that you are consistently providing your visitors with a professional and relevant online presence. Your online presence helps you stand out from the crowd. Having an online presence can mean a great deal for your prospective clients. For example, attorneys who have a good online presence have a higher volume of people visiting their website on a daily basis. Attorneys who get the most traffic to their website have higher conversion rates. In addition, having a professional website has two great benefits for your law firm. First, it demonstrates to your prospects that you are on top of your game and that you are a professional in the legal industry.
Higher Click-Through Rates
When a potential client searches for a local attorney online, the first website they see should be the attorney’s firm website. These types of websites perform at higher click-through rates (CTR) than other types of websites. Moreover, CTR for attorney websites can be 3x as high as CTR for most other types of websites. Another way to calculate the CTR for your website is to divide the number of visits to your site by the average amount of time visitors spend on a website. Attorneys should use an analytics service like Analytics Credit Union to determine the CTR for their website. To get a better idea of how high your CTR should be, you can create a free demo to see how you compare to other websites and determine where you need to improve your SEO.
Increased Trust, Authority, and Credibility
Being an attorney today is much different than it was even just 10 years ago. Now, consumers do more research before hiring a lawyer than ever before. According to Jomati, “What matters more than anything is trust. For the majority of people, the most trusted professionals in the country are doctors, nurses, and dentists. Lawyers rank at number 12 on that list. Lawyers are often seen as expensive, intimidating, and unreliable. Increasingly, lawyers are ranked low when consumers are looking for the right healthcare providers for themselves or their loved ones.”
SEO for attorneys is not all about bringing in prospects, it’s about showing potential clients that you’ve earned that trust.
Easier Navigation on Site
SEO helps law firms rank higher in search engines so that search engine users are directed to the site they want to visit. This is accomplished through the creation of relevant and keyword-optimized content on the site. Law firm websites that don’t have the content or navigation of a real law firm are wasting potential customers’ time. Additionally, Google likes pages that are mobile-friendly because mobile users have more time to spend on their mobile devices. The more time someone spends on a website, the more likely it is that they will convert. Users are less likely to convert if they have to navigate a website that is difficult to navigate.
Greater Frequency of Content
Content is king. But in order to generate traffic, content must be relevant to the search engine.
Reduced Need for Advertising
Given the reduced need for advertising due to the growth of the internet, the need for quality search engine optimization is more important than ever. Most search queries on the internet require a location keyword, something that is difficult to accomplish if the local area information is not displayed on your website. SEO professionals can create a website that is optimized for search engines and visitors will be able to find the information they are looking for. A website that is not optimized for search engines is a dead link, or worse, the site visitor will move onto a different site.
An Attractive User Experience
An unoptimized website can be hard to navigate, and a poor user experience can turn off any potential client.
Higher Levels of Professionality
After years of relying on simple tactics to get online leads, now is the time for a new approach. The old methods do not work as well as they used to and cannot get law firms to the top of search results. Attorney search engine optimization takes a lot of planning and practice. But it is worth it to make a big investment in order to get top search rankings for your website. Using a marketing agency to implement the strategy for your website will also help give you a competitive advantage against other law firms that do not take the time to invest in SEO for their websites.