It’s common knowledge that improving the visibility of your legal practice online using search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to the success of any modern law firm. But most SEO for lawyers requires strong web development expertise.
Thankfully, popular web searching sites like Google look for more than just the right HTML tags when collecting results. There are five simple things that any lawyer or firm can do to quickly boost their own search ranking without learning how to code a webpage or hiring an expensive SEO expert.
1. State your firm’s location and expertise
When searching for a lawyer or firm to help them, legal customers tend to prefer those that are located closer to their own home or office. Likewise, search engines like Google eagerly seek to give users information that is convenient and actionable.
One of the most common auto-completion suggestions that search engines use is the term “near me,” which uses the customer’s own location data to match results that are close. So clearly stating the address of your office and the legal practice areas that you specialize in can greatly boost your search performance locally. Once you’ve done that, you can also include descriptive geographical terms that are commonly used by the local population, like “in the South Metro” or “River District.”
2. Invest time into online business listings
Having your practice included among listings beyond the legal realm can help reach those who may not be familiar with the traditional associations. It’s possible that a regular business listing site that gets lots of traffic will rank higher than a law firm listing site that is less busy. These sites may also have additional features that can help potential clients notice you.
For example, Google My Business allows you to add visually pleasing and intuitive buttons to let clients contact you, get directions to your office, or even rate their experiences. And because it is connected to the Google search engine, it is an invaluable tool for any law firm looking to boost their search ranking.
3. Make social media profiles for your firm
Just about everyone has some sort of social media presence, be it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or all of them. But personal accounts don’t have the same versatility as dedicated business accounts. Business accounts can include important information that search engines seek, like contact information, customer testimonials, location, and more. These sites also carry a high level of authority and familiarity, which means they are more likely to be included in search results, and users will trust them more easily. Posting regular updates and responding to comments on your firm’s social pages creates traffic that adds even more visibility online. If you don’t have the time or team members available to monitor these channels, there are also companies that can manage them for you.
A backlink is a link included on another website that leads to your own page, similar to a book citation. The number of high-quality sites that link back to your own domain proves your site’s reliability and authority, which helps webcrawlers establish how useful it will be to those who are searching. Work with your bar association, local chamber of commerce, and any other associations you belong to, to include a link to your own site in their listings. This also provides a wider net, in that a keyword search may show multiple results that all lead back to your own page.
5. Use the power of videos
On the internet, video is king, and search engines know this. Because of the popularity of the video format, many search engines highly value videos that match a given keyword. Google automatically puts video results above any other organic result. So even if your site is not number one, your video might supersede everything else.
Your video could be a simple introduction to your firm and it’s staff, an explanation of the services you provide, or even a deep dive into a legal topic you are familiar with. Anything that would be interesting to potential clients and makes sense to associate with your brand. Also, both users and search engines tend to prefer videos from YouTube above other sites, so hosting videos here is an easy way to help.
If you want to delve further into the world of search engine optimization, read our white paper, “Is your firm ready for the new world of search?” You’ll learn how blended search is changing the way law firms get found online.