Here are just a few quick SEO bullets that attorneys should work through to improve their visibility in organic search results.
- Do you understand who your target audience is (i.e. demographic and pyschographic information)?
- Do you understand how your target users search engines and the internet to find information relevant to your practice?
- Have you spent time planning how you can deliver the information that your target audience is seeking?
- Have you considered who your target audience is beyond just potential clients?
- Do you understand what search queries your target audience uses to find information about legal services like yours?
- Have you considered the relative competitive search landscape for your target queries?
- Have you created, reviewed, updated and uploaded a robots.txt file?
- Have you confirmed that search engines are able to crawl your pages?
- Have you confirmed that all of your pages are targeting keywords that your target audience is searching for?
- Have you confirmed that all of your pages contain concise (~ 65 characters), descriptive compelling and unique title tags?
- Have you confirmed that all of your pages contain concise (~ 150 characters), descriptive, compelling and unique meta description tags?
- Have you confirmed that all of your pages contain one, and only one, H1 tag?
- Have you confirmed that images on your pages have descriptive img alt attributes?
- Have you confirmed that text content on your pages is both unique (it doesn’t exist elsewhere) and valuable (people want to link to and share your pages)?
- Have you confirmed that all of your pages aren’t thin on content or exist merely for search engines?
- Have you added appropriate scructured data (schema.org) to your pages?
- Have you added Google Analytics to your website?
- Have you verified Google and Bing Webmaster Tools on your website?
- Have you linked your Google Webmaster Tools account with Google Analytics?
- Have you crawled your pages (with Xenu Link Sleuth or Screaming Frog) to check for broken links, page load errors and other technical issues?
- Have you reviewed your site’s internal link strcuture to be sure that every page is reachable by at least one text link?
- Have your confirmed that your site’s XML sitemap is functioning properly and has been submitted to search engines?
- Have you confirmed that all of your pages render properly on different browsers (i.e. Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer)?
- Have you confirmed that all of your pages render properly on differenct devices (i.e. desktops, latptops, tablets and smartphones)?
- Have you confirmed that all of your pages load in under three seconds (ideally ~ 1 second)?
- Have you linked your website to your firm’s Google local business page (see below) with rel=”publisher” markup?
- Have you added Google authorship mark up for posts that were authored by you and others at your firm?
- Have you confirmed that your pages deliver information that your target audience is looking for?
- Have you confirmed that your pages contain social sharing options that make it easy for visitors to like and share your content?
Google My Business
- Have you created, completed (100%) and verified a local page for each of your law firm’s office locations on Google My Business?
- Have you created, completed and verified a local page for each attorney at your law firm?
- Are you regularly adding posts, images and videos to your Google local business pages?
- Do your local pages comply with Google’s local business information quality guidelines?
- Is your firm Name, Address and Local Phone Information accurate and consistent across the local search data provider ecosystem?
- Are you encouraging happy clients to submit reviews and ratings to your firm’s Google local business pages and elsewhere around the web?
Around the Web
- Have you created, claimed and completed profiles from the top citation sources for attorneys?
- Have you created, claimed and completed profiles from the top citations sources for your cities?
- Do you have a process for measuring and monitoring how people are consuming, linking to, mentioning and sharing your pages online?
- Do you have a process for getting your content in front of people who are interested in it, as well as, ready, willing and able to link to and further publicize it?
- Have you created a YouTube channel to which you are regularly posting useful video content?
- Do you use social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus) to actively engage people?
- Do you use additional social sharing sites (SlideShare, Meetup, Disqus, etc) to regularly engage online communities?
Obviously, this list isn’t exhaustive. What have we missed that you would include as essential? What did we include that you would cut?