Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential component of any modern digital marketing strategy. Regardless of industry, virtually every organization needs a presence on the web. SEO is a tool for leveraging that presence for its peak potential. When used well, it ensures the people you want to connect to your firm can easily find you online. Law firms, in particular, need to have a strong SEO campaign. This is not only due to the sheer level of competition in the modern legal field but also the breadth of potential legal issues one might face that compels them to search online for professional assistance.

SEO is important to lawyers because it not only draws in potential clients, but it increases the chance of a firm attracting the right type of clients. Nearly 100% of people who need legal assistance will use a search engine to scope out potential lawyers, and more than 70% of those potential clients will make their decisions about their legal representation based on a prospective lawyer’s website content.

To bolster your SEO strategy and increase the number of pageviews and leads your website generates, review your current SEO strategy, and understand the various elements that go into making it successful.

One: When and How to Start the SEO Process

Before you begin your SEO overhaul, it’s important to remember that SEO is not a “once and done” component of your marketing. Once you develop and implement your SEO strategy, it’s essential to consistently monitor your results, review search engine trends, and determine vulnerabilities and opportunities within your SEO strategy to improve over time continuously. The correct time to start your SEO process is as soon as you launch your website.

Various elements of the website you create will play vital roles in determining your SEO outcomes. Ideally, you should work closely with your web developer and SEO team to design your website around SEO best practices. The sooner you begin focusing on improving your SEO, the sooner you will start seeing results from your efforts.

SEO has as much to do with the keywords you use as the nuts and bolts that comprise your website. A law firm’s content could be polished, relevant, and include all the right keywords – but that’s only the first step. If the backend of the site causes slow page loading or the content pages are riddled with broken or questionable links, the site isn’t performing at optimal levels from an SEO perspective.

Two: Know Your Target Keywords, Then Optimize Your Content

Keyword research is a major component of a solid SEO strategy. You should not only know which keywords and keyword strings are going to yield the best results but also how to weave these keywords into the content you produce and publish to your website. In the early days of internet marketing, the rule of thumb was to simply stuff as many keywords as possible into posted content as many times as possible. However, times have changed. Your content should be as clear to humans as it is to bots, which means keyword stuff will hurt you more than help.

Modern search engines, like Google and Bing, reward sites that publish content geared toward human readers. This means the search engine algorithm that is going to make users’ keyword inputs with your content is going to check to make sure the content on your website is coherent, polished, and geared for actual human readers instead of bots.

Optimizing your content as a concept extends far beyond the webpage content you produce and the blogs you post to your site. Work to optimize the construction of your site, developing a streamlined sitemap that’s easy for search engine bots and search engine users to explore. Ideally, your website should be constructed in such a way that an average user can reach any page or article on your site with no more than three clicks from the homepage. Your optimization process must also include page metadata that will help your search engine entries rank well and stand out from the crowd.

Three: Track Your Progress

Google has a commanding lead of the pack when it comes to modern search engines, so it is imperative that you understand how to use the marketing tools available to you on the Google Search platform. Google Analytics is incredibly intuitive and links seamlessly with your Google AdWords account, so take time to familiarize yourself with this auditing system and leverage it effectively.

Google Analytics can show you every facet of your current SEO strategy from a new perspective. It can break down the components of your SEO that are showing good results and identify areas that may require more attention and tweaking. These metrics are crucial as they allow you to track your site’s performance over time. You can identify trends, nail down your firm’s “busy seasons,” and gain additional insights that will continue to inform your SEO strategy into the future.

Four: Focus on Local SEO

Virtually every attorney in the country serves a local community. Your target customers may reside within a specific county or township, and this is one factor you should not overlook when it comes to SEO. For example, if you serve clients in Pennsylvania and your office is based in Pittsburgh, you shouldn’t be competing with law firms in Philadelphia or Erie when Pittsburgh-area users search for law firms.

Five: Keep Your Website Up to Date

Google and other search engines reward sites that update regularly. This builds credibility for the site and ensures the search engine recognizes the site as one that consistently provides new content to visitors. Develop a content creation strategy that allows you to publish new blogs to your website on a schedule. In the legal world, it’s also vital to keep tabs on new legislation and legal changes at the local level so you can implement this information into your content. Allowing outdated information to linger too long is a good way to diminish your search engine result page rankings.

Six: Don’t Forget Your Professional Profiles

Your law firm’s website should also make it easy for potential clients to do their homework on your firm. Including links to your professional profiles on sites like Avvo as well as social media profiles is good form. This simple step not only enhances your overall sphere of influence, but it also improves your search engine rankings due to the authority these connections lend to your brand.

SEO is a game with constantly changing rules. It can be overwhelming at times to try and tackle all of the various elements that comprise a solid SEO strategy. The right SEO team can make a tremendous difference in your SEO results while also freeing up time for you to focus on serving your clients. RizeUp Media offers a robust line of SEO services geared toward legal professionals. If you want to bolster your legal site’s SEO performance, contact us today for more information about how we can help.