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The “local SEO” part is fundamental, because the majority of attorneys and law firms get their clients from the surrounding communities. There are plenty of legal professionals practicing nationally, or worldwide. By majority, however, most are based on their geography.
For this reason, and the others to follow, it’s virtually impossible to defeat the competition in any legal market without an online presence. Here’s ten reasons why.
People look almost exclusively online for legal services.
In 2018, more than 70% of local searches were done on mobile devices. And this number is climbing dramatically. While this may not be directly associated with lawyer services, it does account for a significant source of clients.
More importantly, these users are searching for local businesses, which includes attorneys in their local geography. If an attorney or law firm doesn’t have a strong online presence, or a local listing, they won’t show up in searches. And that means losing upwards of two thirds of your potential clients.
Another key point here is that there’s no option for people to find attorneys anywhere besides the internet. There are the occasional TV ads, and sometimes wraps on buses. But, the overwhelming majority of searchers are looking on the internet, and they’re using search engines to do it.
Users don’t look past the first 5 organic search results
There are two important points related to this fact. First of all, the numbers show that more than 67% of people won’t scroll down to look at results. If a lawyer’s website isn’t in the top five, people will never know you’re there.
Second, people are looking at organic results. If you’ve done a Google search, lately, you’ll notice that the top three or four listings are Google Ads. This is where the internet titan gets its income, so there will always be ads in the top positions.
The problem is, organic search results don’t include those ads. So, if you’re an attorney paying for search engine advertising, your chances of getting clicks aren’t as good as you might think.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t make money using these ads. In fact, just like any other marketing, the success of your paid ads depends on the copy. If you’re not putting literary gold in your headlines, you might as well forget it.
More importantly, if you want to get your website and maps listing in the coveted top five results, you can’t do it without some very powerful SEO. And the best agencies come with a price tag of 1,500 dollars and up.
Just Having a Great Website Isn’t Enough
High quality, professionally designed websites cost at least $3,000. That’s for a standard lawyer site without a lot of bells and whistles. Getting more creative, and standing out above the competition, for most agencies, can cost six- to ten-thousand dollars.
What’s most alarming is that most of the websites that are custom made for an individual attorney or law firm haven’t been optimized. Auditing these sites for standard SEO practices will show at least a dozen or more issues. And if those problems aren’t fixed, no matter how “modern” the site design, it won’t show up in search results.
The solution, of course, is to hire a digital marketing agency that includes web design in their service offerings. On the other hand, if you’ve already spent thousands of dollars for a shiny new website, find an SEO agency that understands how to optimize the existing design. Either way, you won’t get anywhere without the right elements built into your web pages.
Competing Law Firms Have SEO
If you want to compete in any industry, you have to stay up to snuff on the modern trends. Legal SEO is one of the most competitive markets in the marketing industry. As a result, if you want to keep up with other legal professionals in the area, you have to be doing what they do. Not only that, but you need an edge to pull clients your way instead of theirs.
As the saying goes: “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”
Expert SEO Offers a Proven ROI
Take a few minutes to search attorneys in your local community that practice in the same areas of law. It’s as simple as typing “divorce attorney phoenix az.”
When the results come up, look at the map results and see who’s on there. Then, scroll down to the organic results and see who has the top positions. Chances are better than not that the first half-dozen firms are paying for SEO.
To make a long story short: investing in SEO will bring in more clients, and more clients means more revenue.
Keep Up With Your Competition and Make the Profits You’re Here For
There aren’t many lawyers who went to law school with the hopes of making minimum wage. They at least hoped for a decent income and more flexibility in their spending.
Of course, nothing worth having comes easy. The importance of doing due diligence, especially when it comes to SEO agencies, can’t be understated.
Because the market is so competitive, there has been a legion of bottom-feeders coming out of the woodwork. Quite frankly, the hacks that have invaded the SEO and digital marketing industry are far more common than those with real talent.
As a result, a majority of businesses trying to get themselves online have run into problems. And the fallout has been pushed back on all SEO agencies. It’s gotten to the point that you really can’t see the forest for the trees.
In other words, finding effective SEO for law firms, attorneys, and other legal professionals has become a serious chore. It takes sifting through a sea of shysters to discover the gold buried beneath.