How many times have you been referred by either friend or family to a specific product or service, with their trusted recommendation, only to go on google and confirm everything you’ve already been told. We crave confirmation, whether it’s booking a restaurant, buying a phone, or choosing a travel destination, and it is no different for browsing legal services. Online search marketing plays an absolutely critical role in business development & lead generation. It is massively important that you optimise your digital search marketing to improve your reach.
If you do not rank well on SEO, and appear as trustworthy as a kid with their hand in a cookie jar, there is something that you need to change! You’ll be losing clients to competitors who are deploying a better strategy, so here’s some tactics you can use that are especially effective for law firms.
Specialist Keyword Optimisation
When clients are searching for legal services, more often than not they know specifically what they’re searching for. Try narrowing your field on your keywords to more niche areas to try and rank higher.
Location is a great way to narrow a field down. If you are a local firm looking for local business try and optimise your keywords for your area. Ranking for general queries without a location will be difficult, as the number of competitors in that basket will be significantly larger. Find a local/regional area keyword and try and rank for that instead!
What is your specific specialist area? If you specialise in mental health law, or commercial and tax law, your keywords need to reflect that. It’s no use trying to just rank as a ‘law firm’. Get specific and target people who are searching for those niche queries. People with more specific search queries know what they want, so make sure you’re there to show them the money.
There are always consumers at various stages of the consumer journey. Some are just at the information gathering and analysis stage, whilst some are ready to purchase a product or service. Try and target different stages of this consumer journey with specific keywords. Words like ‘contact’ may indicate that someone is trying to reach out to buy your service, whilst words like ‘best’ might imply that a consumer is searching the field for their options. Try and optimise your keyword queries for specific points along that consumer journey.
Google My Business (GMB)
Searching on google maps is how people find local businesses they’re looking for. This will bring up your GMB page. It is normally the first point of contact between any new client and your firm so it is crucial it has the right information. GMB pages can be customised, so make sure to include contact and site information, operating hours and photos/logos to display some credibility on the primary page. You also have an option to publish FAQs and offers, and significantly you also have google reviews, which will instantly make your brand more trustworthy (unless you have the same number of stars as me on Hollywood Boulevard… maybe one day).
GMB is free, so it really is a win-win all round. Make sure that your GMB title tag is as specific as possible. This tag shows Google what your site contains, so again, if you are a mental health law firm, use that as your title tag.
Public Relations and Social Media Coverage
You’ve probably heard the term ‘all news is good news’ or something along those lines. It’s a load of rubbish really. Good news is good news, and bad news is, well, bad news (“Sherlock Holmes or something”). Generating positive stories will do wonders for your search marketing strategy.
A good PR strategy has the ability to generate third-party endorsement of your law firm, and can achieve backlinking from authoritative sites, whilst a social media presence lets anyone share your content to new audiences, and allows you to interact and understand your customers. Both PR and social media can massively improve your audience engagement, visibility and credibility, which will have a direct relationship on your measured KPI’s.
Create Great Content
Far easier said than done, but creating great content that people want and need to see is a necessity. There is so much an everyday person doesn’t know about the legal sector, so there is a real opportunity to produce educational, relevant content. Just make sure when you write, it’s designed to be read by people and not lawyers, cut out the complicated jargon.
Quality content has so many benefits. You are able to be found and rank highly in search engines, your audience engagement flourishes, you will convert more prospects into clients, and you will build a trustworthy reputation because of your library of expertise. Produce new or refresh old landing pages, craft blogs and news releases, create video testimonials from existing/previous clients, or draft legal guides and how to’s. Fundamentally you want to:
Reach a new audience with keyword dense SEO optimised content. React and offer your perspective on current affairs and news that is specific to your industry or business. Create in depth roadmap guides to educate people on legal subjects and repurpose old pages or blogs with new information. Make sure you have a variety of content channels and your search marketing results will prosper!
While SEO and content are organic ways to grow your audience, there are always options for paid advertising. One of the main ones that a number of law firms will use is Google Adwords, or PPC advertising. This form of advertising can be expensive as there is a lot of competition in the legal market, so narrowing your audience may be an option to lower that cost.
Don’t target everyone, everywhere. Identify your target customers; what are their demographics, the location you’re selling your service in, what are your opening times, and try to focus that buyer intent into specific keywords. That way you won’t waste your budget on vague keywords, putting your ad in front of the right people for the right cost at the right time. You can also set up weekly/monthly spend caps such that you don’t run over budget.
When running ads make sure that your headline and ad brief have succinct, easily digestible information that is pertinent to the ad you’re running. The landing page can contain a lot more information and ideally a call to action to encourage a response, but your initial ad needs to have a hook to get people to your site.
There are a lot of variables you should consider to manage the flow of organic and paid traffic to your site. Boosting your rankings on search engines requires some complex strategy, and there are several very effective channels to do so. Create great marketing content, optimise your on-page and off-page SEO, utilise Google’s free and paid tools, and take advantage of your social media and PR channels.
There are many other elements to creating a great marketing strategy, email and influencer marketing for example, but if you’re looking to improve your search marketing traffic, contact us for a free consultation!