Wednesday, February 8, 2017
4 Things Lawyers Should Know About Getting to the First Page on Google
You’re constantly looking for new ways to market your firm and gain new clients. You’ve spent a tremendous amount of time designing your website to perfectly describe your practice in a way that speaks to your prospective clients, but the phone isn’t ringing. The truth is, if your website is not listed on the first page of Google, you may not be receiving the results you’ve been hoping for.
Why is it important to make it to the first page of Google?
Ninety-six percent of people seeking legal advice use a search engine. When someone searches for a specific term or phrase in Google, Google then compiles a list of the most compatible results for that query. For example, if a prospective client searches for a “New York personal injury attorney” within Google, the law firm websites that are most compatible with Google’s algorithm will be listed higher in the search engine results page. These results gain the most website visibility and brand awareness for their firm. They are also more likely to gain traffic to their website and receive calls for their services.
So how exactly do I get there?
Securing a spot on the first page of Google is achievable through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO uses strategies and techniques to improve the visibility of a website and its rankings in the search results section of Google and other search engines. There are many ways to optimize your law firm website to achieve high rankings, but just as you wouldn’t recommend a lay person representing themselves in a legal matter, we highly suggest hiring an SEO specialist with knowledge of the legal industry to get the results you need.
Here are some things to know when speaking with an SEO specialist:
- Identify industry-specific keywords. An SEO specialist that understands the legal space will research and identify specific keywords (terms or phrases your prospective clients type into Google). When your website is optimized for those specific terms, your prospective clients will be able to locate your website when searching for those same keywords or closely related terms. The firms that do the best job of optimizing their website for specific keywords will rank higher on the search results for those terms. For example, a firm that optimizes their site for a “New York personal injury lawyer” should also rank well for “New York personal injury attorney” because Google understands that lawyers and attorneys are similar.
- Continuous content generation. Google rewards websites that are consistently offering helpful and insightful information to those that are searching for answers to their queries. Updating specific pages on your law firm website, such as practice area pages or posting educational blog articles that are relevant to your practice, will invite the Google robots to crawl your site, ultimately improve your rankings. Pro Tip: This is especially true if you include the specific keywords as the title of the blogs or pages.
- Check for local listing consistency. Most prospective clients are looking for local legal services when in need. It is crucial to make sure that your name, address and phone number (NAP) information is consistent throughout all legal directories. Access our business scanner here to identify your firm’s basic information on these platforms and identify inconsistencies that may be hurting your business.
- Make sure your website is mobile-optimized. According to a Google study, 94% percent of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. If your website is difficult to view or use on a mobile device you are losing perspective clients for these reasons:
- If you are found in the search engines, people will leave your site because of a bad user experience. They simply will not spend the time to zoom in and scroll around the page.
- Google labels whether or not a site is mobile-friendly. If your competitors’ websites are mobile-friendly and your website is not, they will stand out on the search engine results page over you. Click here to find out if your website is mobile-friendly.
- Google is changing their algorithm, which will prioritize mobile websites first. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, your website might not be indexed by Google.