What’s the point in having a website that no one sees?
This is where SEO comes in. It’s the most cost-effective marketing strategy to increase website traffic. At least, this has been my experience.
Why? Google is a guaranteed source of potential clients. Once you’re in the ‘neighbourhood’, your website can receive the attention it deserves.
What if your network stops sending you referrals? What if you’re a small business that can’t afford Google Ads? What if you don’t have time to attend networking events? These are all questions you should be asking yourself.
Yes, every law firm should have a comprehensive marketing strategy. Never rely on one source. But, Google is usually the most consistent source of leads. It’s also a high ROI in the legal industry. That’s because the LTV (lifetime value) of a client can be large.
Before we dive in, let me be clear – it could take months before you see results. In fact, your efforts will be delayed further if you have no idea what you’re doing. So, buckle up and get ready for another sensational article on law firm SEO. It’s time to push your website into the limelight.
1. Flesh Out Your Practice Area Pages
Do this first. Everything else can wait. Why? This is the most effective and important step for law firms.
Too many law firms have a single page that lists the practice areas. What’s wrong with this?
Your practice areas should have a separate page. This lets you add the keyword to a URL. For example www.lawfirm.com.au/practice-areas/sydney-family-lawyers. Ever noticed that some websites rank well because they have a URL that matches a keyword? This is intentional.
You should create pages for specific specialties within a practice area.
Here are some examples of pages you should create based on the practice area.
Personal Injury Law
Car accidents, bus accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and falls, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, Uber accidents, etc.
Divorce, custody, binding financial agreements, etc.
Race/age/sex/disability/religious/sexual orientation discrimination.
You get the idea.
A separate page for each practice area also lets you optimise it with on-page keywords. For example, you can add an FAQ that answers burning questions related to that practice area. Google loves informative content and ranks it accordingly. That’s because most people use Google to find information. Also, you might even get a SERP feature.
Have you fleshed out your practice area pages? The next step is blog posts.
The possibilities are endless. But, there’s one primary goal of blogging – drive website traffic.
How is this achieved? Create content that your audience finds irresistible. Here’s how I find topics to write about:
This is a great way to pick blog topics. Why? It puts you in the mind of your audience. Despite how disturbing it might be…
Search for a topic on Google. As you type, Google will auto-fill suggestions. This saves the user valuable time and directs them to popular search phrases. Google Auto-Fill is based on actual searches from other users.
Want to keep your audience engaged? Answer the burning questions.
Follow this exercise:
Write a list of common questions you get during the initial consultation. What questions do you get from website contact form submissions? First emails? Phone calls? Organise these questions into blog topics.
Your audience is more likely to engage in an informative article if it’s relevant to their needs.
Are you currently advertising on Google? If so, read on.
Take a look at your campaign dashboard. See the keywords that people are using to find your ads? Record the search terms that have the highest volume. Explore these keywords in your blogs.
Scope Out the Competition
Have you ever improved your Google ranking? Great! But, this means you took the spot of a competitor and their ranking dropped.
With this in mind, figure out which competitors are ranking for the keywords you want. What type of articles are they posting? What are they doing well? What are they NOT doing well? Ask yourself, ‘Can I do better?’ The answer should be, ‘duh, of course I can!’
Figure out where the opportunities are and out-perform them. The best businesses were rarely the first. Think Facebook, Uber, Amazon, Apple and Google. These heavyweights were as original as a top 40 chart-topper. But, they took something that people liked and made it appeal to a wider audience. You can do the same.
Let me be clear: do not copy. Ensure you are paraphrasing your content and making it unique. Duplicate content is a red flag for SEO.
3. Google My Business
Have you claimed your Google Business listing? If the answer is no, get on to that NOW. Don’t forget to claim each relevant office location.
Google will need to verify that you actually work at a particular address. How is this achieved? They will mail you a postcard with a verification code. Be patient. Mine took about one month, even though Google said it would take six days.
Make sure you do the following once your listing is verified:
- Fill in your description
- List your hours
- Ensure all relevant information is identical to your website information. Such as your business name, address and phone numbers.
- Add photos and logo
- List your categories (e.g. lawyer; criminal justice attorney; personal injury attorney). Check which competitors are ranking well in Google Maps. Ensure you pick the same category. This is essential. Otherwise, your listing might not show up at all.
The good news is Google will walk you through the steps to creating a great listing. It’s up to you to ensure your website receives regular traffic. This will increase your position in the ‘local pack’ (i.e. the businesses that rank well in Google Maps).
4. Claim Online Directories
Many of these are free and easy to set up. This step also helps with SEO.
Sure, I haven’t used Yellow Pages or Local Search in over five years. But, a lot of people do. These companies are also backed by big business. So, they pump tonnes of cash into SEO. Otherwise, they would be useless if they didn’t rank well on Google.
Don’t forget industry-specific listings like Lawyer list. I usually suss out the competition and find which listings they have.
Ensure you follow the prompts to create a compelling profile on each website. Consistency is also important.
5. Request Positive Reviews
Do you think reviews help with SEO? If you answered ‘yes’, you’re spot on. Here are some quick words of advice.
Don’t Get Fake Reviews
It turns out you can buy fake reviews on sites like Fiverr and Upwork. Yes, this is what some people do with their time. What’s wrong with this practice? First, it’s unethical. Second, Google is good at spotting fake reviews. They are often provided by spam-bot accounts that generate countless generic reviews. Expect a penalty if you partake in this practice.
Ask For Reviews Like A Pro
Everyone is busy. This is 2019. You can call up clients and send out manual emails. Or, you can use automated software. I prefer the latter. Here’s how I do it:
Create a post-engagement checklist for closing out clients. Ensure you request a review.
I like to use an automated review management system. This sends out an email to the client and requests a 5-star rating. If they give 5 stars, the email asks them to leave a review on several platforms. It’s super easy. If they give LESS than 5 stars, the email requests private feedback.
Get in touch if you want to know more about our popular Review Booster package.
These five steps are the best place to start for boosting law firm website traffic. Practice pages, blogging, A Google Business listing, directory profiles and positive reviews. If you follow these to the letter, you’ll be on your way to SEO success.
Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.
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