Previous posts in this series covered strategies focusing on lead conversion. We reviewed how to take a prospective client’s interest in your firm and use the right tools to generate a solid commitment. Highlighting your firm’s expertise, showcasing an engaging website, posting regularly on a blog and actively networking on social media, allows your firm to target the main concerns raised by prospective clients when choosing legal representation.
But, before a lead can be converted it needs to be generated. That’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in.
As we mentioned before, over three-quarters of people seeking an attorney use online resources to conduct their search. That lines up with the fact that over three-quarters of Internet users go to Google (or Bing) to research a product or service before they buy. And, combine that with the statistic that 68% of searches conducted never go beyond the first page of results–it becomes clear why optimizing your site for search engines is a necessity.
In the early days of SEO, it was an easier endeavor. Through building links and using a plethora of keywords throughout a website, a business was guaranteed to shoot up the rankings. A simple comment on any old blog combined with a link to your website’s url would instantly generate a web of pingbacks to your site. It was as simple as whoever had the most was ranked the highest.
But, over the past few years, SEO has become immensely more intricate. While link-building and keywords are still a must, Google has updated its search engine algorithms. Now, Google ranks websites based on link and content quality while simultaneously penalizing sites with poor content
overstuffed with keywords. In order achieve and maintain a high ranking, your SEO tactics have to stay a step ahead of Google’s updates, playing by all the new rules before they are officially made.
That’s not to say all the aspects of SEO are difficult. There are some simple steps everyone should take to start off with like listing your business in Google+ Local, yellowpages(dot)com, et cetera. And yet, in order to achieve real results through quality, white-hat tactics is a skill set that demands expertise.
The best place to start is to do a keyword analysis. Someone looking for a criminal defense lawyer might type in, “criminal defense lawyer Miami.” You’ll have to get a detailed keyword analysis from an SEO firm based on what monthly search volumes are through search engines. And it’s necessary to account for what happens to your ranking if a keyword in their search is misspelled. It is extremely important to research what they are trying to look for and provide them with your solution.
One of the best ways to do this is through good content using those keywords naturally. If you make that content, be it a page on your website or a blog post, easily shareable you are also building quality links to your page.
After that step, the process gets a little trickier. As a lawyer in Miami has no need to draw traffic in Missouri, localized optimization is essential. A great example how to do this is the work we did with our clients Lyons, Snyder & Collin, P.A. We ensure they receive top billing in the rankings by combining all these components to optimize their site locally and include the keywords that their potential clients are looking for.
The recent track record of a Search Engine Optimizer is the most important aspect to consider when hiring a team to handle your SEO. Regardless of the length of time spent working in the field, a professional’s expertise breaks down into how they have adjusted with the recent roll out of algorithmic updates.
When meeting with an SEO firm, after seeing their recent results, ask them how they work. If they know what they’re doing they will have no problem telling you their strategy. If they say their process is proprietary information, be wary. There are no short cuts in SEO anymore and hard persistent work is what gets results.
We could go on for thousands of more words about how SEO works and what you need to know, but it’s best to discuss it in person. If you want to learn more about how to improve your site’s ranking on Google (and Bing), schedule an appointment today.