We’ve all heard the saying ‘the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google search results,’ because absolutely no one glances at it. If you have a website for your practice, it isn’t worth much if it fails to rank on ‘Page 1’ of Google for the right terms.
This, however, is easier said than done, something that has since prompted the rise of the $50 billion global SEO industry over the years. You can spend $1,000s each month on Google Search Ads bidding on the right keywords, but nothing beats the value of free targeted traffic and leads being generated on a consistent basis with natural and organic Google rankings.
Even though search algorithms have grown increasingly complex in recent years, in this article, we will outline a simple approach that can help you get started without much fuss. For a more in-depth guide, you can learn more here for an SEO guide for lawyers.
1. Focus On On-Site Optimization
As a rule of thumb, most experienced SEOs will start any new campaign with a thorough overview of the target site. This is because without having the right on-site factors in-place, any and all SEO efforts could ultimately yield no concrete results.
On-site SEO is essentially the practice of optimizing a web page to best convey information to search engine bots.
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This includes the keywords used, alt-tags, SEO titles, and more, but on a site-wide basis, it is essential to create a sitemap and submit it to Google via the Search Console, in order to intimate Google about your site, and its various pages.
2. Identify The Right Keywords
There are billions, or even trillions of search terms that are typed into Google each year, and for a successful SEO campaign, the key is finding the right term.
Keep in mind that this isn’t just about finding the keyword that is most relevant to your firm or services, but also one that has limited competition, and is fairly unsaturated. We can try and try ranking for high volume, competitive keywords, but in the end it’s a constant battle, and your position is almost never guaranteed.
Using tools such as SEMRUSH, Ahrefs, or KWFinder, you can analyze your competitors, and identify gaps within your niche that can still be ranked for.
3. Build Backlinks & Social Signals
Once you have the right keywords, and content focused on the same, the next step is to establish your site as an authority within its niche.
The best way to do that is by building backlinks towards your site, preferably from other high-authority sites within your niche. Google considers backlinks as a sign of quality and authority, pushing your pages higher up the search results over time.
Another way to showcase authority is via social signals, which are essentially the shares, retweets, and other engagements your web pages receive on social media.
4. Don’t Skimp On The Content
With Google search algorithms getting increasingly sophisticated and intelligent, they can now sniff out low-value content from miles away. Over the course of the past few years, Google’s algorithm updates have wiped out millions of high ranking websites, in favor of those which genuinely add value.
Algorithms such as E-A-T or Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness give a lot of importance to topical authority and credentials. So, don’t be afraid to show-off your legal knowledge, signed with your name and credentials on your website.
Beyond this, there are a wide range of qualitative factors that Google considers, this includes things such as bounce rate, scroll depth, user behavior, and more. Websites that score top marks in this regard are those that go above and beyond for their readers.
As search algorithms get more advanced, they’ve started valuing quality, value, and originality, over brands, domains, and quantitative metrics such as in the prior years. With this, small players who aim to be masters of their respective domains stand to gain quick traction, without needing any extensive link-building, or off-site SEO campaigns.