Much of the information you might find about search engine optimization (SEO) online can sound intimidating. However, law firm SEO is a game of probability. And when you learn the truth about how search engines work and discover the ways in which it is possible to stack the odds in your favor, SEO is also a game that you can win.
In our latest eBook, “Playing the SEO Game to Win: Develop a Winning Strategy,” we talk about Annie Duke’s theory on “Thinking in Bets,” which is the title and subject of a book she authored which was published in February of this year.
In a podcast interview about that book, Duke points out that, when making decisions in life, we can never have a clear picture of all of the possible outcomes in a given situation. We therefore have to make choices based solely on the information that is available to us when it comes time to make a decision and roll the dice as to whether or not those choices were correct.
“All the decisions we make are really bets,” says Duke, “and if we can make that explicit, it’s a road to better decision making.” This is true in the small decisions we must make, like choosing what to make for dinner, big decisions like moving or making a change in our relationships, and even in law, when you opt to pursue one particular angle of a case for a client in lieu of every other option that might be available. And, as it turns out, this is also true in law firm SEO.
Betting on Your Law Firm’s Online Marketing Efforts
When you sit down to write a blog post or add (or add to) an “evergreen” practice area page to your site, you cannot be 100 percent sure how it will be received either by search engines or your potential clients.
Still, you have to make certain decisions as to what your potential clients will search for online that might lead them to your site, how to best compose that content in order to build trust with those potential clients and to make sure that they are able to understand what you are writing, and how to entice those potential clients to contact your firm to discuss the possibility of representing them in their case or matter.
There are other necessary considerations in this process, as well, including how to maximize the chances that your content is first discovered by search engines, how to ensure that your content is selected as highly relevant by search engines, and finally, how to improve your chances that it will be chosen by your potential clients as the search result most likely to answer the question they posed to the search engine in the first place.
Hedging Your Bets with Law Firm SEO
You can never know that a single piece of content will be able to accomplish all of these goals in and of itself, and so the attorneys with the most successful law firm websites and content marketing campaigns hedge their bets.
They write content frequently and at length; they provide summaries and break up their content using headings and subheadings to make it easier to read; they ensure that search engines are able to find and index the content on their sites, and they make sure that their sites are easy to read both on computer monitors and on mobile devices.
Most importantly, attorneys who see the most success in their online marketing efforts don’t give up. Where the vast majority of bloggers quit after a few weeks or months when their content fails to rank on page one for a particular Google search, the attorneys that find success in content marketing and eventually rise to the rank of “thought leaders” in their field are the ones that keep at it.
Indeed, the sites that Google sees as the most authoritative on a subject are often the ones that have hundreds, even thousands, of indexed pages (especially in more competitive markets), though it takes time to get there—not to mention thousands of words worth of content.
Learn the Rules of Law Firm SEO and Improve Your Skill Set
For attorneys who want to succeed at content marketing, the first step is to learn the rules of the game. That means becoming familiar with (and adhering to) Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and then honing your web writing skills over time.
To that end, our series of three SEO eBooks is intended to give attorneys a running start as they begin or continue content marketing efforts for their law firms. The information in the first title in that series (released late last month) provides a look at what attorneys can do to effectively stack the SEO odds in their favor.
The second title (scheduled for release on the 19th of this month) will go more into detail about how attorneys might be tempted to try and cheat Google’s algorithm in ways that might prove harmful to their SEO efforts, and the third title (scheduled for release in late August) will provide some examples of companies who have fallen victim to Google’s wrath as result of deliberately or accidentally stepping outside of search engine guidelines.
In the game of SEO, competition can be fierce—especially in markets dense with attorneys who are vying for the same keywords and search phrases. Still, with the right information and drive to succeed, it is a game you can win. And LawLytics is here to help make sure you’ve got the tools you need to succeed.