When putting together your web marketing strategy, specifically for search engine marketing, it's important to understand how people are using Google to find your law firm. There are two distinct ways that a potential client will most likely use a search engine. Either for research or a replacement for the Yellow Pages. These two search methods require varying approaches as far as your strategy is concerned. Let's discuss both search methods and review strategies you can implement for each.
Google as a Replacement For the Yellow Pages
This is the most obvious and well known use as far as lawyers are concerned. Due to the fact that many lawyers are moving from Yellow Page advertising to advertising online, this is a natural progression. In this scenario, a user is looking directly for a lawyer and will search for "divorce lawyer" or "Chicago injury lawyer". Google will present a listing of lawyers relevant to the search and the user will simply call a lawyer from the list. In this way, Google is functioning like an online Yellow Pages.
Google As A Mechanism For Research
In this scenario, the user may or may not know they need a lawyer. Rather than looking for a lawyer directly, they are performing research related to their issue. Perhaps they are looking up information on birth injury or filing a patent. These searches tend to be longer in length (3-5 words instead of 2 to 3). This type of traffic is often considered to be Long Tail. When this type of information is readily available on your firm's website or blog, there is a good chance the researcher can be converted into a potential client.
Any good search engine strategy will include methods for capturing both "Yellow Page" and "Research" traffic to your firm's site. The "Yellow Page" traffic is more straightforward because often this is the type of traffic that most SEO firms are selling. The strategy for this is to rank highly for very targeted, specific keyword terms. Ranking #1 for terms such as "Chicago divorce lawyer" or "Atlanta injury attorney" will result in targeted traffic. The down side is that everyone and their brother wants to rank for these terms so the competition is fierce. You will need to put together a strategy that includes keyword research, a customized link building campaign (with proper anchor text for the terms you are targeting), and proper on-page optimization.
Capturing the "researchers" is a little bit different. Although there is some crossover with the "Yellow Page" strategy, content plays a much larger role here. You will still need to implement a customized link building campaign so that your website gains more authority in the eyes of Google. In addition to the link building, you will want to add relevant, helpful content to your website or blog on a consistent basis. We usually recommend 2-3 articles a week. By doing this, your content will get discovered when people are researching various topics related to your legal services.