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The 5 Biggest SEO Challenges for Attorneys in 2024

The state of SEO strategy is in constant flux, with new tactics, tools, and algorithm changes creating an ever-moving target for search domination.

SEO is a primary driver behind digital marketing efforts. Someone new to the field can easily mistake SEO for an achievable goal, but it is in fact a process. There are many reasons why what works for SEO one day might not work in a month, a year, or further down the line.

Think of your SEO as a plant: you take care of it, water it daily, and it will flourish. Ignore it, and it withers and dies.

Every year presents its own unique challenges to SEO, and 2024 is no exception. Looking onto the horizon, we’ve identified the 5 biggest challenges you’re going to face in your SEO. By preparing now, you’ll keep your SEO in excellent shape while the competition falters.

1. Using AI the Right Way

Generative AI is an exciting development for the world, but the rush to anoint it as the catch-all savior of time and content is at best premature. AI is a useful tool, but using it to generate content is going to cause far more problems than it solves.

AI can create posts for you, but it has several glaring weaknesses. The first is that the content it creates can have significant spelling and grammar errors that will reflect badly on you and can make the resultant text impossible to understand. Additionally, AI will often lie. The last thing you need is a blog that disseminates falsehoods.

Hand writing in a book with a robot hand pointing at it

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT can increase efficiency and productivity, but must be used with caution due to the risk of errors and plagiarism.

Anything you generate via AI will need to be rewritten and fact-checked by a human being. Look at AI as a way to quickly generate an outline that you can then sculpt into good content, and you can understand how this tool is most effectively used.

2. Changing Search Algorithm

A changing search algorithm is as inevitable as the tides. Search engines are constantly tinkering with their code as they find new ways to catch sites that try to game the system. Any and all black-hat SEO efforts are inevitably going to be caught and the penalties will far outweigh the short-term gains they may have offered.

The good news is that no matter how the algorithm changes, the goals behind the alterations will remain constant. Search engines are trying to match their users with the highest-quality sites that best match their queries.

Black Hat SEO: Not Worth the Risk, shows a man in a black hat, representing unethical methods of search engine optimization

Unscrupulous SEO techniques, known as Black Hat SEO, can deliver quick results but risk steep penalties, including getting your website banned from search engines altogether.

The principles behind good SEO have been consistently rewarded. These principles, such as doing keyword research, creating informative content on a consistent schedule, and utilizing technical SEO best practices like proper title and meta tags, alt tags, and so on, are explored in detail in other entries on this blog. The important thing to remember is that as long as you’re engaging in SEO in good faith, a changing algorithm won’t hurt you.

3. Increased Competition

With more law firms entering the market, competition for keywords will only be stiffer. Once again, this is less of a new problem and more of an exacerbation of an old one. Legal keywords are always highly sought after.

The solution is the same as what we have consistently advocated: pursue long-tail keywords. These are at once easier to obtain and play into one of the huge advantages of digital marketing: the precision targeting you can employ. Long-tail keywords mean that you are far more likely to attract exactly the kinds of clients you need.

Corporate Law Keyword Research

It can take many years to rank highly for highly competitive keywords. Focusing your SEO efforts on highly specific long-tail keywords and phrases will yield better results in a shorter amount of time.

In addition, a robust content marketing strategy is a must. Creating unique, informative, and useful content on a dependable schedule will build your site’s authority and thus help your ranking. You will also foster trust in your user base and establish your expertise, two factors vital for your overall business health.

4. Lack of Mobile Optimization

In a trend that is only likely to increase, most internet browsing is done on mobile devices. Gone are the days when a site optimized for desktop browsing is enough. These days, approximately 55% of website traffic comes from mobile devices.

In fact, so much web browsing comes from mobile sources that Google has implemented “mobile-first” indexing, which means they rank page content from the mobile version of your site. So if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re not only giving most of your users a bad experience, but Google is actively penalizing you on the SEO front.

Layers of a mobile web design, shows Lead Science mobile optimized website

If your law firm’s website is not optimized for mobile in 2024, you’re going to miss out on the bulk of search opportunities that could come your way.

The solution is a responsive website design that detects the device a visitor is using to browse and loads a version of your site optimized for that device. This way you always put your best foot forward and engage your clients the way they want to.

5. Not Taking the Long-View

It can be tempting to look at SEO as a goal achievable by a magic bullet. Not only is it a process, it is one without a consistent roadmap. Fortunately, the principles remain constant. This allows for a long-term strategy that will remain constant.

The most important thing to remember is that SEO is a process. As long as you keep moving forward with the best practices we recommend, you will make progress. Conversely, if you stop your efforts, lean into bad strategies, or prioritize short-term gains over long-term health, you will find earlier efforts undone.

Taking your foot off the gas with your SEO efforts can lead to lost rankings and wasted money. At the same time, constant efforts have a snowball effect as your site gains authority by virtue of its consistency.

Supercharged SEO for Law Firms
Ready to take your law firm’s local SEO strategy to the next level?

Download our free guide: Supercharged SEO for Law Firms for in-depth tips and strategies on how to make sure your website shows up at the top of local searches.

Conquer Your SEO Challenges With Lead Science

SEO has become a primary driver of business. Remember, it’s a plant: water it, give it plenty of attention and sunlight, and it will flourish.

Knowing how to nurture your efforts and meet the challenges on the horizon is not only an indicator of your digital marketing success; it’s a sign of success as a whole. AI can be a great tool, but it won’t solve every problem. A changing algorithm, increased competition, and a lack of mobile optimization can knock you off balance, but a long-term view and a solid strategy will see you through.

At Lead Science, we have over two decades of experience navigating these and other challenges. Schedule your Lead Science Discovery Call today. You’ll see why we’re the best in the business at helping you build and maintain your SEO success.

Justin Robinson-Prickett
Justin Robinson-Prickett
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