On-Page SEO Strategies That Will Move The Needle For Your Search Engine Rankings
Five or six years ago, when stuffing your title tag, and your heading tags (h1’s – h5’s) were a big factor in getting your website to rank well in online search results – SEO was a lot less complicated. Fortunately, the days of keyword-stuffing, and over-optimization working in the SERP’s are long gone. Google’s algorithm to rank websites has become much more complex, and your SEO strategies must follow suit. Law firms are no exception. But the good news is that with the proper optimization methods, your practice can tap into the steady stream of clients searching for you online.
It’s simply not enough to just have a website, you must now have a strong web presence. And to achieve that you must know something about search engine optimization for lawyers, which can become the most important aspect of your internet marketing visibility.
Internet marketing professionals employ many different tactics to help websites rank highly in the search engine results pages (SERPS). These strategies can be divided into two broad categories: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Let’s look at the first category.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO involves the things that can be optimized on your web pages to make your site rank higher and get more organic traffic. Organic traffic means the number of visitors who find your website from typing in words and looking at the search results, rather than the people who find it by clicking on paid ads.
Optimizing the content on your page is an on-going process that must be periodically revisited if you want to stay competitive and maintain your high ranking.
On-Page SEO Checklist | 8 Top Search Engine Ranking Factors
Although Google claims there are around 200 ranking factors in their algorithm, there are just a handful of crucial ones to pay attention to on your web pages that have the most impact.
#1 URL Domain Name:
Choosing your URL domain name is vitally important, and can help rank your website. For example, Hendersonlaw.com might be the name of your law practice, but difficult to know which niche it is in or where it’s located just from the domain name. However, HendersonLawDaytonOH.com is much clearer, and will be the strongest ranking factor for clients in Dayton to find your law firm online. Furthermore, if your firm specializes in only one branch of law, a powerful URL to attract your ideal clients might be: HendersonCriminalLawDayton.com.
#2 URL Structure:
Structure refers to how you name the remaining pages and posts on your website. Search engines can easily crawl from one page to another on a website when it has an organized, simple URL structure. It’s also more user-friendly for potential clients. It’s very important that URLs contain proper keywords and phrases, and that they are accurate regarding the content on the pages they point to. For example, one inner page URL on your site might be: HendersonCriminalLawDayton.com/DUI. Accurate inner page names help search engines find that specific page on your site and serve it up to a potential client in Dayton who is facing a DUI charge.
#3 Title Tags:
The title tag is comprised of the words seen in the clickable link when your site shows up in a potential customer’s search. This title helps them discover what your business is about. The title tag is indexed on search engines; therefore, it has a greater impact than most other on-page SEO factors. Google accommodates only 61-70 characters for this title, so it’s important that it is written concisely with powerful keyword relevance.
#4 Meta Description:
The meta description is a slightly longer summary (155-160 characters) of content from your webpage that appears in the search results after the title tag. Here you want to entice potential customers to open your page and read more about what you offer. Search engine crawlers look at meta-keywords to get an idea of what your site is all about. It is very important that this description is accurate and differentiates your page from other similar web pages.
#5 Header Tags:
Header tags, also known as paragraph headings, define the content and categories on a web page. Marking paragraph headings with H-1 tags, H-2 tags, H-3 tags, sub-title tags, and emphasis tags from the Style Menu alert Google’s search engine of the key topics in the paragraphs that follow; and therefore, they should include specific keywords and phrases. SEO experts refer to these headers as prime real-estate that you don’t want to waste by not utilizing accurate wording.
#6 Additional Media:
Media used on your site, such as photos, charts, graphs, and videos, should also be accurate in their keywords and phrases that is typed into their alt text, description, and caption fields.
Alt text provides a brief description of about 125 characters or less of an image file that Google uses for ranking, and that is also used by screen readers to tell visually-impaired users about images.
The description can hold as much information as you wish, and is often the size of a paragraph. It describes the photo or video and its relevance to the page content where it is placed. It can include keywords, copyright information, photo metadata, and even links. Each image has its own URL based on its filename, and the description will appear on the image attachment page in image searches when clicked or enlarged.
A caption appears on the web page under or beside a photo to give the reader additional information.
All of the wording assigned to additional media, including their filenames, can be optimized so that Google can clearly know how to categorize your media and their relevancy to the page content.
#7 Internal Linking:
Linking one of your site pages to another not only helps users navigate around your website, it also establishes the information hierarchy within the website. Linking back to your main page for a certain keyword from different pages with similar tags can help that page rank higher. Linking from your pages to information contained in your blog articles and vice versa, also establishes relevancy and authority.
High quality content is the key to long-term success when it comes to optimizing your website, because Google can recognize informative and authoritative content by comparing it with the content from other similar sites. Although a website can be ranked high through using careful and strong off-page linking techniques, a change in Google’s algorithm can bring the rankings down; whereas, high quality informative content is the best insurance of staying on top no matter what other changes come. Relevant, up-to-date information builds trust and relationships. Your content will bring the best return on investment by giving potential clients all the information they need to make educated decisions.
Finding Great On-Page SEO Content Services
Every word on your website is important in terms of search engine optimization: URL structure, page title, media descriptions, H-tags, and most of all, well-written, informative content. Search engine algorithms look for important words at specific places on your pages; therefore, understanding how to optimize your page can give you a massive advantage in your marketing strategies.
Learn more about search engine optimization, as well as the other important ranking factors that affect your place in the SERP’s. If you put effort into all of these aspects of on-page optimization, you will see a boost in traffic and a rise in visibility for your practice, leading to the ultimate goal: achieving a listing on Page 1 of Google and increasing the number of potential clients and revenue.