Is Your Law Firm SEO Good Enough to Survive the Digital Content Explosion?

Do you have any idea how many indexed pages are on the Internet?

14 trillion.

What’s making your website stand out? Is it standing out?

Is it even showing up in search engines?

Why Lawyer SEO is as Essential as Oxygen

Law firms that don’t have strong online marketing plans wither and die. The phones don’t ring; nobody sends emails.

There’s nobody to represent. And that means there’s no money coming in.

A solid lawyer-focused SEO strategy can prevent that from happening to your firm. In fact, it virtually guarantees that your firm becomes – or remains – the authority in the marketplace.

We all know that the firms at the top of Google’s results are the ones getting all of the leads. That’s just the way it works; people who search for lawyers online start at the top and start working their way down.

So your firm needs to be on top, end of story.

Best Practices for Lawyer SEO

SEO isn’t a one-step, set-it-and-forget-it thing. It’s a process that has to be built on the right foundation. Here’s how it works:

  1. Keyword research. It takes intensive keyword research to ensure you’re targeting the right phrases. The right phrases aren’t necessarily what you’d think, either, so that’s why keyword research is absolutely essential. For example, there could be – and most likely are – far more lucrative search terms than “Your City personal injury lawyer.”
  2. Landing page creation. Sure, you can bring in all the traffic in the world… but if you’re funneling visitors into an ugly, non-functional or worthless page, they’re going to move down the list that came up in the search results and work with the first firm that looks better than yours does.

When we say worthless, what we really mean is a page that doesn’t offer readers anything of value. They already know you’re a lawyer; that’s how they found your page. They want something that shows them why they should work with you. Can you give them reasons? Can you give them statistics? Most of all, can you give them hope? That’s what they want, above all else. Hope.

  1. Effective page interlinking, or SILOing. Each page on your website has a certain value to the search engines, and you have to build effective links between all of them so that your site distributes its authority properly. That means creating a path for search engine crawlers to follow and teaching them (the search engine crawlers) why certain pages are also valuable.

Lawyer SEO: Consider it “Algorithm Update Protection”

Google is always changing the way they search for and evaluate content. Their goal: to deliver the most relevant, most useful and most easy-to-use results in the top spots on the search engine results pages, or SERPs.

By updating their algorithms (the formulas they use to determine what content is good and what content is bad) frequently, Google is constantly evolving. They respond to user needs and strive to keep their corner of the market – what company wouldn’t?

That’s great for consumers, because that means they’re getting what they need in an instant.

That’s great for you, too… if you can deliver.

The right search engine optimization formula is different for every law firm. However, a major component that never changes is the need for high quality backlinks. When sites link into yours, Google sees that as an endorsement of sorts.

Think of it this way: when you’re on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site, you’re going to share things that are valuable to you and your friends. Maybe they’re funny things; perhaps they’re thought provoking. Maybe you recently found something that a friend has been searching for and passed along the link. These are all like endorsements from you – and websites that link to other websites are saying, “Look, this site’s valuable; it has good content that you should see in addition to ours.”

Google sees those backlinks and can determine that someone found that site valuable. It stands to reason that others will find it valuable, too, especially if the site giving the link is powerful. (Links from disreputable sites can actually harm your site’s credibility, but that’s another story.)

That’s why having a healthy backlink profile helps protect you against algorithm updates and penalties. Google already knows that your site is valuable, so a good backlink profile is like a virtual layer of padding that sends the Googlebot to bother other websites.

This isn’t black magic. It’s all about numbers, metrics and hard work. Good lawyer SEO can work for any firm, creating a cycle of perpetual growth and, yes, financial gain. There’s no better way to get to the top… and stay there.

You Shouldn’t Have to Settle

You have a successful law firm. And yet, many SEO Agencies treat you as if you’re a first year associate.

Many firms don’t specialize in Search Engine Optimization for Lawyers. Instead, they offer many different online marketing services and spread themselves too thin by working with businesses and professionals in many different industries. When it comes to improving your law firm’s Google placement, anything short of undivided attention won’t cut it.

Many firms want to lock you in to a long-term contract. And if you break the contract for any reason, they hold your website hostage. You’ve paid all this money and you don’t even own your website. No rankings and no website?

Many firms assign a wet-behind-the-ears Account Executive to be your main contact person. The only SEO they know is what they’ve learned in their sales meetings. Worse yet, once you develop a rapport with this person, they leave the company and are replaced and you’ll have to start all over again.

Many firms are simply too small to really provide the kind of power you’ll need to rank in this industry. They make promises, build simple template websites, and send phony ranking reports until you realize you’re wasting your money.

With these terms, it’s no wonder you’re skeptical. You wouldn’t accept this type of treatment anywhere. Why would you settle now?

Introducing the ApricotLaw Platinum Client Program

The ApricotLaw Platinum Client Program is an online marketing program specifically designed for the successful law firm.

When you first contact ApricotLaw, you will get a Website Audit Video that you can watch at your leisure. We take the time to perform a thorough analysis of your law firm’s website and the websites of your top competitors. The goal of this initial phase is to identify the gap between your law firm and the top ranking law firms in your market.

Knowing the online state of your law firm will allow us to prescribe and implement a personalized plan of action, just for you. The online presence of your law firm will experience these four transformations.

Image

The feeling people get when they visit your website should match the power, authority and success of your law firm. Our designers will rebuild your website from the bottom up if necessary. Your firm deserves a custom design created by hand. Not to be forced into the look of a one-size-fits-all template.

Architecture

Our research and testing has determined there is, in fact, an optimal website layout that is most pleasing to Google. This particular website structure has proven to cause higher search engine rankings for even the most competitive of keywords. Our SEO Specialists will overhaul your website to fit this Google-friendly architecture.

Votes

From its inception, Google’s ranking criteria has been based on the number and quality of websites “voting” for any particular web page as the most trustworthy information on a given topic. As a Platinum Client, you will benefit from the ongoing and exhaustive testing being performed by our SEO Specialists. By associating your website with the most authoritative, most visited sites in the world, your law firm will become the trusted authority in your city and practice area.

Pulse

It is no longer enough to focus solely on your law firm’s website. As a Platinum Client, you will own a large publishing channel with which to spread your message. Our professional writers will publish content on your website on a regular basis. As soon as each piece goes live, your message will be shared with dozens of social media and Web 2.0 sites so that you reach an exponentially larger audience than by blogging alone.

And of course, as a Platinum Client you will enjoy these special privileges:

  • No Long Term Commitment

You can cancel at any time. There are no long-term contracts so you can rest easy knowing that you are in complete control of your monthly marketing investment.

  • Work Directly with a Co-Founder

You will communicate directly with a Co-Founder of ApricotLaw. No one is more interested in your success than the owner of our company. And no one is more knowledgeable about SEO.

  • Team of SEO Specialists

You will have a team of SEO specialists working on your website so you can focus on practicing law. Each person has been hand-selected because they are the best at their area of concentration.

The Before and After Stories of 3 Attorneys

     Rob, a Personal Injury Attorney in Harlem, New York was finally able to break free from his contract. When Rob first met with us, he shared a ranking report from his previous company. The only keywords he was on the first page of Google for were super-long sentences that no one ever searched. He was paying this firm for years for rankings that didn’t produce any website visitors.

To make matters worse, this company claimed that they owned his website. In repo-man fashion, they intended to strip the website for parts and use what they could on their next website project. In the end, Rob walked away with only a CD copy of the text contained on his website.

Now, Rob’s website ranks in the top of Google for terms like Car Accident Lawyer NYC, Personal Injury Lawyer NYC and hundreds more. He has three legal websites to date and his online success continue to grow.

     James, a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Brooklyn, New York, has a story worth telling. Before ApricotLaw, James hire a Marketing Agency to work on his website. Things were going well until one day, Google decided to update its ranking algorithm. James’s website instantly fell from the first page of Google to the ninth. Having relied on the visitors finding his firm through Google, James was in trouble.

The Agency may have been great. But, by offering a large menu of services to various industries, they weren’t able to foresee how the upcoming Google update would affect legal websites specifically.

After becoming an ApricotLaw client, James’s website slowly started coming back to life. After a few months, he began sporadically appearing on the first page again. After 6 months, he was in the top ten for the majority of his best search phrases. Now James’s website ranks for valuable phrases such as DWI/DUI Lawyer Brooklyn, Criminal Lawyer Brooklyn and many more. Thanks to ApricotLaw, James’s website is stronger than before the devastating Google update.

     Mark, the owner of a Personal Injury Firm in Indianapolis, has a slightly different story to tell. When Mark came to ApricotLaw, only a few short months ago, his law firm was already successful. He had all the signs of having it all together, both online and offline. His firm had a dedicated marketing department, a designer and social media websites that were updated multiple times a day. They had dozens of educational videos, tons of great content and did regular radio interviews. Television commercials, regular press releases and countless satisfied clients. 10 out of 10 Avvo rating, Perennial Super Lawyers Top Ten and listed in Best Lawyers since 2009.

But, Google didn’t share everyone’s enthusiasm for Mark’s law firm. The firm’s website was listed between pages 2 and 5 for most keywords. But 95 percent of Google’s visitors click on a first page listing and never get to the second page.

30 days in, after an SEO overhaul of the firm’s website and borrowing trust from other super authority sites, Mark’s website shot straight to Number One for Drug Recall Lawyer Indianapolis and Birth Trauma Lawyer Indianapolis. Mesothelioma Lawyer Indianapolis and Wrongful Death Lawyer Indianapolis are now in the top five as well. In a few months, this law firm will completely dominate the first page of Google’s results for anything related to Indianapolis Personal Injury Law.

In their own words…

“The best part about ApricotLaw’s service is I don’t have to think about my website. To be honest I haven’t looked at it in a very long time. My law firm appears on the first page of Google for every keyword we asked for. We get calls every single day from the website. Nick Kringas and Tom Desmond have been trusted advisors for years and I look forward to working with them long into the future.”

– Adrian Hunte, New York

“I was doing great until… a Google update. My rankings went from #3 to number #83. My business was doomed. Today, I rank extremely well for the keywords I requested. I would definitely recommend to everyone except my competitors.”

– James Medows, New York

“Many times these developers, these SEO experts come in and they make you all sorts of promises. But at the end of the day it comes down to results. And we’ve been very, very happy with the results with ApricotLaw.”

– Rob Greenstein, New York

How to Apply

Quite frankly, the ApricotLaw Platinum Client Program is not for all law firms. And not all law firms that apply will be accepted.

Platinum Clients are law firms and lawyers who are already successful and want their online presence to match their offline success.

Remember, we can only partner with one law firm per city and practice area. If you’d like to learn more, call us today to see if your city is still available. (212) 960-8584 is Tom Desmond’s direct line at ApricotLaw.