Law Firm Web Marketing

    

6 Tips in Developing a More SEO Friendly Web Presence

When creating a highly optimized website for a legal practice, most professionals dedicate a considerable amount of money to the investment. A lot of this investment may go into making the site look attractive, but if the site is not found in the search engines, it fails to meet its full potential.

Beautiful looking websites that result in little search engine exposure are often the result of improper optimization and/or having a non-SEO friendly web design. Some web design elements may inhibit search engines from effectively crawling and indexing the website. In addition, a properly optimized website must include the right keyword placement and optimized content throughout the various elements of the site.

Whether you have a small legal practice or large law firm, it is important to make sure that your web design and SEO investment is for the right services and achievements. Below we highlight 6 tips to create a more SEO-friendly web presence. You can use this as checklist or questionnaire for your future SEO provider, or as means to better optimize your legal site yourself.

1. Research & Select Conversion-Oriented Keywords

Many SEO providers will choose the keyword targets that will drive them traffic. However, what is more important than traffic, is obtaining conversions for that traffic. Before choosing a keyword target, ask yourself "will this keyword result in an actual case?"

A highly relevant, conversion-oriented keyword phrase will often include a specific practice area of law as well as geographic modifier, such as "family divorce lawyer Austin" or "criminal defense attorney Peoria".

2. Never Ignore the Title Tags

A very necessary and integral element of any optimized website is the title tag. An optimized title tag for a webpage will always contain the exact phrase match of the keyword target. Because Google and other engines weigh the title tag heavily on the keyword relevancy of a page, including the keyword target once (and perhaps a variation) will ensure that your site is better search engine optimized.

3. Provide an HTML Alternative to Flash

Since only contextual content can be read and indexed by search engines, if a website has any Flash content (animation, images, videos), an HTML version should be simultaneously provided. Flash will cause a search engine spider to choke while crawling your page, and slow the optimization process of your site.

4. Always Have a Sitemap

The second most important page to a website is the sitemap (with the homepage being number one.) Search engine consider this page the index of the book, and reference this page to find all of the links that make up your website. Always take the time to build out a sitemap, and always be sure to submit a XML version of the sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.

5. Invest in Unique, Optimized Copy

The page copy of your website is not only important for search engines and keyword relevancy, but also converting users and traffic to your website. Avoid generic content and focus on unique copy which talks about your legal practice. In addition to including keyword phrases, convey value and meaning to your audience.

6. Write Optimized URLs

Next to the Title Tag, the URL string is another key opportunity optimize a webpage. Always include the core two or three keywords of the webpage in the URL. Using the examples above, an optimized URL might look like "/family-divorce-laweyers.html" or "/crimimal-defense-attorneys-peoria-il.html”.

By following these basic tips you can surely progress the SEO-friendliness of you website. Also, if you see any of these elements missing after your SEO provider as "optimized" your website, you may want to ask them about it.

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SEO-friendly Web Design: Best Practices of Technical SEO

SEO Web DesignWeb design and development can be very closely entwined with SEO. However, it's unfortunate that this often synergistic combination is often segregated and overlooked.

In essence, SEO-friendly web design means designing the site in a way that search engines can easily interpret content, as well as crawl and index the site (from a technical standpoint.)

In addition to having a well-brand and functional web design, the primary goal of many businesses and law firms is to get their site ranked in search engines like Google. This results in targeted traffic and an opportunity to expand their reach online and get more sales. By having a website developed and designed using SEO-friendly practices, you'll have a much better chance at being successful with your marketing efforts.

Below, we share some of the best practices of technical SEO when it comes to SEO-friendly web design.

Easy Access to Editing Meta Data

Every page on a website has a Meta title, description, and tags. Editing these HTML attributes can be difficult with some websites. An SEO-friendly web design company provides you with easy access to editing this data.

When it comes to SEO and keyword optimization, the title, description and tags should include your target keywords for that page of the website. More thorough web design companies may even research your target keywords and write out these fields for you. This can save you a great deal of work and it's something to consider.

Find Alternatives to Flash Media

Flash media isn't the greatest thing to use in a web design, as search engine spiders cannot crawl this content. Additionally, many devices do not support Flash and if a visitors accesses your site from a mobile phone, tablet, or computer that doesn't support Flash, they won't be able to see anything. It's better to just avoid the use of Flash on your company's web design, especially since it provides no SEO benefit to use Flash on a website.

Optimize Images & Media for Faster Load Speeds

Any images or media on the page should be optimized and cached if possible. This will create faster load speeds for the website, which is an important aspect of SEO-friendly web design. The faster your website loads, the more likely search engines are to allow your site to be placed among the top results.

Slow websites obviously are less preferred as it will be irritating to their users to try and access a slow website. Optimizing images and media can be easily done with plugins that you download and install on the website.

Clean Code That's HTML5 Compliant

Clean code that's simplistic, HTML5 compliant and error free is important to SEO. Web design and development best practices are based on the fact that the less code you have, the easier search engine spiders will be able to crawl your website and find your content.

Search engine spiders can also detect errors in code and whether or not its up to current standards. Although there is still debate over whether Google takes these factors into great consideration with their algorithm, the opportunity for them to do so is there.

There are a lot of back-end HTML elements that are important to SEO. Web design companies are very aware of this and SEO-friendly web design has become a popular request among clients. If you're curious what types of things are actively done to make a new development project SEO-friendly, what you'll find above are the most common.

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