Achieving High Search Engine Rankings for your Legal Website–Part One

Of course you know by now that the SEO for your legal website is critical—if your website is not on the first page or two of the search engine results you may as well be in the never-never land of cyberspace. Those who find themselves in this unfortunate position either “rent” Internet space with pay-per-click sponsored advertising or invest in permanent rankings—a combination of SEO web copywriting and strong inbound links. If you happen to be rolling in the dough, then sponsored advertising might be the way to go for immediate results. On the flip side, if you are that financially secure, do you really need a website?

Generally speaking, those legal websites that are achieving high search engine placement and lots of traffic have selected keywords that many of us are searching with, and those keywords are strategically placed in the body of the legal copy. This, in a nutshell, is search engine optimization, and can end up being one of the most important investments you may make while putting together your legal website. Whether you put together the website copy and content yourself or hire a professional service, search engine optimization is critical for the final outcome.

Keywords are….key!

Keyword search may seem like a no-brainer—after all, you just type in your selected keywords and voila! your website is an instant hit! Unfortunately, there is a bit more to it, and some basic rules need to be adhered to if you want to be at the top of that first search result page. Some tips to keep in mind are that keywords and keyword phrases must occur near the beginning of the title tags, the description and keyword meta tags and the body of your legal web pages and must occur often. You stand a much greater chance of achieving a high search engine position the more often the keywords appear as well as how near they are to the beginning of the tags and pages. To be more specific:

  • The title tag is the very most important tag on your entire web page, and as such should begin with the most important search phrase that you have determined users will type in to find your particular legal website. The title tag is even more important than the actual content, although content keeps your potential clients on your law firm’s website.
  • Your description meta tag should use a sentence written in clear English of no more than 40 words. This description, like your title tag, should begin with the most important keywords. If you have not included a description meta tag then search engines will attempt to build one based on the content at the top of the body of the page. Don’t merely use a list of keywords in your description meta tag as search engines may recognize this ploy as an attempt to receive high rankings and your legal website might actually end up lower on the page.
  • While the keywords meta tag is important for your legal website, it is likely that most search engines will pull keywords from the content of your web pages. However, it is still a good idea to include keywords meta tag in all pages you want indexed. Again, only use keywords that will appear in your content.

The All-Important Home Page

The home page on your legal website should naturally have the greatest concentration of your keywords and phrases for the best legal SEO results. If your users will search for “personal injury attorney” then you must make absolutely certain that the phrase “personal injury attorney” appears on your law firm’s home page. Search engines list in order of importance all the sites which have content that relates to what your potential clients typed in when they began their search. As you can see, it is absolutely critical for your future search engine ranking that you and the other members of your law firm determine which words and phrases your users will enter to find your site. These tips are just the beginning of getting your law firm’s website to achieve the highest search engine rankings possible.