It is safe to assume that all law firms want to grow and be a successful business. It is likewise safe to say that one of the most certain ways to do try and make this happen, is to grow the number of new clients the firm gets on a regular basis. While there are probably several ways such a firm can go about trying to achieve this objective, the firm’s website is arguably one of the best tools it has in its arsenal to obtain this goal.
That being said, the question then is, how exactly does such a law practice go about using its website to get an increase in clients? The simple answer to that question, is to use their website to obtain more targeted traffic, as opposed to regular traffic.
A targeted website traffic is defined as one that is actively looking for, or is interested in the products or services that a website has to offer, as opposed to one who randomly or “accidentally” lands there. Or alternatively someone who gets value from the content of the website or webpage they land on.
One qualifier that can be used to delineate who a targeted website visitor is, what actions the user takes on the website. It can range from anything from the length of time spent on the website, to other actions taken on the website such as filling out a contact form or calling the given phone number.
Investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is just about the best way to meet this goal, but even better than that is local SEO.
Based on a study conducted by Avvo and the results on its “Sink or Swim” whitepaper, 42% of legal consumers are researching whatever legal issue they have. Again, this is a good definition of who a targeted visitor is to a lawyer’s website, someone who finds a semblance of the information they are looking for on an attorney’s website.
It is thus highly likely that your future prospective clients may be looking for legal information online before they choose to contact you. SEO and content or education marketing are the two levers via which you can reach these targeted people.
Here are five insightful ideas on how to increase the chances of getting more targeted visitors to your law firm’s website
Create relevant, educational and SEO optimized content
The number one thing people do online is look for information. Your job is to provide them this information in the form of various types of content on your website, ranging from blog posts or articles, research or white papers, video or audio content such as webinars or podcasts, and more.
Once the educational aspect of things have been taken care of, you then need to work on the SEO side of things, even though technically, these should happen simultaneously. You need to take care of the SEO or search marketing side of things, as search engines are the primary tool via which these people will search for information. You therefore need to “optimize” whatever content you produce to ensure that the search engines consider it relevant enough to put it in front of the searcher.
SEO heavily relies on three pillars, which are: relevance, authority, and trust. A new law firm’s website has no trust or authority before the eyes of search engines. To build trust and authority you will need to produce original, relevant and engaging content. This should be insightful and informative content that prospective clients can relate to, and which solves their problem.
It’s also essential to use the right keywords within the content you develop. The use of proper keywords helps search engines to index your website properly for common terms, which your audience may use when conducting a search.
Research tells us that the rate at which online searches with a “local intent” is growing at an exponential rate. This can be said to be so much more relevant and true in the case of lawyers or similar services. The fact is, chances are extremely low that anyone who needs the services of an attorney will be interested in speaking to one who is hundreds of miles away, especially if there will be a need to physically meet.
It is this exact thinking that inspires a “local approach” to doing SEO. In the same vein, this is exactly what inspired search engine giants Google and Bing to create their “local” products called, Google My Business (GMB) and Bing Places for Business respectively.
When it comes to “going local,” arguably the most important thing you can do in this regard is to work on getting your website to rank high in both of these search engines’ location based products. That way, whenever anyone does a location based search, your website and business’ location will show up in the local search results or “map pack.”
Some of the things you can do to ensure that you are able to rank high in local search results include making sure that your content has a lot of references to your business’ location, creating relevant citations for your business in relevant directories, and more.
Develop high-quality back-links from local sources
A “backlink” is essentially a link on another website that points to your website, which is meant to provide additional information, or to act as a reference point. In the world of SEO, a backlink is one of the most important contributing factors that determine where in a search engine results page your website ranks. In theory, the number of higher quality backlinks your website has, the more the search engines believe your website is important, often in relation to the word with which these backlinks point to your website.
While not all backlinks are created equal, when it comes to trying to targeted a more relevant web visitor, links from more local sources will go a long way in helping you reach your goal. Ideal sources for high-quality back-links might include local blogs, local business, local website directories, local magazines and newspapers.
Go mobile by making your site mobile-friendly
The number of online searches that are conducted via mobile devices is ever increasing because of the great portability and convenience that mobile devices offer. If your website isn’t mobile-optimized, then there is little chance of your website being presented to web traffic originating from mobile devices, or when it is, it will provide such terrible user experience so as to have little chance of converting the user.
Very closely related to the growing mobile nature of search queries, is the location of the user when they make that search. When search queries take place on a mobile device, the major search engines use the location data of the mobile device to determine where the searcher is, and consequently, serve them results that are relevant to their location. This exactly where a mobile friendly website and a location-rich website come together.
Harness the power of social media
The influence of social media on SEO is not yet clear, but it’s arguably true that social media is important in supporting personal branding and traffic generation. You should therefore create relevant social media profiles for your law firm and look to build a following therein, and subsequently continue to engage this audience on a regular basis.
The proper use of SEO is the best way to generate traffic to your lawyer website. However, one must ensure they go one step further and ensure that their SEO has a very strong emphasis on localization, as this is arguably the strongest factor that can improve the likelihood of these website visitors being more targeted and relevant.