SEO for Patent Lawyers
The legal profession is a noble one. It is the primary upholder and protector of the law and helps ensure fairness and harmony in society. For lawyers, nobility entails accessibility. How can they truly help a public limited in its ability to reach or even know about them?
Beyond legal marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) helps attorneys deliver vital services. It keeps them within arm’s reach for those in need, a crucial role when 33 percent of people check online to find a lawyer.
Furthermore, SEO content increases people’s knowledge about the law and legal services. It’s beneficial for practitioners of patent law and its relatively less understood intricacies. After all, not many people are concerned with patents or intellectual property. But those who are can undoubtedly benefit from patent law content through SEO.
Grey Smoke Media can be your partner as a patent lawyer looking to build your online presence. Besides connecting you with more potential clients, we can provide the necessary machinery to educate more people about patent law.
The Art and Science of SEO
In a nutshell, SEO is a process designed to increase a website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). A higher rank means more visibility, leading to more organic traffic and, possibly, more clients. Unfortunately, SEO can be more complex than it seems.
Of Google’s over 3.5 billion daily searches, two-thirds never click past the top five results. The implication is clear – SEO demands hard work – but that doesn’t make it purely mechanical or self-existent either. SEO is an art and a science to those who truly understand the process.
The creative side
SEO has its nuts and bolts, but most of it is the work of creatives. From planning to execution to performance analytics, art plays a significant part in planning and implementing a successful SEO campaign.
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The expert, the artist
In SEO strategy development, an expert goes by instinct, fortified by years of experience mapping SEO campaigns. Picture a surgeon circumspectly following protocols during a procedure or an astronaut deftly calculating the gravitational potential energy on Mars.
Neither the doctor nor the astronaut has much leeway in terms of approach. What must be done must be done by the rule book, but not for SEO. Behind every SEO campaign is a self-guided expert drawing its unique path, sometimes even on the fly, as search algorithms change without warning.
Content creation may be the most artistic aspect of SEO. It’s where most of the creative juices flow from passionate teams of copywriters, bloggers, influencers, etc. These are also the people who give life and soul to a patent lawyer’s website.
Patent law is a professional subject, but a great team can craft content in less predictable, more unforgettable ways. This boils down to their creativity. Many lawyers are vying for the attention of potential clients. When a campaign connects with an audience and makes a dent in search traffic and conversions, that’s creativity at work.
According to a study on branding, creativity remains one of the most critical factors behind an effective ad campaign. Lawyer SEO is not an ad campaign. However, they are apparent parallels as far as the need to meaningfully connect to an audience is concerned.
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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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Political clients (say John Tory for Mayor campaign) and leading law firms, including Personal Injury
Powerhouse and Diamond & Diamond Lawyers, trust Grey Smoke Media.
Like any paintbrush-wielding artist, an SEO specialist has his tools. These are digital devices used to increase a website’s search engine ranking and assess the effectiveness of a campaign. Here are the three key types of SEO tools in use today:
- On-page SEO. These tools focus on increasing a website’s ranking using its content. They include:
- Keywords. These are words or phrases commonly entered by users when searching online. Search engines decide which websites to show in the SERPs based on these keywords.
- Keyword research tools. A team can use a keyword research tool to know which keywords are most effective for SEO. This tool proposes certain keywords using specific metrics, such as search volume and relevancy.
- Optimized content. Content is not only a creative product. Optimized with keywords that match user intent, it also becomes a tool.
- Off-page SEO. Any SEO activity that begins outside a website and points back to it is called off-page SEO. The process is known as backlinking, but not all backlinks are equally effective as SEO tools. The more reputable the linking website, the better the impact on the destination website’s ranking.
- Technical SEO. This type of SEO is responsible for the science of it, which has a lot to do with its components working as tools. The following section covers technical SEO in more detail.
The cold, hard technicals
We’ve talked about technical SEO as the science of search optimization. Specifically, it pertains to the structural elements allowing search engines to crawl a website and show it in the SERPs. Unless a website’s technical SEO is on point, even top-notch content may not matter because people may not see it.
A website must meet the specific, non-negotiable requirements of technical SEO before it can reach its audience. Experts can ramble on about these seemingly endless requirements, but here are six of the most important:
- Internal linking structure. This is directly related to a website’s crawlability, specifically robot.txt files telling search engines which URLs they can and cannot access. Mismanaged files can cause the accidental blocking of specific URLs, needlessly limiting the reach of important content.
- Page load speed. Studies show over half of online shoppers abandon a website that loads slower than six seconds. Google also likes fast-loading pages and considers page load speed a ranking factor.
- 404 errors. Anything that negatively impacts user experience, such as dead links, can lead to lower search rankings. While these are inevitable sometimes, it pays to keep track of 404 errors regularly.
- Canonical tags. Duplicate content within a website can confuse search engines as they try to index pages after a search. As a result, all duplicate pages get low rankings. Canonical tags prevent this by setting one page as the priority. This way, search engines will know exactly which page to pull up when a user makes a relevant search.
- HTTPS. URLs beginning with HTTPS, or hypertext transfer protocol secure, use encryption when sending or receiving data. It means the website is safe for users, which is good for SEO.
- Mobile-friendliness. Mobile-friendliness is another crucial element of technical SEO, especially after Google announced it as a ranking factor in 2015. Hence, a website that isn’t mobile-friendly will likely have a low search rank, regardless of the quality of its content.
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SEO Benefits for Patent Lawyers
Understanding the basics of SEO is an excellent start to knowing its benefits to patent lawyers. We have mentioned SEO as a way for attorneys to gain more clients and increase the public’s knowledge of patent law. But how exactly does this happen? Here are the top five ways SEO can make a tangible difference for a practicing lawyer:
Targeting potential local clients
Few marketing methods allow lawyers to target users looking for legal services in their areas. Even social media, while allowing marketers to post content, doesn’t come with the ability to zero in on any group of people. SEO does.
Local targeting is very important for entities with a physical office. By optimizing content for geo-relevant keywords, such as “Seattle patent lawyer” or “Houston patent attorney,” a law firm’s website can rank well for those relevant searches.
Flowing organic traffic
Once a website ranks in Google, there’s almost no stopping organic traffic from streaming in. People will always be searching, and as long as the lawyer website maintains its ranking, new clients can only keep coming.
Also, most marketing methods will work only on people who already know the lawyer, such as through a newsletter subscription or a Facebook following. With SEO, this prior connection is unnecessary. Anyone can be a prospect through SEO, but the key is to rank for unbranded keywords.
It doesn’t matter if the attorney is new or has been around for a while. Targeting unbranded keywords stretches the lawyer’s reach to include even previously unknown users or potential clients.
Attracting authoritative backlinks
Google views backlinks as votes of confidence, which is another way of saying they can increase a website’s search rank. While not all backlinks have the same effect on a website’s SEO, they generally add to the authority of a lawyer’s website.
For patent lawyers, SEO helps websites attract backlinks through high-quality content related to patent law and the practice. Of course, with more backlinks around the web, a website can have more channels through which additional potential clients can come.
Collecting favorable reviews and ratings
Reviews and SEO are symbiotic. Better reviews lead to better SEO and vice-versa. When a law firm gets a positive review, it tells Google these lawyers are trustworthy and well-respected. As the positive reviews grow, Google encourages the law firm to keep at what they’re doing so they get even more. Ultimately, the website’s ranking increases, and the law firm gets more visibility. This leads to more opportunities to work with more clients.
Improving client intake
There’s more to SEO than building a digital presence for patent lawyers. It also helps with the firm’s client intake. With contact forms on their website, they have a highly efficient way of generating and storing lead information.
Traditional phone calls are fine, but with websites working 24/7, they can churn out far more leads than any other mode of communication. Aside from contact forms, websites can even have chatbots, opt-ins, etc., making it easier to collect lead data in real time.
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SEO and Other Forms of Digital Marketing
Social media marketing (SMM), pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, and affiliate marketing (AM) are three of the most relevant methods used by marketers today. Where does SEO fall? The answer is everywhere. While distinct as a marketing strategy, SEO can exist reciprocally with other methods, feeding off each other’s power for exponential results. Let’s explore how.
SEO and SMM
SEO and SMM together are no strangers to winning marketing campaigns. While a website’s content can get a respectable audience through SEO, SMM can help by planting links to it on various social platforms. Social trends can also provide high-value clues into the most relevant keywords at a particular time. Optimizing SEO content with these keywords can lead to increased visibility in the SERPs.
SEO and PPC ads
SERPs include both organic results and paid ads. With PPC and SEO appearing on these pages, a website’s visibility automatically doubles. The two methods also use keyword data and tools, so they can share them too for efficiency. While SEO cannot retarget non-converting site visitors, PPC ads can.
SEO and AM
Like PPC ads, AM also works with keywords, content, link-building, and other requirements basic to SEO. By fusing the two methods, law firms can get the best of both SEO and AM and make the process highly efficient.
“Grey Smoke Media is exceptional and in a league of its own. Jordan has played a pivotal role in our explosive growth over the past decade. His raw creativity is inspiring.”
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.
Owner of Nussbaum Family Law
“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.”
publicly traded pharmaceutical company
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.
Choosing the Right Patent Lawyer SEO Service
The most cost-efficient way to do SEO is in-house. But, unless lawyers are willing to put in the time and work to learn the discipline, hiring professionals is wiser. But even this option comes with a bit of work in finding the right SEO company. When choosing one, here are the most crucial points to look into:
No SEO campaign can succeed without well-defined goals right from the beginning. These can include reducing bounce rates, increasing conversion rates, building backlinks, etc. Usually, it will be all of these combined in a single, comprehensive plan. In any case, everything must be in black and white and crystal clear, with everyone involved on the same page.
The Internet couldn’t be a more convenient way of searching for SEO experts and learning about their backgrounds. For patent lawyers, hiring a company experienced with legal SEO in their practice area is wise. The candidates should be willing to show their portfolios and present case studies. Lastly, reviews and client references can go a long way in finding a reputable lawyer SEO agency.
Legit SEO agencies know that a campaign can only be considered successful if proven by numbers known as key performance indicators (KPIs). These figures measure a campaign’s performance according to various metrics, such as conversion rate, content efficiency, average engagement time, etc. With the use of exact numbers, SEO managers can more accurately assess the performance of every campaign.
SEO entails various tasks creating the common goal of increasing a website’s search ranking. For this reason, SEO companies usually provide related services like web design, graphic design, etc. With all of these essentials in one place, working on an SEO project becomes convenient, efficient, and economical.
Considering the ever-evolving SEO landscape, choosing a company that can make a sustainable partner is essential. Google’s algorithm changes often, and thriving in this volatility requires a strong relationship and history with the right agency.
Additionally, law firms can’t always put everything in the hands of their SEO partner. They too have a part to play in improving their SEO. For example, by taking note of where their leads are coming from, they can help the team assess the effectiveness of their online intake process.
When people like who they work with, they tend to be more productive. This applies to SEO teams for lawyers too. Before hiring a company, it’s good to spend a few minutes with them, scoping for a fit. SEO is an ongoing project, and it would be impractical to keep changing agencies halfway through campaigns. When that happens, the law firm will have to build a new relationship with a new agency, which can take up precious time.
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Let the Experts Handle Your Patent Lawyer SEO Needs
Patent lawyers play a unique role in our society. They help inventors of our time secure patents or build a strong case during patent prosecution. To help patent lawyers help inventors, they need to develop a strong presence online, where people spend at least 397 minutes every day. This is where SEO proves crucial.
As the legal field becomes increasingly competitive, SEO can help law firms stand out and gain the confidence of potential clients. But not all SEO companies are the same. Taking the time to review a few prospects before hiring one is a step in the right direction.
If you’re looking for an SEO partner for your law practice or firm, make it Grey Smoke Media. The digital marketing company’s strong track record of success has made it a leading brand in patent law SEO across Canada.
FAQs on SEO for Patent Lawyers
Both SEO and SEM work toward increasing a website’s ranking in the SERPs, but they differ in approach. SEO focuses on building organic traffic, while SEM aims to increase traffic from organic and paid searches.
Doorways are websites or pages created for the sole purpose of ranking for specific similar search queries. Examples of doorways are pages with different domain names targeting various cities or regions while forwarding users to a single page. Google penalizes websites with doorways because the technique does not help site visitors.
Headers guide search engines in crawling through a page and deciding how to rank a particular page. They also help make content easier to read, which counts toward user experience, a known Google ranking factor.
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