The first few months of the new year present a great opportunity to reflect on your professional goals. As a small- to mid-size law firm, you may want to identify strategies for boosting client engagement and increasing brand awareness in your community. If it’s been some time since you’ve updated your firm’s website or monitored online client reviews, now is the time to do so. It’s important to recognize that search engine optimization (SEO) best practices are not static—as search engine algorithms constantly evolve, so should your law firm’s digital marketing strategy. This post will cover some of the SEO changes you can expect to see in the new year and what actions you can take to ensure your website and online presence remains visible, engaging, and effective in attracting new clients.
What to Know About SEO for Law Firms
First of all, it’s helpful to understand what SEO is and why your law practice should harness its power to bring in more clients. Essentially, making your law firm’s website SEO-friendly makes it more visible to search engine algorithms, such as Google. Search engine algorithms consistently attempt to provide more relevant and accurate results to searchers who enter keywords or questions into the search bar. The better you can arrange your website and include information about common client concerns, the more likely it is that search engines will view your site as relevant and rank your website near the top of the search results pages. Boosting your website’s ranking among the search results pages increases user awareness and recognition—most searchers only click on links displayed on the first page of the search results. So, how can your law firm improve your SEO-friendliness? Let’s take a look at some established strategies and best practices that actually work.
Increasing Your Authority Through Quality Content
Search engine algorithms like Google favor websites that display relevant and high-quality content. Now is a great time to review your website’s content to ensure that it is accurate, easy to understand, and relevant to common client concerns. For instance, think about what potential clients most want to know about your practice area, then use this information to write content in response to these topics. You can even use questions as headings—search engines will be able to scan your website for these commonly-searched keywords and queries and display your website to someone with a legal need in your area. Your firm can demonstrate its authority in a particular legal field by including links to trustworthy sources or using sub-pages to address smaller topics under a more general practice area (i.e., including separate pages on child custody, alimony, and property division under the umbrella page of divorce).
Appeal Directly to Potential Clients
An effective legal website must appeal to both search engine algorithms and potential clients. As you revise your website to show your SEO-friendliness to search engine algorithms, don’t forget to consider what your site visitors want from the experience of clicking on your website. Fortunately, search engine algorithms are evolving to favor content that prioritizes the user experience, so more natural and engaging content generally leads to more favorable search result rankings. Once someone clicks on your website, what will make them stay? What information will inspire them to contact you? This is often where tone comes in—consider what your clients most want to hear from you. Many people with legal questions want clarity and reassurance, so write content that addresses these needs and concerns.
How SEO is Evolving in 2023 and Beyond
In addition to incorporating established and effective SEO best practices into your digital marketing strategy, it’s important to anticipate how SEO is shifting and evolving in the near future. In 2023, you can expect the following trends to continue, so use this information to strengthen your law firm’s SEO-friendliness in the new year.
Increase in Voice Searches
With more people using smart speakers and vocal commands to search for topics, it’s essential to consider how voice searches differ from written searches. For example, people using voice searches tend to use slightly longer and more conversational phrases. When searchers type, they tend to abbreviate and include only a few keywords. As you tweak your website’s content, try to appeal to both these searching methods to ensure you appeal to both written and voice-generated searches.
Using More Structured Data and Rich Snippets
Search engines like Google are increasingly favoring websites that include a greater variety of media, such as images, ratings, and more detailed descriptions. Rich snippets stand out among the search results, as they appear more engaging than traditional results (which only display the website, date, and brief written description). In contrast, a rich snippet will include a visual image and user ratings in addition to the website link and description. The more varied and vibrant you can make your website (while still valuing clean, uncluttered aesthetic choices), the more likely it is that both search engines and potential clients will gravitate toward your website.
If you’re interested in leveling up your law firm’s digital marketing strategy, reach out to LegalRev today by calling (800) 893-2590.