Law firm SEO is a complex process that requires a lot of research, strategy and expertise. It is not just about understanding how to rank your website on search engines. It’s also about understanding the needs of your audience, what they are looking for when they search online and how you can best satisfy those requirements.
Understanding the Building Blocks of SEO
SEO is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and gaining more website traffic in the process. SEO is a complex and ever-changing process that requires constant attention.
Law firms can have a challenging time with SEO, as they have to compete with countless other law firms, legal blogs and legal websites for organic search rankings. In this section, we will explore the building blocks of SEO for law firms so you can optimize your website’s SEO strategy accordingly.
SEO can be divided into three major elements: link building, technical SEO and content marketing. We’ll dive into each of these a bit more below.
Link building is the process of acquiring inbound links to your website. It is important to understand that this process can be done in a variety of ways and there are no set rules when it comes to link building. However, one thing you should always keep in mind is that you must provide value for the site that you’re asking to link back to you. You can do this by providing them with relevant content offering valuable insight to their readers or subscriber base.
There are many reasons why link building is important for law firms, including the following:
- Link building can help with branding and recognition.
- Link building can help improve organic search rankings.
- Link building may increase the number of visitors to your website.
- Links from authoritative websites can earn you higher rankings in search engines, which will result in more traffic and leads for your firm.
Technical SEO refers to website and server optimizations that help search engines crawl, index and rank your site more efficiently. It is important to consider because it directly impacts the performance of your site in the SERPs. One of the most critical technical SEO factors for law firms is making sure your website loads quickly, which can be accomplished by using a CDN, caching and minification.
Other important activities related to technical SEO include:
- Site performance optimization
- Server configuration
- Structured data markup
- URL canonicalization
Content marketing is an important part of a law firm’s marketing strategy. It’s one of the most effective ways for lawyers to attract new clients and grow their practice areas. To be successful in content marketing, law firms need to create high-quality content that caters specifically to their target audience and that audience’s intent – or where along the buyer’s journey they are.
Here are seven examples of the most popular different types of content used in content marketing:
- Web Pages: Think attorney biography pages, service pages and history/about us pages. All of these are considered content, they’re just more copy-heavy.
- Blog Posts: Blog posts are typically a mix of visual content and copy, and they’re an excellent way to drive users to your website and see your brand as a trusted source for information. A common type of blog post would be content surrounding frequently asked questions or common client concerns.
- Landing Pages: This type of content is similar to a web page, but they’re generally unique pages that are created to capture visitors who have entered your website through an ad, social media post, or, if it makes sense, a link from another website. Your company’s first impression will show through your landing page. Whether they followed a link from Google or a guest blog, a unique landing page is a chance to show what sets you apart from similar law firms.
- Podcasts: Podcasts are audio recordings that you can listen to via a streaming platform. This type of content can be embedded on a web page, blog or landing page. Releasing a weekly podcast where you answer frequently asked questions or talk about hot topics within your industry or practice area will help you build an audience.
- Videos: As you know, videos are visual recordings with audio included. This type of content is more popular now than ever before, and it’s only going to continue gaining steam – especially in our current remote-first world.
- Infographics: Infographics are helpful visuals that can explain data sets, processes and more with the help of rich imagery, graphics, etc. These can be added to blogs, sent in email newsletters and included in long-form content pieces.
- E-Guides: E-guides are long-form pieces of content that typically revolve around the comprehensive exploration of all components of one topic. These types of content pieces are typically used as lead-magnets on landing pages.
What Makes SEO for Law Firms Unique?
The legal industry is highly competitive. And to outperform a bevy of direct and ancillary search competitors ranging from peer firms to legal publications and bar associations, law firms need to make sure that they are using the best SEO strategies and tools.
To most effectively cut through the noise in this complex environment, the SEO strategy of a law firm should be based on, and tailored to, the unique nature of the firm’s practice. For example, a small boutique law firm can benefit from SEO by focusing on local rankings and generating leads through organic search. On the other hand, larger national firms might want to focus on more complex strategies like link building or content marketing. These foundational firmographic nuances also give rise to the need for very tailored, concerted target keyword pursuits since you can easily exhaust an SEO budget by pursuing too broad a range of target keywords.
In short, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to law firm SEO and only experts specializing in the industry like 9Sail can develop a strategy taking into account the specifics of your practice, its desired target audience and the current search landscape.
The Impact of SEO on Your Law Firm
No matter what type of law you practice, from elder law to business law, search engine optimization should never be an overlooked piece of your law firm’s marketing strategy. But why? What can SEO for lawyers really do? Well, for starters, organic search drives over 50% of website traffic (and, honestly, that percentage is just going to keep rising in the digital age). Website traffic equals visitors to your website, and each visitor to your website is a potential lead that could convert into a new client. This, in turn, means a new case that’ll result in more revenue, and so on.
Essentially, a targeted, meticulously planned and well-executed SEO strategy will increase traffic to your law firm’s website while boosting quality inbound leads that have a greater chance of converting into clients. Yes, other methods of traditional and digital marketing (like print and social media) should also be incorporated into your firm’s overall marketing strategy. However, implementing search marketing components like SEO and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is the ultimate key to ensuring that your firm achieves its goals.
Ready to Optimize Your Law Firm’s Website?
Our experienced team at 9Sail is ready to help take your law firm’s digital marketing to the next level so you can rank higher in search, generate more traffic and convert higher quality leads.
If you’re ready to boost your law firm marketing efforts by incorporating search marketing into your overall strategy or if you’d like to learn more about how SEO can benefit your law firm, contact us here.