Breaking into the top search engine results pages for a region is every attorney’s big dream. It comes with a wealth of traffic, new leads, and big cases. But when you see less experienced law firms or settlement mills consistently outranking you on Google, it is easy to get discouraged, especially if you are just getting started with SEO. If every law firm is optimizing for page one results, what can your firm do to get a lead on your competitors?
Gauging the Competition – And Looking for Weaknesses
It is easy to see the big firms in your area taking up all the top spots and feel like you are a small fish in a big pond. Competitive, high-volume SERPs may be filled with attorneys who have all had years to develop hefty SEO strategies. However, they did not get there overnight, and SERPs change almost every day. With the right tactics, time, and patience, it is possible to get ahead of your competition – even if they had a head start.
Comparing your firm’s current branding, content, marketability, and website to your competitors’ is a good start. By combing through your competitors’ sites, you can see what they are doing right and start adapting it to your own strategies, but you can also see what they are doing wrong, and that is where you firm can succeed.
What Makes You Different Makes You Strong
When analyzing your competition, you should always keep in mind what is missing from their sites and what you can do to get a get a lead on them.
For example, you may see the SERPs filled with criminal defense attorneys who land hundreds of DUI cases a year, but maybe only a handful of them actually have experience with felony cases or are successful in DMV hearings. If there is a practice area where your firm excels but your competitors do not, it is important to highlight it. Incorporating what makes you different into your branding can help you stand out in the crowd.
You may also find that your competitors all have the same language on their website, such as “Strong Legal Representation” or “Aggressive, Determined, Passionate” but very few actually highlight their compassion or sympathy for clients. By shifting your firm’s slogan and characterizing your attorneys as more grounded and relatable, you may be able to get the attention of clients who are too intimidated to go with the big-name firms.
There Is No Finish Line in SEO
SEO is often referred to as a marathon, and while it does require you to focus on endurance over speed, this suggests that there is a fabled finish line. Most lawyers see this as spot one and want nothing more than to push their competitors out and see their firm show up at the top of every search result, every time. While this is a noble ambition, it is a mistake to assume that is where the work stops.
Spot one takes time, determination, and hard work – and even after you have reached it, you have to work even harder to maintain your place at the top. While we will never discourage a client from getting to spot one, we encourage clients to expand their marketing efforts beyond the top keywords. Long-tail keywords and common questions can also garner huge leads, for example, if a firm lands a blog in a featured snippet. Featured snippets can easily de-rank spot one results by directly responding to user queries without asking them to leave Google – but it also leaves the door open for the user to reach out to you.
You should never treat SEO as your one-stop-shop for lead generation. Pay per click advertising, social media marketing, LSAs, lawyer directories, Google map rankings – there are plenty of ways to capture major leads without relying solely on SEO and content to carry you to spot one.
The Right Time to Work on Your SEO Is Now
One of the biggest reasons why law firms reach out to us at SLS Consulting, Inc., is that they do not know how to start optimizing their websites for search engines. Many firms delay in redesigning their websites, cleaning up their backlinks, or creating schedules for their social media posts because it is not the right time. Well, we at SLS Consulting, Inc., are here to tell you there is no right time for SEO. There is no “too late” or “too early” with SEO. There is just right now, and you should not be afraid to get started.
Our team of legal internet marketers provide all-around marketing services specifically for law firms and bail bond agencies, including graphic design, social media, content development, paid ads, and SEO. We have worked with firms across the country to bolster their marketing efforts and get them to spot one, even in competitive markets. But we never consider the job done, and are always working to improve and optimize our clients’ channels so they are consistently landing new cases.
Do not wait for the right time to magically appear; get started on your legal marketing campaign today. Call SLS Consulting, Inc., at (323) 254-1510 or toll-free at (877) 248-3529 to get a free case evaluation and learn what we can do for you.
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