Updated: Jul 13
Your legal firm’s website is finally ready to go! You’ve got beautiful graphics, a few blogs on interesting topics posted, and your contact information is updated and easy to find.
Alas, the only sound to be heard is a choir of crickets. Why is nobody visiting your site?
Chances are that if you’ve researched this question, there have been plenty of results popping up to tell you that you must up your SEO game if you want to reach the Holy Grail for any website: appearing on the first page results.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The better optimized your website is for search engines like Google, the higher it will appear in search results and the more visits your site should get.
And since organic searches are responsible for 53% of all website traffic, it’s something most site owners learn fairly quickly that they must master.
Reason #1: The legal industry is highly competitive.
Sometimes, things just get a little crowded.
Law is an especially crowded field so you’re going to need to do much more than finding a few clever keyword placements to rank. Still, the fact that there are so many related sites doesn’t mean that you have to live forever on the 6th page of search results.
What it does mean is that you’ll have to be a little more creative to make it to that first page so that the clients who would most benefit from your services know that you exist.
One way to do this is to ensure that you’re using geo-specific keywords. When someone types in “lawyers in Dallas,” “defense attorneys DFW area,” or “divorce lawyers Dallas, TX,” for example, you want to be among the first to pop up. Remember: someone looking to hire a lawyer is looking to do so in their local area, so make yourself easy to find and keep your information updated in local online directories, legal and otherwise.
Coming up with unique keywords is only part of the puzzle; remember that once a potential client lands on the page, you must then deliver consistent, helpful quality in order to get your website up toward the top.
Reason #2: You’re not publishing or updating frequently enough.
Can you think of any recent articles you’ve stumbled upon that seemed helpful and interesting, only to find that it was published was back in 2016? Chances are, it made you wonder if the information you found was still true or relevant.
If potential clients land on a page that hasn’t been updated for the last several years, they’ll quickly get the message that your firm hasn’t kept up with the times – and maybe not even with changes in laws and regulations – either.
Shoot for a frequent publishing schedule of at least once a week; the more frequent, the better. And no need to throw out old, but still good, articles: simply update older, evergreen content frequently to keep it fresh and current.
Remember: in order to keep a constant flow of creative content, it’s important to set a predictable posting schedule. If you don’t have time to write the content yourself, a professional writing agency with knowledge of SEO best practices can help.
Reason #3: The quality of your law firm’s content needs work.
Nothing drives potential clients away more quickly than badly written, error-laden content. If they don’t feel you can be trusted to really know the difference between “your” and “you’re,” they probably won’t trust you with their legal fate, either.
By exhibiting writing that’s especially aimed at your ideal client (who might very well feel vulnerable, nervous, and overwhelmed at the time of their search), you can establish authority and trust through high-quality, easy-to-understand content.
Remember, the purpose of search engines is to help people find the answers they’re looking for. So if your site is the one that’s offering the clearest, most complete, and most helpful information, you’ll quickly become a go-to resource for both potential clients and for other legal writers looking to link to good, solid, material.
More and more, Google is becoming a meritocracy in which quality matters. If your content is not high quality and doesn’t actually deliver value, you’ll be stuck behind a long line of other sites that do.
Reason #4: Your content is more sales page than information that people need.
While you obviously need to ask for a potential client’s business at some point, remember that nobody visits any website for the specific purpose of being sold to.
If someone is searching the internet to find out what kind of proof they need in order to sue for an injury after it’s happened, for example, they’ll stay on your page if you tell them. They won’t stay on the page if you say, essentially, “commit to us first, and then we’ll tell you.”
One small bit of wisdom that will take your ranking far: give people what they need; sell them what they want.
Reason #5: You’re completely ignoring SEO best practices.
While an SEO agency isn’t the magic bullet solution to all of your law firm traffic problems (and in some cases might even hurt if Google suspects that your site is trying to skip the line merit-free), ignore SEO best practices at your own peril.
Luckily, professional writers and agencies can help those in the legal industry to organically work those keywords into the high-quality content that will wind up on your site.
Putting forth quality content with SEO in mind can be as simple as hiring the right writing agency to keep the website buzzing while you focus on the business of the firm. At Iris Writing International, producing that high-quality content is our business. Contact us for a quote, a question, or to get started!