Productive search engine optimization (SEO) and legal marketing techniques start with the firm's website. If this isn't optimized for better indexing on the search engines, any other SEO effort you make is wasted. Unfortunately, ensuring a website is properly optimized is not necessarily the website designer's job, which means it is a task you or someone in the office should see about. The following tips can help you optimize your website correctly.
Choose Keywords Carefully
Every SEO effort is based on the use of effective keywords. Without the right keywords placed in a website's content, the site won't list correctly on the search engines. However, when you incorporate these keywords into the text of your website, your headers, and your web page image tags, you can often get your website to a first position on the search engines. These keywords offer Google, and the other search engines, a guide for listing the website correctly. To help you find the right keywords use tools like Word Tracker or Google AdWords keyword tool.
Use Local Keywords in Your Website
Often, you can get so caught up in the content of your website that you forget to localize the keywords you choose. By adding keywords that relate to your specific city or area in as well as your particular type of law, you can target your traffic better and get better leads. It is much more useful, from a marketing standpoint, to have visitors from the city or area you live in than to have visitors from around the world.
For instance, if your law firm is located in San Diego, California and you specialize in personal injury law, then you want to include keywords like San Diego personal injury law, personal injury lawyer San Diego, Car accident lawyer San Diego or other similar terms. This will help your website list under search terms people in San Diego might use to look for your type of legal service.
Use Keywords in Images
Images, just like content, can be searched. For instance, if someone is looking for a real estate attorney in Miami Florida, he may opt to look through Google images for the search term "real estate attorney in Miami." In this case, only attorneys with website images labeled under this term will show up. When a searcher clicks on the picture he is automatically redirected to the website on which the picture resides, and that attorney has a better chance of attracting that client.
This makes it important to check existing images used in your website to make sure the Alt tags are labeled correctly. Microsoft recommends you place relevant keyworded text at the beginning of the alt tag to allow search engines to better correlate the image to the keyword. Avoid using the same Alt text in all pictures on a page, but make sure that a picture used several times on the website uses the same Alt text in all instances.
Image title tags are not as important for indexing as the Alt fields. Google states that it does not place as much emphasis on title tags and doesn't use them to index an image. Still, an image title tag can offer more information to readers when they hover the mouse over the image.
Don't Forget the Headers
Headers help break up content on a page making it easily readable, or allowing a reader to skip over certain parts and still understand the concepts. But headers are also very important SEO elements. These define the important parts of your content to the search engine spiders. Spiders see headers as H1, H2 or H3 and list them in order of their importance: H1 being the title, and H2 or H3 headers being sub headings within the content. Each of your headings should contain a valuable keyword. If it doesn't, then this is a wasted heading.
To get the search engine spiders to index your website correctly, check and keyword all of the above elements. It's this combination of the keyworded elements that gets you a better listing on the search engines, and because more people can find your services, you get more clients.
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