Building and growing a law firm is hard work and never easy.
This involves overseeing and managing general operations, looking after finances and promoting the business and services. While earning fees.
In addition to using traditional marketing techniques, you are now presented with new digital marketing opportunities that you can take advantage of.
If your law firm has a website, that’s a good start. But your website alone may not be enough to generate new online customers. You need to make your website visible.
This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.
But how do you guarantee the effectiveness of SEO? More importantly, how do you use it to grow your business?
What does SEO have to do with law firm growth?
Due to the high accessibility of the fast internet, users expect to find answers to their questions immediately, usually searched on Google.
To meet the needs of its customers, Google tries to provide them with the most relevant and credible websites with good user experience (UX) to ensure that they continue to use the search engine.
So, since there are thousands of relevant law firm websites competing on Google, how does your firm’s website ensure a top spot on the SERPs? This is where SEO comes into play.
Combining SEO with other website improvements can give your business a chance to not only appear on the SERPs, but also to climb the top rankings.
This in turn can lead to more visitors to your website, which in turn creates more enquiries, more customers, and ultimately your business growth.
What should every law firm’s SEO strategy include?
Content writing plays a big role in legal SEO.
Producing useful content will not only present you as the leader in your niche to potential customers, but will also allow you to place a wider range of keywords on your site, which will subsequently improve your SEO.
Writing web content will also give you good PR, as sharing educational and useful content can create a good impression.
But that’s not the only thing. SEO also involves using a variety of qualitative content principles and technical enhancements to increase your online traffic and SERP rankings.
Without going into too much technical detail, below we outline some of the SEO strategy components you need to cover to ensure your content ranks on Google and helps your business grow:
Target relevant keywords and write original legal content
Keywords are individual words and phrases searched on Google, for example, “personal injury compensation claim” or “divorce lawyer in London”.
To be able to rank for keywords, you need to make sure you include the right amount of them in the right places. This means that, at the very least, they should be present in your page titles, headings, and body text.
The more your text is focused on a single topic, the better. Note that Google uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to understand search queries. The AI is smart but it can get confusing if you try to cover too many topics on the same page.
Be sure to write original texts. If you take content from another site, Google might just rank the original page instead of yours. Learn more about this.
Do your keyword research and keep an eye out for changes Google is implementing. If you continue, you will be rewarded with increased visibility and resulting traffic.
Create your metadata
Metadata is almost like the front of your office.
The meta title is the first thing a Google user will see. Then, most likely, they will see your meta description.
Whether or not a potential customer clicks on the link to your website depends on how they react to your metadata.
Google’s program constantly crawls websites to make sense of pages and then matches them to people’s search queries. By including keywords in your metadata, you will highlight the relevance of your law firm’s page.
Get good backlinks
Backlinks (other websites referring to your website) are important for SEO. They basically signal to Google that others are vouching for the content of your law firm’s website.
For law firms, the Law Society Directory and the SRA Register of Lawyers are excellent backlinks, as they are reliable, popular and high authority websites.
On the opposite, you don’t want links from spam or untrustworthy websites that Google doesn’t like and don’t want to provide to its users.
Earning good backlinks can have a positive effect on your website’s ranking position and therefore search visibility.
You can get backlinks to your law firm’s website by writing engaging content.
And the more closely you match your prospects’ search intent, the more likely others will refer to your website as well.
If you are presented with guest blogging opportunities, grab them. If you can, create shareable content (like videos and infographics) and use industry contacts and social media to share it.
It is also worth checking and removing any unreliable backlinks from your own website to improve your online authority score.
The technical side of your law firm’s website
Having a technically sound website can make all the difference in SEO results.
If, for example, your website’s information architecture (IA) and navigation is complicated and your UX is not accessible, visitors may find it difficult to navigate and read your website. You must therefore ensure that they are in perfect condition.
Plus, with more than half of global online traffic now driven by mobile devices, mobile compatibility is more important than ever. For good SEO results, it is important to have a mobile-ready site.
To ensure high rankings on the SERPs, you also need to ensure that your website loads quickly. Ideally in 2.5 seconds or less. Anything longer than that could result in a lower ranking.
Also, don’t forget the most basic foundations of your site. Make sure all your page links (URLs) are easy to read and your website is safe and secure.
This, combined with good SEO practices. will help you get a higher ranking for your website and subsequently grow your law firm.
Use Google’s free tools to monitor your website
There are various tools available to help you track your SEO and website performance.
Here are some of the most valuable free tools you can use to ensure you get the most out of your SEO and support your law firm’s growth.
Page Speed Overview
Page Speed Insights is a great tool for testing the overall performance of your law firm’s website.
It’s pretty straightforward, giving you a score out of 100 based on several optimization best practices and highlighting problem areas.
The tool will help you ensure compliance with Google’s guidelines, which can lead to higher rankings.
Google Analytics and Search Console
Google Analytics and Search Console can collect and present huge amounts of useful data about your law firm’s website.
Some of the most useful information they can give you is how many people visit your site each day, which pages get the most views, and what search queries your website appears for.
Analyzing this data can give you a better idea of whether your website/SEO is generating return on investment (ROI).
When it comes to keyword tools, there are various free and paid keyword tools available on the internet. However, without a shadow of a doubt, Google’s free Keyword Planner remains a leader among them.
There are a few reasons to use this tool; the main one being the free keyword research feature which can be used to inspire new pages and let you know if the keywords you want to target are already searched on Google.
It is one of the simplest tools created by Google.
The Mobile-Friendly Test is a test site you can use right now to see if your website is mobile-friendly.
Google My Business
When it comes to local search, the value of the Google My Business listing cannot be underestimated.
Google My Business contains a short version of everything a potential customer needs to know about a business, including their website URL.
Create a profile and optimize it to give your law firm the best opportunity to show up for local searches.
Also, if you can get your recent customers to review your business, Google My Business will feature reviews and help customers discover your business.
The opinions expressed in our blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Law Society.