Writing blogs takes a significant amount of time. While it’s time well spent when those blogs help you to 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 make sure that posts contribute to your bottom line. However, SEO for law firms is a science all on its own and can be complicated. Here we are breaking down 12 tips that any legal marketer can use to write great blogs powered by SEO.
SEO for Law Firms
1. Make the Best Use of Headings
Search engines use crawlers to browse your web content and understand its subject. Headings can provide an overview of what your blog is about, and lets readers and search engines alike understand what is contained within the post. Think of the title (H1) as the most general overview, and then use H2, H3, or H4 to break down the content of the article. Make sure your headings include high-intent keywords. As you write, do research to understand which keywords your audience is searching – and then use those terms in your headings.
2. Understand Featured Snippets and Optimize for Them
You’ve probably noticed that when you Google something, the top answer provided is usually the most direct information available. Your content can be shown in a featured snippet if you provide a thorough and accurate (but succinct) answer to a question being searched. 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 a heading, and then the answer in the briefest terms possible. Use bullets or numbers to break up steps, and keep definitions to less than 58 words.
3. Write for Humans, Not Search Engines
There is so much information out there about SEO for law firms, it can be tempting to focus on those tactics and forget about the people behind the searches. No matter what you’re posting about, remember that when someone performs an online search, they are ultimately looking for an answer. Always do your best to provide that information. Search engines are also getting smarter about this aspect of search. They know that in the past, marketers used a lot of “tricks” to drive traffic to content that wasn’t the most valuable. Now, search engines are better at understanding searcher intent, and they use signals that demonstrate that 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 underneath a search engine result and give readers and search engines an idea of what the content is about. Google will crawl this information looking for keywords. Keep meta descriptions short and sweet, use one or two important keywords, and make them compelling. Most CMS platforms have meta description boxes built-in.
5. Include Alt Text for Images
This is a step that many people skip, but shouldn’t. For any image or graphic that you add to your post, you’ll want to add alt text. This helps readers to know what’s going on in your article and helps Google to understand your content as well. Make the sentence short but descriptive, and include the keyword you’re targeting. For example “Man at desk performing online search for personal injury attorneys”.
6. Always Begin With Keyword Research
With the sheer amount of searches being performed online, it will be hard for your audience to navigate to your site without using relevant keywords. However, when it comes to SEO for law firms you don’t want to just guess at these terms. Start with a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner. These tools can show you what people are looking for and the volume of searches. Google Trends can also point you toward what is trending at any given time. Remember that the most obvious keywords might not match your strategy, and important keywords will evolve over time.
7. Don’t Keyword Stuff
Once you know which keywords drive traffic, it can be tempting to populate your content with them. However, keywords should be included organically and fit naturally. Focus on one or two keywords that are naturally related to your content in the description. Whatever you do, don’t oversaturate your post with keywords. That feels clunky and doesn’t provide a good user experience, and search engines know how to look for that. You’ll only be hurting your efforts in the long run.
8. Link to Credible Websites
As you build out your blog posts, look for natural opportunities to link to other high-quality websites. Linking to reputable websites is helpful for readers, and shows search engines that you’ve done your research. Research-backed statistics from influential websites are a great way to add credibility to your content, and those links are a ranking signal to search engines.
9. Keep Longer Posts Scannable
Even though people have short attention spans, search engines prefer longer, in-depth blog posts. The longer the content, the more clues that search engines have at their disposal. That being said, long posts can overwhelm your readers. For that reason, we suggest breaking posts down into “bite-size” chunks. Use bulleted lists or shorter paragraphs with headings whenever possible. Whatever you do, avoid long blocks of text with nothing to break up the viewers’ attention.
10. Link to Other Posts
Having internal links to other posts or website pages can help search engines create an accurate sitemap. Plus, 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 reduce bounce rate. Use natural language as the anchor text (for example, avoid the phrase “click here”). Also link to pages that enhance the points you’re making, not just ones you want to highlight.
11. Improve Load Page Speed With Compressed Images
Google tends to reward pages with fast loading times because they are good for the user experience. Large, heavy images are especially bad for page loading times. This is particularly true if you have several images on your post. However, there are tools available to help with this. For example, 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 webpage that links back to your website is like a “vote” in its favor. This makes your site more trustworthy in the eyes of search engines. To get more of these links, include high-value assets in your posts, such as original research, interesting statistics, and other thought leadership. We explore link-building a lot more in this post.
It’s also important to spend additional time on your title. Even the best, most-optimized content won’t do well with search engines if the headline is poor quality. Write something compelling that also includes your main keywords. Above all, write content that is interesting and valuable to your readers, and search engines will pick up on those positive signals. If you’re newer to SEO for law firms, take advantage of our free audit. This analysis will identify and help you to fix on-site issues and boost SEO results.