Real Lawyer SEO Secrets Revealed

shutterstock_193745936
website-design-guide-cover-2

Free: 10 Things the Best Law-Firm Website Designs Have in Common

For seven years, Lawyerist has published an annual list of the best law firm websites. Now, you can find out what they have in common.

Looking for the latest private blog network secrets? Need tips on auto-generated Markov chain content? Need answers to your parasitic hosting link injection questions? Curious about cloaking, doorway pages, and hacking your competitors’ sites?

Let me save you some time: you have come to the wrong place. Yes, spam and nefarious black hat SEO tricks can “work.” At least until they don’t. More recently, the folks at Google have been doing their best Turing Test on black hat enigmas.

Beyond efficacy, we have already discussed of some of the potential hazards of risky SEO to your reputation and license.

As SEER Interactive’s Wil Reynolds puts it:

Real marketing value comes from listening to what the target consumer is searching for and building content around those queries. Essentially, we should strive to become the go-to resource for clients in the industry. Strategies that create content which have customers coming back for more are efforts that drive long-term value and transform your SEO tactics into RCS.

Here are the real secrets of lawyer SEO:

Be An Outstanding Lawyer

Here’s How It Works

  1. Develop an outstanding reputation with clients.
  2. Clients say nice things about you and give you permission to use them on your website.
  3. When people Google you, they click on your pages that contain nice things people are saying.
  4. Google gives you points that improve your visibility in search results.

Example of an Outstanding Lawyer on Google

steve gursten   Google Search

This lawyer has developed a reputation with his clients. In this example, the lawyer has included client testimonials on his website. When people look for Steven online, their attention will be drawn to this listing to see what other clients have to say. This will likely increase this page’s click-through rate from organic searches which, in turn, is likely to improve the page’s position in results.

Real lawyers focus on serving their clients. When I say make clients happy, I do not mean only that lawyers make clients laugh and smile. Lawyers often help people through the worst times of their lives. Sometimes, making a client happy means being someone who they can trust and hearing their side when no one else will.

At the risk of stating the obvious, it is also worth noting that people who are going through brutal, personal legal situations will not be eager to give you permission to share their details on your website. That is ok. Many times, your next client only wants to know how you treat people.

Admittedly, to make this particular example work, beyond merely providing the kind of client experience that motivates someone to provide you with a testimonial, you will need to add aggregate rating schema to your web page to generate the rich review snippet. For the foreseeable future, SEO will always have a technical component.

Be a Leader

Let’s talk about a more conventional example of lawyer SEO tied to things that lawyers ought to do.

Lawyers ought to lead.

Of course, lawyer leadership can take many forms. One example includes participation in professional organizations.

Here’s How It Works

  1. Develop an outstanding reputation with other lawyers.
  2. Other lawyers elect you to professional leadership positions.
  3. Google assigns points for links that improve your visibility in search results.

Here’s an Example

Leadership   The American Association For Justice

Kathleen Nastri has developed a reputation among her peers. She has been recognized as a leader in her professional community. Nastri has earned a leadership in a well-recognized national organization. The organization has linked to her firm’s site. This link, among others, is used by search engines as a signal of authority. Taken together, these are some of the signals that contribute to her firm’s visibility in search engine results pages.

connecticut medical malpractice attorneys   Google Search

Needless to say, developing a reputation among your peers takes time and hard work. Of course, that is exactly what makes a leadership link so valuable and why search engines are evolving to give signals like these more weight. They can not be faked, and you can not pay your SEO vendor for them.

Be an Authority

Ultimately, the effectiveness of your online marketing hinges on listening to what your target audience is searching for and building content that supplies the demand for information. In other words, you should become a subject matter expert.

Here’s How It Works

  1. Develop an outstanding reputation for subject matter expertise.
  2. People will turn to you as a source of reliable information.
  3. Google assigns points for links that improve your visibility in search results.

Here’s an Example

Supreme Court to hear broadcasters  case against Aereo   Jan. 10  2014

It would be hard to find a better example of lawyers building an online authority than SCOTUSBlog. While initially created as a failed marketing attempt, it evolved into a public interest tool. As many of you probably know, the SCOTUSBlog is a preeminent source of Supreme Court news regularly cited by authoritative sites.

F.C.C. Must First Define  Indecent  for Spanish Broadcasters   NYTimes.com

After reading this, some of you may feel overwhelmed. You might be thinking that all of this is arduous. And you’d be right. Developing an outstanding reputation with clients, other lawyers, and the media takes significant time and effort. Again, this is why search engines work to give more weight to the signals that emerge from such undertakings.

The good news is that you do not have to become President of AAJ or create SCOTUSBlog to earn meaningful attention from organic search visibility.

Hopefully, you are already committed to earning an outstanding reputation with your clients.

If you have not already, find local organizations to participate in and opportunities take on leadership roles. If you serve legal services consumers at a local level, earning links from smaller local community organizations can have a significant impact on your visibility in local search results.

Finally, make a commitment creating online resources that illustrate your knowledge, skill, and experience. Perhaps that’s a blog, but maybe it’s something else. Give people reasons to talk about, share, and link to what you are doing both offline and online.

These might not be the secrets you were looking for, but they are the secrets you need to thrive, not just online, but in the real world too.

Featured image: “Hipster Writing SEO Concepts on his Note” from Shutterstock.

Subscribe

Get Lawyerist in Your Inbox, Daily

Current Articles
Current Lab Discussions