Run a Google search on search engine optimization (SEO) and it will return literally millions of pages for you to look at. The reason behind so much SEO information is pretty straightforward: SEO rules the internet traffic kingdom. It is the single most important factor in driving traffic to a website.
Unfortunately, SEO services are often ignored by the legal sector. Whether it is because attorneys do not understand digital marketing, or they simply find it distasteful doesn’t really matter in the end. What matters is that ignoring SEO harms business. Law firms that pay no mind to it do so at their own peril.
Webtek is a Salt Lake City digital marketing firm that offers a variety of online services, including SEO. They cite the following two reasons law firms should not ignore SEO:
1. Nearly All Online Experiences Begin with a Search Engine
What would you say if an SEO expert told you that nearly all online experiences start with a search engine? Well, it turns out it’s true. Data shows that 93% of all new internet visits start with the visitor launching a web browser into a search engine. Google is the search engine of choice for the majority of web users.
What does this mean to law offices? Absolutely everything. Imagine you are a potential client looking for an attorney to represent you in a personal injury case. You have seen plenty of commercials on TV. Attorney ads pop up on your smartphone. The problem is that you haven’t memorized law firm names or phone numbers. So what do you do?
You pay Google a visit and type in something like, “personal injury attorneys near me.” You hope to find a link to one of the law offices you remember from television. But even if not, Google will still give you a long list of attorneys you can consult.
Law Firms Losing Out
The fact that 93% of all internet experiences begin on a search engine clearly demonstrates that law firms are losing out if their websites are not appearing in searches. Furthermore, the chances of a website showing up in a Google search are slim to none if a law firm is not actively engaging in a comprehensive SEO strategy.
No active SEO efforts equal very little chance of being found in a search engine. And if a law office is not showing up in searches, it is not generating traffic for its website.
2. Users Rarely Get past the First Page of Search Engine Results
The second reason for not ignoring SEO is as simple as the first: 75% of search engine users never make it past the first page of results. In the industry, we call those pages ‘search engine results pages’, or SERPs for short. SERPs are like gold to online marketers.
Using the previous example of looking for a personal injury attorney, let us say a law firm’s website appears on page 3 of SERPs for a given keyword. It is nice that it appears within the top 50 among millions of sites but being in that position is of very little value given that the site appears on page 3.
Page 1 Is the Goal
If 75% of internet users never get past the first page of SERPs, the remaining 25% do. But so what? Their numbers continually dwindle with each new page of results. So if a law firm isn’t appearing on page 1, it’s not getting the traffic it should get.
Firms that offer digital marketing services for lawyers have one goal in terms of SEO: to make sure their clients appear on page 1 more often than not. No SEO firm can guarantee 100% success, but they ought to be able to reach the goal fairly frequently.
At this point, it should be noted that staying on page 1 requires an ongoing effort. The minute you stop following an SEO strategy, a site that appeared on page 1 will start to drop. It is like a swimming upriver. You have to keep moving forward or the current will drag you backward.
A comprehensive SEO strategy is not an option for law firms. A law firm that engages with digital marketing while ignoring SEO is doing so at its own peril.