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A smart digital marketing strategy is key in the modern legal industry. While television commercials and billboards alone may have been sufficient in the 90s, many people now turn to the internet to search for legal counsel. Modern digital marketing involves a few key strategies, and the backbone of any strong digital marketing plan is search engine optimization (SEO). Investing in SEO can help draw more traffic to a law firm’s website, which in turn brings in more clients. This makes working with a successful digital marketing agency a sound investment, but what is the true cost of SEO? The answer depends on numerous factors. You can learn more about SEO for law firms and other digital marketing matters by contacting the legal SEO team at Law Quill.
What Is SEO?
SEO is a digital marketing strategy designed to bring more visitors to a website. Google generally divides search results into two categories: paid and unpaid. The unpaid results are known as organic search results, and SEO aims to improve these results. Organic search content represents the majority of clicks from Google searches. The highest-ranked pages (i.e. the first few in the results for a particular search) receive the majority of the traffic. SEO is a set of strategies designed to help websites and webpages rise in the organic search rankings, ideally to the number one spot for a particular search term.
When Google users run a search for a particular phrase, they are looking for the best possible information for that phrase. Google attempts to return the best webpage on the internet for that phrase. For example, if someone searches for “car accident lawyer Los Angeles”, Google would attempt to find the page with the best information on car accident lawyers in Los Angeles. Businesses should look to create informational content that is easy to read and that answers the common questions people have when searching for that term.
Keyword selection is one of the most important components of SEO. Digital marketers conduct keyword research to determine which keywords (or key phrases) will help improve a website’s organic search rankings. Keyword research and selection should be viewed as a long-term process. SEO professionals consistently conduct research to determine the best keywords for boosting rankings, as what was effective last year may no longer work.
How HTML Affects SEO
HTML formatting is another key part of a strong SEO strategy. Google looks for strong headers, descriptions, and title tags to determine the subject matter and whether the page should rank higher than competitors with the same keywords.
The main elements of HTML that are relevant to SEO include:
- Headings – Known under the HTML tag of H1, headers show that heading of a website. Choosing the right H1 with the right keywords can make a drastic difference in organic search rankings. Subheadings, known by tags H2-H6, also play an important role in rankings.
- Title tags – The title tag is the heading shown in browser tabs and also shows up in Google search results. Title tags are often optimized by using the main keyword of the article and should also be written in a way that generates clicks.
- Meta descriptions – This is the short piece of text that shows up underneath the title tag in Google results. Limited to 160 characters, the meta description describes the page content. Like title tags, meta descriptions should be keyword-optimized.
- Alt text – Alt text is a description of a web page image. These are key to making your website more accessible to people with disabilities, especially the visually impaired. Website accessibility is also an important part of SEO.
- URL slugs – The URL slug is the tail end of the web address. For example, a law firm page about a slip and fall lawyer might end in the slug “slip-and-fall”, as in www.examplelawyer.com/slip-and-fall. The slug should describe the content of the page and include the main keyword.
Websites should be structured in a way that is easy for visitors to navigate. A sound website structure also includes features secure connections and fast loading times. Over the past decade, a well-designed mobile website has also become a necessity. Search engines consider all of these things when determining the order of search results for particular keywords. You can learn more about structuring a website for SEO by contacting the law firm digital marketing professionals at Law Quill.
SEO involves developing an optimized link strategy for the website. According to Moz This includes adding links to other authoritative websites, as well as building links from other quality websites to your own. The process of securing links to your website is known as link building. Law firms that manage to get authoritative websites to link to their content can expect to see an improvement in search engine visibility.
Link building can happen in both an active and passive way. SEO digital marketing professionals often employ strategies to facilitate links from good sources, such as writing a guest article for a major news publication. However, links can also come at unexpected times, such as a magazine writer citing a piece of content in their article.
A strong social media presence can funnel additional traffic to a law firm’s website. Premium quality content is also much more likely to get shares, which can help improve search results. Shares from quality sources are especially valuable.
Why Is SEO Important For Law Firms?
The legal industry is one of many fields that need SEO to compete in the modern market. Other forms of client acquisition are certainly still just as important as ever, but failing to use SEO and digital marketing can limit a law firm’s success. SEO simply helps your law firm stand out among the competition and attract website visitors who are in need of the legal services offered by the firm.
Some of the main benefits of SEO for law firms include:
- SEO can generate new leads from clients who may not have heard of the firm before
- A well-optimized website will attract traffic on a long-term basis
- Improve the law firm’s branding
- Building backlinks from authoritative sources help boost the credibility of the website, and the reputation of the law firm.
- Law firms work with local clients and need an optimized regional SEO strategy to compete with other firms in the area.
- A traffic-generating website can drive more phone calls to the law firm.
How Much Does SEO Cost For Law Firms?
SEO is a worthwhile investment for law firms, but like any expense, the cost is important. While most business owners would prefer a concrete answer, SEO costs vary depending on several variables. Some of the factors that can influence the price of an SEO package include:
- The pricing model of the digital marketing agency or SEO consultant
- The experience level of the agency or consultant
- The size of the agency – larger agencies have higher overhead and may be more expensive
- The current digital marketing presence of the law firm – how much improvement is needed?
- Local vs. national SEO campaigns – local SEO is typically much more affordable than nationwide campaigns
- The goals of the law firm
How Long Does It Take For SEO to Show Results?
The timeframe for seeing results from SEO also varies depending on the current digital marketing presence of the law firm and other factors. However, SEMRush and other SEO companies estimate that businesses can expect to see results between 6 and 12 months after the start of an SEO campaign. However, some outliers may achieve results much sooner. According to a case study published in Digital Object Identifier, the company Fragfornet showed results just over a week after beginning its SEO campaign.
Other factors that can determine how long it takes for an SEO campaign to show results include:
- Age of website – New websites typically take longer to see an improvement in search result rankings from an SEO strategy. It takes time for a new domain to acquire backlinks and earn a reputation as an authority in the legal niche.
- Competitors – The level of competition also plays a role in determining how long results will take. For example, law firms in niches with low competition can expect to see results sooner than in more competitive niches.
- Resources – The amount of time and money a law firm can dedicate to SEO may influence how long it takes to see results. The more resources that are dedicated to the campaign, the sooner these results can be expected.
Learn More From Law Quill
Investing in SEO is proven to help improve digital marketing presence, but many law firms and other businesses are unsure of the true cost of SEO. To assign a budget to your SEO campaign, you will need to consider the available digital marketing agencies in your niche. At Law Quill, our legal digital marketing team can provide an analysis of your law firm’s digital marketing needs, develop a plan to meet your goals, and provide a cost estimate. We are prepared to help your firm stand out from your competition and bring in new clients through an SEO-optimized website. Contact Law Quill today to learn more about prices and other SEO concerns.