Coping with Christmas:…
Rita Gupta considers whether or not your law firm should close over the Christmas period
Building and growing a law firm requires a lot of work and is never easy.
It involves overseeing and managing the general operations, taking care of the financials, and the promotion of the firm and services. All while fee earning.
Aside from using traditional marketing techniques, you are now presented with new opportunities in digital marketing that you can take advantage of.
If your law firm has a website, that’s a great start. But your website alone might not be enough to generate new clients online. You need to make your website visible.
This is where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes into play.
But how do you warrant SEO’s effectiveness? More importantly, how do you use it to grow your business?
Due to the high accessibility of fast internet, users expect to find answers to their questions immediately, typically searched for on Google.
To meet their customers’ needs, Google attempts to serve them with the most relevant and credible websites with good user experience (UX) to ensure they continue to use the search engine.
So, as there are thousands of relevant law firm websites competing on Google, how does your firm’s website secure a top spot on the SERPs? This is where SEO comes in to help.
Combining SEO with other website improvements can give your firm a chance of not only appearing on the SERPs, but also climbing the top rankings.
This in turn can lead to more visitors to your website, which in turn creates more enquires, more clients and ultimately growing your business.
Writing content plays a big part in legal SEO.
Producing helpful content will not only present you as the leader of your niche area to prospective clients, it will also allow you to place a wider range of keywords on your site, which will subsequently improve your SEO.
Writing web content will also give you good PR, as sharing educational and helpful content can create a good impression.
But it’s not the only thing. SEO also involves using a variety of qualitative content principles and technical improvements to increase your online traffic and rankings on the SERPs.
Without getting into too much technical detail, we outline some of the SEO strategy components below that you need to cover to ensure your content ranks on Google and helps your business grow:
Keywords are individual words and phrases searched for on Google, for example, ‘personal injury compensation claim’ or ‘divorce solicitor in London’.
To be able to rank for keywords, you need to ensure you include the right amount of them in the right places. This means that, at the very least, they need to be present in your page titles, headings and the body of the text.
The more focused your copy is on a single topic, the better. Note that Google uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to understand search queries. The AI is clever but it might get confused if you try to cover too many topics on the same page.
Do make sure you write original texts. If you take content from another site, Google might simply rank the original page instead of yours. Find out more about this.
Do your keyword research and keep an eye on the changes Google is implementing. If you keep up, you will be rewarded with increased visibility and resulting traffic.
Metadata is almost like your office front.
The meta title is the first thing a Google user will see. Then, most likely, they will see your meta description.
Whether a prospective client will click on the link to your website or not, depends on how well they respond to your metadata.
Google’s program constantly scans through websites to make sense of the pages and then match them with people’s search queries. By including keywords in your metadata, you will highlight the relevance of your law firm’s page.
Backlinks (other websites linking back to your website) are important for SEO. They essentially signal to Google that others vouch for the content on your law firm’s website.
For law firms, the Law Society Directory and the SRA’s Solicitors Register make great backlinks because they are trustworthy, popular and high-authority websites.
On the opposite end you don’t want links from spam / unreliable websites that Google doesn’t like and doesn’t want to serve to its users.
Earning good backlinks can have a positive effect on your website’s ranking position and thus search visibility.
You can gain backlinks to your law firm’s website by writing engaging content.
And the more closely you match your prospects’ search intent, the more likely others will also reference your website.
If you are presented with opportunities to guest blog, take them. If you can, create shareable content (such as videos and infographics) and use industry contacts and social media to share it.
It is also worth checking and removing any untrustworthy backlinks from your own website to improve your online authority score.
Having a technically sound website can make all the difference in SEO results.
If, for instance, your website’s information architecture (IA) and navigation are complicated, and your UX isn’t accessible, visitors may struggle to navigate and read your website. So you need to make sure these are in tip-top shape.
Moreover, as more than a half of the world’s online traffic is now generated by mobile devices, mobile-friendliness matters more than ever. For good SEO results, it’s important to have a mobile-ready site.
To secure high rankings on the SERPs, you also need to make sure that your website loads quickly. Ideally in 2.5 seconds or less. Anything longer than that could result in lower rankings.
Also, don’t forget the most basic foundations of your site. Ensure all of your page links (URLs) are easy to read and that your website is safe and secure.
This, combined with good SEO practices. will help you gain higher website rankings and subsequently grow your law firm.
There are different tools available out there to help you track your SEO and website performance.
The following are some of the most valuable free tools you can use to help ensure you get the most out of your SEO and support your law firm’s growth.
Page Speed Insights is a great tool for testing your law firm’s website's overall performance.
It is simple enough, giving you a score out of 100 based on several optimisation best practices and highlighting any problem spots.
The tool will help you ensure compliance with Google’s guidelines which can result in higher rankings.
Some of the most helpful information they can provide you with include insights into how many people visit your site every day, which pages get the most views, and which search queries your website appears for.
Analysing this data can give you a better idea as to whether your website/SEO is generating any return on investment (ROI).
In respect of keyword tools, there are various free and paid keyword tools available on the internet. Without a shadow of a doubt, however, Google’s free Keyword Planner remains a leader among them.
There are a few reasons to use this tool; the main one being the free keyword research feature which can be used to inspire new pages and inform you whether the keywords you want to target ever get searched on Google.
This is one of the simplest tools created by Google.
The Mobile-Friendly Test is a test site you can use right now to see if your website is mobile friendly.
When it comes to local search, the value of Google My Business listing can’t be understated.
Google My Business contains a short version of everything a prospective client needs to know about a business, including the URL to its website.
Create a profile and optimise it to give your law firm the best opportunity to show for local searches.
In addition, if you can get your recent clients to review your firm, the Google My Business will feature the reviews and help clients discover your firm.
Views expressed in our blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Law Society.