If a random internet user googles the words “criminal lawyer” or DIU lawyer near me”, they’re probably seeking representation or legal counsel. This makes it quite easy for law firms to convert site visitors into actual clients. The bad news, however, is that many lawyers have discovered this secret and everyone is scrambling for their 2 seconds of fame on the majestic first page of Google. To add insult to injury, other industries have also shifted their attention to the digital space. Media houses, news sites, modeling agencies, hotels, insurance firms and everyone else is trying to sell on Google. This means that the internet is not just overcrowded, it’s a war-zone. Luckily, there are tactics that you can apply to rank higher on search engines. Law Firm SEO is not exactly rocket science, but it requires hard work and attention to the following details.
Localize your content
Competing with 20 law firms within your location is way easier than competing with thousands of attorneys from across the world, This is why your content needs to address local internet users who are likely to turn into clients. Statistics show that 72% of internet users who conduct location-based searches end up visiting service providers within 5 miles of their location. Moreover, most of your potential clients are likely to be within your base of operation given that law is restricted to particular jurisdictions. There are a number of ways to localize your content. First, include office location details, such as country, city, street and building name on your website. Second, create long-form content which focuses on location sensitive keywords. For instance, while creating content for your landing page, use keywords such as “Divorce attorneys in Alabama or Australia, depending on your location. Such keywords are likely to increase the number of clicks and site visits. Lastly, claim your Google My Business Listing. Google my Business is one of Google’s products that help local businesses show up at the top of a page when internet users search for services near them. All you need to do is create a Google account, find the Google My Business page and fill in essential details as required.
Ask for reviews
As a lawyer or law firm, people will only trust your services (before signing up) if they’re sure you can deliver good results. The legal profession is quite sensitive and often, a case in court is perceived as a matter of life and death. Clients have the fear of going to jail or incurring hefty fines or losses if they lose a case. This is why they need reassurance from 3rd parties. Statistics also show that 73% of people are likely to trust businesses with positive reviews. It may be difficult to ask a former client to leave a review, especially if they committed a crime. However, you can be witty and ask them to leave reviews on your Google My Business account without mentioning what they were charged for. This will help you build trust among prospects.
Backlinks and guest posts
It’s common knowledge that backlinks are used as the biggest criterion for ranking websites. Sites with the biggest number of high-quality backlinks rank higher than their competitors. So how do you earn high-quality backlinks? To earn backlinks you can use these two methods: first, create excellent content that will be linked by other sites. Second, publish guest posts on top tier sites. For instance, Forbes has an invite the only platform called Forbes Agency Council where executives in particular fields can create content for other professionals in the same field. While these tactics will take you to the top of search engine pages, it is important to establish whether there are any ethical and legal regulations regarding content marketing in your state or country to avoid penalties.
Schema markup is a special robot language used to communicate with search engine web crawlers. Content that has markup is easy to crawl and rank. When you markup your content, you’re basically telling search engines what type of an organization you are and what you do. This is why SEO for law firms should entail the use of schema markup generators such as Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. Markup all the crucial content on your site and ensure you refresh the content regularly to keep search engines interested.
A directory is like a supermarket and when a supermarket is opened next to small retail shops, shoppers automatically shift their attention to the latter. Similarly, a local directory listing all the law firms within a given location is likely to rank higher (due to heavy keyword density) and attract more site visitors compared to individual law firm websites. Therefore, submit your firm’s profiles to as many local directories as possible. Start with respectable listings such as AVVO and NOLO which command bigger crowds. This will not only lead to more backlinks but will also make it easy for prospects to find you.
In a nutshell, Law Firm SEO is not very different from SEO for other industries, but the target audiences are. As a law firm, you’re targeting a very sensitive demographic and you do not want to appear as though you’re plainly selling legal services. Audiences seeking legal help need to be sure they can trust you. Therefore, as you work on ranking higher online ensure the tools you use are ethical and respectable. Build backlinks that elevate your brand and ensure your content appeals to the audiences. SEO for law firms is not just about ranking higher, it’s about converting.