It’s not a matter of having a web presence; it’s a matter of using it. There are millions of law firm websites out there, but in order to move up the ranks of the search engines, you and your firm need to develop a strategy and a brand, not just a presence. Here are five tips to tilt the scales in your favor:
- Put a tail on it! Long tailed keywords are effective keywords. You can load up on keywords, but unless you stick a tail on them, you risk being lost in the crowd. Start with your specialty – let’s call it wills, trusts, and estates. Are you certified? Keyword “wills trusts estates bar certified.” What is your location? Keywords can be “wills trusts estates wilton manors florida” and “wills trusts estates NE 26th” or even feature your zip code. Maybe you have extra languages that you work in, such as Farsi, Spanish, or Hindi? Stick that on the tail.
- Title and alt text until you drop. Each page on your site should have a title defined in the < title > tag – it’s there for a reason, and it needs to be found by the engine bots. For the same reason, do not neglect to title your images with < alt > tag. For example, you can have a page that is titled Making a Will: Things Blended Families Need to Consider. Just because it’s at the top of the page doesn’t mean that the bots will find it, fill out that title tag. Likewise, the image of a family with the content should be tagged in the same way, say with <img alt = “estate planning for blended families”>.
- Don’t let your page or your keywords stagnate. The search engines are always tweaking the algorithms that dictate what the crawlers are looking for, so you should always keep your SEO, site, and content fresh, searchable, and index ready.
- Don’t double up! Instead of having two sites – one for desktop or laptop and one for tablet and phone, optimize your site to be mobile friendly – mobile optimized or responsive. Duplicate content is often used by shady websites to draw in traffic, and believe me people who are searching know it. If you have a webpage, a blog, multiple social media accounts, have these sites link to the content on your site and/or blog.
- Be linkable. Create fresh, useful, authoritative content for your readers to read, share, and discuss. You need to think less about your placement on the search engine, and more about what kind of experience and context the user will find on that landing page. When you get someone to click and land on your page, you need to not just keep them there, but to draw them in and explain your practice.
Above all, you need to be engaged with your staff, and with your web presence people. Vet articles, speak up when there’s something you want to see. It is going to take time, but you can build your practice’s brand into a successful client portal.