Investing in SEO Is Crucial for Law Firms: Here’s Why
Online organic and paid visibility is crucial if you want to acquire new customers. PPC in the legal industry is fiercely competitive, which means most law firms face a high cost per click on the search terms they want to appear for.
Ranking organically for keywords can help to reduce your advertising spend without losing valuable traffic and leads, which means having a strong search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy is key to standing out from the thousands of other solicitors in the UK.
Holding 92% of the global market share, Google is the natural choice when implementing an SEO strategy. Jimmy McCann, Head of Digital Strategy at Search Laboratory is here to explain the importance of SEO being integrated into your digital strategy to ensure holistic online visibility for your firm.
What is SEO and why is it important?
Organic search is a huge part of most business’ website traffic, as well as a critical component of the sales funnel. From top-level queries in the awareness phase, to high-intent long-tail queries when they are ready to buy, search engines are used by potential customers at every stage of the customer journey.
SEO is the collective steps taken to get your website in front of your target audience, with the goal of increasing traffic and, ultimately, online revenue. When a person searches for something online, the search engine aims to deliver the best possible website that will answer their query. They do this through a series of algorithms which identify what website content is relevant, and high quality. The pages are then presented in the order that the search engine deems to be most relevant.
SEO is the collective steps taken to get your website in front of your target audience, with the goal of increasing traffic and, ultimately, online revenue.
By optimising a website, we make it easier for search engines to identify whether the content is relevant, and trustworthy; the most authoritative websites from this list will then be displayed in the search engine results pages (SERPs) to the person searching. The higher up in the SERP, the more likely it is you will get traffic.
There are multiple factors that help search engines decide if a website is trustworthy, including but not limited to:
- If the site is mobile-friendly
- If the site is secure (HTTPS vs HTTP)
- The quality and length of on-site content
- Editorial content and authors which have a high EAT rating (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness)
- If the site has high-quality backlinks from relevant and authoritative websites.
Why SEO should be on the agenda for your law firm
With so many websites out there for competing law firms, it is highly unlikely that you will appear in the first page of the SERPs without SEO. You may be able to gain traffic from PPC, but this is an expensive way to try and acquire new customers. Ranking organically through SEO is a long-term strategy that has a low cost per acquisition, and unlike with paid media, reducing budget in the future will not see an immediate drop in traffic.
SEO is a proven way to increase brand visibility and drive traffic to your website. Appearing higher up in the SERPs can increase brand awareness, drive qualified traffic, and generate leads, and compared to paid digital strategies, it’s a cost-effective way of generating these leads in the long term.
In addition to ensuring your law firm is easy to find when someone is specifically searching for you, SEO ensures your brand is visible to users searching for specific keywords that suggest they intend on hiring a law firm. Being present in these searches helps to cement your firm as a contender, especially if your website contains informative and useful information that helps push the user down the sales funnel.
It is likely that competitor law firms are investing in SEO to improve their organic visibility. If you want to gain a competitive edge, ensuring that your search strategy includes technical SEO, content marketing and online PR, and is closely aligned with your business objectives and wider marketing activity, is crucial.
Taking a user-first approach is also important. Your website should provide a favourable user experience – from easy navigation to genuinely informative content. Understanding who your audience is, so that you can create an SEO strategy which takes into consideration the customer journey and user intent, will yield the best results.
Is SEO worth the ongoing investment?
It’s important that SEO is included as part of your long-term digital marketing strategy, rather than something to invest in as a one off. Because search engine algorithms are constantly updating, and new content is being uploaded to the internet daily, any increase in rankings delivered by a one-off campaign or tactic is likely to diminish over time. Ongoing SEO activity will ensure that your law firm continues to be at the top of the SERPs and in front of your target audience.
It is worth noting that it can also take months for the full effects of SEO activity to become apparent; this is particularly the case if your website has ever received a Google penalty. Looking at SEO as a one-off tactic undersells the value of SEO activity and prevents your brand from reaching its online potential, and ultimately law firms should be looking at including SEO within digital marketing strategies for years to come to ensure online visibility and drive growth.