SEO Tips for Divorce Law Firms Seeking Growth in 2024

A new year calls for a new search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. With all the new AI tools coming into play, divorce and family law firms need to stay ahead of the legal SEO game. To be prepared for 2024 and the years to come, there are a few SEO tips attorneys should know about to achieve optimal and automated performance in SEO and lead generation.

Before we Dive-In, Why is SEO for Law Firms Important?

SEO is how you optimize the content on your website so that it appears at the top of search results for desired keywords (like your service offerings) on search engines like Google. The higher you rank on search engines organically, the more clicks you get to your website. This consistently results in more leads for your business and a higher, evergreen ROI, because it is all organic. Think of your website like a car and SEO as maintenance. If you want to keep your car running efficiently for a long time you need to consistently maintain it, and your website should be treated the same way.

SEO is a time consuming task, but it’s important to know some of the basics before working with a legal marketing agency. If you really want your organic marketing to take off in 2024, below are Cardinal Concepts’ top tips for 2024.

Tip #1: Leave Non-Transparent, Gatekeeping SEO Agencies Behind

If you are not receiving full access to your website, getting transparent coaching on how to grow organically, and learning how SEO marketing works from your current agency, boot them to the curb. There is no reason to be left in the dark in 2024. You need a team of legal marketing experts who can provide data driven solutions and explain and fight back at any organic pitfalls Google tosses your way.

Tip #2: SEO Is Tied to Nearly all Digital Marketing Strategies

One big change we saw in 2023 was social media making a greater shift to become more like search engines. Instagram and TikTok are working on dwindling the hashtags, and hashtags were never a large aspect to begin with on Facebook. That doesn’t mean it’s time to ignore Google, but simply understand the difference between Google SEO and Social SEO. 

Social platforms want to function as a local search tool where people nearby can recommend businesses, and gain additional trust by the digital local network. We consider Social SEO to be a top-of-funnel or middle-of-funnel (awareness and interest phases) whereas Google SEO is closer to a bottom-of-funnel (conversion phase) approach.

There are even aspects of SEO that are tied to paid advertising, mostly in a way where SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) both have insights that can benefit one another for paid conversions or increased traffic with relevant content.

Tip #3: SEO Is Also Tied Into Your Website on a Technical Level

Your website, even if designed in WordPress and is easy to navigate, has lots of HTML, CSS and Javascript tied into it. These language elements can affect your site speed in certain ways, and if your website is slow, you will have difficulty ranking compared to similar level competitors with a stronger website. Additionally, Google is now mobile-friendly first. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, your rankings will struggle.

In order to have a website, you need to purchase a domain from a DNS (domain name service) provider. Depending on the age of your domain (when it was created), the amount of content your website has, and whether or not you’re suffering any reactive penalties — it can be difficult to gauge exactly what your performance will be. Generally speaking, here are some things you can expect when trying to rank on Google:

    • Getting a brand new domain to rank can often take 1-2 years, especially if the client is in a highly competitive area.

    • Optimizing a new domain will take longer to rank than a domain that has existed for several years or more.

    • At a minimum, it takes 4 months to better rank a long-standing domain — if there aren’t any penalties affecting it.

    • It takes at least a few months on average to rank in the Top 3, but one penalty can completely reset that process. 

Please consult Cardinal Concepts’ marketing professionals to discover the best course of action for your law firm.

Tip #4: No More 1-Star Panic, Do Not Flood Your GBP with 5-Star Spam

Google updated its review algorithm in November of 2023, but it’s the last update in which they’ll supply transparent context for what is in that algorithm. That means any new updates they make to Google reviews will not provide a rules & regulations document as to what would give you a penalty moving forward. 

One of the most significant updates to this algorithm was spamming 5-star reviews to cover up a single 1-star review. This will incur a massive penalty on your Google Business Profile and even your website when it comes to ranking on Google. Penalties can take 4 months or longer to resolve, and the penalties for this offense in particular are detrimental to your growth. While it might seem like a good idea to have friends, family, or employees write incredible reviews after a negative review, rest assured it will be detrimental to your rankings so please avoid this at all costs.

Tip #5: Video Marketing is a Time-Consuming but Safe SEO Strategy to Quickly Accelerate to the Top

Video at any capacity has been a huge development across various cultures for over the last 100 years. When the internet came about, we found ways to upload and share video content on the world wide web. Just as movies and shows have taken off over the last century, video marketing on the internet has seen a similar trend. Video SEO started to become more prevalent as early as 2008, and really started taking off in 2012.

Clients who have adopted a video strategy early on have reaped massive rewards, continuously beating competitors in post-date value and lifetime value. This means if you posted a video on a date preceding 2016, unless your competitor’s video content was better, you could still outrank them.

Video content is a timeless strategy that can be reused, repurposed, and retargeted. It’s the best way to gain trust with potential leads because you’re providing a face, a voice, and a solution to individuals before they pick up the phone to inquire about family & divorce legal services.

Based on trends over the last 5 years in particular, we can safely say anyone who adopts video marketing now is already 4 years late to the game. However, it’s better late than never!

Here are some types of videos you should be using in 2024:

  1. Short-form videos like reels to answer top-line questions quickly
  2. Thoughtful How-To videos 2 minutes or under
  3. No talking, B-Roll type videos with captions and/or voice overs for easy reuse
  4. Client testimonials (when and if possible)

Talk to the marketing experts at Cardinal Concepts to devise a winning Video SEO strategy for your law firm that strikes engagement and builds trust with clientele.

Tip #6: Don’t Sleep on SEO-Optimized Written Content

As important as video content is, written content still holds the highest value in search engines. The amount of relevant keyword mentions and rich information makes it easier for crawlers to understand what you do. Think of written content like a bowl of ice cream, and  video content as the whipped cream and cherry on top. Though you can eat whipped cream and cherries alone and it tastes good, the ice cream is what people want. 

This “marketer math” applies to Google. Someone with great content (ice cream) will often rank well until someone with similar content comes along and adds a helpful or engaging video (ice cream + toppings). From experience, this is often the ranking order that Google prefers.

Someone with only a video will not rank as well as content alone, and content alone is difficult to outrank content and video combined. Content alone would have to be exceptionally detailed and transparent to outrank content and video. This is mostly due to being abundantly rich in various forms of content metadata within your HTML code.

Final Tip: There’s No Such Thing as a Dumb Marketing Question

When choosing a legal marketing agency to work with, you need to ensure you’re protected and are receiving the service you paid for.

Here are some questions you should ask any agency during your search for SEO services:

  1. What CMS will my website be built on? (Hint: You want WordPress)
  2. Will I have access to my CMS portal? (Hint: If the answer is no this is a red flag)
  3. What communications will I receive from your agency on a monthly basis? (Hint: Reports, strategy recommendations, etc)
  4. How long is the contract? (Hint: Anything longer than 6 months is more often than not a death sentence to your ROI)

The digital marketing landscape is massive and can be overwhelming, so you must have a transparent understanding of your needs as you grow. Contact Cardinal Concepts to discuss winning strategies that’ll help you grow your digital presence in 2024 and beyond.

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