Law Firm SEO: Tall SEO Tails All Attorneys Should Know
Law firm SEO is a necessity for any practice. But how do can you tell the good advice from the bad? Read on for the top myths – and top tricks – for your firm.
Like most industries, that of SEO is filled with fact and fiction, which can be difficult for most to distinguish. However, law firm SEO is nothing to mess around with.
Since it’s imperative to employ SEO strategy to get your firm’s chosen content in front of its target audience, it’s equally essential to understand what has been proven to work and what is simply myth.
Here are the top 8 ridiculous Law Firm SEO myths attorneys and law firms should NOT believe:
1. Bulk Up on Back Links Any Way You Can
Yes, this may have been true…once upon a time. However, the idea that all you need is more back links to outrank your competition is now fictitious.
Although high authority back links do remain an important ranking factor, as of late, the quality and type have been more scrutinized than the amount.
Quality back links are made when a query is answered by your website. As the name suggests, someone, usually forum posters or bloggers, links back to it.
Spam back links, on the other hand, use robots instead of actual people to generate links. Since search engines are becoming increasingly strict on domains with large numbers of junk back links, this will not do you or your business any good.
2. Spending Money On Search Engine Advertising Improves Your Organic SEO Rankings
Here lays the most common SEO conspiracy theory—that pair search or pay per click (PPC) helps bolster organic results.
Evidence shows that paid advertising does NOT positively affect organic search results. Major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing have all put systems in place specifically to prevent this kind of crossover.
The proof is evident that running a pay per click campaign for your firm’s homepage is a huge waste of your time and money. In fact, no industry is more ripped off by these campaigns than plaintiffs’ lawyers.
Consider this: “attorney,” “lawyer,” and “claim” are in the top 10 most expensive Adwords.
While pay per click campaigns can prove helpful, this only holds true when PPC is used to get traffic to landing pages geared toward a specific type of client or site visitor.
3. The More Times You Use a Keyword, the More Successful You’ll Be
This may have proved true back in the day. However, the early 2000s are a thing of the past, and so is “Keyword Stuffing.”
Keyword Stuffing, an SEO technique in which a web page is loaded with keywords in the meta tags or in content of a web page, could actually do much more harm than good.
For this myth, it’s rumored that if you use a specific keyword or phrase a certain amount of times and in the right places, you would move up in rankings. However, unlike in previous years, this no longer works today.
Not only considered unethical, but the practice may also lead to a website being banned or penalized in search ranking on major search engines either temporarily or permanently. (Not to mention, a page that use keyword stuffing can ever appear spammy to users).
4. All You Need Is More Quality Content
High quality content does not necessarily equal higher website rankings.
It’s simple—if SEO were that easy, the experts and SEO agencies for law firms would be out of work.
Although search engines are able to recognize this more quality content as better of better value to the user, there is much more that goes into attorney search engine rankings.
While it’s fact that quality content is one of the major pieces, it’s fiction that that’s the only part to SEO success.
5. It’s Impossible to Compete With High Domain Authority Results
Are you finding yourself obsessing over domain authority? Don’t.
Even during competitive analysis, this myth has no substantial grounds. In fact, we don’t even have strong evidence that there is such a thing as domain authority.
Loosely defined and defined differently by anyone that uses it, domain authority is really just a way of generalizing the potential of your internal links.
If there even is any data to suggest that domain authority exists in any meaningful sense, it is minimal, and it’s likely that internal links are essentially as helpful as those that are external.
6. Domain Age is an Important Ranking Factor
Although some people swear by this myth and may even call it a more important ranking factor than links, the fact is that domain age has a very small impact on search results once you pass a couple of months.
Why Does Domain Age Seem Important?
Older domains are more likely to have accumulated links over time.
Additionally, they have been around long enough for more user data to be taken into consideration and their competition has more time to get punished or demoted for guideline violations.
In the end, when domain age seems of importance, it’s actually just because stronger ranking factors have been influenced by the domain’s age.
Although just having an old site won’t benefit you, having a site that has proven itself consistently for extended periods of time definitely could.
7. To Boost Rankings is a Homerun Way to Grow Traffic
While it’s important to improve your ranking potential with inbound links, relevance, purposeful content and numerous other factors, rankings are not the only way to increase traffic.
Traffic estimates for keywords can be incredibly inconsistent, and Google’s keyword tool is a poor guide as well. Therefore, the only way to accurately estimate traffic is to buy PPC ads and pay enough to show up every time.
However, this is risky. Since it takes incredible resources to improve your rankings for competitive keywords, the results can leave you with plenty of wasted effort for just a single ranking.
Instead, in order to grow traffic, continue investing in promotion while producing content for relatively low competition keywords. Have a system that chooses keywords with relatively high traffic potential with little or no promotion for that individual piece.
8. Bounce Rate is a Ranking Factor
To simply denounce this myth: Google does not use bounce rate as a ranking factor. Nor do they use analytics data at all for that matter.
While there has been a lot of talk over the years about whether or not Google uses bounce rate as a ranking signal, this myth can be put to rest.
What other SEO myths have you stumbled upon in your experience with search engine optimization? Tell us in the comments!