According to recent research, 84 percent of people use Google at least three times a day. With nearly three and a half billion Google searches performed daily, many consumers begin their connection to businesses with a simple query. Your potential clients engage in this behavior, too.
The way potential clients interact with law firms is changing quickly, and much of their interactions center around search behavior.
If you want to drive more business to your firm through search-based methods, here’s how to build a marketing strategy prioritized around the way your potential clients use search.
What do your potential clients search for?
For most potential clients, their internet searches go beyond “[practice area] [attorney] [city].” These searches don’t reflect how many people research their legal problems or how they find and hire an attorney.
Many potential clients for law firms don’t realize they need an attorney yet.
Many people use search engines to research their legal issues, asking Google complex questions such as:
- “Do I have to sell my house if I declare bankruptcy?”
- “How long does a bankruptcy due to medical hardship stay on your record?”
- “Can I file for bankruptcy without an attorney?”
The kinds of questions your clients ask when you’re face-to-face with them are also the questions your potential clients ask of search engines.
Are you answering those questions on your law firm’s website with enough detail to be helpful to those researching their legal matters? If not, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with them when they conduct searches similar to the questions they ask you.
What is the intent of your potential clients when they search?
People use search engines to answer their questions. They could be looking for an answer to a quick question, such as the local weather forecast or a recent sports score, or they may be looking for a much more in-depth answer to a complicated question.
Your potential clients are likely to engage in this complex research because they have specific questions or want to know more about a particular topic. These searches often begin with who, what, where, when, why, or how.
As a result, your web pages should address their topic of interest and also the underlying intent of the question being asked.
For example, if someone conducts a search for “What is the penalty for a first time DUI in Texas?” the intent could be to understand whether the searcher can handle their recent DUI arrest themselves or whether they ought to hire legal help. Understanding the query’s intent gives your firm a prime opportunity to explain the complexities of dealing with a DUI arrest without an attorney, the potential defenses for a DUI arrest, and why investing in a good defense attorney makes sense.
When you understand not only the topics of interest for your potential clients – but also why they’re asking these questions of Google, you’ll be able to create better, more comprehensive pages that educate web visitors and encourage them to engage your firm.
What information will answer their questions and help them solve their problem?
Once you’ve identified topics of interest and the intent of the searches your potential clients likely make, provide them with the information that will guide them to a solution.
That information can show up in various formats on your law firm’s website. Practice area pages, blog posts, case results, FAQ pages, and even your attorney bio can act as rich sources of information that address your visitors’ pain points, educate, guide, and build trust.
Trust forms when potential clients have the right information – in the right layout – to make an informed decision.
Building trust also matters to Google: Sites with useful, relevant information tend to rise to the top of searches. Google tries to move less helpful information toward the bottom of search results.
Information that directly addresses your potential clients’ pain points – and reveals how you can help potential clients solve their problems – should make up the foundation of your website.
Your website’s information is the single biggest driver of search engine rankings, visitors, and leads because Google is in the business of connecting searchers with the most helpful content. Google depends primarily on text to predict if a website page will provide an excellent answer to a search query. The more your website addresses the questions people search for, the more likely Google will rank your pages highly when someone makes a related search.
When potential clients find the information they need to understand and solve their problem, the more confidence they have in reaching out to your law firm when it’s time to consult an attorney.
LawLytics helps law firms build client-friendly (and search-friendly) websites.
LawLytics makes it easy for you to succeed with Google and potential clients by focusing your marketing efforts on the correct elements of a successful web presence. The LawLytics platform is designed exclusively for lawyers and automatically produces the most effective user experience. It automatically complies with the latest standards and best practices and removes the guesswork of succeeding online.
If you’re not a LawLytics member and want to grow your firm’s online presence, LawLytics can help: To see it in action, schedule a 20-minute interactive demo.