Websites for growing businesses

How to Create SEO Goals for Your Law Firm

This post was written by our staff SEO writer, Nancy Rapp, who has a law degree and works as a professor of legal studies. Her unique background allows her to view the world of law firm SEO from the eyes of both an attorney and a web consultant.

Law books and gavel

As we ring in the New Year, we create new goals for the upcoming year. As lawyers, deciding to devote resources to search engine optimization (SEO) is an excellent resolution. Unfortunately, the more intricate concepts of law firm SEO are not part of our knowledge base. As a result, lawyers risk approaching SEO in an inefficient manner that will blow through their budgets without accomplishing much. This post will help clarify how to identify and pursue appropriate SEO goals for your practice.

1. Identify your target client.

Law firm SEO requires more than just identifying your practice area. Saying “I want more DUI cases,” for example, simply isn’t enough. Do you want felony DUI cases? Do you want to represent underage offenders? How about commercial drivers? Even if you want to attract all of the above clients, marketing to Susie the college student’s parents is different than how you would appeal to Stan the repeat offender. Once you determine your target client base, customized content can be written to achieve your goal. Experienced law firm SEO specialists will create personas for your ideal clients and will match your website’s content to the digital behavior of your potential clients.

2. Recognize the difference between direct marketing and branding.

A reputable SEO firm will explain to you that there are (at least!) two different approaches to law firm SEO. In short, direct marketing is specifically designed to acquire business while branding helps draw traffic to your site and helps you gain a positive reputation. Although it may be tempting to focus on the SEO that will seemingly be a quicker return on investment, brand awareness is particularly important for law firms.

Not only do lawyers have a sea of competitors, but many potential clients do research before taking legal action. Consider family law, for example. Robert the stay-at-home dad may do a Google search to see if he qualifies for spousal support before contacting a family law attorney. Rebecca the CEO may want to see if a possible move to a new state will force her to lose custody of her children.

Having informative, keyword driven content will help you rank higher in Google and in turn, you will be Robert or Rebecca’s source of information. Being Robert and Rebecca’s resource will put you on their radar for when they need an attorney in the future.

There is also a caveat to direct marketing in the legal world: We can’t expect all site visitors to turn into clients. Perhaps a potential client realized that she doesn’t have a legitimate claim. Similarly, a potential client may not want to pay the appropriate legal fees or wait for an available appointment or trial date. Thus, SEO goals associated with branding are more attainable and realistic than assuming you will make more money by investing in SEO. Proper law firm SEO will certainly bring you more business, but there is no magic trick to turn all site visitors into clients.

3. Realize that you will need to think outside the box with your SEO tactics.

In a perfect world, SEO for lawyers would simply require strong legal content and a bit of reputation builders such as testimonials and case examples. Unfortunately, the more digital our society becomes, the more our websites have to keep up with the trends. For example, you may cringe at the thought of appearing on camera, but videos are an important feature for your website. Forbes predicts that 82% of all web traffic will be for videos by 2021. Thus, if your digital marketing agency suggests you make a brief video discussing your practice area, it’s prudent to listen.

Content also needs to be written to accommodate new and current SEO trends such as adapting content for voice search and long-tail keyword research. Accordingly, don’t be tempted to change the wording of the content your SEO content writer produces. While you may cringe at more colloquial phrases such “high on drugs” or “wreck my car,” including content with common vernacular will assist in the readability of your site to potential clients as well as help you rank higher on the search engine pages.

4. Avoid the temptation to ignore the importance of SEO if your practice doesn’t immediately see results.

Practically nothing happens quickly in the legal world. As such, we should also keep a “slow and steady” mindset for our SEO goals. SEO authority SERPS.com cautions that “Be Patient” and “Temper Expectations” are 2 important SEO guidelines for any business. Though adding the right content can sometimes give your website an immediate boost in the search rankings, time is the true test for website optimization. You may rank #4 one day and then appear on the second page of the search results a week later. This is why Google Search Console estimates your ranking position based on 28 day cycles. A consistently high performing site with several audits a year will earn more rewards than only conducting a brief SEO overhaul.

5. Remember to evaluate the technical aspects of your site.

SEO for lawyers involves more than the glitz of web design and profound content. Improving user experience is an important goal that requires the use of technical evaluations. Does your site have broken links? How fast is your load time? Are you mobile-friendly? Are your pictures optimized? These are only a brief sample of the technical components of SEO. If you choose to do your own SEO, be sure to only perform the tasks you feel fully comfortable implementing yourself. Technical errors are certain to send your site visitors to other websites, thus losing them as potential clients.

Should you decide to hire an SEO firm for your law practice, be sure to consider one with experience in the legal field. Paramaya Web Consulting has years of experience in SEO for lawyers and has an attorney on staff to best assist with legal content and marketing. Contact us today at 678-824-5560 for a free initial consultation!

SEO Resolutions for Growing Your Small Business

Online marketing for small business: SEO, content writing, links, titlesAs we prepare to ring in 2018, we create our New Year’s resolutions. If you are a small business owner, there’s no doubt you hope for growth and significant profits from your company. A critical step towards achieving those goals is devoting time and energy to search engine optimization (SEO.) Perhaps you have done some keyword management or allocated funds to pay-per-click advertisements. SEO for small businesses, however, involves a web of digital marketing activities to increase your gains.

In order to cover many of your bases, here are some simple SEO resolutions to focus on in the New Year:

Spend time on image optimization.

Think of the time you spend browsing the internet and social media. Most of the items we read or click on have at least one image. Stock images are a good start, but customized images and infographics are eye-catching and establish credibility. If your small business is an ecommerce company, images of your products are paramount to your success.

There is more to image optimization, however, than just picking a good photo. Skilled SEO firms apply keyword research to the descriptions, file names and alt tags in order to use the image to improve search rankings. Images must also be optimized to load properly and quickly to not lose your site visitors interest.

Make your content more user friendly.

The need for content is obvious even to an SEO novice. Small business content includes descriptions of products and services, company information and reviews, if possible. A blog and updated evergreen content are also important as they maintain your customers’ interest, increase your credibility and increase site visits.

There is a difference, however, between having content and having good content. SEO content writers understand the importance of content that users will actually read and understand and also know the critical tips for improving readability. For example, the spacing of the text is important as “research shows that the presence of white space in web text increases understanding by up to 20%.” Tricks like adding lists, shorter sentences and paragraphs and headings all improve user experience and keep them on your webpage longer. In turn, search engines measure the activity on the page and will improve your site’s ranking position.

Improve your site’s compatibility with voice search.

This holiday’s hot gift items included electronics like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. These items plus the popularity of Siri increase the pervasiveness of voice search. In order to optimize your site for voice search, small business SEO requires time devoted to long-tail keyword searches. These searches have a more conversational tone and often answer a question. For example, a small law practice can’t just focus on ranking for “family law attorney.” Instead, “child custody attorney near me” may be an important law firm SEO phrase to try to target. Experienced SEO agencies will conduct keyword research and plan for long tail searches as well as the common phrases in order to target voice search users and standard searches.

Increase your business’ credibility with content marketing.

Link building is part of off-page optimization that many small businesses attempt but often miss the main objectives. Just having your site be part of a directory isn’t enough. Your inbound links should come from high-quality, authoritative sources.

If you run an ecommerce business, for example, target popular bloggers and influencers and encourage them to review your products. If you are a member of a medical practice, ensure that your contact information is correct on influential sites such as Rate My Doctor and Health Grades. Experienced SEO firms understand the different off-page optimization strategies that work best for each type of small business and strive for maximum, quality exposure.

Paramaya Web Consulting specializes in SEO for small business and focuses on the growth that best suits your business’ needs. Whether you want to improve your ecommerce sales, increase brand awareness for your law firm or medical practice, or simply expand your business’ reach, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Digital Marketing:The Gift You Can Give Your Medical Practice

Doctor's stethoscope on a laptop keyboard

It’s the holiday season, which means time to buy presents for all your loved ones. As we buy ugly sweaters, expensive electronics and toys galore, we often neglect to spend on a “treat” for our businesses. Digital marketing and healthcare SEO expertise is a gift that keeps on giving to medical practices.

Medical SEO services often yield a higher return than paid advertising while increasing your exposure to patients in the market for a new healthcare practitioner. Specifically, an experienced SEO agency will work with you to create goals that utilize SEO for doctors and marketing techniques to help you gain new patients.

Here are some positive outcomes that your medical practice should strive for with the assistance of a top web consulting firm:

1. Improve your Search Engine Performance.

It may seem over-simplified to include this outcome as a goal for your medical practice. In truth, however, many doctors are unaware just how important SEO and search rankings are for their practice. Google revealed that over 44% of patients scheduled an appointment with the healthcare facility that appeared in their search results.

Paid advertisements my appear to be a quick fix for medical practices, but over 70% of searchers ignore the ads. Making your practice’s website rank higher is a critical goal that requires the assistance of an experienced SEO firm.

Your potential patients are conducting localized searches as simplistic as “Dentist in Atlanta.” With such vague search terms, you need the SEO firm that knows how to best employ techniques to make your healthcare website appear in a high position on the search engine ranking page.

2. Increase your Social Media Presence.

As a medical doctor, you probably only use social media for your personal life. Many healthcare practitioners refrain from social media to avoid looking “unprofessional.” This tactic, however, is not a patient-friendly approach. Perhaps surprisingly, over 40% of patients say that social media impacts their decision to visit a particular hospital, treatment facility or healthcare practitioner. Digital marketing experts can create and monitor your social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to provide the content your patients are looking for yet still abide by HIPAA regulations.

3. Humanize your Medical Practice.

Patients are afraid to go to the doctor. White Coat Syndrome exemplifies this concept, and you have probably observed how your patients seem apprehensive when they come in for their appointment. Many patients will avoid seeing a healthcare practitioner until their symptoms are unbearable. Accordingly, time and effort must be devoted to how your web content is managed.

The more approachable you appear via your website, the more potential patients will see you as the friendlier or more relatable option when they are searching for a new doctor. In turn, they will choose to schedule an appointment with you over your competition.

Experts in medical digital marketing understand how to incorporate keywords and other SEO techniques into a patient-friendly website that will market your credentials as well as create an appealing and informative website. Important content for healthcare practices includes medical images and case studies, which a web consulting firm will select, manage and write for you.

4. Manage the External Links to your Website for Local Search Optimization.

Doctor directories are exploding on the internet and mobile devices as patients often conduct local searches to find a dentist or doctor. Review sites such as Health Grades and Rate My Doctor have grown in popularity, and newer doctor-finding apps such as ZocDoc and Amino continue to appear on the market. As more and more patients use these websites and apps to find the nearest healthcare practitioner, it is essential to ensure that your information is properly listed.

Many review sites and apps either list the wrong information or don’t list your location or contact information. Medical professionals underestimate the negative impact of incorrect listings, but this is a big mistake. Over 30% of patients will not pursue a business with incorrect contact information when conducting a local search.

Local SEO for doctors includes the tedious yet effective task of managing your profile in 3rd-party doctor search websites to ensure that your medical practice properly appears on the directories that patients utilize the most.

The best medical SEO firms will also conduct other off-page optimization techniques to connect you to other healthcare websites that will earn credibility and exposure for your medical practice’s website.

5. Provide Common Healthcare Information.

You have probably experienced patients coming to you with a self-diagnosis via WebMd or other healthcare website. A staggering 77% of patients begin the search for healthcare information via sites like Google or Bing. In order to take advantage of that statistic, it is important for your medical practice’s website to maintain a blog or evergreen content that addresses basic health information that pertains to your specialty.

Qualified medical SEO professionals know how to write content that will be valuable to your potential patients yet won’t overstep the boundaries of professional guideline. In turn, you will appear credible and experienced to potential patients and will earn a scheduled appointment due to their user experience on your website.

The goals listed above are items that should be part of your New Year’s resolution for your medical practice. Contact the SEO experts at Paramaya Web Consulting now to start growing your practice today!