There are so many branches of digital marketing that it is often possible to forget all about search engine optimization. SEO is all about getting your rankings up on search engines so you appear on the first page of results. If your law firm’s website does not appear until page 2 you can probably wave goodbye to anyone finding your firm through a search engine. Most searchers rarely go beyond the first page of search engine results. Search engines are a free source of advertising, so if you aren’t getting a worthwhile position on Google and Bing for keywords relating to your legal practice, it is worth looking at ways to fix that problem.

We have a reading list this week that can help you tweak your site to improve its rankings on search engine results pages.  This selection of advice comes from Search Engine Land , Search Engine Watch, and Search Engine Journal.

How to Use Google RankBrain in SEO

Taken to extremes, keyword stuffing produces unreadable content. Given that keywords and links are still the two most important elements of Google’s ranking algorithm, you might be tempted to stuff your law firm’s website full of the search terms you want to rank for. However, that doesn’t work any more. In fact, the influence of RankBrain will drag down your rankings, so you should look through your site and rewrite any pages where it seems that good advice in the past encouraged you to overdo those keywords. Diversifying keyword use is now the winning strategy and this article explains how you can improve your rankings without spending a dime.

How Google fights webspam and what you need to learn from this

If you have implemented all the rank boosting tricks you can research and your law firm still isn’t rising up the search results page, it could be that you have implemented one of the tricks that Google punishes. Google has two ways of downgrading poor quality pages. First off, you won’t get a good ranking out of the standard algorithm if you haven’t pleased Google. That task also includes not irritating Google, as well, because some of the suite of ranking programs deduct points. Another avenue that Google treads is manual penalties. You will know if you have been hit by one of these because you will receive a notification. This article outlines the factors that will lose you ranking points.

Performing a manual backlink audit, step by step

One of the most annoying animals in Google’s ranking algorithm zoo is the penguin. Google’s periodic adjustments of rankings are caused by filters, and they have animal names. Penguin penalizes the links that point into a site. As you have no control over the links that other people put on their sites pointing to your law firm’s site you can imagine how seemingly unfair Penguin is. Therefore, you should periodically review the backlinks into your site and notify Google that you do not welcome the bad ones. This article explains the process.

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Do bounce rates affect a site’s search engine ranking?

This Search Engine Watch article has a surprising answer to the question in its title. Bounce rates are not a ranking factor, according to Google’s Andrey Lipattsev. Until today, most SEO consultants would have told you that they do. The bounce rate is the length of time that people spend on your site. A high bounce rate is bad because it is a count of the number of people that leave within a few seconds of arriving at the site. However, the bounce rate is still something worth monitoring because it is indicative of the usability of your site’s design and the usefulness of its content. Those factors will get assessed by Google when they are calculating your law firm’s search results ranking.

Get Value From Rankings: They Could be Temporary!

The title of this article is a little misleading. It is based around a report that discovered that none of the top rankers from seven years ago still do so well. Given all that has happened in the world of SEO over the last few years, that would be no surprise. However, the article does raise an important point. You can’t rest on your laurels. That is why SEO Trends sometimes revisits the bare topic of rankings, because it is a constantly changing landscape. While you are working on providing your law firm’s site with all the signals it needs to rank well in local search, you may find that spammy links have earned you a penalty that all the good work you did cannot overcome. So SEO involves touching base periodically with all of the ranking factors that you hope will get you up to the number one slot when anyone searches for a lawyer in your neighborhood.

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