When it comes to finding a lawyer, 21.9 percent of people start their search online. That’s a huge amount of prospects who are heading straight to Google find their next legal representative. That’s a huge amount of potential business that you should be capitalizing on.
But if your law firm doesn’t appear on the first page of search results there’s very slim chance that the prospect will find your webpage, because 91 percent of searchers don’t click through to the second page of search results.
So in a competitive environment where you and your rival law firms are vying for the same prospects, how do you give yourself the advantage? SEO. Search engine optimization is the practice of tweaking or enhancing your website in particular ways which will allow Google’s search algorithms to find and favor your website, sending you to the first page of Google.
Target Local Keywords
Keywords are how Google’s search robots find webpages relevant to the search query, so you need to make sure that the content on your webpage contains the words that your prospects are likely to be typing into that search bar.
It is specifically useful to target local keywords. If you are a law firm in Chatswood, Sydney, you should be looking to include those words in your webpage. Include what it is you do too, i.e. “personal injury lawyer Chatswood, Sydney.”
Focusing on local keywords helps to list you on Google’s Places list. When you search for something within a specific area, the results page will include a Google Map with the location of relevant businesses listed on it. If you can be on that list it will go a huge way to driving traffic to your site.
Ensuring that your firm is listed in as many online directories as possible is very useful. Your name out there on more sites, reaching more fresh eyes and demonstrating to Google that you are recognized by multiple websites.
Ok, so we know that our site needs to include keywords that match what searchers will be querying, but where do we put them on the website? You can’t just make a page, list all of the search queries you would like to match, and then walk away. The search terms need to be within content on your page. And the best way to do that is with a blog.
A regularly updated blog is the best way to drive traffic to your site and increase SEO. Your blog needs to be relevant and interesting and provide some kind of information or help to your client. It’s also a great way to demonstrate your expertise in your field.
Post updates that answer questions that potential clients are interested in, “what are my rights as a tenant?” or “how do I make a will?” These kinds of blogs are interesting and helpful to people, will contain lots of keywords to match search queries, and should result in people spending an extended amount of time on your site.
Optimize the User Experience
Obviously, you want a professional, appealing website for when a potential client clicks on the page. It’s more likely to lead to more business if your client is impressed with your webpage, but it’s also better for SEO.
When someone clicks through to your site from the Google search results page, the search engine measures how much time they spend on your site. If they hit the back button soon after landing on your page it sends a message that the site was not helpful to their search query, and you’ll be bumped down in rankings next time.
A comprehensive and easy to navigate site is essential. Include pages such as case studies, case results, lawyer profiles, press coverage, FAQs, blogs, and testimonials.
The other crucial factor in optimizing user experience is ensuring that your site is “responsive” – meaning that it adapts to being opened on mobile devices. Forty percent of searching is done on mobile devices now. If your website does not respond well to that platform, Google penalizes you in your search rankings, and users won’t be able to navigate your website well.