Using Search Engine Optimization in Law Firm Marketing

Darrin Mish, legal marketing, search engine optimization, SEOSearch engine optimization is important because Google handles 88 billion searches every month, which accounts for 65% of all searches conducted on the Internet, according to Darrin Mish, Esq., a Tampa tax lawyer and search engine optimization expert speaking at the Rainmaker Retreat in Las Vegas.

According to Mish, 65% of people begin their search for a lawyer on the Internet.  People look for an average of 4.8 attorney websites online before they contact a law firm.

"You must answer the questions that people are asking. Lawyers should make a list of all the questions their clients ask and make videos or write blog posts with the answer," Mish said.

Some pointers:

  • People search by city, not by county or state. State your city prominently and repeatedly on your website.
  • People are using more and more words to describe their legal situation, so your online documents should describe a problem in several different ways. Use the words your clients use when they talk to you. Clients don't use terms like "plaintiff personal injury lawyer" or "criminal defense" when they are searching for a lawyer.
  • Organic listings produce 75% to 80% of all clicks. Sponsored pay-per-click ads account for only 20%-25% of clicks. 90%of people will not look past page one of search engine results.
  • Link building is how you get your legal website to the top organic search position on Google. This is also known as "off-page" SEO.

What matters most for Google rankings.

  1. On-page keyword usage and internal linking structure: In the text of your site, use the keywords by which you want to be found. Further, link your bios, practice areas, articles and FAQs back and forth to each other.
  2. Link popularity: the total number of inbound links coming to your site. You can find out how many there are by searching on Yahoo for the term: site:www.[YOURWEBSITE].com. This counts for 40% of your SEO efforts.
  3. Anchor text of link: this refers to the text of the blue underlined link. Linking a phrase link "Tampa bankruptcy law" is more effective than "click here."
  4. The more content you put on your website the better. This way you ensure that the words a potential client uses in a search is a phrase that appears into your site. The best way to creating all this content is by write blog entries every day and using social media.
  5. Video on your site improves your Google ranking, because video appear in search engine results. They also bring visitors who are more likely to become clients.
  6. Every page on your website must be written to rank for one to three key phrases.
  7. The title tags of every page on your site must be unique. This tag produces the title of the page in the browser bar, and is a key element that Google indexes. The title should use key words by which you want to be found.
  8. Keywords should appear early and often in your web text. When a Google spider visits your site, it will read from top to bottom.
  9. Use Header Tags for your headlines and subheads. This tells the search engine what you, the webmaster, believe the site is about. These tags made the text very large.
  10. A page's Meta tags should contain your call to action. The meta description is the text that appears under the title in a search engine result. Some people will see a phone number in the search engine results and call it, without even clicking on the link.
  11. The name of each page should be a keyword, not a URL with a long collection of symbols and numbers.
  12. Quality links are better than many inbound links from low-quality sites. A high-quality website has a high Google PageRank, which is Google's assessment of a web site's importance. Examples include Wikipedia and CNN. A few links from top websites have a bigger impact that many links from sites with low traffic.



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Gyi Tsakalakis - August 22, 2011 8:33 AM

Some good points. I would also include that local signals, like business citations and reviews, are extremely important for localized searches (i.e. searches that include geographic terms like cities).

Tom Matte - August 22, 2011 8:27 PM

Great post as usual! Your first 4 bullet points are dead on. I also agree with all the other points although sometimes it is not possible to follow through on them for various reasons. All firms should take the time to initiate these pointers. The ones who do will see a significant improvement in their Google ranking in a relatively short period a time. The most difficult part is probably the constant content creation.

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