IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM SEO

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Immigration Law Firm Search Engine Optimization

More and more, immigration law firms rely on Google to get in front of prospective clients. Those firms that understand SEO (search engine optimization) and use it to its full potential are rewarded with high rankings, lots of leads, new clients, and growth.

However, immigration lawyers who are not using this essential marketing strategy will fall behind and lose clients to competitors, and it's not difficult to understand why. The fact is, few people these days look for an attorney outside the Internet. For your firm to succeed, you need to take advantage of Google's algorithms to get in front of your target audience... and you need to do it more effectively than other local firms, so you will outrank them and your website will be seen first--preferably on the first page if not the very top of the search results.

To do this, you should analyze every aspect of your web presence and use the results to determine how to optimize your online marketing campaign. SEO works best as a sustained approach that takes every part of the immigration law firm web presence into consideration and exploits every opportunity to get your page ranking and seen. Other firms will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to make their site the first one potentials see--and neither should you.





So how can immigration attorneys improve their SEO?

In-house or with the help of an SEO/digital marketing professional who specializes in helping immigration law firms, pay attention to:





Your Website Structure

To get started on the road to better SEO, your first destination should be your website. You'll never appear first in a local Google search without a site that is easy to navigate. There are several reasons for this. One, search engines literally move through the web from one link to another, and broken links stop them in their tracks--resulting in poor search engine results. Two, rankings depend partly on visitor interaction--how long a potential client stays on a page, whether they engage with internal links, or whether they bounce back to the search results page to find a different firm.

Obviously people who cannot find the information or results they want and need will quickly become frustrated and leave the site in search of one that is easier to navigate. For your law firm, that means less website traffic, poorer rankings, and lost business. After all, if your site isn't providing services they need, they'll find one that will... and they won't be back.

There are other ways to use your website design to your marketing advantage. Your site should have an optimized URL and sitemap. Title tags and headings should also be optimized. Your phone number and email address should be clear and readily available--you never want anyone to have to hunt for how to contact you, because they probably won't. Your navigation menu should be near the top of the page, easy to find and use. Calls to action--and other ways to engage visitors and keep them connected--should be highly visible and strategically placed. These general rules nearly always give rankings a bump, and your individual site and situation will reveal many more opportunities to exploit both your strengths and user behavior. A detailed assessment of your website is a logical place for your firm to begin building an online presence with search engine optimization.





Your Keywords

Even with Google evolving to deliver a better user experience, keywords are still critical to being found by search engines, and so keyword research should be done as you get started with digital marketing.

The emphasis here is on research.

You cannot simply guess which keywords and terms will spark interest; you must approach the problem with a detailed analysis and use the tools available to you.

One strategy that immigration law firms can especially benefit from is answering queries. This caters to your target audience and their needs. Those investigating immigration services online might not need to hire an attorney right away--a marked difference from, say, criminal law firms. These people might just want an answer to a question for now. Compiling a list of questions you can answer for potential clients is a way to incorporate lesser used keywords onto the page--keywords with less competition that are therefore easier to rank in with Google. You will encounter a lot of results for "top" phrases like immigration attorney, immigration law, immigration lawyers, etc. Answering queries and ranking in other terms--then using them to bring traffic to your practice area pages--is a clever marketing plan that works especially well for immigration lawyers.

As you take stock of your current situation and begin to plan SEO strategies to bring people to your site, it's crucial to assess the top keywords in your field, which are most relevant to your client base, and which will generate the best leads. Your SEO company can teach you strategies to make the most of critical words and terms.





Your Content

As you have no doubt realized, immigration law is slightly different from other specializations in that a client might not need to hire an attorney immediately. New clients could be on your site doing some research of their own. Consequently, it's vital that you're providing extensive and informative content to share with them--and as you will see later, immigration law offers a lot of opportunities to highlight your expertise and increase your visibility.

Without quality content, any marketing efforts you make for your immigration law firm website will fall short.

How can you make the most of the time clients spend on your site?





Content Related to Updates to Immigration Law

As an immigration attorney, you have a golden opportunity to catch the attention of customers in a way other lawyers don't--by generating content when there are changes made to immigration law and visas. People will be eager to learn this information and use it to make important decisions, and of course most of them will look for websites where they can find what they need. When laws vary by country, you have yet another chance to show of your expertise as an immigration lawyer.

One of the best practices you can adopt to bolster your marketing strategies is to write about these changes as soon as they occur, before customers can go to your competitors. To get the greatest success from your efforts, use a captivating headline and solid SEO tactics--including keywords and structure--to tell your client base what they need to know. You might even reap the added benefit of some backlinks to your work if other sources decide your article is a reliable place to send people.

While long-form, informative content does indicate to Google that yours is a worthy site to send its users, users themselves can lose attention over long, unbroken stretches of text. Striking a balance between these goals--including enough content to demonstrate authority to Google and keeping clients engaged--will be key to your firm's marketing plan.

SEO experts are quick to point out that content is more than written material. You can and should break up large chunks of information with videos, photographs of your team, charts, bullet point lists, and images. You can highlight recent immigration cases and how they've affected immigration law practice; you can feature recorded testimonials from clients. Your marketing firm and their design team can help you to optimize your content so you will not only be visible to searches, you'll keep people interested and on your site until they're ready to make a phone call and engage your services.





Blog Posts and Social Media

From everything you've read, you can probably tell that one important way for an immigration law firm to reach out to clients is through current information, such as changes to the law. Blog posts are a way to reach these customers and, through links, direct traffic back to your main site. A blog is also a place to offer your expert insights that might be too specific for a page. Don't forget, recognition in lesser-used words and terms can be a way to climb search rankings. Blog posts can introduce your team or talk about special services you might offer. Their main advantage is they give searchers a reason to come back to your website and to seek you out for new questions that might arise--instead of your competitors.

Social media can also be an important aspect of law firm marketing, but like anything else, it must be current to produce results and drive traffic back to the firm. You will need to decide if your staff can commit the time necessary to manage the website, a blog, and keep up other aspects of your online marketing strategy, or if they are best outsourced to a company specializing in SEO services.





Practice Area Pages

As you know, Google loves content, so one effective internet marketing strategy is to create an in-depth page for each of your practice areas. Most attorneys have specialties, and building a comprehensive page for each aspect of immigration law or the specific services your firm offers is a fantastic opportunity to dazzle both Google and prospective clients. Don't forget your options for breaking up chunks of text to keep clients engaged.

A Word on Pay Per Click Ads

It's true that ppc ads can bring people to your page. They can be effective, and they do have a place in a marketing campaign. However, they can be expensive, and they are a finite source of leads--unless you want to continue to pay for them. On the other hand, a long term SEO strategy with keyword research, site optimization, content analysis, link building, etc. will continue to draw interest to your site over time.

Ppc ads can boost traffic, but for an immigration law firm, it's a gamble. As you've seen and certainly know from experience, many of the people who come to your site might be nowhere near ready to engage a firm; they're simply interested in some preliminary information. So, you may be paying for leads that will never convert.

At most, ppc ads should be a part of your overall digital marketing efforts. To avoid squandering your marketing budget, you will also want to thoroughly research any campaign before embarking, and you will want to track your results and return on investment meticulously.





Your Links--Internal and External

Internal links that are structured effectively encourage users to stay on the website for the information and services they need. Guiding visitors around the site is an important aspect of SEO in that it provides an optimal user experience and also allows search engines to move around the sight and understand the value of your pages and the relationship of the pages to each other.

It's also crucial to any immigration attorney's SEO efforts to pursue link-building with high quality sites that are authorities in the field. Doing so not only allows bots to find their way across the web to you, it establishes you as a primary authority in immigration law, which in turn brings users to your website.





How can an immigration law firm cultivate these types of links?

Guest blogging on a prestigious site can earn you a backlink. Look for legal websites or law firms in different practice areas (not other immigration law firms) that want to host you.

Another avenue your firm or your search engine marketing professional should investigate is building and maintaining profiles in legal directories with links back to your site.

Immigration attorneys should also encourage client reviews, which likely result in not just a link and/or citation, but reinforce your law firm's authority. Perhaps most importantly, this kind of digital word of mouth instills trust in your firm from the community it serves. For many immigration clients, that trust will be the deciding factor in hiring a law firm. which makes it an important aspect of your overall marketing.





Your Local SEO Rankings

Local clients are the foundation of every immigration lawyer's business. Unsurprisingly, clients in need of a lawyer want to find one in their area, so you want to make sure your firm draws these visitors. Ideally, you will want to appear in the top three results of a Google "near me" search for an immigration law practice. Law firm marketing cannot neglect the local market, and SEO to capture these potential leads should be a priority. This means optimizing your website and web presence to attract customers in your area who are searching for your services. It involves many of the same SEO marketing practices, but takes it one step further to engage the market in your area. Local SEO is probably the most significant way to see results and grow your immigration law firm.

So how can you use SEO to engage the local market?

Reach out to a proven SEO company/marketing company experienced in optimizing websites for local ranking. If you're not sure where to begin or simply want to ensure you're making the most of your time and money, it's a good decision to work with an SEO company. You can also take steps on your own, like making sure your Google My Business profile is accurate, that it's easy for people to find your address, and that they can locate directions to your physical office, if needed. Citations and backlinks from other local businesses or publications are worth pursuing, as are positive customer reviews.





In conclusion...

Getting your firm on the first page of a search is the top way to get more leads, which means more business. As you can see, the best way to accomplish this goal is to approach it from every angle and make full use of every tool available to you. As an immigration lawyer, you will face unique challenges and opportunities in regards to SEO and the best ways to use it to grow your business. You don't have to go it alone, but you will want an SEO company that understands the ways in which an immigration firm is different from another type of firm, and that knows how to use those differences to get your firm to the top.






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