7 Steps to SEO Success
An SEO campaign is crucial to finding your place at the top of the search results page. By targeting specific keywords for your practice, you can establish yourself or your firm as an authority in your geographic region.
If you've decided that an SEO campaign is the next step for your law firm, you are in the right place. We make the whole SEO process simple and hassle-free, taking care of all the details for you. Curious as to how we do it? Here is a general outline of how our proven method works SEO magic:
1) Researching Key Words
An important first step in any SEO campaign is deciding what search engine keyword phrases to go after. For lawyers, it usually involves the main practice areas and geographic location (For example, New Jersey Employment Lawyer or Dallas Criminal Attorney).
Our SEO team helps you brainstorm such terms based on our years of experience. We also conduct data-driven research to find the most searched for terms. We may discover a phrase you had not thought of, or realize that one term is more valuable than you originally thought.
It is also important to consider the amount of competition for each term. Many markets are highly saturated, and you can see faster, more effective results by optimizing for more specific cities, neighborhoods and niche practice areas (DUI attorney instead of criminal lawyer, patent prosecution law firm instead of intellectual property attorneys, etc).
Our SEO team is experienced in analyzing what terms will bring you the most traffic and can be best achieved within your budget and your timetable.
2) Researching the Competition
We also research your competitors to find the keyword phrases they are targeting, the content they have written, and the links they have received. A competitive research campaign can uncover hidden keyword phrases that you may want to target.
3) SEO Coding, Submission
Part of every SEO campaign involves coding your website to make it search engine friendly. We then submit it to those search engines for indexing.
This involves multiple steps, including but not limited to the following:
Title tag modification
Meta description modification - unique
Alt tag modification & other code changes
No hidden text
No jeyword stuffing
No redirect tags
No doorway pages
Establishing canonical domain forwarding i
Using 301 redirects
Using www instead of non-www
SEO friendly URLs
.htaccess file (Apache) or HTTPD.ini file (IIS)
custom 404 error page with site links / site map
robots.txt file added
Resource directory for building links, as needed
Site Build Modification
Create an actual Sitemap
Include Google Analytics
Submit client website to Google Webmaster Central
Remove any "splash" entry pages
Add XML Sitemap in Root (.xml and .txt)
Sending guidelines to client to write content
Adding footer links to main (if not all) pages on site
Modifying all links to include keywords
4) Building Links
A vital part of every SEO campaign is link building. This usually means linking to other quality sites and having them link to you. Search engines assign a value to every web site, and when you have highly ranked sites that link to you, search engines take it as a sign that you are also high quality and increase your rankings.
The emphasis is always on quality, not just quantity. Links can come from directories, social media sites, PR press releases, Blogs, article sites and more.
Through our years in the business, we have developed a network of law firms and attorneys who link to each other. Our SEO team spends additional hours finding and developing quality links to benefit you.
5) Creating and Editing Quality Content
Another boost to search engine rankings is website content. Search engines search your content to determine if your website is relevant to a user’s search. The more relevant, the higher it will rank. Search engines look for keywords throughout the text. So consider your headlines, weigh the length of an article and check it against other websites for originality.
Our team can work with you to make your existing website content search-engine friendly, or we can start from scratch. An effective use of content to boost rankings involves writing targeted, topical articles, or regular blog posts on your key practice areas and phrases – a service we also can provide.
6) Monthly Analytics and Consulting
Each month we review your website's analytics, traffic, and rankings and prepare a report for you to review. We also consult with your firm on any changes in algorithm, technology, trends and your practice.
This is the critical step of any SEO campaign: review, test and improve. We do this each month to keep your site ranking highly and to achieve our initial goals.
7) Beyond SEO – PPC, Local Search. and More
SEO is a long-term investment, but let’s face it: Sometimes we want instant results. That’s where additional marketing techniques can be a valuable supplement to your SEO campaign.
The most popular option is Pay-Per-Click advertising, which involves the paid listings that appear on the right-hand side of the search results screen. Our team can work with you to:
Determine which key words you want to go after
Develop your ads
Set up your account to determine how much you want to bid per click
Set your overall budget ceiling
The benefit of Pay-Per-Click is that, once our team sets up your account, the results are immediate. And you have total control if you want to change your key words or budget.
The next most popular feature is Local Search, with Google Local being the most common. You may have noticed that when you search on sites like Google, the first result no longer is an “organic” result, but a local map listing for a related business with an address, phone number and other contact info. This is Google Local.
It is imperative that every law firm take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to vault over other organic search results to the top spot. Our SEO team can set up your Local Search listing for a reasonable fee and, within one day to one week, you will see dramatic results.
Putting It All Together
Whether you take advantage of one or all of these techniques will depend on your budget, timeline, and business goals.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.