Previously in the Online Marketing & SEO Basics for Lawyer and Law Students series, we talked about legal marketing basics, discussed the importance of defining useful goals for your online marketing efforts, and defining your ideal clients.

Now it’s time to move on to the next question: What is your ideal client searching for? aiming-global-959908-m

#3. What is your ideal client searching for?

So now you’ve got a description of your ideal client, awesome. (If not, go back to Who do you want to find you? to figure this out. Seriously, do it. I’m not kidding, this is critical.)

Now, the fun part. It’s time to become your ideal client, so you can figure out what they’re going to be looking for on the path to finding the perfect attorney – i.e. YOU.

Why are you the perfect fit for them? Because you know you can help them. Your practice is targeted to their needs, and your business is taking care of them.

At this point, a lot of attorneys start freaking out, to be honest. Look at the average lawyer website – what does it talk about?

  • How awesome and prestigious all of the attorneys in the firm are
  • Some cases they won recently
  • What type of work they do, using fancy, lawyerly terminology

Is any of this helpful to the average stranger who lands on the site? No.

So why do all these sites look the same?

Because it’s comforting! If you look like everyone else, particularly as a new lawyer, you must be doing something right. Right? Wrong.

Scary though it may be, the real trick to SEO (and to having an awesome web presence that actually attracts people to you) is standing out. That’s the only way you’re going to land on the first page of Google in a crowded landscape flooded with lawyers.

How do you stand out? By getting into the head of your potential clients, and sharing their fears and concerns.

If you can do this, you’ll have no problems with SEO, because it will be fairly obvious what you should write about to attract these people. When they find your website –  and feel heard and get information that helps with their most pressing questions – it’s a short step to hiring you for customized legal advice.

So, how can you get in the head of your ideal client?

A few suggestions to get you started:

  • Keep track of the questions you repeatedly answer for new clients during their initial meeting
  • Think about what people ask you at cocktail parties (or the stories they tell you) when they find out what type of law you practice
  • Brainstorm what sort of information your ideal client would be looking for, just before they realize they need a lawyer
  • Go through your email and see what your existing clients consistently ask about
  • Put yourself in the place of your ideal client with the problem you can help solve. What would you be concerned about?

Your Task: Before we move into the logistics of SEO for lawyers, make a list of five search queries that your ideal client might use on the path to finding you.