Update 4/5/18: Want to avoid the Lawyer SEO Mistakes of the year 2018? We’ve got you covered in this new guide we just posted: Website Marketing for Lawyers in 2018

Online marketing strategies can help you gather more leads and turn clicks into clients – but only if they’re used well.

Simple mistakes in your online approach can send your firm’s website into the oblivion of search engine results pages, regardless of your community presence or the quality of your work.

Magnus Simonarson, Executive VP at Consultwebs, has compiled this list of the top Lawyer SEO mistakes made by unsuspecting law firms and ways to avoid them:

Lawyer SEO Mistake #1: Spreading yourself too thin.

Google My Business (formerly known as Google+ Local) allows businesses to establish a presence on Google Maps and Google+, giving you a “home” within Google’s search engines and other sites. Unfortunately, some law firms squander this opportunity by accidentally or intentionally creating multiple law firm pages within the Google environment. When you do this, you spread your search engine clout thin – and damage your rankings as a result.

Lawyer SEO Mistake #2: Failure to keep social media active and consistent.

Inactive social media accounts and inconsistent messaging not only cost you in search engine rankings, but also harm your law firm’s brand and its public image. To avoid these pitfalls, ensure that your social media accounts are managed and updated regularly by a professional who knows your brand’s central message.

Lawyer SEO Mistake #3: Weak onsite content.

Google unleashed Panda, an initiative intended to reward sites that offer solid content crafted to inform and educate human users – and to punish content that is weak, stuffed with keywords or ultimately unhelpful. Law firms and other businesses can no longer get away with simply repeating popular keywords or copying entire web pages into new domains. Instead, focus on user experience. What do prospective clients want to know? What are their most pressing questions? Answer these in ways that incorporate their most likely search terms in natural ways.

Lawyer SEO Mistake #4: Failure to integrate onsite and offsite marketing.

One of the most common mistakes made by law firms new to online marketing is to assume that the Internet is a separate “place” from the rest of the world. Your online marketing and brand-building should be an integrated part of your law firm’s marketing plan as a whole. Always seize opportunities to connect your online and offline brands by, for example, asking to have your firm’s logo and URL placed on the website of organizations you sponsor or community events you spearhead.

Lawyer SEO Mistake #5: Toxic backlinks.

One of the factors search engines consider when deciding how to rank results is how often a law firm’s website is linked to by other websites – in other words, how many places on the Web a user can find a link that will bring them to your firm’s website. In the past, some marketing companies exploited this consideration by stuffing links into nonsense sites or directories. Today, Google has adapted to learn the difference – and will penalize firms with a legacy of toxic backlinking. An experienced SEO professional can help clean up those old links and place links on sites that actually help connect you with the clientele you’re looking for.

Lawyer SEO Mistake #6: Ineffective use of videos.

Videos can be a great way to engage with prospective clients, but they must be produced and promoted in the right way. Some law firms make the mistake of creating videos just for the sake of creating videos. Don’t fall into this trap. Make sure you have a strategy for your videos and be sure to keep them brief. No one wants to watch an hour-long documentary when searching for a quick answer to their legal question.

Lawyer SEO Mistake #7: Not going mobile.

More and more people are searching for information on their cellphones rather than on a laptop or desktop computer. This includes folks who are looking for legal help, making it critical for your site to play well with mobile devices. Responsive design can ensure that your firm’s website is as attractive and user-friendly on a small screen as it is on a big monitor. 

Lawyer SEO Mistake #8: Leaving PPC to amateurs.

Some law firms think they can handle their pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on their own. This is often a costly mistake. A PPC professional can boost the number of conversions from a PPC campaign, while also cutting costs. PPC specialists strategically target keywords and geographic areas, as well as other factors, to optimize the return on a PPC investment.

To learn more about how you can avoid these and other common SEO mistakes with your law firm’s website and online marketing efforts, check out the full article on the Consultwebs website.