Among the most pervasive myths sold to small firm owners and solo practitioners is that search engine optimization (SEO) is complicated, confusing, and mysterious.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In this post, we’ll explain what attorneys need to know about SEO to have a successful law firm website.
To do SEO well for your law firm’s website, you’ll need to follow Google’s guidelines.
To do search engine optimization well, you’ll need to follow search engine guidelines. (Because Google has the lion’s share of the search engine market, we’ll use Google as the primary search engine example.)
Many potential clients for law firms find their attorney by using Google. And, inclusion in Google’s search results is a privilege, not a right. That means it’s important for attorneys to stay on the right side of the company’s guidelines.
Google’s Webmaster Guidelines are an essential part of successful online legal marketing. Failure to follow the guidelines can keep your law firm website — and your business — from thriving.
Google notes that “Webmasters who spend their energies upholding the spirit of the basic principles will provide a much better user experience and subsequently enjoy better ranking than those who spend their time looking for loopholes they can exploit.”
If you want a successful law firm website, you’ll need to follow Google’s straightforward guidelines. The search engine’s basic principles include:
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
- Don’t deceive your users.
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.
- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
The best way to check all of the boxes when it comes to Google’s basic principles is to develop high-quality website content for your law firm’s potential clients. We’ll discuss the value of high-quality website content below.
Law firm SEO is really about website content.
The best way to understand why Google rewards high-quality website content is to know how search engines work. And, to understand how search engines work is to understand the business model that search engines use.
There’s a reason that it’s free to use search engines — that’s because search engines depend on ads for revenue.
But if search engines were nothing but ads, no one would use them. The reason Google has done so well for itself is that ads aside, Google does an excellent job of returning highly relevant results for the searches that people do.
The details behind the algorithm(s) that Google uses are a closely guarded secret. But the one thing that Google has made very clear is that it values websites that provide value to search users. And, online, value translates to high-quality content.
High-quality content is the most significant factor in online visibility because it’s what people are truly looking for when they do searches. That includes your potential clients. High-quality content is at the intersection of what Google wants and what your potential clients are looking for. Your potential clients are going to use search engines to research their case or matter; Google wants to return the best possible results for the questions they ask so that they keep coming back to use Google.
Of all of the ranking factors Google uses, nothing has ever been more critical than providing content that is responsive to user queries.
But when attorneys hear the acronym “SEO”, it seems scary or confusing. In fact, it’s one of the tactics that some SEO salespeople and marketers use to keep attorneys in the dark and keep them paying for services that don’t move the needle for their firms.
But the truth of the matter is this: SEO for attorneys is straightforward, and there are only three things you need to do to make your site more visible in search results and drive potential clients to your site:
- Create high-quality content.
- Make sure that the content is well-structured.
- Ignore everything else and not get caught up in the latest SEO trend or trick.
Your potential clients often search for answers to their questions before concluding that they need your services. And they use the internet — notably Google — to do that. Even when they know they need an attorney, they spend time researching their issues — and your firm — before deciding to contact you.
High-quality content is all about supplying useful information on your website that demonstrates your expertise and educates your potential clients. Doing so makes it more likely that they’ll contact you and hire you, and with less “sales” effort. This is what content marketing is, and it outperforms all other forms of legal advertising.
Google runs on content. The more quality content you create, the more opportunities you’ll have to become visible for related searches, and the more opportunities you’ll have to connect with local potential clients.
Using the right tools makes content creation (and SEO) easier for attorneys.
Once an attorney realizes that SEO is simple, easy, and affordable, they usually also recognize that they can successfully participate in their law firm’s web marketing.
LawLytics is built to make creating a highly profitable and sustainable law firm website using free search engine traffic easy and accessible for all lawyers regardless of budget, and without having any prior technology, marketing or search engine experience.
The formula is simple. As a LawLytics member, you’ll use our platform to write about your practice by discussing things that you already talk about daily. And, when attorneys do that, their marketing becomes efficient and predictable, and their practices more rewarding and enjoyable.
When you join LawLytics, we’ll either build you a brand new website, or import and improve your firm’s existing website. We’ll then show you how to use our software, and show you what you need to write and how to write it.
If you can use a word processor, you can already use LawLytics. It’s built specifically for attorneys, and all of the technical stuff is baked into the platform.
If you want to start a new website or get better results from your existing website, we encourage you to schedule a demo to see how LawLytics works.