Search Engine Optimization in 2018
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a series of techniques used to increase the visibility of your website. Using them can help your website appear in Google’s organic search results and help provide a complete user experience.
For example, Sally searches for a family law attorney through her favorite search engine. The search engine seeks an answer by combing through billions of documents and returns the most popular and relevant results for Sally’s request. At the top of the results page are paid ads, then map listings, and then finally organic results.
How can you be one of the organic results?
- Research keywords. Type in the words Sally might use to find you. If your firm pops up in the results, great; if not, research the content of your competitors to find the keywords they used to gain attention. This will help you write content that will be relevant to your readers.
- Be speedy. Internet users are in a hurry and won’t wait for your page to load. Google expects a load time of three seconds or less. If you’re running slow, prospective clients will move on. Test your site on your desktop, tablet, and phone to make sure it loads quickly and accurately. If there are problems, contact your IT person for help.
- Offer valuable content. Great content gives readers valuable information. It establishes your reputation as a leader in your practice area and helps build your brand. Visitors will return for more information. Be sure to include a call to action so they know what to do when they need help.
- Voice search. Voice search is increasing in popularity. According to Location World, “40% of adults now use voice search once per day.” What does that mean for your content? Searchers ask for information in “who, what, where, when, why, or how” questions such as “What lawyer in my area writes wills?” That means the content on your website should focus on answering questions that potential clients are asking.
- Post reviews. Readers expect reviews. They trust authentic online evaluations and reviews are a digital form of word of mouth. The law is a service business. Consumers read testimonials because they want to know that your clients are satisfied with your representation and that you helped with their problem.
Finally, be patient. It takes at least 6 to 12 months for organic SEO to show up on search results. Stay consistent with regular and informative posts and you will see an increased return on investment for your firm.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides writing services to lawyers ghostwriting content for websites, blogs, and articles. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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