Every law firm wants to rank as highly as possible in search engines, and for good reason. People seeking legal representation for pretty much anything are turning to the internet before any other source. A quick Google search could give them some quick answers about their legal situation, and hopefully, a good lawyer to contact for more details. If your law firm is the top result in their Google search, there’s a good chance you’ll be the first one they reach out to.
The problem is, most law firms know this, and have implemented a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign to boost the visibility of and traffic to their law firm website. That means it’s harder than ever to rank for keywords and phrases related to law firms, and there are law firms with years of experience and/or thousands of dollars of spending ahead of you.
How can your law firm rank higher in search engines under these saturated and competitive conditions?
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Law Firm Marketing: Finding a Niche
The first (and arguably) best tool in your arsenal is competitive differentiation. There’s no limit to the search engine results pages (SERPs) that Google can generate; some of the most popular and generic pages for lawyers might already be dominated by the biggest competitors in the industry, but there are plenty of untapped opportunities that have gone unnoticed.
Finding a niche for your content and link building strategy is a way to circumvent the competition entirely. If only a few people are fighting you for positions, you’ll be able to rank much easier.
- Evaluate the competition. See what your competitors are doing. If you have any known law firms competing with you for local market share, look at their websites and see if there are any keyword terms they’re targeting. You can also search terms you might be interested in ranking for and see how densely the law firms are packed in the top rankings; eventually, you’ll find a cluster of terms with sparse competition. These exercises should help you understand what might and might not be worth your time.
- Choose a field of specialty. There are many possible dimensions you could use to differentiate yourself from the competition. The most straightforward example is to choose one area of law in which to specialize, like personal injury law or family law. But you could also differentiate yourself based on your geographic location, your target demographics, or your approach to your legal practice. Experiment with different searches, utilizing keyword terms that isolate these differentiating factors, and see which ones have the least competition—while still being relevant to your business.
Keyword Research for Law Firms
No SEO strategy is complete without solid keyword research at its foundation. Keyword research determines which SERPs you’re attempting to rank for, how you’re going to write content, and what kind of links you’re going to build. Choosing valuable keywords can instantly improve the efficiency of your strategy.
In general, the key to keyword research is finding a collection of terms that balance volume and competition; volume refers to the number of searches a keyword term gets, so you’ll want that to be as high as possible. However, higher-volume keywords tend to be associated with higher competition ratings, which means keywords are harder to rank for. As a law firm, you may want to choose keywords with a lower competition rating, even if they have lower volume; in many cases, it’s better to rank high for a low-volume keyword than to be stuck on page two for a high-volume keyword.
There are many tools you can use to do keyword research for your law firm, including Moz’s Keyword Explorer, but it might be better if you work with a reputable law firm SEO agency. An agency will be able to help you plan your entire strategy from concept to execution, and may have a keener eye for the most effective keywords and phrases to target.
Investing More Into Law Firm Marketing
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Elements of SEO for lawyers, including content writing, onsite optimization, and link building, tend to become more powerful when they receive a bigger investment (of time and/or money). For example, the more time and money you spend on your content strategy, the better your content will be and the more posts you’ll have to display for search engines. The more links you build, and the more authoritative the sources of those links are, the higher your domain authority will grow.
If you want a chance at beating the law firm marketing competition head-on, rather than by simply avoiding them through competitive differentiation, you’ll need to be prepared to stake that investment. Your competitors have spent thousands of dollars and/or many years to get where they are, and only a similar or higher investment will be able to disrupt them.
Getting Professional Law Firm Marketing Help
As a law firm, it’s best that you devote your internal resources to providing the best legal help for your clients. It’s your field of specialty, after all. Rather than training someone to handle your SEO strategy, or hiring a single marketing expert to outline your strategy and juggle your needs, it’s almost always more efficient to work with a professional SEO agency. SEO agencies have access to more resources, have more experience, and can generally accomplish more for your campaign (and accomplish it more efficiently).
Even better, consider working with an SEO agency that specializes in helping law firms achieve higher search engine rankings. At SEO.co, we’ve helped a variety of clients earn higher search engine positions and get more website traffic, but law firms are among our best industries. We understand just how saturated and competitive the field of law firm SEO is, and we have both the resources and the experience to overcome those challenges. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your law firm compete.