Why Every Lawyer Should Care About SEO
Every attorney knows leads are the lifeblood of their practice. Unfortunately, too many have yet to realize the role three little letters play in today’s legal market. Search engine optimization, or SEO, can boost your website’s visibility in search engines and allowing more and more people to discover your site. By targeting certain keywords, an attorney’s website can then translate the resources spent on SEO into quality leads month-over-month.
Why SEO Matters
You have to understand that law firms today are not just static entities. By providing a great product or service, you can engage your audience and then attract clients. Once an attorney knows who to target and what to say to them, the focus is on creating value and obtaining referrals.
An attorney’s website should be constantly evaluated to identify where he or she is seeing the most traffic and the greatest opportunity to generate quality. Does your website appeal to new clients or prospective clients who have never heard of your practice? Or, do you need to provide additional content to attract a new audience?
What is SEO?
If your law firm is overrun with real leads that produce real clients, you can stop reading here. Otherwise, it’s time to take a deeper look at what search engine optimization (SEO) is and how it can be used by attorneys to help build their practice.
Web sites with high search rankings receive the lion’s share of online traffic. These sites are often found at the top of the first page or at the very top of the first page of Google search results. At Google and Bing, that ranking is called page 1. These sites do much more than simple directory sites.
Sites that are on the first page or two or a Google search garner hundreds of millions of visitors. They also have millions of blog pages and comments, interact with their users, viral social media content, and provide specialized support and/or resources.
Search engines are able to search the web and pull relevant results from the vast amount of information out there. That’s why when SEO is done right, it has such a big impact on any attorney’s website–they can control where their website shows up. By targeting keywords on your website, you can ensure that you’re presenting your services in a manner that is clearly for your client’s benefit. You can optimize your website so that you’re displaying the right keywords at the right time and to the right prospective clients.
In order to reach potential clients, your website needs to be easy to understand and navigate? It needs to be easily bookmarked and recognized. The more targeted and relevant keywords you target on your website, the more time people will spend on it.
Make the Most of Your Time
As attorneys, “billable hours” is a familiar term. Now think of how much time the average potential lead spends checking out your website. But don’t think hours–think seconds. “The 15 Second Rule” is the average amount of time that a person spends on a website. If you are lucky, they’ll stay for 30 seconds. But if you don’t get their attention within 15 seconds, they are probably headed to someone else’s site.
Because of the 15 Second Rule, it is critical to target the audience you want to tell about your practice and hold their attention. SEO is all about the right combination of keywords and how much your site uses them.
Ongoing SEO Strategy
There are many factors to consider when improving your site’s search engine optimization. SEO tactics target those specific keywords that translate to conversions and therefore improved leads. With a good SEO strategy, Legal Marketing Review identifies 10 things you can track about your website:
- Total Traffic (Sessions) – To optimize your website for organic traffic, it is important to analyze your data. How many people are visiting your website? What is the average time on site? How does this compare to the past year? Is it a seasonal trend?
- Number of Visitors and Percent of New Sessions – Google Analytics gives you the number of sessions, not just the number of unique visitors. The percent of new sessions is also important because it tells you how often people are coming back to your site. If your law firm website is set up to convert leads into new clients, you’ll want the percentage of new sessions to be high.
- Bounce Rate – If your sessions are increasing, but you’re seeing a bounce rate that’s higher than average, it’s likely that your law firm website is having some serious issues. In order to get more people to take action on your site and follow-through, you need an engaging content strategy. That’s where your sales team can help!
- Traffic Source Channels – How is traffic to the website coming in? Are people finding your website or just browsing the site for a quick look?
- Time On Page – Average time on page is a metric that shows how engaged visitors are with a website. The more time visitors spend on a page, the more they are engaged by your site.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR) – Higher CTRs indicate that your ad is useful, relevant, and well-placed. Lower CTRs indicate that your ad is not valuable and needs to be re-evaluated.
- Conversions – Your legal website should have a call-to-action on every page. This critical button is designed to get visitors to do something, whatever that may be. Your legal website should have a call-to-action on every page.
- Keyword Rankings – You must know which keywords are bringing you the most traffic, so you can focus on what’s working and strategize for what isn’t.
- Top Performing Content – Tracking your top-performing pages will tell you if one subject is generating more traffic than the others.
- Exit Pages – If your exit rate is unusually high, you need to figure out why. It’s possible that the information is lacking, or maybe the CTA button isn’t visible enough.
Make sure your site’s keyword use and content reflect your current and prospective clients. You can’t assume that because your law firm’s website is up and running, it will generate leads. You need to have a proper legal marketing strategy that involves tracking various website analytics.
Without sound Search Engine Optimization, you risk being out of the lead generation game.