SEO basics explained for legal firms

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an essential concept in online marketing today. In essence it means what it says. It is a process by which you can optimise the purpose of your website. The idea being, thanks to good SEO, search engines will recognise and rank it higher than your competitors on their results page.

When a user types keywords into the search engine, for example ‘lawyers in London,’ the search engine presents pages relevant to those terms. If your website does not appear on the first page of results given by a major search engine, the likelihood is that the majority of people will miss your website completely. SEO campaigns make sure that search engines find your site and rate it highly within the listed results, meaning more hits on your website and potentially more clients.

On-page SEO and off-page SEO: what is the difference?

Unsurprisingly, on-page SEO involves optimising the content of your website to get the attention of those search engines. Ensuring that your website has appropriate keyword density is the most well known SEO technique. Search terms that are frequently used by your potential clients, “compensation” for instance, need to be prominent in the headings and sub-headings on the relevant pages. Another important SEO factor is the need to optimise your URL, (ultimately all that comes after www.) by including these key words. Page titles, image descriptions and more can all also be used to help on page SEO. Improve SEO, make it easier for the search engine to find you and the traffic to your site will improve.

Off-page SEO shifts the focus from your website itself to interactions with the rest of the website and the internet as a whole. The principle here is that the more a website interacts with other parts of the internet, the more important that site is.

Visualise your website linking to other websites, directories, forums, blogs and social media across the world and see how much stronger that makes your website. There are numerous techniques for off-page optimisation. You could answer questions on sites such as Yahoo, submit articles, guest blog, start a social networking campaign and work on directory submissions.

Effective SEO for your legal firm is an ongoing process

It is also important to bear in mind even once you've reached that golden top spot on Google, keeping it will take sustained effort. Search engines do not just rate the amount of links to your website or on-page keywords, they rate them according to how recent they are. Effective SEO for your legal website requires a comprehensive digital media marketing strategy. Delivering high-quality, keyword-rich, fresh content can be a challenge, however the rewards can also be great.

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