Designing a content marketing strategy for your law firm? Don’t overlook the power of great SEO to attract new clients.
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, has gone through quite an evolution since its inception. Gone are the days when online content was littered with keywords that did nothing to improve the quality of the prose. Today’s SEO content is dynamic and seamlessly integrated.
At base, SEO is the art of optimising your web content so that it ranks highly in search engines. This means that your site will attract more clicks, and you’ll convert more of those searches into clients. Research shows that searchers rarely look beyond the first page of results. If your site isn’t ranking in that top ten, it might as well be invisible to your target market.
(Just a note: Google is far and away the market leader in terms of search engine share, with around 80% of all searches using Google’s search engine. It’s their algorithm, therefore, that marketers need to be aware of, and which this post will concentrate on.)
In order for search engines to make your page more visible to people who need your services, your content needs to contain the keywords that they’re most likely to search for. However, ‘stuffing’ your posts with keywords is a trap to be avoided, as today’s sophisticated search engines will recognise the tactic and down-rank your page. It can also result in clunky, forced content, which can put off potential clients and hurt your brand. That’s an issue for any business, but law firms need to be especially careful that their marketing efforts project professionalism. Your clients are looking for a thought leader, not an ambulance chaser, and the quality of your content directly affects your image.
The Google Algorithm
Rather than looking at the quantity of keywords, Google looks at the quality, trust and authority of your content.
Quality means the value that your content offers to searchers. Does it offer information that other sites don’t? Are your services unique in some way? Can you harness social cachet by utilising influencers or testimonials?
Trust comes from external sources, including customer reviews, backlinks from authoritative websites, magazine articles and industry roundups. If you can get yourself into a Doyles’ Guide roundup or equivalent, your rankings will soar accordingly – conversely, keep an eye on bad online reviews as too many will mean your site soon becomes invisible.
Authority is the art of leveraging social influence to make your site popular. Links are the primary way in which this happens. The more sites and social media profiles that link to you, the more authoritative your content is considered to be. That includes links through other social media platforms, including tweets, blog posts and other social signals.
Put it into Practice
If all of this seems overwhelming, don’t worry too much. You don’t need to be on top of the latest Google algorithm update in order to ensure that your website is optimised for SEO. Instead, focus on making sure that the content itself is high quality and relevant to your client base. That means doing your research on buyer personas, extracting keywords from your competitors, and investing in original, authentic and authoritative content.
A good content marketing strategy will also include social media as well as placing external content. This gets you more eyeballs on your content and creates relationships. Although content marketing and SEO aren’t the same thing, they work together in synergy to improve your search rankings and convert internet surfers into paying clients.
Focus on good quality content that showcases your specialities and you’re off to a great start!