Understanding SEO for a Law Firm and How it Affects Lawyer Marketing
If you have a business chances are high that you need to have a web presence in order to reach potential clients. Having a webpage and your clients finding it are two very separate things. Most people use a search engine to find what they’re looking for – Google, Bing, Safari, Duck-Duck-Go, there are a variety of options, and each run slightly different algorithms to help your clients filter out the junk sites and find yours. You can learn how these everchanging algorithms work yourself, or you can carry on with your core business and find an expert to sort it for you. The big question to ask anyone before you hire them is what they think the primary keywords for your industry are. If you’re talking to someone with little knowledge of your industry you may find that they are not going to be able to connect you with your clients.
What is SEO
SEO simply stands for Search Engine Optimization. An expert who understands both copywriting and how search engines work will go through your website making sure that you have great content that appeals to both search engines and your clients. Search engines like Google are constantly updating how they read and filter websites in order to find the most relevant information for the person searching. They will save preferences to create a customized search experience for each user. This means that when you and your associate search for exactly the same thing you may end up with very different results. This is where SEO really comes into play – making sure that your website becomes the default preference despite different user preferences.
Specialist Attorney SEO
Engaging the services of an expert SEO person or company can really help increase your rankings in web searches, however if you engage a SEO specialist who is knowledgeable in your field not only will they be able to assist you directly reach your target audience, but communication becomes easier as they understand the terms that you use. If your business is in the legal profession, engaging the services of a firm that specializes in search engine optimization like Law Firm SEO – someone who knows the difference between an Affidavit and Arbitration – is going to help you reach your goals.
Bad SEO Practices
You do want to make sure that the firm you are hiring isn’t going to make things worse for you! There are a lot of shady practices in the world of SEO, but unfortunately for the websites that use these, Google knows all about them. Old ‘SEO hacks’ like pasting a pile of random keywords into your home page in either the code or in the same font as your background, in order to hide it from clients but search engines see it, will cause your site to be blacklisted. Google doesn’t release exactly how its search engine works, but it does give clear guidelines as to how you can optimize your site (and what will get you blacklisted).
What Questions to Ask
You want to make sure you are engaging someone that will increase your web presence, not decimate it, so ask a few questions to be certain you are both on the same page.
- What techniques do they use?
- Do they focus on organic reach or paid advertising?
- Is social media a part of their suggested strategy?
- Do they have knowledge about the clients Attorneys want to attract?
- Do they understand the unique SEO requirements of a Law Firm?
- Do they use any tools to track and analyze data? Will they be providing these analytics to you?
You probably don’t have the time, or desire, to become a SEO expert yourself, but having a basic understanding of what SEO is and how it affects you can help you get the most out of your website and ensure that you aren’t being bamboozled by irrelevant terms when you are taking to a SEO expert. Google has put together an easy to understand overview of how its search engine and algorithms work https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/algorithms/. This won’t turn you into an overnight SEO whiz kid, but it will give you enough understand what your experts are saying and give you the confidence to know that you’re asking the right questions.
If you are in the legal profession your marketing requirements are unique and your SEO needs to be geared towards your clients. It is not simply a matter of using the right keywords but ensuring that your keywords are in the right place within a sentence to be picked up in an appropriate search.