Proper law firm website SEO is the most effective long term strategy for generating traffic for your website. The main purpose of your law firm website is to build trusting relationships with your customers through high-quality content that is informative and engaging. But to achieve this your customers first need to find your website. This can be accomplished quickly through paid advertising, for example, Google ads, but the most effective long-term result comes through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Utilise Google Search Console
Google’s Search Console (previously called Webmaster Tools) allows you to submit your sitemap to Google to assist with the indexing of your website. These tools also allow webmasters to optimise the visibility of websites - for example it identifies pages which Google had difficulty crawling so they can be fixed, provides lists of broken links for amendment, identifies missing page titles, lists keywords for which your website is achieving search engine results (great value for your marketing team), identifies any security issues etc. If used correctly, these webmaster tools are very powerful and go a long way to assisting your SEO efforts.
Install Google Analytics
The insight provided by the analytics reports is invaluable and should definitely form part of your SEO strategy. By using the data in the various reports, you can track how many visitors you are attracting to your website, how they got there, which pages they visited, how long they stayed on your website, which page they exited your website from, bounce rate etc. Essentially, this information allows you to map your visitor's journey on your law firm website, enabling decisions for further website optimisation.
It’s important to make sure your site structure is optimised for SEO so don’t cut corners on the tips below:
These are used by search engines when listing your page in search results. It’s therefore important that each page title is unique, relevant to the content on that page and includes the keywords you want the page to rank for. It’s equally important for your heading to be brief and to read naturally, so don’t keyword-stuff your page title as this will deter visitors who will consider your website to be spammy.
Whilst your law firm website should have aesthetic appeal, it shouldn’t be at the expense of load speed. Your visitors care more about how quickly your website opens rather than its visual appearance. The search engines are also placing more and more importance on page loading times, thereby impacting your rankings. According to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, 40% of web users expect a website to load within 2 seconds and Yoast, the leading provider of SEO plugins for WordPress says "Google has said time and again that a fast site helps you to rank better." No pressure! If you’re not achieving this you are directing most of your customers to your competitors.
Optimise Your Images
As users become more drawn to visual content, it’s becoming even more important that you include relevant keywords in the ALT tag of each image. To further maximise your SEO benefits you should also compress your images before you upload them as this helps with your website loading speed.
Quality Content Remains King
Search engines and visitors are all about quality. Give them high-quality, relevant and informative content and you’ll have a friend for life.
By including social sharing on your law firm website, you diversify your sources of traffic and reach a broader audience, resulting in increased traffic to your website. Search engines love websites that generate social engagement and will reward your search engine rankings accordingly.
It’s no secret that the search engines update their algorithms quite regularly, but their premise remains to provide the user with the best quality results as quickly as possible. This means that it’s necessary to align your law firm website SEO objectives to that of your users i.e. a fast, relevant and interactive website that strengthens the longevity of your search results and provides your website visitors with an exceptional experience. Staying on top of SEO can be somewhat complicated and time-consuming, but the end result provides a self-sustaining online presence that your customers can rely on.
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.