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How Can I Improve My Law Firm’s Ranking In Google Search Results?

by | May 22, 2017 | Marketing, SEO

Attorneys try to improve their law firm website’s rankings in lots of different ways.

They may buy expensive services from law firm marketing companies. They might try to use SEO tricks they’ve learned on the internet.

But when these tactics don’t work, or damage their web presence further, attorneys get frustrated and often spend more time and more money on different tactics that may continue to be ineffective.

Getting better rankings in Google results doesn’t require expensive services or SEO tricks.

Better rankings come from knowing what methods work reliably and applying those methods consistently over time.

Educate yourself about SEO for attorneys

Make sure you understand how search engines work and how potential clients use the internet to find law firms.

Without understanding these two things, it can be difficult to know what’s real and what’s not when it comes to online law firm marketing.

When attorneys aren’t sure what’s what, that can cause them to spend a lot of time and money on strategies and services that don’t help their firms get new business.

Law firm SEO isn’t complicated once you understand the basics.

There is no “top of Google”

We often hear attorneys say that they want to rank at the “top of Google.”

The problem is, there is no such thing.

The results for any one search can be different based on the day and time that they search, where they’re searching from, whether they’re on a desktop or a mobile device, and more.

The “top of Google” mentality sometimes assumes that there are a finite number of searches or search terms, and that potential clients conduct basic keyword searches (“Criminal defense attorney Denver“).

Google handles trillions of searches per year, and many of those searches are completely unique. The search engine has never seen them before. These unique searches also come from your potential clients.

Instead of basic keyword searches, potential clients often use Google to ask complex questions about their case or problem.

(It’s the difference between a complex search like, “Can I file for a divorce without an attorney in Cleveland?” and a basic search like, “Ohio Divorce Lawyer”.)

Getting better rankings doesn’t mean figuring out how to get to the “top of Google,” because it doesn’t exist.

Better rankings are the product of writing tailored content that meets the needs of your potential clients and provides value to them. It’s about getting inside the minds of your potential clients and knowing what questions they have.

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

Avoid traps and tricks that keep you from your goal of better rankings

Content marketing, done right, is the most effective method to reach potential clients online. But seeing success with content marketing isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. And it’s a marathon that requires time, effort, and a refined strategy.

Overnight success in law firm web marketing is a myth. Seeing the benefits of content marketing takes time. But it can be tempting to think that there are things like SEO tricks that can help you get ahead faster. These tricks often involve attempts to “cheat” Google to obtain unnaturally high rankings.

At one time, these tricks were effective. But Google’s algorithms have greatly improved in the last decade, meaning that it’s now easier for Google to detect attempts to cheat the search engine, and doing so may result in damaging your web presence.

SEO and PPC are not the same thing.

There is no correlation between buying pay-per-click (PPC) ads and organic search engine rankings.

This fact has not stopped some marketers and marketing companies from making it seem like their “Google Partner” status gives them some kind of special relationship with Google.

Google itself notes that, “Advertising with Google won’t have any effect on your site’s presence in our search results.”

Aside from having no influence on your organic rankings, PPC can come with a host of other problems, especially when attorneys are dependent on PPC to carry their law firm’s marketing.

Dependence on pay-per-click marketing can give you a false sense of security that makes you believe you’re getting more value out of your marketing than you are.

For example, if you’re measuring the effectiveness of your PPC ads in clicks, then you may feel secure if you’re getting a lot of clicks to your site.

But just because someone clicks on your ad doesn’t mean that they’re likely to become a client. That click could be a potential client — but it could also be an accidental click or even a competitor. Whether or not that click becomes a client, you still pay each time that ad is clicked upon.

And once that money is gone, it’s gone.

(“Clicks” are often a vanity metric that distract attorneys from marketing metrics that matter.)

Make a content plan and strategy

For content marketing to be effective, a content plan and a good strategy is key.

Content plans help determine what content will be published and when it will be published. It can keep you on track and hold you (or your law firm’s ghostwriters) accountable for meeting publication deadlines.

To do content marketing right, you need a refined strategy that takes things into account such as your practice area, your geographic area, and the needs of your potential clients, how you’ll invest in your content, and more.

To learn more about content strategy for your practice area, we recommend watching our Start-Grow-Dominate webinar series. You can also view our Content Planning Clinic to learn more about how to build a content plan that works for your law firm.

Start (and keep) writing for your law firm website

Consistent publishing is an important part of a content marketing strategy that drives business to your law firm. Law firm websites and blogs that are updated with fresh, useful content keep search engines returning to your site and give them new material to index and provide to potential clients in search results.

The more tailored content you have for potential clients to read, the more opportunities you have to be found on Google when clients make related searches.

Some attorneys remain consistently enthusiastic about publishing content to their law firm websites and blogs. But for others, that enthusiasm can be difficult to maintain over the long term. Or, they may not have time to publish on a regular basis.

In these cases, we recommend hiring a proxy writer to assist you in your content marketing efforts. However, you should choose ghostwriters carefully. (Using good technology is helpful, too — LawLytics makes it easy to delegate to ghostwriters without losing your voice.)

If you’re thinking about choosing a ghostwriter who doesn’t understand legal ethics, it can be risky. The average writer may not know which words can or can’t be used and may not understand legal ethics, which can cause you a lot of headaches.

Before you hire a ghostwriter, we recommend watching our webinar on Using Ghostwriters For Your Law Firm Website & Blog.

LawLytics helps attorneys do better online marketing.

LawLytics helps attorneys do better online marketing without wasting time or money.

We give you all the tools necessary to build a successful web presence, and our award-winning platform and content marketing services allow you to do as little or as much of your marketing as you choose.

The LawLytics system keeps you from missing opportunities when you struggle with do-it-yourself website builders. We prevent you from overpaying for legal marketing services that don’t provide value, and from signing long-term marketing contracts that don’t produce results. We help attorneys avoid unnecessary risks, and our system adapts to the needs of your law firm as you grow.

The result is efficient, effective online marketing that helps you predictably grow your business.

Online law firm marketing that works doesn’t have to break the bank. To learn about how we can help your law firm grow, call us at 800-713-0161 or schedule our call.

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