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Note:  This post first ran in September 2017. While I am away for the holidays, I am re-running some of my posts that are timeless in hopes that those of you who may have missed one of them will benefit.  Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous 2019!

If you still think prospects are looking for lawyers in the Yellow Pages or the newspaper, there’s a buggy whip factory I’d like to sell you.

Today’s consumer is searching online. On their phones and tablets. And they are not going past the first page of search results, so you have to be whip-smart about the online marketing strategies you use to have a high first-page ranking on Google.

Here are the 7 online marketing strategies you need to implement to get you there:

  1. Mobile-first indexing. Google knows that most people are searching on a mobile device these days, so they have moved their ranking systems to evaluate mobile pages first rather than desktop pages. The best practice for law firms when it comes to online marketing is to be sure your visitors have a seamless experience, no matter what device they are using. This can be accomplished through using responsive design for your website.
  2. Local search. It is critically important for Google SEO that your NAP (name, address, phone) listings are consistent across all platforms — wherever you are on the web, including your website, social media pages, directories, etc. Google views consistent NAP listings as a trust factor, so make sure your NAP listings are exactly the same wherever they appear.
  3. Social media. Google also places weight on social media signals, another reason for you to participate on platforms where your potential clients can be found.
  4. Blog. Blogging has always been great for SEO purposes since Google rewards fresh, relevant content, but consistency is key. You must be posting quality content that is relevant to your target market on a regular basis in order to reap the SEO benefits you want.
  5. Backlinks. Having relevant backlinks from trusted legal-related sites like Nolo, Findlaw, HG.org and Avvo can help move your site up in local and organic search results.
  6. Rich content. Beyond text, your website should also feature video, photos, infographics and other rich content that are optimized for search.
  7. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. While competition can be fierce for certain keywords, making it prohibitively expensive for smaller firms and solos, you should at least experiment with paid local search ads. Don’t expect to see massive results right away — performance typically improves over time, especially if you integrate your paid ads with your organic and local search marketing campaigns.