On-Page SEO for Lawyers Landing Page
Lawyers and law firms need to invest in marketing to stay competitive in the market. If you don’t invest in generating traffic and leads, your competitors will.
Arguably the best marketing strategy for lawyers and law firms is search engine optimization (SEO), the process of increasing the likelihood of your website to rank highly for relevant search terms. Increasing your domain authority will increase your rankings, thereby increasing your organic traffic and allowing you to generate more leads.
One of the most important components of any search optimization strategy is what’s known as “on-page” SEO – the process of optimizing individual pages of your website.
What exactly is this strategy and how can you follow it to achieve better results?
SEO for Lawyers: The Basics
We’ll start with some of the basics of SEO in case you aren’t familiar.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about increasing your relevance and authority. If your website is more trustworthy (i.e., “authoritative”) it’s going to be highly likely to show up and rank highly for any keyword terms that are relevant for it. A combination of technical onsite optimization, cultivation of more onsite content, and development of offsite strategies like link building can all help you in this pursuit.
Importantly, lawyers can practice SEO on both a broad, sitewide level and a narrower, page level. While it’s important to optimize your entire site when you can, it’s also important to focus on individual pages so you can control how they rank independently.
What Is On-Page SEO for Lawyers?
On-page SEO is a set of strategies and practices designed to help you optimize the individual pages of your website for search engines. It includes a variety of different tactics, such as content optimization with target keywords, title tag and meta description optimization, and even some elements of technical optimization.
Spending more time and effort on optimizing an individual page will increase that page’s likelihood of showing up among the top ranks for target keywords. The initial optimization process can often be completed in a matter of hours to days, depending on the context of your search optimization strategy; from there, you may need to make ongoing tweaks to make sure your page remains relevant and capable of ranking highly.
Why On-Page SEO for Lawyers Matters
On-page SEO for lawyers is important for several reasons:
Specific page ranking opportunities
If you want to rank for a specific keyword, you can devote time, energy, and resources to optimizing one single page to focus on that keyword. Instead of trying to optimize your entire site for a word or phrase, you can optimize a single page to serve as a locus of traffic generation. This strategy is especially powerful when used across many different pages; if you practice on-page optimization on 100 pages of your website, you could easily rank highly for 100 different keywords
Overall authority and website value.
Practicing on-page optimization is about more than just an individual page, however. The more pages you optimize, the better your overall site will become. Each round of on-page optimization for lawyers will boost your site’s authority, increase its relevance for keywords related to your field of expertise, and ultimately help you see better results.
Experimentation and data analytics
On-page optimization on an individual level is also valuable for experimentation and data analytics. As you tinker with variables on your individual website pages, you’ll quickly learn which tactics work, which ones fall flat, and which strategic changes could lead to greater value.
How to Improve On-Page SEO for Lawyers
These are some of the most important strategies for lawyers to improve on-page SEO:
Google prioritizes ranking for websites that embody “E-A-T” values: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. If you want your law firm to stand out, you need to focus on developing content that shows off your expertise, proves your value as an authority, and creates trust with your users. Obviously, these concepts are difficult to quantify in an objective manner; there is some degree of qualitative artistry to creating content that exemplifies these characteristics. However, you’ll know this content when you see it; authoritative content is well written, well researched, and appealing to its target demographics.
An appropriate title tag
Every page of your site should have a title tag that reflects the content of the page. This is what appears as the title of your entry in search engine results pages (SERP), so it’s valuable to optimize for generating traffic as well. Your title tag should include your primary target keyword for this page, it should be appropriate for the content included on the page, it should be reasonably concise, and it should make users compelled to learn more by visiting your page. Additionally, every page of your site should have a unique title tag, with minimal overlap in keyword targeting.
An appropriate meta description
Similarly, you’ll need to optimize the page’s meta description. The meta description is a brief description of the page that appears below the title tag in SERPs. Like the title tag, the meta description should have at least one primary target keyword included in the phrase, it should be reasonably concise, and it should accurately describe the content that users can expect to find on this page. Meta descriptions are typically longer than title tags, so you’ll have more wiggle room in developing your content here – but you shouldn’t go beyond 160 characters.
A compelling headline
A page that’s adequately optimized for search engines should have a compelling headline across the top of that page, using an H1 title tag. Again, this headline should include at least one of your primary target keywords, and potentially one or more secondary keywords as well. In many cases, your headline is going to be very similar to your title tag, or even identical. The point is to concisely explain exactly what this page is, appeal to users, and instruct Google how to categorize this page.
Multiple header tags
The H1 tag is designed for the big heading, or title, of your content – but it’s not the only header tag available to you, and it’s certainly not the only important one. You’ll also have access to H2, H3, H4, and subsequent header tags, each one slightly less relevant than the last. Think carefully about how you structure and include these headers; you should have at least a few H1 and H2 headers, at minimum, and including target keywords for each of them
Keyword optimization in the body.
Throughout the body of your on-page content, you should optimize for keywords. Thanks to the semantic search update of 2013 (and subsequent improvements), Google is capable of evaluating content relevance based on not just strictly replicated keywords, but also synonyms and related phrases. While it’s still a good idea to include some exact matches of your most important target keywords and phrases, it’s also important to write naturally – and allow your organic phrases to help contextualize your content.
One other important note here: try to avoid keyword cannibalization. Keyword cannibalization happens when you have multiple pages targeting the same keywords, or functionally identical keywords. It’s fine to have a few main, primary keywords optimizing your entire site across all your pages, but each individual page should also have an independent, competition-free keyword to target.
What is the purpose of this page? What is the primary target keyword or phrase for this page? Every page of your site needs to have direction and a clear value for your overall SEO strategy. Whenever you need to add a new page of content to your site, for any reason, you should think carefully about its place in your SEO strategy.
Sufficient length and depth
Good content is concise, but without ample content on a page of your site, Google may have trouble contextualizing it – or the search engine may determine it to be of lower quality. While there aren’t any hard rules for how much content you should include on each page of your site, you should aim to have at least a few hundred words per page.
One caveat to this is that you shouldn’t add content for the sake of adding content. Redundancy, fluff, and empty phrases aren’t going to be good for your perceived authoritativeness, and they’re not going to be good for user impressions either.
Internal and external links
Most pages of your website will benefit from both internal and external links. External links serve as citations, giving your content more authority and allowing it to be perceived as better researched. There’s also some evidence to suggest that powerful external links can support a page in its own rankings.
Internal links are similarly beneficial, allowing you to link your own website pages together. This can help establish better, more coherent context between pages and enable better navigation for users trying to browse your site. Just make sure you’re not going overboard; only include internal links where relevant, and make sure to optimize them with relevant anchor text so users know what to expect when they click the link.
Optimized images and videos
Did you know that more than 10 percent of all Google traffic comes from images? If your lawyer SEO strategy doesn’t include any focus on images or videos, you’re missing out on some serious potential. Different content mediums appeal to different audiences, allowing you to make your content more effective and more broadly appealing. Plus, optimizing your images and videos can increase their appearance rate in the “Images” and “Videos” tabs of Google search results.
Make sure all your multimedia content loads quickly and seamlessly across all browsers and devices. It’s also important to provide keyword optimized titles for those pieces of media and, when relevant, optimized alt tags.
Excellent technical performance
Technical onsite SEO is its own category in the realm of SEO, but it’s relevant on an individual page level, so it’s worth discussing here. Each page of your site should be optimized for technical performance, so that it can load quickly and reliably for all your users. Your pages should all be mobile optimized, fast loading, and easy to use. There are a variety of online tools you can use to test the technical performance of your site, and a good old-fashioned manual test doesn’t hurt either.
Overall user engagement
Finally, if you want to master the art of on-page SEO for lawyers, you should think about overall user engagement. Certain user engagement indicators, like bounce rate and dwell time, may play a role in determining how a page ranks. The better your user engagement metrics are, the higher your page is likely to rank.
The only problem here is that it’s not always easy to tell what you should do to make a page more engaging or friendlier to users. There are some universal strategies that work well, such as writing in shorter, more concise sentences and making your site beautiful from a visual design standpoint. But you’ll also need to tinker with the finer details to make sure your site is as engaging and usable as possible.
We get it. There’s a lot to understand about on-page search engine optimization for lawyers.
But we’re here to make it easier.
Whether you’re just getting started with a fresh SEO strategy or you’re looking to scale up your existing SEO efforts, Law.co can help you plan and manage the right SEO approach for your law firm. Contact us for more information today!