Search engine optimization (SEO), the practice of increasing the visibility of your website on search engines such as Google, is an important channel for law firms looking to increase their lead volume. The goal is to increase organic traffic to your website by generating high-value, search engine optimized content such as blogs on a consistent basis. Given the rising cost per click on paid advertising channels, SEO is more important now than ever, and represents a lower-cost alternative to other demand generation efforts.
Unfortunately, law firm SEO is easier said than done. Pumping out content, even if it’s based on some preliminary SEO research, is simply not enough to keep up with Google’s algorithms. So, in this blog, let’s cover the most common areas of focus that many law firm SEO agencies neglect that actually play a huge role in your website’s ability to rank high in search engines.
Thorough Keyword Research
When it comes to law firm SEO, thorough and ongoing keyword research is key. Is your agency leaving no stone unturned, researching every possible keyword before generating a content marketing strategy? For instance, if you are already ranking for “marketing for lawyers”, have you looked into the term “marketing for attorneys?” Subtle term changes and a little creativity can help unlock more traffic.
SEO agencies tend to conduct preliminary research on some keywords and phrases, and create content based on those keywords for months to come. Keyword search volume can vary dramatically over the course of only a few months, and terms that were once seldom searched can become very popular. After all, law firm SEO itself only became an often-searched keyword a couple of years ago!
Google searches are becoming more and more complex, and with more people conducting hands-free searches, there is more likelihood that seemingly obscure phrases will have some traffic associated with them. We once had a client that got a surprisingly high amount of monthly traffic from the keyword “can I get a DUI for driving a scooter drunk.”
Focus on Readability
In the legal industry, it is critical that your content is both SEO friendly AND reader-friendly, and there’s certainly a fine line to walk here. The most SEO-compliant law firm-related blog post in the world might include excessive amounts of jargon and technical terminology that really helps in terms of SEO, but makes it a nightmare to read for the person on the other side of the screen.
It’s important to remember that you are writing content for another human being to read, and many law firm SEO agencies can often lose sight of this in seeking to create the most optimized content possible. It’s great to have your article at the top of the search rankings, but if the content itself is unreadable, you ultimately won’t get the results you want in terms of driving website traffic and business.
Keeping up to Date with Algorithm Changes
Google is making constant algorithmic changes that impact what search engine result pages look like, and it doesn’t go out of its way to notify you when a change has been made. You need to actively seek this information out. What is optimized today might not be tomorrow, and your law firm SEO agency should be keeping up with these changes.
Content often needs to be revamped and refocused in order to stay atop the SEO mountain. For instance, a recent algorithm change made internal linking more important. It’s an oft-forgotten best practice to go back into your old blogs and website pages to ensure your internal linking is up to snuff, and your domain authority reflects that.
Another recent algorithmic change made mobile-first indexing more prominent, meaning that Google uses the mobile version of your site for indexing and ranking. You’ll want to ensure all versions of your site are SEO-optimized, and most importantly that you are closely following Google’s frequent and often very consequential algorithmic tweaks.
Law firm SEO agencies are focused on website traffic, as they should be. That is their first KPI, and without website traffic, it’s impossible to generate organic leads. However, most agencies stop at the traffic KPI as opposed to following that traffic downstream. How does the increase in organic traffic actually impact your bottom line?
Using tools like Google Analytics, you can actually calculate the ROI for your SEO campaigns and see if they are worth the time and effort you are putting in. Additionally, having conversations about the quality of inbound leads can help steer the content team’s strategy and provide qualitative data to determine if SEO is having a tangible impact on your business outcomes.
* * * *
If your practice is struggling to get the most out of its law firm SEO, we can help. Our firm was founded by lawyers, for lawyers, and we understand how to make your law firm’s SEO and marketing click. If you’re interested in learning more, request a free consultation to discover how we can help your firm meet its growth goals.