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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.continue...
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