Before we address whether or not SEO actually works for attorneys, we need to make sure we’re on the same page about what kind of SEO we’re talking about.
If we’re talking about site architecture, organizing information on websites, developing quality legal web content, and getting in front of the right audiences, SEO can work exceptionally well for attorneys.
On the other hand, if we’re talking about link schemes, comment spam, article spinning, and fake client testimonials, then SEO, not only doesn’t really work, it actually can be quite harmful to an attorney’s professional reputation and even license to practice.
But even assuming we’re working from the former definition, and doing things “right” in terms of complying with search engine quality guidelines, SEO may still not be “working” in the way that you might expect it to.
While there are a lot of SEO strategies that work exceptionally well for attorneys, if we really distill things down to a couple key concepts, we can identify some of the most effective.
First, you have to pay attention to the technical components of SEO. This means making sure that your site is getting properly crawled and indexed. While it’s pretty easy to set up a site that is easily crawled by search spiders, if it can’t be crawled and indexed, search engines simply can’t serve up site in their results.
Second, once you’re sure your site is getting crawled and indexed, the next step is making sure you’re using meta tags to communicate to search engines what your site is about. These include title tags, headers, bold text, etc.
Third, and the most important thing you can do, is focus on developing content that serves a demand. Whether it’s a demand for answers to legal questions, a demand for interesting information related to your practice, or even entertaining information, your success in search will ultimately depend upon your ability to “listen” to what there is a demand for in search and supplying online content that satisfies that demand.
And satisfaction of that demand is about more than just consumption. Sure, we want search users to read our site content, but perhaps more importantly, we want people to engage it. And engagement can come in many forms. It may mean subscribing to future updates. It may mean sharing it with other people with whom your readers are connected online. It may linking to your content from other site upon which your visitors publish. All of these types of engagement serve a purpose in acquiring new business from the web.