Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- n. The process of getting your website found on search engines.
Search engines, such as Google, use an algorithm to determine what sites are important and relevant. This formula determines how the search engines will rank your website. Most search engines use the same factors, just weighted differently. However, Google accounts for an overwhelming majority of all the searches by users. Accordingly, we optimize for them first. Having a first page website on google is far more important than having a first page website on Yahoo, or other sites like Bing.
There are two types of optimization; Off-Page, and On-Page
On-page optimization includes all of the things you can implement directly on your website to raise your chances of having Google find your website, and determine it to be of high value. While Google is constantly changing their formula and how they weight these factors, some are well known and an important component to consider when constructing your site.
Domain Name - Your domain name/URL is the address people type in the web browser to go to your website. This website's url is: http://legalmarketingguru.com. If you are first building a website, it is very important to pick a domain name related to your business or practice area. If the type of business is in the url, google will give this weight. For example, one of our top ranking websites, www.nhdwiguy.com, has the important search phrase NH (for New Hampshire), and DWI in the name.
Besides having keywords in the domain name, you should have important keywords in your subdomains (the inner pages of your website). For example, http://www.nhdwiguy.com/concord.html is much more informative to google than nhdwiguy.com/13746.html would be.
Title of Webpage: The title of your webpage (what appears at the top of the browser) is also one of the most important things to Google. Having a title with relevant keywords that describe your website is incredibly important. Additionally, it is what is listed in the search engine results. So, you will want a clear title that is likely to get the visitor to go to your website. Having just your law firm name as a title is not a very good idea.
Tags/Metatags. Tags, and metatags used to be very important. Due to people just shoving numerous keywords in the website, it is unlikely Google will give them much weight. Despite this, however, it does not hurt to properly set them up.
Content: The #1 thing Google considers on a website is the actual text/content of the website. Obviously, you will want your website to be about the practice area/geographic location you are looking to draw visitors to your site. The more unique, original content you have the better. The more pages you have the better. Finally, Google has recently heavily promoted new/fresh content (freshness). If you update your website on a regular basis, Google will give it more value. This is one of the reasons blogs can be very valuable.
Off-page SEO refers to the things done on other websites to boost the value and ranking of your website.
Link Building - The most important thing to have your website be considered important by Google is to have links from other websites. Generally, the more the better. Some of our top websites have close to 100,000 backlinks, however, not all links are given the same weight. Links from sites that are also authoritative, such as cnn.com would be given much more weight than from a site with hardly any content. Additionally, theme links have become very important. Themed links are links from a site with content related to yours. So, a link from a high ranking lawyer website will be given high weight and let google know your what your website is about.
Back in the day, link spamming (websites with thousands of links on them) and reciprocal links (you like to them, they link to you) used to work. Google is smarter now and these things will not help your site ranking.
Article Writing / Press Releases - Besides coming from a similar website, having your link appear in an article related to you is very important. This is why we offer article writing. We will develop an article about your website, with important keywords, and then submit the article to other websites. This is a growing trend of one of the best ways to rank a website.
Besides the typical things listed above that all good SEO companies should be doing, we do emphasize a couple of other things not mentioned. These things, in our experience working on numerous websites, sometimes by trial and error, have helped us get a better idea of what is presently best working to rank a site quickly.
Please note: It will generally take a month before you see any results, and around 6-12 months before you see the best results. It is possible to rank well for both your main home page, and other webpages on your website.
SEO requires ongoing maintenance. If you do not keep up with it, your website will gradually decrease in rank. Your links will likely go away over time, and Google is always changing what they emphasize. We keep up on these trends and are committed to helping your website and your practice succeed for the long-term. Give us a call to discuss how we can help get your website on the first page of Google results.