Almost all kinds of disputes can be taken through a legal process. Whether parents need to argue for custody during a divorce or employees need to file work injury claims, there is always a steady supply of current and potential clients. What lawyers like you just need to do is to market themselves effectively. This is the best way to gain more clients, thus increasing your earning potential.
However, one thing you should always keep in mind is that there will be other lawyers who cater to the same target market you are aiming to entice. In fact, the American Bar Association estimated in its 2018 survey that there are 1,338,678 lawyers in the United States. This shows a 15.2% increase in the number of practitioners from 2008 to 2018. If this trend continues, you can expect a rise in this figure in the coming years.
With the number of lawyers in the US, many of which are bound to practice in the same field as yours, you want to step up your game when it comes to marketing yourself. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you achieve this goal.
The Basics of Legal SEO
Not everyone is familiar with this digital marketing strategy, but those who incorporate this in their marketing campaign know that it can provide positive results. If you want to see significant outcomes in your conversion, you need to know more about SEO. You can do this by starting with the definition of SEO.
SEO means search engine optimization. As the name suggests, this is the process of optimizing your website and content to rank high in search engine results. The main goal of this strategy is to make sure that your website and/or webpages appear on the first page of search results whenever a potential client looks for services like yours.
To achieve this, you need a masterful grasp of the important elements that contribute to an effective and efficient SEO strategy. One of the most essential elements of any search engine optimization process is your website. Whether you are practicing solo or with a firm, you probably have a website in which you provide information about your practice or firm, your area of specialization, and other details that can entice potential clients to work with you.
Even without SEO, your website is integral to your practice as it serves as a virtual space in which clients can know more about you. In fact, you will likely find that your site is your number one source of leads. When you implement an optimization strategy, your site will be your primary platform in gathering leads and converting them.
In doing so, you will need a combination of high-quality content and keywords, which you will publish on your website. Your content can be anything related to your law practice. You can post about the difference between a civil lawyer and a criminal lawyer, for example. There are a lot of topics you can post about.
The important thing is that the content should be relevant, relatable, and top-notch. You should also consider creating evergreen content to ensure that your posts will remain pertinent even after time has passed. This way, new potential clients will still be able to view your posts and connect with them.
To make sure that prospective clients will be able to find your posts, you should incorporate keywords into your content. Instinctively, you can come up with words and phrases that users typically search about regarding your profession. A KW like “lawyers” will be able to bring you results, but only to some extent.
How would you know the potential of a keyword, you ask? The simple answer is to use keyword research sites like Word Tracker. These services let you know how many searches a KW gets. For the most obvious keyword, which is “lawyers,” the search volume is 18,171. Pretty impressive, right?
What you need to know is that some keywords and phrases can give you better results when used strategically along with the given KW. The fact is “lawyers” are only third in terms of search volume, according to suggestions from Word Tracker.
“Lawyers near me” (31,736) and “divorce lawyers” (20,556) are both more superior to the said KW, followed by “divorce lawyers near me” (13,451) and “employment lawyers” (10,078). You can also try out other keyword ideas such as “attorney” and “counsel” to find suggestions that could yield more searches, thus, more visits.
The key info about using keywords is that you need to use them wisely. You want your content to be peppered with the right amount of KWs to make them relevant for search engine queries. You should also include them in your website’s and pages’ metadata. For example, you want your URL to include the primary KW you are using. It should also appear in page titles, meta descriptions, and file names.
However, you want to make sure you use your KWs sparingly, as excessive use of keywords and phrases can be seen by Google and your visitors as spammy.
On this note, this is a great time to explain how search engines find websites and pages to offer users whenever they make queries. Imagine a potential client looking for a lawyer near them using the KW, “lawyers near me.” Once they enter this into Google, the search engine’s algorithm (also known as crawlers) will look for content that contains such keywords to index them.
It also takes note of the domain’s authority, which will play a huge role in how your website will rank. High-authority sites are likely to rank higher.
How to Apply SEO to Your Marketing Campaign
Now that you know what SEO is, its elements, and how it works, you might want to incorporate it into your marketing campaign. Perhaps this is one of the most challenging aspects of implementing an SEO strategy because you might need to overhaul your website to optimize it. Here are some things you should do when applying this tool to your practice:
Have Your Website Audited
As mentioned, your website is the primary platform that will carry your SEO campaign. However, you want to make sure that your site is ready to take on this responsibility. If you have had this website for a long time, without proper maintenance or optimization, a lot of work might be needed to “clean it up,” so to speak.
A website audit will tell you how strong or weak your current set up is, and what you need to do to bring it up to speed. Doing so means that you should work with specialists for a comprehensive and thorough analysis. These experts will look at the quality of your current posts, metadata, links, site map, and even your web design.
An overhaul means that you would be working on your website’s organization, content and keywords, and importantly, appearance. Remember, an unattractive and confusing site can easily turn away potential clients.
Build Your Authority
In the discussion above, we mentioned that Google’s algorithm looks for pages with relevant keywords and with high authority on the topic. You may be an expert at what you do and you may be able to generate high-quality content, but without authority, you might struggle with rankings.
To improve your authority, the best thing you can do is to collaborate with high-authority websites that tackle a similar topic. You can have your content published on their site with a link going back to your website. These backlinks or inbound links can help build your authority. In fact, even if readers do not follow links to your site, exposure from high-authority sites can still build yours.
When looking for sites to collaborate with, you should keep an eye out for popular and trusted ones. Sites that invite guest posts are suitable for your link building activity.
Over time, your website will accumulate content and pages that may no longer be relevant. As much as possible, you want to prevent this from happening, so you should make sure that you constantly improve your SEO strategy. This is important, especially as Google changes its policies from time to time.
What may be acceptable today may be considered spammy by the time the company releases another set of guidelines. So, you should always be ready to change content generation activities and style.
The Bottom Line
An effective SEO campaign will not only benefit you and your wallet but also your clients and colleagues if you are with a firm. With the right strategy, combined with other digital marketing tools, you can be one step ahead of your competitors and increase your conversion rate. If you want to implement the best SEO strategy, make sure to work with a digital marketing agency.