Lead development strategies for law firms are a dime a dozen. Organic traffic remains the primary source of leads for law firms. This, however, is despite the fact that paid advertisements, today, are nearly indistinguishable from organic hits. Google wanted to boost its revenue from paid clicks, so they changed the layout of their search engine results pages. It worked. Google does indeed make more money now from pay per click (PPC) advertising than they did before. Nonetheless, most users still use the top three organic hits on Google.
The second important point that needs to be brought up are the many changes to how Google ranks web pages. In today’s digital marketplace, content is king. How engaging your website is to readers can have a significant impact on your organic ranking. Google records how long users spent on your page browsing, the number of clicks. If you’re a small business, then Google records whether they bought anything or not.
In addition, Google’s map rankings now are a significant factor as well. They appear right in between the paid ads and the organic listings. Ranking here can have a profound impact on the number of leads your website generates.
Here we’ll talk about the necessity of employing various lead development strategies for law firms to drive traffic to your firm’s website in 2019 and beyond. If you would like to discuss any of the strategies mentioned below with Travis, you can use this link to schedule an appointment today.
Page Authority: Ranking as Much as Possible
It isn’t exactly a mind-blowing concept, but ranking for your blogs, localization pages, and practice area pages increases your chances of improving your overall rank. It also increases your chances of drawing in niche clients with long tail keywords.
On the other hand, some websites, and even SEO specialists will create multiple pages attempting to rank for the same keyword. This is not an advisable strategy. You end up with two pages on your website competing for the same keyword.
A Tool That Works.
Moz has developed a method of predicting how well a page will rank for a given keyword. This system is more or less accurate. What Moz cannot predict are factors like:
- How engaging is your content?
- How long will a visitor stay on your page?
- Will they be interested enough to click to more pages?
These are factors that will not help you rank in the short term, but once you do rank, it will help improve your ranking, push you to the top, and solidify your place at the top of the organic rankings.
One factor that plays a significant role is how engaging, entertaining, and lastly, readable your pages are. When someone is going to your website to learn about the legal procedures that relate to their lawsuit, the last thing that they want is to have to translate a bunch of legalese. They need the writing on your page to be accessible and answer their questions. In fact, if they go to your page, but don’t spend a lot of time there, that can hurt your organic ranking. Google records that too.
Developing a Strategy for PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
PPC advertising is mostly met with some suspicion by SEO specialists. It has a time and a place. Logistically, that time and place are for newer businesses to get their foot in the door. It is also most useful for e-commerce businesses that are fighting over the high-stakes digital real estate.
It’s true that some keywords are very expensive. For instance, keywords like:
- Personal injury attorney,
- Criminal defense attorney,
- Bankruptcy attorney,
Generally, have a number of firms trying to rank for those keywords. The costs per click on search strings such as these can be quite expensive and not garner the right kind of clients.
In other words, you’re casting too wide a net. Worse still, the high value of cases will drive the bidding on specific search terms through the roof.
It’s hard to argue with that logic.
Nonetheless, a tactical approach to employing PPC can improve your organic ranking as well. By tactical, we mean precision. We do not recommend targeting generic keywords or peripheral keywords in an unstructured manner. It’s not about casting a wide net, we want you to narrow your focus to an ideal client.
It’s also cheaper to target these keywords because there isn’t as much competition for them. Now that that’s clear, what effective strategies can we employ?
Developing a Landing Page for Your PPC Keyword
You see more and more firms develop custom landing pages for their PPC advertising and this makes a lot of sense when you look at what is being targeted. It’s lazy SEO to send a PPC ad to your firm’s main page. You want a page that specifically relates to whatever keyword you’re trying to rank for. More often than not, this is very specific.
For instance, if a firm is bringing a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of a specific product, that firm will be interested in ranking for that keyword. In addition, if you’ve determined what your niche is, then you’ll want to rank for that as well. You do not want to direct visitors who click on that ad simply to your main page. Visitors will have to figure out what to do and where to go.
Your landing page, therefore, needs to contain some necessary information about the lawsuit, contact information about your firm, and offer something to the visitor. This can be free consultations or the potential for a large payout. If your firm is attempting to rank for a kind of case you specialize in, you’ll want to introduce yourself as an expert. Beware, however, of fluff. You can include all the information you desire on ancillary pages. But you want to scale down the info on the landing page.
Things to include are:
- A brief introduction to the kind of case you’re interested in taking,
- Contact information for your law firm,
- Why you’re an expert on this particular kind of case,
- And links to various information about litigating such a case.
Other Ways to Utilize PPC
PPC can also be used for branded terms. In other words, your law firm’s name. The cost per click will be meager on something like that. Here, you’ll be developing a landing page for those who are interested in your law firm specifically. You can introduce yourself as an expert in your niche, link a page that talks about your law firm’s results, and anything else about your firm specifically.
PPC can also be utilized to target potential clients for specific areas of practice. Depending on your area of practice, however, this can get expensive. For instance, if you want to rank for traffic accident lawsuits in your area, you will likely find others competing for the same digital real estate.
It’s important to remember that PPC advertising should work around your strategy for drawing customers. Organic rankings are still the best. You certainly don’t want your PPC and your organic ranking strategies to overlap. There are a few instances in which this advisable.
Google Maps and Advertising
Localizing or geolocalization of your law firm is very important. It’s a simple process to register your business with Google so that it knows that you’re a law firm in a particular area at a specific address. The question then becomes, how do you become one of the three law firms that rank well enough to be included underneath Google Maps?
The layout is simple. There are four PPC ads, a map of the area, and then a list of three local firms. This can be shown by doing a quick search of something like “personal injury lawyers near me”. This is a very common search for those who are looking for a personal injury lawyer. This is especially true when they are still in the research phase of determining who would be the best firm to take their case.
On the other hand, ranking in Google Maps requires a completely different strategy than organic ranking.
Why It’s Worth Ranking on Maps
The Google Maps listing displays your firm’s name, contact information, and hours of operation for a given keyword. In addition, it allows customers to assign your firm a specific number of stars and write a review. In other words, this is all information that helps your prospective clients decide what the best law firm for their case is.
Google My Business
Ranking on Google Maps requires that you set up a GMB (Google My Business) page. You can enter your business’s name, address, phone number, and business hours. Also, it allows your clients to rate and review your law firm. It gives potential clients easy access to your web page.
After you’ve set up your GMB, Google will snail mail you a verification code to ensure that you are authorized to set up a page on behalf of your law firm.
This, in turn, builds trust between your potential clients and law firm. Clients can rate your management of their lawsuit, and you can respond to their concerns or praise. It helps to have at least five reviews, and it helps to take a proactive approach to address both positive and negative reviews.
We offer a free Google My Business overview report for law firms. It only takes a few minutes. If you are interested in how your business looks to Google, click here, scroll to the middle of the page until you see “Free Website Audit”, enter your firms’ info and hope for the best. Just kidding, I am sure your firm has everything under control.
Organic search engine results are still the most important means by which potential clients will find your law firm. That being said, there are more listings available now than there have been in the past. A sound SEO strategy weights the importance of each for your particular law firm and comes up with a means of making effective use of all the various listings.
Content marketing remains important. In fact, it has become even more important now that Google is ranking pages in accord with the user’s experience. Information like how long the user spends reading your page can have a major impact on your ranking for specific keywords, both positive and negative.
The best search engine campaigns, however, will not disregard any approach that may improve your capacity to generate leads.