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Do law firms need SEO? Absolutely, here’s why.
SEO / 29 Jul 2022
You’re busy. Between client instructions, contracts, accounts and that growing pile of admin on your desk, squeezing in some SEO-optimised legal marketing probably isn’t on your list of priorities.
But it should be.
This isn’t hyperbole.
Only 20% of legal businesses are going full throttle with their SEO. That’s the stuff that gets your law firm’s website placed front and centre on internet searches. Or, more specifically, in that precious real estate at the top of a search results page.
Tap into the power of SEO and you can enjoy a steady stream of new leads. Why? Because the legal services market is changing.
The case for SEO for law firms
We can’t resist a good pun.
You may be thinking, ‘do law firms need SEO?’ or ‘does any of this internet stuff really matter?’.
Maybe your last few clients were all recommendations from previous clients. Maybe they were referrals from other organisations. Or maybe they were past clients.
These are all still important sources of new work. In fact, they are still the top three ways clients choose their legal services provider. But do you know what comes in at an incredibly close fourth place?
That’s right, internet searches.
This is the crux of why SEO for law firms is increasingly important.
However, the thing with internet searches is that they make it extraordinarily easy for potential clients to shop around. In fact, the number of people shopping around for legal services in the UK is steadily rising:
- 22% in 2012
- 25% in 2016
- 30% in 2021
How many more will be looking at your competitors in 2022? Can you really stand to lose up to a third of all new work to the law firm on the other side of town?
You know that you provide an excellent service. You know that once you land that client, they’ll likely stay with you for years to come. But when you aren’t even on their radar because your SEO is letting you down, you aren’t just losing work today. You’re losing work for years to come.
Just look at clients aged 18–34 years. Over 40% of them are shopping around for legal services. Getting their attention could mean guaranteed work for many years.
This is where SEO content comes in. You don’t have to sacrifice your evenings deciphering SEO while trying to channel John Mortimer. A copywriting agency with legal copywriting experience can take care of this.
How SEO can secure more leads for your law firm
S. E. O. Three letters have never packed so much punch.
SEO covers an eye-watering list of things that are happening on your law firm’s website (on-site SEO) and off it (off-site SEO).
So before we dive into our top tips for SEO for law firms, let’s set the scene.
Off-site and on-site SEO explained
Off-site SEO is mostly about getting backlinks. That is, links from other reputable websites to your website. But it can also include anything you do elsewhere in the digital world that gives your website more visibility. Take social media and guest blogging, for example.
On-site SEO has a lot to do with the content on your website and those all-important keywords that potential clients are popping into Google. This is where copywriters can work their magic. But there’s more to on-site SEO.
It also includes:
- How quickly your webpages load
- How well your site works on mobile
- The use of links on your site
- The architecture of your site
Now, to prevent the eye-watering mentioned earlier, let’s avoid an encyclopaedic rundown of every facet of SEO.
Instead, let’s focus on 4 must-dos to deliver a steady stream of new leads via SEO services.
1) Big up your local credentials with local SEO
When most people need legal services, they want them to be local.
Convincing someone 100 miles away that your service is great still won’t convince them to come all that way.
Local SEO targets local leads.
It focuses on getting your website greater visibility in local searches. So, instead of competing with the 12,000 other law firms in the UK, you get to compete with just the ones near you. That’s a race you’re more likely to win.
Local SEO can include something as simple as mentioning your location on your service pages. E.g. residential conveyancing in Norwich.
But don’t go to town on this. Google’s all-seeing brain (its algorithms) can see you stuffing keywords from a mile away. And it will punish you. Your website will get shoved into obscurity somewhere past the first page of search results.
Blogs on by-laws or discussing newsworthy local cases can more naturally show your local connection. It’s a nod to Google that for legal services in your area, you’re an authority.
If you haven’t got the time or inclination to be blogging every week, a copywriting agency – like us – can do this for you.
A quick win with local SEO is to properly complete your Google MyBusiness profile. This will land you a business pin on GoogleMaps. It literally puts you on the map.
Don’t forget to sign up to any other reputable online local listings too.
2) Get raving client testimonials
Social proof matters.
You can say how great you are until you’re blue in the face. It will hardly move the dial when trying to win over potential clients.
When a former client says you’re great, that’s nice. When a hundred former clients say it, that’s convincing.
Consider that in the context of this staggering stat:
98% of UK consumers check out reviews for local businesses.
So, that’s almost everyone.
Google, Yelp and Facebook are go-to review sites for consumers. And not just for the usual suspects: builders, electricians and the like.
Over three-quarters of UK consumers consider online reviews an important or very important part of choosing legal or financial services.
A slew of positive online reviews is obviously good news for your reputation. But it’s also great for your SEO.
Reviews on trusted platforms create all-important backlinks. The mainstay of off-site SEO.
3) Create content that connects
Accessing legal services can be a daunting prospect for many. But information is power. That’s why when folks are in need of legal services, the first step is often a little research. This usually involves Google.
Content that informs, advises, and demystifies the legal process is empowering.
And guess what? If you’re the one to deliver that feeling, you’re more likely to secure that lead.
How-to guides, FAQs, checklists, expert interviews and case studies can all help tick this box.
But there’s no point putting great content out there if it doesn’t get seen. This is where on-site SEO helps.
The very best legal copywriting isn’t just about getting the facts right and making them accessible. It’s about artfully weaving in keywords to get that content on page 1 of Google’s search results.
This isn’t as simple as popping in one or two keywords that capture what services you offer.
This is about the careful placement of the whole gamut of keywords:
Primary ones. Secondary ones. Short-tail ones. Long-tail ones. Even latent semantic indexing (LSI) ones.
It can get pretty technical.
Thankfully a copywriting agency which offers SEO content writing will have these bases covered.
4) Get an MOT on your website
Google wants to give its customers the best possible service. Just like you do.
Making sure your website pleases Google is how your law firm’s website can get more visibility. And more visibility means more leads.
So how does your website stack up against Google’s standards?
Is it quick to load? Easy to navigate? Coded properly? Filled with well-structured content?
Does it work well on mobile? And have the right metadata (that’s the stuff that tells search engines like Google the purpose and content of your webpages)?
These answers lie at the other end of a thorough website audit.
You can start by popping your website into Google’s free tool, PageSpeed Insights.
You’ll get an overall performance score for mobile and desktop. But you need to look beyond your score.
PageSpeed Insights will provide a jargon-full list of things to improve your website performance. It is not for the faint-hearted. An SEO service can break it down for you and help boost your website’s performance.
Get your leads streaming in now
Now you know what SEO for law firms takes, it’s time to get those leads banging on your proverbial door.
Thankfully you don’t need to look far to find superlative SEO support, compelling copywriting services and lauded legal marketing.
Just get in touch with our team today. Your leads are waiting.
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