practice area pagesMany law firms have recently launched new websites or are in the middle of a redesign. Having a great looking website is only the first step. Once the new site is launched, your next focus should be how to get your website to rank highly on search engine results pages. This will enable your firm to generate high quality leads for your firm.

If you look at where most law firm websites rank on search engines, their top-ranking pages are usually the attorney bio pages. This is due to the fact that there is less competition when it comes to someone’s name. While having your attorney pages rank high is a good thing, in most instances you will want your practice area pages to rank high as well so that people who don’t know the attorneys at your firm, can nonetheless find your website when doing searches for substantive keywords. This is not always easy since the desired search results are highly competitive. Learning a few tips can help ensure your practice area pages rank well for specific keywords and terms.

Keyword Optimization

First, you need to make sure that your law firm practice area pages are properly keyword optimized. Your pages need to be optimized in specific locations, including the title tag, meta description, header tags, and content. Remember to avoid duplicates, especially in the title tags and content. Meta descriptions should be limited to approximately 155 characters.

Content Creation

Regardless of how much changes online, one thing remains the same. Content still rules. For search engines to be able to find and rank practice area pages for law firm websites, those pages must have great content that is optimized with the right keywords. To do this, it is important to conduct keyword research in order to determine keyword variations and well as to learn which keywords have the highest search volume. There are various keyword research tools available that can help you with your keyword research.

It’s also important to make sure your content is the correct length. In most cases, longer content typically tends to rank higher, so try not to keep your content to a minimum of 300 word per page.

This is not to say that you need to publish content on your website simply for the sake of having a higher word count. You should never include filler content just to hit a word count goal. Search engines are very adept at noticing this and will penalize your page. Your goal should be to produce a minimum of 700 words of high-quality content that is well researched and relevant to the keywords you wish to target for your practice.

Internal Linking

Many law firm websites are ranking for the right keywords, but the pages associated with those keywords are not the practice area pages. In order to get your practice area pages to rank, it is important to conduct internal linking from those pages that do rank. Whether it’s a blog post, a news item or an attorney bio, you should always try to link to your practice area pages that are related to the pages your keywords are ranking for. For example, if one of your blog posts is ranking for the keyword “securities litigation” make sure you create a link from your blog post to the securities litigation practice area page on your site. This will enable your high ranking pages to provide “SEO juice” to your practice area pages to help them boost their ranking.

Visual Optimization

You also need to consider the visual optimization of your website. This refers to those elements that will make your law firm’s website more visually engaging to visitors. The more visually attractive your website is, the better the user experience will be and that will affect your engagement.

Multimedia elements such as diagrams, images, infographics, and videos are great options to make your site more visually engaging. However, if you choose to include multimedia, make sure alt attributes for images are optimized with the correct keywords and that transcripts with your keywords are available for videos.

Calls to Action

One last important point to consider in trying to optimize your firm’s practice area pages is to make sure you always have a call to action. Having a call to action that is in context with the practice area page will not help with you search engine ranking results. However, it will help you generate leads and acquire clients. We frequently see law firm websites that do not have calls to action and therefore are not generating the types of leads they could generate if proper calls to action where in place.

The call to action does not have to be a form, but it should enable the visitor to easily contact the firm if they have a specific need or are looking for help in your areas of practice.

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