As a concept, Search Engine Optimisation, often referred to as SEO, is a marketing tactic to enhance a company’s visibility and the volume of quality leads they attract.
How does this work?
SEO experts help companies appear higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for queries that are most relevant to them.
For example, if you run a Personal Injury practice, you might hope that you appeared close to the top of Page One for queries such as “Auto Accident Lawyer” or “Workplace Accident Claim advice.”
A Criminal Defence practice may be interested in searches for “DUI Lawyer” or “Should I get a DWI Lawyer?”
Because people searching for these terms, especially for Personal Injury claims, are looking for immediate solutions to their queries.
If your company is able to be the first website that a potential client is exposed to, you have a much higher chance of them engaging with you, and hopefully, retaining your services.
Ahrefs state that only 0.78% of users click on results that appear on the second page of Google. This means that appearing on the first page of Google is essential for gaining visibility and traffic to your website. As long as your content is also to a high standard, you will turn a significant proportion of your traffic into clients and so SEO provides a high ROI.
A successful website can improve a brand’s credibility and reputation online and help to bolster the business to success.
Designing a high-performance website isn’t easy though. As well as needing a lot of technical know-how, you’ll also require up-to-date knowledge of web design psychology and best practices.
Here at topflight, we are lucky enough to have both technical and design specialists at hand who combine forces to design websites that are not only beautiful to look at but perform seamlessly too, attracting new visitors and turning them into paying customers with ease.
Why is SEO so important for law firms?
Legal marketing has changed.
Referrals from other firms or partners used to be enough. Some practices may still be successful relying on word-of-mouth strategies.
But relying on referrals can be daunting, especially for new companies entering the market.
There is also strong evidence to suggest that referral-only companies are missing out on an enormous market of new customers.
The way that clients find a law firm or a lawyer has drastically changed.
Over a third of law firm clients begin their search for a company online. This is a huge opportunity for companies that invest in their digital presence and a serious blind spot for firms that are ignoring the shifts in customer behaviour.
SEO is essential for:
- Emerging firms hoping to increase their share of the market, and,
- Established companies wanting to diversify their revenue streams.
Fundamentals of a Law firm SEO strategy
SEO is an overarching marketing term that comprises many different aspects. Below are four focusses that we have seen accelerate the growth of firms:
Educate your potential clients
One key method to increase a Law Firm’s SEO is to write blog content that will help their clients with a specific problem. Providing helpful content to potential clients also presents a firm as the thought leader in a particular field.
Thought leadership is a separate, but complementary, concept to SEO. It provides key benefits such as increased visibility, influence, validation and access to other experts.
The legal industry is a complex sector and prospective clients tend to require easily digestible information regarding their legal queries.
To return to one of our examples. A Personal Injury lawyer may want to produce content that answers frequently asked questions on Google:
“What is considered a personal injury?”
“How much is my personal injury claim worth?”
“How do you prove personal injury?”
By answering these questions, firms can appear at the top of SERPs when prospective clients enter these queries AND they will begin developing a relationship as an educator, which has strong links to increasing leads and conversions to retained clients.
Use Local SEO to enhance your regional presence
The location of a legal practice can have a significant impact on the SEO strategy.
There are three considerations:
1. Travel time
This may have less of an impact in a Post-COVID world. However, most legal firms have traditionally required some form of face-to-face, in-person consultation with their clients.
If a legal process involves regular in-person interaction, then it may be a wasted investment targeting clients that are not within a reasonable travel radius of your office(s).
In some countries, the law can vary depending on the specific location. In fact, in the US for example, most attorneys are only able to practice law within a specific state.
In this case, it is most sensible to focus on areas that your firm can handle a case without external support or partnerships.
3. Reduced Competition
This is especially important.
It may seem bizarre that narrowing your focus can produce more leads than a scattered approach, but focussing your local SEO efforts on a specific location or audience is an easier route than a national SEO effort.
For example, there is a higher probability of ranking well for “Criminal Defence Lawyer in York” than “Best Criminal Defence Lawyer in the UK.”
In terms of Return On Investment, it is more profitable to be extremely successful with a smaller target audience than failing to break into a much larger market.
Appearing high on Search Results is still a huge advantage
A key ingredient for a successful SEO strategy in a competitive industry is positioning.
While companies may want to be front of mind and top of Google for “Best UK Law Firms”, it is a sisyphean struggle.
A more prudent approach is to be precise.
Maybe your company specialises in Divorce, Motorcycle Accidents or high net worth Estate Planning. Whatever your speciality, focus your energy in that domain.
If you want to become known as the Law Firm in your expertise, be extremely clear on your position in your overall marketing strategy and work on your SEO strategy to ensure you rank for every relevant query.
Ask for reviews to improve your brand reputation
Reviews are essential for converting prospects into clients.
A study found that 98% of 1,040 participants would research online reviews of a lawyer before they would hire them.
Law firms need to optimise their digital real estate so that their most convincing sales points are visible, for example, on their website.
However, most customers will also look elsewhere for reviews.
An SEO expert will help Law Firms generate quality reviews from their clients on influential platforms, including Google, Facebook or Yelp.
One component of your SEO strategy will bring more visitors to your company, reviews can provide the proof points to convert them.
Now for the question that everybody asks.
Now for the question that everybody asks.
How long does it take to see results from an SEO campaign?
According to Forbes, SEO firms tend to say it takes around 4-6 months to start seeing the results from an SEO campaign.
SEO results should also continue to grow over time. So if you have seen results at 4-6 months, you should expect to see these increase after 12 months.
We recommend that a client’s budget will need to be large enough to cover the costs of the SEO strategy for longer than a couple of months as the results will likely be fairly insignificant at this time.
The length of time it will take to start seeing results from SEO will vary depending on factors such as:
-How long your website has existed for
-The initial position of your website and its previous SEO strategy
-Your websites link profile
-The content of your page – both the amount of content and its quality
-How long the research phase of your SEO project took
SEO results may take a bit of time to achieve but the high ROI that can be achieved by utilising the services of an experienced SEO agency makes it an extremely valuable long term investment.