This week, Google tinkered with its ranking algorithm to promote sites that use encryption for transmissions – systems known as HTTPS and SSL. Although this change won’t alter your law firm’s presentation to the general public, it does offer a way for you to boost your rankings to get ahead of the competition and win more business.
This week’s roundup includes a range of articles that provide tips and tricks to nudge your website up the rankings just enough to put you on the first page of search engine results. Some of these tips from Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land are quite in-depth and you may find them challenging.
Search Engine Land explains the SSL rankings boost in this article. “Secure Socket Layer” doesn’t make any difference to how the visitor views your law firm’s Web pages. It only applies to the encryption of the code that makes a Web page while it is in transmission. You probably won’t be posting sensitive data on your website for public viewing and it is doubtful that your law site will process credit card payments, so the benefits of adding SSL to your site may seem negligible. However, if it boosts your rankings, do it.
You may decide to boost your law practice’s rankings by improving the links into your site. This relatively straightforward strategy can quickly become complicated when you start analyzing volumes of links into rival websites. This article points you in the direction of tools that will help you record, aggregate, analyze and track links benefiting other sites, and those you post to your own site.
This Search Engine Watch article summarizes the constantly shifting landscape of search engine optimization. If you are a practice manager with little technical knowledge you will find this article easier to read than the more technical articles included in this roundup. Basically, “organic search” refers to the natural advantages you can gain by designing your site to attract higher rankings. This gives you visibility without having to pay anything to the search engines.
This article outlines a nifty trick you could use to gain your law firm visibility on the Web. Rather than only focusing on general Web search results, placing news items, which highlight the successes of your firm, will attract potential clients. If rival law firms overlook this trick, you will win hands down in the rankings race.
This article discusses a couple of site design issues that may be damaging your rankings. Search engines use a whole range of signals when calculating rankings and the amount of time visitors spend on your site is one of those factors. If your site is not sufficiently appealing or if it does not contain much engaging information, visitors will quickly return to the search engine results and visit the next page in the list. This is called the “bounce rate” and it loses you potential customers for your law firm, plus damages your website’s rankings. However, over-burdening your site with fancy graphics and animation can make it slow to load. No one wants to sit and wait for information to appear in the browser and so this factor will increase your bounce rate as well.