To ensure you’re getting the maximum ROI from your website, you need to obtain targeted traffic. One of the most cost-effective places to get this traffic from is Google or other search engines. But creating a website doesn’t mean you’ll show up in search results, and if you do in a position that will actually drive traffic. That’s where search engine optimization comes into play.
Search engine optimization (or SEO) is the process of optimizing your website and digital marketing efforts to increase search engine rankings and traffic through organic search results. What does that mean in English? It’s making adjustments in your content, web design, and advertisements to effectively target your audience.
There is far more depth to SEO than can be described in a single post. To make the information a bit more palatable, I will be breaking our topic down into three volumes. Let’s begin.
Key Elements For Law Firm SEO
In order to gain the exposure and traffic needed to have a successful SEO campaign you need to do two things:
- Get your pages properly indexed
- Get your indexed pages to appear high enough in the SERPs (search engine results page) to gain exposure
Google uses a complex and ever-changing algorithm to choose which sites appear where for certain search queries. While it can be difficult to “stay ahead of the curve,” but there are a few techniques that are generally included in all successful SEO campaigns.
- Keyword Research: Finding keywords and phrases that are relevant to your audience, have a competition level that is achievable and receive a reasonable amount of monthly search traffic.
- On Page Website Optimization
- Creating high-quality content that solves the reader’s problem or answers their question
- Utilizing responsive design and making the site easy to navigate
- Optimizing on-page code and content with keywords
- Local Search Optimization: because most of your clients will be located in your general area, optimizing your local search results is vital to attract new leads and convert clients.
- Building backlinks: backlinks are links from another website that point to your site. Each backlink your site receives establishes it as more reputable.
The main goal of keyword research is to discover INTENT or how people search for the specific type of legal services you provide. Using professional tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, SpyFu, and WordTracker you can obtain data on the search queries your customers use, what keywords your competitors are having success with, and how competitive the search terms you want to rank for are. The more complex the tool, the more you should be expecting to pay.
Keyword research can get tricky and is on-going, so if you have a large site or have little experience in SEO you may be better-suited outsourcing this task.
An ideal keyword is highly targeted to your audience, has manageable levels of competition, and receives a solid amount of traffic each month (ranking for a term like “Attorney” would be much more difficult than ranking for “car accident personal attorney Jacksonville, Fl.”). It’s also important to determine your user’s intent; marketers typically refer to two types of intent; research, and commercial.
“Research” keywords are searches that are oriented towards obtaining more information. These customers may not be ready to buy but are seeking information, which could be a great opportunity to get your brand in front of the client. This is where blogs or Frequently Asked Question sections can be particularly advantageous.
On the other hand, Commercial keywords are searches that indicate the client is ready to make a transaction. While commercial keywords are likely to receive lower levels of traffic, they are typically easier to rank for and also have higher conversion rates. Here is an example we used for our client Harrell & Harrell:
This user is clearly looking sue their insurance company, and with a medium competition level even newer, smaller sites could compete for this query.
The key to successful keyword research is finding the “sweet spot” where a keyword is relevant, valuable, and ranking for it is attainable. It will take time to find which terms meet these requirements for your firm but doing your due diligence now will mean reaping rewards in the future.
This concludes the first volume of How to Improve Your Law Firm’s SEO. Join us next week as we continue our discussion on the importance of On-Page Website Optimizations.