What if you could get hundreds of pages on your website that combined pull 3000+ visitors to your law firm website every month?
That is over 30,000 per year! Imagine only 10% of those visitors turn into customers or at the least join your mailing list or request a quote?
That is a lot of additional business that is tracked, measurable, and profitable – compared to traditional media.
Our goal is to figure out the average long-term customer valueof your clients and put together a strategy that will generate more of your ideal clients for a known dollar figure. This way you can turn the funnel of clients on or off at will.
People are searching online for services – just as you are reading this right now.
We’ll get you to the top of search engines long-term and keep you there.
Any clients we work with like to dominate their industry. Because we know how to outwork and outperform our competitors we usually end up monopolizing the market for our clients – even if the competitors have larger budgets.
Free marketing consultations: firstname.lastname@example.org – Available for scheduled coffee meetings in Vancouver
Is law firm SEO just snake oil or does it actually work? Yaletown SEO knows what it takes to rank any website but we start off going for the low-hanging fruit. Believe it or not your potential clients who need your services are looking for information online. By creating content related to what they are searching for, you position yourself as an authority on that subject. This looks good in Google’s eyes as your website is more relevant to what you are trying to rank for and also in your prospects eyes because you are providing value. SEO in 2016 has more to do with creating valuable content and being relevant. Sure, black hat PBN and link building strategies work in the short-term but is not a good investment for building a long-term sustainable brand. Personally I would spend more to do things in accordance with Google’s guidelines. There are sites that are ranking higher without any links simply due to a good internal linking structure and on-page setup plus strong local directory/citation signals. Many SEO marketers say not to have a blog for your website but this is nonsense. Build up your blog to 100 posts and become an authority in your local marketplace. Targeting long-tail keyword phrases still works. While there may only be a few dozen searches per month per keyword, when added up, they amount to thousands of searches per month. The compounded effect of this traffic also helps you to rank for broader search queries as Google better understands what your website is about.
99% of law firm websites are not performing as well as they could be because they are often not aware of what else they should e doing. Sadly, most law firms lack a solid content marketing strategy. This is often a result of working with a marketing provider who is not confident in multiple areas and so they tell their clients ‘not to bother’ with one thing or another when that is not the case. Or, they say they can do everything when they don’t know how and butcher it.
One of the best things that a law firm can do is position themselves as the experts through content. It’s actually free to create content – minus time invested but it isn’t like PPC where you have to pay for clicks. Even when you hire a copywriter, video/SEO/Social media person to execute a strategy you stand to gain more business down the road. Most lawyers will benefit from outsourcing tasks so they can focus on client consulting and winning cases. If 1 case is potentially worth 5-7 figures then it is worth investing money to get more of those types of cases and one of the best places to get found is online (while people are doing research). Create YouTube videos, optimize them to rank higher, and those videos become long-term assets that will continue to drive traffic and leads. The offline version of this is to publish a book which is also an effective strategy. Of course you can then leverage online marketing to promote the book and you might even become a best selling author. These things are all easily available and possible to most lawyers that have a budget to invest in getting these things done.
Inbound marketing for the legal niche is powerful and can generate millions of dollars worth of settlements. Done wrong, SEO can quickly tarnish a reputation that took you years to build. Don’t make that mistake! It is very heartbreaking.
There are many fly by night SEO companies and amateur SEOs who due to ‘ignorance on fire’ will go out and unintentionally damage as many online business assets as they can until their clients phone and tell them their websites have disappeared from Google and then they say SEO doesn’t work. If you know of someone who intentionally performs SEO knowing they are damaging a company’s online assets let me know. It would be best to ensure others don’t fall victim to those services. SEO comes in handy when dealing with online reputation management as we can somewhat control what information appears for a given keyword, brand, name, phrase, and so forth (do mind the unintentional keyword stuffing). I’ve been practicing what I preach, with the help of my assistants, and have ranked hundreds of different lead generation websites, landing pages, corporate websites, and ecommerce stores for many years. The data clearly shows that if we continue doing what we’ve been doing, the organic traffic is only going to continue to increase.
First let’s get the basic gist of what search engine optimization is with a definition from Wikipedia.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of websites or pages in a web search engine’s unpaid results — often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users, and these visitors can be converted into customers. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search,video search, academic search, news search and industry specific vertical search engines. Source: Wiki
I know it sounds dead simple but there is so much history behind the evolution of SEO. One thing that doesn’t change however is that when you provide value and put out good content, your contents rankings improve even after Google animal updates.
Doing a quick search for divorce lawyers Vancouver, it appears that most law firm websites in Vancouver are not performing SEO. That’s actually not surprising. Even though 99% of companies can benefit from being found online, the fact remains that most lawyers AND the average human being is oblivious as to how SEO really works. Hey! There is nothing wrong with spending your time studying law instead and I won’t hold it against you. You might as well let the online marketers handle the technical things that would otherwise take you thousands of hours to learn and implement on your own. I do my best to educate my clients over time but also know when it is better to leave out the overwhelming information.
There are two main sides of the coin when approaching SEO. Black Hat SEO involves manipulating search engine rankings by using spammy techniques such as using cloaked text, keyword stuffing, buying spammy backlinks, utilizing private blog networks (for the purpose of ranking), and attempting to game the system in general. These methods may work for a little while but can result in losing your rankings and the traffic you spent time trying to build up. If you are looking to build a business, you should not rely solely on black hat SEO strategies to rank your sites. White Hat SEO on the other hand happens when you earn links naturally by putting out good content and promoting it rather than spamming your way to the top. It is slower but if you want to build a strong foundation, the slower way is sometimes the only way to still be in business many years down the road. I still think that one of the major reasons why a lot of general contractors go out of business is because they hire short-term minded SEOs to handle their marketing. Lawyers being more educated should not make the same mistake of hiring an SEO with no business sense.
Back to SEO. I like to focus on Google and then Bing/Yahoo next. Google gets the lions share of traffic and is the most user friendly engine which is why I like to focus on ranking in Google.
“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
They want to provide a good user experience and eliminate internet spam. Years ago it was possible to rank on page 1 simply by spamming massive amounts of backlinks and using other link building schemes to increase pagerank, spam exact match anchor text backlinks to keyword exact match domains (EMDs), and get fast rankings. Google got wise and began cleaning up the web usually with updates that caused even experienced SEO gurus to run in fear.
There is a greater emphasis placed on quality over quantity. This means producing quality content and building quality backlinks from authoritative domains. Signals such as a low bounce rate, high clickthrough rate, a high number of pageviews, time spent on site, unique/return visitors, and on-site engagement all play a role in how Google determines how to rank sites in relation to others at varying levels.
There are of course short-term methods that still work and many SEOs practice them because they can profit in the short amount of time that their sites are ranking, but it is more sustainable long-term to focus on building up an authority domain using white hat methods that Google loves. If you play nice with Google, they will play nice back.
So how does law firm SEO fit into the picture you might ask? SEO is only a small part of online marketing. SEO is the biggest way to impact a website’s organic search engine traffic however with the hundreds of ranking factors that are put out, how are we supposed to know which factors matter most? Applying the 80/20 principle where 20% of the actions produce 80% of the results, we should focus on producing quality content, organizing said content through proper website architecture, and promoting the HELL out of that content.
Create content that your users are actively seeking. If you specialize in divorce law, then put out content that talks about topics that would be of interest to someone going through a divorce.
- 5 tips to prepare for divorce mediation – if I was looking up ‘divorce mediation preparation’ and saw your article I would click on it.
- Warning signs that you should split with your divorce attorney – differentiate yourself from the 80%
- Legal checklist when filing for a divorce – a helpful guide giving you a chance to establish some relationship equity
- Life after divorce – case studies and real life stories can work well. Just don’t give out too much personal information
- Who keeps the dog in a divorce – a bit off topic, probably too niche, and not professional
Once you create the content (the easy part) you need to promote it.
Some simple steps includes promoting it on social media. You can strategically boost your posts on Facebook (preferably via the Power Editor which has more robust targeting options) in order to attract comments, shares, views, and traffic to your website. Go to relevant authoritative blog articles that receive hundreds of visitors per day, leave a thoughtful comment, and insert a link to your article – but don’t overdo it! YouTube provides a decent way to get more traffic to your articles especially in legal niches where people tend not to comment on videos. If you can repurpose your articles into videos and start optimizing your videos that is also a bonus. Nothing establishes thought leadership and screams expert like a channel filled with hundreds of videos on a given topic along with thousands of subscribers. By that point you may even be tempted to write a best selling book and promote it to your list.
Speaking of lists, building an email list is a great way to get free traffic, readership, and comments on your articles as soon as they are published. Some more methods includes going on Q&A sites where people are asking questions related to divorce and providing some helpful tips and a link to your article – but be genuine. A more riskier approach but much more rewarding is performing content outreach to writers, journalists, and the press. Getting your article featured on an entrepreneur.com equivalent divorce attorney authority website can drive a lot of traffic and authoritative backlinks to your website. Those backlinks give your website more ‘link juice’ that sends it climbing up the ranks from page nowhere to page 3, 2, and hopefully to page 1 which gets virtually all of the traffic.
Very few people browse past page 1 of Google if they are able to find what they need on page 1. If people are going past page 1 it is either because what they found on page 1 wasn’t what they were looking for or they were perhaps turned off by those websites for one reason or another. Chances are higher that someone will instead opt for a more targeted keyword going from ‘divorce attorney’ to ‘divorce attorney near me,’ ‘divorce attorney + vancouver,’ or even ‘gay marriage divorce attorney vancouver.’ There are all kinds of niches (gay marriage) being one that you could rank for. Keep in mind that you have some control over the types of clients that you are attracting by the type of content on your website. If you are new to online marketing, blogging, and search engine optimization/marketing then to put it short, you want to put article based content on a blog.
For the menu site architecture, you want to list as many services as possible under the broad keyword terms and then create keyword rich quality content around those broad keyword terms using related keywords and not repeating the same keywords more than a few times (remember quality over quantity). Content must read well and have excellent grammar. One of the biggest misconceptions about duplicate content is that webmasters received a duplicate content penalty when in reality their pages were penalized due to having poor grammar. You can use tools such as grammarly.com to fix that (I usually recommend a score above 95%). Content that is at least 2000+ words tends to rank better than shorter content. You can find proof of this by performing a search for any ‘how to’ type article in Google.
With the appropriate cities, services, and content in place, all organized with a sound internal linking structure, it is time to add other elements to the mix. For law firms, it is highly recommended to work on improving the Google maps/places listing. Here are some of the techniques that your Local SEO online marketing company in Vancouver should be focused on to rank in the local map pack aka 3 pack/snack pack results.
Footer links (stop stuffing links in your footers 🙂 are usually a sign of poor SEO practice and they have been given less weight. It helps to link out to authoritative sites such as to your BBB listing, Yelp page, Google page, and include other trust symbols such as a local chamber badge (with link out) or any law firm association you are a part of. But don’t link out for the sake of linking out to anything as it gives away your link juice which you could instead pass to your inner pages which then pass back up to your home page. Again, a solid Silo structure and on-page SEO with accurate NAP directory listings and citations will usually (90% of the time) give you the ability to outrank all of your competitors – even the ones that are using outdated tactics that stopped working in 2006.
Perhaps by now you are aware of the second mobile friendly update that was released this past May 2016. With more search engine users browsing from mobile devices, Google is giving more weight to webmasters that have mobile optimized (responsive) websites. This is just another step towards providing a more user friendly experience. When Google can keep more people using its search engines, it makes more money from ads. Pay per click, PPC Adwords advertising makes up the majority of Google’s revenues. With a recent changes just a few months ago, Google made a shift from 3 ads on top and 5 on the side to 4 on top with 0 on the side (with the exception of PLA ads). The majority of our clients actually saw a boost with this change in the initial stages with one of the downsides down the road being higher costs per click across the board with more competitors fighting for the top 4 positions. Adding negative keywords, blocking suspicious IPs, creating more targeted ad copy, landing pages, having faster pagespeeds, and more precise ad group/keyword targeting is even more important than ever.
As a sidenote, if you are asking which is more profitable, PPC or SEO, I would say that traffic and leads from PPC advertising is more predictable but organic clicks, emails, or calls from SEO is more profitable in the long-run as it is traffic that you don’t pay per click for. If you have a brand new website and need traffic now then a strong PPC strategy can help you get going until your SEO rankings start kicking in. Don’t worry, 80% of the competition doesn’t even know whether or not their website brings any leads for their business and have no marketing strategy. The other 15% only have a small understanding of what online marketing is but are still relying on old outdated information. And 5% know or have expert SEO and SEM marketers managing their online marketing efforts to rank higher in Google and generate leads.
We have barely even scratched the surface on the full extent of what is possible as a whole and how we can take your business to another level.
For best results, it is not ideal to only hire an SEO. These days smaller companies are outranking large companies that have been around for a hundred years and even appearing larger due to having a stronger online presence. By stronger we mean being omnipresent through SEO, SEM, PPC, Social media (SMM), email, retargeting ads, some offline advertising, and then some. We build trust and brand recognition even on smaller budgets so when people are in need, they remember you. When you are found online by a potential client who doesn’t know your market, they assume that you are the go-to authority because your website was one of the first that they found when performing a search. Again, the average person doesn’t know what SEO even is and the fact that you are reading this right now puts you in a special group of people called ‘Yaletown SEO’s potential clients.’ Kidding aside, we don’t work with just anyone and everyone. We only have so much time in a day and so we give preference to working with 1 company in any given industry and helping them be part of the top 1% in their marketplace. This is partly because it is unethical to compete with ourselves and also because we want to help those that are willing to put their trust and business in our hands.