Deciding to integrate SEO into your law firm’s Internet marketing campaign can seriously generate new leads for your practice. If your SEO manages to put you on the first page of Google results when a client in your area searches for terms related to your area of practice, your client-base will almost certainly go up. SEO is a powerful tool that can absolutely propel your law practice to a new level.
The goal of any SEO strategy is of course to improve Google rankings. But that’s not the primary goal—the ultimate goal, the underlying reason you want to improve your Internet rankings in the first place is to attract clients. You want to put your name out there so that when a client needs quality legal advice in your area, they will find your website, become aware of your services and turn to you as their attorney. And yes, SEO can help you get your name out there.
But not all SEO strategies put your name out there in the same way. All SEO strategies are alike in that they attempt to increase the volume of traffic to your law firm’s website—but different SEO’s achieve this goal in very different ways.
Not all SEO strategies work the same way to increase your Google rankings
Since the goal of any SEO is to increase volume, a number of strategies essentially use your website as spam, linking it to as many other web sites as possible so that web searchers are more likely to click on a link that leads to your site, thus increasing your firm’s traffic and therefore its ranking.
You may have already heard of one such SEO approach, called backlinking. Backlinking is essentially a mass campaign of posting links to your site on as many other webpages as possible. The problem with backlinking is that not all of the websites that an SEO strategist posts your link to are related to your law practice or to you in any way, and often the pages have content that is at best poorly written and at worst, inflammatory.
Short-term, quick-fix SEO strategies like backlinking thus can cause two main problems:
- Pages that link to your site may damage your reputation if their content is unrelated or offensive.
- Web searchers that find your site through a back link get to your page, but often don’t stay on your page.
What does quality SEO do differently?
Backlink SEO may bring web searchers to your page, but quality SEO content keeps them there. For the long-term longevity of your law firm and its reputation, the best way to integrate SEO into your website is to invest in producing quality web content that answers the questions your clients have.
Well-written content informs a web searcher about the law and tells them how you can help. Since this is information that applies to them, they keep reading. They keep clicking. And your rankings go up.
Quality SEO works to build traffic to your site because
- The people who find your site find it because they searched for a lawyer in your area or entered in a search term about the legal areas of your practice.
- The people who find your site will stay on your site longer and click through its pages because your web content is providing them with answers to their legal questions.
- Informative content is often shared through links via email, facebook or twitter, creating links in a positive way that does not trick the searcher into clicking.
- Quality content builds your reputation as an effective and knowledgeable lawyer.
Should you use SEO to market your law firm?
The bottom line is that improving your rankings in an Internet search will absolutely help your business, but as a lawyer you want to ensure that you maintain a respectable reputation both in the legal community and in the online community. Staying away from quick-fix SEO strategies will cost you more time and money, but it will ensure that your Google rankings go up without connecting your website and your name to a mess of unrelated and sometimes suspicious looking web content just for the sake of rankings.
If you do not have the time or the skills to create quality content for your firm’s website yourself, it’s probably in your best interest to pay a skilled SEO content writer to create the content for you. The extra time and money will be worth it when your website becomes a place that people go to have their legal questions answered—and you become an attorney who answers those questions.