My partner and I have worked with quite a few law firms by this point, and we are still surprised at how many web sites we look at that have serious content or coding flaws. Some of these sites are not bad at all in terms of design, but design alone won’t get it done if you are seeking search engine visibility. Here is a checklist of items to make sure your web site meets the minimum level of optimization for search engine rankings.
1. Make sure your physical address is on the home page, in text. Pictures don’t count. There needs to be some text on the page with your city and state.
2. Create a home page title that contains your geographic market as well as main area of practice. Ideally, your home page title will also be based on keyword research to make sure you are using the phrasing that more people use to search for law firms in your market.
3. Give every page of your web site its own specific page title. Again, it would be useful to do some research so that you can insert traffic-generating keywords in titles throughout your site.
4. Have some copy and text links on your home page. If your home page consists solely of Flash or some other non-text technology, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage right off the bat. You want to have lots of text for search engine robots to read.
5. Use text links to practice area pages that contain the practice area in the page name. For example, your home page might have a link that says “Divorce” to a page titled “Divorce Law.”
6. Use your meta tags. Place a set of keywords in the keywords meta tag, and try to use those same keywords in your web page copy. Also give a good, keyword-rich description.
7. Use header (h1) tags to emphasize each page’s primary keyword. For example, if your home page is meant to rank for the phrase “Memphis Personal Injury Lawyer,” then it is helpful to have a header on the page with exactly that phrase.
So there you go. If your web page does not meet all seven of these criteria, then you are lacking some basic on-page optimization parameters that could definitely help improve your web site’s search engine rankings. As always, I would be glad to talk to you if you need some help. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out http://www.law-firm-internet-marketing.net for more tips and advice about promoting your law firm’s web site.