If your firm is new to search engine optimization (SEO), one of the first things you’re likely to come across when researching how to rank high in Google is that it uses more than 200 unique factors to determine where your website will rank for various keywords.
Two-hundred unique factors!
That might seem like an impossible mountain to climb if your firm is just getting started, but luckily, not all of the factors are weighted evenly. Let’s discuss the top five most important areas your firm should focus on to get onto the first page of Google.
- Backlinks – Backlinks have been, and remain, the most important factor Google considers when raking your website. While backlinks might not carry as much weight as they did five or 10 years ago, they are still the strongest indicator for Google to determine the authority of your website. (If numerous websites are linking to yours, you must be a trusted authority, right?) Focus on getting backlinks from credible websites.
- Content – Content is No. 2 for several different reasons. First of all, quality, helpful content naturally attracts backlinks. High-quality content also keeps the reader on your website and encourages them to click on more pages, which is something that Google also monitors. Content length and keywords also play a major role in telling Google what your website is about and how much information your page has on the topic. You generally want your landing pages to contain more than 1,000 words and several different variations of the keywords you are targeting.
- Click through rates (CTR) – CTR is determined by how many times Google showed a searcher your website divided by how many times searchers clicked on your website. This is one major way Google determines how relevant your website and content are to the searcher based on the information they are looking for. It is very important to write good page titles and meta descriptions describing exactly what your content is about.
- Citations – A citation occurs anytime another website lists your firm’s name, address and phone number (NAP). An example of a citation would be your listing in a directory such as Yelp. The more citations your firm has, the better. It’s also important to make sure your citations are correct (for example, the correct phone number and address). If your citations are too inconsistent, not only could it negatively affect your rankings, but It could also frustrate customers trying to contact your firm. You will find more information on proper business listings in this helpful resource.
- Technical SEO – The technical side of your website also plays a big role in where Google will rank you. Mobile responsiveness is more important now than ever, as mobile searchers start to outnumber desktop searchers, so your website must work flawlessly on a smartphone. Page load times are also very important. No one likes to wait on a slow website to load, and Google takes that into strong consideration. In fact, Google even offers a tool to check your website load time and offers suggestions on how to speed it up: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/.
Law firm SEO is an extremely competitive industry. If your firm places 90% of its search engine optimization efforts into the five areas listed above, you should start seeing improvement in your rankings. If you are not actively putting in the effort to improve your rankings, your local competition will pass you by.