You’ve Got Questions About SEO, and We’ve Got Answers!
Our clients often ask us questions about SEO, and for good reason! The rules of SEO seem to change frequently and keeping up with the current recommendations is a daunting task. Here, we answer the most common questions our SEO team gets.
We hope that you find the SEO answers you seek on this page. If you don’t please do not hesitate to call 888-886-0939 to speak with a member of our U.S.-based SEO team.
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I don’t understand what to do with all the information I get through Google analytics. Is it really necessary for my attorney SEO?
Analytics are a crucial part of attorney SEO – the data you receive through analytics can tell you how effective your online attorney marketing is, what keywords are working, and where your law firm website could use some work. Used correctly, analytics can be a guiding force in building the kind of online presence that brings in more contacts, more clients, and is truly a benefit for your law firm.
Here are the questions that analytics software can help you answer:
- What keywords are bringing people to my site?
- Where is most of my traffic coming from?
- Are the people who find me finding what they need when they get here?
- What are my most popular pages?
Using analytics, you can fine tune your online marketing plan, know what’s working (and what isn’t), give your potential clients what they’re looking for, and stay on top of the frequent changes to Google’s search algorithm.
Sound pretty good? It is! If you need help making better use of your analytics data, the online attorney marketing team with Foster Web Marketing can help! Speak with us today at 1-888-886-0939, or simply fill out our convenient online contact form for more information.
And, for more great information about beefing up your online marketing, request your FREE copy of our must-read book The 5 Biggest Mistakes 99% of Lawyers Make with Their Websites. This important guide explains more about the most common attorney website pitfalls and how effective use of “white hat” SEO can help you get seen.
You guys keep talking about “white hat” SEO and why it’s important, but I’ve seen my competitors outrank me on Google using what you call “black hat” techniques. What’s the point of “white hat” SEO if these other sites can outrank me?
Sites that use link farms, keyword stuffing, hidden text, and other techniques designed to outsmart Google’s algorithm may benefit from a traffic spike in the short term, but they only stand to lose users in the long term. Google is constantly updating its algorithm to weed out the sites which use these unsavory tactics, and it’s a pretty good bet that those sites will—sooner or later—face penalties.
Google Search has a single goal in mind, and that goal is connecting users to the best match for their search queries. If you’ve cheated your way to the top, then your potential clients won’t find what they need—and Google will notice. Is a spike in traffic now really worth losing those contacts and your page ranking later? Probably not.
When it comes to “white hat” SEO, what we’re really talking about is helping you create and optimize a website that informs, answers questions, provides great content, and engages users—so that your page rises to the top because it really deserves to be there. “Black hat” SEO always will be about cheap tricks, trying to find a way around Google’s efforts to penalize you, and leaving users disappointed.
Don’t Disappoint Your Potential Clients
“White hat” search engine optimization may seem complicated, but in the hands of a professional it’s almost like magic. Let us handle your online attorney marketing and do the hard work while you focus on what you do best: practicing law and building relationships with your clients. Speak with a member of our expert attorney search engine optimization team today at 888-886-0939, or fill out our online contact form for more information.
To learn more about marketing on the Web and making the most of what’s out there, take a look at our must-read book, The 5 Biggest Mistakes 99% of Lawyers Make with Their Websites, and take your law firm marketing to the next level!
What Is a Call to Action, And Why Is It Important for My Attorney Website?
A call to action on a webpage is an invitation for your visitor to take the next step. Instead of passively reading your website and moving on, a call to action asks them to make a move toward building a relationship with your business. A call to action can be concrete (“Click here!”) or more open-ended (“Let us hear from you!”).
Here are a few common calls to action that can be found on websites for lawyers:
Call to schedule a free consultation.
Provide us with your contact information.
Tell us your story.
Download our free legal guide or ebook.
Leave a comment on our blog post.
Follow us on Twitter.
Chat now with an online representative.
Why is it important for your lawyer website user to act? While getting tons of web traffic is great, the real, final purpose of your website is to connect with great new clients. A call to action invites these potential clients to initiate your relationship.
Does your lawyer website lack strong calls to action? Or are your calls to action not producing results? The online marketing experts at Foster can help. Call us today at 1.888.886.0939 (see what we just did there?).
How Will the Google Panda Update Change Lawyer Web Design?
Ever since Google announced its new search engine protocol (dubbed "Panda"), attorneys have been wondering what they need to do to their websites to make certain that their pages still rank well and protect against future search engine algorithm changes.
More than anything, the Panda update teaches us that the world of SEO is ever changing, and that it will always be much more valuable to focus on producing clean design and high-quality content than to focus on tricking the system. While old SEO strategies would have you stuff articles with keywords and concentrate on article directories, the new solution is realizing that some things will never go out of style: user-friendly sites, unique content, and giving visitors the information that they are looking for.
So, what do you need to do to your attorney website design to keep up with the Panda? We recommend that you take a close look at your site, and see whether it is catering to visitors or trying to trick search engines. Focus on content users want instead of the content search engines might like.
Need professional SEO help to tackle the Panda? Call Foster Web Marketing today at 1.888.886.0939.
Should I choose an SEO-driven domain name or a marketable domain name?
There are advantages to choosing a keyword-rich domain name, and there are advantages to choosing a marketable or "brandable" domain name. It is important to look at the pros and cons of both choices, as much of the answer depends on what kind of website you would like to build for your business.
Picking a marketable domain name is advantageous because it will be memorable, and because it will help build your brand. Some of the most popular websites in the world -such as Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Amazon, and Zappos - don't have any key words at all in their domain name but rather focus on a memorable, unique word.
Picking a SEO-driven domain name will currently help you when it comes to search engine rankings, and those looking for a "NYC Attorney" might have an easier time finding your site if your domain name is NYCattorney.com. However, having a keyword-rich domain name also means you lose the chance to have a memorable website - your domain name could be confused with the law office that runs NYClawyer.com, for example. In addition, Google has considered making the presence of keywords in domain names less important in their search engine algorithm.
Do you need assistance improving and growing your business' website? Speak with an SEO and online-marketing expert at Foster Web Marketing today.
I have decided to open a solo practice. How should I market myself when I am operating on a small law firm budget?
The Internet should be at the center of your marketing campaign. Most people use the Web as a resource when looking for local service providers, including law firms. Smartphones, tablets and other devices are making it easier for consumers to access the information they need on the fly. Therefore, the Internet needs to be where you are focusing the majority of your efforts.
In our article, How Do You Market a New Practice Area or Law Firm?, we talk about the three main areas that should be included in any attorney Web marketing campaign – social media, online video and your own website. For instance, you need to spend time on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, since it gives you the opportunity to interact directly with your target market. If social media is a new concept for you or if you haven’t used it yet to market your law practice, you should order a copy of our book, Secrets of Social Media for Attorneys Revealed.
Search engines also give a lot of weight to videos and reward them with top positions in search results. Make sure that you are producing video clips that are optimized to attract search engines and your potential clients.
Of course, you should never ignore the significance of new and relevant content. By adding blog posts, articles, frequently asked questions and other content pieces to your website on a regular basis, you are placing yourself in a position of authority. People will view you as an expert and the search engines will look at you as a trusted source of information.
To learn more about how you can create an effective Internet marketing campaign, contact us today at 888.886.0939.
What is unique content?
Unique content is the text on your web site that no one else has anywhere. Unique content is good while shared content (information that is found on others web sites) is bad for search engine optimization. The search engines reward your web site for having new and fresh (unique) content such as blogs, new articles, FAQ's and library articles and penalizes a web site if it has the same content that is found on other web sites. Foster Web Marketing will always provide unique content.
Is a first page Google ranking enough?
Its a great feeling when you see your website getting on the 1st page of Google, but what about if you could get 3 or 4 out of the top 10 listings on any of the major search engines for your chosen keywords. This is known as Search Engine Rash, or SER for short. Search Engine Rash, (abbr: SER). def: 1. to have multiple first page listings in the search engines, 2. to appear all over the Search Engines like a rash. In our opinion, SEO is not just about getting on the 1st page of Google anymore - its about getting as many first page listings as possible in order to put you in a prominent position. Your prospects will get the impression that you are the expert in your field. SEO is no longer good enough to put you ahead of your competition, you need SER, Search Engine Rash to fully exploit the web.
Do keywords in domains need to be separated with hyphens in order for search engines to read them?
The ability of search engines to parse keywords that haven't been separated by hyphens is always a popular topic. However, our research suggests that what's really most important is that your URLs are easy for search engines to crawl. That means using a site map, minimizing dynamic URLs (the ones full of ?, =, and & symbols), avoiding session IDs (such as &id=), and keeping your directory structure fairly shallow. Beyond that, it's always going to be a good idea to have your keywords in your domain name, since people will usually link to you with the keywords found in your domain name. Keywords in the rest of your URL are primarily important because they can make your page appear more relevant to searchers, enticing more people to click on your listing. And, of course, they can also provide a small ranking advantage However, to answer the question - Yes, you need to use hyphens, because currently most search engines are not parsing keywords out of URLs if those keywords are run-together and not separated with hyphens.
What about "Reciprocal Linking" how does that happen?
A good search engine optimization company will be concerned about gathering quality inbound links to your website because "link popularity" plays a big factor in rankings. In Google, PageRank™ manages this. Because finding quality links from quality sites is very time consuming, many search engine optimization companies have tried to automate the process. One adverse approach to link building is automated reciprocal linking schemes, often responding to the ever-present emails that are sent to anyone with a website, looking for link exchanges to boost a site's link popularity. The danger here is that an outbound link from your site is counted as a "vote" for the site to which it links. If that site gets penalized, your site may get penalized in turn. (Google refers to this type of linking relationship as a "bad neighborhood.") A good search engine optimization company will concentrate instead on getting context matching, quality links to your website and adding the type of content that makes it worthy of non-reciprocal links from a variety of sites. Foster Web Marketing provides you with a “Link Exchange” page that offers reciprocal linking opportunities to other websites that want to link to you.
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