The Start-to-Finish Guide on Acquiring Leads for your Law Firm from SEO
May 1st, 2017 | By: Walker Advertising | Posted in: SEO
In the past, law firms grew their practice through word-of-mouth referrals. While relying on your network is a great tool, it shouldn’t be your only source of new client leads, especially in today’s tech-charged world. There are many individuals out there who fit your target prospect profile, and an overwhelming majority likely has access to a smartphone or computer.
Understandably, the way companies look for clients vary, but if they are not coming from personal referrals, your prospect is probably sorting through and eliminating dozens of firms from an online search. With the use of SEO, your can avoid elimination and convert them into a lead.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) involves strategies and best practices to make your company more visible on the Internet. These days, it’s not enough to have a website because your competitors will also have a website – at the very least. You need to ensure your site, content, and business information are placed higher on search engine results pages. SEO uses both technical and creative elements to improve your rankings, drive traffic to your website, and increase awareness on sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
SEO is also important because search engines provide targeted traffic – people looking for lawyers within a specific practice area, for example. If you use SEO properly, you have a greater chance of turning someone who fits your ideal customer demographic into a paying client. Capturing the attention of your ideal prospect compared to a general prospect means you have the exact tools and services they are looking for and they will understand the value of what you offer and how you differ from competitors. These clients are likely to generate more revenue for you, and even refer other target clients.
If a search engine cannot find your site or content, you are allowing leads to walk through the doors of a different firm. While the world of SEO can seem overwhelming for newbies, it’s easy to grasp the basics quickly. Even a small amount of knowledge and implementation can make a difference over time.
A Start-to-Finish Guide on Acquiring a Client Lead from SEO
Whether you plan to handle these SEO implementations in-house or hire a company that specializes in marketing for law firms, remember that SEO is process, and not an instantaneous fix. As you use some or all of these ideas on a regular basis, you can look forward to higher rankings and acquiring more leads.
- Start your SEO efforts by improving one tool you already have – your website. Optimize your homepage and the content throughout the site. Using the right keywords is crucial to your SEO efforts because you will gain the attention of search engines and attract your target audience. Your marketing team can use free online tools to get suggestions on keywords that are appropriate for your practice areas and office location(s). In addition to individual keywords, use long tail keywords (3-4 words) that are specific to your law firm and services. For example, “divorce lawyers in Riverside”. When a customer is searching for help, they are typically doing a search for the type of problem, in the area where they reside. By adding long tail keywords throughout your website, search engines are more likely to point them to your business.
- Another must for your business website is to build an active blog and optimize your posts. A blog is less formal than your actual business website and allows you to combine various SEO tactics for honing in on your ideal client target. Posting content on a regular basis is a great way to provide fresh information, insert powerful keywords and images, share on various social media platforms, and earn some backlinks. “Regular” posting is different for every industry but start off with at least 2-3 new posts per month. Publish useful and easy to read content. You are sharing information with your target client so make sure the tone of your posts is digestible and relevant. Use the blog to showcase the talent and knowledge of your attorneys, without overtly selling. Reply to comments in order to engage in conversations with your audience because the more they share with their networks, they better your search engine ranking. Use <H3> or <H2> header tags for your subheadings to help Google better grasp what your content is about. And finally, add relevant links to your new content. For example, link to your older post if you’ve referenced it, or to external websites that are credible.
- If you are a local business, focus on local SEO strategies to stand out from your competitors. You will have to build and market your business using online directories because they not only filter traffic to your website, they also rank well in search engines. Think about when you type in a search for any product or service in your neighborhood. Usually search engines pop up a map with three companies. These companies are way ahead of the competition because they have claimed their listings. You should also claim your listings across various search engines. Additionally, made sure to include your office address, phone number, and email on every page on your website. As a complementary action to enhance your local profile, set up social media profiles and work toward generating positive reviews. When prospects search for a law firm, seeing a location map and positive reviews about your business will give you an edge.
- On the more technical side, improving the speed of your website is a big factor that search engines consider. They will not rank slow sites at the top of the page because people will get frustrated waiting for these pages to load. To make sure your website is fast and responsive, choose a reliable web host, optimize your scripts, enable caching, remove unnecessary website baggage like old plugins, spam comments, broken links, etc.
- Be active on social media because search engines index social media content. The more active you are, the more likely you will appear on a search engine.. Use relevant hashtags and/or trending hashtags. Add social media sharing buttons to your website and blog posts because shares equate to greater visibility for your business.
Once you’ve started implementing some of these website updates, be sure to install Google Analytics. It is a free tool that tracks how people use your website, including how they found it, how long they stayed on certain pages, the keywords they used to land on your site, etc. The data will give you insight for updating and improve your approach to SEO.