There are literally dozens of verifiable and successful methods attorneys have used in the past to find new clients, but aside from Word of Mouth Marketing, Search Engine Optimization is the process that’ll bring you more clients from the Internet than all other mediums combined.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of increasing your firm’s visibility on the major search engines.
Click Through Rates
Google holds a whopping 88.5% market share for search volume in the United States [source: Statista]
Moreover, 97.5% of consumers use the Internet to search for services locally [source: Adaptive Marketing]
This means that 86% of ALL NEW ATTORNEY CASES have been won with a search on Google.
Since Google is particularly good and showing the best business choices, they typically only provide consumers with 3 choices.
We call this the Local Pack with Organic Placement.
Another thing to consider is the CTR, or the Click Through Rate. This is the percentage of people that click on the number one spot, number two and number three.
It is said that the #1 spot receives 53% of the clicks, #2 receives 37% and the #3 spot receives 10%. [source: BrightLocal]
Ponder on the these numbers. Being placed in the coveted #1 spot will yield you the opportunity to earn about ½ of ALL NEW BUSINESS in your area!
While rankings #1 for your best keyword is a nice feat, being #1 when searching for your best keyword when you’re located five or 10 miles from your office is a complete different animal.
Take a look at this graphic below. This is the ranking service area for a client after six months of SEO.
This is an example of a [Bankruptcy Attorney] located in Los Angeles. Each push pin is equivalent to One mile.
Your service area is vastly important and typically overlooked when trying to rank a linear keyword.
Imagine this. Attorney A and Attorney B. Both attorneys are working the same community, went to the same school and are roughly the same age, working the same field of [Personal Injury].
But Attorney A has a much larger, more profitable practice. They built their practice on solid word of mouth advertising.
Attorney A gets their clients to provide recommendations to their friends and family, who need to travel 10 miles to get to Attorney A’s location.
They get great service and leave a review.
Google now knows that Attorney A has clients 10 miles from their location. Google knows Attorney A must be a good attorney if they have clients travelling 10 miles, when the average client in the attorney world would only drive 5 miles.
This scenario is one of many on how to influence your service area. Get your best, furthest distant clients to leave positive reviews!
We understand we must maximize the CTR & Service Area, which are two factors that ultimately influence rankings, however Google says there are over 200 factors that are considered when ranking a business.
Let’s clarify something first, the difference types of ranking results.
- Paid Ads
- Local Search Results
- Featured Snippets
- Knowledge Graph
- Organic Results
For a local business, there are several options you have for paid ads. In this articleis further discuss paid advertising for attorneys.
I think of online paid advertising like going to the Las Vegas Strip. There are a handful of the world’s largest hotel & casinos, taking money from 1000’s of people. Online a small number leave the strip with a profit…most lose their money.
PPC advertising on the Internet is the same. The hotels are the Google’s of the world and you’re the gambler. Except you have control over your odds.
Google Adwords is Google paid advertising product. Adwords is what has made Google the fastest growing company in history, and of course, extremely profitable. But it has also made a million millionaires.
Adwords is a form of Pay Per Click, or PPC, advertising. Facebook has their version.
With Adwords, you can place ads on the Google Search Results Page or on their ‘content network’. The CN allows website publishers to place ads on their websites and receive a share of the revenue with Google. The advertiser can chose what sites in the network or allow Google to choose.
Adwords is the easiest online and quickest strategy to gain exposure, however it can be very costly and failure rates are high.
Local Search Results
While discussed later, organic results rank webpages, local results rank businesses. Well, they rank a business profile that is managed within your Google Account.
The local search results are where you want your business to be. There is tremendous value, in fact a synergy, if you are placed #1-3 in the Local Pack and have a paid ad. It is said this synergy uses more SERP real estate and increases the propensity to get the click.
Improving rankings in the Local Pack is often called Local SEO, or in this case, Local SEO for Attorneys.
Local SEO for a Law Firm isn’t much different than other businesses, however the attorney marketspace is very competitive, and expensive.
It’ll often take six to 12 months to get a firm to rank in the 3-pack…but with the right trust, authority and exposure, it can almost always be done.
We start with the 3-Pillars of Local SEO. Think C.P.R. – Content, Profiles and Reviews. Or rather Marketing, Distribution and Praise.
Featured Snippets are Google’s way to growing beyond its 10 blue links you have been accustomed to with Google.
These are selected search results that are featured on the top of Google’s organic results below the ads in a box.
Think of your prospects, one who got DUI. Perhaps they want to know how long they are going to lose their license. So they go to Google and type [How long do you lose your license for with a DUI in Illinois?]
See how Google answered my question? See where the answer is coming from?
A local attorney!
Your prospects will go through a research and buying stage while deciding on a specific attorney.
By establishing trust on the Internet, and authority, Google will use your quality content to answer buyer objections during the research phase. Rich Snippets are gold for attorneys!
Let’s face it, Google is King when it comes to Knowledge. And they are not doing it themselves. They got your help, mine, and practically everyone you know contributing to this knowledge.
Start with Google first and only prominent Mission Statement “To organize the worlds’ information and mike it universally accessible and useful”
The knowledge graph is then a database that collects millios of pieces of data about keywords people frequently search for on the world wide web and the intent behind those kwyords, based on the already available content.
Try this, go to Google and type [best movies for 2019].
This is the knowledge graph at work. This list is compiled by Google, on the fly of the best movies based on dozens of factors. This is not a webpage from a single author listing the best movies of 2019.
I’ve left Organic Results for the last, because they are the most familiar and often misunderstood.
Looks at the trend of the previous four SERP listings. None of them existed in Google’s first years. They each addressed a popular usage of the Google search engine, and at least three of the four are relevant for an attorney.
Here’s a little secret, the Featured Snippet is usually the first Organic listing.
Since you want featured snippets to answer buyer objectives, your strategy is the same for Organic rankings. This is where you want to rank for search related client objections.
I discussed the example of a DUI client. For your firm, try this exercise.
Take the service you wish to become the local expert in. If you are a Criminal Lawyer, chose a field such as traffic law. Perhaps you’re a personal injury attorney, pick a field such as Nursing Home Abuse.
Now write our 10 questions you typically get asked during such initial meetings.
These 10 questions are your next five months work. Write a 1500-2000 word blog post centered around each question, and post them on your blog every two weeks. Don’t forget to propagate to your social media channels. We automate this with Zapier.
It’s that simple!
In this post I’ve introduced three key concepts in SEO and how to rank your lawyer website in Google. I’ve discussed
- Click Through Rates
- Service Area
- SERP Rankings
SEO is not about some magic formula or get overly concerned about whether you know the correct right strategy of the week.
In fact we podcast weekly about the changes of the SEO industry, but after 10 years of a weekly podcast, I can assure you the fundamentals of SEO are simply basic marketing.
There are literally hundreds of SEO strategies being used, but the real success comes into the hard work.
Take a look at this post where I begin to talk about some of the more lucrative strategies we employ, such as the 3 Pillars of SEO or perhaps the power of a Press Release.