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What is your ultimate goal for improving your law firm’s search engine optimization (SEO)?
Is it to boost your website’s traffic, position yourself above your competition, or generate more case leads? Trick question, you want all of the above.
As a legal lead generation agency, we deal with attorneys all the time. They ask us about SEO, somewhat mystified and unsure of what it is, or how it can help their firm.
Simply put, SEO is about boosting your website’s traffic and getting on Google’s first page of results.
In this 90-day plan, we’ll break down month-by-month the steps you need to take. You’ll plan, execute, and analyze your plan’s performance so you can reach more potential clients.
Why SEO is important for lawyers
Referrals aren’t enough to support a law firm’s business.
Lawyers depend on their law firm’s website to generate monthly leads to find new clients. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a tactic that makes websites rank higher in Google searches. The goal is to increase visibility and website traffic.
Did you know that roughly 50% of most law firm’s clients started research with an online Google search?
Law firm SEO is crucial for ensuring your firm appears high in the search results when potential clients are looking for you.
SEO works to improve organic traffic, meaning traffic that comes in naturally from Google searches. These are typically people searching for lawyers or how-to guides related to their legal situation.
With more traffic comes many more opportunities for converting your website’s visitors into paying clients.
Your next client is already out there searching online for legal help. Make sure they find your website instead of your competitors.
SEO takes time
To master SEO takes time that most firms just don’t have. But Kaleidico does! Schedule a discovery session with us to learn how we can help.
How SEO, content marketing, and lead generation for lawyers work
SEO guidelines and competitive research tell you how to structure your website and what keywords to use throughout your site.
Content marketing works by writing blog posts that answer a Google searcher’s query. The goal is ultimately getting them to click on the blog to direct them to your website.
Once you have a visitor on your website, you’ll need to provide high-quality information and a great user experience. Visitors need to trust you so they reach out for help by filling out a contact form.
Both SEO and content marketing are essential for any legal lead generation strategy. With no website or blog posts, there can be no answers to a Google user’s query.
The first 30 days — getting started
The first 30 days start with finding out exactly where your law firm’s website’s SEO currently stands.
Find out how much traffic you’re getting, your search engine rankings, research your competitors, establishing your goals. Then decides if you need a new website or upgrade.
Assuming your law firm already has a website, even if it needs an upgrade, let’s run an SEO audit.
Run an SEO audit on your website
An SEO audit looks at the health of your website to make sure there aren’t any critical errors stopping it from showing up in Google.
Broken links, shady backlinks, and a messy site structure are all things that need to be inspected to make sure your website isn’t underperforming.
They also make it easy to spot errors that need to be corrected.
Update or revamp the website
It’s likely that you already have an existing law firm website.
However, if the website is outdated it likely needs to be re-designed and revamped.
If this is the case, the first 30 days of your plan will be dedicated to redesigning a new website.
In the meantime, we can still focus on learning what keywords your website is ranking for and understanding your competition.
Run a marketing inventory to assess traffic and organic keywords
Often many law firms come to us because they need more traffic to generate new case leads.
Without knowing the website’s current metrics, there would be no way to analyze if our SEO strategy is working or not.
Using the same tools to run the SEO audit, we can also begin to measure your law firm’s website’s monthly organic traffic, click-through rate, bounce rate, keyword rankings, backlinks, site speed, and conversions.
The point of this is to set a baseline to measure your new law firm SEO progress after 90 days.
Do keyword research, including researching your competitors’ keywords
Using Google’s Keyword Planner, as well as Semrush and Ahrefs, SEO specialists can establish seed words, concepts, and overall keyword topics.
The key is to find search terms that have a high enough monthly volume without too much competition so that ranking on Google’s first page of search results is more achievable.
In addition, we will work with the client to understand who their main competitors are so we can do competitive keyword research.
When we study our clients’ competitors, we’re looking to see how much monthly traffic their websites are receiving, keywords they’re ranking for, keywords they’re running PPC ads on, and their top 5 ranking pages.
Usually, the top-ranking pages are blog posts, which can then be used as inspiration for writing new blog posts.
Once we know about the competition and landscape, we can begin choosing keywords, topics, and seed words to build out an editorial calendar.
Create a content calendar
Create an editorial calendar of topics, keywords, and interesting blog titles that use your targeted keywords.
A Google spreadsheet is particularly helpful if you’re assigning blogs to multiple writers and need a central repository to house all of your upcoming content.
Depending on your goals and the competitive landscape, you’ll need to create a weekly or monthly blog schedule to ensure keyword-rich content is constantly being added to your website.
As a general rule, you should be publishing at least four blog posts a month. However, more is always better, as it increases your website’s organic keywords and can significantly boost traffic from Google searches.
Set up Google Business listing and social media pages
If you haven’t done so already, make sure to register your law firm with Google Business.
Doing so will give your company a nice “knowledge graph” that makes your website more visible in Google searches. It will also place your office’s physical location in Google Maps (if it’s not on there already).
This is known as local SEO. It helps your firm show up in the results for queries about services in your firm’s area.
Setting up social media pages is another important lawyer SEO tactic.
Don’t feel like you need to set up an account on every platform — stick to the basics such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Days 31-60 — begin content marketing and blogging and analyzing results
It can feel like it takes a while to get SEO efforts for lawyers truly up and running.
But don’t forget that the first 30 days are about rebuilding your website, researching the competition, and setting up all of your channels and measurement tools.
However, by 30 days in, these essential systems and features should be set up:
- A high-quality website design with a clean sitemap for better law firm SEO
- Essential landing pages created that are optimized around specific keywords
- Lead paths and contact forms on every page of your website to generate leads
- A content calendar filled with targeted keywords, intriguing article titles, different content pieces, and deadlines to keep blog production running
- Social media and business profiles with updated information that directs to your website
Start content marketing: writing and publishing blogs
In the first 30 days, you built out the essential landing pages on your website — about us, contact us, attorney bios — now it’s time to produce a ton of blog articles.
Blog writing is essential for any content marketing strategy, which is what days 30-60 of your law firm SEO plan is all about.
Did you know that blogs are one of the main traffic referral sources for law firms’ websites?
Every time a person searches Google for legal advice or help, they usually end up clicking on a law firm’s website that published the legal blog.
High quality content can be one of your greatest SEO tactics.
Continue writing, distributing, and publishing content
Every week you should be publishing a new blog, at least. Remember, four blogs a month is the minimum, with more being better.
There are many law firm websites that don’t even purchase PPC ads because they get enough monthly traffic from their blogs alone.
In that sense, you could think of blogging or content marketing as another form of advertising.
From day 30 to 60, you’ll basically be writing, editing, and publishing a ton of blogs and waiting for Google to index them to show up in the SERP.
Track important KPIs, such as traffic, lead conversions, and more
At the end of 60 days, you should have at least four blog posts created and can begin to understand changes in your website’s traffic, conversions, and click-through rates.
Using analytics such as Search Console, Google Analytics, and SEO tools like Semrush and Ahrefs can give updates on a website’s performance and changes in its keyword rankings, which should be changing due to your recent blogging.
Days 61-90 — monitoring, refining, and maintaining lawyer SEO
At this point, you should be seeing a drastic increase in traffic, conversions, and generated leads from your improved law firm SEO — mainly from your blog posts and improved website structure.
Now is the time to go back and look at the past three month’s content to spot new opportunities for optimization.
Audit and update existing content
It takes Google a while to crawl new website content, such as blogs or page updates or changes. Because of this, it can be hard to analyze a blog post’s performance immediately after you publish it. Waiting a few months is a good amount of time to truly understand a blog post’s potential.
Did you know that editing and updating your old content can be as valuable as producing new written content?
Now is the time to go in and delete underperforming blogs, or redirect them to more popular blog posts.
Similarly, if you see a top-performing blog post’s Google ranking has dropped, consider updating that blog post by expanding it and rewriting it. In my experience, blog posts that are 1,000 words underperform compared to 2,000+ word articles.
Perhaps you had great success with a particular keyword, and now want to branch out on similar keywords. Now is the time to do more competitive keyword analysis. Remember, just because your blog post was popular a month ago doesn’t mean it’s still popular. Things can quickly change, especially with Google’s search algorithm updates.
Analyzing and moving forward
At the end of 90 days you’ll have a chance to review your initial campaign’s goals and objectives and compare them to your real results.
Did you see improvements in the KPIs chosen at the beginning of your law firm’s SEO plan?
If so, more analysis will be necessary to determine what strategies or tactics got you there. If you didn’t get the results you were hoping for, again, an analysis will be necessary for understanding what went wrong, and how to fix it going forward.
Note: Lawyer SEO is all about incremental optimization — finding and making little changes here and there that add up to make a huge difference.
Sometimes 90 days isn’t enough to achieve your goals, but it’s enough time to try out several ideas to see what works and what doesn’t, and then continue optimizing for the next 90 days.
Kaleidico — how far could your law firm reach with a strategic SEO plan?
It’s a great feeling when you finally rank on the first page of Google search results.
Whether your website is ranking for a particular keyword, or your blog article is performing well, it’s satisfying knowing that your legal SEO strategy is finally paying off and you’re reaching new people online.
Kaleidico is a lead generation agency for law firms that can help revamp your website, study your competition, optimize your SEO, and produce outstanding content to boost your website’s traffic.
Book a discovery session with us and learn how we can generate more case leads to fuel your law firm’s business.