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It’s tempting to get overwhelmed by SEO and give up. After all, the science is always evolving, it’s difficult to keep up with best practices – and many firms feel as though they aren’t really getting much in the way of leads from their search engine optimization efforts. However – when done correctly – SEO can be a powerful lead generator. Here is a synopsis of SEO for lawyers and how to generate leads through SEO:
1. Update your keyword research tactics: focus on target “topic clusters”, not just terms
Keyword research is at the heart of a successful SEO strategy. If you don’t get this part right, it’s hard to get much traction with SEO.
In today’s landscape of SEO for lawyers, it’s no longer necessary to create several pieces of content that target similar keywords. Since search engines now have a better handle on how terms relate to each other, you can focus on more exhaustive pieces of content that use target “adjacent” phrases such as “personal injury attorney”, “personal injury lawyer”, “attorneys who specialize in injuries at work”, etc.
To get started with your topic clusters, follow this process:
- Brainstorm with your team. What do people search to find your services (or your competitors’)? Talk to existing clients and to your sales team as well.
- Keep an eye on your industry conversations. Participate in LinkedIn or Facebook groups and see which topics are most discussed.
- Look to Google autocomplete to add to your list of keywords. Start by typing in a general term that relates to your business and then see what suggestions Google makes. Add them to your list. Also, check out the related searches at the bottom of SERPs. Try using a specialized keyword tool like SEMrush to refine terms.
- As you narrow down your list of terms, make sure you understand searcher intent. Aligning content with intent is crucial, so do some research. If you plug in a term and the results mainly consist of “how to” guides, consider it a sign that people are trying to become more educated on that subject.
- Prioritize keywords based on a mix of volume and difficulty. Understand how competitive a keyword is before you take the time to invest in content creation.
2. Quality over quantity: content needs to be valuable to make a difference
High-quality content is one of the most important elements of SEO for lawyers. Years ago, publishers focused on pushing out as much content as they could, even if the items weren’t necessarily relevant or well-written. Now we know that just publishing a bunch of unrelated blog posts won’t help with anything.
Many firms have found success with a “hub and spoke” model, where a central page (hub) links to all relevant content (the spokes) on their site. This strategy is great when you want to rank for competitive keywords because it combines high-quality content, strong on-page optimization, and internal linking, which sends powerful signals to search engines in the form of higher time on site and pages per visit.
When you sit down to create content, you need to ensure it has a competitive advantage. What sets it apart from other material on the same subject? Use recent and credible data whenever possible, and include expert opinions when you can.
Don’t stop there! You need to drive traffic and get other websites to link to your content. Develop a strategy for promoting your posts through various channels.
3. Include content updates in your ABM strategy
Once you begin regularly publishing content, you’ll find that some page visitors aren’t quite ready to become clients. In these cases, you want to use content to collect form submissions, obtain newsletter sign-ups, and generally build awareness and strengthen relationships. Try producing additional collateral that builds on content that’s already getting traction. Look for opportunities to share “upgraded content” for which the visitors might be willing to provide their information.
If you are using ABM (account-based marketing), then you’re probably already sending highly-targeted emails. Review data (or set up workflows using marketing automation) to see what key contacts are viewing, and then send them personalized content that’s related. This will take some extra time, but for particularly high-value prospects, it’s worth it. Plus, you can tweak content and reuse it (just don’t make it boilerplate, that defeats the purpose).
This strategy will be most successful if you actually care about helping your audience. Research their needs, what challenges they must overcome, and their common hesitations. Then create content that addresses those topics, seeking to add value and improve people’s lives. Only then will contacts be willing to exchange their information – dropping them into a lead list that you can continue to nurture.
For any law firm, SEO is one of the only sustainable ways to carve out an audience, generate leads, and work toward closing new clients. The great thing about SEO for lawyers is that the benefits accrue over time – if you don’t give up.
Take the time to implement an effective strategy, and the resources you put into SEO will be repaid several times over. By producing high-quality content, executing a strong link-building strategy, and focusing on other digital outreach, law firms can use SEO to generate lots of new, qualified leads.
If you’d like more assistance with your SEO strategy, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ve helped many law firms achieve success by garnering more leads through a robust SEO strategy.