law firm content marketing

SEO for Attorneys: The Difference Between On-Page and Off-Page SEO

by Kierstin Vermeulen • October 18th, 2016 • SEO | Blog

SEO for attorneysIn sports, athletes with different specialties join together and combine their skills to form one great team. SEO for attorneys also requires specialty players, including on-page and off-page SEO. These two players, each holding different positions and dealing with opposite situations, come together to enhance overall SEO.

On-page SEO optimizes your firm’s web pages so they rank higher and earn more relevant search engine traffic. Certain factors help improve on-page SEO:

1. Your website must be organized so it can be found and crawled easily by search engines seeking out your particular keywords and phrases. This contributes to a good search engine ranking; it also improves the readability of your site for visitors and clients.

2. Effective keywords are the navigational lures you deploy to draw search traffic to your website. The keywords you use should pertain to the area of law you practice, your geographic region, and the most important services your firm offers.

3. You should feature quality, regularly updated content that engages your target audience.

4. Include links to other websites within your content. Those websites will notice you, and it will signal to search engines that your website is a go-to resource for knowledge on certain topics.

5. Coding is an umbrella term for certain website and content programmatic structures that improve on-page SEO. For example, those descriptive words that appear in search results just beneath the clickable link can be defined by you using title tags within your content to highlight keywords that will be noticed by search engines. Another programmatic tip: Surround page and content headings with the html code <h1> and include your keywords in content headings. Search engines first look to text within these tags when trying to decipher how to rank websites in search results.

Off-page SEO is about enhancing your firm’s digital authority and focuses on factors outside your own website, such as links and social media. A primary tactic for improving off-page SEO is building up the number of backlinks pointing to a site. A backlink is a hyperlink from another website that leads visitors to your site. Success with backlinks is measured by the quality of links, not quantity. A link from The New York Times is much more valuable from an SEO perspective than a link from a “mom and pop” blog. Here are a few tips to use in order to build up your backlink reputation:

  •  Offer desirable, valuable and informative content. (This is important for both on and off page SEO!)
  •  Share and promote your content using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
  •  Invite experts from outside your firm to contribute guest blog posts to your website about areas of practice that your firm may be less familiar with. This attracts guest audiences and grows yours as well. Backlinks  come from the guest’s website and possibly from the guest’s website visitors and followers on social media.

Even though on-page and off-page SEO are very different, they play together to help search engine optimize your firm’s website.

SEO for attorneys



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