Law Firm Web Marketing

    

SEO Site Audit: A Sound Marketing Investment for 2016

SEO Site AuditAn SEO site audit is one of the most important tools in identifying your website’s current SEO standing and overall rankings potential. In short, SEO site audits offer insights on how to improve your law firm's website to rank high in search engine results.

In most cases, an SEO audit looks at the technical infrastructure of a website, the on-page and the off-page elements that affects a website’s usability, overall search engine visibility, and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Put simply, SEO site audit gives you a comprehensive picture of the effectiveness of your website and the marketing strategies you have out in place.

It's also worth mentioning that SEO site audits should be conducted regularly, at least every year. There are many reasons why your law firm or legal practice should perform regular SEO audits, or invest in an SEO site audit from a professional SEO company.

Adapt to Google Algorithm Changes

Google and other search engines are always updating their algorithms in a bid to better the search results. As an online marketer, you need to be informed of any algorithm changes so you can make the necessary changes to the content on your website.

Respecting Google Panda

Google Panda, which was introduced in 2011, looks at the quality of the content in your site. By quality, Google Panda looks at “thin” content (content that adds little or no value to your visitors), duplicate content (content sourced from other sites) and keyword stuffed content (overused keywords).

Sites with low content are ranked low and they may not be indexed in Google. For a site to rank high, it must have original content – Google has way of checking that you are the creator of the content.

The only way to recover from a Panda hit is to perform an SEO site audit and make necessary changes. Every month Google refreshes the algorithm. If not refreshing, they call an update. To be on the safe, always publish high quality content.

Avoiding Google Penguin

Google Penguin was created in 2012 with an aim of hitting sites that create unnatural backlinks. A link is like a vote to your site. If a popular site shares a link to your site, Google will take it that your site should be highly ranked. If an unknown site shares a link to your site, it is not going to count much – unless many small sites vote for you.

In the past, you could cheat the algorithm by creating a horde of self-made links and using anchor texts. Nowadays, one self-made link may affect your whole site. While a genuine link from a known site is good, getting many links from low quality sites is also effective. Like Google Panda, Google Penguin algorithm updates refresh regularly. Get good links and your site will not be unindexed or ranked low.

Meet Webmaster’s Guidelines

Google, Bing and Yahoo are always changing their webmaster guidelines. An SEO site audit ensures that you always comply with the new tools. Here elements of Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics are key to check a site's health and overall crawl and indexing rates, which indicate trust in a site.

Check for Website Errors, Titles and Meta Data and Outdated Content

These enhance the usability of your website. If your website is returning a 404, 403 or any other error to the visitors, the only way to tell is through an audit. Websites errors may also include broken links.

Performing an audit will identify them and help direct the lost traffic. The meta descriptions and the title tags are the first thing that a visitor will see the moment they visit your site. It is important that they are relevant to your site content. Even a good article becomes outdated, an SEO site audit will identify outdated content.

Conclusion

Basically, a comprehensive audit looks at site accessibility (robots meta tags, robots.txt, XML sitemap, site architecture and performance among others), indexability (whether your webpages are indexed, whether penalized and why), on-page ranking factors (URL, content and HTML Markup), off-page ranking factors (backlinks, popularity, trustworthiness and social engagement) and finally competitive analysis.

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Proven SEO Tips to Uplift Your Law Firm's Rankings in 2016

If there is one thing that is constantly changing with Internet, it's Google's search engine algorithm. For this reason, knowing and applying current SEO techniques that have been proven to work for long-term (and possibly the next few years) can help to ensure your law firm stays ahead of the game in this highly competitive industry.

While some of the most powerful SEO stratgies of the past may have worked for a year or two (only to become target of Google's Panda and Penguin algo updates,) some SEO strategies have been proven effective, sustainable, and safe for the long haul. Below are five SEO tips that proven effective to help uplift your law firm's rankings for 2016 and beyond.

1. Content Marketing

Google knows that good content provides value which is the reason why it rewards websites that have it. It is not enough to apply basic SEO techniques to your current content such as having a certain keyword density, etc.

According to the latest Google Panda update, high quality content that goes beyond 1,000 words can make a site go up in ranking - at least to some extent. In the field of law, you can educate your prospect clients at the same time you offer your services which can also helps you get leads.

Having this type of content can allow your firm to build a reputation for itself which has a twofold benefit since people may decide to go to your site any time they need information about certain law-related topics. Content marketing isn't limited to written content, though. Posting infographics, informative videos, etc. are sometimes better ways to engage your audience.

2. Mobile-friendly Website

On May 2015 Google confirmed that more searches are being made on smartphones than on desktops. What this means is that if your firm doesn't have a mobile-friendly design, it may not have the results you are expecting. A responsive design is essentially a requirement for not just SEO but also web presence optimization as a whole. The way your present your website's content and services on a smartphone can't be the same way you present it on a desktop which is the reason why you should not take this step slightly.

3. Schema Markup

Although schema markup isn't very popular, it is right now one of the best ways to improve your rankings. Schema markup is a code that allows Google to provide more information about your website to people. For instance, schema markup can tell search engines if your content relates to articles or events or local businesses, etc. to help it rank in the most convenient way for users.

According to some studies, only 0.3% of websites use it and those that use it generally rank four positions above those that don't use it. If there's a way you can get ahead of the game in your industry is applying schema markup to your site.

4. Social Media

Social media sites are the second most visited sites after search engines themselves. Having business pages in the most popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and connecting with your prospect and current clients as well as having social media buttons in your website and providing links on your blog can boost your rankings.

Google knows that going social is a trend that can always stay active. Remember to encourage your visitors to like and share your content. This brings more social value to your content, and thus bring greater SEO value to your content.

5. Voice Search

SEO never before considered voice search. However, with more operating systems providing it, this issue can no longer be left aside. Apple, Google, and Windows devices have their own versions of voice search, your content and website in general should be voice search friendly.

How is this done? posting articles in your blog answering questions (what, who, why, how, when, where) is the best ways to rank in these types of searches.

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