As attorneys, we pride ourselves on our reputation and skill. However, word-of-mouth only goes so far in the digital age. A report by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services noted that while 34% of adults utilized print directories such as the Yellow Pages to find lawyers. However, now only 8% of adults say they would turn to such sources for finding legal help.
LexisNexis reports that “3 out of 4 consumers seeking an attorney over the last year used online resources at some point in the process.” Moreover, the ABA’s 2012 Legal Technology Survey reveals that more than 50% of small law firms and solo practitioners report “retaining clients directly or via referral as a result of their legal-topic blogging.” Yet, less than 13% of firms are actually blogging, demonstrating how SEO for lawyers is greatly underutilized.
Maximizing your law firm’s online presence does not have to be a complicated headache-inducing process. For example, expanding your website from just listing your name and areas of practice to including additional pages and in depth content will greatly augment your digital presence. Thus, allowing you to begin ranking within the major search engines. Below are five steps that will help explain how SEO for lawyers will increase your online exposure and ultimately generate more business.
1. Create Value Rich Content
Promoting your reputation online translates to creating in-depth and valuable content that allows search engines to index and rank your website. Our company’s content strategy is aimed at discussing the value of expert witnesses in litigation. Providing actionable advice for hiring and working with experts, sharing personal accounts from the world’s preeminent experts, and highlighting the value of working with highly qualified and communicable experts helps to distinguish The Expert Institute from our competitors. Moreover, it demonstrates our expertise, focus on customer service, and desire to be the very best expert referral service.
Sharing content on your website that is informative and relevant to your prospective clients increases your company’s online visibility and boosts your organic search traffic. Examples of value-rich content include helpful legal analysis, case studies, white papers, and FAQs.
2. Optimize Your Content and Website
On-page optimization allows search engines to easily crawl, digest, and index your material. Consider these five important elements when organizing the layout of your content and developing your website:
- Page Title: Place the relevant keyword within the title, preferably towards the beginning. This indicates relevance to search engines and your target audience.
- Headline: This is commonly implemented under the H1 tag and is typically the most prominent copy on a given page. Place your keyword within the headline (H1 tag) for a better user experience and smoother search engine indexation.
- Body Text: Including your target keyword within the body of your post is highly critical. This indicates that your material is relevant and comprehensive. But don’t overdo it! Search engines are highly intelligent and can spot unnatural and overuse of keywords.
- URL: Place your keyword within your URL. This further reaffirms to search engines that your material is specific to your intended topic.
- Images and Image ALT Attributes: Placing images within your content visually conveys the topic to your audience. It also tells search engines that your material is more dynamic than simple text. Since search engines can’t actually see images, they rely on ALT attributes, so be sure to include your target keyword.
3. Build a Back Link Profile
A search engine’s algorithm is solely focused on providing the most relevant search results to the end user. A significant indicator of relevance is the number of high quality links pointing to your website. By creating great content, you’ll naturally acquire links from other sites interested in sharing your material. Earning backlinks from other authoritative websites lets the search engines know that you’re a reliable and trustworthy source of relevant content.
4. Engage in Social Media
Promoting your content is just as important as writing it. Social media is becoming an increasingly significant factor in search engine ranking algorithms. Having many shares, likes, and re-tweets can boost an article to a top ranking and demonstrate your authority on a legal issue. Moreover, social media is a great avenue to assert your reputation and showcase your knowledge and expertise. Join groups on LinkedIn and communities on Goolge+, share your articles on Facebook and Twitter, and engage in conversations about legal issues relevant to your industry.
Understanding what works is critical to improving and streamlining your SEO efforts. Analytical tools show how each page ranks on the major search engines, report which keywords search engines see when crawling your website, monitor websites for malware and crawl errors, and troubleshoot poor SEO performance. Moreover, tools such as Moz Analytics and Google Analytics, will provide you with a wealth of data necessary to evaluate and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly. SEO blogs are key resources that will keep you up-to-date with Google’s notorious and frequent changes to their search rank algorithm.