Excited by the idea of how SEO can help your law firm, you decide to try it. All your competitors are already using SEO to increase their leads. After several months, you see great metrics. However, you are still not seeing an increase in phone calls or contact form submissions. Frustrated with the process, you wonder if SEO even works.
You might have heard it before: SEO takes time. But just how much time? For example, if you have a newer website and are hoping to rank in the top position for the term “New York personal injury lawyer,” the journey will be long. Here’s what to expect.
First, let’s talk about metrics. At Array Digital, when we track your metrics, we focus on two main parts. These metrics are keyword acquisition and website traffic.
Keyword acquisition is our starting point for moving towards keyword positioning — helping Google to value your website for the keywords you know your target clients are typing into the search engine. The better your positioning for your target keywords, the more traffic your website will gain, meaning more potential clients for your law firm.
In order to improve your keyword acquisition, we write content that allows your website to appear for new keywords in the SERPs. Yet, keyword positioning — or getting Google to recognize and place your website at the very top of the search results — takes more time.
The ultimate goal here is to build topical authority and also create backlinks to your service pages. Clients who have maintained their SEO journey tend to find that their main service pages are the ones that drive in the most traffic. We want to provide opportunities to answer some of the questions people ask Google on your site and then link them back to these main pages. That’s topics that answer questions like “who,” or “what,” or “why,” and so on. This is what people type into search engines to get help for their legal problems. We call these questions or phrases longtail keywords.
Check out this chart with some differences between keyword acquisition and positioning and why they take different amounts of time.
Let’s be clear about what SEO can do for you. It’s a critical tool, one that defines the success of most law firms, big or small, because consumers use the web to find attorneys. Yet, there’s competition, and there are numerous steps to reach the ultimate goal.
Stay proactive when there is a contrast between your metrics and leads
We understand the SEO process can be infuriating. Your time is precious, and you want to see results now.
Instead of viewing SEO as a one-and-done process, view it as a long-term journey. Your goal is to rank for a keyword like “New York personal injury attorney.” View that process as a trip across the United States. To reach your end goal of San Francisco, you’ll drive through dozens of places along the way. If you only focus on the Golden Gate Bridge and getting to the city, you’ll miss everything on the journey, from the thrills of Nashville to the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park.
In other words, you’ll get to that endpoint, and it will be worth it. You just have to take the time to acknowledge all of the wins along the way.
That doesn’t mean you have to waste time, though. When our clients start seeing impressive metrics but aren’t getting the leads they hoped for, we generally start looking here first:
Optimization comes in many forms, including the content that’s written for the website, the website itself, and the backlinks leading to it. Our goal is to pinpoint any opportunities in each of these areas.
Content and keywords
Just because you write content using keywords that you believe target your clients does not mean it will automatically rank in the search engines. Time is a big factor in SEO. It takes time for the search engines to value that content, determine where it should be in the rankings, and time to build value due to other efforts you create.
It’s also not just about putting a blog up on your site. Rather, we need to build backlinks to your site. We want other businesses to refer their readers to your website. That’s going to be extremely helpful in ranking.
Did you know 63% of internet searches are now mobile searches? People expect your website to be easy to navigate from their phones. If not, that’s holding you back.
Another issue that could be limiting your results is intent. Are you having issues with the type of audience you are receiving for leads? Intent could be a factor. That is, if you are not drawing in the big-name leads you want, that could be because you’re not optimizing your site for that specific target.
More commonly, you may be getting people to your site, but they are not there for the right reason. If you’re a personal injury attorney, but they need help with criminal defense, there’s a problem with intent.
What if the right people are on your site, but they’re not taking action? That could mean your site isn’t enticing them and compelling them to contact you. What do you offer that other law firms don’t? The key here is to offer as many free and unique resources as possible to build your lead generation funnel.
There’s also the very important need to focus on promotion — how are you telling people about your site? Are you using social media to promote your law firm (spoiler alert — you need to)? Are you working with other businesses to get referrals?
It has been a year. Why am I not seeing an SEO payout?
Here’s the unfortunate truth: You have to be patient. Early adopters get the advantage.
We cannot provide a foolproof timeframe for when you’ll see significant leads rolling in (and any firm that promises that is not being truthful to you). However, we can tell you that you’ll start seeing benefits to your website right away.
Let’s look at some of those “wins” along the way!
- If your metrics are up, that means you are gaining new keywords. Google is paying attention.
- Are you engaging with our correspondence with you when we write new briefs? That’s great — it means that we’re able to include more of your original thought, which is something that SERPs have begun to swing towards.
- Is your website and brand gaining ground on social media? People are paying attention.
Time and content
When you start SEO, you may expect the process to take a few months until you start ranking against your competitors. The reality is it takes time, generally more than a few months.
But what should you do? If you’re not ranking and gaining leads, should you stop investing in SEO? No, absolutely not, but we’re not just saying that to keep your business.
If you stop SEO, you can expect any growth to slow and possibly stop. You’ll be further behind in a year when you attempt it again.
Instead, it’s time to realign and find any gaps that could help to further boost your results. You may need to fill in some of those gaps. Other times, you may instead just need to give the process more time.
Look at your competitors.
- How long have they been doing SEO?
- How old is their site?
- What position are they ranking for a keyword you also desire?
Many times, competitors are in the same position, and it took them years to get to where they are now. They also likely started their SEO campaign at a time when few other attorneys engaged in digital marketing, making the market less competitive at the time. Consider your own situation:
- How long have you been doing SEO?
- Is your site new?
- How much search-optimized content do you have?
Build your authority
Ultimately, we need to show the search engines that your website is valuable and that they should be positioning it in front of people who need your service.
If your site hasn’t been around long, lacks good-quality information, and doesn’t have a well-designed digital marketing strategy, Google isn’t going to rank it well.
Instead, work to build topical authority based on the legal services you offer. Showcase your services in those areas. Build out your content.
Social media usage
How our strategies keep you informed
If your website isn’t improving, let our team take a look at your metrics. We’ll provide honest feedback about where you stand and why you may not be reaching your goals just yet. Transparency is one of the top priorities for Array Digital for a reason.
We’ll make suggestions on how to improve your digital marketing campaign so you can skip all of those less-than-desirable stops along the way and focus on the big wins instead.