For any owners of law firm websites who are trying to get their website ranked higher on Google, we trust you have already discovered that the way you do so is by using SEO. SEO, or search engine optimisation to give it its full name, is a series of tactics, strategies, and actions that cumulatively improve your website and its pages in the hope that Google recognises these improvements and subsequently gives you a higher ranking.
One of the problems that you have, as does every other person who is doing SEO, including some of the best SEO experts, is when trying to meet Google’s expectations, no one, other than some of the top people in Google, knows exactly how Google’s algorithms calculate rankings.
Google does not publish chapters and verses on its algorithms. Otherwise, everyone would mimic it, and rankings would mean nothing. Instead, what Google does is provide guidelines on the ranking factors it deems the most important, and to fill in the blanks, we have to rely on the millions of web pages that SEO researchers have used to determine more of the specifics.
Where that leaves you when it comes to ranking your law firm’s website is that there is enough information and research to know what Google’s main priorities are and, therefore, which ranking factors you should focus on. Outlined below are seven ranking factors that you should prioritise when you, or the SEO agency you have hired, start the process of optimising your law firm’s website for better rankings.
Google Ranking Factor #1 – Relevance: When someone is searching on Google, Google wants to ensure that the results it presents are the most relevant to the search term entered. This is why, when you are optimising for keywords, the page you wish to rank must have content that is highly relevant to those keywords.
Google Ranking Factor #2 – Backlinks: Google regards backlinks as votes of confidence in a website. When it sees a website has many backlinks, and more importantly, a reasonable number of those backlinks come from high authority websites, it will give the website the links go to boost its ranking score.
Google Ranking Factor #3 – Freshness Of Content: Content is important, but it only benefits rankings if it is fresh, which many website owners forget. You must update your law firm’s website regularly with fresh content so that Google can see it is active and doing more than other websites to satisfy its users.
Google Ranking Factor #4 – Trustworthiness & Security: Google wants to know that anyone it sends to your law firm’s website is not going to face security issues or be at risk of its browser being hacked. This is why the ‘HTTPS’ prefix is essential, and you can add it to your website’s URLs by purchasing an SSL certificate.
Google Ranking Factor #5 – Page Load Speed: This may require some technical work on your website to get right. To explain it simply, it is how quickly the pages of your website open. Your hosting servers, the types of content and media you use, and the proper functioning of your website’s coding all impact load speeds.
Google Ranking Factor #6 – Mobile-Friendly: Newer law firm websites should not have a problem, as all new website designs are made mobile-friendly, especially if created by a web design agency. However, if you have an older website, you must check if it is mobile-friendly, and if not, fix that issue immediately.
Google Ranking Factor #7 – User Experience: Most of the ranking factors above will influence user experience on your website, and this is very much to do with Google’s quest to improve user experiences for all its users. This is why websites that load quickly have easy navigation, and never display error messages all tend to rank higher than those that provide poor user experiences.