Advertising on Google can get very expensive, especially for attorneys. It’s not uncommon for lawyers to pay over $100 for one click on a Google Ad! And on top of that, a Google Ad is only ‘renting’ space at the top of Google. So once you reach your daily allotment of clicks, your ad disappears until the next day.
It’s a costly reality. So the goal of many law firms is to stop paying for ad clicks and start investing in an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy to rank on page one of Google.
Sure, investing in SEO can also be costly, but it’s often much less expensive than Google Ads and it can be more effective. For example, let’s suppose you invest in an SEO strategy and you eventually rank on page one of Google for the search ‘personal injury attorney.’ Depending on the size of your geographic area, this search can produce 300+ organic clicks to your website in one month. Compare that to Google Ads where one personal injury-related Google Ad click costs $100, the monthly value of this SEO campaign is over $30,000!
The internet offers an extensive Rolodex of qualified legal services. Unfortunately, many of those services get lost on page 4 or page 5 of the search results. So how do you ensure your website lands at the top? A good, strategic SEO strategy can be the answer to landing your law firm’s website and not your competitor’s on the first page of Google’s search results.
Prospective clients turn to Google, Bing, and other popular search engines to ask specific questions, such as: What is my case worth? Will my personal injury case go to trial? What happens if I’m partially at fault for a car accident? Should I hire a personal injury lawyer? Who’s the best attorney near me?
When your target audience searches for information related to your law firm’s services, will they find your law firm’s website? If you integrate an onsite and offsite SEO strategy designed to respond to these questions, they eventually will.
For Attorneys, Rank Is Critical
If your law firm ranks on page one for specialty-specific target keywords like ‘dog bite attorney’ or ‘workers comp lawyer’, you will drive more organic traffic and increase your website traffic to attract new leads. The goal is to prove to Google that your firm is the most relevant search result for the specific searches that are the most important to you. When clients ask Google for legal advice, your page should be the one that answers their questions best.
For example, SEO strategy utilizes relevant keywords within the content of your website to increase the quantity of organic search traffic Google sends to your website. SEO can directly help your law firm’s website improve its ranking for target keywords and place your practice areas, landing pages, and blog posts in front of your target audience. This is all without paying for Google and Facebook ads for new clients.
The Benefits of SEO for Law Firms
Since law firms are in one of the most competitive, locally-based industries, many law practices fall into the trap of investing a lot – sometimes too much – money into PPC advertising like Google Ads and Facebook ads. While this method can bring businesses to the first page temporarily, it’s more effective in the long run to focus on optimizing your website to organically rank for your specific keywords.
Unlike Google Ads, search engine optimization involves creating high-quality content designed to help your target audience. This will allow you to rank for your desired keywords and just as importantly, you’ll be positioned as an expert in your field based on the advice and insight you provide.
Practicing SEO can take a lot of time, leading many firms to seek out the services of an SEO digital marketing agency. A team of digital marketing professionals with specific experience in legal marketing can provide you with a detailed audit while helping you set specific goals for your personal injury practice. They can also and maximize your ROI (return on investment) and conversion rate by connecting you to your ideal clients.
Getting a Head Start
The best way to understand how SEO works is to think like Google for one second. If a new law firm just launches their website, will Google want to list it on page one? Of course not! Their website has only had a handful of people on it and their are 100+ other attorney websites in the same area that have had thousands of people on their website.
Google rewards relevancy so whether you have a new website or an established one, it’s your job to prove to Google that you belong on page one. So here are some things to keep in mind:
- Google’s goal is to provide specific, relevant answers to searchers’ queries.
- Google uses an algorithm to index billions of web pages and selects the results deemed most relevant to the query.
- Google ranks organic search results by the popularity and authority of each website.
Consequently, a powerful SEO strategy must focus on improving your website’s relevance, authority, and credibility level among potential clients. The first thing to do is set up a Google My Business (GMB) account to list your law firm as a local listing.
Listing your legal practice as a local business influences the kind of results your law firm shows up for and allows your business to rank higher for local searches. Snippets of information such as online reviews – along with your law firm’s email address, phone number, and other contact information – will appear there.
The next step is to ask past clients for online reviews on both Google and Yelp. Whether you’re a small firm or a bigger personal injury firm, online reviews and testimonials carry a lot of weight in search results, as they can help you perform higher in local SERPs (search engine results pages).
According to a 2018 survey by Moz, positive reviews can also help you perform better in local SEO. For better results, strategically ask your clientele for reviews at the right place and the right time.
SEO and Content Marketing
To attract more potential new clients to your law practice, you need to implement both a powerful SEO and content marketing strategy. Marketing for personal injury lawyers requires upping your game to the next level by:
- Optimizing landing pages and FAQs for target keywords
- Offering a smartphone-and tablet-friendly web design
- Incorporating high-quality backlinks and citations
- Creating relevant content worth finding
What Makes a Powerful Strategy
Digital marketing and content marketing work like peanut butter and jelly. One without the other, especially for law firms, is only a half effort. To enhance your strategy and achieve the best results, improve your search engine rankings, and broaden your online presence, high-quality content is necessary.
Regularly post relevant, new content on your legal website and across social media platforms like LinkedIn and your firm’s Facebook page. In addition to social media marketing and posting content on your new website, a quarterly email newsletter or an email marketing campaign are effective ways to stay on the mind of past clients and earn new referrals. Over the last seven years of hundreds of attorney marketing campaigns, we’ve proven that 80% of new clients Don’t even come from marketing, but from referrals.
An effective content marketing campaign will improve your credibility, build public relations and establish rapport with potential clients, and provide a boost in search engine results. Optimized content that showcases your expertise in the legal profession can help your landing pages and target keywords rank higher in search engine results, allowing you to genuinely connect with prospective clients.
Relevance and Specificity
Google operates by identifying the intent of every search. An example of an informational search might be, ‘What does a personal injury attorney do’? A solution-based search would sound something like, ‘Personal injury attorney near me.’ If your law practice provides direct answers to these queries, it could give your legal website an advantage at the top of Google’s search results page.
When combined with relevant content discussing how to choose a personal injury attorney, which is more high-intent, you can strengthen your marketing strategy and connect with new clients at all stages of your sales funnel.
Search engine optimization is the best long-term solution to gain new clients as long as you provide relevant (and well-structured) content that answers prospective client’s legal questions.
Also, by measuring your organic search results with tools like Google Analytics, you can refine and improve your online marketing strategy. By pairing SEO with an effective content marketing strategy, you can directly improve your search engine visibility, attract qualified leads, and build your firm’s credibility as a leader in your area of law.