SEO for Lawyers and Attorneys in Houston, TX
The legal industry isn’t known as the most tech-savvy of all fields. Many law firms continue to rely on traditional means of marketing to promote their business and reach potential clients in their area. Unfortunately, as modern technology emerges, focusing solely on offline media could put businesses behind, even those that aren’t tech-based, like law firms.
Hundreds of law firms in Texas compete to serve various clients throughout the state. Most of them are already adapting to digital marketing practices, such as search engine optimization (SEO). They know that SEO can benefit businesses in many ways, regardless of the industry. That’s why missing out on such practices could cost your law firm many potential clients.
Keep reading to learn more about SEO for Houston-based law firms. Discover how lawyers can benefit from SEO and tips on choosing the right agency for your business.
Traditional Way To Market Law Firms
Over the years, law firm marketing has thrived using various traditional or offline mediums. These channels include print ads in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, direct mail, and business cards. Other, more established firms would opt for television and radio commercials, while some go for billboards. They also rely on word of mouth or referrals, especially for law firms seeking local clients.
Many would argue that traditional marketing has become ineffective in the age of digital media. However, offline marketing still offers many benefits that can help law firms today.
For the longest time, traditional marketing strategies and mediums have helped establish companies and give them credibility over their competitors. Classic platforms like TV and print provide an instant image boost for law firms advertised.
It could be because of the perception that advertising in traditional media requires a bigger budget. This means that for companies to advertise on such platforms, they must have the financial capabilities to do so. Because of this, potential clients would instantly view law firms with TV commercials or billboard placements as established and among the top choices in the field. However, despite its many known charms, traditional marketing has limitations that could hinder law firms if they rely solely on such a practice.
Advertising in traditional media is much more effective when leveraged with digital marketing practices such as search engine optimization (SEO). Talk to our SEO experts at Grey Smoke Media and expand your online reach today.
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Limitations of Offline Law Firm Marketing
Today, traditional marketing is perfect for establishing dominance in the industry. However, in the age of digital marketing, many businesses realize the many limitations of advertising in offline media. These limitations include the following:
Traditional marketing is much more expensive than digital media. For instance, TV commercials require various factors to produce. Besides thousands of dollars for ad spots, law firms must pay professionals to create the material. This includes hiring writers, actors, and a whole production crew. Unless your law firm has all these experts in your workforce, you must allot a budget to invest in talented individuals. After all, your ad creatives will solely depend on them.
Meanwhile, it’s cheaper to create a video for social media. It’s also free to publish unless you want to pay and make it an online ad.
Less information relayed
Having a billboard is one of the most recognized indications of a successful business. However, conveying your message in such a medium is known to be difficult.
A towering billboard is excellent for brand image. Unfortunately, it only offers a brief exposure for the brand. For instance, if it’s on a highway, car owners must pass by the ad numerous times to understand the entire message unless they’re at a standstill. This means it would be hard for your law firm to relay the type of legal field you specialize in. Providing vital information like phone numbers and office addresses would also be challenging.
The same goes for TV ads. You have 15 to 30 seconds to relay your message to your target audience. Apart from that, you also have to worry about factors beyond your control. For example, your target audience changes channels and misses your ad. This is why timing is vital in making traditional media ads work.
On the other hand, the visibility of online ads is basically permanent unless you choose to delete them. This means your social media content and blog posts can remain for a long time and continue to inform your target audience.
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Jordan Whelan, a spokesperson for Diamond Lawyers and president of public relations agency Grey Smoke Media, told the Star Thursday night that “after consulting with counsel, we will be appealing the decision.”
Having worked with many brands in Canada, however, Jordan Whelan, president of Toronto-based Grey Smoke Media, doubts that his clients would embrace a programmatic exchange for podcast ads.
“Media buyers and marketing companies don’t want to stray from what’s working,” he said. As a media buyer for major Canadian brands, Whelan said that many are skeptical compared to similar media, such as radio.
I spoke to Jordan Whelan, Toronto Media Buyer at Grey Smoke Media and client of mine, who builds customized media campaigns. According to him, “ I’ve tested campaigns on Twitter that received more clicks but resulted in low conversions. Facebook capitalized on user psychology in a way that reached your target customer, despite the higher CPC.”
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“‘We’ll get a client a media hit in a major news outlet and then also parlay that into getting them on page one of Google,’ he says, collaborating with search-engine-optimization experts in tandem.”
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Challenging reach and tracking
With traditional media, you must produce numerous campaigns and allot a big budget to perform well and reach your target audience. Tracking your views and engagement with offline mediums is also challenging. For instance, there’s no way of knowing who reads your messages in newspapers or magazines unless the reader says so. This also means it’s hard to track ROI through such mediums, which goes for other traditional media channels like TV, radio, and billboards.
Meanwhile, many online marketing tools offer tracking services to help businesses gauge if their campaigns are achieving success during their runs. For example, various online metrics can tell you how well your digital marketing campaigns perform.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Houston Law Firms
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a decades-old online advertising model that continues to be one of the top choices of modern companies today. Basically, SEO helps improve a website’s online presence by boosting its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). These are Google, Bing, and other sites where online users make their search queries. With SEO, the higher the ranking, the better the chances businesses, such as law firms, reach the target audience.
SEO works with search engines using bots based on a highly developed algorithm to understand sites by “crawling” them. Crawling is the process of reading every element within a website to identify all potential ranking factors. Apart from that, these bots will also jump from one site to another to collect more information. Information that they will organize in a library or “index.”
An index will serve as an organized directory of information where search engines retrieve all the necessary information that online users seek in their search queries. If Google indexes your site well, it will present your business as one of the top choices in the SERPs.
In the case of Houston, Texas, law firms, an online user might look for “Houston lawyer” in their Google search and come across your site, which will only happen if you optimize your site for search engines. If you do, you can drive more traffic and increase the number of clients you serve.
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Common Types of SEO
Conducting SEO requires leveraging various ranking factors inside and outside the website. The following are the common types of SEO that can help boost your legal marketing and reach more potential clients.
On-page or on-site SEO is the optimization of various elements inside a website. It’s where marketers make improvements to a site’s content, links, and tags to help boost its SERP rankings. It’s also where keywords come into play.
Keywords are universally known as one of the essential elements in SEO. They’re search terms or phrases that are commonly used for online queries. Optimizing your law firm website with relevant keywords is vital to make it a top choice in the SERP and address an online user’s search.
Moreover, each niche has its own set of keywords. For Houston-based law firms, the target audience could use “Houston law firm” or “Houston lawyer” in their search. You can use such keywords throughout your site to increase the possibility of appearing in the SERP once your target audience uses them.
Apart from keywords, other vital elements help boost on-page SEO. These include visual assets, meta descriptions, web design, and URL structure.
Basically, off-page or off-site SEO refers to the marketing efforts on online advertising platforms outside the website. These strategies aim to build site authority and credibility while achieving a wider reach. Some of the best examples of off-page SEO are having an active social media presence and writing guest blogs for other websites.
Furthermore, among the most vital components of off-site SEO are backlinks. Backlinks occur when other sites use your content as a source for theirs. For instance, a legal site publishes a blog post that uses your content to back or boost its claims. When more websites do this, it means you’re publishing quality and trustworthy content. It also means there’s a chance of ranking higher in the SERP since Google considers backlinks an excellent ranking factor.
Meanwhile, gaining social media shares and Google ratings is also effective for your off-page SEO. While they’re not necessarily ranking factors, they help boost your site’s credibility and potentially increase traffic.
Quality content is worthless if visitors struggle to navigate your site. With technical SEO, you ensure excellent user experience by optimizing various site components.
Generally, technical SEO involves three elements. These elements are crawlability, performance, and indexation. Through these factors, sites allow search engines to understand, index, and rank them better, making technical SEO a crucial step in reaching the target audience. Without technical SEO, your law firm site and all your SEO campaigns will perform poorly.
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Benefits of SEO for Law Firms
SEO benefits businesses in all industries in many ways. The following are some known benefits of SEO for your law firm.
Increase local reach
Local clients are vital for law firms to ensure their business success. With practices like local SEO, law firms can reach potential clients in their area. It’s where online users utilize location-based keywords like “Lawyers in Houston.”
Optimizing your on-site and off-site pages like Google Business Profile will help you target local searches by your potential clients. Thanks to SEO, you can attend to those looking for immediate legal services nearby.
Moreover, if your law firm plans to expand its reach, you can also go beyond Houston. You can try to reach the whole state of Texas or even the whole country.
Cheaper campaigns than traditional media
With SEO, you won’t have to spend too much money to get results. Most of the time, your campaigns involve careful planning and patience to let all efforts grow. Budget will factor in when you partner with an SEO agency.
Moreover, various SEO tools are available to help businesses track their campaign performance, unlike most traditional marketing mediums, such as TV and billboards, where tracking performance is nearly a guessing game. This means you spend less but still can monitor your SEO progress.
Become an authority in your niche
SEO provides an excellent opportunity to establish your authority in the niche. By partnering with content marketing professionals, you can publish blog posts and other content to demonstrate your expertise in the field.
Because digital marketing provides longer timelines for campaigns, marketers can showcase their client’s credibility longer and better. For instance, a 30-minute podcast about your legal field helps inform your target audience about what you do more precisely than a 30-second TV commercial.
Improve your site’s user experience
Among the many SEO ranking factors is having a quality user experience. Without it, your visitors will likely look for other law firm websites for valuable information.
Focusing on your technical SEO also means providing seamless site interactions for your visitors. That means they won’t have to worry about slow loading times, broken pages, and sites that aren’t optimized for mobile. By offering uninterrupted experiences, your visitors will stay longer, which means you have a high chance of converting them.
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Before Choosing the Best SEO Agency for Law Firms
If it’s your first time advertising through SEO, it’s best to partner with an SEO company to help get you started. Below are helpful tips before choosing an SEO agency for your law firm.
Define your goals
SEO is not a one-size fits all practice. Before partnering with an SEO agency, you must first set a goal that you want your desired partner to achieve for your site. Doing this will help you develop an ROI for your law firm’s website. Plus, it will help SEO experts create the perfect campaign for your business. Your goal can be a specific number of impressions or engagements that SEO campaigns can help trigger.
Understand the services while budgeting
Remember that SEO is a long-term investment. It could take a few months or a year to see visible results for your campaigns. Before you set your budget, it’s best to understand SEO’s process and general cost.
Basically, SEO services involve various tasks. These include strategies, implementations, and analyses. Apart from executing SEO, most agencies also offer services like content creation, link building, and site audits. While budgeting, it’s best to understand the type of services that your desired partner will provide to see if you’ll be paying right for your campaigns.
Evaluate previous clients and campaigns
When you find your desired SEO company, it’s best to look deeper into their previous works to solidify your decision. Ask for their last campaigns and study how well they’ve performed before. You can also dig into various sites for online reviews to find out more.
Set your expectations
Before partnering with SEO professionals, understand that SEO campaigns take time to show results. Some take months to a year, depending on the campaign goal. Some clients make the mistake of correlating slow progress with poor campaign performance. However, ranking takes time and various optimization factors and elements to perform well, especially if it’s their first time opting for SEO.
SEO agencies must understand that their clients don’t know much about the practice. This is why they should always offer transparency about their work. They must educate your law firm before and during your campaign’s execution. Plus, they must inform you of every tool and technique applied to your site to demonstrate where your budget’s going. Before partnering with your desired agency, always demand transparency throughout the partnership.
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Senior Partner,Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
“Grey Smoke Media took me from 50 keywords on page one to over 250, more than doubling my traffic, in just 8 months. They are more than an agency. They are a business partner that I can depend on at 10pm on a Sunday. Their work is beyond reproach.
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“In short, Grey Smoke Media is outstanding. We came to them with a reputation management problem that two other agencies failed to solve and they had a custom plan to us in 24 hours. They played an enormous role in our 2021 revenue rebound and we are forever grateful.”
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We have secured links for our clients on some of the largest media outlets in the world. This marriage of traditional PR outreach and SEO has resulted in an indisputable and inimitable advantage for our clients.
Boost Your Houston Law Firm's SEO
SEO remains one of the most effective ways to market businesses in all industries. Through SEO, law firms can market themselves better and provide justice to those who need it immediately. The good news is that various SEO agencies are available to help law firms build credibility and reach more people in Houston and beyond.
Contact Grey Smoke Media for quality SEO campaigns that can help boost your law firm’s site and reach more potential clients. Grey Smoke Media offers various SEO services using the latest trends in the industry. Talk to our professionals today.
FAQs on SEO for Attorneys and Lawyers in Houston, TX
Google considers factors to rank a website in the SERP. The top ones include quality content, mobile optimization, user experience, site speed, internal and external links, and on-page SEO. While these elements are among the most important, it’s best to focus on all ranking factors equally.
Google is strict about buying links. They will allow it if it’s for advertising purposes only. However, if they find that the links are used for manipulating rankings, Google will immediately penalize your site.
SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) are both old advertising models that are still highly used today. While they have their own benefits, SEO may be the better choice because it’s more cost-effective in the long run.
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