Content is King for Lawyers

This is the beginning of search engine optimization. I will begin talking about content. The next couple of posts will be critical in getting your lawyer website showing up in the search engines. There is a so called “formula” and tonight I will begin breaking down the formula starting with content. This is the first piece of the puzzle. I will describe how I can get your lawyer website to show up on the search engines through good content. I don’t mean by putting your name into a search engine, I mean by putting in a key “search phrase” into a search engine.  If I create a lawyer website I want to know that the search engines are hitting my site and my site can be found through keyword phrases. Keyword phrases should include:

  • The state, counties and towns that your law practice covers
  • The areas of law you practice (personal injury, criminal law, family law etc.)
  • Description of services related to each practice area (car accidents, drug offenses, divorce etc.)

In laymen terms when someone puts in a keyword phrase such as “New York car accident lawyers” your site will appear on the first page of the search. This is called search engine exposure through search engine marketing. The concept for search engine marketing is ever changing. By the time I finish this post perhaps these techniques will be null and void, however, I highly doubt it. There are many so called “search engine experts” that will argue some of my recommendations, but based on my experience and success, I will give you the information that has worked for me in the past (well most of it). Its first important to understand that the major search engines often change their algorithms so people like me can’t own certain key word phrases. I have heard that these search engines will change their algorithms anywhere from every six months to a year. To you this means that the way the search engine finds information could change a little. So lets begin!

The Basics

Submitting your site: For most cases in order for these search engines to find your site, you will need to submit your site to each search engine. There are cases that they will pick up your site but it will take much longer. My recommendation is to submit your site to google, MSN and Yahoo right away. Click on the links to submit.

Time: Understand by submitting your site doesn’t mean you will get instant exposure. It takes time so be patient. There are ways to bypass this that I would like to keep to myself, but for the most part the amount of time you have your URL (web address) on the internet will count for something.

Content is King

Good Content: The key to search engine exposure is unique and relevant content. It all starts with good content and if anyone tells you different they are wrong. Without relevant content on your site it is very hard to get found through organic searches. When you start writing your content the best thing to do is look at other attorney websites. The websites that are showing up on the first page of the search engines. These are the websites that you want to mimic in a sense. Why? Because their websites are showing up and your website is not. I have worked with many lawyers that developed their own websites and as a result of poor written content, their site rarely got traffic. Poorly written content doesn’t give much appeal to the search engines hence they never get traffic to their site.

Words per page: This is where I differ from some Search engine experts. While most experts believe there needs to be a balance of content, I believe that too much content isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Now, I will tell you that too much content will often times get your visitors jumping from your site so pay close attention. An individual page on your website should be around 500 words. In the industry you will hear 250 minimum and 500 maximum. I have created pages with over a 750 words and those pages are standing number 1 on many different searches. You can easily find out the words per page by copying and pasting your content into Microsoft word. Goto the tools menu and hit word count. If you are under 250 start writing.

Laying out your content: This is very important. When creating pages on your website you will want to start with a “home base.” This page often times explains your practice and links out to certain pages within your website. For instance, I may have a page listed as “practice areas.” This page should briefly explain my practice areas with hot links to separate pages to each of the practice areas. I will give this site a good link New York Personal Injury Lawyers – Click that link to see the example. I will explain to you later why I presented that link as “NY PI lawyers”. When you give your practice areas a home base, you basically lay the content out for the search engines to easily access your content. It also helps for navigation purposes.

Keyword Density: This is another area that many SEO experts may disagree. Based upon my experience, keyword density still plays a significant role in getting your site found. Keyword density is the ability to be repetitive with certain words for each page. For example, if I’m a New York Criminal Lawyer, I will want to repeat that phrase several times within each web page. Keyword density breaks down all the words on a particular page and calculates each word. The calculation is based upon every word and the tool will show you a percentage. Click here for the tool – Keyword Density – A good percentage will be anywhere from 2% – 5%. Anything over or under will be somewhat insignificant however they still will show up in some searches. I do recommend never going over 6% for reasons I will explain later. The words you are trying to capture are those words that people are putting in the search engine to find an attorney like you. You will need to do a little research in finding out what people are putting in the search engines. I typically do the research for my clients and it can be time consuming. A quick hint* If you are a New York Estate Planning attorney than your 2-5% is typically New York Estate Planning Attorney. Of course everyone that practices estate planning in New York is obviously going after this term so you need to consider being more location driven when you begin. This means perhaps the town you practice in i.e. Oswego Estate planning attorney to begin. However do include both New York and NY somewhere on each page.

Google SiteMap: Let me make this clear. You need a google sitemap on your website! If you don’t you will be handicapping yourself, trust me. Click on this link google sitemap. If you can’t figure it out, I would recommend paying someone who can. A sitemap will help google find your content much quicker. I’m not saying your dead in the water without one, but it will help you if you have one.

In closing, this is just the first part of a large puzzle. I begin with content because I believe content is the most important part of a website. Without content you have nothing. If you follow this formula you are one step closer to getting exposure on the internet. Until next time, I accept all criticism and praise equally.