SEO / Link Building / Content Marketing
SEO for Law Firms
For law firms, lead generation is the name of the game. Growth and profitability are predicated on finding new leads, converting them into clients, and winning cases. But if you aren’t investing in SEO, you’re stunting your firm’s potential from the very start.
Fifteen years ago, law firms could rest on their laurels and get by without a large investment in SEO. Today, ignoring SEO is a death sentence.
In 2005, just 7 percent of people used the internet as their primary method of finding an attorney. The overwhelming majority of people – 65 percent, to be exact – would ask a family member or friend for a referral. Even the Yellow Pages – yes, the thick paper version – was a more popular choice than booting up the computer and running a quick Google search. But times have changed over the last decade.
Why Lawyers Need SEO
When you look at the larger process of seeking legal advice – including gathering information about a situation, seeking advice, and hiring an attorney – 96 percent of people now use a search engine at some point in the process.
According to a more recent survey by FindLaw.com and Thomson Reuters, the internet is now the most popular method for finding legal assistance. Roughly 38 percent of people use Google and other search engines to find attorneys, compared to just 29 percent of respondents who ask a friend or relative for a referral.
The problem is that search engines are super competitive – particularly in the crowded legal industry where some of the bigger firms have six- and seven-figure marketing budgets that they flippantly toss around whenever they're in need a quick boost in website traffic.
For a smaller or medium-sized law firm, trying to compete on pay-per-click (PPC) ads is nearly impossible. Larger firms are spending between $50,000 and $100,000 per month on AdWords. Even the most basic, generic legal keywords can cost a firm $50 a pop. If you're trying to compete on more specialized keywords, you can expect to spend $100 or more.
For firms that have the money to use PPC advertising as part of their outbound marketing strategy, that's fine. But most law firms and attorneys are better off using organic inbound marketing methods to reach potential clients in a cost-effective and sustainable manner – and SEO is the answer.
Doing SEO halfway won't get you very far, though. For Google searches, 75 percent of all clicks go to results on the first page (including 57 percent to the first three results). You need a targeted SEO strategy to help you rise to the top. In doing so, you'll benefit from increased visibility, website traffic, and leads.
Objectives of Link Building for SEO
SEO is a complex topic with lots of technical components in play. But in 2019, link building is one of the primary elements law firms must depend on in order to find success./h5>
Search engines use links to discover new web pages and to determine how well a page should rank in their results. Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites. The more links your law firm website is able to acquire from authoritative websites and blogs, the more you'll benefit.
The primary objectives of link building for law firms are to increase:
- Discoverability. Think of your website like a city and the links that lead to it like roads. The more links you have, the more opportunities internet users have to find your website. In this sense, link building is all about increasing discoverability and driving traffic.
- Authority. Google is in the business of keeping its users happy. It does this by supplying people with the most relevant and useful results for their searches. Thus, Google wants to deliver authoritative pages and stay away from amateurish results that don't yield value. One of the primary ways in which Google determines a page's authority is by how many other respected websites link back to it. Link building is an investment in your website's reputation.
- Conversions. The right link building strategy targets very specific keywords that resonate with a very particular audience. As opposed to generic outbound strategies that cast a wide net, link building focuses on quality over quantity. This leads to higher conversion rates.
- Sustainability. The moment a law firm stops paying for PPC advertisements, all of their traffic disappears. With SEO, this isn't true. Link building is an organic method that builds upon itself and actually continues to grow over time (even if you stop investing in it). This makes it the single most sustainable strategy in modern digital marketing.
Link Building Principals for Lawyers
Link building may be a subcategory of SEO, but it's a rich topic in its own right. For law firms and their attorneys, here are some of the principles to be aware of:
Black Hat vs. White Hat Link Building
As the digital marketing industry has matured, old spammy tactics have been replaced by more authentic SEO strategies that add value to internet users. When searching for a link building specialist, make sure you know the difference between white hat and black hat tactics.
White hat link building is all about developing high-quality content that engages or informs readers. It follows the rules laid out by Google and uses genuine strategies to incrementally grow over time.
Black hat link building, on the other hand, uses spammy, get-rich-quick tactics like keyword stuffing and overly optimized content that prioritizes search crawlers at the expense of human readers. Black hat link building may produce some immediate returns, but they'll eventually be eroded and put your website in a worse position than when it started.
Link-worthy Content Creation
At the heart of SEO – and link building, in particular – is content creation. You need a wealth of high-quality content in order to rank for specific keywords, attract backlinks, and earn new linking opportunities.
>Linkworthy content is selfless. It serves the needs of the reader more than the needs of your firm. (Though, ultimately, this approach comes back to benefit the firm.) Think of how-to content, engaging visuals, interactive tools, infographics, and other magnetic resources. When you develop compelling content, other websites and bloggers can't help but link to your pages.
While you'll need to create the majority of your content in order to control your brand's image and ensure you're delivering the right message to the right people, there's also an element of link building that's known as link attraction. You can capitalize on link attraction by investing in noteworthy undertakings that others in the industry can't help but mention.
>Examples include starting a scholarship for law students that come from underprivileged backgrounds, volunteering at a local charitable organization, and offering pro bono services for a specific group of people. When your law firm does these things, it compels others – including valuable news websites and .edu domains – to link back to your pages.
SEO for Attorneys
Link Building Specialists
Clearly, link building isn’t something you’re going to master after reading an article or watching a quick YouTube video. It takes months (even years) of experience to know what works. And that’s why most law firms end up hiring a link building specialist to handle the job.
It’s all about opportunity cost. Let’s say you bill $200 an hour in your firm. Even spending one hour a day on link building – which won’t yield much of a return – is going to cost you more than $50,000 per year in billable hours. You can hire a skilled specialist and get better results for a fraction of the cost. It’s all about dollars and cents (and DIY link building isn’t your best option).
Run a quick search for law firm link building specialists and you’ll find hundreds of options. The question is, how do you find the right one for your needs? We recommend looking for:.
- White hat tactics. You should only work with link building specialists who use white hat tactics and organic techniques. If someone tells you they have a shortcut or new strategy that nobody else knows about, your internal alarm bells should go off. There’s no replacement for doing link building the right way.
- Positive testimonials. Anyone can say they do link building well, but do they have the history to back it up? Ask for referrals, testimonials, or a list of clients the link building specialist has worked with in the past.
- Authoritative connections. A good link building specialist will have a long list of connections with publishers, bloggers, journalists, and industry influencers. This is how they provide authoritative linking opportunities for your law firm website.
- American based writers. There are plenty of good writers all over the world, but you should only trust your link building efforts with a specialist who uses 100 percent American based writers. Someone who uses English as a second language simply doesn’t have all of the grammatical nuances that an American writer possesses.
- Transparency. There should be full transparency and direct engagement on all interactions with a link building specialist. There’s no reason for anyone to hide anything.
If you’d like to learn more about how link building can help you grow your law firm and generate more qualified leads, please fill out this free site assessment form. We’ll get in touch and walk you through some of the options you have at your disposal.
Content Marketing and Link Building for Law Firms
We write the content. We handle the outreach. We secure the placement. You get awesome links.
Content Marketing for Law Firms & Attorneys
We build content and links for legal firms
Law firms and attorneys rely on our content marketing and link building expertise to increase awareness and client exposure for their law practices.
Here at SEO.co, we provide contextual link building for legal professionals looking to bolster traffic to their websites and grow. We take the burden of both content creation and link building and place it squarely on our shoulders, allowing attorneys and other legal professionals to focus on what they do best--practice law. By outsourcing your link building and online marketing efforts to SEO.co, you will wonder why you ever tried to do the work in-house ever again.
Our content teams create high-quality written and video content assets that top publishers will want to include to their audiences. In doing so, we build some of the best possible contextual and relevant backlinks from some of the internet's highest domain authority websites. By providing our expert services to your law practice, it gives you a great way to focus on working on your business, rather than working in your business.
Not only are our services high quality and fully white-glove (i.e. no spammy links or copyright issues), they also are 1) fully refundable if we are unable to get placement and 2) pre-approved by our clients. Unlike standard "retainer" engagements, we are only paid for direct work we complete, a feature our clients simply love.
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