Search Engine Optimization has obviously been around as long as the search engines, but it’s only percolated into the business public’s conscience over the last few years or so, with its importance and potential value only really coming to prominence in the last three for many companies.
As with all things marketing, there were some law firms that were well ahead of the trend and optimized their site years ago, usually hiring an agency to do the work and keep them high up the rankings as the second tranche have got involved and started to compete for that space. And then there are the third set – the laggards – who are only just coming to the table and realising that there’s so much more their websites can do for them, but they do have to play the “Google Game.”
It’s all three types of firm that are going to come under severe pressure from ABS, as one can imagine that companies such as The Co-op and BT are going to push pretty hard in this space. Here are three tips to help a local law firm win online against these behemoths.
1. Keyword Strategy
Getting the keyword strategy right is obviously important whoever you are – make sure you are top of the right rankings and you will get much more business than being top of the wrong ones. While it’s all very impressive to be number one for a term like “lawyer” it’s unlikely that is going to get you any business. After all, the work required to get there is huge and the people searching that term may not be looking for your services specifically.
To make it more specific you could target “employment lawyers” and you’ll get a better conversion on a marginally less competitive term. Of course, if you focussed on “employment lawyersLondon” (assuming you offer employment law and you’re based inLondon!) and all of a sudden the competition is easier to beat and you’re on a page where people are looking specifically for your services in your location. If you differentiate by price, then maybe “affordable employment lawyers London” would work even better.
Essentially, you really need to think hard about which search terms represent your firm’s offering and target those for a decent conversion rate to generate relevant leads.
2. Use Video
Many lawyers are scared of appearing in front of a camera and often with good reason. However, Google owns YouTube, and if you can produce regular video content on your website that is tagged effectively then not only will it help with your conversion rate as prospects get a feel for the people they will be dealing with but you will also score very well with Google too.
3. Content Is King
Three years ago this phrase was just about the only one you would hear at internet marketing conferences and exhibitions, and although there has supposedly been a resurgence in the influence of backlinks (you can take that as a free fourth tip!) that has impacted on the value of content, it’s still a pretty important factor.
Not only will regularly updated unique content that has a clever URL structure increase your credibility with your prospects, it will also impress the search engines as well. But don’t stop at just copying and pasting a Word file into your CMS – make it distributable for readers via the social media channels and once in a while you could have a flock of new prospects coming to your site, referred by one of their friends.
So while it’s clear that many of the big terms will be dominated by some serious ABS players, it’s equally as evident that through careful planning and energetic action that a smaller, local firm can win decent business. There is a lot to SEO, and these tips are just three of the main aspects to consider when you prepare to monetize your website via the search engines.
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