SEO For Lawyers in 2017
Top 11 Attorney SEO Website Tips
Search Engine Optimization consists of a lot more then setting up a few meta tags like in the good old days. In 2017, you must create a lot of content, create a lot of videos, get social signals, get links from other sites and then do a lot more then that. Its an ongoing thing with SEO but there are certain things that must be done. Below are the top 11 tips for lawyers who want to try and do more with Internet marketing this year. Organic SEO, Local SEO, Video SEO, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing and Reputation Management are just a few of the things that you must do in 2017.
Top Tips for SEO Marketing in 2017 for Lawyers
#1- Have unique Longer Pieces of Content Created
This should be the #1 tip on any list these days. Content is the key to success online and it always has been. Lawyers are not very good at creating content for their own websites I’ve discovered and sometimes they won’t create any for years. To be fair, they have enough to do, yet it’s key that someone creates this content!
The more content you create, the better your SEO chances will be, simple as that. Its key in 2017 to create longer blog posts that are over 1000 words long and contain images, videos and infographics whenever possible. 1500-2000 word posts are even better.
If you create content, especially good content that is long and unique, well that alone is going to help. Yet the added benefits are that people will stay on your site longer, people will more likely share this content, getting you links and social signals and also Google should reward you with some kind of traffic love.
#2 – DO KEYWORD Research to find better keywords
Make sure your site is optimized for the best possible keywords. Doing keyword research is a very good idea anytime you want to do a new legal blog post. You want to do research to see all the possible keywords related to your post and main keywords. Then you want to find keywords that are bringing in traffic with low competition if possible. Then once you identify the best keywords, you want to use them in your blog posts in strategic ways in the Title, description, headers, body, etc.
Some of the best Keyword tools are SEM Rush and Google Keyword Planner. There are a ton of other keyword tools you can use but the key is using something to do some research and you probably will discover a bunch of keywords you never even considered using, but that could lead to some new quality traffic coming to your legal site.
#3- Use Yoast SEO plugin & Optimize your TITLES and Descriptions
Titles and Descriptions are still very important for SEO and you need to make sure EACH and every page in your lawyer site has a unique and optimized Title and description.
The title tag is probably the most important part of your overall SEO strategy and it determines how search engines display each page. Your title should always include a relevant targeted keyword phrase, but keep it short and to the point. There’s no need to stuff the title full of SEO keyword phrases, doing that usually hurts more than it helps.
The Meta Description is what you see beneath each title in the search results. It has no bearing on your search rankings these days, but it can determine if someone will actually click on your listing. You need to grab the users attention and make sure you
Yoast SEO is the top WordPress SEO Plugin and helps you setup a variety of SEO settings and has a ton of built in features that can help your SEO efforts. You can use this to optimize the Titles and Descriptions on the different pages.
#4- Do On Page SEO & Optimize Main Content (H1 and H2 Tags; Variations of Keywords)
The second most SEO relevant part of your page is the headline, or in coding terms, the “H1” tag. This tag is important for a few reasons. First, Google gives it a lot of weight because of its prominence on your page. After all, it’s the one thing that every user will probably read because its so BIG. You should tell your readers what the page is about and invoke some curiosity to keep them reading. You want to combine an H1 with a H2 sub-heading and try and get your main keyword that your focusing on, along with your geographic location.
Also you want to make sure that different variations of your keywords are included throughout the page. If you have a page on “truck accidents,” you shouldn’t repeat “truck accidents” or truck accident lawyer excessively. Instead, use words like “truck crash accidents,” “truck wreck lawyer” “truck crashes,” and as many different variations as you can come up with.
Google is not dumb in any way, in fact you should just presume they are a straight up genius. So you don’t want to do anything that is spammy or seems easy, Things like repeating the same keywords over and over, or anything you think might have worked 5 years ago. The only thing that really works now is making sure you have a lot of high quality content, and that you interlink that content together and make sure you use a lot of different variations of your keywords. That combined with getting high quality backlinks and doing something with social media should help improve your organic SEO rankings.
#5- Get More Social & Get More Social Signals to your site
Getting social signals tells Google that your site is being shared by others and is popular. So the easiest way to do this, is to make sure you have social media accounts setup such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, AVVO, YouTube, Google, Pinterest and any other social media account you think might help your law firm.
Then do facebook posts, adding videos, images and a link to your law firms site. Do tweets at Twitter and utilize as many social media accounts as you can. Then the key is getting people to share and like your content. The more this happens, the more Google will see that your being active and trusted by other users.
You want to get as many retweets, likes, views and everything else that goes with social media. The more content you can create, the more chances you have at people liking and sharing your content. You want to build all of your social media accounts over time, the key is making sure you keep them updated. You want to have some kind of automation, so that when you do a blog post, it will automatically update your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
#6- Improve Site SPEED & Performance
More and more Google talks about how important a factor that Site Speed is. The faster your site loads, the better for everyone, including your organic SEO rankings. Yet improving your overall sites speed is not always easy, and sometimes you can fix your speed issue, just to have something else create a problem.
So if your using WordPress, you need to use a good Speed and performance plugin such as W3 Cache or WP Super Cache.
Go Test Your Site with Google SPEED Tool
Download the W3 Cache WordPress Plugin
Download the WP Super Cache Plugin
#7- Site Security and making sure your site is locked down and SECURE
This is becoming a big deal and yes Russian Hackers are real! So are all other countries and who knows how they do it, or why they do it, but they do it constantly. SO you must have your site secured in multiple ways. There are some basic things you can do and then many more advanced things that really need to be done in order to lock down your site.
Even then its possible you can run into some kind of issue where you get hacked and malware is on your site. Usually if you have a good web host, that problem will be solved and almost never an issue, IF you take all the needed steps.
Site security for lawyers is part of the overall SEO strategy because if your site gets infected with malware or has any other kind of issue, it can have a negative effect on your overall SEO rankings and it can bring your site down for days.
WordPress is an excellent CMS and very popular, yet it seems to be very vulnerable to hackers. Ive seen more and more lawyer websites that get hacked and have this ugly message from Google…. “This Site is NOT SAFE or This Site May Harm Your Computer”…. Thats the last thing you want a client seeing when they visit your site.
Some WordPress Security Tips for Attorneys:
Remove the default ADMIN user name and replace with unique name
Make sure you always update your WordPress Software & Plugins
Read more WordPress Security Tips for Lawyers
#8 – Have a Mobile Friendly Site
This goes without saying but your site must be mobile friendly and easy to read on any mobile device. Google has put a big emphasis on this and will tag a site that is mobile friendly, so you want to make sure you get that tag because otherwise a potential client might just decide not to even visit your site.
Mobile is more important than ever and is accounting for over 50% of traffic in most cases these days. Everyone is on a mobile phone and its getting easier to read sites, so people have no problem viewing your site on mobile device, unless of course its not mobile friendly, then for sure they are leaving to your main rivals site. So make sure you take all steps needed to make your site mobile friendly and then some.
Most WordPress themes these days will be responsive and mobile friendly without much needing to be done. Yet you can also setup a more custom mobile site using a mobile plugin and creating a custom mobile home page for your legal website.
#9- Create more Videos of Lawyers:
Create Videos of Lawyers in the law firm talking about the different areas of practice. Videos are a form of content and the more videos you can create, the more content you will have to spread around. Sometimes adding a video to a blog post can make it come to life and compliment it well. Then sometimes you can do a blog post just around the video. If you have a 30 second video of a partner talking about a latest case or practice area, you can embed the video into a blog post and add some content of the transcript of the video.
You can not do Video SEO without videos. You need videos in order to come up in the YouTube search results. You need to setup a YouTube channel that links to the firms website, and then every time you create a video, you would upload it to YouTube, and then you will be able to easily embed the video into your legal site, blog or social media site.
#10- Create Customized Images & Optimize for SEO:
You should have customized images created for all of your blog posts, and then make sure they are optimized for SEO by adding keywords to the alt image tags. Your images can be found on Google image search if they are properly optimized. You can use a wordpress plugin that will help you optimize your images for SEO.
Creating different images to use is a good idea, and you can have an image for your blog post and other images for different social media sites. Some sites like Pinterest are all about images, so you will want to have a custom image created around your latest blog post, and then have an image that has the title of your post. Then when the user clicks on your image, it will goto that blog post.
Images are a good idea for multiple reasons and you should use one image for every 300-400 words of content. Images can make your blog post easier to read and its a good idea to use as much media as possible, so images, videos and infographics.
#11- Do a Press Release for your Law Firm:
Press Releases are not just for bigger firms and companies. Anyone can create a press release if you have something newsworthy. That’s the key, you have to have a newsworthy story with a catchy headline that will be accepted as a relevant news story. There are a number of different reasons a lawyer would do a press release including:
Launching of a new website
Introduction of a new practice area
New Lawyers joining the firm
Awards for any of the lawyers
Any kind of Charity Work the Firm does