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The Latest SEO Advice From Google for Law Firms

by Noreen Fishman • February 6th, 2023 • SEO | Blog

Google’s secret sauce is hard to understand, making a digital marketer’s job difficult. Luckily, some of Google’s top teamseo marketing for law firms members are willing to share the latest updates. Understanding these changes allows us to evolve our strategies and better optimize. Here’s the most recent note from Google and how it relates to SEO marketing for law firms. 

In recent content from Google’s John Mueller, he suggests keeping the <head> HTML element section “clean” to ensure that search crawlers can better understand your website. On a Reddit thread where users asked about whether HTML code placement can affect SEO issues, he said that the answer is yes. The placement of HTML code could adversely impact SEO marketing for law firms if it doesn’t appear at the top of the page.

In his remarks, Mueller uses the term HTML Headers. However, the <head> element isn’t typically referred to that way. For context, HTML Headers are generally understood to reference the <heading> element (meaning H1, H2, H3, and so on). Header elements are a specific HTML component known as <header> which contains things like the menu or company logo. Further, the Head HTML element is a section at the top of the HTML document with metadata about the document itself (such as the title and meta description). It’s important to note that when Mueller references “headers” he is specifically talking about the <head> element. 

Related: SEO for Law Firm Websites eBook

He also stressed the importance of keeping the <head> section of the HTML document clean and uncluttered with scripts that might be better placed elsewhere. His advice also included the fact that the <head> element should only contain metadata about the document itself that will be used by browsers and search engines. This helps search engines understand what the page is really about and sends data to browsers and search engines for rendering the web pages correctly. Some JavaScript code can be placed after the <head> element and should be. After moving any JavaScript out of the <head> section, it’s recommended to use the rendering tool in Search Console to see if the page is showing properly after the move. 

seo marketing for law firms

A direct quote from the content is “The HTML headers (<head>) should be pretty much on top. I’d move any JS to below the HTML headers, and check with the rendering tool in Search Console that the JS doesn’t mess up the <head> section.” When talking about the main content, he shared that its placement is less important, though it is crucial for the section to be clean and highly organized so that bots can properly understand it. He goes on to say “For the content, it doesn’t matter as much, but since the head stuff is for machine-readable information that’s verified to be in a specific part of the page, it really needs to be clean on top. Down with JavaScript (in the <head>)!” 

Curious about why the placement of JavaScript matters for SEO? When designing a website, it’s best to use the async and defer attributes in a manner that allows for the best rendering and user experience at the fastest speed. JavaScript can delay the rendering of a web page while it loads, which results in a poor user experience. HTML can be rendered first, which allows the user to view the content while the JavaScript loads in the background. 


Based on this advice, it makes sense to review your site and ensure you’re following these best practices. Need some assistance with the technical elements of SEO marketing for law firms? Start by completing our free SEO audit, which can point to on-site issues that can be fixed. 

Or if you’d like even more hands-on help creating an SEO strategy, then contact us today for a free consultation.


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