Glenn Reid: Practical SEO advice in the competitive legal environment
The legal market is a highly competitive environment. Everyone in our beloved sector can witness it and the heat is constantly dialling up. A recent LexisNexis business development survey indicated that competition for new clients is the greatest concern that solicitors have. One of the most, if not the fiercest, competitive battlefields is Google, writes Glenn Reid.
The search engine platform shows results for over 90 per cent of all internet searches. Google has become so synonymous with how people use the internet that it even became a verb. Don’t believe me? Google it!
Law firms and legal marketers specifically perform Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to appear higher in search engines. The higher a law firm ranks on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), the more clicks it’s likely to receive. If a firm has a website that converts well, then more clicks equate to more clients.
If SEO is something that your firm struggles with then I have some practical advice for you to get started.
Improve your performance score
Google allocates all websites with a performance score between zero and one-hundred. The higher this score, the more favourable it will treat your law firm in SERPs. You can find your firm’s score by using PageSpeed Insights, a free tool by Google.
The performance score takes several things into account, but it’s largely determined by the speed of your website. Both Google and clients respond better to faster websites.
PageSpeed Insights will advise you on how to better the performance if it detects any issues. If your score is below sixty or so, it might be time to consider a new website.
Be specific with your page titles
Most law firms use identical legal service page titles as their competitors. This makes it hard for both the public and Google to differentiate between law firms. It also makes it hard to compete against large law firms with enormous marketing budgets.
By being specific with your page titles, you are competing against fewer players on the pitch. I recommend including your town or city in the page title. Although this might feel like a limitation, it’s the difference between appearing on page 1 instead of page 2. The best page titles are almost identical to what a potential client will search for on Google.
For example, “Conveyancing Services” would become, “Conveyancing Solicitors in Dundee.”
Sign up for Google Search Console
Search Console is another free resource from Google. It allows you to measure the number of organic impressions (i.e. views) that your website gets on Google. It can be used to spot upward or downward trends in a simple graph.
Search Console will also tell you what people are searching to find your website. This data can be used to make more educated decisions on the keywords you should use throughout your website.
Glenn Reid is a columnist and law firm marketing consultant at Reid & Partners Legal Marketing (www.legal-marketing.co.uk).