An SEO (search engine optimization) strategy is gold in today’s website arena – it’s what drives your site to the top of search engine result listings. That said, there are definite rules to SEO, a practice that is continually evolving. While the rules are always in flux, there are some basic and simple practices that remain constant. Here are a few of the base elements that lawyers should incorporate into their own websites.
Heading tags distinguish header copy from body copy and prioritize the headers. Your main header is always <h1>; below that you might have some introductory body copy or go straight into a sub-head (<h2>). That sub-head is less important or impactful than the overall header, but still important and is followed by a sub-section and then another sub-head (<h3>)… and so on. This heading structure is SEO-friendly, helping search engines to index and analyze your content to find relevancy to the current search request. It is very important that your headers flow in numerical order (start with <h1> and progress through as many as six levels to <h6>). If you skip a header level, the structure will be broken, and in turn, damages the SEO properties.
Your meta description is the synopsis of your content that displays to Web users in the search results. Think of it as your chance to quickly sell them your link over the competition. For the best results, keep it 155 characters or less, incorporate relevant keywords fluidly within the copy, and avoid non-alphanumeric characters.
Adding a sitemap to your website helps potential clients to find content, but also assists search engines in fully indexing your site. In particular, an XML sitemap essentially feeds search engines information about the key pages of your site that you want considered for search results and provides the page hierarchy and information about when each page was last updated (recently updated pages get priority in search results as they are more likely to be relevant and current).
Image Alt Tags
This is the text that displays if a picture doesn’t display for any reason, such as someone accessing your site from a read-only browser. From the SEO standpoint, image alt tags are important because some search engine crawlers cant interpret images – so the alt text provides information that they can interpret to understand what that image depicts (and index it accordingly to ascertain relevancy to the current search term). Your image alt tags should be short – just a few words – and tie back to your keywords. Include relevant locations and be careful not to waste precious real estate on adjectives (unless they tie into your researched keywords).
Keywords are a cornerstone of any SEO strategy – they tie back to your subject and will repeat throughout every piece of content you create. There are numerous free keyword research sites out there that will help you to determine the popularity of your term based on monthly searches using the term. Incorporate your keywords throughout your site copy, as well as in image alt tags, meta descriptions, and various headers. Be careful of over “stuffing” your copy with keywords, though, as doing so will minimize SEO friendliness and the quality of your copy.
Not sure how to incorporate some of these factors into your law firm’s SEO strategy? There are various WordPress plugins you can install to help implement these elements. Ask LegalElite about the best unique strategy for your firm.