John Damron 2013-10-25 12:08:54
Five Common SEO Mistakes Law Firms Make Years ago you could rely primarily on meta descriptions, title tags, and directory links to boost your firm’s website rankings in search engines. Long gone are the days when these simple strategies made ranking a simple, yet time-consuming, process. Thanks (or rather no thanks) to sites using destructive black-hat techniques, Google is on a mission to penalize those who try to win using manipulative shortcuts and to reward sites that provide a great user experience. With these changes, SEO has become more of an art than a science. The process of boosting your website’s ranking continues to be time-consuming, but it is continually becoming less simplistic. Today, many law firm websites suffer from old SEO tactics that were put into place years ago. Unless these destructive practices are stopped (and sometimes “re-done” with regard to removing low quality or manipulative back-links), these websites have no chance of ranking highly in the long-term. Below is a list of five common SEO mistakes that can be easily avoided: 1. CONTENT THAT IS NOT ENGAGING. Search engines are designed to deliver the highest quality results to the user. Therefore, your content should provide the answer to the visitor’s search query as well as a great user experience. Prospects who come to your website and are not impressed with the content will quickly leave. When this happens, it indicates to search engines that your site is not offering supportive and relevant content based on that particular query. You do not want this! Targeting your content to your perfect client’s needs will encourage higher quality prospects to visit your site and help keep them engaged. What kind of law firm are they looking for? What types of questions will they be asking? What, to them, will best convey your expertise and experience? Remember: write for your readers, not search engines. 2. DUPLICATE CONTENT Duplicate content, in simple terms, is the same content that appears on more than one Web page. This problem is akin to a constantly skipping CD. In short, it’s annoying. Google can easily determine when content is duplicated. If Google finds your duplicate content to be spammy, deceptive or an attempt to manipulate your rankings, Google may penalize your site by dropping its rankings. To ensure they are offering users high value content, search engines take pages out of the rankings that are a duplication of other, higher authority pages. Also, duplicate content can cause Google to mistrust the overall quality of a site and remove content from the search engine results. Google has also created a relatively new feature called Google Authorship that protects the original author’s content. Be sure to have the Authorship attribute on your websites (as well as any websites on which you blog or write) to protect your content from scrapers! 3. NOT USING CORRECT KEYWORDS If a user cannot find your website, then what good is it? If a website’s content is written about the term “vehicle wrecks,” but the majority of users are searching for “car accidents,” the website will miss out on a lot of potential traffic from search engines. It’s crucial to target the best keywords for driving optimal traffic to your site. Finding the right words to target is part of the art of SEO. Our SEO specialists use a variety of tools, including Google’s keyword tool, to determine the words and phrases that have the highest search volume for our clients’ areas of law. Targeting only the most popular keywords may not improve your rankings. The higher the search volume for a keyword, typically the more websites you will compete with for rankings; it’s vital to find a happy medium between the two. You want to balance the popularity of keywords and search volume with other elements so that you can win out over the competition. In crafting your keyword strategy, don’t forget that long tail searches (less commonly used search words and phrases) obtain more relevant traffic than the highest volume words and phrases. Long tail search traffic often converts at a higher rate than visitors coming to your site from more commonly used, general search terms. 4. OVER-OPTIMIZATION Yes, there is such a thing as over-optimization! Tactics such as excessive interlinking of your pages, keyword stuff ed content and tags, and duplicate content within the same site are common over-optimization practices that can hurt your rankings. Typically, anything over 3 percent keyword density is too much for a page, although Google now suggests that looking at keyword density is of less importance today than in the past. Links should only be placed on a page if they are relevant to the content posted on that same page. Remember the saying “too much of a good thing is bad?” Well, that pertains to SEO as well. 5. ASSUMING THAT SEO STRATEGIES ARE STATIC. SEO IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING! There is no such thing as updating a site and never having to do so again. Google constantly changes its algorithm, so a website has to be reviewed occasionally. What works today may not work tomorrow; it’s important to stay up-to-date on SEO practices used on your site. Although these five SEO mistakes are common, they are preventable and fixable. Start today to help build the future of your Web presence! John Damron works closely with law firm clients to develop the best Internet marketing strategies possible for their firm. He listens to clients’ needs and ensures that they are effectively communicated to the rest of the team, including their support staff technicians. John spent several years in sales prior to joining Consultwebs.com. He took part in a panel discussion on legal online marketing at the M&L Seminar in Vancouver, British Columbia. “Consultwebs.com has the most comprehensive Web marketing options for any law firm, large or small,” he says. “Our team is better organized and works more efficiently than the rest,” he added. John is a native of Lexington, Kentucky. He graduated with honors from Berea College, where he majored in psychology with a minor in business administration. John can be reached at email@example.com.
Published by Target Market Media . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digitaleditions.walsworthprintgroup.com/article/ONLINE+PRESENCE/1544520/180914/article.html.