Last week we went over the basics of SEO and why you should implement SEO as part of an effective online media strategy. Now, we're getting into the nitty gritty of SEO: keywords, page tags, links and content.
You're a lawyer so you've probably spent some time on Westlaw* and you know a thing or two about research. Think of keywords as the search terms you would use to find your law firm on the Web. As you already know, the more specific you are with your keywords, the more relevant your search results will be. When determining what your website keywords are, take into consideration:
- Location. Most clients will be looking for attorneys in their local geographic area, so this information is imperative.
- Practice Area. Be specific about your practice area.
- Clients. If you have a specific client base, mention it.
- Anything else that will distinguish your practice.
Remember how we said Google was important for SEO? Well, it provides free tools to help you figure out good keywords -- and though some of these tools are related to Google ads, you can still use them to determine your best keywords without having to run ads:
- Keyword Planner -- to review traffic estimates for keywords;
- Trends -- to see what's trending online and see how your keywords are trending;
- Google Suggest -- when you type keywords in the search bar, you see suggested search terms giving you insight into what people are searching.
Your website's page tags are what search engines read when they are performing a search, so if you want your site to be ranked high in search results, the importance of page tags is clear. Once you do your keyword homework, determining the relevant page tags will be easy because there will be a lot of overlap.
Links are the "money" of the Internet; you want lots of links. Inbound links show that your site is reputable -- something which Google likes. The more inbound links you have, the higher your site will be ranked in search. Getting your website listed on business directories and in media coverage (blogs, online magazines, and news sources) are great ways to build up inbound links.
Having fresh, newly updated content on your website is a great way to stay at the top of search ranks -- search engines like sites with new content. One of the ways of doing this is by having a blog on your website. You don't have to share what you had for lunch; think of it as a way of becoming an expert in your practice area. You can write about new developments in your area of the law and general information for clients.
While you may not be planning to do all of this yourself, it's good to familiarize yourself with the "keywords" of SEO so that you at least have an idea of what you need your Web developer to work on. When it comes down to it, you're in the best position to know what the keywords are.
* Disclosure: Westlaw is also a part of the Thomson Reuters family. And while we're on the subject, FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing services can help do all of this for you so you can focus on what you do best -- representing your clients.
- Law Firm Websites 101: The Basics of Name, Design and Content (FindLaw's Strategist)
- 5 Cheap (or Free) Ways to Market Your Legal Practice (FindLaw's Strategist)
- Law Firm Branding: Know Your Target Audience and Adjust (FindLaw's Strategist)