Get Your Law Firm Noticed
An SEO Primer
It’s impossible to ignore that the majority of your clients will probably be the result of internet searches. It’s impossible to ignore the fact the most of law firm clients are coming from organic and paid internet searches. These prospective clients will be looking for firms in their area that can help them with their particular issue.
In order to capitalize on the fact that your most desirable client, those making over $150,000, are going to find you online, you need to have an understanding of law firm’s Search Engine Optimization or SEO. The websites that sit in the top positions of a Search Engine Results Page are the ones that receive the biggest number of clicks, resulting in the greatest amount of traffic. The best way to boost your firm’s sales is to make sure you’re at the top of the search engine results. Let’s jump into the basics of SEO.
How Search Engines Work
Search engines do the heavy lifting by “crawling” through the billions of pages to find what you’re looking for. But, they do need some help and it comes in the form of Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
What Is SEO?
SEO is basically helping the search engines understand what your site is all about and what value it will bring to those searching the web. SEO is a language that SE speaks.
There’s no way that any search engine could crawl through every detail on every page of every website. Instead, they use a sort of shorthand that filters every page through three criteria:
The features on the page
The way it is connected to the website’s other pages
The amount of other websites that refer to it
No discussion of SEO would be valid without delving into the realm of keywords.
Many firms choose keywords randomly and without much thought. Usually, the keywords they choose are the same, predictable words that every other similar firm is using.
There are three categories of keywords:
Head keywords. This will usually be one word that’s broad and generic. Example: “lawyer”
Body keywords. These will normally consist of two or three keywords that are more specific. Example: “criminal law firms”
Longtail keywords. These phrases will be four or more words that are very distinct. Example: “divorce finance law in toronto”
Here are some ways to thoughtfully choose keywords:
Focus in on your specialty areas. It sounds simple, right? Most firms have some specific disciplines that they focus on. But, it’s best to be as comprehensive as possible when you’re detailing what your firm offers. For example, within the area of criminal defense law are DUI, burglary, or manslaughter, to name a few. When you’re thinking about keywords for your website, use words like “DUI charges” or “burglary arrest,” as opposed to “criminal defense law.”
Put your thinking cap on. Check out some of the keywords that are being used by your closest competitors and use that to spark some brainstorming of your own. You’ll want to put your emphasis on body keywords and longtail keywords in order to get the best results. One recent study shows that longtail keywords have a conversion rate that is 2.5 times higher than head keywords.
This will help you come up with keywords that will fit the needs of your potential clients.
UberSuggest. After you’ve done some thinking on your own, it’s time to put a tool to work for you. UberSuggest uses the Google Search Suggest feature to show different questions related to your keywords that other people have asked. The terms that show up are actual searches that people have made. You can save the keywords you like as you go and then download them at the end.
KeywordTool.io. This tool takes what UberSuggest does and goes even further. The results are what makes KeywordTool different. It has a “questions” tab that will show you hundreds of questions that potential clients have asked. The questions can be used as longtail keywords. The specificity means that you could be meeting those clients needs by providing solutions to their challenges.
Google Keyword Planner. The Google Keyword Planner requires being logged into a Google account that has Adwords already set up. You’ll plug the keywords that you’ve generated from UberSuggest and KeywordTool.io into the Keyword Planner in order to find data that is related to the keywords. It will also give you more suggestions. Putting in the location allows the Planner to pinpoint data that is specific to the area. It also has a helpful “negative keywords” function, which allows you to remove any word you don’t want to have appear. For example, the word “free” is commonly removed.
When you get to the end of your keyword research process, you’ll have a list of effective, targeted keywords to use on your website, as well as ideas for creating valuable content.
Structuring Your Website
A successful website won’t be carried by what it contains alone. The way the site is put together is also very important.
Your site needs to be thoughtfully planned out ahead of time, much like you would have blueprints for building a house.
There are three areas of importance to focus on:
Make sure that all the most important pages are only one click away from the homepage. Your valuable and relevant information shouldn’t be hidden away on your site. Too many clicks to find what they need and your potential customer may choose to move along to a different website.
Use language that’s understandable. Be clear and concise. Prospective clients won’t understand your jargon. Put everything in terms they are familiar with.
Most likely, your services will include one broad area with some specialties. The structure of your site should illustrate this, as in the graphic below.
You should list your services in order of priority and be intentional about where your keywords are placed.