Professional Services & SEO

Is Your Professional Service Firm’s Website Optimized for Clients to Find You?

Are you in the professional services industry and looking for ways to generate more business?   Have you considered how many of your potential clients might be using the web to search for the services you or your firm can offer?

Whether you are an accountant, architect, lawyer, physician, or other professional, in today’s market, firm owners in professional services are stressing the importance of client development and always looking for their professionals to generate more business.  Let’s face it, the competition pool is getting bigger and one way to get ahead of the competition is to ensure your firm is appearing at the top of the search engine results as more people are turning to the web to search for services.

After working in a large law firm and experiencing a website redesign, I know that one of the most important tasks facing the website development team for producing a great website is the look and feel.  Managing partners analyze the branding, the content, and the layout to make sure the potential client has an enjoyable experience while viewing the website.  This makes perfect sense, but without looking at how clients actually get to your website in the first place, you’re missing the big picture.

Did the potential client type your website name into the address bar that they got from your business card?  Did they do a Google search for your firm’s name?  Did they do a Google search for a firm in your city or did they do a general search for your firm’s particular specialty?  There are countless ways a potential client might get to your website.  The big question is, will your firm be at the top of the search engine results?

Let’s use a simple hypothetical – Company ABC is looking for a trademark lawyer in Chicago to work on the company’s trademark application.  They go to Google and search for “trademark lawyer Chicago.”  They see that XYZ Trademark Firm is the first result on the first page of Google and Company ABC has heard good things about XYZ Trademark Firm, so they click to view XYZ Trademark Firm’s website and eventually set-up an appointment.  If XYZ Trademark Firm had not been at the top of the Google rankings, ABC Company probably would not have viewed their website and wouldn’t have contacted XYZ Trademark Firm.

So how do you get to be at the top of the search engine results?

One major aspect to help with your search engine rankings is through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of making a website more relevant for targeted keyphrases, as well as more accessible to the search engine spiders – search engine programs that read site content.  With increased relevancy and spider-readability, search engines will rank the site more highly in the search results for targeted phrases.

SEO tactics for professional service firms such as effective keyword research, title tag optimization, meta description optimization, and web-friendly content are a few aspects your firm should include during the website redesign process.

Importance of Top Rankings conducted a study on the percentage of clicks in connection with the ranking on the first page of Google.  Here are their results:

  • 50.9% of users click on the 1st ranking
  • 21.7% of users click on the 2nd ranking
  • 15.1% of users click on the 3rd ranking

This means that only 12.3% of users are even bothering to click past the top three listings.

As you can see, appearing on the first page of a search engine isn’t always enough.  To capture the majority of search traffic, being in the top three results is key and the further from the top your website appears in a search, the less likely someone is going to click to your website.

With the implementation of a strategic SEO plan, professional service firms will provide considerable value and generate more business by making sure potential clients are viewing the firm’s website first no matter how clients search.