5 Ways Lawyers Can Boost Online Traffic: SEO and More
People find what they wan chiefly by searching the internet. This wasn’t always the case, but now it is. Those who don’t get on board fall behind. Legal professions are no different. As people look for attorneys or advocates, they will their first picks will be those that pop up on the top of their search results. Does your website attract the sort of attention it needs to stay on the top of that list? Here are some principles to apply to your website to maximize search engine optimization (SEO).
Keep It Fresh
Nobody likes stale websites with old content that doesn’t get updated. That is why Google prefers websites that keep updating their content. Regular site visitors want familiar navigation, so don’t remake your website every few weeks. Instead, start a blog. Static web pages do not need to be updated as often if a blog is present. A live feed of articles coming out of your website will create traffic. People will link to your blogs, post them on Facebook, Tweet about them, and otherwise refer their contacts. Maintaining a blog shows that you are still alive and eager to provide new clients with quality content. When keeping a blog, follow these rules.
- Post at least a couple times per week.
- Use keywords, but don’t overuse them.
- Create your own traffic by pushing your blog posts to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Use links to corroborate your sources and information.
- Use links to direct people to other posts and web pages on your site.
- Don’t explicitly advertise.
- Provide quality content in an accessible form.
Catch and Keep Attention with Keywords
Get people’s attention with keywords and keep it with more keywords. When someone hears something familiar they start listening closer to learn more. Google promotes sites that have keyword optimization, meaning that keywords should show up sporadically and in unoverused quantities. Because people can see through gimmicks, Google can too. You must also consider your audience’s recognition of keywords. What words will they be searching for? What words will refer to and build on knowledge they already have? Consider the following keyword tips.
- Discover audience-relevant keywords.
- Use Google Analytics or similar services to track what content on your site is getting the most traffic.
- Consider the keywords associated with your images.
- Front load your keywords to the left side of the page.
- Put keywords in titles, descriptions, headings, content, and hyperlinks.
- Use variants on keywords.
- Avoid SEO penalties, such as hiding keywords with the same color font as background, stuffing in too many keywords, forcing keywords awkwardly.
- Use Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner to pick your keywords.
Write Attractive Headings
People read web pages in an F-pattern. They read the heading, scan down the left side, read across another line, and continue down the left side. This is why front-loading your content and producing eye-catching headings is important. Don’t create boring headlines. Write to get people’s attention. Of course, once you have it, you have to keep it with helpful content delivered in an accessible format. A good heading provides a promise and a benefit. Writing your headline before your content creates a goal you must achieve and a promise that will benefit your readers if you deliver. There are plenty of tips for writing good headings.
- Copy tried and true formulas, such as “How to [task] that [benefit],” “[Number] ways to [task],” or “The Secret of [Blank].”
- Know your audience and content and pick a headline style that matches.
- Answer who, what, when, where, or why.
- Appeal to people’s distrust, “5 Lies Your Real Estate Agent Will Tell You.”
- Catch people’s eyes with audacious titles, “Pizza to go! Train passenger orders takeaway Pizza Hut to her carriage – with a delivery window of just FIFTY SECONDS.”
Speaking Computer Language
Helping Google read your website is done through using schema markup. Schema markup is the kind of language search engines use to find and catalog websites. Many sites provide structured data that becomes difficult for search engines to read. Schema markup helps search engines interpret the data and bring it to your prospective clients. Dabbling in HTML language may seem intimidating for those who are unfamiliar with it, but there are plenty of sites that provide walkthroughs.
Avoiding SEO Penalties
Google continues to change its search algorithm. In 2011, it introduced an algorithm called Panda, which prefers sites that have high-quality content. Many sites were pushing too many keywords and using gimmicks to manipulate search engines that ultimately promoted sites with poor quality content. Google now has a list of 21 principles for producing high quality sites.
By writing what is useful to their audience, Lawyers can avoid SEO penalties. Avoid automated blog posting which undermines the usefulness of blog displaying a live company. Ask yourself if your article covers both sides of a story. Recognized authorities should be referenced and cited. Here are some more guidelines.
- Write original content.
- Write with the audience’s genuine interest in mind.
- Edit your web content to provide quality without fluff.
- Present expert information or refer to the experts.
- Don’t duplicate content found elsewhere on your site.
- Provide a comprehensive look at your topic.
Focus on insightful analysis rather than highly opinionated content..