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SEO 101: What attorneys need to know

As marketers, we’re responsible for staying on top of the latest online marketing trends.  The most important information you need to know is how to drive targeted traffic to your law firm’s website. This is where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in. If you don’t know the first thing about SEO, have never heard of a meta description and wouldn’t know a targeted keyword if it fell through your office ceiling and hit you on the head, have no fear: today’s post was written just for you.

SEO is the process of getting traffic from the search results on search engines. Good rankings in search engine results is key to driving new business for attorneys and law firms. It’s crucial that your website is found near or at the top of search results, as only 5% of searches continue beyond the first page. If your website is not on the first page of the results, then you need to optimise your website better so that it functions as a powerful marketing tool that drives new business leads.

All major search engines ‒ such as Google, Bing and Yahoo ‒ have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos, images and news items are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Having your website show up in organic ‒ also known as ‘free’ or ‘natural’ ‒  search results costs you nothing, unlike paid search (also known as ‘pay per click’ or  ‘search marketing’). To illustrate, go to your favourite search engine and type in the name of your alma mater. The pages of listings that are returned to you are organic listings, meaning it cost nothing to the owners of those URLs to appear there.

Now look to the top and maybe the right of the search results. See those listing marked “Ad”? Those are paid results, which means the website owners paid money for their ad to appear at the top of the search results by bidding on those same keywords you entered. (We could spend several blog posts at least on paid search, and will do so in the future ‒ but not now.)

Many factors go into a well-optimised website. Without getting too technical, here are the most important components of good SEO.

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