Peter BoydSEO Content Editing your Website: A Guide for Law Firms

What is the right amount of content?

Google wants your website to “prove” that it is relevant for the phrases you are targeting within your SEO campaign. The only way this can occur is by having enough contextual content on your website. In short, a good rule of thumb is as follows:

  • Homepage text: 750 to 1000 words.
  • Core Subpages of the website: a minimum of 500 words.
  • Blog posts:   your posts must have a minimum of 500 words per post.

If your competitors have more content that is on par with Google’s requirements, or are out blogging you, Google sees your website as falling short. Your site needs to be just as powerful, and contextual, as the competitor you are going up against.

Direct Matched Keyword Phrases Still Work; but proceed with Caution

Placing direct match keyword text in the Title Tags, Headlines and copy of your home page is still a powerful factor even when complying and keeping pace with recent Google algorithm changes. However, the goal remains to create quality content and weave in the keyword terms as naturally as possible. It is important to remember to only include the phrase, or some form of it, if it makes sense in the title and reads naturally. Primary keywords should be placed in:

  • Title Tag: Top 2 or 3 Keywords in Home Page Title.  Also include the Firm Name, if possible, for branding purposes.  Long firm names will have trouble with this though.
  • H1 Tags: Best 1 or 2 Keywords in Home Page Headline H1 Tag.
  • H2 Headlines: Your secondary keyword phrases can be included in the H2 subheads.
  • Copy:  Use the keyword text as a direct match throughout the copy.
  • Spam:  Don’t stuff and go crazy.  If it reads unnatural, redo the writing.

Spice up your content with other Keyword Phrases

While Google still loves establishing relevancy through direct match keywords within your content, Google wants to see a diversity of what you are targeting. This means we can now also use broad match terms instead of just the exact phrases. For example, in addition to “Ft. Lauderdale personal injury lawyer”, you can say, “I’m a personal injury lawyer based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.”  And, instead of “Our Punta Gorda lawyers and Port Charlotte attorneys,” you can say, “Our Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte lawyers and attorneys.” This garners more freedom for variety and a better opportunity to avoid keyword stuffing.

Direct Match of Anchor Text = Be Careful

Here is where you may run into issues – anchor text of links.  Anchor text is the actual words that appear on a link, when you link to a subpage or another website.

Ex:  Law Firm Logo Design

For years, this was abused by almost all websites.  I abused it a bit just now for illustrative purposes (oh noes!).  However, now it should only be used occasionally.

At this point we do not recommend matching your anchor text directly with the sub-page topics.  This is especially true if your anchor text matches to the next pages URL, Title, Copy, and Headlines.  You should still link to all your main practice areas, but do it in a more natural manner.

Lastly, there is no need to link to the same page repeatedly throughout a single page or blog with anchor text.  As stated above, link only when it makes sense in order to enhance the user’s experience.

Examples!  I want Examples!

  • Good Example
    It would be fine to link “Corporate Law” on your home page to the “Corporate Law” page.  That makes sense.  It is how people would write and is in fact your service.  You could even link into your next page that says “Atlanta Corporate Lawyer” or “Corporate Law in Atlanta”.
  • Bad Example
    It is probably not best practices to link the home page text “Atlanta Corporate Lawyer” to a page that has the Title Tag, H1, and lots of body text directly matching “Atlanta Corporate Lawyer.”  That is over-optimization and not natural.  This is especially true if you do this for five, 10, 20 or 50 other practices on your home page.

Footers

Footer text has been abused for the past 10 years.  Everyone should be cleaning up their footer text and really only have:

  • Call to Action
  • Office addresses
  • Practice Area List, but without tons of keyword phrases
  • Any Legal Text Needed (Copyright, Disclaimer, Bar Rules)

If you have large blocks of text that are meaningless, or a dribble of keyword phrases, then get rid of them.  They are probably not helping and may be decreasing your rankings.

Wrap-Up

In short, write naturally. Place your keyword phrases in your title tags, headlines and body copy.  However, do so creatively and only where it makes sense.  Write for your clients, and not specifically for search, and you will succeed.


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