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For as long as online law firm marketing has been around, there have been myths and misconceptions about what works for attorneys on the web. The truth of the matter is that succeeding online is simpler than many attorneys think.

Here are three common myths about content marketing and law firm SEO that can keep attorneys from thriving online.

“‘The top of Google’ is where my law firm needs to be when a potential client searches for me.”

There is no such thing as “the top of Google.”

There is a number one position on the first page of Google for any given search, Google processes billions of search queries per day, and results for the same query can vary based on the time of day, the searcher’s location, the device being used, and other factors. As a result, it’s impossible for any website to always appear at the “top of Google” because the “top” is a moving target.

The “top of Google” mentality sometimes assumes that there are a finite number of searches or search terms, which is not true. In fact, a large number of search queries that Google processes each day are unique searches that have never been performed before.

There is likely to be a different top search result for a query like “Phoenix divorce lawyer” and “Can I file for divorce in Phoenix without a lawyer?” and “Do I need to hire a divorce lawyer in Arizona if we agree on everything?”

What this means is that there isn’t just one top position, but a top position for each unique search term or phrase.

Because your potential clients are likely Googling questions related to their case or matter, the best way to be found by them is to write detailed, high-quality content that addresses each of those questions.

When you answer those questions comprehensively using the language that they understand best, you have a much better chance of being found in search results for relevant queries.

LawLytics makes it easy to develop your law firm’s web presence by providing all of the structure and support you need to create high-quality content that attracts more and better traffic to your law firm’s website.

“Keywords are extremely important in my website’s content and I should add them in as many places as possible.”

Some attorneys believe that, in order for their webpages to rank well, they need to use a certain number or a certain kind of keywords. Keywords are important — but only to a degree.

In the past, if a keyword was featured many times on a page, Google and the other search engines may have seen it as being relevant to a searcher’s query.

However, today’s search engine is far smarter than in the past. Now, the same activity of adding many keywords to a page is likely to be seen as “keyword stuffing.”

Keyword stuffing is what happens when someone “stuffs” many keywords into law firm website content, even if those keywords aren’t relevant or natural-sounding to a reader.

Today, keywords are only a small part of search as Google has begun to improve its algorithms, while things like semantic search are beginning to take a larger role. There is now increased emphasis placed on the intent of a search.

As a result, there are pages that can rank well for keywords that don’t even appear on the page. For example, a page about hiring an attorney can do well in searches about hiring a lawyer, even when the word “lawyer” is never used on the webpage.

The increased focus on semantic search reinforces Google’s mantra about making pages for users, not for search engines. Adding keywords in the belief that they’ll improve your page’s ranking is unlikely to help your law firm out in the long run — and, in fact, can even hurt your web presence as Google continues to crack down on keyword stuffed sites. Rather than improving your website’s search rankings, keyword stuffing violates Google’s guidelines and may result in reduced visibility for your law firm’s website in search results.

At LawLytics we keep attorneys from making mistakes like keyword stuffing and other risky tactics by providing a variety of educational materials that teach you not only what to avoid, but how to create compelling content for your law firm’s website.

“Law firm SEO is complicated, and I cannot do it without hiring an expert.”

While Google’s algorithms are secret, it’s never been a secret that Google wants quality educational content to provide to people when they conduct searches. As Google’s algorithms improve, Google becomes better at enforcing what it wants.

Google rewards sites that create high-quality, detailed content for users with better visibility online for related searches. So, because the core of SEO is about becoming more visible online, the best way to become more visible is through high-quality content on your law firm’s website.

Content marketing is a cost-effective and efficient way to improve your firm’s visibility and reach more — and better — potential new clients.

Unfortunately, many attorneys believe that SEO is complicated. As a result, they often hire SEO “experts” and spend thousands of dollars on vendors who make the process of being found online seem much more complicated and confusing than it actually is, and may not improve the firm’s online visibility. In some cases, these vendors can create bigger problems if the strategies they use involve violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

When attorneys realize that the foundation of good law firm SEO is high-quality content, it usually becomes clear that the best thing that they can do for their firms is to start developing a content-centric approach to their online marketing — and that they can do it themselves.

Writing content that answers the questions that your potential clients have about their problem isn’t all that different from the conversations that attorneys have with their potential clients when they sit down for a consultation. And, because potential clients search for answers to their questions before they hire an attorney (or before they even realize that they need one), providing educational resources for them makes it much more likely that you’ll be found when potential clients conduct those searches.

At LawLytics, we have a great deal of experience helping attorneys develop a content-centric approach to their online marketing with our easy-to-use platform and best practices. The end result is a system that keeps you from overspending and struggling, and helps you get more clients. To learn more about the LawLytics platform and system, see our membership page.