There are some industries that are notoriously difficult to rank in the SERPs: law is one of them. This highly competitive field has left many search marketers scratching their heads in confusion, unable to acquire links using traditional forms of outreach, and unwilling to go the extra mile to develop pillar content that strikes a chord.
Working with a law firm can be discouraging. After all, in modern times pretty much every company within the legal sector is investing heavily in SEO—many will have budgets that put yours to shame! However, with the right strategy, a tailored approach, and a pricing model that reflects the extra effort, getting top rankings need not be difficult.
If you’re having trouble ranking websites in the legal sector, the following 6 tips will help.
1. Lose the Legal Jargon
The language of law may seem simple after seven years of training, but it’s important to remember that the average Joe won’t know the difference between a subpoena and summons—even I had to Google the answer at the time of writing! Don’t take your own knowledge for granted. Legal jargon will do nothing but alienate visitors.
2. Focus on Premium Content
We’ve all heard the buzzword “content is king” before. While we’re all pretty damn tired of hearing it, the message is as relevant as ever. Roughly 96 percent of people seeking legal advice will begin their search online. They won’t immediately start contacting law firms, but they will research how they can approach solving their issues. Therefore, to get people onto your website you need to make your blog a valuable resource.
3. Do Your Homework
You don’t have to spend seven years at Harvard to gain a basic understanding of law, particularly if the firm you’re working with specializes in a sub niche. Taking the time to learn the lingo is recommended, not only for content development, but also to gain a deeper understanding of your client’s needs. If it’s simply guest posts you’re after, consider hiring a legal writer instead of using SEO writers.
4. Optimize for Local Search
Local search results play a huge role in the SEO landscape. You’ll never compete with the big players on a national or international level; however, you can certainly become a market leader in your target town/city. If you haven’t already, set up and verify your Google+ Business page and input all of your company details, including a description of your services and contact details.
5. Conduct Reputation Management
A good law firm understands the importance of reputation management. Even in the digital sphere word-of-mouth advertising is your most powerful asset. Get people talking—in a positive light of course! Review websites will help you gain stars in the SERPs and testimonials will add legitimacy. Remember to use social media for public communication. If you ever find yourself on damage control, transparency and understanding—not anger—is the only way to effectively combat the problem.
6. Target Info/Purchase Intent Keywords
Google’s primary goal is to rank websites based on their relevancy to the search term. That’s why keywords will always be a major part of the SEO process. Make sure you have a good balance—50/50—of information related content/keywords and promotional content/keywords; the former to attract links and casual web browsers and the latter to convert those already nearing the end of the sales funnel into qualified leads.
When it comes to search engine optimization there is no “one size fits all” package. Every niche requires a different approach, as does every sub-niche. Law is a tricky beast with a lot of competition. However, it’s important to remember that most law firms outsource to SEO firms who themselves know little about the business. Tackle it right and you’ll automatically be ahead of 90 percent of the competition.