Law industry is getting competitive day by day with more and more players adopting aggressive online marketing tactics. With that said, bids on AdWords are crazily exorbitant, hence it has become even very imperative for law firms and independent lawyers to ensure their organic presence on search engines. Digital Success Team, has collaborated with various digital marketing experts to get their ideas on what proven strategy they would recommend when it comes to bringing SEO success to their lawyer clients.
Rahul Alim – Custom Creatives
Tell a Story Online.
Let’s face it, there’s a lot of competition on the internet. So how do we stand out once we get that all mighty visitor on our website? Should we hope and pray they call us? No, that’s not a strategy. The best way to take advantage of any website is tell a story online. Know your customer avatar so you can clearly speak to them and feel their pain and be the solution. How many websites do you land on and don’t remember, or bounce off and go somewhere else? Do you remember any websites where you just fell in love and thought, that’s me, I want that as my website? That my friend is Story Telling. Imagine a horror movie without that scary music, or a music concert without any beats. It would be terrible and no one would buy a ticket or walk out if they did buy tickets. When it comes to your attorney marketing and website design, build your strategy first. Just like a case you represent, you prepare for it, brainstorm, research, study, review, and prepare for the best outcomes. That is exactly what a good attorney marketing agency would do for you as well. It’s easy to get lost in the clutter of the Legal Zoom for websites like Wix, Godaddy and all the template shops that don’t impress anyone. If you really want to make an impact with your cold traffic, new prospects, close that big case, then TELL A STORY online.
Here’s a brief example:
From the top of your website to the bottom, think of your attorney website as a funnel. The goal is to turn the visitor into a lead. Towards the top you have your menu, next you have your headline and problem solving statements, next you gain a deeper relationship about some awards you won to keep the visitor engage with your experience, you then lead them to your practice areas that you focus on so they realize you have the specialties they need, followed by some client success stories or wins of the firm, and you finally drop them into a fork in the story. Contact us by phone, email or online. This is building the story to the end.
Prosper Taruvinga –Livelong Digital
Targeting Information Seekers
People come to the internet to get information if your law firm is providing that information, you create a great bond of trust with prospective clients.
A lot of people enter into agreements and contracts every day. Some are amicable, some burn the other party. Not everyone reads the Terms and conditions before signing. If a law firm has checklists, tips and things to look at in a contract that they give free, in exchange of an email address, they will build a huge list that they can offer more value to and result in them building a loyal following.
A lot of law firms are not leaving information to educate people that just want to know the implications of an activity. If such information is
produced by your firm, you will basically have a lot of people turning to your blog for resources. You can then pixel this traffic for future campaigns and it is technically a “warm” audience, as they have experienced your work. So lead magnets like legal jargon explained etc. will draw a lot of people to their blogs or website.
A couple of LIVE videos explaining these things to people. this will raise awareness of the law firm. During the live feed, send people to the resource and they exchange that with their email address and then use the email for future campaigns.
A lot of Law firms that we prospect, do not have this in place or a pixel on their site to retarget info seekers.
Marc Goodwin – Berley Digital
Highlight Your Specialty
Get specific in your search marketing, customers are looking for specific types of lawyers so make sure your website has pages for all of the different types of cases you specialize in and make sure those pages are ranking well in the search engines. Most consumers are looking for a professional who is knowledgeable and experienced in the type of law they need help with, so showing them this will help conversions dramatically.
John Rosato – JohnRosato.me
Creating Assets for Your Content Marketing
While some “experts” might be preaching for you to create the next viral masterpiece, “Top 5 Reasons Why You Need a Lawyer”, these articles rarely do the job of nudging a potential client into your sales cycle.
Next step is retargeting your newly found audience through email (Mailchimp or Drip), Facebook or even Google AdWords. Nurture or upsell your audience into related products or a ‘template review’ now that you know who they are.
Samuel Pavin – SamuelPavin.com
Grow an Audience by Offering Pieces of Legal Advice “for Free”
Legal professions usually face some restrictions when it comes to marketing and advertising. However, a great tip for legal brands to position themselves in front of their audience and create intimacy is to leverage social media. By creating a consistent visual identity (associated with the brand) and providing bite-sized, real-life, pieces of legal advice, they can easily engage and grow an audience while offering help “for free”. Be helpful before anything else.
From there, they will tend to become the go-to legal provider for their audience’s specific needs.
Another opportunity lies in niches. Every business works within a specific industry or targets defined audiences. Lawyers or law firms can partner with members of such ecosystems or the professional organizations heading industries. A great example is within the startup ecosystem where the means and backgrounds from founders vary greatly and where legal requirements are even more important while trying to disrupt industries. Law firms can partner with accelerators to provide lectures or mentoring to founder, hence creating a relationship and trust from the early days of a company’s life.
Luke Bastin – TinderPoint|
Target Prospective Clients When They are “Upstream”
Whether your practice operates in a B2C or B2B space, staying top of mind with potential prospects is the key to sustainable, long-term stability and revenue growth. In particular, enabling multi-touch educational experiences without being intrusive is the ideal.
One way some lawyers have achieved this is to target prospective target clients when they are “upstream” i.e. not yet in a frame of mind to engage in the lawyer’s services but nonetheless of a profile where at some stage they are likely to need such services. For example, a tax attorney might decide to target all corporations in their state which have incorporated within the last two years and which have made high-profile hires in the local press. These businesses are unlikely to know that they need specialist tax advice, but as they grow a decent proportion of them are likely to.
One way in which some lawyers achieve this upstream marketing is to set up and manage informational websites based on their areas of expertise. By securing online visibility for these websites, which can include training areas, webinars, and pertinent Q&A, lawyers can position themselves and their practice as the “go to” solution when a prospect is ready to buy. Moreover, this form of marketing tends to result in referred work.
Donna Duncan – B-SeenOnTop
Leverage the Power of Guest Posting
In my experience, lawyers do not take full advantage of the benefits of guest posting. Guest posting is when you write and publish content on someone else’s website or blog.
There are many legal publications that accept and are hungry for content. A few authoritative examples include Above The Law, the Sargent Shriver Center on National Poverty Law, and Attorney at Work.
Properly negotiated, this type of arrangement can be a win-win for both parties.
Most lawyers are skilled negotiators and have an area of expertise they can easily talk about. The problem comes in the writing. Lawyers value their time and can find it hard to come up with interesting topics to write about. Their writing can be unnecessarily formal and unabsorbing.
This is where a good content writer and SEO can add value.
- A good content writer will use tools to determine the topics, writing style and tone that resonates with the publication’s audience. He or she will interview you and squeeze a whole series of high-quality, fresh and engaging articles out of it.
- A good SEO Agency for Lawyers can help you negotiate the use of canonical tags and/or author profiles and backlinks that will maximize your return on investment.
The publisher gets content. You get backlinks and exposure. A win-win for everyone.
Graeme Watt – The Zen Agency
Taking Innovative Approach to Analytics and Data
One of the most innovative and rewarding digital marketing strategies for the extremely competitive law industry is a more innovative approach to analytics and data. In days gone by lawyers relied on more traditional advertising methods such as television, magazines, and radio. Although, these channels could be effective in their own way, actually measuring the results achieved was extremely difficult.
In modern times in the age of internet, social media and digital advertising measurability are key. Through modern analytical platforms, Law Firms are now able to measure the success of campaigns and digital work very easily.
Law firms are now able to be analytical driven and can rely heavily on the data which they gather. This results in less wasted spend and better results for the firm. This not only provides this better results but also a better overall user experience by serving their audience exactly what they want.
Disclaimer – The experts’ opinions featured in this post are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of Digital Success.
SEO for Lawyers: The Guide to Ranking in Google
Although most people still find lawyers through referrals, that’s quickly changing.
26% percent of people under 25 find lawyers through an internet search. Drastically up from 14% of those over 25.
And it’s not just millennials that are seeing this trend. People age 25 to 34 find lawyers through the internet much more commonly than older people as well.
Lawyers should know by now that pulling traffic in to their websites from search engines will be critical to their future success. In order to do this, legal firms need to figure out how to get their sites to appear in Google search results. They need to be able to optimize a site and that site’s content.
And legal firms have a specific set of needs.
So we recommend that they focus their efforts on these areas of SEO.
- Differentiate yourself by your different practices
- Optimize for local keywords
- Make sure to show up in Google Maps, Google Places, and other local directories
- Prioritize your website’s user experience
There’s a method to our madness. The strategy behind these suggestions has worked with our legal client’s time after time. Below we’ll explain just how these 4 suggestions change the presence of legal firms in search results.
1. Differentiate yourself by your different practices
First and foremost, law firms absolutely must optimize around their different practices. Having content on your website that describes the practices your firm offers is crucial to ranking.
The end goal here is to provide insight to your website visitors for what you can do in those areas and what you have done. You’ll have a better chance of ranking well if your practice terms are clear and well explained.
Every law firm is different, but here are a few examples of ways you can differentiate yourself from an SEO standpoint.
Criminal Attorneys Focus: Probation Violation, Resisting Arrest, Petty Theft, Burglary, Evading Arrest
Family Law Attorneys Focus: Divorce litigation, Child Custody & Support, Collaborative law
Personal Injury Attorneys Focus: Boating Accidents, Car Accidents, Nursing home litigation.
2. Make sure to show up in Google Maps, Google Places, and other local directories
Your firm has to exist right? Needless to say, the more places on the internet you exist, the easier it is to find you in search results.
There are a couple biggies like Google Places and GoogleMyBusiness you want to be signed up for, but there are also a lot of smaller ones worth looking into.
You especially will want to rank for maps in your local area. Traffic will funnel from those maps onto your website. You’ll also want to make sure each of these listings are optimized properly the first time, and updated with new information from time to time.
3. Optimize for local keywords
As you probably already know, marketing your legal firm is fiercely competitive. So Sometimes ranking for something like “best lawyer in Texas” may not be possible. What is possible, however, is ranking for your local terms.
There are virtually unlimited numbers of people you can reach in your local area if you optimize for the right keywords. But you need to shoot for long-tail keywords first. An example of a long-tail keyword might be “Dallas family law attorney”.
But that’s not all. You can get a lot more specific than that and still see a ton of return on your effort. Consider the surrounding city names. Instead of using the umbrella term “Dallas” you can choose a smaller city within Dallas like “Frisco family law attorney”
You’ll want all these keywords to naturally exist in all your different branded online content.
But what you really want to do is rank for your own city’s keywords, so make that a priority before moving on to other long-tail keyword optimizations.
4. Prioritize your website’s user experience
If you’re doing all this work to get traffic to your site through SEO but your site is from 1980, it will all be for nothing.
Because you’re probably too close to your website to really know, the best way to figure out if your site operates smoothly is to get an unbiased answer from someone who’s never used it before.
The end goal for this is to gain that person’s trust while also making it easy to operate and move around the site.
Ideally, you should think about those people that are considering if your firm is worthy. They want to know if they can trust you with their case. If your website does not tell them that you are the best choice, they’ll just look elsewhere.
How can you build this trust with new website visitors?
You’ll want case studies, testimonials, videos, blogs, PR news releases, and lawyer bios or portfolios.
You also will want it to be as easy to get in contact with you as possible, but that doesn’t mean you should plaster your phone number 15 times in bold on your homepage.
Make navigating the website simple and intuitive, without bombarding your visitors with a million options to consider.
These 4 pointers can get your legal firm moving very quickly in the right direction, but ultimately getting ranked is up to how much priority your place on these SEO activities. If you think we missed something let us know or reach out to us here.