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Much has changed in the legal world since the pandemic – while the laws may have stayed the same, how lawyers operate and find clients has drastically shifted from previous decades. It’s unlikely that a new client will walk into a law firm without doing prior online research. Therefore, law firms that don’t have a satisfactory online presence will most likely lag behind competitors. Today you’ll discover some SEO basics and simple yet effective tips you can employ to reach a wider audience during and after the pandemic.
SEO Basics to Know
It’s good to understand the basics of SEO, specifically to set the right expectations. That way, the actionable steps laid out in this article are much more straightforward to implement. None of the following are technical, but each one is important to set your business up for success.
- Over 90% of Canadians use Google as their search engine of choice. While you might be tempted to optimize your site for all search engines, it’s best to stick with the ground rules Google lays out – since it drives most of the traffic.
- Google doesn’t rank entire websites, but separate pages: Having numerous landing pages (or sales pages) and content-driven web pages will give your website a much better ‘quality’ score. Mostly useless pages, such as a map page that doesn’t contain any text, can lower your quality score.
- SEO is ongoing: Even if you decide to implement the advice laid out in this article, optimizing an online presence is never a completely done deal. To remain on top of the search results, you must commit to SEO and consistently deliver the best content.
Now, for some actionable tips.
Optimize the Website with the Client in Mind
While optimizing individual pages is vital to getting on the front page of Google (after all, practically no one looks past the first page) – you still have to remember who you’re delivering the content to – the target audience.
Keep explanations and legal terms layman-friendly and avoid heavy jargon, so your company is more approachable. Your clients will also have an easier time finding the information desired. Additionally, use shorter paragraphs, often separated by visual guides (images or videos). Bullet-points and sub-headers can help divide content into skimmable pieces.
Other tips regarding this aspect include:
- Keep page content focused by removing unnecessary distractions, such as sidebars or navigations.
- Offer a way for potential clients to listen to blog posts instead of reading. A text to speech service can help you generate human-like audio mp3s.
- Make sure the potential customer knows what to do next by making contact details highly visible.
Provide Useful Long-Term Content
Your website serves as a window into how the law firm operates and what it can do for the client. Provide content that’ll more likely persuade prospects to choose you as legal representation. Some of the content you can provide on your site include:
- Video content covering topics relevant to the target audiences’ pain points.
- High-quality blog posts that focus on specific legal problems.
- Create an ongoing podcast series covering different legal topics.
- Research reports on relevant legal areas.
- Develop complete guides (e.g., How to Win Against A Narcissist in Court).
- Create white papers or in-debt authoritative reports that cover complex issues.
Rich content can illustrate your firm’s expertise and experience. Plus, the more content you have, the better search engine algorithms comprehend your site, leading to better positions on the search results and more traffic.
While legal topics are quite technical, you can dissect the heavy information into pieces that potential clients can digest. If someone visits your website for legal advice and sees excellent informative content that’s relatable, it increases the likelihood of gaining that person as a client.
Customize Pages to Serve
It’s important that you remove pages that have little use or no value to prospects and clients. For example, you can hide archives and category pages automatically generated by the CMS (Content Management System). Similarly, content that’s obsolete or not necessary can be merged with others.
Take a closer look at your homepage – it’s like the front door to your law firm’s office, but online. If it doesn’t look good and clean, potential customers might not want to initiate contact.
Add user reviews or testimonials to bolster confidence. Reviews from prominent websites like Google often have a greater impact than any other kind, so consider screenshotting and adding those to your homepage. When people can see that others trust you, they’ll feel more comfortable approaching your law firm with their case.
Create localized pages, if possible, to facilitate online discovery. For example, a law firm in Ottawa can create landing pages for the capital city and surrounding areas like Kanata, Kemptville, Buckingham, etc.
Use CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
CRM is a software or platform that helps companies manage potential and existing customer relationships and interactions, including contact details. However, these platforms often come with many more capabilities or functions that go beyond relationship management.
Your law firm probably won’t need all the functionality CRM has to offer, but it can utilize the most important ones.
- Lead capture tools and management
- Email marketing automation
- Social media integration
- Real-time analytics
- Data collection for marketing purposes
CRM excels at gathering useful information about how potential clients interact with your website. With such information, you can design a targeted marketing campaign (via email, for example). CRM bridges the gap between the client and business, streamlining the communication and marketing process.
Leverage Other Platforms
While having an SEO-optimized website is great, other platforms can also help you attract potential clients. YouTube, in particular, is a great platform for attorneys. You can upload video content that covers relevant legal topics to help the intended audience. This kind of content creates trust, making the prospective client feel confident about the decision to work with your law firm.
Further, you can embed YouTube videos into your website and repurpose videos for other marketing endeavors, such as running a podcast. High-quality YouTube videos also rank well on Google search results. You’ve probably seen some at the top of the search results before, outranking other websites.
Users can also search for video results only.
Here are some angles that can work well for YouTube videos:
- Explaining legal jargon
- Answering legal FAQ
- Customer testimonials and reviews
- Showing how the law firm operates behind the scenes
Video content can help clients connect with your law firm on a deeper level.
SEO Is Vital
Whenever someone looks up legal advice, what the person wants to see front and center is experience and a positive track record. In general, people want lawyers that specialize in cases similar to theirs and know how to win. And as a law firm, you’ll need an SEO company with the same qualities. By utilizing the tips shared here, you can get ahead of the competition.