What should your website say in order to attract more legal clients?
SEO (search engine optimization) is a critical part of legal marketing for solo firms and larger law firms alike.
But how much does it really work?
What are the most important SEO considerations when it comes to today’s search engine and social media driven marketing and commerce?
Winning on the Web
If you want more cases and clients today, you’ve got to be able master the Internet. Plain and simple. Press, social media, legal website design, and SEO are all crucial pieces to the puzzle. SEO is woven into the DNA of all of today’s varied forms of marketing.
SEO is about getting love from Google, gaining visibility, attracting clients and referrals, and increasing net profit on highly targeted prospects.
The amount of the right words and phrases in the right places boosts organic (and paid) online marketing, drive in business, and enhances conversions of prospects to paying customers.
This action comes from the following types of content:
- Online press releases
- Image and Video Marketing
- Social media profiles and posts
- Business listings
- Website domain names
- Website page titles and tags
- Legal blogs
- Content Marketing
- Types of media used
- Website links on and off of your site
- Keywords and phrases placed throughout your text
Legal Marketing Crimes with Hefty Penalties
Win on the web by avoiding these mistakes…
- Poor Keyword Selection
Keywords are the core of search marketing. An example of keywords may be “Internet marketing for lawyers,” or “legal website design Florida,” or “best criminal lawyer in Miami.” Where most go wrong is either blindly trusting a budget ‘SEO guy’ who doesn’t understand the industry and what terms real customers are using, or just setting and forgetting it.
To the outsider ‘Crime in Miami’ might sound relevant, but may be unlikely to yield any real clients. Instead it may just burn your budget and flood your site with people that aren’t interested in your services.
It is also critical to note that popular keywords and search trends are constantly evolving. What worked last year may be completely irrelevant. What is hot this month may not be next month.
For this reason Search Engine Land has declared we’ve moved beyond keywords for SEO, to ‘topical optimization’. This is all about becoming an authority in your niche. This may simply be the best or most affordable traffic ticket and DUI lawyer in your city, or something much grander.
Think about the big names out there. If you’re a celebrity in big trouble that has caught a lot of PR, you might hire Mark Geragos. If you are looking for a massive settlement or to battle an environmental issue on the West Coast you might immediately think of Philip Boesch.
If you just need basic legal entity incorporation you may check out tips from Robert Shapiro foundedLegalZoom. Note that all of these famous attorneys have blogs to build their SEO and legal marketing.
- Copied Content
If you are in the legal business you already know that copyright infringement is a big no-no. Where some get confused is republishing their own content across different sites. They’ll put their blogs on other platforms, or copy what was written about them onto their own sites, etc. This can be catastrophic from an SEO standpoint. It can even get your legal website banned by Google. Keep it original.
- Losing Them in Legalese
Unless you are marketing to other law firms – lose the legalese. Don’t forget who you are talking to, and the outcome you want to achieve. Chances are that you are marketing to people not lawyers.
Do you really want to hand out free legal advice, and give away all of your hard earned legal education for free, or bore people to death before they can hire you? Or do you simply want to give them the confidence that you are the right pick for the job, and get them to hire you?
What Makes Superior Content?
The heart of SEO and online lead generation for lawyers is their onsite content, and specifically their blog. Most will have two primary metrics that support their goal of gaining more online traffic and clients.
- Gaining links to get content liked and ranked by Google
- Getting content shared with others
What few realize is that these two factors can actually require two separate content strategies and sets of features.
SEO Content for Link Love
Search Engine Journal reports that there is little correlation between content which getting a lot of links to it, and content which wins a lot of social shares. In fact; out of almost 800,000 well-shared posts reviewed, “over 50% still had zero external backlinks.”
Content which typical receives the most backlinks include:
- Longer form writing (1k+ words)
- Not self-promotional
- Uses facts and stats
- Is unique
Content for Supporting Shares and Successfully Landing New Clients
The verdict by Search Engine Journal’s Jason Hawkins in that “you have to use a little bit of both content forms.”
According to Hawkins short form content is found to be best for:
- Audiences that require quick answers to specific problems
- Sharable social media content
- Content meant for a quick read
In other words to get content shared, gain referrals, and to get readers to take action – you need short, easy-to-read content, too.
Putting Smart SEO Strategies and Tactics into Play
SEO is an essential part of business for lawyers and law firms today. A blog can be critical to winning this part of the game. Both long and short form content, anchored by smart keywords, and written strategically is key to dominating Google and gaining real business.
Use the above data to craft your own killer legal content. Or leverage an expert in the legal marketing arena. When it comes to selecting a power partner for winning SEO, co-founder ofKISSmetrics, Neil Patel highlights the importance of a team which combines industry expertise, data scientists, and soft skills such as strategy, persuasion, and creativity weave together solid SEO with consumer friendly content that creates results. Ultimately is requires part artist, part cyborg to weave the words that pay.