Wondering whether your law firm website is search engine-friendly?
A lot of common problems that can prevent your site from appearing in search results have to do with technical issues on the pages of your site.
There are some basic things you can check to see whether your site is "playing-nice" with search engines.
Many of the basics are pretty easy to do and won't take you very long.
Here's a quick SEO audit you can perform in 10 steps:
- Title Tags - Right-click on your home page and select view source. Next, hit ctrl+f and search for '<title>'. Is it there? Does it contain your firm name? Does it contain keywords relevant to your practice? Repeat this process for all your pages.
- Meta Description - Right-click on your home page and select view source. Next, hit ctrl+f and search for 'meta name="description" content='. Is it there? Does it describe the content of the page accurately? Would it motivate you to want to read the page?
- Headings - Right-click on your home page and select view source. Next, hit ctrl+f and search for ''<h1>'. How many h1 tags appear on the page? If your answer is anything but one, you should remove extras. What text is included? Does it describe the page? Does it read like an interesting newspaper headline? Would it make you want to read it?
- Text - Does the page contain text? How many words? Are you using text formatting and lists? Does your text contain variations of keywords and keyword phrases for which you are trying to attract visitors?
- URL architecture - Look at your address bar for internal pages. Do your URLs describe your pages? If so, great. Do they appear properly organized? Do they contain question marks and strange strings of text and numbers? If so, probably not good.
- Internal Link Structure - Is there a method to how you are linking to internal pages? Does it follow a logical plan? Can you reach every page on your website by clicking on links starting at your home page?
- Name, Address and Phone Number - Do you pages contain you firm's name, address and local phone number? Do you have multiple office locations? Are they visible on your site?
- Site: Search - Go to google.com. Search for: 'site:yourdomain.com'. Did you get any results? How many? Is the number of pages that google returned close to the number of pages on your site? If you received no results, your pages may not be properly indexed.
- Rich Snippet Test Tool - Do you use rich snippets like authorship and review mark-up on your site? Does this mark-up validate in the rich snippet test tool? If not, you may need to fix the code or verify your site for authorship.
- Google Analytics, Google & Bing Webmaster Tools - Have you installed Google Analytics or some other web analytics tracking code to your site? Have you verified your site in both Google and Bing Webmaster Tools? If not, you should. These tools can help you identify further problems that your site might have.
Obviously, this is a very basic audit that covers some common technical site search issues. However, it's easy to perform and is completely free for you to do.
If your site failed any of the above, it's probably worth having an experienced webmaster take a look. If you'd like us to review it, don't hesitate to contact us.
As always, great information here. This is a great checklist for any website. The one that I do not know much about is #9. Can you expand on this a little bit? Thanks as always on your insight and guidance.
What has been your experience with Meta Tags and Descriptions? As you may know, there has been a lot of questions as to their effectiveness in the current environment. What do you say. . .
Thanks for the comment. Sorry for the slow response. Looks like you've taken care of #9.
If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate ask.
Hi Torrance, thanks for commenting.
Which meta tags are you curious about in particular? Meta descriptions don't play a role in terms of rankings, however, they can have a significant impact on click-through in search results.
I recommend checking out what Google has to say about these: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35624
Hey Gyi: Got rich snippets author set up with my website but not sure I did it with my frommtaxes.wordpress.com blog. Something about an author issue I just can't seem to fix.
How are you verifying? I don't see rel="author" anywhere in your individual posts.
Follow these steps: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1408986&expand=option2
Create a link to your Google profile from your webpage, like this:
<a href="[profile_url]?rel=author" rel="nofollow">Google</a">
Replace [profile_url] with the your Google profile URL, like this:
Your link must contain the ?rel=author parameter. If it's missing, Google won't be able to associate your content with your Google profile.
Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated.
Edit the Contributor To section.
In the dialog that appears, click Add custom link, and then enter the website URL.
If you want, click the drop-down list to specify who can see the link.
To see what author data Google can extract from your page, use the rich snippets testing tool.