Simon Wharton, managing director at PushON, talks Digital & SEO in the Legal Sector

With the regions outside London continuing to establish themselves as growing hives of activity in the legal sector, law firms need to recognise the value of having a strong online presence.

To raise the position of your company's website in search engine rankings, marketing techniques such as search engine optimisation (SEO) can be used. This is an approach that competes with more traditional marketing as a method of drumming up business, and with initial contact between clients and law firms occurring online more and more, it can’t be ignored. A myriad of big SEO agencies specialise in achieving top search engine results for a wide variety of firms, so it’s well worth considering just how your business is being reached online.

As you can imagine, any site that appears high on sites like Google for search terms (the words people type into search engines) related to its industry (i.e. ‘Manchester law firm’) can expect greater interest from potential clients, and a subsequent rise in profile. However, companies may be unsure of exactly which search terms they should try to rank for to try to reach potential customers looking for services such as theirs. To ensure your online presence is noticed, and subsequently gain new business, I’d suggest putting the shoe on the other foot and seeing things from the perspective of a would-be client.

For example: I’m in Manchester, I’m in the middle of a dispute with my employer, and I need some advice. Like most people, I’d turn to Google. If I was to search the term ‘employment law’, the responses I’d get would be too general and I’d be lucky if I happened upon a local firm on page one. However, if I add the term ‘Manchester’ to my search, the results are instantly localised and I’m presented with a page full of people I can talk to.

Reaching the top of Google’s first page doesn’t have to be an expensive operation. Those looking for a law firm often go for companies listed in the ‘organic’ Google results (where no money has been spent to secure a position on the page) , and not necessarily the paid advertising spots on the top and right-hand side of Google searches. This natural approach to SEO could be invaluable to your business, so it’s worth investing in the services of an SEO company that knows your sector and how to achieve such results.

It goes without saying that in any sector companies need to look to take advantage of every opportunity to get ahead. In the legal sector, some already have, by investing heavily in SEO to maximise website enquiries and conversions. By re-evaluating your online presence, and exploring the benefits SEO can bring to your business, you can do the same.