Online search has become the most effective referral channel available for law firms seeking to attract new clients. People are generally increasing their reliance on the Internet for discovering solutions. In many cases, legal issues can present one of the most serious challenges a person has ever faced. Clients will, therefore, conduct extensive research online before reaching out to an attorney for legal representation.

The information sources a prospective client comes to trust after conducting online research are usually the first resources the client will contact for legal assistance. By ensuring that prospective clients in your local area can find your content, your firm can become the market leader by attracting qualified clients who are eager to pay for results.

How SEO Has Changed in Recent Years

Search engine optimization is a powerful and reliable tool for attracting new clients, but you have to start with an understanding of how SEO works in the current environment. When search engines were first introduced, they relied on rudimentary data to determine the relevance and quality of content published online.

Leading search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, primarily relied on measuring the number of links pointing to individual pages. Put simply, if one of your pages had many links pointing to it from other websites, it would rank high for relevant keywords that it contained. Spammers, of course, quickly found ways to exploit these primitive algorithms, so SEO became a contest of building links and applying the latest tricks.

SEO changed in 2011 when Google began to implement algorithm updates that sought to detect and penalize any effort to artificially increase search engine rankings. Today, Google and its competitors use a broad range of advanced algorithms to detect content that uses unnatural means to boost its rankings. New factors, such as on-page user behavior and social media activity, are now measured as well to more accurately gauge reader perceptions of online content.

Most importantly, websites that get caught trying to game the system can face stiff penalties, including being delisted from search engine indexes. Law firms seeking sustainable success from SEO, therefore, have to rely on high-quality content to rank for keywords relevant to their local clients.

How SEO Works in 2018

Modern search engine algorithms make SEO more advantageous for local law firms than ever before because they make high visibility accessible for anyone who publishes high-quality content. By publishing exceptional content on a regular basis, leading search engines will start to give your content high rankings for keywords relevant to your services and local markets.

Before you can get your content noticed, however, you will first have to ensure that you follow the best practices that search engines demand while avoiding behaviors that can get your website penalized. Modern SEO, therefore, entails:

Optimizing website performance: Even the best content will not rank unless your website loads quickly. Search engines will also penalize your website for malware, code errors, bad privacy policies, and hundreds of other factors.

Improved website design: Usability and accessibility are critical factors that search engines measure. Before your content can achieve maximum rankings, your website will need to perform well on mobile devices, offer an intuitive layout, and make it easy for both humans and search engines to find the information they need.

Modifying existing content: Your content will need to be formatted in accordance with search engine guidelines. Google is vague about its content formatting requirements, so law firms should rely on SEO experts to determine where content modifications are necessary.

Developing high-quality content: In the current environment, creating content is the primary activity that will get your law firm ranking on search engines. You will need to develop content that is insightful while still being accessible to your readers. In general, today’s search engines are able to measure how much readers like your content with high accuracy. Focus on optimizing your content for readers to win the favor of search engines.

Promoting Your Content

Although you can no longer game the system, encouraging your followers to share and link to your content on their own initiative is still encouraged. By promoting your content, you can generate activity that will get your content noticed by both clients in your local area and search engines. The goal of promoting content is to encourage shares, mentions, links, comments, and other activity from your followers. Put simply, when search engines observe that readers are interacting with your content, they will infer that your content is worthy of high rankings for the keywords you are seeking to target.

Importance of Social Media

The easiest way to promote your content is to stay active on social media. People who find your social media accounts will be more likely to follow you if they see that you post on a daily basis and interact with your followers. In return, followers will share your content on their own social media feeds, and each share can reach over 100 potential clients in your area. Followers will also link back to your content in their own publications, and this will increase your visibility.

Other Strategies for Promoting Your Content

As search engines get smarter, networking is becoming more important for earning shares and links. Many of the law firms that have been most successful at digital marketing have relied on a variety of promotional strategies that are based in networking, such as:

Nurturing relationships: In every market, there are thought leaders who have an enormous following and who publish high-quality content on a regular basis. Earning a mention or link from an influential thought leader can win your law firm a substantial amount of attention among your ideal customers.

Email marketing: Satisfied clients are usually eager to subscribe to your email newsletter to learn more from your expertise. Once you have generated a substantial subscriber base, you can use email as a powerful tool for encouraging your followers to share your content.

Guest posts: Every high-quality publication can benefit from a guest post authored by an expert. Guest posts can demonstrate your expertise to thousands of potential buyers in your area, and this will help to build your credibility and following on social media. You can also include links to your content in your posts to increase your visibility on search engines.

Getting the Best Results from SEO

SEO has gone through a dramatic change, but it is still the most powerful tool available for attracting targeted clients. Many law firms are still using outdated SEO strategies that have not worked for almost a decade. The competition for competitive keywords, therefore, is much lower than most attorneys believe. The bottom line is that SEO can be leveraged to generate the majority of your new clients and make you the market leader in your field of law.

 

MarqetLaw.com is an agency focused on helping Attorneys and Law Firms position themselves for digital marketing success. We achieve this by working closely with each firm to understand their specific goals and objectives. If you’d like to learn more about how we can position your law firm as the market leader in your region, please visit our Contact page