According to a 2014 survey by Thomson Reuters, 38% of 1,000 respondents stated that they would first turn to the internet when searching for legal counsel. With this in mind, it’s clear that a successful law practice needs to have a strong, well-designed and captivating website which instills not only a feeling of professionalism but a degree of approachability. Still, not even the best website will bring in clients unless it’s easily found by search engines. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes in.
You’ve probably heard plenty of information on SEO prior to now, but the fact is that most people don’t quite understand how it works. Not understanding how to make your website stand out and be ranked well by search engines is in effect the same as leaving money on the table – money you’re paying for a website which isn’t bringing the desired results, and money you’re losing in potential revenue from new clients. Luckily, there are ways to improve your website’s SEO in order to make it easier for new clients to find you.
What keywords are your ideal clients looking for?
Think about the types of cases your firm is looking to bring in, then think about the keywords or phrases these clients would enter into a search engine when looking for a law firm. These are the terms you need to feature throughout your website’s copy.
Don’t overload on keywords
It’s tricky, finding the right balance and density of keywords. But we’ve all witnessed the unfortunate phenomenon of the site which has been keyword stuffed to the point where the copy no longer makes sense. The fact is, not only is this a major turn-off to anyone who reads it, but search engines such as Google and Bing can pick up on this sort of overload – and offending sites are penalized.
Be sure that your keywords are used within the context of a sentence while adhering to the rules of proper grammar.
Know how to keyword optimize
There are specific places where keywords should be placed in order to make the strongest impact. Here are some examples:
- Titles: Titles are included in search results, and should be kept under 65 characters. For instance, “Your Law Firm | Type of law you practice” – your keyword should be included somewhere in the area to the right of the pipe.
- Meta descriptions: Meta descriptions don’t impact search rankings, but they do convince searchers to click on your page, so be sure to inform the person searching for you just why they should visit your site while using keywords to verify your usefulness to them.
- Headings: Placing keywords in your pages heading serves a dual purpose. First, search engines will see that prominent placement and index you accordingly. Second, your audience will see the keywords and know that they’ve come to the right place.
- Image titles: It’s helpful, but not critical, to create descriptive titles for your website’s images. This will not make a huge impact on your ranking but will help search engines find your images should the keywords you choose be searched on.
- URLs: If your site has a blog, be sure the keyword/phrase is contained within the page’s URL. So for instance, YourLawFirm.com/topic-of-blog-post. Some sites use the default address which is provided as soon as a new blog entry is created, but editing the address prior to publishing a new blog is so simple. This opportunity to get your keywords noticed is far too important to your site’s visibility to be skipped over.
- Content: Finally, be sure that your keywords are used throughout your content. But as stated above, keyword stuffing or even forcing keywords to be used where they don’t belong contextually or grammatically is a bad idea. If you are having a difficult time using the keywords you need, perhaps the content itself is not the most beneficial to your law firm and should be revised.
Share on social media
Having your content liked, shared and re-tweeted is another way to prove to search engines that your content is high-quality and relevant to your audience. This helps boost your visibility, plus you never know who will see a shared link and click to read more. Whenever you publish a new blog post, share it with your social media followers. Compelling content is bound to be shared and spread around, so be sure that what you’re publishing is of great quality.
Optimizing your site’s SEO takes thought and planning, but can result in huge dividends for your firm. Give it a little time and soon your site will begin making its way up through the rankings.
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