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The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) field seems intricate due to dynamic search engine algorithms and the fact that millions of websites are vying for the top few positions on an given search engine results page (SERP) at any given time. Even with the complexities surrounding SEO, there are a few techniques that legal professionals can almost effortlessly apply to their websites to attain a higher SERP rank.
The following techniques are simple and can be applied to the website of law firm or solo practitioner in an hour or less, and they follow Google’s recommendations for designing sites that conform to organic search standards.
Boost website speed performance
Sites that routinely rank high on the SERP tend to be optimized for speed. A fast web hosting company is important in this regard, but a caching plugin, which uses stored data to generate a readily accessible website, can also improve speed. Popular Web publishing platforms like WordPress call up many resources to display a single page; caching plugins further accelerate the process.
Make images search-friendly
Google and other major search engines have a lot riding on image search. Web traffic from image search results has increased significantly over the last few years and it is likely to continue growing, especially as social networks like Pinterest and Instagram continue to grow. It is imperative, then, that legal professionals optimize pictures on their websites in order to benefit from this growth trend.
The most important step in optimizing images is to use keywords as file names. If, for example, a Glendale truck accidents attorney uploads a portrait to his or her website and the file name is comprised of simple letters or numbers, the image will not rank high on the SERP. That picture, however, can easily be renamed to include the attorney’s name and the keywords “Glendale” and “lawyer.” Just make sure image titles are relevant to the photo and the subject nature of the page
Fix broken links
Links that go nowhere tend to be punished with low SERP rank. Fixing broken links is a simple matter of searching for an online tool to detect them, followed by corrective action and replacement.
Improving click-through rates and driving more business to one’s website or blog is a primary focus for lawyers beginning to establish a web presence, and they can benefit from using preview images or other engagement objects to improve their website’s search rating and create more leads. Embedding such objects is a quick, easy way to improve a site’s value and reach even more clients.
A landing page with a preview image is over three times more likely to be clicked on than the same page without a preview image. This was confirmed in a statistical study that showed that preview images improved a landing page’s conversion rate by as much as 359 percent.
There is a lot of text on the Internet; consequently, a relevant and attractive image will stand out and draw a viewer in. Preview images and other media such as videos are often called “engagement objects,” meaning that they can be used to engage the viewer’s attention while searching. When a viewer is comparing the website or blog of employment lawyers in Pittsburgh to their competitors’ websites, for instance, this small detail could make all the difference in his or her ultimate choice.
Using preview images in your legal firm’s website or blog is as easy as simply changing up your landing page’s design: Rather than having it only include text, consider embedding videos and images to make it a multimedia experience for potential clients. As the web becomes increasingly social, you can receive a big boost in interest if a client links to your informative videos or images.
In their post 3 Reasons Your Blog Needs to Get More Visual, the experts at Social Media Today have examined the importance of visual engagement online and the growing popularity of image-sharing websites. Pinterest and Instagram are welcoming new members by the millions; more users are preferring Tumblr to Twitter. It’s the age of visual marketing, and it’s time for every serious professional to take advantage of shifting trends to maximize hit counts and client retention.
How do you know if your website is visual enough? You should start by examining your layout. While there’s no perfect image-to-text ratio, the right layout will be clean, balanced and easy to read. It will emphasize your most important content without overwhelming the eye.
Some questions to ask yourself: How’s my color scheme? How long does it take the average visitor to scroll? When visiting my site, what’s the first thing a potential client will notice?
The first few seconds are critical. If, for example, you’re a West Virginia bankruptcy attorney, you’ll want your location (WV) and your specialty (bankruptcy) clearly displayed to hook anyone who came through from a search engine.
Again, balance is essential. Words will be the foundation of your website, but images are what punctuate and highlight them. You should aim for at least two or three graphics on every page of your website, even if the graphics are only photos or your website’s header and footer.
Resist the temptation to make your site foreboding or overly academic. This is a world accustomed to social networking and easy interface, so user-friendliness is key. Could your mother navigate your website?
Avoid clutter or walls of text. Punctuate your content with images, video or even blown-up quotes from your text. Infographics are another solution; a survey by IDG puts the infographic as one of the fastest-growing marketing strategies on the web, with more than 21 percent of web hosts using them for their blogs and businesses.
Visual engagement has become a necessary weapon in the word of online marketing. The average Internet user is assaulted by hundreds of graphics every time they surf the web. They’re accustomed to ads, images and streaming video as a matter of course. How are you going to make your website different from the rest?