How Well Do You Understand Search Engine Optimization For Your Law Firm
When you are eager to see your law firm’s digital marketing efforts perform well, you might be willing to try just about anything. But there are many SEO myths that won’t get you the results you want, or worse, could result in a penalty from Google. Here is what you need to know about some top law firm SEO myths so you don’t go too far down that rabbit hole.
First, what is SEO? Search Engine Optimization is the practice of getting organic (free) traffic from the search engines to your website. Most consumers today use Google to find and connect with brands, so your law firm’s goal should be to achieve high search engine rankings on Google as well as additional positions on page one through local search, social media, and featured snippets.
Why the First Page of Google is Important
How Google derives it’s search results is becoming more complex, with local results, videos, answer boxes, knowledge panels, and more. With so many ways for your firm to stand out, focusing on SEO to garner some of these top spots is worth the effort.
Here is why ranking high in Google is vital:
Better Click-Through Rates
It’s a fact that the higher you rank, the higher your click-through rate will be. One study concluded click-through rates were 36.4% for the top result, falling to 12.5% for position #2. These click-throughs are going to boost your website traffic and leads.
Improve Your Visibility
You can improve your brand awareness with a top search result. The more people who see your name, the more likely you will engage them if they need your services.
Establish Authority and Trust
One of the best ways to earn new business is to establish authority and trust. You can accomplish this by taking the steps necessary to achieve high organic search engine rankings.
5 Myths About Law Firm SEO
We’ve established why you want to make your firm’s SEO a priority. But which parts are of SEO are more important than others? This is where it can get confusing. Here are five common myths about legal SEO that help you steer you in the right direction.
Myth 1: The More Times You Use a Keyword, the Better
This was true in 2003. If you decide to try “keyword stuffing” today, Google views this as a negative ranking factor, and it could hurt your efforts.
There’s no doubt that conducting careful keyword research is still essential to successful SEO. But, how you use those keywords in your legal content is just as important.
Here are a few facts about keyword integration in content:
- Your keyword density should remain at around 3%.
- Keywords should be used in the copy where they flow and fit naturally instead of being forced to get a page to rank.
- Using related keywords and phrases in your content can help your SEO efforts just as much.
Myth 2: The Content Doesn’t Matter As Long As You’re Targeting the Right Keywords
It’s a common misconception that keyword targeting should take priority over content. Simply sprinkling the right keywords throughout terrible or mediocre content isn’t going to get you the results you want. In today’s online environment, the quality of your law firm’s content matters more than ever.
Google has placed significant emphasis on the user experience and even uses an AI-powered engine called RankBrain to ensure that consumers are getting what they want from the search results. If you want to rank a web page for “DUI penalties in Georgia” and place that search term throughout a page that doesn’t actually list the DUI penalties in Georgia, the user experience will probably be subpar. Your bounce rates (people hitting the “back” button) will go through the roof, and Google will take notice quickly.
Instead, it’s vital that your content addresses the subject matter thoroughly and is well-written and engaging enough to capture your audience’s attention and improve your rankings.
Myth 3: You Just Need More Backlinks to Outrank Your Competitors
This is another falsehood that could get your website in trouble with the search engines. Years ago, it was a common practice to search out low-quality, spammy links to quickly rank a website. Google caught on to the technique and put a stop to it.
You still need high-quality backlinks for SEO, but the emphasis is on quality over quantity. Buying links is explicitly against Google’s policies and could get your website penalized.
The best approach is to continue creating high-quality content that others will want to link to naturally. There are some other legitimate methods for achieving quality backlinks that your legal marketing firm can discuss with you.
Myth 4: Having a Secure Website Isn’t Important
Even if your law firm’s website is only informational and you don’t store client data, having a secure website is vital for SEO. And this isn’t anything new.
As far back as 2014, Google announced that it wanted to see “HTTPS everywhere,” meaning websites needed to start thinking about getting an SSL certificate installed. Not long after, the search engine giant began using security as a ranking factor. Specifically, sites that have an SSL get a ranking boost, and those without security appear to get penalized.
It’s a simple enough adjustment, and your clients will appreciate it as well. More consumers now notice site security and could make a decision about your law firm based on this factor.
Myth 5: SEO is a One-Time Thing
If only this were similar to Google “ruling” once that your website was worthy of a top search engine ranking and the case was closed. Unfortunately, Google re-assesses the merits of your case many times each day, so you might have top billing in the morning and find that it has slipped by dinnertime.
SEO is an ongoing process similar to healthy eating and fitness. If you neglect it, there’s a better than good chance that you’ll see your results erode over time. This happens for several reasons:
- Google changes/updates its algorithm.
- Your content is no longer as “fresh.”
- Your competitors are working on their SEO harder than you.
- You begin to lose backlinks.
Instead, you should be consistently following up on your online marketing strategy to maintain and improve your results.
Discover the Truth About Law Firm Marketing
It’s simple enough to get caught up in the various myths surrounding legal marketing. But you’re probably busy enough as it is and just want someone to give it to you straight. You might get a few short-term benefits by applying a few questionable tactics, but the long-term results may not be what your law firm wants or needs.
Sundown Marketing Group is dedicated to helping its legal clients achieve results with proven digital marketing solutions. There is a significant amount of time and effort that needs to go into your firm’s digital marketing strategy, and our goal is to be a partner you can trust to separate the true from the false.
Contact us online or call us today at (800) 649-1764 to schedule a free consultation.