Maintaining an active social media presence for your law firm is critical to the success of both your website and your firm as a whole. Before potential clients give your office a call, they’ll likely check out your Facebook and Twitter profiles.
Facebook alone has over 1 billion active profiles. Combine that with the number of users on other popular social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, and LinkedIn, and you have a real opportunity to get your law firm out there and engaging with potential clients.
Although Google has made it clear on several occasions that being active on social media doesn’t affect how your website ranks in Google searches, there is no denying that a strong social media strategy can indirectly benefit your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
Below, Tom Desmond, Co-Founder of law firm SEO company ApricotLaw, looks at five ways you can optimize your law firm’s social media strategy to bolster your SEO efforts.
1. Be Active
Social media gives you the opportunity to provide relevant content to your target audience without them having to search for it on Google first. When a potential client is interested in content from your website that you’ve posted on your firm’s Facebook or Twitter profile, he or she will click through and visit your site.
The person who clicks a link to your site on social media is likely to already be interested in your services or the information on your law firm’s website. That means he or she is likely to click further links after landing on your site. This will help lower your bounce rate, or the number of website visitors that leave the site after viewing just one page while increasing your long clicks. Long clicks refer to the length of time someone stays on your website’s page.
Both bounce rate and long clicks are ranking factors for Google.
But simply having a social media profile isn’t enough. It’s important that you are active and engaged with other profiles and your audience. The more active and engaged you are, the more popular your social media pages will likely be.
2. Target Content Creators
The popularity of social media makes it easier than ever to get your content in front of a large, diverse audience. When you post content on social media that catches the attention of influential content creators, such as journalists and bloggers who browse social media for article or video ideas, these content creators may be inspired to create content that relates to your firm’s practice area.
If they do that, they’re likely to link back to your site from their own content on their own sites. That means you’ve just generated a high-quality backlink.
One critical component of SEO for attorneys is getting backlinks. This is when another website links back to your website. Google considers pages with high-quality backlinks more authoritative than sites without them and ranks them higher for key search terms.
3. Create Interesting Videos
Want to catch the attention of both Google and potential clients? Create videos. With few exceptions, videos get more engagement from social media audiences than other content types. What’s more, Google likes websites that include videos, so when you create a video about your practice areas or some other important information, publish it on your website and share that page on social media.
That way, you get a double-edged benefit: You get a nice little ranking boost from having videos on your site, and your law firm’s social media profiles get higher engagement.
If you upload a video directly to your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media profile, include in the post a link back to your site and indicate that your site has more videos and information. That’s yet another way to get highly engaged visitors on your site, which Google loves to see.
4. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles
Try this out: Type “Ben & Jerry’s” into Google. What are the top few results? You likely see the main website for the ice cream company, followed closely by the company’s Twitter profile and Facebook page — possibly even the corporate Instagram page.
What don’t you see? Results for other ice cream companies. That’s because Ben & Jerry’s has an active social media presence and complete social media profiles, allowing the company to dominate search engine results pages (SERPs) for terms that include the company name (branded searches).
You can apply this to your law firm. By including your website, business name, and other relevant content in the description area of your social media profiles, you can increase your odds of ranking in the top several spots for branded searches. That means more chances for searchers to engage with your firm and a way to push your competition farther down in the SERPs.
5. Consider Other Search Engines
Hearing SEO experts talk, you’d think Google was the only search engine out there. It may dominate the market, but Google isn’t the only search engine by any means.
If even 10 percent of Internet searchers use a search engine other than Google, that represents an enormous number of people. You wouldn’t turn down a potential client at your law firm because he or she doesn’t use Google, and you don’t want to miss out when those using other search engines are looking for attorneys in your location and practice area.
While Google has steadily maintained that it doesn’t allow social media activity to directly influence rankings for a private website, other search engines haven’t been so rigid. Bing has confirmed on at least one occasion that it does examine the “social authority” of websites and that the metric does have a positive effect on search results.
In other words, an active social media presence may only provide indirect SEO benefits when it comes to Google, but it may directly affect your rankings on any number of other search engines.
Social Media and SEO for Attorneys
Social media is an important part of any internet marketing campaign. In addition to giving your firm credibility and proving to potential clients that you’re “real” and an authority in your practice area and location, an active social media presence can provide indirect benefits to your SEO efforts.
Lawyer SEO is a crowded, competitive field. No potential advantage should be ignored, and that includes social media.