It goes without saying that law firms rely on clients to stay in business. Attorneys need a steady stream of new (and sometimes recurring) clients to provide the services they offer, so designing and implementing an effective marketing strategy is key to maintaining a healthy legal practice. However, the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing can seem intimidating to many smaller law firms, especially since there are so many platforms and applications to consider when developing a digital marketing strategy. Many law practices find it difficult to keep up with search engine optimization (SEO) best practices—not to mention the daunting sphere of social media marketing. As you focus on making your law firm’s approach to digital marketing more effective and impactful, it’s helpful to identify and debunk some common misconceptions about SEO for law firms. This post will highlight and debunk some of the persistent myths surrounding SEO for law firm marketing so you can make more informed and strategic choices to attract and engage more clients in your area.
Myth #1: SEO Doesn’t Work For Law Firms
One of the most stubborn myths about SEO is that the legal profession is too focused or niche for SEO to make any measurable impact. However, the reality is that most people turn to the internet when searching for answers to legal questions or to find an attorney who can help them solve a problem. Any time that someone uses an internet browser to find legal information or services, your law firm has the opportunity to appear at the top of the search results. By targeting common keywords related to your practice areas and primary location and creating relevant content that appeals to your client’s needs and concerns, you can boost your website’s SEO performance and maximize your position on the search results pages.
Myth #2: More Pages is Always Better
It used to be that search engine algorithms seemed to reward websites with multiple pages and subpages simply because these extensive sites had more opportunities to contain keywords. However, algorithms have evolved to prioritize quality over quantity. Cluttering your law firm’s website with dozens of individual pages not only confuses and disorients site visitors—but also negatively affects SEO performance. Instead of creating a dizzying array of pages and subcategories, focus instead on implementing an intuitive site navigation system with clear practice area pages that you can update and refresh with new content as needed to remain relevant to search engine algorithms. Additionally, your law firm should consider maintaining a blog as part of your website to ensure that fresh content appears consistently.
Myth #3: Keyword Density is Everything
Since search engines rely heavily on matching search terms with website content to deliver relevant results, integrating keywords into your law firm’s website content is a solid SEO best practice. Unfortunately, some businesses take this strategy too far; suddenly, including as many keywords as possible takes priority over writing high-quality content for site visitors. This practice, commonly referred to as “keyword stuffing,” ends up diluting the quality of your content, as it comes off as overly cluttered, unnatural, or even nonsensical. The myth that more keywords automatically mean higher rankings among the search results pages continues to persist, even though search engine algorithms like Google are urging companies to avoid this practice. In some cases, algorithms will actually penalize you for keyword stuffing, as sites with too many clunky keywords wedged into the content tend to indicate that the site is unreliable or even spam. When it comes to implementing keywords into your blog posts and website pages, it’s best to prioritize readability and the natural integration of these keywords into the content you write.
Myth #4: Build Links at All Costs
When a search engine algorithm evaluates the quality and relevance of your website, it looks at factors like page loading speed, keyword integration, and link building. Pages that link to internal or external pages tend to perform better than sites without links. Even though links are important, they are not everything. Again, search engine algorithms have evolved to assess the quality of the pages you link to—links to reliable, trustworthy sources are dramatically better than links to sources that lack merit or contain outdated (or, in some cases, inaccurate) information. As with other SEO strategies, the quality of your links matters much more than the quantity of links you present on your law firm’s website. You should also make sure to revisit and update the links on your website from time to time to make sure that they still take the visitor to the intended destination. Broken links can cause serious problems for your website’s SEO performance and overall position in search rankings.
Myth #5: SEO Only Refers to Content Creation
Keeping up with marketing buzzwords like SEO and UX (user experience) can be challenging, especially as your primary focus is on serving your clients and building your law practice. In fact, it’s easy to start conflating marketing terms; you may start assuming that content marketing means the same thing as SEO. However, this misconception can negatively impact the effectiveness of your law firm’s digital marketing strategy. Quality SEO encompasses much more than displaying high-quality, user-friendly content, such as building trustworthy links to trusted sources, making sure the website is mobile-friendly, integrating keywords naturally and thoughtfully, and several other best practices. It’s useful to think about quality content as one piece of the larger marketing puzzle. It matters, but it’s not everything.
SEO Best Practices Put the User First
Now that you have a clear understanding of the stubborn myths surrounding SEO best practices, it’s time to take a step back and focus on the bigger picture. Ultimately, an effective digital marketing strategy puts your clients first. When you take the time to understand and anticipate the needs and concerns of those you hope to serve, your law firm can create meaningful and relevant content that speaks directly to your clients. As more people gravitate toward your firm’s website, the search engines will take notice and boost your rankings.
It’s time to level up your law firm’s digital marketing strategy to engage more of the clients your practice is hoping to serve. Call LegalRev today at (800) 893-2590 to discuss your goals.