An Attorney’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
The problem many lawyers and attorneys have when approaching internet marketing is they don’t know where to start. There are so many areas that need to be addressed and it’s often unclear as to which take priority. Is it content marketing, social media, paid advertising, web design? Well, while all of these are critical components of your overall strategy, arguably the most important is search engine optimization (SEO). Conveniently enough, when you pay attention to SEO, you’re forced to deal with everything else in an organized and structured manner.
The Value of SEO for Lawyers
Research from Lawyernomics shows that 21.9 percent of people looking for the services of an attorney start their search from Google, Bing, or Yahoo. In other words, outside of personal recommendations, the three major search engines are the leading sources of referrals in the legal industry. Are you taking full advantage of these tools? If you aren’t investing in SEO, you’re not doing nearly enough.
4 Things to Focus On
If you were forced to focus on only four areas of SEO, experts would suggest paying attention to the following:
- Target keywords. When people search for something on Google, how do they do it? They type a specific keyword or string of terms into the search bar. Your number one goal should be to hone in on what specific keywords your target audience is using to search for your services; that’s what you want to rank for. Specifically, in 2015 and beyond, you need to focus on local keywords. According to Robert Ramirez, senior SEO analyst for an internet marketing company that specializes in the legal industry, “Your best shot at early success is to capture the traffic in your city.” The goal should be to start small and then expand.
- Quality content. Once you’ve developed a list of a few target keywords, it’s then important to craft high quality content around those keywords. Content should be fresh, original, and engaging. The search engines appear to give preference to sites that continually publish new content, and the strength of your site will be judged – in part – on how much original content there is.
- Directories and Google Places. Google is really placing an emphasis on local search with their inclusion of Google Places and other directories in their rankings. You should spend time investing in local optimization and ensuring your site is listed on all general directories and legal-specific directories. For example, an attorney who’s a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association should ensure he’s listed on the applicable site directory.
- Website UX. Finally, while it’s not directly related to SEO, your website’s user experience is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Once you attract visitors to your site, your focus should be on engaging them and keeping them interested. An attractive, sleek design will enhance your chances of converting visitors into clients.
Climbing the Rankings
While SEO is an uphill battle for lawyers first starting their internet marketing efforts, it’s not impossible. By focusing your attention on the right areas, you can improve your rankings and add new clients.