Search Engine Optimization {SEO}

Search engine visibility is the No. 1 driver of potential clients to lawyer websites AND it provides for the highest return on your marketing investment.

The internet is the most effective way to reach large numbers of people. For better or worse, the days of people searching for a lawyer by flipping through the Yellow Pages are well behind us. Because of this, the most important tool to reach clients is through the various search engines — Google in particular. It does no good, though, to just put a web page out there and hope for the best. The old mantra of build it and they will come is a dangerous strategy. A web page is only as good as the people it reaches. This is where SEO comes in.

SEO, in general, is a system of tactics and methodologies used to make sure your web page comes up at the top of the list when someone does a Web search in your area for a law firm in which you practice. It utilizes and focuses on what the search engines use in order to make sure you rank as high as possible and thus get more site visits, which results logically in more clients.

We Talk About SEO Differently. Here’s Why…

SEO has changed dramatically over the last couple of years. As the search engines (most notably, Google) have integrated structural changes in the way they operate, Web marketers who stay ahead of the curve have been actively honing new strategies to work with the search engines. In today’s world, it is all about quality.

  • Gladiator’s Founder has…
    • 21 Years of Experience
    • 16 Years in Legal Marketing
  • Industry leading collection of writers:
    • JD and Bar Licensed
    • International Journalists
    • Published Authors
  • Award Winning Designers

In addition to the great people we have working for us, we are also pretty easy to work with:

How Does it Work?

The internet is vast, to put it mildly. There are literally billions of pages of information. It is estimated that over ten thousand gigabytes of information are added every second. Search engines navigate and map pathways to make sure customers receive the most accurate results as quickly as possible. To process data quickly, search engine companies have mountains of servers used to store information. SEO seeks to examine the way search engines find and present information, then to cater your website to make it as visible as possible so that it comes up quickly and as highly on the page as possible. SEOers fall into three categories:

  • White Hat – If you are paying an agency to work on your site, this is the method they should use. This method follows the general guidance given by Google. ‘The websites that meet the users’ intent will rank first.’ Make sure your website provides the best experience for your visitors.
  • Black Hat – Google wants the best websites to rank; marketers want their websites to rank. Black hat SEOers manipulate the metrics Google uses to rank websites. Google can and will penalize websites found to be manipulating their search results.
  • Gray Hat – These strategies walk the line of being black hat.

What do Search Engines Look for?

The two most general ways search engines ‘search’ is by using relevance and popularity. First, relevance is assessed in several ways, but most simply by the words on the page (See “Content” section below.) and in the tags of that page. Tags use code to define the most important idea on the page. This is what makes sure that when you search for “shoes” the pages that show up aren’t about “mice.” The better and more defined the content is, the more visible the page.

The second way, more or less, is by popularity. Search engines use several different metrics to gauge a website’s popularity:

  • In-Bound Links – The more high-quality websites that link to your website, the better your website will perform.
  • Visitors – The more people that visit your website, the better your website will perform.
  • User Experience – These are metrics that Google can measure to gauge how visitors are interacting with on your website. Do they leave immediately or do they stay awhile?

Check out MOZ’s survey for a more complete analysis of ranking factors.

Content

If it isn’t on your site, you aren’t going to rank for it. The more specific and relevant to the users search query, the more likely your page is to rank. For example, if a potential client does a voice activated search for ‘got hurt from a car hitting us in an intersection’ then a page about car accidents might show up. BUT, a page about intersection accidents might show up higher. Or a page about t-bone accidents.

As you can see from the chart, 5+ word phrases make up 41.7% of searches. To put this into even more perspective, only 7% of phrases are searched for more than 20 times per month. This means the vast majority of your clients are not typing in ‘Personal Injury Lawyer’ or ‘Criminal Defense Lawyer’ or ‘Divorce Lawyer’ or any other practice area lawyer/attorney combo. While it is likely these words make up some portion of the phrase, it is likely not the complete phrase. Thus our example above is more likely and will continue to be more likely as people get more accustomed to speaking to their devices rather than typing.

search-volume-distribution

Web Page Design & SEO

An attractive website is important to give visitors the correct impression. For attorneys, this generally means an air of professionalism, expertise and propriety. It should, in short, let potential clients know you are good at what you do and encourage them to trust you with their business. But aesthetics aren’t the only consideration. A good design serves several purposes, not the least of which is to assist with SEO. Design is a vital consideration when trying to boost online rankings and, thus, visibility.

First, what a person sees when they look at a webpage compared to what a search engine sees are two entirely different things. So keeping SEO in mind when building a webpage using HTML, or text, is tremendously important. Text tells not only the reader but also the engine what the page is trying to say. Also important are internal links. The engine must be able to navigate the site using links to logically and rationally move from one page to the next along a clean, accessible line. Both linking various pages to each other, the search engine is better able to map your website and show the pages that are most relevant to the search query.

Does it Work?

All this planning, work and design are focused solely on fine-tuning your website so that it works to its full potential and you ultimately get more business. But if the results aren’t always immediate, how do you know it’s working? SEO marketing has proven itself effective, but it also takes time. Don’t expect to come into your office the morning after a new website launch and be overwhelmed with the sheer number of new clients waiting for you or by the overflow of emails in the box. We know it works because we’ve done it, and it’s not hard to check the progress. While many organizations have tried to condense the many metrics into a single number to gauge the effectiveness of their campaign, they have all fallen short. It is just too complex and difficult. There are a few different metrics you need to look at to check the effectiveness, and which metrics you pay attention to changes as your campaign matures.

  • Signed Cases – By far the most important metric to pay attention to is the number of signed cases. Your firm needs to be asking ‘Where did you hear about us?’ every time, and that needs to be recorded. Unfortunately, it takes time for a campaign to produce. So you will have to rely on other metrics until the number of inquiries becomes consistent.
  • Organic Users – This is the number of people that are visiting your website from the search engines. This number should be increasing year over year, or month over month for new campaigns.
    • New Users – Many marketers believe that a better metric is new users, as this shows only people who are visiting your website for the first time.
  • Bounce Rate – This will give you a general understanding of how users are interacting with your website. If a visitor arrives at your website and then leaves without clicking on anything else, this qualifies as a bounce. Most attorney websites will have bounce rates between 40 and 65 percent. Lower is better.
  • Number of Inquiries – This metric can be misleading if the quality of the inquiries are not good, but it can still be a metric to gauge overall effectiveness. Early on in a campaign, this number should improve substantially over the first six months.
  • Keyword Rankings – At one time this was an excellent tool. But now there are too many factors to rely solely on rankings such as the fact that every person sees a different set of results. Or the fact that most searches are long-tail and there are thousands of different keywords, too many to monitor. Still, this is a good metric to add to the mix.

SEO For Lawyers – The Gladiator Way

A tool is only as good as the person using it. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we have some of the best. (Both people and tools.) We take a fully integrative and comprehensive approach to make sure your law firm SEO elevates your visibility and drives results. Part of that is personal – not only with website design, content tailored to your specific firm and your specific needs as well as exhaustive research on your market, but also keeping up with the latest technology to keep you at the front of the pack. To that end, we focus not just on making sure your Web pages stand out, but also on seeing that when someone in your area searches for an attorney, your firm is at the top of the page. To do that, we utilize the latest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to ensure you’re always one step ahead.

how to get started with SEOclick to close

How To: Getting Started with SEO

A results-driven search engine optimization {SEO} strategy is dependant on accurate, detailed keyword targeting and audience demographics. Compiling the necessary data to construct a custom Keyword Strategy and Demographic Profile is the first step.

Leveraging the insights from your strategy documents, an online marketing campaign is engineered that provides for the development and promotion of the campaign materials. This may include: content development, ad creative, social media shareables, infographics, press releases, whitepapers and other production that will allow you to tap into your Keyword Strategy and Demographic Profile.

What We Offer

Gladiator Law Marketing has crafted a custom collection of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) packages designed to deliver SEO visibility for your law firm. Reach out and let’s talk about the best ways to make your Web presence work better for your law firm: 1(888)683-3212

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