Today, more and more businesses utilize the Internet as a source to find new clients, including people seeking your legal services. According to the FindLaw U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey, 74% of all consumers seeking legal help visit a law firm’s website before taking action. That is a lot of potential business to lose if you don’t have a strong, well-managed online presence. That is why SEO for law firms is critical and why you need to work with an SEO company to ensure you are achieving the best results possible.
Search Engine Optimization and How it Works? – For Law Firms
Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of improving your website to increase its visibility for relevant organic searches on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Of these three, Google is the market leader, with over 70% of the desktop market and a whopping 93% of the mobile search market (NetMarket Share). The statistics leave no doubt that Google is by far the dominant platform for online search. Statista reports that an astounding 92% of search traffic comes from Google.
The better visibility your law firm website pages have in search results, the more likely you will attract prospective clients to your business. Not only is it necessary to be in search results, but it is also critical to be on page one as 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines. Your goal is to get to the top three positions to get the most click-throughs (or potential business) to your site.
Search engines comb billions of pieces of content and evaluate hundreds of factors to determine which content is most likely to answer your query. They do this by finding and cataloging all content on the Internet, such as web pages, PDFs, images, and videos, via a process known as “crawling and indexing,” and then ranking it by how well it matches the query.
SEO makes it easier for search engines to find and crawl your law firm’s website.
SEO tactics include creating a mobile-friendly and user-friendly website, optimizing keywords and your site’s content, linking with other sites that have clout with the search engines, and making sure the code used on your site is friendly to the search engine crawlers.
SideBar: Organic search vs. Paid Search
Whenever you type a question into a search engine, the list of links that appear below the links tagged as ads is called “organic results.” Organic results appear based on the quality and content of the web page. The difference between organic search vs. paid search is the cost. Organic search focuses on unpaid rankings in search results, while paid search focuses on paid rankings created through Pay Per Click (PPC) programs such as Google Adwords. With PPC, your visibility disappears as soon as you stop paying for the campaign. SEO is what companies use to optimize their site’s visibility or rankings in organic search results. SEO may not promise the immediate impact of paid advertising, but it does have the potential to deliver long-term success after your initial investment.
How Important is My Law Firm Website for Online Success?
No matter what industry you’re in, your website should be a well-designed, content-rich website. Online, it will be the first impression of your law firm for your prospective client. If it isn’t easy to navigate, outdated in appearance, or lacking in content your visitor will find useful; they will rarely come back again and will move on to your competition. Additionally, suppose your website is slow to load. In that case, it will hurt your rankings, and your conversions, as the search engines take the speed of navigating through your site into account when determining rankings. The best law firm websites retain visitors on their site and increase the time users spend on their site by continually providing fresh content that keeps their visitors informed and engaged.
How Do I Know What Keywords to Choose to Rank My Law Firm in Search Engines?
Keywords or keyword phrases are those terms and queries that searchers manually type in the search engine to find the products, services, or information they need. It is essential to choose the right keywords that reflect the legal services you offer and to build content on your site around those keywords.
For instance, if you are a DUI attorney, you would want to rank high for keywords such as DUI attorney near me or DUI attorneys in Pearl River, NY, if that is where your office is located. Additionally, you should offer content on your website that would describe the process of how your firm works through the DUI legal process with clients. Here is where an SEO company is beneficial, as they have the tools and research knowledge to help you choose the keywords that would work best for you and the writers to help you create engaging content.
Sidebar: Local SEO for Law Firms
Local SEO (Local Search Engine Optimization) is very important because it is one of the most effective marketing methods for lawyers, attorneys, and law firms. In local SEO, the goal is to get your law firm to rank in your local geographical areas for the types of cases you handle. Over 80% of local searches convert to customers (Search Engine Watch)
How Long Will It Take Before SEO Works For My Practice?
Many factors determine how long it will take for SEO to work, including the level of competition for the terms you want to rank for and your geographic market. You may start to see improvements in your overall rankings in as early as three months, but it can take up to a year or longer for more competitive search phrases.
The Importance of SEO for Law Firms and Hiring an SEO Company to Get You to Page One
Online search is a critical marketing tool that lawyers, attorneys, and law firms have for attracting clients. The National Law Review reports that 96% of people seeking legal advice turn to a search engine. If you want to drive quality leads and improve your bottom line, you can’t afford to ignore SEO. But SEO takes time, requires a lot of attention, and is ever-changing and ongoing, which is why it is better to leave it in the hands of capable SEO experts. For instance, Google made over 3,000 updates to the search algorithm over the last two years, affecting search engine rankings.
Optimizing for Local Search for Lawyers – Google My Business Profiles
Google local results are based, primarily, on three key factors: relevance, distance and prominence. The Google algorithm will take these components into consideration in order to return optimal search results. When attempting to achieve local rankings for law firms, there are many strategies attorneys can use to make their Google My Business listing as relevant as possible. Here are some tips and tactics to help you achieve that first-place local ranking:
- Distance is the Google’s #1 factor when ranking for local search.
- Google will consider how far each law firm is from the location term used in a search. If a location is not specified in the search, Google will calculate a distance based on what’s known about the searcher’s location.
- Be specific when choosing your business category.
- Make your description is as comprehensive as possible.
- Add plenty of images and videos.
- Include thorough service sections that target keyword phrases.
- Make sure that your business information (address, phone number, etc.) is consistent with how it appears on your website and other listings online.
- Collect high quality reviews to gain a high rating on your profile.
- Acquire citations in online directories in order to help Google better understand how to categorize your law firm.
- Amass backlinks pointing users to your website. These links act almost like “votes” to place your firm at the top of local search results.
- Publish articles both internally, on your own website, and externally including backlinks.
Why You May Need SEO Today – Why Your Law Firm Needs SEO today
- 96% of people of people who are looking for legal advice use a search engine
- 74% of online visitors take action when arriving at a law firm website
- 62% of legal searches are not branded (ex. New York injury attorney, Chicago law firm)
- 72% of potential clients only contact one attorney
At Unreal Web Marketing, we specialize in search engine optimization, web design, PPC programs, and social advertising to help law firms succeed online. We track rankings for important keywords each month for law firms to identify when Google algorithm updates impact your rankings in the legal market. And we develop data-driven SEO strategies that will help give you an edge over your competition. Contact us today to speak with one of our SEO strategy specialists.