Search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO, is a crucial part of a law firm’s online marketing these days. There are certain things to know that can help you utilize SEO as effectively as possible. This is as true for lawyers as it is for anyone in any other profession. It is also important to discuss what SEO is before going into how it can help promote your law firm. Here is what you should know about the basics of SEO for lawyers.
One simple definition of SEO for lawyers is that it is a way of increasing traffic to the website of your law firm by improving the position of your website on the search results pages of search engines. Bing and Google are the two most commonly used search engines. When it comes to SEO, Google search results are the most important search results. This is simply because Google is the most widely used search engine in the world.
The goal when you use SEO to promote your law firm’s website is to get your website as high in the search results as possible. Ideally, you would like to get your website at the very top of the search results. However, this is often quite difficult. It is usually good enough if you just get your website onto the first page of the Google search results. In the event that your website is close to the top of the search results, your website is more likely to receive more traffic than if it is lower on the search results.
After visitors see your website in the search results, they will hopefully click on it and check out your website. Once they do so, it is critical that your law firm’s website gives visitors the information that they want. Otherwise, visitors are less likely to reach out to your law firm for more information about the firm’s services.
The Main Challenge of SEO
As you might expect, the primary challenge of SEO is pushing your website to the very top of the search engine results. Quite a few companies offer SEO services for law firms. That being said, there is never a total guarantee that your website will be able to reach that coveted #1 position in the search results. However, you can do quite a bit to give your website the best possible chance of getting as high in the search results as it can go.
Content Is A Major Factor in SEO Rankings
This probably seems like an obvious point, but the content is incredibly important to how highly your website ranks in the search results. There are three criteria that your website has to meet for law firm SEO purposes. These are necessary to ensure that your website shows up near the top of search results.
The Content Must Fulfill User Intent
One main reason that Google ranks search results highly is if it believes that your website will probably fulfill user intent. All this really means is that Google believes that your website provides information that is relevant to the search term the user entered. For example, if the user entered ‘criminal defense lawyer’, then your website has to provide some information that tells Google that your law firm provides criminal defense services by criminal defense lawyers. Of course, this is just one example.
Another major factor that can be relevant is if your law firm’s website provides an answer to a question that the user entered into the search engine. Based on their design, search engines naturally direct users to websites that are most likely to fulfill user intent. Because of this, it is important to tailor your content so that it is most likely to demonstrate that it fulfills user intent by providing particular services or answering a certain user question.
Keyword Optimization Is Crucial For Your Content
Something else that is critical for your website to rank highly in search results is keyword optimization in the content. Keywords are one way that search engines can figure out that your website answers users’ questions effectively. Search engines, such as Google, read your website’s content via an automated bot so that the search engine understands the purpose and content of each web page. You must clearly target specific keywords on each webpage of your website.
There are a number of areas where you should put your keywords. Subheadings and headings, the description tag, and the title tag are all important areas to put your keywords. However, you should also place keywords in the URL of the web page. It is also necessary to spread keywords out as evenly as possible in the paragraphs of the web page’s content.
The Website Must Include A Bunch of Content for Similar Keywords
This part of tailoring content for SEO purposes can often be difficult. The first step in doing this is to pinpoint a primary keyword. After that, you have to find long-tail forms, otherwise known as variations, of that primary keyword. You should make sure to do this so that your content addresses as many sub-topics of your primary keyword’s main topic as possible. This helps your website rank higher in search results.
It is likely that quite a few users will search for the primary keyword. However, other users might instead search for different versions of that same keyword. That is why using variations of the primary keyword is a good idea. The objective of doing so is to write up plenty of content that answers searches that are relevant to your website’s primary keyword.
Off-Page Citations and Backlinks Are Two More Components of SEO
Backlinks are quite vital to how well your website ranks in search results. Backlinks are links put on other websites that refer visitors back to your website. Google uses backlinks as part of how it determines what pages should be on page one of the search results. You can think of backlinks as a demonstration of your website’s popularity. In the event that your website receives quite a few backlinks from other prominent law firm websites, these links serve as a vote of confidence in your website’s credibility.
On the other hand, if your website does not get many backlinks, then it can hurt your website’s search rankings. Search engines view that as an indicator that your website is not all that credible or popular. It is relevant to keep in mind that search engines are designed to refer users to the best resource to address their question or search term. As a result, search engines will interpret your website getting quite a few backlinks from credible law firm websites as a sign that your site is also credible.
Off-page citations are also an important component of search results rankings. Your law firm’s contact information appears in a variety of places on the Internet. As a result, this means that this information is visible to both possible clients and to the search engine itself. Getting backlinks from sites that display your firm’s contact information (known as citations) is the most effective way of increasing your site’s level of exposure due to local SEO.
Doing so is vital to the sustained success of the SEO of your law firm. Avvo, which is a legal directory, is one website where you can receive greater exposure due to local SEO from off-page citations. Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are two more websites that can provide you with local SEO exposure as a result of off-page citations.
Technical SEO Plays A Significant Role in Search Rankings
Technical SEO is the third factor in your law firm website’s search rankings. It can prove challenging to make sure your website is properly optimized according to technical SEO standards. Simply put, technical SEO is just a measure of your website’s ‘Google-friendliness’. One part of technical SEO is ensuring that your website is as user-friendly as possible. The security of the website is another part of technical SEO, too. Users have to feel safe accessing your website in order to visit it on a regular basis.
You should also ensure that your website is mobile-friendly since users frequently access all sorts of websites on mobile devices. Additionally, it is best if your website loads as quickly as possible. It is ideal if your website loads in less than 2.5 seconds. One other part of technical SEO is ensuring that users can easily navigate your website. In addition to improving the user experience, making an easily navigable website also means that the Google bot sent to your website is more likely to locate all the pages on your website and comprehend your site’s content.
Effective SEO Can Benefit Your Website Greatly
While SEO may prove challenging at times, it is vital for your website’s success. SEO can greatly improve your website’s ranking in the search results. As a result, SEO may help you get your website higher in search results than your competitor’s websites. Even if it doesn’t, good SEO still makes your website more likely to attract visitors and turn those visitors into clients.