November 18, 2015

Search Engine Optimization: Getting Your Business to the Top

Getting on the first page of search engines has little to do with understanding complicated mathematical equations and algorithms.

In fact, the bulk of search engine optimization involves thinking like a search engine user, not a machine.

Search engine optimization (or SEO) is the process of maximizing the number of visitors your website receives by ensuring that it appears high on the list of search results in major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

Without SEO, your website will never see the light of day.

Why Bother With Search Engine Optimization?

95% of search engine users never look past the first page of results. That means if your website is on Page 2, the likelihood of getting a lot of traffic to your site is exceptionally low.

Imagine taking the time to hire a phenomenal web designer to build your site. The finished product looks sleek, professional, and state of the art. However, for some reason you keep asking yourself: “Why is my law firm not coming up in Google?”

Unfortunately, this scenario happens quite often and is the most basic example of a website that needs law firm SEO.

In a world where countless companies are fighting for the same piece of the pie, being on top of search results is the best way to ensure that you are the one getting more business, not your competition.

Having phenomenal SEO is the only long-term solution to increasing the number of visitors to your site, enticing them to become leads, and converting them into clients or customers.

Keywords: The Most Important Component of SEO

Keywords are the words or phrases that a search engine user types into a search engine.

Every good SEO campaign begins with keyword research. This involves thinking like your target audience and asking questions like:

  1. Who am I trying to attract to my site?
  2. How do they talk about my legal services?
  3. What language do they use to label what I offer?
  4. What geographical area do they come from? (i.e. Do they say “sprinkles” or “jimmies”?)
  5. Are my keywords overly broad or too specific?

After you answer these questions and have a working list of keywords, try to determine which ones best apply to your target audience and create content around those.

Make sure to optimize for only one keyword or phrase per post and that it encapsulates the main topic of the page.

In addition to having your keyword appear in the body of your content, it should also appear in the URL, title tag, meta description, alt tags of pictures, and header tags.

Link Building

Another way to improve search rank is through link building. Link building involves developing relationships with other websites that will place a link to your site on their page or post.

Earning enough links will make you more credible and authoritative in the eyes of search engines.

Be careful: not all links are created equal. In fact, certain links could end up negatively impacting your search rank. Be very leery of anyone trying to sell you links. Google penalizes sites that do this and your site rank could be harmed indefinitely.

Instead, try to establish a connection with existing authoritative sites that are relevant to your industry. Although this can be quite time consuming and difficult, the rewards are exponential.

Local business citations are another great way to obtain links to your website. Claiming and verifying these listings not only earns you links, but it also helps you extend your network.

The following list includes a sampling of some of the local business sites that you should be listed in. We’ve even included links to our own business profiles, so you can see what yours ought to look like:

Google Maps Yahoo! Local MapQuest Yelp
Yellow Pages Foursquare City Search Manta
Super Pages White Pages Best of the Web Local Brownbook
Localeze Express Update Factual Hot Frog
Cylex 411 Lacartes Get Fave
Call Up Contact Switchboard Dex Knows GoLocal247
N49 Where To Big Wig Biz Local Stack

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Paid search engine optimization is fundamentally different from organic search engine optimization.

Instead of optimizing content around your keywords, building links, and using the other organic methods discussed above, paid search involves advertising within the sponsored listings of search engines.

Google Adwords, Yahoo! Gemini, and Bing Ads are all examples of pay-per-click platforms that your business can tap into.

When you perform a Google search, the first few listings on the top and all of the listings on the right side of the page are paid advertisements. You can tell because Google labels them as such and highlights the word “Ads” in yellow.

Those businesses appear in such prime positioning because they were the highest bidder for the particular keywords you typed into Google.

There are some major benefits to using paid search engine optimization. For starters, the results are instantaneous. The moment after your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign goes live, your business could be on Page 1 of Google and even the first result on the first page.

Also, you will not be expected to pay a single penny until your ad is clicked on. You can even set a daily and monthly budget that cannot be exceeded, which allows you to have maximum control over your advertising efforts.

The major downsides of PPC campaigns involve cost. While some keywords can be as low as $0.25 or $1.00, others like “DUI lawyer” could end up costing $50 per click!

The key to a successful PPC campaign is finding the delicate balance between instantly increasing your ROI without paying too much per click.

It takes a professional online marketing company to know whether your business would benefit most from organic search, paid search, or both.

Remember, every business can benefit tremendously from search engine optimization, especially if you’re a lawyer. After all, law firm SEO can help you drive more traffic to your site, get your phone ringing, and boost your ROI.

Where More Clicks More Clients Fits In

More Clicks More Clients is your one-stop shop for remarkable online marketing that gets results. We specialize in both organic and paid search engine optimization for lawyers. We are friendly, affordable, and committed to getting you to the top. Call us today or request your free online marketing consultation.