Posted by Sam Borrett, director of Legal Futures Associate Legmark 
If the answer is ‘what SEO budget?’, then we have a major problem.
Building a website is like putting up a fancy electronic billboard in the middle of the desert. SEO is the action of driving people out to the billboard to look at it.
Without constantly driving people out to look at your billboard, it may as well not be there. Not only that, SEO is about keeping the billboard looking good, up-to-date and functioning correctly.
If all the other electronic billboards start using super high-definition screens, and yours is still the old-style standard definition, then people are going to lose interest in what you’re displaying on there.
It’s the same with websites. You need an ongoing SEO budget to drive traffic and to keep the site up-to-date technically in line with best practice and to take account of new SEO developments and Google algorithm changes.
For example, I spoke about Schema at PI Futures last month – there are very few websites in the legal sector currently employing Schema on their sites and so they’re losing out on a major opportunity to drive more traffic.
But on an even more basic level – how much high-quality content is being produced by law firms? Not much. Lots of blogs, but not much in the way of EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trust ) content.
How much content marketing and digital PR is being used to generate links to your websites? Not a great deal from what we can see. Again, another massive opportunity for smaller law firms to take advantage.
Staying ahead of the curve is how I managed to get the Bott & Co website to outrank the biggest personal injury and consumer law firms in the country. We benefitted from every major Google algorithm update and saw huge increases in traffic numbers, resulting in vast improvements on client intake.
Imagine being able to generate work at a fraction of the typical ‘marketing’ cost that comes with being a panel law firm, or using a claims management company. Imagine seeing tens of thousands of enquiries through your website – how much would that mean to your bottom line?
If you’re interested in making your website work harder for your business, then you should follow my top five tips to increase your Google rankings and drive more traffic to your website:
- On-site optimisation – make it technically correct from an SEO perspective;
- Links to your site – quality and relevant links from third-party sites over quantity;
- High-quality content – follow the EAT guidelines;
- User experience – well-presented and designed, functioning properly; and
- Mobile friendly – quick to load, responsive, and easy to use.
I explain these in more detail on the SEO for Law Firms  presentation, which is taken from my talk at PI Futures.
And if you’re not already setting a budget aside for monthly SEO and digital marketing, then you’re falling behind – and it’s much harder to catch up than to stay ahead.