When potential clients are looking for any type of business or service, the first place they look is the internet. According to BrightLocal’s yearly survey on SEO’s contribution to businesses, 97 percent of consumers have used the internet to find local businesses and 54 percent of them have replaced looking up businesses in the phone book with internet searches. When using a search engine, most people don’t look much farther than the businesses on the first two pages of Google, Yahoo or their preferred search engine. For that reason, SEO, or search engine optimization, is essential for bringing in new clients. But what exactly is SEO and what can it do for your law firm?
Breaking Down SEO for Lawyers
Search Engine Optimization is, simply put, making sure search engines like Google or Bing can find your website. It’s a delicate balancing act of ensuring your website has all the information search engines need to find you and keeping your website true to your company message. SEO increases the number of visitors to your site by making it easier to find by the people who really need your services. Good SEO has your website organically landing in the first two pages of a search.
For law firms, chances are your clients are located in your physical area so your audience is more specific. Strategically, your firm will want to focus on local SEO. It uses the same principles of SEO but hyper-focuses them to your physical location and area of expertise. More and more internet users are searching for local businesses online and you want to make sure your firm is easily searchable.
Potential Clients Need to Find Your Law Firm
SEO is important to your firm because if a potential client is unable to find you online, it’s almost like you don’t exist. Your firm cannot flourish nowadays if you don’t have a website. It’s the first thing potential clients see when figuring out whether they want you to represent them. In addition, a clear and smart website gives local businesses more credibility and they are more likely to contact the local business if they have a website. However, if they can’t find your website, what good is it?
SEO makes finding you easier. Each search engine has its own set of algorithms they use to help people match their search to your business. Using keywords – searchable phrases or words – is how the search engines narrow down what a person is looking for and connects them to your site. For example, if someone is looking for a family law attorney, they might type “family law attorney Charlotte NC”. Then Google or another search engine will use the algorithm to find the sites that fit those keywords best. If your website doesn’t have those keywords scattered throughout it, your potential client will never find you. If you help them find you more readily, your firm will grow.
It’s Like Free Advertising, Without the Tricky Restrictions
As you know, each state has rules and regulations that attorneys must follow when advertising. Internet searches don’t fall under those same sticky complications. If your website has proper SEO, your firm will pop up when potential clients search for you. No advertising is needed. Internet users searching for lawyers will find your site easily, which will convert to more business.
Family law firms are common and easy to find. Just Google it and thousands of results dot the search pages. However, family law firms need more clients, and more cases, than other types of firms. Numerous leads are necessary for success. For these reasons, you need to distinguish yourself from the pack. With strong SEO, many more internet and mobile searches will find your firm. You can reach a much broader audience this way, converting them into website visitors and then clients.
In addition, consumers trust what they read online as much as they do personal recommendations. Your last client can only sing your praises to so many people. Your website could potentially reach millions. If your clients review you online on sites such as Yelp or Facebook, it will not only help garner more potential clients but help with your local SEO ranking. MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factor Survey surmise that online reviews make up 10 percent of how Google and other search engines rank search results. So get happy clients to review you!
You Don’t Need To Be #1 on the Whole Internet, Just To Those Who Need You
It would be great to have your website show up first every time someone searched for “lawyers” or “lawyers NC”. However, if you aren’t going to take on law clients outside of your physical location or outside of your area of expertise, showing up on a search for injury lawyers in Alaska isn’t going to help you. Popping up first on every internet search might be wonderful for bragging rights, but it doesn’t convert to clients. There will be a lot of effort put into making that happen with very little return to you and your firm.
This is where local SEO comes in. Your keywords need to be tailored to your location as well as your specialty. Your firm will get in front of the people who need your services, instead of broad spectrum of people whose clicks won’t turn into conversions.
Find Clients Who Don’t Realize They Need You
Potential clients don’t always realize when they have a legitimate claim. Their uncertainty leads to searching for answers on the internet. Legal overviews of prior cases, blogs answering frequently asked questions, or a video discussing the issue of child support could inform someone whether their claim is valid. If your website answered their questions or instructed them, people are much more likely to have you represent them. When potential clients search out answers to these questions, they need to find your blog or video post. SEO will ensure that potential clients find your website or blog post for those answers.
Your website is a powerful tool to represent your firm and give potential clients a feel of how your office works. However, if they can’t find your site in internet searches, it is essentially a brochure someone dropped, forgotten on the street. Firms need SEO so that potential clients can connect with you. Your business will flourish and more people will get the legal help they need.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/04/19/seo-for-lawyers-grow-your-firm-with-search-engine-optimization/#3a42e876f9c8 – Forbes
https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/433/350.html – rules and regs for advertising with law