Maximize SEO Campaign Efficacy by Planning Ahead
Maximize SEO Campaign Efficacy by Planning Ahead
Digitic Agency has spent over 15 years studying SEO to determine what tactics make the most impact for websites. One of the most common mistakes webmasters or agencies make is diving into a campaign with a lack of real planning from the start. This is a critical step, especially in highly competitive industries like legal marketing.
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
So invest time in the SEO strategy at the very beginning and the rest of the campaign will flow easily.
According to Grandview Research, the global legal services market was valued in excess of $901 billion in 2021. The U.S. legal services market accounted for over 35% of that figure, with a 2021 market size of $359 billion. Researchers predict a 5.3% annual growth rate for the industry between 2021 and 2030.
Although there are many ways that legal professionals can seize a larger market share, search engine optimization (SEO) remains the most viable pathway. SEO is the process of increasing visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) by optimizing every facet of the organization’s digital footprint. Some common SEO tactics include:
- Incorporating relevant keywords
- Adding meta descriptions
- Writing title tags
- Including image tags
- Maintaining a fast page load speed
- Acquiring backlinks
- Including links
These practices are essential to effective SEO. However, merging these various tactics into a cohesive strategy requires a well-executed plan. With that in mind, let’s shift our focus to the importance of investing in SEO planning before attempting to implement these optimization methods.
Why Pre-Planning Is So Critical to SEO Success
While these figures bode well for organizations interested in capturing a larger market share, it also means that there will be plenty of other law firms competing for emerging growth opportunities. Firms that invest in pre-planning will be able to differentiate themselves from the other companies vying for the attention of prospective clients.
There are so many adjustments that you can make along the way that it is easy to lose sight of the end goal of a campaign without an overarching plan.
A detailed plan will serve as your roadmap as you progress through the various stages of an SEO campaign. The plan should not attempt to account for every single variable that you might encounter. Rather, it should include “mile markers” that help you stay on course. If you find that you are falling behind or not progressing toward your established goals, you can pivot in order to get back on track.
What you plan during day 1 of the campaign, will impact performance on day 365 of the campaign, and the following months after.
While we refer to this phase of SEO as “pre-planning,” one of the most important facets of planning occurs in the first 30 days of the campaign launch. During that time, you can gain additional insights, such as:
- Which new keywords you should be targeting and which existing targeted keywords are not generating a strong return.
- You will also discover gaps in your content strategy that you can remedy by publishing new blogs or service pages.
- Which existing pages may need to be updated or killed altogether
- Competitor backlinks that might be worth obtaining for your own website
Before You Start Planning, Create a Scorecard
The importance of SEO and climbing search engine rankings cannot be overstated. According to Oberlo, 90% of prospective clients using Google will only view results on the first page and will not navigate to the second or subsequent SERPs.
This means that if your law firm is not on page one of Google search results, you are losing out on nine out of every ten potential leads. If you rank outside of page two, your website will be virtually invisible to prospective clients.
As a result, some law firms become so focused on increasing their search ranking that they scramble to implement SEO tactics without first investing in planning and research. And then wonder why in month six why their keywords, traffic, and leads aren’t improving. This is counterproductive, as unguided SEO efforts can waste precious time and resources without making a meaningful impact on organic search rankings.
Therefore, your organization should take the time to conduct comprehensive market research and create a well-rounded SEO plan. Create a scorecard on the metrics that are most important to you to track from the very start, such as:
- Website Speed
- Average Time on Site
- Referring Domains
- Targeted Keyword Rankings
- Monthly Organic Conversions
- Monthly Organic Users
Once you have created a plan and scorecard that addresses all of the aforementioned issues, you can begin crafting content and implementing changes. It will be much easier to track progress and results if you allow your team or agency the time it takes during months one and two of the campaign to create it.