Permitted Methods of Doing SEO for the Legal Industry
The legal industry is perceived as one of the most hermetic and conventional sectors in economy. People associate it with gravity and social prestige. However, it turns out that it’s totally alike other sectors operating on the market and also needs to fight in order to attract new clients. Due to the restrictions of the applicable law, the legal industry doesn’t allow all forms of advertising and promotion. So how not to break the law and still outdo your competition? How can SEO help you and why is it worth investing in it? Keep reading!
The legal industry comprises many professions like solicitors, attorneys or notaries. Their job involves providing legal services to both individuals and companies. They represent clients during mediations, litigations and negotiations. One of their tasks is also to ensure favorable terms of concluded contracts. Most often they operate on the market as law offices or various types of companies.
According to statistics, there is a meteoric rise in the number of law graduates which equals greater competition on the market.
Although this profession hasn’t changed much over the last few years, currently we can observe the implementation of many new technological solutions. Law offices are much more eager to use dedicated IT management tools. They contact clients through emails and video calls. An increasing percentage of the companies operating in the legal industry appreciate the possibilities offered by the Internet. This can be evidenced by the growing number of emerging websites and blogs related to law.
The more Internet users, the more companies decide to go online. The fact that the majority of people browse the net to search for information and answers to their questions makes being displayed high in the search results particularly lucrative.
Illegal and permitted methods of advertising your brand
Due to the fact that lawyers are subject to the state court and bar association rules, it may be rather difficult to successfully advertise a law office. The law clearly states that attorneys shouldn’t use any false or misleading forms of advertising as well as shock advertising to gain trust of clients and encourage them to use their services.
Methods of advertising the legal industry are limited and restricted by law regulations. Attorneys shouldn’t publicize any details and cases that are subject to professional secrecy. However, now they’re generally allowed to use Google Ads or billboards to promote themselves or their services.
Moreover, legal persons need to remember that texts or messages they publish should neither contain any statements like “we’re the best” or “we’ll win every case”, nor allude to their rivals on the market. It’s also important to mention that the law principles differ from country to country and from state to state, therefore, you need to scrutinize which law rules are binding in your location before performing any marketing activity. For example, in New York print ads are allowed to provide only the address, phone number and print specialties of a given law office.
There isn’t much space for the competition when it comes to the legal industry. One of the allowed methods is informing about the activity by hanging a board on the headquarters building or running a website. Currently it doesn’t happen quite often but you still may also encounter various printed booklets like leaflets or Yellow Pages advertisements.
But is there any more effective place to present your services than Google search results? After all, lawyers are also entrepreneurs who want to build brand image and be recognizable. SEO gives you the possibility of gaining new prospective clients and improving your brand recognition without violating the advertising principles. Being active in social media and running a company blog will help you not only to position yourself as an expert but also to inspire trust in your potential clients.
However, if you want SEO to meet your expectations and bring satisfactory results, you need to remember about a few very important aspects.
SEO benefits both the algorithm and the user
First and foremost – content!
It’s not brand new information that unique and quality content can work miracles. Your content informs Google that you regularly create and publish new texts which makes you worthy of being displayed high in the search results.
When it comes to the legal industry, providing information comprehensively so that it’s understandable for a total layman is a big assetwhich can help you attract new clients who after reading your blog entry or the FAQ section may be more eager to take advantage of your services. Therefore, it’s worth running a company blog which will accompany your website and provide contact details or information about your law office.
Don’t be afraid of running out of subjects! You can describe various case studies (without providing clients’ personal data), you can guide people how to deal with disputes or outline meditation principles. Write about current affairs such as law amendments or upcoming changes that may affect an average person.
In the legal industry, similarly to other market sectors, it’s advisable to be specialized in a given field. So if you’re a real patent law expert, evidence it by your content! This will help you attract more people who are really interested in these specific services on your offer.
A newsletter is another way of providing your potential clients with up to date information and knowledge. Subscribing to it is optional, therefore readers need to agree to be presented with news and revelations. This medium allows you to do more. Newsletters enable including information about the company that won’t be treated as advertising but at the same time will encourage clients to use your services. Create your own mailing list as it can generate many leads.
Many lawyers are fans of being active in social media. It’s a very effective and affordable way of building trust and recognition of your company. Publishing posts regularly and linking to blog entries or recording educational InstaStories will support your other activities which aim at gaining new clients.
Content equals appropriate keywords
It’s a good idea to take advantage of the offered tools such as SEMSTORM, Google Search Console, SEMrush or Ahrefs before selecting keywords you want to do SEO for. Remember that the chosen phrases shouldn’t be too general because then it’ll be less feasible to reach the top positions in the search results as your competition will probably be too powerful.
Instead, it’s recommended to go for keywords that are more specific and tailored to the legal field you specialize in.Getting to know the phrases your rivals do SEO for is the real key to success. Keywords should be constantly monitored and adjusted to new subpages and entries published on the site.
Technical aspects of SEO
Remember that despite all the elements displayed to the users, it’s Google robots that determine your position in the search results. In order to facilitate the process of rendering the website, you should keep in mind a few aspects of technical SEO.
- Site map and redirects. These are the paths that robots use to navigate the website. The more trouble-free they are, the more likely it is that Google will perceive the site as valuable.
- Website loading time and mobile friendliness. Nobody likes waiting. Nowadays people search for information on various devices, therefore, it’s a good idea to ensure that your website adjusts to the screen resolution and is properly loaded just after users click on the link. This is one of the Google ranking factors.
- Internal linking and friendly URLs.A URL is appropriate if users are able to enter it manually. The correct internal linking ensures convenient and intuitive website navigation. Thanks to it, you’re ranked higher in Google and appreciated by users.
- Graphics optimization. It’s about adjusting the appropriate descriptions and keywords to the photos on the page. The robots can’t analyze graphics but they see descriptions. It’s also a solution that will help you improve the visibility of your graphics on the website.
Local SEO? Why not!
A person seeking information on legal advice very often decides to use the services offered by the company which provided it with satisfactory answers to their questions. It’s good if the contact data is well visible. Face to face meetings with clients are the bread and butter of the legal industry. In order to be searchable, <you should create your listing in Google and include your location in Google Maps.
As we’re talking about being local, it’s also a good idea to create so-called NAPs (name, address, phone). These are simply business cards on portals such Infobel. You can briefly describe your business there or provide your address, phone and opening hours. This will localize the company in a given area and make it easy for the interested ones to access the necessary information.
Website design and UX
Website design is the last visual element that influences the number of visitors to the site. Apart from intuitive navigation, users should be able to enter specific phrases in the internal search engine. This function enables being more efficient. It’s also important to remember about call to actionwhich will encourage visitors to contact you or to subscribe to a newsletter. It can have both graphic and text form.
The legal industry isn’t fond of experimenting with colors and designs.The website should inspire trust and show that a given lawyer is full of class. Go for versatile colors such as gray, navy blue, white or black. It’s also essential to enable reviewing and rating as genuine comments and recommendations will surely improve your brand recognition.
Below you can see an example of a well designed legal website:
To sum up
SEO is one of the most effective ways of competing with your rivals on the market when it comes to such complex industries as the legal one. Due to legal restrictions and the increasing number of lawyers, very soon this path will be followed by everyone willing to attract new potential clients. It’s a fact that technology is constantly developing and that the information obtained online affects the users’ decision making process. Thus, it’s better to get prepared now and invest in professional SEO services.
Google describes the legal industry as YMYL (your money your life) which means that it has high expectations of it, just as in the case of medical and financial industries. Keeping this in mind, you should strive to create high quality content full of expertise. Otherwise, the algorithm can severely punish websites providing unsatisfactory or low-level information.
In order to make your entries more authentic, you should include a short bio about the author of the text and indicate the administrator of the website. This is exactly what the E-A-T principle, which is one of the ranking factors, states.
Remember that it takes time to get ranked high in the search results and it can’t be done overnight. Start thinking about it now!