SEO – How to Score When the Goalpost Is Always Moving
The world of SEO can be daunting for beginners. There is no single thing more important for your website than a solid SEO strategy that at once capitalizes on the current landscape and prepares for algorithm changes in the future.
Search Engine Optimization is not an end goal, but rather a series of best practices that help ensure your site is at or near the top of relevant searches.
1. Local SEO is SEO
SEO is broken down into two categories: national and local. While both are important, the bulk of potential clients are going to come from local searches. Your local SEO game has to be strong.
Your content should include your city, state, and region in titles, meta descriptions, and in the body wherever relevant. Linking your firm with your location in this manner will aid your local SEO, and with some work, build an audience in your community, and turn that audience into clients.
Claim your Google Business Profile and ensure it is complete and accurate. Your contact information needs to be consistent across every platform it appears online. Lead Science’s product Listings Manager is ideal for this purpose and can give local SEO a powerful boost.
2. Use Keywords
The keyword market can be intimidating for law firms as the most high-demand keywords can be prohibitively expensive. Any keyword strategy is going to have to include some of those, but also some lower-demand long-tail keywords that can speak directly to your specialty and ideal client.
Keyword research is key, no pun intended. Determine what collection of keywords potential clients would use to find you, and then build a budget for a good range.
Additionally, you can bolster your SEO presence by using these keywords in your content in the same way you would use your location. This approach requires some finesse, as search engines will penalize blatant keyword stuffing. Finding the right balance and sticking to it is imperative.
3. Content, Content, Content
The internet hungers for content, and whether you like it or not, you have to feed it.
What is content? It’s a blanket term for just about anything, such as blogs, podcasts, videos. If it’s a mode of communication used on the internet that can take up time and impart information, it’s content.
Many professions struggle with content, but you’re a personal injury attorney. You have specialized information that is of interest to potential clients and to the world at large. Start by thinking of common questions you get and producing some form of content that answers them.
High-quality, informative, and relevant content is a huge part of a robust SEO strategy. Search engines prize new content over old; and regularly-updated over “posted and forgotten”. Not only will you rank more highly, but good content will create an audience that easily turns into a client base.
4. Optimize Your Website
It’s important to remember that your site needs to be attractive to both human visitors and the search engine bots that ultimately rank it in search results. Optimizing for both of these audiences is necessary.
Optimizing your site is a complex process that never really ends, and to properly address the topic, this blog post would have to be novel-length. The bare bones idea is that you should use descriptive titles for your content, and ensure they are relevant to your practice. Meta descriptions and header tags are also vital.
Your site should also load quickly and be mobile-friendly. These factors make it more attractive to visitors, who are more likely to be browsing on a mobile device and will leave if it loads too slowly, but also to search engines. Because of their importance to a human audience, search engines like Google actually measure load speeds and check mobile-friendliness and reward sites accordingly.
5. Build Backlinks
Search engines prefer sites that are referenced and connected to others. A site often linked to by others establishes a sense of authority and expertise that Google especially looks for. These links, known as backlinks, are necessary for a good SEO strategy.
Building a robust library of these backlinks takes time, and search engines are alert for attempts to game the system. The best way to accumulate backlinks is the same as point #3: creating engaging, interesting, and relevant content that other sites will want to link to.
The higher quality the site providing the backlink, the more important it is to you. Participate in online forums and communities, making potential peers aware of you and what you do will speed the process of building backlinks.
6. Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool with a steep learning curve. The more you use it, the better you will get. You should be on all the major platforms posting with some regularity.
Use your accounts to promote your content. Engage with your followers as much as you are able. Building your social media will both build your follower count, but also your reputation.
Without analytics, it’s impossible to know what’s working and what isn’t. Monitor your analytics closely, and use the data to expand on what works and eliminate what doesn’t.
Google Analytics is a great jumping off point. You can measure your website’s traffic, bounce rate, and conversions. At Lead Science, we use these metrics and many more to paint an accurate picture of a site’s performance, identifying targets for improvement with pinpoint clarity.
The Lead Science SEO Solution
These seven best practices are a starting point for a solid SEO strategy. There is no comparison with the expertise of a professional marketing firm like Lead Science.
We have years of experience in building businesses in the digital world and would love the opportunity to expand your reach online. Schedule your free consultation to see the improvement we can make in your SEO.