Like other areas of professional activity, it is steadily moving online. If you are not on the Internet, then you are losing a significant part of potential customers. And this needs to be fixed!
We have prepared a useful guide on how a modern law firm or individual lawyer can get ahead on the Web, attract clients and compete effectively in an ever-expanding market. But, first, look at the specifics of foreign SEO for law firms because not everything is clear here. So, let’s begin!
SEO promotion: what is it, and why do you need it
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a set of measures to optimize a website to increase its position in search results for relevant queries. Simply put, this is what will allow your site to stay at the top of Google search results, ahead of competitors.
Note! SEO promotion does not include contextual or other advertising users see in search results. This is a completely different category of promotion services.
Legal Site Ranking Factors
The ranking is the sorting of web resources in search results. The higher your site is on the list, the better. There are three basic ranking factors to consider to raise and hold positions:
- Content quality and uniqueness
All content you add to your site should be unique and useful to visitors. Search algorithms have already learned how to evaluate their quality. They better rank web resources and pages with useful content. Copying other people’s texts and images are not allowed. Non-unique content will quickly drive your site under the filters and may even throw it out of the search results.
- External link mass
The more external resources link to your site, the better for promotion. But here, too, there are nuances because links from spammy and dubious sites can only do harm.
- Website technical optimization
The increase in positions is facilitated by faster loading, competent work with the semantic core, elaboration of the site structure, removal of broken links and other optimization measures. An unoptimized resource will never reach the top, no matter how high-quality the content and external link mass is.
All three points are closely related.
Why SEO is important:
Today, organic (search) traffic is becoming much of SEO consulting firm‘ main clientele source. In 2019, about 17% of clients found attorneys and lawyers through Internet searches. At present, this figure exceeds 20%.
There is no doubt that in the future, the percentage will only increase. Delay now will cause a lack of customers for the foreseeable future.
Now that we understand the importance of SEO in the legal services industry let’s take a closer look at the components mentioned above.
Factor #1. Content
The main rule: your content must fully match the search query that the user enters. If this is not the case, the person will close the site; search algorithms will consider the action as a bounce. And pages with a high bounce rate rank worse.
Remember that the site’s content is one indicator of your professionalism. If it is frankly bad, in the eyes of a potential client, you will also look unprofessional. Therefore, saving on texts, especially jurisprudence, is not worth it.
Keywords are an important part of SEO texts. They should be harmoniously inscribed in the overall narrative, not look foreign. But you should understand that good SEO text is not only the correct work with keywords. There are a few more important points:
- Use of headings H1, H2, H3, etc.;
- It is desirable to have lists, tables, and graphs. Need a readable text structure;
- the use of not only SEO keywords but also auxiliary LSI words and phrases;
- admissible parameters of spamming and water. This affects readability.
To write texts for the site, you should look for a copywriter with experience in this niche, ideally, if he has a specialized education. One who is ready to delve into the topic and not write superficial articles with general information from the Internet is also suitable.
Factor #2. Backlinks (link mass)
As mentioned, the more authoritative resources linking to your site, the better. Each such link is a kind of vote in your favor. But there is a nuance here. The voice is also bad. Mass purchase of eternal or temporary links on exchanges is simple but not always effective. There is a risk of building up a low-quality link mass, which will only worsen the position of the site.
Placement on local, thematic resources works very well:
- in legal reference books;
- in local directories (for example, Google My Business);
- in social networks;
- in reviews on review sites.
To increase the link mass, you can go in different ways, including offering barter services for local media and regularly writing interesting articles on the blog that other users will share on the Web.
Factor #3. Technical SEO
The technical component is very important. An Unoptimized website will never rank in the top search results. Among the key requirements of SEO optimization we can name the following:
- exclusion of internal technical errors;
- correct robots.txt and sitemap.xml;
- no duplicate pages, broken links and unnecessary redirects;
- CNC setting (human-understandable URLs);
- adaptive design with the correct layout;
- high page loading speed from different devices;
- thoughtful structure and user-friendly interface.
Technical SEO optimization is one of the most difficult stages of promoting a legal website. And in it, inexperienced specialists most often make mistakes. Therefore, approach the choice of a contractor with maximum responsibility, discuss a strategy, request real cases, and only after that make a decision on cooperation.
Effective SEO for Lawyers: Implementation Options
You have two options. The first is to try to perform SEO-optimization of the site and do the promotion yourself. The second is to turn to specialists and delegate work to experts in this field.
Option number 1. SEO promotion on your own
In theory, you can do SEO yourself. The question is, do you have time for this? Do you have enough experience to do everything right?
Here is just a basic list of work that needs to be done:
- Compose and structure the semantic core. Collecting a list of relevant keywords and phrases of different frequencies is necessary and correctly distributing them between pages.
- Create and publish unique content for the site. Literally, for each page and service, you need to write unique and high-quality texts with occurrences of relevant keywords. It will be useful to regularly add fresh articles to the blog or to the site’s news section. The problem is that writing good (from an SEO point of view) copy is more difficult than it seems. But you still need to make these materials interesting and useful because you write not only for search robots but also for people. You will have to learn how to use various methods to engage potential customers, work with triggers, create content based on UX / UI trends, etc.
- Check the site’s technical condition and correct errors if necessary. This is one of the most difficult stages because, without the appropriate knowledge and experience, it is best not to try to internally optimize the site and fix technical errors. Of course, you can read the Google Webmaster Guide, but it’s too naive to think this will be enough for you to optimize yourself. There is a great risk of making things worse.
- Expand your online presence. It’s not just about building a link mass by buying links on third-party sites. It will be useful to add your law firm to various aggregators and directories, actively blog and sharpen articles for SEO, and motivate clients to share reviews (including on other sites).
Now think seriously, are you ready to do all this? Will there be enough time for the main legal activities? Very unlikely. It is physically impossible for one person to perform all these tasks qualitatively and systematically promote even a small site. Only teamwork will have a positive effect and consolidate it.
Option number 2. Appeal to specialists
If you are not ready to understand the intricacies of legal website SEO and do all the work yourself, then the best solution is to turn to experts. So you free up time for your tasks and, most importantly, get predictable promotion results. But it is important to understand that not all digital agencies and SEO studios approach their work equally responsibly. Therefore, we want to give some tips on how to choose a good contractor:
- Estimate the available promotion budget.
SEO promotion services require investments. Be prepared that, at first, you will have to pay about 1,000-2,000 dollars a month. Further, the amount will decrease since the basic set of works will already be completed. If you are not yet ready to invest that kind of money in promotion, perhaps you should wait. Sometimes cheap and low-quality SEO services are worse than no promotion at all.
- Look for specialists: with minimal experience in promoting legal services websites.
SEO methods for a legal site are not too different from promoting other sites. However, it would be better if the performer already has experience in this segment. It is important to initially understand whether you have an SEO professional in front of you. You may well discuss the role of content and link mass with him, ask him to give basic recommendations and describe an indicative work plan for promoting your site. He will be confident if you have a professional in front of you. There will be no difficulty in answering such questions.
By the way, there are a few points that should alert you:
- At the beginning of the discussion, the contractor gives 100% guarantees that certain indicators will be achieved strictly within the agreed time frame. SEO is not an area where you can accurately predict all the results. You must first thoroughly study the site, your niche and competitors.
- An affordable SEO consultant talks about results, not about how to achieve them. If he is not ready to explain his strategy of action, perhaps you have an ordinary intermediary or non-professional who himself is not very well versed in the issue and acts at random.
- They are trying to force paid search advertising instead of SEO promotion on you. There are cases when the contractor offers contextual advertising instead of SEO, for example. For him, this is quick money, but for you, it is only a short-term effect that will disappear as soon as you stop investing. No long-term perspective.
And these are just basic tips. You need to carefully approach the choice of an SEO specialist or a promotion company. Otherwise, your investment simply will not pay off. And in the worst case, you will only harm the site for your money.
And one more thing.
SEO promotion of a legal services website is not a sprint but a marathon. Do not expect the desired results to be achieved in 1-2 weeks. The competition is growing, and the struggle for first place in the search results does not stop for a day. Sometimes visible results appear only a month after the start of the promotion. Nevertheless, achieving top positions is possible due to long, labor-intensive, continuous work.
By cooperating with experts, you can achieve the desired results faster and keep your site at the top with minimal effort. But remember, reaching the first place is no reason to stop the promotion. Competitors do not sleep. Once you pause, they will force you out. We live in such realities. The leader will always be the one who never stops but moves forward. This is especially true in SEO.
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