Writing blogs takes considerable time. While it’s time well spent when these blogs help you achieve your goals, when that doesn’t happen, it can be frustrating. Search engine optimization is a tactic that can drive more traffic to your blog and ensure that posts contribute to your results. However, SEO for law firms is a science in its own right and can be complicated. Here, we break down 12 tips that any legal marketer can use to write great SEO-optimized blogs.
SEO for law firms
1. Make the best use of titles
Search engines use crawlers to crawl your web content and understand its topic. Headings can provide insight into what your blog is about and help readers and search engines understand the content of the article. Consider the title (H1) as the most general overview, then use H2, H3, or H4 to break down the content of the article. Make sure your titles include high-intent keywords. As you write, do research to understand the keywords your audience is searching for, then use those terms in your titles.
2. Understand snippets and optimize for them
You’ve probably noticed that when you search for something on Google, the best answer provided is usually the most direct information available. Your content may be displayed in a featured snippet if you provide a complete and accurate (but succinct) answer to a searched question. For example, if the search term is “Where can I find personal injury laws?” you would want to have “Where to Find Personal Injury Laws” as the title and then the answer in the shortest terms possible. Use bullet points or numbers to break down steps and limit definitions to less than 58 words.
3. Write for humans, not search engines
There is so much information about SEO for law firms that it can be tempting to focus on these tactics and forget about the people behind the searches. No matter what you post, remember that when someone searches online, they are ultimately looking for an answer. Always do your best to provide this information. Search engines are also getting smarter about this aspect of research. They know that in the past, marketers used many “tricks” to drive traffic to content that wasn’t the most valuable. Now, search engines better understand searcher intent and use signals that demonstrate content is truly high quality.
4. Use keywords in your meta description
Writing meta descriptions gives your posts the most exposure possible. These short descriptions appear below a search engine result and give readers and search engines an idea of what the content is about. Google will crawl this information for keywords. Keep meta descriptions short and clear, use one or two important keywords, and make them compelling. Most CMS platforms have built-in meta description boxes.
5. Include alt text for images
This is a step that many people skip, but shouldn’t. For any image or graphic you add to your post, you will want to add alt text. This helps readers know what’s going on in your article and also helps Google understand your content. Make it short but descriptive and include the keyword you are targeting. For example, “Man in the office searching online for personal injury lawyers”.
6. Always start with keyword research
With the sheer number of searches being conducted online, it will be difficult for your audience to navigate your site without using relevant keywords. However, when it comes to SEO for law firms, you don’t want to just guess these terms. Start with a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner. These tools can show you what people are searching for and the volume of searches. google trends can also steer you towards what’s trending at any given time. Remember that the most obvious keywords may not fit your strategy, and important keywords will change over time.
7. Don’t do keywords
Once you know which keywords are driving traffic, it can be tempting to fill your content with them. However, keywords should be included organically and fit naturally. Focus on one or two keywords that naturally relate to your content in the description. Whatever you do, don’t overload your post with keywords. It looks clunky and doesn’t provide a good user experience, and search engines know how to search for that. You will only harm your long-term efforts.
8. Link to Credible Websites
As you create your blog posts, look for natural opportunities to link to other high-quality websites. Links to reputable websites are helpful for readers and show search engines that you’ve done your research. Research-based stats from influential websites are a great way to add credibility to your content, and those links are a ranking signal for search engines.
9. Keep longer messages scannable
Even though people have short attention spans, search engines prefer longer, in-depth blog posts. The longer the content, the more clues search engines have at their disposal. That being said, long posts can overwhelm your readers. For this reason, we suggest breaking messages down into “bite-sized” chunks. Use bulleted lists or shorter paragraphs with headings whenever possible. Whatever you do, avoid long blocks of text with nothing to disrupt viewers’ attention.
10. Link to other publications
Having internal links to other publications or website pages can help search engines create an accurate sitemap. Moreover, it encourages your audience to explore your website and learn more about you. Internal links also tend to keep people on your website longer and lower the bounce rate. Use natural language as anchor text (for example, avoid the phrase “click here”). Also, link to pages that highlight the points you make, not just the ones you want to highlight.
11. Improve page load speed with compressed images
Google tends to reward pages with fast load times because they are good for user experience. Large and heavy images are particularly bad for page load times. This is especially true if you have multiple images on your post. However, there are tools available to help with this. For instance, Squoosh.app can compress images without sacrificing quality.
12. Implement a Link Building Strategy
Link building has become a crucial part of SEO for law firms. In a competitive search environment, every web page that links to your website is like a “vote” for it. This makes your site more reliable in the eyes of search engines. To get more of these links, include high-value material in your posts, such as original research, interesting statistics, and other leadership insights. We explore link building a lot more in this Publish.
It is also important to devote more time to your title. Even the best and most optimized content will not perform well with search engines if the title is low quality. Write something compelling that also includes your main keywords. Above all, write interesting and valuable content for your readers, and search engines will pick up on these positive signals. If you are new to SEO for law firms, take advantage of our free audit. This analysis will identify and help you fix on-site issues and improve SEO results.