Page one of Google search results – every law firm wants to be there. Give it time they say, maybe a year. A year later, searching for your law firm on Google is still more frustrating than searching for Waldo. There’s no magic button, but perseverance and a willingness to diversify will ultimately pay dividends.
SEO Provides Equal Opportunity
Whether you’re a law firm, shoemaker or a baker, search engine optimization works the same for everyone. SEO services use their knowledge of Google’s search engine algorithms for tactics that can get your firm placed more prominently in Google search results. You can utilize these tactics on your own to boost visibility.
SEO is often thought of as the use of keywords (but there’s really a lot more to it than that). Consider Portland Personal Injury lawyer versus Portland Personal Injury Law Firm. You may think these two searches should return you the same results, but they don’t. This is because some firms have more effectively targeted each specific phrase.
Understanding Google Search Results
When you do a keyword search, you’ll usually see shaded boxes appear first. These are advertisements. The results below in white space are the actual ‘natural’ search engine results. These searches appear solely because of search engine optimization. This prime real estate is not for sale from Google and it takes time and effort to get there.
If your law firm is struggling with search engine optimization, you can sign up for Google AdWords and create an advertisement that appears above or alongside the natural search results. You’ll then pay Google each time someone clicks on your ad. These fees can be more than $2.75 per user click, depending on how much competition you have for your chosen phrase.
If you have a large amount of money to spend on advertising every month, this is a great way to drive traffic to your site. At the same time, you can work on improving your position in the natural search results. Below are a few tactics you can use to improve your firm’s placement in Google search results.
Optimize for Mobile
Google’s fastest growing web traffic is coming from mobile devices, already accounting for more web traffic than desktops. Google penalizes websites that do not offer sites optimized for mobile. Check out your website on a mobile device. The entire content should fit to screen without the need to scroll left or right, and the site should still be usable. You should be able to see the entire page when scrolling down. If you have to scroll left or right, you’re not optimized for mobile. Here’s where a web designer can help. Sites can be optimized for mobile relatively inexpensively and the investment that will pay off significantly. If you’re building a new site from scratch, making a mobile-friendly version is a doddle.
Focus on a Few Specific Keywords
Google’s algorithm is looking for relevant keywords and it will not promote a website overstuffed with irrelevant ones. As to what is relevant, consider the area you’re serving. Consider a tagline like “Professional Portland Personal Injury Law Firm.” The page can then feature content telling site visitors about your practice using the tagline repeatedly.
Utilize Legal Directories
Consider listing your law firm with sites like Avvo, Artindale, Lawyers, Superlawyers and Manta. Google’s algorithms look at how many credible sites your website is linked on, and the more links you have the higher your rankings. A great way to make sure you are listed with all relevant directories is to use Getlisted. This free site shows you which directories list your firm.
Blogging is always a great way to promote any business. Blog entries with relevant keywords are the perfect way to drive traffic while building value in your site. For example, you might create a blog post about a specific type of workplace injury. This will draw much more interest than a general post about your law firm’s handling of work related injuries. As more traffic is drawn to your site through these specific interests, your search engine rankings will improve.
Make Use of Social Media Platforms
Social media is driven by content and using social media is a great way to drive visitors to your site. The big platforms such as Facebook and Twitter offer a number of advertising opportunities as well as a place to engage meaningfully with the public. Update social media often, make good use of graphics, court influencers, and offer video and interactive content. Pay Per Click ads on Facebook and Twitter offer the potential for a big pay-off, are simple to use and can be relatively inexpensive in cost per click. Even if you choose not to advertise, you can link blog posts and other content from a Facebook or Twitter business account which costs as little as $9 a month. With more than a billion users on Facebook alone, there’s a tremendous marketing opportunity there.
These tips are designed to help you get started in managing your firm’s online presence with respect to search engine optimization. Sometimes it’s a matter of combining these common sense approaches with a little practice, but if you keep working at it, you’ll find you can significantly improve your firm’s placement in Google searches.
About the Author:
Richard Sutherland writes about digital marketing, social media and business. You can read his other articles here at the 360contentpro.com blog.