Some of the most successful lawyers have big marketing budgets that allow them to dominate online search. But, there are always gaps in the market, which smaller law firms can leverage to appear on the first page of Google.
Why do you want to appear on the first page? The top five Google results receive 67.6 percent of all clicks.
Consider your average lead conversion and client rates. Placement on the first page of Google has a huge impact on your law firm’s profitability. These rankings are possible with the right mix of strategy and dedication.
Here are a handful of ways to improve search rankings for your firm’s website.
Target Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are phrases web users utilize to find information, versus singular keywords.
For instance, Internet users get different results when typing “lawyer” versus “lawyer in Orlando, FL”. The latter provides detailed data to the search engines, leading to more accurate results.
Finding long-tail keywords is easy:
- Type in a keyword into Google
- Scroll to the bottom and examine the related searches
You can also use forum topics or suggestion tools to find phrases and long-tail keywords. Your website analytics data is a hotbed of long-tail search terms, too. These are the same terms driving visitors to your site.
Use these long-tail keywords in new content pieces. Add them throughout existing pieces as well. This way, your pages will rank higher for the targeted terms.
There’s a difference between keywords and keywords with buyer intent.
Let’s take “lawyers defending civil rights” versus “how much to pay lawyers for my civil case,” for instance. The latter shows a commercial intent. It also implies solving a problem (the user is seeking referrals).
Craft blog content answering “how”, “what”, and “why” to solve common (and uncommon) client questions. Include deep links to service pages for an added SEO signal boost.
Reverse Engineer Competitor Ranking Signals for Keywords
Cheap SEO is dangerous and may cause a negative impact due to low-quality strategies.
The better, easier option is to replicate strategies used by the top competitors. This process is known as reverse engineering. It sounds complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Use the following strategies:
- Copying Backlinks
- Use Ahrefs ‘Site Explorer’ to find competitor backlinks.
- Build links from those domains by offering better, targeted information (link swap).
- Copying Influence
- Find the highest shared competitor content. Reach out to influencers to share your own (influencer outreach).
- Copying Ads
- Monitor competitor advertising. Use the data to craft better, more engaging ads (and content related to untapped keywords).
- Do One Better
- Copying competitors, verbatim, will cause Google to regard your content as being too close to duplication.
- Instead, build upon the topics and concepts – make it bigger and better. Provide web users with incredible, helpful content they’re likely to share.
Create More Video Content
Perhaps you’ve made an attempt at creating video content, but the process was tedious. It’s time to double down on video creation efforts.
This can help a lot since Google is showing signs they’re retooling videos in search results.
Imagine yourself a client feeling anger, pain, or confusion. Would you feel at ease learning your options from reading blog posts? Or seeing your potential lawyer identifying and answering your issues?
Video creates empathy. Empathy increases engagement. Higher engagement improves search engine rankings.
This is what you will need to create videos:
- Smartphone or DSLR camera
- Wireless microphone or boom mic
- Lighting and a quiet space
To find video topics, use the following strategies:
- Repurpose existing, written content
- Use a list of frequently asked questions
- Read client reviews and feedback
- Stay up-to-date with news and events (as vlogging)
Your videos will rank higher in search results if you do the following:
- Include keywords (and phrases) in the title and tags
- Write 150-300 word descriptions
- Embed video into a web page about the same content
- Share, track, and create new videos related to the piece
“Trend jacking” is the process of leveraging upcoming (and peak) trends to build brand awareness. An example of this may include sharing opinions about hot, political topics.
Pairing your expertise with a hot topic creates a touch point to the web community. This interaction funnels people back to your website where they’ll find helpful information.
Higher website engagement (more on-site time) is a major search ranking signal and factor.
- Google Trends
- Visit Google Trends and search for topics you’ve noticed becoming popular within the industry. Or use social media.
- Examine related topics and queries while measuring the trend and interest. Use these topics in social media shares, content, and advertising campaigns.
- Social Buzz
- Follow influencers or set alerts for when competitors share new tweets or posts on Facebook.
- Jump at the opportunity to share your opinion. Create long-form pieces targeting these terms and topics.
- Gut Feelings
- Create website content or start discussions based on personal experiences.
- Noticed an interesting topic or caught wind of something new? These are great items to cover. It gives a lead on search placement since there’s little (or no) competition.
Combining Efforts and Strategies
SEO is a collection of ranking strategies with no singular “best” method.
The best lawyers and law firms will place their efforts in a variety of techniques. They understand it’s an ongoing effort – a compounding activity building upon successful campaigns.
In fact, you can create a routine/process to it all:
- Shoot video detailing a hyper-specific question/phrase
- Transcribe the video into written content and create a web page
- Optimize the web page for main and long-tail keywords
- Promote the content and video, separately and together, on social channels
- Trend jack and leverage competitor efforts by creating something better
- Gather feedback and comments to create new content
Aim to create one big piece of content each week. Support big pieces with smaller, targeted topics linking back.
Also, use small pieces for link building and outreach efforts. These two actions improve search signals leading to higher rankings.
When to Get SEO Help
Search engine optimization is an ongoing process. It can take months before seeing significant improvements in rankings.
For this reason, many lawyers and firms turn to pro SEO teams.
At Real Legal Marketing, we have extensive experience with improving clients’ search rankings. Our goal-oriented strategies will allow your law firm to explore areas like social media and content development.
Give us a call, or request a consultation to learn how we’ll deliver first page results for your business!