blue SEO or search engine optimization word on keyboard

Let’s face it: Most attorneys would kill for more traffic to their websites. More traffic means more phone calls — which means more clients. After speaking with countless attorneys about SEO, I’ve realized something:

Far too many of them don’t know what actually brings in more visitors.

See, there’s one massive factor that plays a pivotal role in the number of visitors you get, and it’s the one factor that most of these attorneys are missing:

Value to the reader and search intent.

To explain what I mean, let’s take a look at the typical approach to law firm SEO. (And why it’s wrong.)

The “Technical Side” of a Search-Focused Strategy

When many attorneys get into SEO, they dive straight into the deep end. They research the ins and outs without worrying about the very basics first.

One great example of this is how Google looks at keywords. The algorithm that determines which pages get put on the first page needs to know what your website is about, so it uses the phrases that are commonly laid throughout your content to get an idea. These phrases are called “keywords.”

It’s useful to research the keywords with the most potential and include them throughout your content. That way, Google has a better chance of picking up on your page and putting it upfront on the search results.

Or, as another example, we could take a look at backlinks. There are various types of links that you can use on a blog post, but some of the most valuable in terms of SEO are backlinks linking back to your site.

The Google algorithm follows backlinks and uses them to determine how reputable your website is — so developing a strategy to build more of them around the web can do wonders for you.

But here’s where the problem comes in:

Most Attorneys are Far too Worried About SEO Mechanics…

There’s no doubt that the previously mentioned SEO mechanics” play a big part in your website’s rank. But they aren’t the most significant factor.

If you only focus on the complex technical side of things, you won’t get anywhere near the top page. And unfortunately, that’s precisely what most of the attorneys out there are doing.

If only they knew the factor that was massively more important.

Lawyers Are Not Concerned Enough About Providing Value

See, the goal of Google’s algorithm isn’t to give users the content that has the most keywords or backlinks…

It’s not there to show searchers the content that follows every single SEO guideline…

The algorithm is there to help Google provide the content that’s most valuable to its users. The user experience of your website should be one of your top priorities when it comes to SEO.

Those SEO mechanics? Those are just the means to an end. They may help Google separate the good from the bad, but without value — they mean nothing. (Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s all still important.)

Strictly adhering to the SEO mechanics without first worrying about value is a fast track to the second page or worse.

Lawyer SEO

(You want to get ranked here, where 75% of users stop their search)

That’s not to say doing your due diligence on SEO rules won’t help. It will, a lot. But only if you put value first and foremost.

Let’s look at an example that may help illustrate this a bit better:

Let’s say you’re a criminal attorney, and you’d like to exclude evidence from a case. The proper procedure for this would be a “Motion to Suppress.”

Now, what do you think the judge’s decision would be if your entire Motion consisted of the following statement?

“Please suppress the evidence. Pretty please.”

Assuming you weren’t attempting bribery as part of the Motion (which would be akin to “Black Hat” SEO tactics, another bad idea), we could all agree that the judge would deny the request without hesitation.

And that’s exactly what it’s like to follow SEO mechanics without any substance to it.

Value is your substance, and those mechanics are just “signals” that ask Google to take a look at the substance itself. So how can you make your content more relevant and valuable to the algorithm?

Let’s look at some tips. Shall we?

Internet success concept with diagram, html and writing pencil

How Attorneys Can Make Their Website Content More Relevant in Search Results — 3 Tips

Here are the three biggest things you can do to turn your SEO game around:

Tip #1: Make Your Pages Unique & Useful to Potential Clients

I’m amazed at the extent to which attorney websites all say the same things:

“We’ll fight for your rights!” 

“We’ll protect you!” 

“We’re here for you!” 

The only thing they’re missing is “Ra! Ra! Go team!” 

Ask yourself, is any of that relevant to someone facing a legal issue? 

Nope.

Instead of generic, ultimately meaningless phrases, make your content relevant by describing the problems you can help fix.

Explain the laws, the unique steps you’ll take for clients, and any other relevant information in a manner that anyone could understand.

Remember, you shouldn’t need a law degree to understand what the blog post is trying to say — that’s your job.

Tip #2: Blog Often, Blog Consistently

One thing the Google algorithm loves?

Consistency. 

Frequently update and add to your blog, the attorneys that blog often are the ones that get more consultations from their websites.

Constantly updating, revamping, and adding new content shows Google that your website is dedicated to helping searchers.

Tip #3: Life is About Choices

I’ve had numerous conversations with lawyers who just don’t take the time to blog frequently or keep on top of their SEO practices. And that’s fine — Just remember that if you choose not to put in the work, you’re ultimately choosing not to go grow your practice effectively.

After all, content marketing is the name in the game in the digital age.

I regularly blogged when I first started my firm in 2008, and I still choose to blog regularly even after my firm grossed over a million dollars in revenue. Will you make the same choice?

In Conclusion

Yes, SEO mechanics are important. But they aren’t the “end-all.”

Remember that it’s value and search-intent first, then you can worry about the technical side.

Want to learn more about how to revamp your law firm’s SEO strategy? Here’s our SEO for Lawyers Guide.

Agree with this post? Or do you think I’m undervaluing SEO mechanics? Let’s get a discussion going in the comments below!