Right now, the online presence or visibility of your business is more important than ever. If you’re struggling to get your business seen by your target audience, these top tips could be beneficial even if you don’t have a law firm; they could be applied or modified to suit any type of business. However, today we’re focusing on ways to improve the online visibility of your law firm.
- Which key areas of your website you should focus on to help you convert your visitors into customers who trust you;
- How SEO and insightful content can help drive your ideal audience to your website;
- And which other marketing channels and tactics you can use to get potential customers visiting your site.
Let’s jump straight in.
1. Create a great website to start building a relationship with your potential clients
Start with strong, professional branding. You want any visitors to recognise your brand and logo should they see it again, and any returning visitors to know they’re in the right place when they come back to your site. Great branding also instils a feeling of trust in a couple of ways – either you’re a brand they recognise and hopefully they already have a positive impression of you, or they can see you’ve put a great deal of time and money into building an impressive, fully-branded website – also known as ‘costly signalling’ – giving them confidence that you’re the real deal.
Next up, focus on the content of your ‘About Us’ and ‘Team’ pages. You could include a brief history of the business – such as when it started, how long you’ve been helping people, etc., maybe include a timeline – or details about how the business started, where and by whom. Make it super clear what kind of law you practise and how you can help your potential clients.
Incorporate photos of the team, be that individual profiles, group photos or shots from recent social or fundraising events. You could even add links to each individual’s LinkedIn profiles. These additions can all help build trust with a potential client, as you’re giving your business a human element; you’re showing the real people behind the brand who work with customers on a daily basis.
It’s also important to include case studies or customer testimonials on your website where possible, to legitimise your business in the eyes of the reader and help them feel secure in the knowledge that you can help them as you’ve helped others. They could be trusting you with their business, divorce, property, etc. so they need to feel confident you’ll do your best for them.
Another key area of focus for your website should be the technical and design elements; you should regularly check that your website functions correctly, is easy to navigate and loads quickly, particularly after making any changes. It should be optimised for ALL devices – desktop, mobile and tablet – to ensure all visitors can easily find what they’re looking for and don’t have to wait an age for the pages to load. When adding new content, be sure to check the layout works for all types of devices but don’t just stick to solid blocks of text; the audience is more likely to continue reading if your content has a combination of text, images, columns, infographics, bullet points and even videos to keep them interested. A recent study claimed that over 60% of Google searches were taking place on mobile devices in 2021, so it’s especially important to include this in your thinking.
2. Optimise your local SEO
You might be thinking ‘our law firm supports clients all across the country, we don’t need to bother with local SEO’. But dismissing local SEO as a tactic for small shops is a mistake for any business. Your website can only appear in the results for searches like ‘law firms near me’, ‘law firms in Manchester’ or ‘family law firms nearby’, for example, if it’s clear to search engines where your business is based and what you offer as a service. From the ahrefs information below, you can see there’s roughly 3,400 searches for ‘law firms near me’ in the UK each month. Just by following these few simple tactics, you’re setting yourself up to potentially take a share of those searches each month.
The first step here is to ensure you’ve claimed your Business Profile on Google (formerly known as GoogleMyBusiness or GMB) and that it is verified. It’s really important that all of the business details listed on your Business Profile match the details shown on your website, and you’ve completed the Services section with all the relevant services you offer at your law firm. Be sure to include an informative description in your profile, including the locations you serve and any key services you provide for your clients.
Next up, make sure your law firm is listed on popular business directories such as Yell, 192.com, Yelp and Bing Places. Many of these directories are free to list your business on, whilst others will upgrade you to a premium listing at a cost or charge a fee just to be listed. It’s key to remember to update these should any of your business details change. Having consistent details across the web further signals to search engines like Google that you’re a legitimate, trustworthy business and helps improve your standing in local searches.
Finally, create a ‘Contact Us’ page on your website that confirms all of the details included in your Business Profile and those online directories, which will tie the three areas together and further firm up your business location to search engines. Embedding your Google Maps location on this page will help show both clients and search engines exactly where your business is located. If you wanted to go a step further, include details of the areas you serve within the content of your homepage or ‘About Us’ page, or even create specific pages dedicated to different areas to really step up your local SEO game.
With this level of local SEO optimisation, you could potentially see your business in the ‘Map Pack’ or ‘Local Pack’ on Google, which appears above other organic results in local searches. It’s appearing at the very top of the search results in the example search query below as there don’t appear to be any ads targeting this term currently. Even more reason to try and get your business in there!
The Map Pack is just one of many standout areas or ‘snippets’ within the search results that get your website nearer the top of page 1. You can find out more about the search landscape in this recent blog post.
3. You need a great SEO and content strategy to improve your presence in search results
Any SEO strategy starts with top notch keyword research. It’s important to really nail down your target topics for your particular type of law firm and target client, as they’ll vary greatly across the industry. We have a talented team of SEO strategists here at Embryo if you need some help with this!
On a very basic level, your keyword research should give you primary keywords or topics to target on the pages or blog of your website, as well as secondary/tertiary keywords (also known as related keywords) and relevant questions you should answer for your target audience. This will then influence your content strategy going forward.
It’s not as easy as shoehorning those keywords into your existing content though (also known as ‘keyword stuffing’). You need to research the search intent of your target clients. What information are they looking for? What might their next question be? And what information don’t they realise they need to know until you provide it? You want them to land on your website from their first search and be able to fulfil all of their knowledge needs without the requirement to go back to the search engine. Fill your website with helpful content that answers the questions of your audience and insightful, interesting content that keeps them there.
This type of content is not easy to create but shows a strong knowledge of your industry and positions you as an expert, therefore contributing to building up the level of trust from your potential clients. It can also help to bring natural links to your website as you’re seen as an expert in your field, giving your website more authority.
4. Take a multichannel approach to target your audience from every angle
So far, we’ve focused on your website and search engine results, but there are many other channels you can use to improve the online visibility of your law firm.
It goes without saying that social media profiles are a great way to boost your online presence. You don’t need to be on all platforms – just stick with as many as you can manage to post and respond on regularly. For a law firm, LinkedIn and Twitter would appear to be the logical choices, and potentially Instagram and Facebook. Encourage employees to share your posts and content on their own social profiles to reach a wider audience.
These social profiles, along with the business directories mentioned earlier, will also help you take control of your branded search results. Ideally, when a searcher types your brand name into a search engine, you only want your website, directory listings and social media profiles to appear on page 1.
Guestposting is another great way to get your brand name out there, whether that’s writing blog posts or insights for larger websites, or appearing as a guest on a podcast as an expert in your industry. As of 2021, over 19 million Brits listen to podcasts, so that’s a huge audience to target!
Make the most of any PR opportunities by offering expert commentary or opinions on big news stories to get your brand mentioned or even linked to in an online story. Additionally, be sure to shout about any big achievements or milestones for your business to aim to get those all-important brand mentions in the press.
5. Build up a great reputation online (and keep it)
When a consumer is searching for any new product or service these days, they almost always look for reviews whilst in what Google calls the messy middle – the exploration journey between awareness and purchase – so it’s really important to provide as positive an experience as possible when servicing your customers. If you exceed their expectations and they leave you happy, they’re more inclined to write a great review on your website or your Business Profile on Google. Not only will those positive reviews help you win more new clients when they read them online, but if a customer has an exceptional experience with your law firm they’re more likely to recommend you to a friend or colleague.
While it’s impossible for everyone to have the perfect customer journey with your business, it’s imperative that you respond to all reviews, even negative ones, to protect your brand. It shows transparency from your company and a willingness to learn from any mistakes that might have been made and rectify them if possible. Again, this goes back to building up trust and confidence in your business, and maintaining the reputation of your law firm.
Another way to boost your reputation online is to leverage any existing relationships you have with other businesses. It’s much easier to gain promotion or links from people or businesses that you know or work in partnership with than from strangers. You could ask your connections whether they’d consider adding a blog post about your business to their website, promoting it to their own customers and staff, and potentially gaining a link to your website in the process. If you have any relevant connections with a high profile or good presence on social media, you could ask if they’d be happy to be interviewed or have a profile written about them for your website and then ask them to share the link to their network.
Even a quick social media post about working in partnership with your law firm gets your brand name in front of an audience who may not have seen it otherwise. These kinds of collaborations can work for both parties, as they signal to other businesses or potential clients that you have successful partnerships already – a further indication that they can trust you with their business.
Ready to level up your online visibility?
There are no real quick fixes when it comes to making your law firm (or any business) more visible online – but there are many useful areas covered in this blog that you can target to help you on your way. If you need assistance with any of these steps, Embryo has you covered – get in touch with us today and we’ll put you on the path to online success.