SEO For Lawyers: The Comprehensive Guide

Navigating the digital landscape can be daunting for law firms aiming to attract more clients online. A staggering 64% of potential clients use Google as their first port of call when seeking legal representation, emphasizing the need for strong search engine visibility.

This guide illuminates the path to SEO success, providing actionable strategies tailored specifically for attorneys and legal practitioners. Read on and unlock your firm’s online potential!

Understanding Law Firm SEO

SEO for lawyers is all about getting your practice to show up high in search results. It uses specific techniques that help potential clients find your law office online when they need legal help.

To do this, lawyers must pick the right keywords that match what people are searching for. These keywords are then used to create useful content that answers questions and offers valuable information.

Good SEO also means making sure your website works well on all devices, loads quickly, and is easy for visitors to use. Websites should be clear and offer the best user experience (UX).

This helps keep visitors on your page longer, which can lead Google to see it as a better resource and rank it higher. A strong online presence begins with these steps, but there’s much more to learn about creating content and technical details like meta descriptions or link building.

Why Law Firms Need SEO

SEO turns a law firm’s website into a powerful tool to attract clients. It helps the site appear high on search engine results pages (SERPs). This is important because most people look for legal help online first.

If a firm’s website ranks well, more potential clients can find it.

Good SEO practices make sure that a law firm shows up in local searches too. When someone nearby needs legal advice, they’ll see the law firm’s contact information right away. This boosts the chances of them getting in touch.

Fundamentals of Law Firm SEO

Selecting the right domain, using reliable web hosting, and implementing a robust CMS are crucial for establishing a strong foundation for law firm SEO success. To learn more about these fundamental aspects of law firm SEO, keep reading!

Domain Selection

Choosing the right domain name is vital for any law firm’s online success. Think of your domain as your digital storefront; it should be easy to find, remember, and type into a browser.

Good keyword research can lead you to a domain that improves search engine rankings and connects directly with clients. Consider what potential clients might search for when seeking legal help and try to match this in your domain.

Your competitors are also fighting for attention online. It pays to look at their domain names for ideas. You’ll want something unique yet industry-relevant so people will know exactly what you offer just from the URL.

Keep in mind that a clear, direct domain helps with website organization too—it makes it easier for Google’s crawlers to index your content properly, which can give you an SEO edge over others in the legal field.

Reliable Web Hosting Service

Your law firm’s website needs a solid foundation, and that starts with reliable web hosting. Choose a service that offers an SSL certificate to protect your clients’ information. Make sure it can handle traffic without crashing, especially during key business hours.

Look for hosts that provide daily automatic backups and swift recovery options in case of data loss. They should also offer easy installation of popular content management systems like WordPress.

Support is crucial too – you want 24/7 access to help if something goes wrong. Fast loading speeds are important because Google ranks speedy sites higher. And since most people browse the web on their phones, your host must ensure your site works well on mobile devices.

Reliable hosting makes your site secure, fast, and accessible anytime, anywhere – all key factors in successful law firm SEO.

Using a Robust CMS

Selecting a robust CMS is crucial for law firm SEO success. WordPress, renowned for its flexibility and SEO-friendly features, is highly recommended. Webflow provides an alternative option with its user-friendly interface and customization capabilities.

A reliable web hosting service, in conjunction with a robust CMS like WordPress or Webflow, lays the foundation for an effective law firm website that meets the technical requirements of modern SEO practices.

Implementing a robust CMS like WordPress or Webflow ensures that your law firm’s website has the necessary infrastructure to support optimal search engine visibility and user experience.

Creating the Best User Experience

Improving user experience is vital for law firm websites. Incorporating a responsive design ensures seamless browsing across devices, reducing bounce rates and boosting engagement.

Integrating clear navigation, intuitive layouts, and easy-to-access contact information enhances user satisfaction and encourages them to stay longer on the site.

Ensuring fast page load times by optimizing images, leveraging browser caching, and minimizing HTTP requests improves user interaction and contributes to higher search rankings. By prioritizing mobile responsiveness, streamlining content delivery, and providing valuable resources in an easily accessible manner, law firms can create a positive user experience that fosters trust and credibility.

Effective website usability not only benefits visitors but also plays a significant role in enhancing search engine optimization efforts through improved user signals.

Moving forward with getting your website indexed by Google..

Getting Your Website Indexed by Google

Getting your website indexed by Google is crucial for its visibility. Here’s a detailed guide to ensure your website gets indexed:

  • Submit your website to Google Search Console and verify ownership.
  • Create and submit a sitemap to help Google understand the structure of your site.
  • Ensure your website has high – quality, crawlable content with relevant keywords.
  • Use internal links to connect different pages on your website.
  • Utilize social media platforms to share and promote your website content.

Setting Up Your Google Business Profile

Setting up your Google Business Profile is vital for local SEO success and gaining visibility in search results. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Ensure the accuracy of your law firm’s name, address, and phone (NAP) information on your website and in accompanying schema to match that of the GBP listing.
  • Add relevant categories to your GBP that accurately represent the services offered by your law firm.
  • Provide a detailed and informative business description highlighting key aspects of your legal practice.
  • Include high – quality images of your law firm, team members, and office space to enhance credibility and attract potential clients.
  • Regularly monitor and respond to client reviews on your GBP to maintain a positive online reputation.
  • Utilize posts on GBP to share updates, events, or promotions related to your law firm.
  • Implement a robust review generation strategy to encourage satisfied clients to leave positive feedback on your GBP.

Tracking the Results of Your SEO Campaign

Tracking the results of your SEO campaign is crucial for measuring the success and effectiveness of your efforts. From organic traffic growth rate to leads and signed cases, monitoring these key metrics will help you make informed decisions and optimize your law firm’s SEO strategy for maximum impact.

Organic Traffic Growth Rate

The organic traffic growth rate is a crucial metric for law firms embarking on SEO campaigns. It measures the increase or decrease in visitors coming from search engines over time. Law firms can see a substantial rise in organic traffic, which may compound even if content publication slows down. This traffic is particularly valuable as 33% of clicks go to organic results.

Keyword Rankings

As we shift our focus from analyzing the growth rate of organic traffic, we delve into the key area of keyword rankings, a vital metric for assessing the success of your law firm’s SEO efforts. Keyword rankings reflect where your pages appear in the search engine results for specific search queries, which directly influence your firm’s online visibility and the likelihood of attracting potential clients.

Search Visibility

Following our insights on keyword rankings, it’s essential to shed light on search visibility, a crucial metric in assessing the SEO strength of a law firm’s online presence. Search visibility reflects the extent to which a firm’s website appears in search results for relevant queries, which directly influences the potential client’s ability to find your legal services. Here’s a concise overview in a structured HTML table format:

Leads and Signed Cases

Moving beyond the metrics of search visibility, attorneys must focus on the tangible business impacts of their SEO efforts, namely the generation of leads and signed cases. These metrics are the lifeblood of a law firm’s growth and serve as a direct reflection of SEO success translated into revenue.

By closely monitoring these KPIs, law firms can gain insight into the real ROI from organic traffic. Tracking how individuals engage with the firm’s online content and which interactions lead to consultations creates a clear outline for the SEO strategy’s effectiveness. This approach ensures firms are not merely attracting visitors but are converting them into clients, thereby achieving substantial business growth.

SEO Ranking Factors for Lawyers

The SEO ranking factors for lawyers encompass a mix of technical, content-related, and off-site elements. Google emphasizes the importance of high-quality content aligned with user intent and search queries.

In addition to this, relevant keywords usage, backlinks from authoritative legal websites, and maintaining an optimized website structure play pivotal roles in boosting a law firm’s visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Keeping up with evolving algorithms such as Google’s BERT that focuses on understanding natural language patterns is crucial for effective SEO strategies tailored to legal services.

Furthermore, site speed optimization directly impacts user experience and organic rankings. Law firms should prioritize mobile responsiveness and ensure fast load times for better accessibility across devices.

Incorporating schema markup can enhance the appearance of lawyer-related information on SERPs while influencing click-through rates positively. Ultimately, a comprehensive approach that considers both technical optimizations and valuable content creation is vital for achieving favorable SEO outcomes within the highly competitive legal landscape.

Difference between SEO and Other Law Firm Marketing Channels

SEO for lawyers stands apart from other law firm marketing channels through its focus on organic traffic growth and search engine visibility. Unlike paid advertising platforms such as Google Ads, SEO emphasizes improving website rankings in unpaid search results, which leads to higher credibility among potential clients seeking legal services.

While social media marketing leverages platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to engage with audiences, attorney SEO prioritizes content creation and optimization to attract relevant traffic without direct ad spend.

Furthermore, unlike traditional or offline marketing efforts that may yield limited data insights and difficult ROIs to measure, law firm SEO involves tracking tangible metrics like keyword rankings, organic web traffic growth rates, leads generated from search visits, and signed cases originating from online inquiries.

This emphasis on measurable outcomes offers a distinct advantage over other non-digital marketing tactics commonly used by law firms. Ultimately, the difference lies in the strategic focus of attorney SEO on long-term organic visibility and audience engagement compared to short-term paid promotions or conventional outreach methods.

Law Firm SEO Strategy

Developing a successful law firm SEO strategy involves in-depth keyword research, understanding attorney search intent, and analyzing niche and competitive factors to drive targeted organic traffic.

To learn more about the key components of an effective SEO strategy for your law firm, keep reading!

Keyword Research

Keyword research is essential for identifying the best keyword phrases to increase ranking and connect with clients. Long-tail keywords are lengthier and more specific, such as “criminal lawyer for drug offenses” or “criminal lawyer in Southern Illinois.” Keywords can be categorized as customer-defining, service-defining, evergreen, short-term, geo-targeted, or LSI (latent semantic indexing). Understanding the intent behind searches is crucial for attorney search engine optimization. Keyword research tools such as Ahrefs, Google Trends, Keyword Surfer, Moz, and QuestionDB are helpful for identifying the right keyword phrases for law firm SEO. Self-directed keyword research can be enhanced by considering questions from prospective clients, commonly associated keywords with your practice area, location-specific keywords, Google search auto-complete for long-tail keyword building, and trending topics in your practice area. Ahrefs can automate keyword research workflows and return accurate results such as search volume, keyword difficulty, alternative keyword ideas, search rankings and usage.

Attorney Search Intent

When potential clients search for attorneys, their intent is crucial. Understanding the searcher’s intent helps in crafting content that directly addresses their needs and concerns.

Keywords such as “criminal defense attorney” or “law firm marketing budget” reflect specific search intents, which should be targeted to attract relevant traffic. By aligning your website content with the varying search intents of users, you can enhance visibility and increase the likelihood of converting leads into signed cases through organic traffic.

Knowing that 64% of people turn to Google to find an attorney underscores the significance of catering to diverse search intents. Optimizing keywords based on clear understanding and classification of these intents becomes instrumental in attracting valuable traffic for law firms.

Niche and Competitive Research

Before diving into Niche and Competitive Research, it’s important to understand Attorney Search Intent. Now, let’s delve into the crucial aspects of Niche and Competitive Research for Law Firm SEO:

  1. Identifying specific legal niches where your firm can excel by evaluating the competition in those areas.
  2. Analyzing competitor websites to uncover their keywords, content strategies, and backlink profiles.
  3. Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of competing law firms’ SEO efforts to inform your own strategy.
  4. Conducting in – depth research on local competitors to target potential clients effectively within your geographic area.
  5. Utilizing tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to gather data on competitors’ organic search performance and keyword rankings.
  6. Understanding the market share held by key competitors in your legal niche to set realistic goals for SEO success.

Backlinks and References for Lawyers

Quality backlinks from diverse domains are crucial for improving a law firm’s search engine rankings. Inbound link strategies include being quoted in online news sources and contributing guest blog posts to reputable websites, boosting the firm’s online authority and visibility.

Disavowing low-quality inbound links using Google’s tool is important to safeguard the law firm’s SEO efforts, ensuring that only high-quality backlinks contribute to its online reputation.

Additionally, utilizing proper backend tags such as title tags and meta description tags is essential to align with searcher intent and attract potential clients effectively.

Acquiring quality backlinks from various domains enhances a law firm’s digital presence. In order to boost search engine rankings, it is vital for attorney SEO strategies to focus on effective inbound link building through tactics like getting mentioned in credible online news sources and contributing guest blog posts on authoritative platforms.

Disavowing low-quality inbound links via Google’s tool safeguards a law firm’s SEO endeavors by maintaining the integrity of its backlink profile. Furthermore, employing relevant backend tags like title tags and meta description tags plays a pivotal role in guiding user behavior towards engaging with the website based on their specific search queries.

Setting Goals and Budget for Law Firm SEO

When setting goals and budget for law firm SEO, it’s crucial to create SMART goals and KPIs that align with your firm’s business objectives. Developing a marketing strategy that outlines the budget allocation for different SEO efforts will ensure a focused and effective approach to achieving your desired outcomes.

Creating SMART Goals and KPIs

To achieve successful law firm SEO, it’s essential to create SMART goals and KPIs. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Specific: Set specific objectives, such as increasing organic traffic by 30% within six months.
  2. Measurable: Define metrics for success, like tracking keyword rankings and organic web traffic.
  3. Achievable: Ensure the goals are attainable within your resources and expertise.
  4. Relevant: Align goals with the overall business objectives and target audience needs.
  5. Time-Bound: Establish a clear timeline for achieving the set goals, setting quarterly or annual targets.

Developing a Marketing Strategy

Developing a marketing strategy is essential for law firm SEO success.

  1. Identify the target audience and their search intent to tailor the strategy accordingly.
  2. Conduct thorough keyword research to understand what potential clients are searching for.
  3. Analyze competitors’ strategies to identify opportunities and threats in the market.
  4. Define specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time – bound (SMART) goals to guide the marketing strategy.
  5. Allocate a budget for various marketing activities to ensure resources are effectively utilized.
  6. Create a content calendar outlining topics, formats, and distribution channels for consistent messaging.

Onsite SEO for Law Firms

Onsite SEO for law firms involves optimizing the website structure, checking for duplicate content, focusing on on-page SEO factors, and implementing internal linking strategies. To learn more about how to improve your law firm’s onsite SEO and boost your online visibility, keep reading!

Website Structure

Choosing a clear and intuitive website structure is essential for effective law firm SEO. A well-organized website can improve user experience, navigation, and overall accessibility.

Consider using logical categories and subcategories to arrange your content, making it easy for both visitors and search engines to find what they are looking for.

The use of descriptive URLs, relevant internal linking, and a straightforward sitemap can also contribute to a strong website structure that supports your law firm’s SEO efforts. It’s crucial to ensure that each page has a distinct purpose with unique, high-quality content while avoiding duplicate content issues.

Duplicate Content Checks

When it comes to ensuring a well-optimized website for your law firm, conducting thorough duplicate content checks is essential. Internal and external duplicate content can harm your SEO efforts, leading to lower search engine rankings and reduced online visibility.

Utilizing tools like Copyscape can help in identifying duplicate content on your law firm’s website, enabling you to take corrective actions promptly. Additionally, employing unique titles and headings for each page on the website is crucial in preventing internal duplicate content issues.

By diligently checking for and eliminating duplicate content both internally and externally, your law firm can maintain a strong online presence while avoiding potential detrimental effects on its SEO performance.

On-Page SEO Factors

On-page SEO factors play a vital role in improving a law firm’s website ranking. Optimizing website structure, meta tags, keyword placement, and internal linking are crucial for boosting search visibility.

Quality content with relevant keywords and user-friendly design also significantly impacts organic traffic and user engagement.

Ensuring fast page loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and optimizing images can positively impact user experience and search engine rankings. The effective use of title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and schema markup can enhance the website’s appearance in search results pages and attract more clicks from potential clients.

Internal Linking

Internal linking is vital for enhancing the onsite SEO of law firm websites. It plays a crucial role in refining website structure and navigation, ensuring that visitors can easily find relevant content.

Well-planned internal linking distributes link equity throughout the website, passing authority from one page to another, ultimately contributing to improved search engine rankings.

By strategically linking related posts together, law firms can boost visitor engagement and increase the time spent on their site, leading to a more positive user experience.

Link-Building and Off-Page SEO for Lawyers

Link-building is a crucial aspect of off-page SEO for lawyers. It involves acquiring high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites within the legal industry, which can significantly boost your website’s search engine rankings and overall online visibility.

Implementing effective link-building strategies can help establish your law firm as a reputable and trustworthy source of legal information, ultimately driving more traffic to your site and attracting potential clients.

Link-Building Basics

Link-building is a crucial aspect of off-site SEO for law firms. It involves obtaining backlinks from reputable websites to establish authority and credibility. Natural outreach to bloggers and media outlets helps in earning high-quality links, which play a significant role in improving a law firm’s search engine rankings.

Diverse backlinks from various domains are essential for enhancing the overall SEO performance of a law firm’s website.

Earning quality backlinks requires active engagement with relevant websites and consistent efforts towards building a network of reputable references in the legal industry. This not only strengthens the online presence of the law firm but also contributes to its visibility and trustworthiness within search engine results.

Building Legal Links

After understanding the basics of link-building, it’s crucial for law firms to focus on building legal links. These links should be obtained from reputable and authoritative sources to ensure ethical and reliable off-page SEO practices. Here are the key steps to effectively build legal links:

  1. Prioritize Industry-Relevant Websites: Seek opportunities to acquire backlinks from websites that are specifically related to the legal industry, ensuring that the content is contextually relevant and valuable.
  2. Collaborate with Legal Publications and Directories: Engage with established legal publications, directories, and professional associations to secure quality backlinks that enhance your firm’s online authority and credibility.
  3. Foster Relationships with Legal Influencers: Cultivate connections with influential figures in the legal field, such as prominent attorneys or legal scholars, who can endorse your content or services through their platforms.
  4. Leverage Legal Events and Public Relations: Take advantage of participation in legal events, seminars, or community outreach programs to attract attention from media outlets or industry-specific websites that could feature your firm and provide valuable backlinks.
  5. Emphasize Ethical Content Marketing: Produce high-quality legal content that naturally attracts inbound links from other reputable sources, positioning your firm as a thought leader in the legal space.
  6. Align with Nonprofit Organizations: Establish partnerships with nonprofit organizations or pro bono initiatives aligned with your firm’s values, potentially leading to mentions and backlinks from organizations sharing similar missions.
  7. Monitor Link Quality and Relevance: Regularly assess the relevance and quality of acquired backlinks while disavowing any potentially harmful or irrelevant links that may negatively impact your site’s SEO performance.

Google My Business

Setting up and optimizing your Google My Business profile is crucial to increase your law firm’s online visibility and attract local clients. By configuring your Google Business Profile, you become eligible for local search results and can appear on Google Maps, making it easier for potential clients to find and reach out to you.

A well-optimized profile will make your law firm stand out in local search results, drawing the attention of individuals searching for legal services in their area. This essential step can significantly enhance your law firm’s presence in the digital landscape.

Measuring Your Law Firm’s SEO Performance

To ensure the success of your law firm’s SEO efforts, it’s crucial to regularly measure and track performance. This includes monitoring keyword rankings, organic web traffic, site health, local SEO presence, and link-building activity to make informed decisions and adjustments to your strategy.

Keyword Tracking

Tracking keywords is an essential part of assessing your law firm’s SEO performance. By monitoring your rankings for specific keywords, you gain insight into the effectiveness of your SEO strategies. Let’s break down the components of keyword tracking in the following table:

Understanding long-tail keywords’ specific nature helps in developing content that addresses the exact needs of potential clients, such as “criminal lawyer for drug offenses” or “criminal lawyer in Southern Illinois.” Next, we will explore the importance of monitoring organic web traffic.

Organic Web Traffic Monitoring

Organic web traffic monitoring stands as a critical component in gauging the success of a law firm’s SEO efforts. By tracking the number of visitors who arrive at your site through non-paid search results, you can refine your SEO strategy and better understand your audience.

This table offers a structured view of the facets integral to organic web traffic monitoring for law firms. Each aspect plays a pivotal role in constructing a well-rounded SEO strategy that resonates with both search engines and prospective clients.

Site Health Monitoring

Site health monitoring is a pivotal component in measuring a law firm’s SEO performance. It includes analyzing various aspects of a website to ensure optimal function and visibility to search engines. Below is an HTML table outlining key elements involved in site health monitoring:

Aspect of Site HealthDescriptionTools for Monitoring
Page SpeedEnsures that pages load quickly, providing a better user experience and improving SEO rankings.Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix
Mobile ResponsivenessChecks if a website is easily navigable on mobile devices, a factor that influences search rankings.Google Mobile-Friendly Test
404 ErrorsIdentifies broken links that lead to non-existent pages, which can harm user experience and SEO.Google Search Console, Ahrefs
Site SecurityAssesses the presence of HTTPS and looks for vulnerabilities that could jeopardize both user trust and SEO.Qualys SSL Labs, Google Search Console
Duplicate ContentDetects identical or very similar content within a site that can result in lowered search rankings.Copyscape, Siteliner
Indexing IssuesEvaluates whether all the intended pages of a website are being indexed by search engines.Google Search Console, Moz Pro
XML Sitemap StatusChecks for the presence and correctness of an XML sitemap, which helps search engines navigate a website.Google Search Console, Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Employing the right tools provides valuable insights into site performance. It allows law firms to make informed decisions and implement enhancements that directly impact their SEO outcomes. After evaluating site health, one must pivot to the next critical component, setting up a Google Business Profile.

Local SEO Presence Tracking

Local SEO presence tracking stands as a pivotal element in evaluating a law firm’s SEO success. This tracking entails monitoring how the firm appears in local search results, an essential aspect of attracting clients who are searching for legal services in their vicinity.

Google Business Profile OptimizationEnsure your firm’s profile is complete with accurate information, including NAP (name, address, phone number) details, operating hours, services offered, and professional photos.
Review ManagementRegularly solicit and manage client reviews to boost credibility and local search rankings, responding to both positive and negative feedback.
Citation Consistency CheckAudit and update your law firm’s listings across various directories to maintain NAP consistency, reinforcing your local SEO efforts.
Local Keyword TrackingMonitor keywords specific to your practice area and location to understand your visibility in local search results and identify areas for improvement.
Competitor AnalysisAnalyze competitors’ local SEO strategies to identify strengths and weaknesses, helping to craft a more effective approach for your firm.
User Engagement MetricsTrack website interactions that originate from local search listings, including calls, directions requests, and website visits.

By diligently tracking these activities, law firms can gain valuable insights into their local market, enhance their online visibility, and attract more clients from their community.

Link-Building Activity Monitoring

Link-building activity monitoring is a pivotal aspect of any SEO campaign, particularly for law firms where the competition is fierce and the credibility of sources is paramount. Below is an HTML table summarizing the key components of this process:

Monitoring these activities ensures that a law firm’s SEO strategy is comprehensive and able to adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of search engine algorithms. It’s not merely about accumulation but also about maintaining the quality and relevance of the backlinks, which contribute to the overall online success of the firm. Employing sophisticated tools to track these metrics allows law firms to stay ahead in the digital competition, ensuring they remain visible and attractive to potential clients searching online.

Implementing Law Firm SEO

When it comes to implementing SEO for your law firm, you can do it all yourself, but just make sure you have a structured plan and SOP that you or a staff member regularly performs. Here is an example of what this could look like.

  1. Conduct keyword research to understand the terms potential clients use when searching for legal services.
  2. Optimize your website with relevant keywords, ensuring they appear naturally in your content.
  3. Create high – quality, informative content targeting specific legal topics to attract potential clients and demonstrate expertise.
  4. Leverage local SEO strategies to ensure your law firm appears in local search results, including Google My Business optimization and consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information across online directories.
  5. Develop a robust link – building strategy, acquiring quality backlinks from authoritative legal websites through guest posting, outreach, and partnerships.
  6. Monitor and analyze the performance of your SEO efforts using tools like Google Analytics to make data-driven decisions and continuously improve your strategy.
  7. Regularly update and maintain your website to provide a seamless user experience and keep up with algorithm changes.

Now if you got to the end of this article and this all seems great but you dont want to do it all yourself or reel overwhelmed by the process then we highly recommend you hire a SEO agency. Just make sure to hire a reputable agency with real case studies. is one of the leaders for law firm specific SEO.


In conclusion, mastering SEO for law firms is a critical step toward online success. The convergence of keyword research, content creation, and technical SEO elevates a law firm’s visibility in organic search results.

Building a robust online presence through effective strategies like local SEO ensures that potential clients can easily find and engage with legal services. Implementing these comprehensive tactics empowers law firms to establish authority and connect with an audience seeking their expertise.