Last week, we brought you a beginner’s guide to digital marketing for lawyers. Now, we will go a step further and delve into more nuanced SEO strategies and techniques that can help grow your law firm.
Our article will explain how you can use the basic SEO principles to your advantage and outrank your competitors. Bear in mind that the following techniques are free if you do it yourself, and still not too expensive if you outsource.
This is part 1 of our advanced guide to free SEO and it will cover the on-page techniques that you can implement to optimize your site. Continue reading to find out how you can organically improve your ranking in the search engines and drive more traffic to your law firm’s website.
Create a modern and attractive website
On-page search engine optimization begins with your website design.
The first thing that people will notice on your website is its design, so make sure that it’s easy on the eye and that it isn’t crowded with unnecessary elements and features. Most web designers today can create a good-looking site fairly easily.
While it might be tempting to list all your services on a single page with a complete overview of your firm, this can be a bit overwhelming, especially for older users. Since you don’t want to alienate any potential clients, it’s important for your site to be easy to navigate. With that in mind, don’t forget to interlink related pages and elements, so that your visitors can quickly find what they need.
Of course, it goes without saying that your design must be responsive. Your website has to look good on all devices, especially on smartphones.
It’s estimated that more than 60% of Internet users browse the net from their mobile devices.
However, you should never prioritize aesthetics over functionality. A good-looking website will do you no good, unless it gives your visitors a seamless viewing experience.
Before your users even get a chance to see your beautiful design, they will experience its loading speed. We all know that no one likes to wait. If your website takes too long to load, chances are the visitors will leave your site, even before it fully loads to show your layout.
Identify target keywords
In the previous article, we mentioned that you need to create regular and insightful content. But in order for that content to reach your potential clients, you need to perform extensive keyword research first.
This step is incredibly important. If you target keywords that have high competition, you probably won’t see any results. But if you manage to find keywords with lower competition, you can easily increase your traffic.
You can use the Adwords Keyword Planner tool to research keyword ideas and see their level of competition. If you’re only starting out, it’s best to focus on long-tail keywords, since it won’t be hard to rank for them. For example, lawyer for highway car accidents is better than law firm, because it has less competition.
Similarly, you should be targeting highly localized keywords. What does that mean? It means you should always try to include the location of your law firm. In other words, it’s much better to rank for lawyer for car accidents arlington texas, than for lawyer for car accidents.
The explanation is simple: when people get into accidents, the first thing they do is look for a lawyer. Naturally, they turn to their smartphones and Google, as they search the closest lawyer that will represent them. In such cases, they won’t be searching for any lawyer for car accidents, they’ll be searching for a lawyer within their specific area. And even if they don’t search by area, Google’s algorithm will narrow the results to lawyers in the area.
Data shows that around 70% of smartphone Google searches contain localized terms or the phrase near me.
In our previous piece, we explained how important competition research is. This is especially true when you’re searching for keywords for your site. We mentioned that you can use the Adwords Keyword Planner to research keywords. However, it doesn’t allow you to inspect your competitor keywords, which means you have to use other tools.
Luckily, that’s not a problem. There is a number of software solutions that allow you to quickly scan your competitor’s websites to discover their keywords. Unfortunately, most of them are paid and you won’t be able to use them regularly without purchasing the program.
Still, you can always use their free trial versions. The trials last anywhere from 7 to 30 days and they provide you with limited data. However, that’s more than enough for you, if you’re only starting out. Since there are so many of these solutions on the market, you’ll probably be able to use free versions for up to six months without spending a dime on them.
We advise you to check out the industry leaders like SEMRush, Moz, and Linkody first. After your trials expire, you can look for similar solutions on the Internet. That way, you’ll be able continue researching the keywords of your competition for months.
This concludes the first part of our advanced guide to free SEO. If you want to read more about how you can optimize your website without investing in it, check out the second part of our comprehensive guide. Alternatively, if this was too complicated for you, you can check out our essential guide to legal SEO.