Whenever your clients and potential clients need your expertise, they use a search engine to find you. However, while they try to get through to you, they also find other people – sometimes, before they find you. Other times, they just don’t find you at all. The question is why.
It’s a really tricky one, although it doesn’t have to be. With proper knowledge of SEO, you will discover that these clients will not just easily find their way to you, but they will also always find you. And you’ll end up winning more high-profile clients, securing more deals, and upscaling your firm. If you’ve never heard about SEO, or you’ve always wanted to find out more, you’ve stumbled on pure gold.
In this article, you will learn about the essential elements of Technical SEO for lawyers. We will cover Keyword focus, XML sitemaps, Meta descriptions and image tags. We will also explore link building and discover other ranking criteria you need to consider to get more clients streaming into your firm.
Technical SEO specifically focuses on ensuring that your website and all its pages meet up with the constantly evolving technical requirements of modern search engines. Firms that pay more attention to Technical SEO can improve their organic search on respective search engines.
There are four things you naturally want to achieve in your Technical Law SEO for your website:
- Boost your site’s security
- Optimise it for mobile
- Ensure your content is original
- Ensure your pages load fast
These are the beginning steps into fully optimising your website.
Key Elements of Technical SEO
Think of search engines as answer machines, your clients type in their request and it brings out the pages most likely to help them. But how does the search engine identify these pages? Simple. Algorithms!
Search engines employ algorithms that crawl, index, and render all the websites on their engines. Algorithms are formulas by which information stored on the search engine can be retrieved in order of meaning and relevance. Because what is relevant changes with time, these algorithms are constantly tweaked from time to time.
Your objective as a firm is to structure your website and content in such a way that it appears on the first page of search engines. So how do you achieve this?
Keywords: The art of focusing on what people want to find
Potential clients tend to use certain words in their search when looking for certain things. For example, a client looking to find out more about Wills is most likely to use legal services related words in their search. In the same way, a client looking to find a lawyer may have a keyword focusing on ” lawyer” or “wills lawyers”. Good thing, there are SEO applications that allow you to know just what the clients are looking for on your firm or website for lawyers and frame your content with that. How powerful!
The more the keyword relevant to a search appears in your content, the greater your chances of ranking higher than those that don’t. Don’t worry, if you have already existing content on your website, you can always optimise it by incorporating some of these SEO keyword focus best practices. Read SEO for lawyers for more information.
XML sitemaps determine the ease with which search engines can locate, crawl, and index your website. It is a blueprint of your website that tells search engines which parts are most important.
The World of Meta Descriptions
Say you made it to the first page of the search engine, and a client sees your name amidst a few other options, what makes them choose your firm over the next?
A crisp meta description is a good place to start. Your meta description is one of your page’s meta tags. It allows search engines to gauge the quality and relevance of the content on your page.
Image tags are a set of instructional codes that directs the website’s server to where it can find images, guides on how to load them, and instructs the search engine what to do with those images once they have been loaded. They add a profound visual experience to the information you’ve already provided on the website.
External links are links from other websites that direct clients to your website, while internal links are links you fix on your site to lead clients to other relevant pages on your site.
Among other things, you also need to ensure that your page loads fast. Your potential clients are busy people. 40% of visitors will wait no more than 2 seconds before exiting your site. They won’t wait around on your site when your website page speed is slow compared to other options. Your hosting can play a huge role in page speed, read more here.
Other Ranking Factors
Besides these, other key elements affect your ranking on search engines. For example, if you have a more active social presence than your competitors, even though you’re neck-and-neck by other key factors like meta descriptions, image tags, and your keyword focus, you may most likely rank higher than them. Your social presence increases your authority and brand recognition.
The same ranking system applies to clients in specific regions. For example, if a potential client is looking for a law firm for property settlement and he’s residing in Sydney, search engines are most likely to bring reputable property law firms or website for lawyers in Sydney as first page options.
Request an Audit Today
If you’re looking to improve the ranking of your pages and website on Google, you can gain access to a free keyword audit from Lift Legal Marketing.
About the author
Peter Heazlewood is a management and marketing consultant, he specialises in helping law firms develop their practices using business planning marketing and performance reporting techniques refined in his own successful law firm. Peter lives in Sydney with his wife and is the father of five adult children.