6 Tips for Legal Content Optimization
Legal content optimization is one digital marketing piece your law firm can’t be without.
In this day and age, your law firm website should be the tentpole of your marketing strategy. But without legal content optimization, there’s too great a risk that it might get lost in the crowded atmosphere of the internet. If that were to happen, potential clients would be led to someone else’s website, and you’d miss out on potential new clients.
A good digital marketing partner will take care of legal content optimization for you. But in the event you want to dip your toe in it, here are six key considerations for strong legal content optimization.
1) Find the right keyword
Let’s begin at the beginning. What are people you’d like to hire your law firm using search engines to look for? A “keyword” is a word or phrase that describes the content on your website and notifies search engines of what it’s about. Thus, the search engine can match the keyword to a user’s search. A little keyword research goes a long way. Start by going to Google Trends and entering a few terms for how you think you’d describe yourself. Notice we said “think” – it’s quite common that the way an attorney describes his or her practice isn’t a close match with search terms actual people use. You want to be accurate, of course, but if “Boston family law attorney” gets less search interest than “Boston divorce attorney,” which do you think would be smarter to pick?
2) Get organized
Once you’ve found a keyword, make sure it’s in all the right places. Your title tag (the HTML code that gives a web page its overall title), meta description (which summarizes the overall content of a website page), tags (which describe individual pieces and elements of content), and alt-text (which describes what images and graphic elements are about) should all be optimized, meaning they provide a description that’s as accurate as it is advantageous for search purposes. This is the kind of finer point that many do-it-yourselfers miss or neglect.
3) Break it down
Lawyers tend to write in long, uninterrupted blocks of text. This doesn’t work well for legal content optimization. First, it’s hard for search engine users to read and absorb. Second, it misses the opportunity to speak to search engine algorithms by using subheads, bulleted lists and other ways of parceling your content out into smaller pieces with search-friendly terms. Make sure you use headings, subheadings and lists to make your content easier for people to read and more appealing to search engines.
4) Mix it up
Variety is the spice of life – and the secret to making sure search algorithms recognize your law firm website as a source of valuable, useful information. Search engine algorithms can look across the entirety of your website, and they want to see valuable content everywhere, like on your landing page, your attorney bios, your blog, etc. For strong legal content optimization, your law firm website should be multi-faceted, and should offer useful content at all points.
5) Write for humans, not search
Ten years ago, keyword-stuffing was thought to be a good idea. You’ve probably read examples of it without knowing what it was called: “Omaha small business attorney serving Omaha small business clients and small businesses in Lincoln and all across Nebraska.” Today, search engine algorithms are smart enough to see keyword-stuffing for what it is – gobbledygook that doesn’t serve the reader at all. As you create content for your website, make sure that is has actual value to a human reader. Of course, you should incorporate highly searched terms if they are a natural fit, but don’t make the mistake of shoehorning in terms you think sound good if it makes your content sound like buzzword salad.
6) Spread the word
As a final point, make sure people know about your website and block. Search engines can see if people are linking to your site, and take that to mean it has important material – and thus, is a good search engine result to offer future searchers. Contact your alumni association, local bar association, community groups and any networking groups you’re involved in and ask if they have a place where they can link to member websites.
The most important thing to remember about legal content optimization may be that there isn’t any one component that gets you exactly where you need to be. Everyone wants a magic bullet, but as search patterns change and algorithms become better and better at what they do, good legal content optimization becomes ever more complex and multi-dimensional.
If what we’ve written here makes sense, but seems like a little more than you can handle on your own, visit our Content Marketing page. We keep up with the latest search trends and patterns in consumer behavior so you don’t have to.