Legal Marketing & Web Design Blog

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How Do I Optimize Blog Posts for the Search Engines?

Most law firms want their sites to rank better with the search engines. In discussing SEO, we consistently preach the power of a dynamic content strategy, recommending that attorneys add fresh content on a regular basis. One way to do this is by setting up a blog and posting to it frequently. On many occasions, we’ve had clients ask us what they can do to optimize their blog posts for the search engines. In truth, if you’re writing your blog posts for the search engines, you’re doing it all wrong. If you want a successful blog that helps to increase your visibility on the web, consider the following:

Write for the Visitor, Not the Search Engines
During your time in the legal industry, you’ve likely visited hundreds, if not thousands, of legal websites. And you’ve undoubtedly encountered sites where every other word is the geographic location or practice area of the firm; it’s clear that this content was written with one focus – Google. As the search engines have become more sophisticated, they are able to decipher quality content from optimized content. When drafting your posts, don’t think about the search engines, think about your visitor. What information are they looking for? What articles are they most likely to share?

Write Original Content
Many people erroneously believe that adding any relevant content to a website will help with content strategy. Unfortunately, it just isn’t that easy. The search engines want to see original content. When developing a blogging strategy, be sure that you set aside time to write each week and don’t look to third parties for articles which can simply be reposted to your site. Visitors will also be grateful for information coming from an expert who has experience with legal matters in their jurisdiction and can deliver unique insight that other third parties just can’t provide.

Write with Regularity
Search engines want to see fresh content on your site and guess what, so do visitors! When a visitor lands on your site, seeing that you haven’t posted a new article since 2011 can be seriously off-putting. If you do have a blog for your practice, make it a rule to post several times each month. This will help with visibility and first impressions.

Write with Links
Website visitors who are reading your blog posts are looking for more information. In your posts, be sure to include links to pages in your site with relevant information that might be of value to a reader. This will help to get visitors deeper into your site and better acquainted with all you have to offer. When including a link, be sure not to include the often unsightly URL, instead use some of the text in the article as the anchor text for the link, which will mask the long URL and make the post easier to read.

While a good blog can help to increase your site’s ranking with the search engines, that shouldn’t be your only goal. Blogging should allow you to showcase your expertise and ultimately become a resource that has prospects, clients and colleagues returning to your site.