If you want your content to rank (and you definitely do), then you have to consider search engine optimization. By definition, search engine optimization (SEO) is a methodology of strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine.
For the non tech-savvy attorney, SEO can seem like a daunting project to undertake, but it shouldn’t be so. There are a number of basic SEO tips, tools, and techniques that you can implement to drastically increase the ranking of your website and the content within it.
SEO can be a full-time job in and of itself — in fact, there are many blogs and websites dedicated to offering the most pertinent, up-to-date information to help you with your SEO journey. Check out this manifesto for an in-depth look at the ins and outs of SEO for your law firm.
Here are 5 basic SEO tips and strategies to raise your search ranking:
Choose the Right Focus Keywords and Implement Them Throughout Your Content
Keywords are particular words or phrases that describe the contents of a web page, and they are the key terms that make it possible for people to find your website. For example, if you search “personal injury attorney” the websites that Google serves you will be optimized for that term.
The basic foundation of SEO starts with the right keywords. Ideally, you want to rank for terms that are high in search volume, low in competition, and highly relevant to your practice area. If you’re unsure of where to begin, here’s an in-depth keyword research “how-to” guide to get you started.
After choosing the optimal keywords for your content, it’s time to implement them. Here are some essential SEO tips for placing keywords in your content:
You want to incorporate keywords in:
- Post titles
- Headers and subheadings
- Copy (the optimal keyword density for your content is between 1% and 3%, avoid going over this limit to keep Google from flagging your content as low quality and/or spam)
- The beginning and end of your content
- Image alt attributes
- Meta descriptions
- Bold and italicized text
Pro Tip: Don’t “keyword stuff”, only include keywords where they fit in your content. The quality of your content comes first, and you can’t forget that you are writing for people, not search engines. Strive to find the perfect balance between interesting and optimized content.
Create Shareable Content
If content is king then backlinks are queen, and one way to drastically increase your page ranking is to attract incoming links (i.e. backlinks) from other reputable websites. Not all backlinks are created equal, and you want to avoid encouraging junk and spammy sites to share your content.
Easy tactics for incorporating backlinks include:
- Share your content via social media sites for easy, reputable backlinks
- Reach out for partnerships and create guest posts that link back to your site via trustworthy online sources
- Give some, get some. Sometimes the best way to begin a content partnership is to link to other valuable websites within your blog posts before reaching out. It’s easier to get the conversation started on the right foot if you are already providing the other party with value
Use Video to Increase Your Ranking
The world’s top two search engines are Google and YouTube, respectively. Google owns YouTube and heavily favors video content when it comes to ranking web pages. In fact, pages that include video are 53 times more likely to rank on Google’s first page.
In addition to increasing your search ranking, video enhances your message to create a compelling story for viewers to identify with. This helps to drive action and engagement with your content and your firm.
Here are a few quick facts regarding online video:
- 69% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2017 will be video (Cisco)
- 50% of mobile users listed YouTube as their #1 destination for finding information about a brand or product (Google)
- Enjoyment of video ads increases purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139% (Unruly)
- After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online (ComScore)
- The average internet user spends 88% more time on a site with video (Mist Media)
- Mobile video viewers are 1.6X as likely as TV viewers to talk to peers about the video content they’re watching (Google)
Post Content Regularly
Search algorithms favor sites that regularly post new content over pages with static or outdated material. If you find that you don’t have the time or resources to devote to posting regular blog content, this is an opportunity to incorporate a guest blogging partnership into your content strategy.
Many content creators and bloggers are eager to trade blog content for valuable backlinks (revisit “Create Shareable Content” above), and this can be a useful tool to bolster your content.
Create Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is content that stays relevant to readers over time. Evergreen content never goes out of date, and it works to continually drive traffic and influence your SEO ranking.
Google’s search algorithm favors sites and pages with high traffic volume, and evergreen content takes advantage of this fact by driving page visits months and even years after its initial posting.
Some examples of evergreen content include:
- FAQs (examples: “How do I find a personal injury lawyer”, “What is personal injury?”, “How do I make a personal injury claim?”, etc.)
- “How To” Guides
While there is no foolproof SEO strategy and search algorithms change over time, these 5 basic SEO tips will provide you with a solid foundation to increase your website’s search ranking. Furthermore, you don’t have to be an SEO guru to take advantage of these strategies, and incorporating these tactics can have a lasting positive impact for the visibility for your firm. Potential clients can’t hire you if they can’t find you, and these 5 tips will make sure that they can do just that.
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