Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the quintessential digital marketing tools that every business should be using. With law firms spending as much as 18% of gross revenue on marketing, it makes sense to look for alternatives to paid ads.
If you want to increase your organic traffic and decrease your dependence on PPC ads, then there are some common mistakes to avoid. Let’s talk about some common lawyer SEO mistakes to help you get the most out of your law firm marketing strategy!
1. Not Using Local SEO Principles
Lawyers have boundaries of where they can operate, and most law firms will stay local to one small region. For that reason, it’s critical that you apply local SEO principles and tactics to your strategy. This, along with proper keyword research, will help you find the most relevant audience possible.
To do this, you will first need to list your business on directories like Google My Business, Yelp, and all applicable local directories. Make sure you keep your address and contact information consistent on all of these platforms.
For other off-page factors, get your firm listed on Google Maps and try to build backlinks from local sources. This will only reinforce your business presence with Google.
One of the greatest benefits of SEO is your ability to control your target audience by simply adjusting your keywords. You can always add phrases like “in Boston” or “near me” to your keywords to help with your local rankings.
2. Guessing Keywords
There are some keywords that you know will be useful in your strategy without looking them up. “Divorce attorney in Pensacola” or “DUI lawyer near me” are great examples. You know what you are, where you are, and how your intended audience will look for you, but it still doesn’t hurt to check.
Also, there are many other potential keywords that you’re certainly missing. For example, long keyword chains, known as long-tail keywords can be extremely valuable in your lawyer seo strategy. These keywords are becoming much more popular with the continued rise of voice search applications. An example of these phrases would be “first thing to do after a DUI arrest” or “challenges in a divorce in Florida.”
Without thorough keyword research, you may be using keywords that serve little to no purpose or miss out on keywords with high potential. Here at UpFirm lawyer marketing we utilize advanced SEO tools to help guide us through choosing the perfect keywords to target in your campaigns. No guessing here! We us these keyword research tools in conjunction with conducting competitor research, and comparing our findings in Google Trends for the best results.
3. Keyword Stuffing
Number three is one of the most common lawyer SEO mistakes. Keyword stuffing is intentionally jam-packing your articles or practice area content with a particular keyword in the hope you’ll rank higher in search results. Let’s illustrate this.
Let’s say your keyword is “lawyer near me”. It’s not an easy one to fit naturally into your content, so don’t try to overdo it. You can use it in a heading, intro, and conclusion, but let’s be honest; that’s hard to fit anywhere else naturally.
If you’re adding keywords in more than you can fit naturally into one page, this could actually hurt your strategy. One of the greatest myths in SEO is that keyword density plays a major role in your ranking. It most certainly does not.
Google’s algorithm is great at picking up keywords. As long as they have a presence on your page, it doesn’t matter how you change them. Using stop words like “in” or “a”, changing keywords to plural, adding hyphens, and other small changes will not affect your SEO value.
Essentially, you should use keywords that your target audience is likely to search, but don’t overuse them. At UpFirm we utilize advanced SEO tools to help guide us through choosing the perfect keywords to target in your campaigns. No guessing here! If you read it back to yourself and it seems like obvious keyword stuffing, get rid of it.
4. Blocking Crawlers
To understand a little about how SEO works, Google and other search engines use software known as crawlers to crawl through, index, and rank your website’s content. If these crawlers can’t access your content, then your site won’t appear on search engines.
There are a few ways to stop search engines from crawling and indexing your pages, which can come in handy from time to time. However, if you’re doing this site-wide or on important pages, this could destroy your SEO strategy.
Robot.txt files, “noindex” tags, and isolated pages could hinder search engines’ abilities to crawl and index your website. If you’re using any of these, or if your pages are isolated, it should be a quick fix. Remove harmful tags or files that stand in your way, and submit an XML sitemap to Google Search Console if you’re worried about isolated pages!
5. Using an Outdated Website
The quality and usability of your website play a major role in your SEO value. Google uses over 200 ranking factors related to the quality of your website, making this a top priority for any SEO strategy. Most importantly, Google looks at:
- Page loading times
- Mobile-friendly design
- Navigation system
- Linking structure
- Image optimization
- Meta information
- Page structure
The list goes on, but these are the most important factors. By optimizing your website as a whole, you allow your SEO strategy to flourish. You can build the best content marketing strategy in the world, but if it’s on an outdated website, you’re building a house on a broken foundation.
We always recommend getting professional help with your website, especially from designers experienced with law firms. Law firm SEO services will help you get the most out of your strategy!
Avoid These Lawyer SEO Mistakes With Help
The best way to avoid these common lawyer SEO mistakes is to have the right help to carry out your SEO strategy. Without professional help, there’s a long “guessing game” where you have to wonder if you’re doing everything right and if your strategy will ever come to fruition.
Get the help you need today, stay up to date with our latest tips on marketing law firms, and feel free to contact us with any questions or for help with your strategy!