Learning Center: SEO for Lawyers

5 Bad SEO Habits That Law Firms Need To Drop

Technology is constantly changing and if you fail to make quick adjustments you’ll soon be left behind. Most marketing methods that were effective for law firm websites 5 or so years ago are probably outdated by now. This is because SEO, which has been around for almost two decades now,…

Technology is constantly changing and if you fail to make quick adjustments you’ll soon be left behind. Most marketing methods that were effective for law firm websites 5 or so years ago are probably outdated by now. This is because SEO, which has been around for almost two decades now, keeps on changing so often that its sometimes impossible to keep track.

There are several SEO practices for law firms that no longer apply. In fact, some of the strategies that used to be extremely effective a few years back can now harm your site’s rankings. Re-evaluating your search strategy every so often will eventually pay off. If you stick to the old strategies, you’ll certainly be left behind.

Reasons for frequent changes in search strategy

Is there a reason for Google to keep on updating its search algorithm? Certainly yes! To start with, technology changes fast and there are new coding practices, standards, and versions of website pages that come up every year. Search strategy must be altered to take into account all these changes in how websites are developed over the years.

Additionally, mobile search has been increasing at a very fast rate. With the popularity of mobile devices, search engines are making constant changes to ensure web users get the best experience regardless of the device they’re using to access the Internet.

It’s also important to note that so many websites are now competing for the same keyword rankings. Legal services are particularly crowded when it comes to competing for similar search terms. Search engines always claim to make adjustments to their algorithms in order to give users what they want - valuable and useful content.

Therefore, Google is unlikely to stop rolling out algorithm changes anytime soon. As marketers, it pays to ensure you’re updated with the latest algorithm changes and how it could affect your law firm SEO. You must always know which tactics are still relevant and effective and the ones that no longer work to improve your search rankings.

With that said, let’s look at 5 SEO practices for law firms that you need to kick out.

Keyword stuffing

Gone are the days when all search engines were looking for was an excessive use of keywords in your content. There was a time when you needed to use the keyword “New York auto accident lawyer” (this exact phrase) several times in order for your content to rank.

Stuffing keywords throughout your content, on your headlines, subheadings, body and meta data, no longer guarantees a high Google ranking. In fact, forcing certain keywords in your content can make it less attractive to users since some of these phrases cannot be placed naturally in the copy. Since Google values user experience, it cannot rank content that is not pleasant to read.

Stay away from keyword stuffing if you want to create content that flows well, is useful and has smart diction. This is not to say that keywords don’t matter at all. They still do but Google algorithms are designed in such a way that they can still tell what the page is talking about even if you don’t use the same terms repeatedly. Think like a reader before writing.

Would you rather come up with a keyword-rich headline that catches the attention of crawlers or a strong headline that instantly attracts users making them want to find out more? Relevant users are more likely to click on a catchy headline and this eventually improves your conversion rates.

Linking to low-quality sites

For many years, SEOs have been focusing on getting as many sites link back to their own in order to boost rankings. This certainly works. However, the quality of referral links is much more important than their quantity. What this means is that Google will consider whether the site that you’re linking to is relevant to yours. What is that page talking about in relation to yours? If you link to low quality, unrelated content, it could seriously hinder your page rank. While it is still important to increase your backlinks, only go for those that are relevant and have a good standing on Google.

Paying for links

One of the worst SEO practices for law firms that you can ever consider is paying a third-party directory to send you traffic by linking back to your law firm website. Many director sites are still in the business of selling links for traffic and will convince you that this still works. Don’t fall into that trap. Avoid SEO directories, buying links on social media, article spinners and other private link networks that promise to help you increase your page rank within a short time frame.

You can still come up with an effective PPC strategy for your law firm website and do it in the right way to get traffic from various sources like social media. Press releases can also be effective in giving you the right kind of traffic but be wary of press release farms that have been flagged by Google. If you choose to publish a press release, make sure the site is a high-quality domain that is relevant for law firms.

Poor anchor text tactics

Anchor text is that you click on when you see a link on a web page’s content. Gone are the days when you had to ensure the anchor text is stuffed with keywords or has words that are irrelevant to the page, in order for it to rank. Anchor texts are not just for search engines but more importantly, for the users to see and actually click on. Don’t stuff keywords on the anchor text and always make sure it flows naturally with the rest of your content.

Unnecessary blogging

Law firms would blog about any topic in order to rank for as many keywords and phrases as possible. The issue with this is that when you become a jack of all trades in your content, you waste so much time focusing on readers that are unlikely to require your services. Blogging works but it should only be done on topics that are relevant to what your law firm does. Blog on relevant topics if you would like to attract organic traffic that is extremely effective.

If you need to see an improvement in your law firm website rankings, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us to get the best SEO practices for law firms working for you.