Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Law Firms
Many online marketing agencies bill search engine optimization (SEO) as a separate service divorced from their other digital marketing efforts. While this may make sense in limited situations (like optimizing existing website content or making specific technical updates), the simple truth is that SEO needs to be factored in to every facet of your online marketing, from social media profiles to H2 titles on your web pages and even your offline marketing efforts.
Search engines like Google and Bing are becoming more and more sophisticated and accessing more and more data about your website every day. Furthermore, the matrix of factors (from links to semantic content to offsite citations and more) that determine your organic position on search engine results pages (SERPs) is becoming increasingly dense. As a result, SEO is a constantly changing and increasingly important field, and all of your online marketing efforts need make SEO an important consideration.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the ways that LaFleur Legal Marketing incorporates SEO into all of our digital marketing services and deliverables for law firms.
All of the care and effort that goes into our content marketing deliverables includes meaningful SEO work. We identify important keywords that are relevant to your law firm’s practice, the topic at hand, the locality of your target region, and more.
We then find the best ways to incorporate those keywords and variants into not only the copy on the page, but also into the meta data that communicates information about the content’s authority and relevance for users’ search queries to search engines. For example, our deliverables include optimized title tags, meta descriptions, H1 tags, H2 tags, a list of targeted keywords, and more.
But SEO is about so much more than just following a checklist of putting the right words in the right places — if SEO was that simple, everyone would be #1 for the terms they want to rank for.
On the most basic level, search engines like Google and Bing benefit from showing each user the most relevant, engaging, and informative results for their specific query. If search engines don’t accomplish this, people will find other services to use, which is why Google, Bing, and others are continually updating their search algorithms to not only provide better results for users, but also demote or completely filter out web pages that are trying to game the system.
Fundamentally, then, SEO is about aligning your website’s goals with the goals of search engines: provide the most relevant, engaging, and informative content related to the topic and theme of your site. In order to do this, many other on-page SEO factors need to be considered. Below are a few noteworthy examples:
- Writing About Relevant Issues
LaFleur Legal Marketing’s on-page SEO efforts begin long before any copy gets drafted. We monitor various news and information channels for topics that are uniquely suited to your law firm’s specific practice areas and target demographic. These topics align with your overall website’s content theme, which, in turn, boosts your rankings and authority in search for the issues that are most relevant to your law firm’s practice.
- Formatting for Online Readers
Reading on the web is not simply a difference of medium. The way people read online is different from how they read printed materials, and our team of writers and content curators ensure that your content is formatted and designed in a way that catches readers’ eye and keeps them engaged. This keeps visitors on your pages for longer, encourages them to browse more pages, and improves the shareability of your content — all of which help improve your standing in the eyes of search engines.
- Factoring in Audience Reading Levels
Depending on your target audience, the readability and reading level of the materials on your website can have profound implications for the effectiveness of your online marketing strategy and search-friendliness. Not only do search engines take into account the readability of your content, but the average American reads at the 7th or 8th grade level. In many cases, this is who attorneys are marketing to. At LaFleur Legal Marketing, our expert writers and editors can track the readability of your material and cater it to the unique needs of your target audience, which will help your pages rank for the most relevant terms to users’ searches.
- Providing Diverse, Optimized Content
A variety of content types will delight both users and search engines alike. Images and other visual content like videos, infographics, callouts, and more can improve the user experience on your site and show search engines that your firm has the resources available to provide users with everything they need to know about topics and services your firm specializes in.
On-page SEO involves a wide range of factors, too many, in fact, to go into depth on. And while the content (from meta data to copywriting to image alt text) on any given webpage is the most important thing that users and search engines are looking for, search engine optimization doesn’t just end with an individual web page, and LaFleur Legal Marketing is equipped to handle all of your SEO needs.
Another important category of SEO services includes technical optimizations on your site. This is known as technical SEO or on-site SEO. From internal linking structure to responsive web design to managing your robots.txt file, LaFleur Legal Marketing is prepared to optimize your law firm’s website for search. Examples of on-site SEO services that LLM offers include the following:
- Mobile Friendliness and Responsive Web Design
Search engines like to see that sites are designed for the mobile experience. Back in April of 2015, Google updated its search algorithm to boost the rankings of mobile-friendly pages and sites, and in October of 2016 Google announced that it would be splitting its mobile and desktop index — and that the mobile index will be updated more frequently to prioritize mobile search. In short, it’s clear that forward-thinking law firms will need to ensure that the mobile experience on their site is outstanding. LaFleur Legal Marketing’s team can build a new website for you from the ground up, migrate your site to more mobile-friendly platform, or optimize your existing site if it has the capabilities.
- Optimizing URLs and Site Structure
Both users and search engines alike need to be able to easily browse your site. From developing an optimized xml and html site map to planning out internal cross linking across pages and developing concise, descriptive URLs, the LLM team has you covered.
- Increasing Page Load Speeds
In an age where every piece of information is available instantaneously whenever and wherever it is needed, your site visitors are an impatient bunch. If it takes too long for your site pages to load, not only will potential clients abandon ship, but search engines will push you down in results for not delivering a pristine user experience. LLM has the knowledge, tools, and skill to cut down your website’s load times and help you stand out among the competition.
Much like on-page SEO, technical SEO includes a wide variety of factors. LLM’s certified SEO specialists can handle all of your on-site SEO needs. But true, comprehensive SEO also extends beyond your site.
Since your website is the cornerstone of your marketing strategy and an essential tool for achieving your law firm’s business goals, your efforts offline should add even more fuel to the fire powering your SEO efforts. Below are some examples of offsite strategies that can bolster your on-site and on-page SEO:
- Email Marketing
Whether you’re sending out occasional email newsletters or updating your target audience segments about new blog content as it is published, email marketing is a powerful tool for bringing more and more visitors back to your site to engage with your content and brand. In turn, they will share your content, link to your content, and put your website in front of new audiences you (and your competitors) might never have reached.
- Social Media
Synching your efforts on social media with SEO initiatives and content marketing strategies is a surefire way to increase engagement and, in turn, your results in search. While links to your site from social media won’t directly influence your rankings, tweets, pins, and other social media posts can be indexed and show up in SERPs to provide your firm with even greater visibility.
- Public and Media Relations
Any time members of your firm make an appearance in the media or in public, you have a chance to seize that opportunity to boost your SEO. You can capture people’s contact information at an event to market to them — and pass out materials that feature your site’s URL. You can guest post an op-ed piece in a local or even national news outlet to gain a high-quality link back to your site and increase your exposure. You can get press releases picked up by media channels or offer your opinion when a reporter is working on a story. Any time you, your firm, or anyone else associated with your brand appears in the media or participates in an event, it’s an opportunity to draw new visitors to your site.
Contact LaFleur Legal Marketing Today to Start Optimizing
Whether you want to launch your first website or you’re not seeing results from current SEO work being done on your site, the certified SEO specialists at LaFleur Legal Marketing can work with you to make your site user- and search engine-friendly.
Call our offices at (888) 222-1512 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!