This month, we’re offering a series of blog posts and a free webcast all focusing on simple, actionable strategies firms can put in place to kick start their digital marketing plan. Be sure to check out last week’s post on creating a law firm website, and download our webcast, “Attract and Keep Clients: Everything You Need to Know About Digital Marketing for Your Law Firm,” here.

Your law firm website is a valuable tool for marketing your firm and connecting with potential clients. But for it to be effective, those potential clients need to see it – and that’s where search engines come into play. 

A Google search for “personal injury lawyer” or similar is often the first step taken by an individual seeking legal services; and the higher your law firm website ranks in those searches, the more likely it is to be clicked on and considered. The process of maximizing your exposure on search engines is often called search engine optimization, or SEO. 

While SEO has become an entire industry in recent years (a search for “SEO agency” will result in pages upon pages of results) there are simple steps you can take on your own to increase your website’s chances of being found by the right people at the right time.  

Customizing content

First and foremost, make sure that the content on your website aligns with what your potential clients might be searching forIf you are hoping to appear in results for “Chicago real estate law for example, but Chicago real estate law is only cursorily mentioned on your siteyou will not rank as well as you might like 

Driving traffic

A cruel paradox of the internet is that search engines tend to favor sites that are already popular. The search engine’s goal is to provide a satisfactory answer to the search query, and a website with thousands of visitors a week will be judged as more of an authority than one with only a handful of visitors a week. 

When you’re starting out, you may need to get creative with ways to get the word out about your site – consider sharing on social media, writing articles that others may share with their friend and colleagues, or even writing a guest blog post for another website in exchange for a backlink to your own website. 

Keep it up to date

Once your site is complete, it’s tempting to check that task off your to-do list forever; but search engines recognize when a site hasn’t been updated in a significant amount of time. Your search rankings will drop as your site is viewed as less relevant and up to date. Consider making website updates a priority just like you might schedule a dental appointment or monthly networking event.  

Blogs can be a great tool for continuing to add new content to a website. Not sure what to write on a blog? Check out this post on Smokeball’s blog for a list of ideas.

As you continue to modernize your law firm – whether through calendar software, practice management software, or even changing the way you track billable hours – don’t forget that your marketing strategy will need to evolve as well. If your website isn’t helping you to grow your business, take the time to make sure it’s showing up in the searches you hope it is.