Tackling the world of search engine optimization and organic traffic may seem overwhelming. Here are some techniques that law firms can use to effectively boost their organic search rankings.
1. Identify And Target Specific Keywords
Using a tool like Google Analytics, review your site’s organic traffic sources and the keywords that are driving the most traffic to your website. From this list, cross-reference what keywords have high search impressions. Now you have a list of great terms to target.
We typically target primary keyword and secondary keyword phrases. Primary keyword phrases are phrases that page content focuses on specifically, such as “DWI lawyer New Orleans.” Primary keyword phrases will drive the bulk of your content. Secondary keyword phrases, such as “DWI penalties in Louisiana,” relate to primary phrases. They may be more niche, but they provide traffic too. Targeting high-competition primary keyword phrases may pay off in the long term, but in the short term, they may not help you rank well, which is why it’s beneficial to create a plan for targeting both types of keywords.
Here are a few ways you can effectively incorporate keywords into your website:
• Write content that naturally includes primary and secondary keyword phrases. Mention your primary keyword phrases at least once on each page, but also make sure to incorporate alternatives.
• Add internal links that specifically target your keywords into the content on related pages.
• Use your keyword phrases in hashtags on your firm’s social media pages.
2. Achieve Perfect On-Page Optimization
Check your current page content to make sure it’s up-to-date and includes the following:
• An SEO-friendly URL: Use short keyword phrases in your page URLs (e.g., DUI or DUI lawyer).
• Authoritative outbound links: Include in your page content links to articles on authoritative sites, and avoid linking to competitors. For example, law firms can link to court cases, court websites, local authorities, etc.
• Keywords in your page title: Include keyword phrases in your page title in addition to your unique selling proposition or tagline.
• H1 and H2 tags: Organize your content using headers, and make sure that H2 tags have an H1 tag that they support.
• Social media sharing buttons: Include buttons that allow visitors to easily share your content on social media.
• A call to action in your meta description: Write compelling, action-oriented copy for your meta description to encourage people to visit your website.
• Alt text for images: To ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other guidelines, make sure that alt text (alternative text) is thorough and descriptive. (Learn more about ADA compliance in one of my previous articles.)
One other thing you can do to optimize your page content is to make sure that your pages load fast. A speed score of 90 or higher on Google PageSpeed Insights is ideal. (Read my last article for tips on how to boost your site’s speed.)
3. Build A Content Strategy
A content strategy helps you create sustainable website content that’s engaging, meaningful, cohesive and ultimately appealing to readers. Blogs are one of the most popular ways to build your site’s content. Posting weekly is a good way to maintain fresh content on your site and keep it attractive to Google, and sending newsletters that highlight the latest posts to subscribers can help ensure that your site stays on their minds.
Current content strategy for many law firms includes creating long-form posts that contain 2,000 to more than 2,500 words. Many law firms find that their long-form posts are among their most successful and positively influence their ratings.
4. Attract High-Quality Links
Getting links to your site on other high-quality sites can significantly improve your SEO. A great way to do this is to participate in guest blogging on other sites. You could pair up with other industry leaders or even volunteer for advice columns where your attorneys participate in “ask a lawyer” posts.
Infographics are another great way to attract links and can help break down complicated information, making it more digestible for audiences. If you create and design an infographic, you can request that other companies embed it on their site with a link to your site. The general idea behind this type of sharing is that people will find the visual information useful and share it with friends and family or on their social media sites.
5. Monitor Site Performance And Update
Regularly monitoring your site’s performance and continuing to optimize it is critical. Websites require frequent updates to make sure that they’re running at peak performance levels.
Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your site maintains peak performance.
• Stay up-to-date on analytics. Your site’s analytics provide valuable insight into your bounce and conversion rates. If you see that some pages have low engagement and high bounce rates, work to improve the content on these pages by incorporating videos (more on this below) and more valuable information.
• Fix 404 pages. If your site has several 404 pages, find the errors on these pages and correct them.
6. Use Videos
Videos can help your website rank higher. Place videos at the top of the page, which can increase the length of time visitors spend on your page, decrease your bounce rate and further engage your audience.
Here are several great ways for law firms to use videos:
• How-to and advice videos: Create how-to videos or videos where attorneys share advice so your clients can gain a better understanding of your firm’s attorneys and practice areas.
• Q&A videos: Have an attorney answer commonly asked questions on video.
• YouTube videos: Upload your videos to YouTube, and link them back to your site.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for more ways to boost traffic to your law firm’s website, start with researching keyword phrases, optimizing your webpages, building a content strategy, attracting high-quality links, monitoring your site’s performance and using video.
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