Even the best content won’t do you much good if no one can find it. That’s why SEO is an increasingly important part of any law firm’s digital strategy. Any content you create needs to be designed with optimization in mind so that you can reach a relevant audience that’s seeking the information you can provide. Sometimes the term “SEO” can be intimidating, but it need not be.
22 Tactics For SEO That Aren’t Too Technical
1. Understand a Whole SERP Strategy
An entire SERP strategy will analyze the keywords you are targeting and provide a roadmap for creating content. Look at featured snippets and who is ranking for them, as well as who is ranking at the top of the page on search results. You may be able to determine what opportunities are available.
2. Remember E-A-T
The qualities of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness make great content. Google states that your site as a whole needs to demonstrate these traits.
If you’d like to learn how to create quality content for your firm, check out this complimentary eBook: Law Firm Guide to Content Marketing eBook
3. Keep ‘Page Experience’ in Mind
User experience has always been at the heart of good SEO. Google announced that page experience signals would be included in Google Search rankings. For now, check out Google Search Console’s new Page Experience Report to evaluate your performance and prepare for any improvements that’ll need to be made by then.
4. Consolidate Webpages
If you have multiple web pages around one topic, try combining them into one more authoritative resource. In a lot of cases, one long article on a website will gain more traction in search results than several shorter pieces which are not connected. Using a 301 Redirect will help you to do this properly.
5. Create Evergreen Content
Almost any page can be refreshed with updated and more timely content. You want to keep the original URL (so that you preserve the link equity) but update the copy within. Create a list of content to update, starting with the top-performing pages.
6. Fix Duplicate Content
Remember that duplicate content hurts your law firm’s SEO. Having pages that are too similar will cause some of them to be filtered from results. Even if you don’t get a penalty, duplicate content will result in lower perceived quality and a diluted page rank. That’s too bad because it’s an easy problem to fix. Identify which pages could be causing problems, and prioritize and consolidate them.
7. Optimize Meta Information
The title tag and meta description tag tell search engines what the page is about. Almost without fail, if your title tag does not contain the query’s keyword(s) or synonyms, the page will not rank. Use your targeted keyword in both places.
8. Look at Word Count
All content is not created equal, and knowing a web page’s target word count based on the other top-ranking pages means you won’t end up writing 2,000 words when only 750 will do. Use third-party tools to identify top-ranking pages and their word counts so you can compete.
Related: SEO for Law Firm Websites eBook
9. Know the Readability Score
Google checks your page’s quality against others competing for the same keywords. It’s important to write for your unique audience and match your reading level to theirs. For example, on a very technical aspect of legal proceedings, you can write at a higher reading level.
10. Keyword Optimization
This tactic is basically at the heart of all SEO techniques. Keyword optimization (also known as keyword research) is the act of researching, analyzing, and selecting the best keywords to target to drive qualified traffic from search engines to your law firm’s website.
11. Structured Data
This clarifies to search engines what the content on your web page is about, whether the information is an event, a person, a place, or something else. It’s helpful for eliminating ambiguity when a word can mean more than one thing.
12. Optimize Images
Most people know about optimizing for keywords, but they don’t always take the time to do so for images. Remember best practices for labeling the graphics you use on your pages.
13. Optimize for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets dominate the SERPs, give you tons of exposure, and keep your website far above the fold. Plus, they’ll boost your law firm’s credibility quicker than any other method. In order to rank as a featured snippet, you need to create content in such a way that it directly answers a user’s inquiry in the form of a question. For more tips, check out our past blog post, Repurposing Law Firm Content for Featured Snippets.
14. Reference an Industry Leader
Doing so makes your content more likely to be viewed as credible, more likely to be shared, and more likely to result in additional links – which are all helpful for viewership in general.
15. Collaborate on Content
You can create a larger audience by working alongside another expert on content. That will equal more links and more traffic to your website.
16. Write for Searcher Intent
Well-written content will strike a balance between writing for search engines and writing with audience intent in mind. Do some research and figure out what your target audience is looking for. Understand what questions they want to be answered and work to answer those. You can even look at Google’s autofill to get an idea of what people are searching for.
17. Utilize Video
Adding videos to your content boosts time spent on page and user engagement. If people are more engaged with your content, this can lead to better rankings from Google, as the time spent on-page will indicate users find your content useful.
18. Optimize Headings and Subheadings
In order to rank for your target keyword, make sure all your headings and subheadings are optimized with the keyword.
19. Update Old Content
Google rankings favor content that was published more recently. So, a simple way to improve the rankings of your old content is to edit it and republish it under a new, more recent date. Just make sure you’re updating the content so it’s timely.
Adding internal and external links not only helps Google understand what your content is about, but it also helps boost rankings. High-quality pages usually link to other high-quality pages. So, if Google spots a bunch of high-quality links in your content, then they’ll rank it more favorably.
21. Create Longer, More Useful Content
Users (and Google) want to see content that is extensive and robust in nature. A blog that is too short and not thoroughly researched will never rank as well as a piece of content that encompasses a variety of subtopics related to the keyword your audience queried and which they might have questions about.
22. Make Your Information Skimmable
Yes, we said longer content performs better (usually around 2,100-2,400 words) but that doesn’t mean you can post large blocks of unbroken content and expect to rank. Today’s users want to see content that can be easily skimmed. Optimize your content with headings, subheadings, infographics, and images to break up large paragraphs.
Even great content can get lost in a sea of material due to today’s dense digital environment. SEO is essential to your law firm getting found by the people most likely to use your services. Content creation and SEO go hand-in-hand, but that doesn’t mean you need to recreate the wheel. Start with these 22 tactics, and if you need additional help, follow our blog for fresh ideas or reach out to our experts with specific questions.
If you need assistance developing a comprehensive SEO strategy that will improve your search visibility and increase the number of visitors to your firm’s website, contact us for help.
This post has been edited and republished from April 21, 2021.