Gone are the days when it was easy to rank on search engines, especially for legal keywords and phrases. SEO for law firms was not tricky because of lower competition. At that time, most of the law firms didn’t have a website and were into traditional advertising, like newspaper ads, phone book listings, or billboards. It was also the time when all law firms had to do was to create low-quality content with as many keywords as they can insert into the copy to move up the search engine rankings ladder.
Today, things are no longer the same, thanks to the evolution of search engines and complex algorithms in place. Now, it’s not just about picking the right keywords, but it is more about considering additional factors as well. Here are some of the most common factors to consider when trying to rank your law firm high in search engine results pages.
Perform Extensive Keyword Research
Without finding the most appropriate keywords, you cannot take your SEO campaign anywhere. Not only should you find the most suitable keywords, but you also need to find additional keywords that may be relevant to your niche. As a law firm, your focus should be on finding multi-word key phrases or long-tail keywords. The reason is that you will not be able to get the best results for basic keywords like “law firm” or “lawyer,” as the competition is already through the roof.
To start your research, you can use many online tools, which can be quite helpful in identifying the most relevant long-tail keywords. You may also want to write down the list of key phrases you think your target audience would be using to find you. Now, use that list to create keyword-optimised content.
Produce Quality Content
No matter how tricky the algorithm has become, one thing remains – you get results when you invest in creating high-quality content. Your website content is important and you have to understand the importance of maintaining a balance between text your audience would want to read and text the search bot would love. It means it should be a combination of carefully –picked keywords and informative content.
Along with text, you need to pay attention to other elements of “website content”. It includes your blog, images on your page, and other interactive content. Here, you should consider implementing navigational “breadcrumbs” to help incorporate more keywords and let users find it easy to browse your site. Similarly, images should have descriptions or alt text. Understand that search engine spiders are capable of reading the text only, so relying heavily on Flash is not a good ploy.
Your website content should be informative and not just keyword- centric, as it won’t help with rankings if it does not offers complete answers to a searcher’s question. Also, keep in mind that Google now likes long-form content, so you’d have to invest time in creating content longer than 1,500 words. Studies have also shown that sites with a page containing up to 2,000 words are likely to rank higher.
Get More Votes in the Form of Backlinks
Having quality content on your website is not enough; you need to have authority websites pointing to that content to show Google the importance of your content. That is why backlinks are of immense importance. When a popular site links to you, it tells search spiders to rank you high because Google considers the value of each of these links and where they are coming from to assign you a place on the search engine results pages.
Understand that even if you have a relatively new law firm but if you have hundreds of backlinks from authority sites, you will soon be able to climb to the #1 ranking for your specific keyword. It also highlights the point that links should come from “quality/authority sites”. You may end up noticing a dent in your current rankings if you accumulate links from spammy or questionable sites. So, be sure to work on getting links from authority sites to improve your rankings and increase the domain authority at the same time.
Improve Site Loading Speed
Something that every law firm should consider at the time of conducting an SEO campaign is the overall website loading speed. Here, you need to ensure that your site does not take long to load, on desktops as well as on mobile devices. With competition as fierce as it is for legal keywords, you cannot afford to lose a potential client just because they couldn’t wait long enough for your site to load completely. Moreover, you need to know that a slow loading speed means that search engines wouldn’t be able to crawl all the pages using their allocated budget, which again is going to have a negative impact on your indexation. So, you may want to use specially designed Google tools to get an idea about the page loading speed of your legal site.
Pay Attention to Local SEO
It is all about using SEO techniques to optimise your site for specific locations. It is especially important if you have offices in multiple locations. In this case, you will be better off having a separate optimised page for each location. For better local SEO, your first move should be to be on Google My Business (GMB) listing. The listing gives your site a public identity and helps Google use your information to highlight your business on Google Search and Maps.
Use Google RankBrain
Many people don’t know that Google has an artificial intelligence component called RankBrain. It works automatically and adjusts search results to provide the users with the most appropriate results. To use it in your favour, you should analyse the keywords used by the top companies that currently occupy the first few positions on SERPs. Now, focus on those keywords but create the content of such high quality that outdoes the ones currently sitting at the top. Do this correctly and you will get lots of love from Google RankBrain.
Taking all these steps will surely help you conduct a successful campaign and make SEO for law firms work in your favour. But, you should also understand that search engine optimisation is not something you can do once and then forget – your focus should be on ongoing optimisation to outsmart your competition all the time and keep moving up the rankings ladder. If you don’t have time for this, be sure to work with professional SEO companies to do it on your behalf. Stay consistent and you will see results – eventually!