How Attorneys Get SEO Clients

I’ve been providing and teaching SEO since 2005, and frankly when I hear someone say ‘The SEO industry changes so much’ I get that chill down my spine…like, they just don’t get it.

You’ll see that we rank at the top for the keyword [Local SEO Case Study for Attorneys

 The case study is nice, but today I’m going to cover the implementation, not the strategy.  So if you’re interested in a high level overview of the strategy, head over to learn about to marketing your law firm on the Internet using SEO.  

You see, the SEO industry is really just…well bullshit.  Everyone’s got an opinion and not is really regulating what’s being said.  I’ve written a lot about my thoughts on this, but for now to get value from this piece, I’ll say this in proper SEO fashion, just believe me!!

Today is about the activities that provide the greatest SEO bang, along with the greatest value for your Law Practice.

7 Most Effective SEO Activities for Lawyers

  1. Consistent High-Value Blog Content
  2. Quality Effective Website
  3. Video
  4. Press Releases
  5. Guest Posts
  6. Profile Citations
  7. Reviews

It’s really that simple, just not easy.  You’ll hear so much in SEO about ‘content is king’, write blog posts that are 1000 words and 5% dense with your target keyword, have a website that scores 90 in Google, get data aggregators, citations, optimize your profiles….and on and on and on and on.

There are so many strategies and opinions it’s quite frustrating, gives me a headache more than that when I’m in a hockey locker room full of 13 year old boys going through puberty.

Listen to Google

It’s about Trust and Authority.  Heck, look, I’m referencing the greatest authority source on the matter, Google.  They are literally telling you exactly what you have to do to rank on their search engine. You have to be a trusted authority source on the matter.  It’s that simple.

The hard part is actually proving to a search engine that your content is worthy to rank.  

I tell my students a little secret in trying to understand is a particular ‘SEO strategy’ is worth it. Imagine yourself in a completely dark room, eyes closed, and ask yourself….if this strategy good for my clients?  Is this strategy good for my business?  Is this strategy good for my own values?  If you answer YES to all three, then it’s probably a worthy strategy.

Imagine the question of link building…having link on a quantity of sites.  Is this good for the client, being listed on a directory in Canada? Probably not.

What about a video that answers a DUI question for a Criminal Defense Attorney’s potential client? This would make great sense for the business, the attorney and the client.

The following list I’ll be talking about in a authoritative and trustworthy sense, I’ll be forgoing the nuances of the SEO world.  I don’t want a headache today.

Blog Content

This one is definitely not the most insightful or unique tip you’ve ever heard.  It’s also quite a boring discussion, so I’ll try and give you the nuts and bolts in a couple of breaths.

Your blog is your communication to your audience.  So answer their questions!

If you’re a Personal Injury attorney interested in getting more car accident cases, think about the typical questions a prospective client asks you.  Make a list of the dozen most asked questions.

Now create a blog post answering each question.  Don’t outsource it.  Don’t write a piece to achieve 1000 keywords.  Write an essay like you were taught in school.  Submit a piece that you’d be proud to give to your favorite professor.

Make you have your works cited (outbound links).  Make sure you use visuals when you can (images).  Make it readable (headlines / short paragraphs).  

Your list of a dozen or so topics and this is your content creation schedule for the next year.

Website

OK, so every small business should have a website.  You can spend build a free one, you can spend $25,000.  You can make it flashy, have great features and impress your best collegues, but the bottom line is, if it doesn’t perform, it’s useless.

As far as SEO is concerned, there are perhaps a dozen or so important things to consider.  Some will give you a list of 25, others say five or so factors are truly important.

We call these On The Page factors.  Technically, your website should be error free, load relatively quick and be fairly up to date in the coding.  So plan on getting a rebuild every three to five years.

Page loading speed is pretty important.  We measure with two tools

  1. Google Page Speed Test
  2. Pingdom Speed Test

As long as your website is loading in less than 4 seconds and less than roughly 4mb, your going to be OK. However, you ideally want a website to load in 2 seconds.

As far as user experience, your website should be achieving a Call to Action, or CTA.  Typically this is either a phone call to the business or a form filled out on the website.

Obviously there are many elements required to help optimize the CTA such as user navigation, user experience and technical elements such as CTR (click through rate) tracking.

A good website requires the skills of several areas.

Of course content is important, but you’ll see this entire piece is merely focused on quality content, which is housed and organized properly on your website, the users and the search engines.

Video

Let’s face it, video is the one digital medium that touches all three factors that influence human behavior…our words, our tone, and our physiology.  While each has its own weight in its ability to influence, it is said our physiology represents 55% of our influence.  This was first written about by Albert Mehrabian and his 7-38-55 rule.

We can only convey physiology with video

Video is usually very confusing and scary for some.  It could cost a lot of money, it could require an investment in technology and skill. It brings the deer in headlight look when considering what to do with video.

Video is really not that hard, if you stick with the basics.  You don’t need a highly edited, heavy b-roll scripted studio shot video to be effective.

A simple rule with video is good lighting and good audio.  So let me give you a simple video strategy for your firm, this is exactly our strategy for our clients.  It consists to two types of video.

  1. Attorney Talking Head
  2. Blog Talking Head

Sure, you can spend $15,000 on a solid commercial and have that as your headline video, but here I’m talking about creating videos on a regular basis.  Remember, the search engines love consistent quality content.

You can choose both of these strategies or either one.

Attorney Talking Head

Hire someone or bring someone in to record you at your desk.  Wear your typical daily clothing and psych yourself up to speaking with a prospect, not a camera.

Have your dozen questions written out that you put together for the blog exercise. 

Make sure you have some good lighting on your face and eyes, with no shadows.  Don’t use the camera mic, plug in a lavalier or use a good boom mic.

Have someone ask you the question and start talking.  If you feel more comfortable, speak to a person in the room rather than at the camera. Just stay consistent.

Editing the video is easy, you’re shooting for 90 seconds to four minutes, ideally in the two minute range.

Post the videos regularly (not all at once) to YouTube.  Embed the video on your blog.  Propagate to your social channels.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n2FmGgsJQI

Blog Talking Head

We have a little studio that we create talking head videos for our clients.  It’s simple, we take a popular blog post of theirs, create a script, read it and add b-roll.  Check out this client video.

Videos like this will run your around $500 a piece.  But look at it like this…a year’s worth of video is valued at $6k, and for that price you’ll have a complete library of content that is answering your client’s objections.  These videos can be used for years to come, over and over…on your blog, on YouTube channel, social media and client presentations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeJY50MfAVE

Press Releases

It would be nice to be able to put this image on your website and social channels, wouldn’t it?!

A press release when done properly will do this.  We’ll do a press release at least quarterly for our clients and get distribution into at least 150 press publications.  This PR piece below was submitted to 267 Full Page Placements on 267 different news sources. This included Google News, Fox, Associated Press, ABC, CBS and NBC!

There are many PR distribution services available, and many are simply useless.  It’s tough the play the free game here.  We spend significant time creating a quality piece that’ll be picked up and spend upwards of $1000 for effective distribution.  The media game is a pay to play game.

Guest Posts

You’ve heard links are important in SEO.  You’ve also probably heard a quality link is more important than quantity.  But the question becomes, where do you get links from?

Vision this…a scientist publishes a paper and it’s picked up in a science journal.  Another scientist doing research and uses the first piece as a reference.  When the 2ndscientist moves up in the ranks, the trust given to the first scientist will increase.  Guest Posts do the same and provide that value in the form of improved SEO…or links.

This is an article that we hired to have written for us by Sharon Rondeau.  Her blog is a very busy blog with high authority on Google…in this case, her blog and this page receive a PR6 rating.  So a link from her blog to any site passes high page rank value.

As you can see in this article, it’s a piece that written about a car accident situation and provides a link with the anchor text [personal injury attorney].  This link is directed to our client, and in this case, we’re trying to improve the keyword of their main core competency, a PI attorney.

You can become a guest writer on your association websites, your school, clients’ websites or publications you’ve been published in.

A firm such as ours spend a lot of time building relationships with high authoritative blog writers that can offer value to their audience with content relevant to our clients.  

Profile Citations

These are simply directories.  There are major one, niche directories, local directories and industry, major aggregators, the telco’s, the list goes on.  

Our industry is split on opinions on who to hire, how to execute and whether to hire data pushers. I’ll tell you what we do.

You’ll need a consistent profile about your business.  We take the time to create a properly optimized profile with description, image set and all relevant and pertinent information.

First we purchase the elite plan at YEXT for our clients.  This costs us about $1000 a year.  This is nice, in a nut shell, because it instantly covers a lot of the biggest directories such a Bing, Yelp and Yahoo.  It’ll help with about 50 sites and ensure you have all four of the major data aggregators.

Over the first six months, we then proceed to manually claim and own the profiles that YEXT has created. YEXT is also nice for duplicate suppression.

Next, we begin the monthly ongoing process of acquiring about 30 new citations a month.  We have a huge database of local and industry citation sources.

There are literally hundreds available.  Some can take 30 minutes or more to properly acquire and claim.  This is an ongoing process, indefinitely.

Reviews

Reviews are said to be the digital form of word-of-mouth, or WOM.  WOM is definitely the best marketing strategy in history for attorneys, and this still holds true.

You need a firm-wide Review Strategy.  Period. I believe it is imperative that you, as the attorney and business owner, to build a company philosophy towards the importance of receiving positive reviews on a consistent basis, for the life of your practice.

We call this finding your hero clients.  You want to do what you can to ethically encourage your most satisfied clients to talk about you online.  Whether it’s Google, or Facebook, you need a system to encourage, measure and monitor this activity.

Your goal should be to receive at least two new 5-star reviews per month, but one a week would be better. Obviously the volume of your firm will further dictate this activity, but regardless, you need consistent reviews.

We implement our RAP system, or our Review Acquisition Programfor Attorneys.

This is a system that helps build that company culture, provides the tools to encourage client reviews and helps measure and monitor progress.    

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