If your law firm doesn’t have page one rankings on Google, Bing, or Yahoo! for search queries that are relevant to your practice areas and location(s), it’s very possible that your missing our on cases. Your law firm SEO is important to your website’s visibility, and the methods that are used to obtain top rankings continue to evolve over time. Google has launched a number of updates over the past few years such as Google Penguin, Google Panda, and Google Hummingbird which have left SEO’ers and law firm webmasters scrambling to make adjustments to ensure that their websites are in compliance with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and it’s important that you stay up to date on what law firm SEO tactics and factors are still important in 2014.
Here are a few ways that you can improve your law firm SEO in 2014:
1. Is Your Law Firm’s Website Hummingbird Compliant?
In late 2013, Google launched its’ Hummingbird Update which many believe will reward websites that focus on more informational, Q&A-based content versus the marketing-driven “Top Five Ways to Do Something” pieces of content that were beginning to take over the Internet.
If your law firm’s website doesn’t include FAQ topics such as:
- How do I declare bankruptcy in Washington State?
- What is comparative negligence in California?
- What Are the Penalties in Ohio for a second DUI?
- How do I file a slip and fall claim in Florida?
Then you may want to ask your content writer to begin to write these types of content pages.
Be sure to include relevant and informative questions in your law firm website pages’:
- Page titles
- H1 and H2 headings
- Meta Descriptions
Were Can I Find Some Additional Google Hummingbird Resources?
For more information on Google Hummingbird, check out the following resources:
Is your SEO Strategy Ready for Google’s New Algorithm? by Entrepeneaur.com (The question-based title currently ranks #1 on Google News, no surprise there)
Google Hummingbird & The Keyword: What You Need To Know To Stay Ahead by SearchEngineLand.com
The Dirty Little Guide to Optimizing Your Blog for Google Hummingbird by All Blogging Tips
Should You Change Your SEO Strategy Because of Google Hummingbird? by KissMetrics
5 Myths About Google’s Hummingbird by Internet Marketing Ninjas
2. Is Your Law Firm Website Mobile-Friendly?
It’s no secret that the number of users who conduct searches on mobile devices is growing by the second.
Back in May of 2013, 46% of United States consumers used mobile devices exclusively when conducting research on a product or service according to searchenginewatch.com. Last month at CES 2014, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer announced that over half of Yahoo!’s 800 million monthly users, which equates to over 400 million monthly users, accessed the search engine on a mobile device. Many predicted back in 2011 that mobile users would surpass dektop users as early as 2014, and the growing number of mobile search users seems to prove this prediction correct.
How can your law firm website be more mobile-friendly?
A few things you can do to make your law firm website more mobile friendly include:
- Implement a responsive version of your website which automatically adjusts based on what device the user is visiting your law firm website on (iPhone, Android phone, tablet, desktop, etc.)
- Make sure you have a click-to-call option or that users can easily click on your phone number to call your law firm
- Make it easy for users to get your address and driving directions
- Try not to use a slider on your mobile website unless it is one that is responsive, many sliders are difficult to load on mobile devices
- Focus on the more important and popular pages in the navigation of your mobile/responsive website
- If you use live chat, include a way for users to click to chat live on their mobile devices
- Actually visit your law firm’s website on your smartphone
What are some additional resources that I can utilize to see if my law firm website is mobile-friendly?
Building Websites for the Multi-Screen Consumer– a Whitepaper by Google
W3C MobileOK Checker by W3C
8 Mobile WordPress Plugins by WPMUDEV
3. Are You Spending Too Much Time on Traditional SEO And Ignoring Local SEO Factors?
A lot of managing partners, marketing managers, and legal webmasters that I speak with are still spending time building links to their law firm websites in a hope that it will continue to build the website’s authority and rankings on Google, while completely ignoring local SEO factors that are still extremely important when it comes to local law firm SEO.
You’d be surprised how many law firm websites don’t include:
- A crawlable law firm name, address, and phone number (NAP) on evey page of their website
- The law firm NAP in schema.org format
- A KML or Geositemap
- An outdated date stamp in the footer of the website (does yours’ still say 2013?)
And, from an off-page perspective, how many law firms:
- Have multiple duplicate Google+ Local profiles
- Aren’t listed on Google Mapmaker
- Don’t build quality citation sources on a monthly basis
- Don’t proactively ask their current or past clients for reviews on their Google+ Local profile
There are hundreds of factors that go into how local law firms rank higher on Google for their city-based search terms.
How do I Improve My Law Firm’s Local SEO Rankings?
You can take a look at the following resources for some ideas on how to improve your local search rankings, or get a copy of a free local SEO audit by clicking the link on the top of your screen.
Top 20 Local Search Ranking Factors: an Illustrated Guide by Moz
Best and Worst Ways to Influence Local Search Rankings by SearchEngineLand
Did Hummingbird Just Kill Your Local SEO? by SearchEngineLand
7 Critical Factors for Ranking Highly in Google Local Search by Woorank
Do You Want (or NEED) Help Improving Your Law Firm SEO?
If you would like some help improving your law firm website’s search engine rankings, contact us at 1-855-529-6465 or click here.