There are more than 1.3 million licensed lawyers in the U.S. today. Even if you narrow down that number to just those practicing the same type of law as your firm, in the same area as you, the competition is still fierce.
But thanks to the internet, the days of depending on costly television ads or billboards to win clients are over.
Instead, all you need is a professional website and properly implemented online marketing to start showing up when potential clients run a web search looking for a lawyer in your area.
If your law firm’s website is outdated or isn’t ranking well on search engines yet, check out these 8 essential SEO tips for lawyers.
1. Start with a Plan
Before you can start utilizing the rest of the SEO tips for lawyers listed below, you need a plan – effective SEO strategy doesn’t happen overnight or by accident.
In order to get your website ranked well on search engines and then keep it there, you need to start by creating high-quality content on a regular basis.
Create a plan for how often you’ll release new content, what the length of your posts will be, and what format they will follow. That way you’ll not only start improving your rank, but you’ll also keep your website consistent and professional.
It’s also a good idea to start with a solid, professional website. While you could build one on your own, enlisting the help of a web designer will ensure that your site looks professional, runs well, and is ready for you to start implementing the rest of the strategy.
2. Define Your Target Market
Once you define your target market, try to think like they think when searching for legal help.
For instance, if you practice criminal law in Cincinnati, your clients might search words like “criminal lawyer Ohio” or “Cincinnati criminal lawyers”. You’ll want to decide on several of these keywords and keyword phrases to focus on.
Choose too many and you’ll have a hard time integrating them into your strategy. Choose too few and you may get missed in searches. Once you have your list defined, you can move on to implementing your plan.
3. Don’t Overdo It
Just as choosing too many keywords will make your writing sound forced, trying to overdo your SEO strategy will leave your website looking messy and unprofessional.
Putting too many internal links, using your keyword too often in your content, or posting content to target search engines solely, instead of writing for your target audience, are all mistakes.
Not only will they affect the look of your site, but these mistakes could also get you penalized on Google, which will prevent you from ranking well (or at all).
4. Promote Your Own Content
Once you’ve started creating high-quality content, it’s time to give yourself some credit.
As you produce new content, try to insert a few links back to other articles on your website.
This is one of the easiest SEO tips for lawyers because you are using what you already have to boost your ranking. It also helps to keep web surfers on your website longer, which could help you land more clients.
5. Give Your Clients Something They Can Use
When you’re creating content for SEO, it should be more than just fluff.
Make your content do double duty by creating content that not only features links and keywords, but that also provides information that your clients can also use.
Tell your clients about any news related to your field that they might be interested. Summarize major court cases that have recently been settled. Provide tips or in-depth descriptions of processes that they might need to follow if they decide to hire you to defend them or to start a case against a defendant.
6. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Just like using too many keywords or links can cause Google to flag your website for spam, not optimizing your website so that it is mobile-friendly can affect your ranking.
In 2015, Google changed the algorithm that it uses to rank websites. Mobile-friendliness is now a major factor.
If you don’t have web design experience, it can be tough to know whether your site is as mobile-friendly as it could be. A web designer will be able to ensure that your site functions well on cell phones, tablets, laptops, and more.
7. Update, Update, Update
Having a website that is slow to load and tough to navigate can not only affect your ranking, but it will also drive web surfers away.
The average user spends just 10-15 seconds on a page – if they don’t find something interesting or find answers to their questions in those seconds, they’ll move on.
If your page doesn’t load quickly, potential customers are even more likely to run – KissMetrics found that every second your page takes to load results in a 7% reduction in conversions. If they leave your site, they’ll continue looking for the help they need from other law firms.
8. Focus on Local SEO
Once you’ve utilized these SEO tips for lawyers on your website, it’s time to make sure that your clients can find you elsewhere on the web as well.
Make sure that your law firm is registered with popular sites like Yelp, Avvo, Facebook, and more.
On each of these sites, double check your contact information and address. The last thing that you’ll want to do is have clients who are unable to call you or who show up at the wrong address when looking for your firm.
Start Utilizing SEO Tips for Lawyers Today
If you’re ready to see how improving your ranking on search engines can boost visitors to your website and lead to more long term clients, start utilizing these SEO tips for lawyers today.
Still not sure where to start, or looking for a little extra help developing a professional website and improving your SEO? Contact us today to see how our experienced team can improve your law firm’s website right away.