If you are attempting to manage your own law firms site or just looking for some good information about SEO and some common on page SEO tricks than this post is for you. Below are good tips to helping you manage your attorney website. If you have more questions feel free to give us a call. Good Luck!
On Page SEO Overview for Attorney Websites
Site wide changes (TITLE tags, for example) can be tricky, but they’re generally a lot easier than a complete redesign or a switch to a new platform. One area I won’t mention in this list is improving your URLs. Although that can be a powerful tactic, I’m seeing too many people who want to make relatively minor changes to URLs for SEO purposes. Site wide URL changes are risky and often difficult to do correctly – they aren’t worth it to go from “good” to “slightly better”. The changes I’m proposing here are generally low-risk.
1. Write Unique TITLE Tags
The TITLE tag is still a powerful ranking factor, and it’s still far too often either abused or neglected. Pages that you want to rank need unique, descriptive, and keyword-targeted TITLE tags, plain and simple.
You can track exact duplicates in Google Webmaster Tools. You can find it under “Diagnostics” > “HTML Suggestions”.
2. Write Unique META Descriptions
While the META Description tag has little or no direct impact on ranking these days, it does have 2 important indirect impacts:
It (usually) determines your search snippet and impacts click-through rate (CTR).
It’s another uniqueness factor that makes pages look more valuable.
Again, there are plenty of ways to generate META descriptions from data, including just using snippets of product descriptions. Try to make descriptions meaningful and attractive to visitors, not just pseudo-sentences loaded with keywords.
3. Shorten Your TITLE Tags
Long TITLE tags tend to weaken the SEO impact of any given keyword, and can also turn off search visitors (who tend to skim results). The most common culprit I see is when someone adds their home-page TITLE to the end of every other page. Let’s say your home-page TITLE is:
“Best Attorney In Orange County| Attorney John Doe”
Then, for every page, you have something like this:
“Orange County DUI Attorney | Best Attorney in Orange County| Attorney John Doe”
It may not look excessive, but you’re diluting the first few (and most important) keywords for the page, and you’re making every page on the site compete with your home-page unnecessarily. Its fine to use your company name (or a shortened version, like “Attorney John Doe”) at the end of all of your TITLE tags, but don’t repeat core keywords on a massive scale. I’ve seen this go to extreme, once you factor in long names, categories, and sub-categories.
4. Re-order Your TITLE Tags
On larger sites, it’s common to list category and sub-category information in TITLE tags. That’s fine up to a point, but I often see a configuration that looks something like this:
“Contact Us | Office Locations|Orange County DUI Attorney | Best Attorney In Orange County”
Not only does every TITLE tag on the site end up looking very similar, but the most important and unique keywords for the page are pushed to the very back. This is an issue for search usability, too, as research has demonstrated that the first few words in a title or headline are the most critical (possibly as few as the first two). If you’ve got a structure like the one above, flip it around:
“Orange County DUI Attorney | Office Locations | Contact | Best Attorney In Orange County”
It’s a relatively easy change, and it’ll put the most important keywords up front, where they belong. It will very likely also increase your search CTR.
5. Re-write Internal Anchor Text
I’m amazed how often I see internal links, even main navigation links, given cryptic, vague, or jargon-loaded labels. If you’re trying to rank your category page for “DUI Attorney”, don’t label the button “John Doe” – it’s a bad signal to search engines, and it probably doesn’t make much sense to visitors. Your internal anchor text should reflect your keyword strategy, and your keyword strategy should reflect common usage. Use labels people understand and don’t be afraid to be specific.
6. Remove 10 Low-Value Links
There’s an old adage in copywriting – say what you need to say in as few words as possible, and then, when you’re done, try to say it in half that many words. I think the same goes for internal linking. If most of your inbound links are coming to the home-page, then your site architecture is the single biggest factor in flowing link-juice to deeper pages. It’s natural to want to link to everything, but if you prioritize everything, you effectively prioritize nothing. Find 10 links on your home-page that are either low priority for search or that visitors never click on (a click-mapping tool like Crazy Egg is a great way to test this), and remove them. Focusing your remaining link-juice is an easy way to boost your most important pages.