Search engine optimization is such a simple way to get online leads as a local business, yet it remains an underutilized resource. Each month, Finlayson Consulting will be providing online marketing tips to local Eastern, NC businesses on how to generate leads online.
This month, we are looking at marketing tips for criminal defense attorneys in Wilmington, New Bern and Jacksonville, NC. Below are three marketing tips along with some keyword considerations when getting the desired rankings on Google. If you follow these tips and make sure that your website adheres to these practices then, in time, you’ll notice leads and an increase in market share that you didn’t know was available to you.
Mobile Friendly Website
With how much we rely on our phones to access information, it would seem obvious that a website should be mobile friendly. Believe it or not there are still a huge chunk of websites out there that are not mobile friendly including 24% of the top million sites online. Local businesses including criminal defense attorney law firms are no exceptions when it comes to being hindered by non mobile friendly websites.
When I say mobile friendly, I mean that the website is responsive to the screen of your mobile phone rather than just a condensed version of the site on a desktop. To understand the value of a mobile responsive website, it helps to understand the amount of search that takes place on smartphones. Approximately 63% of all search is done on smartphones; over half. With about 3.5 billion searches on Google per day, that means around 2.205 billion searches per day are occurring on mobile devices. So without a mobile friendly website, you’re subject to a pretty high bounce rate or people leaving your website close to immediately after arriving.
Within Google’s algorithm for determining search results, mobile responsiveness on a website plays an important factor. Most of what Google looks for are sites that are user friendly and match what the user is searching for in their given area. With so much search happening on mobile, sites that aren’t mobile responsive run a large risk of not being seen and those that do come to your site will likely bounce pretty quickly.
For any business, service pages are critical when it comes to generating leads via SEO. Outside of the website’s home page, service pages are the primary platform on the website where you can showcase those key terms associated with your law practice. The challenge with content on these pages for attorneys compared to other businesses is understanding how to frame and structure content on those pages so that they’re searchable.
When people search for products and services on Google or other search engines, it’s typically done at a high school reading level. Think about how you search for things online that you need and you’ll realize that you will try and reduce everything to a keyword or two. Simple searches typically yield the user with the best results. The balance that criminal attorneys have to strike is that legal services are not simple in nature and details of legal services are well above the level of how a user typically searches for things.
For a criminal defense attorney in Eastern, NC, the best way to go about creating content for your services is to put yourself in your client’s shoes. It’s likely that people you serve have significantly less legal knowledge and understanding than you do; so think about how someone with no legal background would search for your services and have a full understanding that you provide what they’re looking for. It’s an exercise that takes a lot of thought leadership, but once you’ve identified those keywords everyone understands and structure them in a way that’s easy to read, it’ll go a long way in helping your firm gather leads online from Google.
Another thing for local criminal defense attorneys in Eastern, NC to consider is keeping those keywords locally focused. Meaning if your law firm is located in Wilmington, NC, Jacksonville, NC or New Bern, NC, include those cities after each keyword in your content. It helps Google source your firm’s website to local users when a potential client is searching for services in your area.
Positive reviews are such an important part of generating new leads as a criminal defense attorney for your law firm in Eastern, NC. Part of the equation that Google has in effect for generating search results is credibility. Reviews are a big driver of that credibility.
Google obviously scans your business information (physical address, phone number, website address, etc) in various listings to make sure there are no discrepancies and verifies that your website content matches what you claim your business to be as part of determining whether you’re a credible result for a user’s search. Google reviews and other directory reviews from customers are just another item in your arsenal to help strengthen your credibility as a firm.
Another huge benefit to reviews is that they not only can help bolster keywords that you’re targeting from a service perspective, but they are also tagged from a user’s location. Meaning if you’re a criminal attorney from Wilmington, NC, but also service Jacksonville and New Bern, NC, you can show Google your regional reach and begin populating in search results for those areas as well.
Every attorney wants positive reviews. Part of the trick is understanding how to convert your business into a review. Don’t be afraid to solicit clients for reviews once you’ve completed a service. It doesn’t have to be forceful or blatant, but asking for satisfied clients to leave reviews via email once the service is complete can ultimately play to your advantage.
Keywords to Consider
Outside of services, it’s hard to gauge which keywords you should target or try and rank for with your website. Here at Finlayson Consulting, LLC we have SEO specialists that can not only do the keyword research for your business or firm, but also can track your progress with each keyword as well as provide you with strategies on how to rank for them. It’s important to note that not all keywords are created equal and some are easier to rank for than others. The broader the keyword or keyword phrase such as “Criminal Defense Attorney or Criminal Attorney” will be very competitive.
To get started, here are some local keywords that are considered easier to rank on page 1 of Google for:
- Criminal Lawyer Wilmington, NC
- Criminal Attorney Wilmington, NC
- Wilmington Criminal Defense Attorney
- New Bern Criminal Defense Attorney
- Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney
These keywords in particular typically don’t generate more than 100 searches a month, but the value on them is high. Ranking on page 1 for these keywords in Google could equal the value of over $200 a month if you were paying Google for that placement. If you felt like the ROI of paying $200 a month to be number one on Google was positive even with one new client, imagine the ROI for having that same positioning at no cost to you!
It’s important to remember that as criminal defense attorneys in New Bern, Wilmington & Jacksonville, that ranking for keywords related to specific services is also important. Keywords such as New Bern Traffic Lawyers or Jacksonville NC Traffic Lawyers, for example, can also yield positive returns. Finlayson Consulting can help point you in the right direction as to which keywords matter.
For a free website audit or questions about our keyword research and marketing services for CPA’s in Eastern NC, contact Finlayson Consulting, LLC today.