Google SEO 4 Injury Attorneys Explained
Areas Where Google SEO Gurus Can’t Help
Google SEO is a hot topic when we visit law firms. Since Google SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has become the New Yellow Pages, there is a rush by many law firms to get a place on the first page of a generic search, such as “Personal Injury Attorney Ashville New York”.
There are many Gurus touting their ability to get a law firm on the first page of the generic search. That means that he will make you one of the top ten firms out of the hundred or more firms vying for that local spot.
I don’t want to say anything negative about these experts, but there are normally about 10 spots available on Page One of the results of a Google search… AVVO, Superlawyers and Yelp will often take up three of those top spots, so firms are typically vying for seven or fewer spots. Someone is always disappointed!
If you decide to use an expert, then be sure you don’t settle for a “one horse pony,” but look for a number of skills a consultant possesses, in order to truly strengthen your marketing outreach. This is particularly important for attorneys involved with injuries, because you are unable to identify people in your niche until they are injured. Once identified, you have a very small window in which to capture the injured prospect’s attention and convince them to give you a good look.
Being on Google’s page one is great for local firms, but that’s just the start. Once the prospect reaches your page, you have to have the right marketing tools to capture the visitors attention, answer their questions, and help them to move on to the next step in the process. The first and most important tool is…
Your Website…The Number 1 SEO Tool in Your Toolbox
Your website should be the hub of your entire marketing plan. It’s here that you establish your authority as an attorney, provide visitor-centered messages, and give facts and information which an injured visitor needs in order to raise his hand and say he wants you to represent him/her.
That purpose seems to be lost on (my guess) 99% of the attorneys who have spent thousands of dollars for a website that has a ‘way-too-big picture of a courtroom, gavel, legal library, the waiting room or a photo of all the partners and staff. All of these are considered non-essential to the visitor, and when the information being sought is not readily apparent, they bolt back to Google search to click on another firm’s website.
Consider that the picture described is typically followed by a long string of text or a video that tells the visitor about the attorneys’ qualifications, how much they’ve won for their clients, and ends with “you won’t owe a dime if we don’t win or settle for you.” Unfortunately, by this time the injured visitor is already gone and is clicking on the next law firm’s web site, still searching for the answer to his/her problem.
Why do the websites of the majority of attorneys seem so similar? Lacking marketing experience, attorneys and web designers are often guilty of copying what the “big boys” are doing. They have no way of seeing that what the big boys are doing is not working for them, either.
Although most firms should get the majority of leads from their website… most websites lie dormant. Rarely is there a new blog or video (which are SEO favorites!). Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are either not titled properly or not written or videoed with Google’s SEO ranking in mind.
What should your website look like? First, a narrower header would be nice. The reason is simple… you want your major headline to be the first thing they notice. And it should be above the fold… displayed on screen without scrolling down.
Injured prospects do not want to search your website. It takes just a few seconds for them to determine whether or not they want to see more. Unless you immediately capture their attention, your prospect will be long gone, leaving no trace of having been there.
What should you use to get their attention? If you use text, then you need a drop dead headline! Studies show that as many as half your visitors will be unable to read above a 4th or 5th grade level. so it must be written to that grade level. You can overcome that obstacle by using a video, which will rank stronger than text. Even better, an Explainer Video also ranks above a personal message from an attorney or businessman or woman. (Special Explainer Videos for Personal Injury and Worker’s Comp Attorneys found below.)
A final statement concerning your website. For any business or profession, your website is the most important tool for Google SEO ranking. Why? Because Google scores your pages and your blogs. The better the content, the better your Google SEO score.
From an injured visitor’s standpoint, the website’s home page should be addressed specifically to questions they (prospecitive clients) are asking themselves, and you must provide easy navigation to each “next step.” Being prospect centered will set your firm apart and result in a much higher conversion rate.
How Google Scores Your Message and Your Blogs
A long tail keyword is a string of 3 to 8 words which your injured prospect might put together for their search, something like, “I was hurt in an accident what next”
Google SEO loves long tail keyword strings and ranks them according to an algorithm and then puts them on a page with similar keyword strings. When a prospect types in the long tail keyword, your blog text or your video could show up on page one (very powerful), and then be able to lead the reader to your website.
I know full well that, as an attorney, you are up to your chin in paperwork and client meetings, but with some planning you should be able to do one blog or video a week to get your message and your authority image out to the internet world.
My recommendation is for you to use videos (did you know Google owns YouTube?). Do your own videos using a Best Buy, inexpensive movie camera and a tripod. And YouTube has thousands of very good instruction videos on how to produce a video.
Lastly, when you do your video, dress more casual than “buttoned up.” You will appear more relaxed and approachable to the prospect. Believability is important and brevity (1 to 3 minutes) is required. You will have to use a script and practice. To stay on task, use a teleprompter. (There are FREE Teleprompters available online.)
Does Your Prospect Know What To Do Next?
Many organizations, not just law firms, think they are different from every other business in their niche and have the notion that their website and marketing outreach is simply a way to brand the firm and highlight the attorney(s).
I reject those beliefs! As a business, a law firm, or a sole attorney, we are all in the marketing business. That means our website, Facebook business page, Twitter and Google+ are all about generating leads, not getting “Likes”. No Leads = No Income = No Business!
The reason I mention this critical point is that the approach of building a brand or friendship almost always keeps a firm from sealing the deal with the prospect. Your visitors can like what they both see and read on your website, but will not commit to your firm until they follow your instructions about what to do next.
Lacking that guidance, your articles and videos simply fade to black, leaving the prospect waiting, with nobody to help them. If you’ve left no instructions, which are known as a Call To Action (or CTA), the prospect will simply leave your site and not return.
A call to action should happen at least once in a blog post or video. It must direct the prospect to leave their name and email address and receive a booklet, telephone call, video or anything the prospect would see as a valuable enough trade off, in order to give you their information.
Are you losing money from prospects visiting and then leaving your site? There are programs to measure those visits and give you insight into areas that need attention.
What Do You Do To Follow Up With Visitors?
Leads and visitors are very valuable. To get more leads and conversions, firms even need to follow up with those visitors who left an email address but did not declare an interest in your firm.
Too many practices get an email address, make a few calls or send some quickly written note and then give up on the prospect who, in many cases, is still gathering their information to make a decision.
By having an autoresponder database, a firm can set up pre-planned videos, newsletters, or an important text message that shows your desire to represent a prospect. From the prospect’s perspective, being wanted is a great motivator.
There is a good FREE autoresponder, and the very good ones are about $19 a month, well worth the money if you take the time to set up 4-5 emails which automatically promote your practice.
Google SEO First Page Ranking Requires Patience
I do a fair amount of consulting and shy away from making promises which may result in expectations I cannot meet.
In order for a good consultant to live up to expectations which he/she has built, there must be a client involved in the process who understands not only Google SEO, but internet marketing, copy writing, videos + scripting, and web creation,to name the most important skills. Please note, I said “understands,” not “knows”.
I believe you must be involved in the process. Get your website up to speed, learn to write a blog or film a video, formulate a call to action, and follow up with each prospect… all of which are easier to learn than you might realize. You will then be able to score well for Google SEO ranking. Another benefit of being self sufficient is not needing to pay a consultant for the tasks you can do, yourself.
These skills will not only result in greater visibility for your firm, they will also bring you greater profits. If you set each of these steps as part of a system and involve your staff, you’ll notice more traffic and conversions every day.
That obviously means you’ll be helping more people who, in turn, will increase your profits, lower the firm’s overhead and give you the satisfaction you want for your professional life.
As I mentioned above, Explainer Video is extremely successful in telling a firm’s story, and most importantly telling the prospect you know what their going through and how you can help… without telling them how many awards you’ve gotten or money you’ve gotten in past settlements.
We’ve developed 2 Explainer Videos. One for Personal Injury and the other for Worker’s Comp attorneys. These videos rank well for local SEO and when posted on a website and Facebook page have a great impact on prospective clients. They are put there for you to experience, but we also sell them to attorneys and firms. Click on the button below and check it out.
We appreciate the responsibility you face each day in dealing with people who are injured, scared and confused. If we can help you by answering any of your questions, then drop us a line at Contact Us.