Firms "getting SEO wrong" by focusing too much on generic phrases

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By Legal Futures

23 February 2012

Searches: commercial intent of a client is higher with long tail keywords

Lawyers are focusing their search engine optimisation (SEO) tactics on the wrong keywords and can convert more work by targeting so-called ‘long tail’ keyword searches, digital marketing experts have claimed.

Research carried out by Add People among more than 100 legal clients found that law firms are more likely to attract and convert clients searching on Google for niche phrases than generic searches.

Managing director Grant Barton said too many firms focus on being found for the wrong keywords. Being number one in Google for ‘London law firm’ does not convert as many clients as being number one for something more niche like ‘dispute

with fellow directors’ if you’re a business lawyer, he explained.

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“Law firms can gain a lot by being placed higher up the Google rankings. As well as the reputational advantage, the commercial advantage is that clients are being more specific with the phrases they search for. The commercial intent of a client is higher with long tail keywords. Concentrating on niche terms brings gets faster results than more competitive generic terms.

“To give a simple analogy, someone searching for ‘shoes’ is going to be less likely to be in buying mode than someone searching for ‘size ten tennis shoes’.  Law firms need to get to grips with the habits of internet users and ensure their services are easily found through SEO tactics.”

Among the tactics for a firm looking to improve the SEO for its website, said Mr Barton, are daily content, multiple links back from other sites and blogs, using “keyword rich URLs” for each page, registering the firm with Google Places so it can be found on map searches, and putting up short videos on the site.

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