In a recent post, we discussed five common questions that attorneys have about how to succeed on the web. Here are four more common questions we hear from attorneys who want to improve their law firm’s online marketing.
1. Which keywords should my law firm target?
While attorneys should not overvalue keywords, keyword research can help you identify topics that your potential clients may be searching for and the type of words they use to describe their problem.
Creating content that educates and answers search engine users’ questions is the most effective way to increase your law firm website’s visibility in search results for relevant queries, and many potential clients use search engines to ask questions about their case or problem.
As you are considering which keywords to use, keep in mind that many of your potential clients might not know they need an attorney. Therefore, they may not search for information about their case or matter by using basic keywords such as “Tucson criminal defense attorney” or “San Francisco personal injury lawyer.”
Often, your potential clients will search for answers to specific questions, such as “What happens if my child was arrested for burglary in Tucson?” or “Who is responsible for a dog bite in San Francisco?”
These more complex search phrases are referred to as long-tail keywords. Developing content that answers these long-tail queries can be more effective than targeting basic law firm keywords.
2. How many keywords do I need on my law firm website?
In the past, keyword density was a popular focus for webmasters who believed that the number of times a keyword appeared on a page had a great deal to do with how well the page ranked in search results.
When search engines were less advanced than they are today, keywords had a greater importance in determining rankings and relevancy. Tactics such as keyword stuffing were more likely to work. However, because keyword-focused strategies were abused by spammers in an attempt to artificially improve website rankings, Google developed algorithms designed to spot these kinds of strategies.
Today, engaging in keyword stuffing is unlikely to benefit your law firm’s web presence. Keyword stuffing violates Google’s guidelines and engaging in this practice can harm your law firm’s online presence.
There are hundreds of different factors that Google uses to determine rankings and relevancy, many of which are never made public. But what has always been a major priority for Google is providing search engine users with quality content that answers their questions.
Rather than focusing on the number of keywords to include in your website and blog content, it is more effective to focus on developing high-quality content that informs and educates your potential clients about issues related to their case or problem. When you write content that provides your potential clients with a high level of value, relevant keywords tend to occur naturally in your content.
3. How long does it take for law firm content marketing to work?
Content marketing is a long-term investment. Law firm marketing strategies that produce a significant return on investment don’t produce results overnight.
How long it takes for content marketing to work for your law firm can depend on many factors, including (but not limited to):
- How much time and effort you invest in content development
- How competitive your market is
- Whether you have previously engaged in strategies that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines (It may take time for your site to regain Google’s trust).
For more on this topic, see our blog post, “How Long Does It Take For Content Marketing To Work For Law Firms?”
4. Which directories should my law firm join?
Setting up and managing profiles on dozens of review sites isn’t likely to be an effective marketing strategy, and it isn’t an efficient use of your time and effort. Not all directories have the same degree of visibility, nor do all directories provide the same level of value to you or your potential clients.
If you are going to join directories, consider joining the directories that your potential clients and referral sources are most likely to see, and that provide them with value. For most law firms, that might mean starting with Google My Business, Yelp and Avvo.
To learn more about choosing the right directories for your law firm, see our post, “Effective Directory Strategies For Law Firms.”