Law firm websites face fierce competition for search engine ranking. If your website isn’t properly indexed by Google and showing up on the first page of search engine results pages, then your potential clients are likely to turn to competitors who are ranking well. The secret for success when it comes to organic search traffic is to make sure that your law firm’s website is showing up on the first page for keywords related to the area of law you practice so that people seeking legal help know you are the law office that can provide the assistance they require.
Unfortunately, search engines constantly change key elements of the algorithm they use to assign rank. This means that what worked wonders for Google search results six months ago, may require a little tweaking to deliver the same positive results for your legal services websites.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a malpractice attorney, a personal injury lawyer, one of New York City’s top legal professionals, or fresh out of law school, without the right tools and tactics, your website isn’t likely to show up on Google’s first page.
The good news is that there are ways to give your site the boost it needs to push past your search engine competition to work your way up to the first page of the search results. Why is it so important to be on the first page? While the average consumer shopping around for legal services is likely to visit at least three if not up to six law office websites, most never move past the first page of the search results to do so.
No matter what their legal issues are or how well their needs match the legal services your firm provides, they aren’t likely to find you on Google (or other search engines) without the powerful combination of SEO and a deep understanding of the most recent search engine algorithms.
Array Law specializes in helping law firms like yours rank well in Google search. That way, if you decide to Google your business, you’re likely to find it quickly in the results —something that may take far more time and effort on your part if you were to go it alone.
Is Your Site Properly Indexed in Google?
The first thing you need to understand is this. Your firm’s website cannot rank well on Google if Google doesn’t know you exist. It is essential that you obtain a Google Search Console account and add your website to that account. The entire purpose of adding your website to Google Search Console is to ensure that Google is able to find and crawl your website.
It goes deeper than that, though, and provides tools that help solve indexing problems, index new content, and re-index updated content. You can even use apps to receive instant alerts and notifications when Google encounters problems indexing your site or detects spam or other issues.
Most law firms don’t have the benefit of an in-house tech team or SEO experts to explain the differences between Google Analytics and Google Search Console. The one thing you need to know is that each fills a different and essential role in the health of your website for bringing in new business to your law firm.
Through Google Search Console you can do the following:
- Submit your website
- Manually request that Google indexes your site.
- Index all new website pages as you create them to ensure they are on Google’s radar.
- Resubmit pages where you have tweaked content or made other changes.
The more comfortable you become with Google Search Console, the better you can anticipate changes that will require re-indexing and the faster you can use the console to your firm’s advantage.
A Common Problem We Notice is Too Many “No Index” Tags on Client’s Websites
When you create content designed to provide your law firm with wide authority within your practice area and dispense invaluable legal advice to the masses, you want to make sure the masses have access to the information you’ve provided. The sad truth is that many websites have “no index” tags on some of your pages. It is often unintentionally embedded in the code.
When this occurs, the code instructs Google to ignore that page. It is easy to accidentally click the box that adds this tag to your pages when you work on marketing your big class action, general counsel, real estate law, intellectual property, or antitrust services on your own.
When this occurs, potential clients searching for legal advice in your practice area will be unable to find you through Google. It means your time and effort are wasted and that you’re missing out on countless potential clients every day. If you’re fortunate enough to have a web development team, instruct them to look for this code.
Alternatively, you can submit the URL for every web page on your site to the Google Search Console’s discovery bar, and it will inform you if your site is one that Google can fully index.
Have You Optimized Your Google Business Profile?
Once called Google My Business or GMB, the name has been changed to Google Business Profile. Your Google Business Profile page will help your law firm’s website rank on the local map pack. This is something that law firms that haven’t established a Google Business Profile page will be unable to do – making it an area where you have even fewer competitors.
Always verify that your Google Business Profile is updated with your current law office location (your address), your phone number, and the name of your practice. SEO professionals refer to this as your NAP (name, address, and phone number).
Is Your Website Optimized?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, isn’t a one-and-done deal. It is an ongoing effort on the part of your practice that will touch every page of your website, your social media activity, Google reviews, testimonials, and more. Without effective SEO, your website won’t rank well on Google even after you’ve gone to the effort to make sure Google knows it exists.
SEO involves many moving parts working together to make your website informative, authoritative, searchable, and valuable. A well-optimized website will continue to pay off in organic traffic and conversions for a long time to come. In fact, SEO efforts from last year will likely continue to bring in traffic in the future. These are a few critical areas where you will want to invest serious time and effort to optimize your website:
- SEO-optimized content. Begin with extensive keyword research. Include appropriate keywords throughout your website’s content (you’re probably going to need to invest in keyword research and ranking tools to accomplish this), and make sure to include sufficient long-tail keywords so you can get out ahead of your competitors in certain areas.
- Off-page SEO. This involves building backlinks and can be done through social media posts, guest blogging, and other efforts.
- On-page SEO. This involves building internal links (links to other pages on your website) via creative anchor text and other tactics.
- Technical SEO. This stage involves optimizing your website’s code and servers to rank better on Google. It may include things that appear unrelated, like increasing the speed of your website and solving various navigation problems, errors, etc.
If you don’t follow a few essential SEO best practices, your law firm website isn’t likely to appear in search results for keywords, terms, and phrases. It is essential to plan aggressive SEO efforts for every practice area your firm offers.
Whether you’re an in-house lawyer, outside counsel, or a one-attorney practice, your site needs to be optimized for all the types of cases your law firm represents. SEO for this purpose also involves creating content for each practice area and optimizing that content for search engines (including blog posts) as well.
One of the most important things you can do to maximize your SEO efforts is to localize the content on your website. This is different than updating the NAP for your Google Business Profile that we discussed earlier. This means you should include the city where your law practice is located as well as the service area where you represent clients throughout the written content on your website.
Working with an SEO firm like Array Law can help you minimize your personal efforts to optimize your law firm’s website while maximizing your results. In the end, this will save your legal practice a great deal of time and money while netting you the results you desire.
Do You Have Too Much Competition?
If your practice area is highly competitive, like New York City or Los Angeles, for instance, it is even more difficult to get substantial results on your own. Working with an SEO firm to rank well and drive organic traffic to your site can help you see the rewards of your efforts sooner and with far less effort and expense on your part.
Array Law understands the challenges of ranking in fiercely competitive markets and has a few creative tools and tactics that can overcome these challenges.
Remove All Barriers to a First-Page Listing with Professional SEO Help from Array Law
Array Law understands the challenges law firms face when it comes to standing out in a crowded SEO marketplace. We have the tools and skills to help you get your law firm’s website on the right track for lasting results.
Contact Array Law today by calling 757-333-3021 or fill out our convenient online form. We’ll contact you to discuss an effective SEO plan for your law firm to help your law firm’s website overcome all the barriers preventing you from ranking on Google’s first page. If you want to know how to get your website on Google’s first page, we can help.