Organic search is a critical channel for most businesses. In fact, 53% of website traffic comes from organic search results. Even more startling is the fact that on the first page of search results, the first five organic results account for nearly 67% of all the clicks. With so much traffic at stake, it’s easy to see why making it into Google’s top 10 results is essential. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy! In the ever-evolving world of search algorithms, it’s important to know the latest tactics. Our marketing team at Good2bSocial has curated a law firm SEO marketing cheat sheet to help rank your law firm website in Google’s top results.
1. Ensure Your Website is Mobile Responsive
Responsive website design is a key part of user experience, and something search engines look for and respond to. Smartphones receive the highest number of online searches by a significant margin, and having a website that doesn’t respond well will hurt your search efforts. Remember, one of the most important ranking factors is user experience, and ensuring your web pages render correctly is a critical factor for good UX.
2. Improve Page Load Times
A fast-loading website gets a lot more views than one that takes a while. That’s actually a factor Google takes into account for search results. Search engines receive signals when web pages load slowly. Research has shown that improving load times increases conversions and improves search engine rankings.
3. Have an Intentional Keyword Strategy
The content on your website is for clients and visitors. You need to write high-quality content that resonates with them – and keywords help you to do that. “Intentional keywords” are those that tell you their purpose right off the bat, and they really help with SEO. Part of this strategy is targeting long-tail keywords such as “personal injury attorneys near me”. Research and incorporate long-tail keywords like “copyright lawyer in Philadelphia” for higher quality content that Google prefers. Also, consider targeting both primary and secondary keywords. Your primary keyword should be the main topic of your page, and then from there, you can optimize for several secondary keywords that support the main topic.
4. Optimize for Quick Search Engine Indexing
To really perform well in search and get your law firm website into Google’s top 10, there are certain elements that must be present. These items pass important information on to Google so that they can index your site quickly. Include (and optimize) the following:
- Title tag
- Heading tags
- Image alt-text
5. Build a Backlink Strategy
Backlinks are an increasingly important part of SEO. Links help Google to understand how popular, authoritative, useful, and relevant a given web page is. Pages that have amassed many backlinks tend to do better in search results. Learn more about creating effective linking strategies here.
6. Update Your Local Listings
To improve your rankings in local search, you can start off by updating your listing on Google My Business. Make sure your profile is fully optimized by:
- Creating and verifying your Google My Business page by adding essential info like contact info and business hours. You can also update this page with health and safety measures. Make sure to personalize your page with a cover image and logo as well.
- Use Google Posts within your account.
- Encourage your clients to share reviews online.
- Respond to reviews and make sure to include the location as you respond. (Ex: Thank you for your review of our personal injury services in Boston, Massachusetts.)
Over time, if Google believes your business is authentic, you could earn a spot on the coveted sidebar space in Google’s local search.
7. Target Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are the featured answers to questions that are displayed at the top of Google’s search results pages when someone enters a question. These positions are amazing for traffic, as you can imagine because so many users only look at a featured snippet when searching for an answer to their question. You can optimize your content for featured snippets to improve your chances of getting chosen by:
- Choose which content you want to optimize for a featured snippet.
- Search for the keyword yourself to see what type of content has already been chosen. Pay close attention to the format- is it a bulleted list, a numbered list, or a table?
- Edit your content into a format where it both asks and answers questions.
- Organize your content into headings and subheadings.
- Write in short and direct sentences. (This type of copy is easier for Google to pull as an answer to a question.)
8. Optimize Page Assets
Make sure your page title, meta description, and URL are optimized for search. A page title and meta description are most likely the first things a user notices when searching. Make sure you keep user experience in mind with titles and descriptions that fit into character limits, are highly descriptive and clue users into the content, and feature your target keyword. Remember, you can include certain items like numbers (‘12 Steps for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit’) or year (‘How to File an Insurance Claim in 2022’) to help specify the content type. Your meta description should also be descriptive, but make sure it explains exactly what your content is about and makes its value proposition clear.
Your pages’ URLs should also be short and descriptive. No one wants to work with a URL that is overly wordy and hard to follow or type in if necessary. Always use keywords in your URL and keep it under 60 characters, so Google doesn’t cut off any pertinent information.
9. Improve Page Load Times
19% of people will leave a page if it takes longer than 2-3 seconds to load. Having fast-loading pages is essential. Double-check for page elements that could be contributing like unnecessary plugins. Then try conducting an SEO audit to see what could be causing slow load times.
10. Make it Accessible
It’s been shown that many of the best-performing websites are also highly accessible. Optimize your site for accessibility by focusing on usability across platforms and technologies and adding text explanations for all images and videos.
11. Conduct Regular Audits
As we mentioned earlier, SEO audits can help clue you into many different issues. Conducting regular audits is a good practice, as it will point you to issues sooner rather than later, allowing you to target areas for improvement on a regular basis.
People perform searches on Google daily – more than 4 billion of them, in fact. With that amount of search taking place, you can see why it’s important to stand out in any way that you can. Your best bet for capturing more attention and more traffic is to make it into the top 10 organic listings of search engine results. Follow these tips, but don’t skip investing in a robust law firm SEO marketing strategy that can help with all facets of your digital marketing. If you’re not sure where to begin, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ve helped many lawyers and law firms optimize their sites for search and increase traffic to their websites through SEO.