Do you ever come across any law firm pages on social media? Do you even see any Facebook ads, T.V. ads or newspaper ads endorsing and/or being related to any law firm, even bigger ones? That is because digital marketing rarely, if ever, come across a lawyer or a practitioner’s mind, let alone investing in something such as search engine optimization (SEO).
Whether you are a small firm, a sole practitioner or a big practice, you need clients to represent. Word of mouth and a solid reputation have long proven themselves to be of great importance. One might even think they’re the most crucial factors for a lawyer’s business. But here is the deal, they do not cut it. At least, not like they did before. Lawyers need to adjust to the world we are living in today. At present, substantial growth is more likely to come from targeting the millions of internet and mobile searches conducted each day.
According to ABA Journal, a popular magazine for lawyers, one-third of legal consumers start their search for an attorney using online resources. So now that we’ve established the fact that law firms need SEO, let’s explore why they need it. Here are 4 reasons why lawyers should hire an SEO agency.
So what is the whole deal with SEO? It is plain and simple. SEO generates traffic, and more traffic means more money; in a nutshell, this is why law firms need SEO in this age of technology. But let’s break that down for a second and see exactly what it means. To give you an example, if you are a lawyer who specializes in very rare legal issues and gets to defend bizarre cases, you may stand out from the crowd. You need to showcase that edge of yours, leverage it, and convey it’s advantages to your target audience.
On the other hand, if you are a lawyer with very common practices, it will be tough to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack. Likewise, you need to discover how to attract your audience. In both cases, by effectively optimizing your traffic, you will expand the audience of your law firm by ranking higher on Google or Bing’s search result pages. Relevant traffic will get you more prospective clients.
SEO may sound like a no-brainer. You think anyone can do it? Well, search engine optimization is considerably more complex than just using keywords. There’s an on and off-site optimization, link building and other analytics to consider. Routine SEO audits and maintenance of the speed of the site are also important keys to success. You need more than just some Google Analytics screenshots which anyone can take.
Besides, search engine optimization for attorneys will not happen overnight. SEO experts and consulting agencies can (and should!) help you create your firm’s website. Instead of trying to self-educate yourself on what SEO means and requires, hiring an agency to monitor your site will allow you to focus more on your actual business.
However, you need to keep an eye on everything they do. Sometimes you will need to update blog posts yourself because not all lawyers are comfortable about writers who aren’t lawyers writing their content. This is totally understandable. Also, it’s wise to be at least SEO aware so you would not be leaving too much space for anyone and can hold them accountable for anything that goes wrong.
Let us rewind to the content bit. If you decide to do all the write-ups yourself because writers who are not lawyers would not be well informed on the subject as you are, well, you have to also bear in mind that your readers as well may not be as knowledgeable about the law as you are!
Therefore, you have to make a compromise and let the writers do their business. SEO writers would know how to optimize your content, without any jargons that would drive your audience away. They will also know how to craft your title and Meta description in an SEO friendly way. Why is this important? Because Google uses them when displaying your website in the search results. A relevant title and Meta description tag is necessary to get a higher click-through rate in organic search results.
Also, other than creating quality content to attract backlinks, an SEO consulting agency will teach you how to acquire links from other local sites that are relevant to yours. Having links from local websites will help you rank better in your geographical area. Without an aggressive link building strategy, it can be hard to win at SEO in competitive fields, such as the legal industry. Links are one of the top factors that influence pages to rank in search.
As mentioned before, SEO means generating more traffic, which means generating more money. With SEO, you can attract targeted clients. You can also attract clients who didn’t even realize they needed a lawyer in the first place. When you expand your reach, you expand your audience. By getting ahead of your competitors, SEO gives a high return on your investment.
One other thing that directly affects your ROI; is utilizing the right call to action and motivating your audience to take the step and reach out for you. While a call to action on any other website is designed to get the visitor to buy something; CTAs for lawyers are different and require different strategies.
Lawyers should place their calls to action above the fold (the point at which people have to start scrolling to see more information) and a phone number should be on every page of the website in a prominent location (such as the header). There should be more than one method for contacting the law firm. Use more than just a phone number or contact form; provide multiple ways visitors can reach you.
Hiring an SEO agency may not seem very hard at first as anyone now claims to have all the know-how of SEO. What is tricky is to hire an effective SEO agency that gets their job done. You need someone who is passionate about SEO and has had a real practice of it, not just someone who read about it somewhere online. Even if the only professional SEO agency you found is really expensive, do not hesitate about it as it’s worth your every penny. Actually, SEO professionals are not meant to be cheap and you should get skeptical if they were! Think about the organic traffic they’’ generate in return.