Why your law firm isn’t ranking on Google (and how to fix it!)
The need for law firms to stand out from their competitors is obvious. The application of search engine optimization (SEO) practices in today’s marketing strategies has become increasingly important for law firms over the past couple of years. Simply searching for a “lawyer near me” brings up a list of thousands of lawyers located near the user. Law firms that appear at the top of Google search engine results are highly ranked due to search engine optimization. If you are wondering why your law firm is not appearing on the first page of a Google search, there are some steps you can take to improve and optimize the ranking of your law firm’s website.
Ways to Increase Your Law Firm’s Search Engine Rankings
There are various reasons why a law firm’s website may not rank high enough to appear on the first page of a Google search, but the good news is that there are ways to increase the visibility of your law firm. search engine ranking. The following strategies will help you increase the ranking of your law firm:
Use keyword strategies
Research has suggested that law firms are extremely competitive when it comes to SEO. Sometimes extremely specific keyword searches still produce many results. When many law firms use the same keywords, it’s hard to compete for rankings. If keyword strategies are not optimized, Google rankings will be affected, but this is something that can be improved.
How do you improve keyword strategies? There are several ways to improve and improve keyword strategies.
You might want to do some keyword research to see what’s going on in the legal industry. Keyword tools are available to everyone online. You’ll want to check the competitive or difficult score for each keyword you want to use. Scores above 60 are considered very competitive or difficult. In these cases, it is advantageous to use less competitive keywords.
Another way to solve your keyword problems is to use long-tail keywords instead of short-tail keywords. What does it mean? Long-tail keywords are more specific and attract targeted traffic. Short-tail words have a wide reach and drive a lot of online traffic, but these short-tail words do not produce targeted traffic. Long-tail keywords are less competitive and create opportunities to attract customers looking for specific information.
Don’t break Google’s rules
Google’s quality standards must be met to stay at the top of the rankings. The algorithm that Google uses to rank websites is regularly updated, so web pages that do not meet Google’s quality standards are downgraded. This is usually due to “black hat tactics,” which are techniques for ignoring or evading basic SEO rules. Sometimes rules are broken unknowingly, especially if your business doesn’t fully understand how SEO rules work in ranking web pages. Breaking the rules, even unknowingly, will cause your website to drop in ranking.
There are ways to avoid breaking Google’s rules. To avoid breaking Google’s policies, always do the following:
- Avoid posting duplicate content. There is a limit on original content and re-posting of the same content.
- Don’t use too many keywords in your content; this is also known as keyword stuffing. It is quite common to use the same keywords without knowing it. To avoid keyword stuffing, check your content with a keyword density tool
- Remove backlinks. Backlinks are links from one site to another. Check your website’s backlinks. Low-ranking, low-credibility pages can link to your company’s website. This can decrease your site’s authority. Disassociate them to protect your site.
- Hidden text should not be used. This type of text is often hidden in the background of a web page or behind graphics. Delete any hidden text to avoid inadvertently breaking Google’s policies.
Optimize your Google Business Profile
Businesses can manage their online presence with a Google Business Profile. This is a free resource that allows businesses to manage their sites through utilities such as Google Maps. A law firm’s Google Business Profile is important for its ability to generate leads and new clients. Legal marketing strategies are localized since consumers generally seek customers in a specific area. That’s why the Google Business Profile is an important marketing tool for law firms looking to generate leads and future clients in their city or state.
Google Business Profiles are usually the first point of contact for future customers and appear at the top of search pages. It is beneficial for all businesses, including law firms, to accurately and thoughtfully complete their Google Business Profile. Suppose a law firm uses a fully optimized Google profile. In this case, it shows Google that ranking matters and that it will use Google resources to provide relevant information to users. This can help improve rankings.
How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Optimizing a Google Business Profile can be a lengthy process, but it will deliver positive results. Full use of your Google Business Profile will increase your law firm’s website rankings. Here are some tips for optimizing your Google Business Profile:
- Claim your Google Business Profile
- Complete all parts of the Google Business Profile
- Provide accurate and complete contact information
- Accurately answer all questions
- Assemble, review and respond to all reviews
- Use the messaging function
- Constantly update and maintain your Google Business Profile
The content of your law firm’s website is one of the biggest contributors to your Google rankings, but the technical features of your website’s design also have a major influence on rankings. Website design contributes to a website’s position on a Google search, but is often seen as a problem. Many companies don’t understand the effect that the design and organization of their websites has on their rankings. Three common design elements that can affect grading include:
- The rapidity: User experience often depends on speed, and if site speed and page load times aren’t ideal, your website could rank poorly on Google.
- Mobile friendliness: In recent years, Google has prioritized mobile web design. Mobile-friendly websites are ranked higher than websites that are not accessible on mobile phones.
- Security: Security can also be an issue for filing. 82% of Google users will leave a page if they believe it is insecure. The percentage may be even higher in the legal sector since law firms often deal with sensitive information. If data risks are a concern, Google does not rank web pages very highly.
Create an indexed website
Google will not rank your website if it is not indexed. This can happen when:
- Your website is brand new and has not yet been indexed.
- You have blocked Google from indexing your website.
- Your website does not allow Google to crawl pages.
- When a website is not indexed, it will not appear on Google.
Once this problem is solved, your website will appear on search pages. How to make sure a website is indexed?
First, check and see if your website appears on Google. Type “site:websitename.com” into the search field. If nothing appears in the results, your site is not indexed.
Next, you’ll want to check your robots.txt file. by typing “website name.com/robots.txt” into your browser’s URL field. If you see a 404 error, your website may not be crawled. If errors appear, you’ll want to troubleshoot to ensure your website is indexed.
Next steps in digital marketing
Achieving the coveted top results on Google is a challenge, but law firms must strive to meet this challenge if they are to succeed. Current marketing strategies amplify search engine optimization as an integral part of growing a law firm. Unfortunately, low Google rankings are a widespread problem for many law firms and other businesses trying to grow their business.
It’s important to proactively employ strategies that ensure high rankings in Google search results and improve SEO, especially as today’s digital standards and ideals change daily. A law firm’s website needs to have regular visitors to generate leads and gain new clients, so search result rankings need to be high to attract those visitors. Law firms can improve their rankings in search results by using keyword strategies, following and adhering to Google’s guidelines, optimizing their Google Business Profile, and using a well-designed and indexed website. . Using these marketing tools will get your law firm up the list in search results and help you stay competitive in today’s hot markets.
Annette Choti, Esq. graduated from law school 20 years ago, and is the founder of pen of law, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small law firms and independent law firms. Annette wrote the bestseller Click Magnet: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Law Firmsand hosts the podcast Legal Marketing Fair. She is a sought after CLE speaker and speaker in the United States and Canada. Annette has done professional theater and comedy, which isn’t all that different from the legal field if we’re all being honest. Annette can be found at LinkedIn or at Annette@lawquill.com.