The only thing worse than having a terrible web site that everyone visits, is having a terrific site and keeping it a secret. There is no doubt that you can drive traffic to your web site through traditional advertising like TV or print, but one of the most effective ways is through search engine marketing by optimizing your site. In traditional advertising we often talk about top-of-mind awareness, where your name is the first that comes to mind when a potential client needs your service. A successful SEO program ultimately creates that situation in a more tangible way. When someone is actually searching for a personal injury attorney, for example, your site can be there when they’re looking. Your firm does not have to be top-of-mind, because your site is top-of-page in Google and the other search engines.
SEO is the current buzzword of the marketing world because it provides you with the opportunity to connect with potential clients who are actually looking for an attorney right now. Simply put, SEO is the process of engineering the architecture and adding key word rich content to your web site to make it as search engine friendly as possible, which ultimately leads to more new visits and potentially more new clients.
Although most marketing savvy attorneys may have great insight as to what terms their potential clients are searching for, the best approach is to learn as much as you can about optimization and then hire an expert to do the actual work.
That is because SEO is labor intensive and requires a full time effort. Two of the most effective ways to favorably influence Google’s spiders, that “crawl” through sites looking for a wide array of factors, are by adding key word rich content that reflects the terms potential clients would use to find your site, and encouraging other sites to link to yours.
That said, although adding useful, interesting content that contains key words targeted to your practice area and geography will help, stuffing it with key words may have actually have a negative effect.
The same is true for link building. Encouraging other sites to link to your site can be one of the most effective SEO tools. Publishing articles on blogs and web press release services can help accomplish this. But again, overloading your site with links from sites that the algorithm considers to be less than high quality may also result in negative rankings.
So what should be your next step? Read as much as you can, search for, and look at other sites that mirror what you believe your potential clients would look for, and then hire a full time web-marketing firm to work closely with you. That is the best approach to ensure that your efforts result in increased web traffic and a greater quantity of leads. Nothing can replace an SEO specialist armed with the knowledge of Google’s ever changing criteria that are designed to reward the best sites and prevent web search manipulation.