You have heard it before and will likely hear it from any marketing company you use for search engine optimization (SEO) services. SEO takes time and patience. Waiting for your content to rank well can feel like a waste. We know.
We understand your frustration. Our goal, in the end, is to get you more conversions. A good SEO campaign paired with patience can lead to conversions. Many law firms are utilizing SEO, which increases the difficulty of ranking for prime keywords. Continue reading to see the latest data on SEO in general and in the legal field.
Do not wait to get started on your legal SEO campaign. Contact our team today for a free assessment.
Why your law firm should invest in SEO
Having a custom-designed SEO strategy is a critical investment in ensuring your law firm website is capable of generating leads for your firm. SEO is about informing the search engines that your website exists, offers valuable content and information, and can solve searcher needs. Without it, you are lagging the competition.
Over time, SEO brings in leads through organic traffic – visitors to your website who visit a search engine, type in a question or a service they need, and then receive a list of options on the search engine results pages (SERPs). In addition, SEO builds brand awareness and can establish your authority in the legal field you practice. SEO helps law firms:
- Rank in the search engines
- Build their brand awareness
- Establish your law firm and lawyer authority in the industry
Legal keywords are competitive. This is the most challenging part of SEO for legal services. Though it would be very easy if you could just pop a few terms onto your website and wait for people to find you, that is no longer the case. Rather, now that SEO is flourishing and supporting the most successful law firms, it has gotten harder to stand out from the pack. Therefore, we need to provide the right formula for success here.
Reliable organic traffic
Once you create a strong SEO strategy, it can then work to become a solid, steady source of new leads for your law practice. Studies have found that search is one of the leading means to bring traffic to a law firm’s website.
Organic search, which is the process of ranking in the search engines for specific phrases, which we call keywords, is exceedingly valuable. Studies found that organic search generates 66% of conversions.
Most people who need a lawyer or legal services search for one. They do not just type in a lawyer’s name or website. They may use supplemental supportive services, like legal directories, but only if those rank higher on the SERPs. If you want your website to generate leads for your firm, you have to incorporate SEO as an ongoing business strategy.
Many studies pinpoint SEO as the critical factor in digital marketing and all attorney marketing strategies. In fact, 79% of people say it is the most effective outlet for marketing. This statistic continues to grow.
Legal SEO statistics
SEO is an effective way of marketing to reach potential clients. The goal is always to land at the top of a Google search, (formaly known as the first page). Other law firms – your competitors – likely know this. That is why studies show that 84% of law firms plan to invest more money into digital marketing to continue to reach and capture new potential clients.
Increasing your budget in digital marketing and focusing on high-quality SEO services and strategies could bring more traffic to your website. Another study found that almost 70% of digital traffic is due to local and organic searches. Almost 70%! That’s a huge percentage.
Where is the other 30% from, then? Those come almost entirely from referrals and paid searches. Not only is paid search expensive as a way to market to get website traffic, but it is also a one-time, fleeting benefit you must continue paying.
That is not what SEO is.
Using SEO on your web pages provides ongoing lead generation and reaches the most people.
Do you know how much it costs to rank in the SERPs for a legal keyword in your area? If you want to be on one of the top positions in Google search for one of the services you offer, you will need to pay substantially to reach that point. For example, let’s say you are a Miami personal injury attorney. That keyword alone costs $130 per click!
If you are using pay-per-click (PPC), your Google ads will cost you $130 every time someone clicks on a link to get to your site. That does not mean they will stay around or become your client.
Check out our blog on legal keywords to read more about the cost of ranking through PPC.
What about an even more densely populated state for attorneys? Let’s say that your law firm has plenty of competition. That will impact the number of attorneys trying to rank in the search engines for the same keywords. Given this increased competition in the digital sphere, it helps to look at where these attorneys are primarily located to see where your competition lies. Did you know that the ABA 2021 report put New York at the top of the list for the state with the highest number of practicing attorneys?
Check out this chart that shows just how hard it is to rank for particular keywords in New York as a result.
If your law firm is in a state with high demand and a high density of attorneys, that means there will be more competition in Google’s algorithm for local search. In other words, many people are trying to rank for the same words you are in local search.
Remember, organic search generates 66% of all call conversions in the legal field. While we focus heavily on the cost and overall difficulty of ranking on the search enginesit is still a critical factor if you want people to find your phone number and call you for a service you need.
The importance of a legal blog
Is your law firm in the 27%? Only 27% of law firms run a blog, and even fewer of them run a personal blog. Check out this article on the importance of running a legal blog. In many ways, it is one of the best legal marketing strategies for firms trying to compete for prospective clients, especially in one of these highly competitive areas.
A blog is a valuable tool because it requires a strong content marketing strategy. That includes consistently updating and refreshing content and adding new content to the blog. Surveys found that those law firms that do this get as much as 400% more web traffic than those who have a blog that they do not use routinely. It’s hard to find any other more valuable tool when it comes to law firm marketing.
Local SEO statistics
When we discuss attorney SEO, there are various forms. However, the most valuable form of digital marketing for most attorneys looking for new clients is local SEO. Local SEO focuses on attracting people within your geographical area – your most likely target audience. We can use keyword research to better understand what local people are searching for, but then we need to incorporate it in various ways.
For example, your Google Business Profile is among the most valuable components. In fact, it is critically important. About 98% of potential leads will read reviews on an attorney’s business profile before hiring them. That means one of your marketing tactics needs to focus on building your presence in that local market. As your SEO agency, we can do that in various ways, including completing and updating your Google Business Profile so that new clients can find it when searching for an attorney in your area. Google Maps will pinpoint precisely where your law firm office is, allowing people to quickly and easily find you.
Another important component of local SEO is ensuring your target audience can reach you in the way that works best for them. Just having an online presence isn’t enough. You need to be sure that, when consumers are using their smartphones, they can easily navigate your page. This impacts website rankings but, most importantly, impacts user experience. Why do the work to get people to your page with these marketing tactics if they can’t use your tools later?
Legal social media marketing statistics
Another one of the metrics that we need to think about when creating a strong lawyer SEO strategy is social media. They may seem like two very separate things (and yes, social media marketing is a very different process), but social media is a big deal in marketing your law firm.
If you are not involved with social media as a law firm yet, you should consider creating a few social media accounts now. Then, post regularly to them. Your marketing agency can help you with this process.
Why do this? Why open a new marketing channel like this? It’s simple:
81% of law firms use social media. More so, 29% of clients said they found their attorney through social media.
Social media helps you reach a wide range of people. You can also target your ads very specifically for those who may be looking for what you offer, like family law or personal injury law. This helps with lead generation.
Consider how this also helps with lawyer SEO. You develop a piece of content for your social media page. That helps garner some attention from your would-be clients because it’s a thought leadership post that provides valuable information and showcases your industry expertise. This creates backlinks from your social media pages to your website. That will give you a nice Google rankings boost when done consistently. Link building like this and using other methods, including internal links, will help support your ranking in search engines.
We typically recommend the use of LinkedIn as a good starting point. Be sure that this part of your marketing efforts focuses heavily on communicating directly with prospective clients.
Is your website easy to access and use from mobile devices? As we noted before, this is very important for your SEO efforts to be valuable and produce conversions. Studies show that 87% of attorneys say they have a website, but only 68% say their website is mobile-friendly. This figure is increasing each year. Your site has to be mobile-friendly. Last year, mobile searches made up over 60% of all searches. Altering your website design to ensure that anyone, on any device, can use your site is critical.
Common issues for law firms in digital marketing
You have a website. You already put in some money for SEO work. You don’t see a lot of results from it. What could be wrong?
As noted at the start of this article, SEO takes time. However, that does not mean you can put a website in place and just wait for results. You have to work on it, learn where there are potential limitations in your strategy, and improve it. You also have to keep feeding Google with high-quality content and updating pages to continue to get the search engine’s attention. Take a look at some of the most common mistakes and issues websites have that could limit the results you see.
Not using internal links: A big part of your site is to ensure that people can go from one page to the next easily. This also impacts the search engine’s ability to crawl and index your site. You should have a practice area page, for example, link to valuable subtopics.
Not putting enough time into SEO: Consistency is crucial for SEO to work well. If you are not updating and working to consistently improve your site, your competition can squeeze ahead of you in the rankings.
Bad page indexing: Indexing is the process by which search engines scan your page (what we call crawling) to determine what is on it and how valuable that content is. If your pages do not make that process easy, it cannot allow your site to rank well in the search engines.
Slow website: A slow or unresponsive website is another concern that directly impacts ranking factors like time-on-page. If your website is not responding and loading fully in seconds, you are losing searchers to your competitors.
Thin content: Google wants excellent content, but so do your prospective clients. If you are putting up content but are not seeing many results from it, that could indicate it does not have enough “meat” to stand out from the competition. Remember that content isn’t just for the search engines but also for the people who need to read it and be convinced to work with you. Ensure that the content you write is substantial, answering multiple questions within the topic at-hand.
Not seeing an ROI from your SEO?
As you look at these law firm SEO statistics, you may wonder why this does not apply to you. Unfortunately, that is not uncommon. We can fix it.
At Array Digital, we specialize in law firm SEO. That gives us a distinct advantage (and our clients, too) in helping clients rank in the search engines. Let’s talk about how we can improve your website’s ROI. Call us now at 757-333-3021 or fill out our contact form.