The legal space can be ultra-competitive. It would help if you had an innovative and unified marketing effort to build organic, consistent traffic that can convert to quality leads. One of the most tried and true ways to find those quality leads that every firm needs is through optimizing your site’s search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO should be thought of as a long-term investment in your business. It may take time to move the needle, but if done right, it can provide a lasting pipeline of high-quality leads and help build brand recognition in your community. But the question is, how do you go about doing this?
1. Start with the basics
When beginning a thorough SEO review, you’ll want to start by auditing existing content.
Your content strategy will primarily be based on specific keywords you aim to rank for. Understanding how your content is written and optimized for specific key terms is crucial in improving your digital footprint.
You must start your content analysis by focusing on your priority key terms by conducting market research. Google is a fantastic resource in helping with this.
Google’s Trends tool is a fantastic way to check search data for key terms you may be interested in while showing you historical and demographic data about the term. For example, if you are a personal injury firm, it may be critical to know the trends in search data between car accidents and car crashes. Although similar, your local clientele will likely favor one term over another. To capture your local audience, you need to think like them, not necessarily as a lawyer.
In addition to this, are adjacent vital terms to your focused term. If a potential client is doing searches for a car accident lawyer, they’ll also likely include terms like “near me” or will consist of the local city name before or following the focused key term. Identifying these relevant key terms is essential in creating your digital marketing plan.
Optimizing your site for specific local terms will help rank on page one. Aim to use these keywords throughout your title, subheadings and content. Be very careful, though not negatively impacting your content.
Overusing specific keywords may have a negative effect, known as “keyword stuffing.” When drafting content, be careful to avoid this easy problem to fall into. Generally, aim for your keyword to account for 1-2% of the content.
Local service pages are a strong example of how to avoid keyword stuffing. Attorneys will want to feature the name of the city and likely a mix of keywords specific to their branch of law. Many law firms do this successfully and can feature a range of content on the page.
2. Look at your competitors
For every key term, a competitor in your space currently ranks number 1 on Google. If you still need to conduct a competitive analysis, this should be done with your content audit.
If your competitor is already ranking for a key term you want, it’s likely because they’re doing something right. Learning from them is an excellent step in competing in the space you’re aiming for.
If you are being outranked consistently by another firm, you’ll need to know why in your effort to draft content and edit your webpage.
Using tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush can be highly beneficial in your competitive analysis, helping you to decipher what content or backlinks are an asset to your current SEO strategy and what needs to be retooled.
3. Don’t ignore reviews, Google My Business and Apple Maps
If you still need to activate your Google My Business (GMB) account and get verified on both GMB and Apple Maps, you should do so immediately. Getting your business listing is crucial in growing the authority needed with Google to rank on page one.
You need more than just creating your profile; you’ll need to update it regularly with posts. Ensure all the information is consistent between your GMB listing and Apple Map profile. Your business’s name, phone number, address and description should match.
In addition to your listings, you should encourage as many clients as possible to leave you a positive review. Your number of positive reviews for your business is connected to your ranking on Google and the local map rankings. The more, the better is the name of the game here.
4. Target niche-relevant links
As mentioned above, concerning your GMB listings or Apple Maps, your off-site SEO efforts are essential to establishing authority with Google. For lawyers, highly niche sites with high authority with Google are an excellent option for improving your chances of ranking on page one.
FindLaw, Super Lawyers, and Avvo are just a few examples of highly authoritative websites. They display not only your information and act as a way to advertise your business but are potent backlinks for your site.
Again, like with your GMB profile or Apple Maps listing, ensure your legal listing is consistent with all your other online profiles. Uniformity is key across your many platforms/listings to gain authority with Google or other search engines.
5. Use Google’s available tools
Expanding on the idea previously presented with Google Trends, the search engine giant offers a variety of invaluable developer/marketing tools to help you make informed decisions. This web application allows users to check page health statistics across mobile and desktop. It also will show you suggestions for improving your site’s health.
This data is precious in your efforts to optimize your website. A better user experience on your site will likely lead to a higher conversion rate. Google offers extensive guides and classes on understanding the more technical aspects of what goes into web design and maintaining a healthy website.
With these efforts, digital marketers can help drive your firm into an aggressive SEO strategy. Innovative firms will continue to challenge themselves with new campaigns to continue backlink growth and publish fresh content regularly.