hat is the point of having a marvelous website when no one can find you when they Google a service? Let’s look at the basics of SEO for professionals and things to consider.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of driving more visitors to your law firms or professional services website by increasing your position on the search engine results page. Therefore if your website shows up on the first page - it is more likely to be clicked on.
There are a variety of ways to increase your rankings through SEOs such as through content, backlinks and off-page citations and technical SEO. Let’s go through these together.
SEO - Content:
Your content needs to do the following:
1. It needs to answer the search terms used by the user. For example, if you are looking for “family lawyers toronto”, you need to have specific content on your page that signifies that that is in fact you! Think about the terms and phrases you would use to find something online and include those terms and answers in your content. Google is trying to help its users get the answers they want - help Google help you.
2. Your content needs to be keyword optimized. When I launched my first website I was introduced to the wonderful world of Google bots. When your website is launched for the first time Google evaluates your website and they send a bot out to read the content. These bots are thorough but they do need an assist - so make sure that your content includes all the keywords they would be looking for to match you up with searches. Keywords should most importantly be included in:
- Title tags
- Description tags
- Headings and subheadings
- Evenly throughout paragraphs
- The web page’s URL
3. Primary key words. This is a little bit more difficult, but you basically need to have a variety of content that addresses keywords within the same category. So you need to go out there and research keywords and their variations to cover as much ground as possible.
SEO - Backlinks and off-page citations:
Backlinks are referral links from other websites that potentially point traffic to your website. Basically Google looks at backlinks like votes that indicate your website is the one to be on! Remember Google wants to send users to the best possible place to get answers. So if you have a lot of other websites recommending you or referring you - you will be trusted as a reputable source for that information.
Think about the best places to get your website on. For example, it could be through directories such as legal directories or other professional associations, social profiles such as instagram, shares of your content on social media, reviews and endorsements, etc.
SEO- Technical SEO:
Technical SEO helps with how Google friendly your actual website is. This is a little bit more complicated to do on your own and we would recommend hiring SEO professionals instead of learning a brand new craft. But here are some things you can keep in mind!
- Make sure your website follows Google's guidelines: Webmaster guidelines
- Make sure your website is fast and mobile friendly
- Make sure you set everything up from the beginning- if you have a small website and things are set up from the get-go you shouldn’t have too much to worry about.
How do I even implement all of this?
1. SEO DIY
If you implement everything we discussed and do a bit of research you will get to where you want to go but it is difficult to rank number one when there are a lot of similar companies and services available. Remember to truly zone in on your specific skill set and what your clients are looking for from you.
2. SEO Hiring an expert
It is possible to learn SEO basics but it is incredibly time-intensive - many don’t have the time to learn a completely new discipline. So hiring an expert might be your next step - especially if you are expanding and growing your business. Remember to look for references particularly related to your field of work and take your time choosing a company.
Getting yourself out there is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient as the Google bots take their time to look through your changes and keep focusing on writing excellent content, building backlinks and references, following the guidelines and generating positive client reviews! Also, remember to look at your Google analytics, which is where you will be able to see how your actions come into play.