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Challenges and Solutions for Law Firm Websites

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by carlton smith in Blog
February 1, 2018
law firm search marketing guide

Law firms face new challenges marketing their organizations. Online competition is fierce, suggesting lawyers need to consider going beyond the basics to garner a greater share of the potential client pool in their area. But, what steps really need to be taken in order to attract prospective clients with a law firm’s website?

We Define Your Goals

Website advertising is, in many ways, no different than any other form of advertising. Before spending a great deal of money on a website that doesn’t deliver the desired results, start with the basics. A preliminary step many organizations disregard is developing goals and determining what steps are necessary to achieve those goals. Search engine optimization (SEO) experts routinely agree law firms, like other businesses, need to determine what their short- and long-term goals are before spending money on a website.

We Understand the Unique Problems Facing Law Firms

SEO professionals don’t all have the expertise to develop and maintain websites for law firms. While generic designs are commonly used by some law firms, every category of business has unique characteristics setting it apart from other types of businesses. That’s why law firms need an ally who understands the nuances of lawyers’ websites and what types of design features are likely to provide the return on investment expected.

Style is Important

While some websites are too garish, others are too plain. SEO experts focusing on websites for attorneys understand there’s a balance that must be found between garish and bland for a site to attract potential clients. By working closely with SEO professionals, lawyers can define their needs and let the design experts take it from there. If changes prove to be needed, the site designers can make any modifications needed.

Focus on Local Markets

Most law firms tend to deal with local clients rather than those in distant cities. That means the SEO efforts need to focus on attracting potential clients in the immediate area. SEO experts routinely explain to clients that specific strategies must be implemented to attract local clients. That’s done using location-specific keywords and keyword phrases as well as other tools necessary for sites to get to that all-important first page of results when potential clients search for an attorney.

Content is Still King … But It Also Needs Marketing Strategy

Local SEO professionals understand how the algorithms used by Google and the other search engines work and encourage clients to use content the search engines want to see. Google emphatically demands websites be relevant and easy to navigate. They also demand that a site’s content be updated frequently. The question then becomes, how can that best be accomplished?

First, the rules are always changing, which means a site that ranks highly today might well flounder next month if search engine ranking techniques change. That’s why a “one-and-done” approach to building a website simply doesn’t work anymore. Updating is vital to retain a high ranking, and there are some excellent strategies for staying on top of the rankings.

• Use blogs to keep site visitors informed

• Videos are now a virtual necessity for sites seeking top ranking spots

• Interactive content and question/answer formats are encouraged

• FAQ areas are always popular

However, SEO experts working with attorneys recommend their clients don’t adopt strategies they won’t be able to keep up with. That means refreshing content must be done religiously to obtain the best results. SEO professionals work closely with clients to tailor their sites to best meet their needs and capabilities.

Stay On Top of Current Social Media Trends

The very way people communicate and do business is evolving rapidly. Tools like email are still used but are rapidly being supplanted by social media. Facebook is, of course, one of the top social media sites, but Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and a host of others are also popular and should be considered as a valuable tool for attorneys seeking new clients.

Not all social media sites are ideal for attracting specific types of clients. The trends are rapidly changing, which means the use of social media must be carefully tailored to meet a specific client’s needs. That’s only one area where the expertise of SEO professionals is vitally important.

Link Building Can’t Be Neglected

Top SEO experts will always discuss link-building strategies with clients, as solid links to relevant sites are a great tool for expanding a firm’s exposure in a specific area. Since poor-quality links can actually damage the credibility of a site and threaten its search engine rankings, this isn’t a task to take lightly. Professionals understand how to create effective links to enhance a site’s value.

Following Up to Improve a Site’s Performance

Successful sites for law firms generally include quite a bit of content. Some content will always be better at meeting the firm’s goals while other content may need to be improved or replaced. The only way to determine how a site can be improved is to take advantage of SEO reporting and analytics. That’s another reason working with SEO experts is crucial, as doing so provides access to the data needed to truly grasp what elements of a site work and which ones don’t.

When a problem is identified, SEO professionals work with clients to explore alternatives that could improve the site’s performance and, at the same time, the firm’s bottom line. For example, users are rapidly transitioning to using portable devices rather than laptop or desktop computers. If a site isn’t mobile-friendly, those users are likely to quickly move on to a site that is. Analytics help to identify many types of issues that can negatively impact a site, which allows site owners to take steps to eliminate those issues.

Getting Started

Local SEO provides a solution for lawyers searching for ways to enhance their businesses. Quality websites are definitely a way to accomplish that objective, but developing a site that will rank at the top of the search engines isn’t a simple process. We’re here to make the process easier both today and as client demands change in the future. To get started, contact our team of experts today.

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