Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is the process of writing content in a way that attracts search engines to improve search engine rankings. SEO can feel overwhelming to law firms just learning about it. But you can learn SEO in five easy steps to help improve your legal website.
Effective online writing is an art. It must strike a delicate balance, enhancing the likelihood that Google will find it while providing engaging and helpful information for people. You can vastly improve your website’s value by learning these SEO basics. If you write your web content in-house, you can use these simple SEO tips to improve your website’s performance. And if you outsource your content writing, you’ll be a more informed consumer and get more for your digital marketing dollar.
SEO in Five Easy Steps: Breaking Down Online Content Writing
To enhance your website’s success at attracting search engine traffic, learn how to do the basics of SEO in five easy steps:
- Research potential keywords
- Select one main (focus) keyword
- Select synonyms, different iterations, and related terms to use as tags
- Incorporate your focus keyword and tags naturally in your writing
- Insert your focus keyword and tags into your content management system
These five SEO strategies have stayed fairly constant over time. For that reason, if you are just beginning to learn about SEO and why it is important, they’re a good place to start.
SEO in Five Easy Steps: Start on the “Write” Foot
Far too often, busy law firms post online content and hope for the best. If you’ve written content (or paid for it) without researching relevant keywords in your field, you may be guilty of this.
The problem with skipping keyword research is that it relies on an “if you build it, they will come” mentality. Unfortunately, this strategy rarely works.
But fear not, there is an easy fix. You can use keyword research to drive the topics you (or your content provider) will post.
Step 1: Research Potential Keywords When Developing Your Topics
Keyword research takes some practice but is not difficult. Start with a reputable keyword research provider, such as Moz.com, KWFinder.com, or SEMrush. Some provide free trial periods so you can find the tool that is most intuitive for you.
When considering potential keywords, remember that even the best, most relevant content will achieve nothing if no one ever sees it.
Developing topics and content around solid keyword research is one of the most important SEO content writing tips you can integrate into your law firm’s online strategy. As you learn how to do keyword research and to incorporate that research into your topic development and online writing, you’ll see an increase in your online visibility. And enhanced visibility is the first step toward developing solid leads.
Step 2: Select a Focus Keyword
As you research, consider not just obvious factors—such as difficulty and estimated search volume—but also your website’s likely ability to rank for each term. If your site is new or has few backlinks, you should choose easier keywords to boost the likelihood that you will rank meaningfully.
In the far majority of cases, it’s best to focus on long-tail keywords (think phrases) rather than short ones. Consider “az family lawyer” or “az child support lawyer” rather than “family law,” for example. The latter is far too common and the likelihood of ranking for it too low. After you’ve evaluated the possibilities, choose one main keyword.
Conduct your research and build your article around this keyword. It can be helpful to think about the type of person who would search online for information about your topic when constructing your article.
Step 3: Don’t Forget the Tags!
After you’ve selected one focus keyword, use your keyword research to identify potential tags. Common tags include synonyms, iterations, and terms that are related to your focus keyword. Don’t overdo it, though. Shoot for no more than one tag for every 150 words or so and include some tags that are related to but not direct synonyms of your focus keyword.
Step 4: Incorporate Your Focus Keyword and Tags into Your Content
As you write your content, it’s critical that you incorporate your chosen focus keyword and tags at an appropriate rate. Again, there is a balance here. You need to include your terms naturally. It is possible to over-optimize, thus incurring the wrath of a penalty from Google or other search engines. One of the most common reasons Google penalizes websites is due to “keyword stuffing.”
Recommendations vary, but it is best to use your exact keyword no more than one time for every 150 words of content or so. When possible and natural, you should also attempt to incorporate each tag into your writing at least once. If a term can’t be incorporated naturally, omit it.
Step 5: Pull It All Together When You Post
To state the obvious, search engines can’t read. For this reason, they rely on clues to learn about the content and focus of every page they examine. Your focus keyword and tags are some of the most important signals you can use to enhance search engine understanding of your law firm’s online content. And you don’t need to know computer coding to make sure Google “sees” these critical items. You can specify your keywords and tags when you post your content.
Whether you know it or not, if you have a website, you have a content management system (CMS). The majority of TOPDOG clients use WordPress, which is free, open-source software used to create and manage websites. WordPress is an extremely flexible system that gives you complete control and ownership over your content. Other popular law firm CMSs include Scorpion, Wix, Squarespace, and FindLaw’s Firm Site Publisher.
When you (or your staff) post your web page or blog, you’ll find fields to insert your focus keyword and tags. Make sure you populate these fields instead of leaving them blank. They provide strong signals to Google and other search engines about the content of your page. And when you complete those fields in your CMS, those fields are automatically coded for SEO.
Go Beyond Law Firm SEO in Five Easy Steps: Call the Experts
You can enhance your writing and post content that will help draw more traffic to your law firm’s website by learning about SEO in five easy steps. But if you’d prefer to save the time and effort it takes preparing your own legal content writing, contact TOPDOG online or by calling (844) HEY-TDOG (439-8364) or (480) 744-7331 and let us handle it. Our staff has the digital marketing experience and knowledge to help your law firm “get found” online.