A third of all your potential clients are starting their search for legal counsel online. With that piece of the client pie set to grow as the years go on, we've put together three steps law firms can take to rank higher on Google. The best part is no SEO expertise is required to execute any of these steps.
Check out our eBook "Acquire More Clients by Leveraging your Immigration Law Firm's Website," when your ready to attempt more advanced lead generation strategies.
1. Google My Business
Simply put Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool you can start using today to shape the first impression your firm makes on a potential client. When it comes to site exposure, you’ll see a drastic difference between firms that have their business listed on GMB versus those who don’t.
The screenshot below highlights just how valuable an optimized Google My Business profile is to any small immigration law firm.
First, let’s look at the search bar. Most of your potential clients are starting their search for a law firm or attorney with similar search terms. Anyone performing such a search is attempting to quickly gather as much information as they can about what options are out there. Google understands this and so they created the very noticeable panel you’ll see right under the paid listings. This is one of the main places your Google My Business profile will be showcased.
Most searchers are constantly overwhelmed with digital ads so they’ve trained themselves to skip right over the paid listings.
This is where your Google My Business profile comes in. When you make a Google My Business profile your essentially shaping the first impression your business makes on a client.
Creating your Google My Business profile is a simple process that anyone at your firm can do, so do it today! Follow this link to get started.
2. Make Google’s Life Easier.
Think of Google as a library. Google has a bot that crawls the entire web collecting information. Think of this as a library collecting book donations Then the google bot indexes and sorts the collected books into different areas of their library. So when foe example, someone searches for “immigration law firms in Dallas”, Google can quickly head to the relevant section of their library and present searchers with the websites that best match their search.The goal is to be one of the top 3 websites a potential client is presented with when they perform such a search.
Google's algorithm considers several factors when deciding what to show a searcher. One of these factors are relevant keywords. You should identify what search keywords you want to rank for and place them in 4 areas described below.
The title is what appears on the search results page on google but it should also appear on the top of each specific page. Make sure you not only have your firm’s name but also your practice area. For example, your home page title could be something like “ Smith Immigration Law”
The meta description is like a little blurb for each of the pages on your website. A well-written description helps to increase your click-through rate. Make sure you not only describe your practice are but to be mention any specialization you have within that practice area.
For example, you may write something along the lines of “Immigration attorney's in Dallas specializing in deportation and asylum related cases.
The URL is another name for what most people refer to as the "link." The long string of text and symbols that appear on the address bar of a browser. Just like the two areas mentioned above, adding keywords to the URLs helps google quickly index and categorize your site. Google loves it when you can make their bot's life easier.
Make sure you keep the URL clean and not overloaded with keywords. The URL will appear in between your title and meta description and a clean URL makes your site seem more trustworthy in the eyes of potential clients.
Usually when you insert an image on to your site there will be an alternate description field (Alt Tags). Google won’t read an image for SEO purposes if the alternative tag is blank. So please be sure to fill out the alternate tag field when you're inserting an image. For example if you have an image of yourself on your site the alternate description should be something along the lines of “ John Smith, Immigration Attorney.”
Google loves to serve searchers with local results. Immigration clients especially will want to work with local firms. We’ve bullet pointed below several ways you can help your site rank better locally starting today:
Launch a blog and talk about local topics
Submit your exact location into Google My Busines and take the necessary steps in order to get verified.
Request clients to review your site on Google and respond to those reviews especially if they have “Local Guide” status.
Be active on your Google My Business profile by posting pictures of your staff and pictures with clients as cases get closed.
In the end, when it comes to SEO all these strategies help but the most important thing to do is make sure your writing for your potential clients. If visitors find your site informative, useful and trustworthy then that will help your site rank number 1 more than any technical SEO strategy you implement.
These were just some easy steps you can take as a small immigration law firm to optimize your google ranking and there are a lot more strategies out there. Just remember Google will naturally reward you if you're designing with user intent in mind.