Today, we are going to talk about the three most important SEO elements for your law firm’s website. You’ll need them if you want to rank on Google. All three of these are very important. But I’m going to go from the least important one to the most critical and most important one.
The H1 Header
Number three is the website’s H1 Header. Now, the H1 Header is a little difficult to identify, but when you go to a website, typically, the biggest header on the website is going to be the H1 Header.
It’s the page title and a lot of times it’ll say, “New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer” or “Baltimore DUI Attorney”, or whatever it is. But a lot of times, SEO companies will not use keywords in the H1 Header.
The H1 Header is really important because it’s the overall title of the page. It’s not to be confused with something that we’re going to talk about later. But what you want to do in your H1 Header is to make sure that you have one of your most important keywords and your city.
Now with the H1 Header, I like to make it conversational. So, if you’re a personal injury lawyer in New Orleans, a lot of times, you’ll see people use, “New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer”, and that’s okay.
Make It Conversational
But I like to get different keywords in there to make the H1 Header a little more conversational. So I would say something like, “Personal Injury Lawyer Representing Accident Victims in New Orleans Since 1984.”
That’s kind of a nice page title. It gets “New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer” in there, but it’s not just “New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer,” which is what a lot of people do with their websites.
Another thing about the H1 Header is to make sure that you only have one H1 Header. A lot of times, the logo on your website is wrapped in an H1 Header. I don’t know why developers do that, but they always do it and it’s one of the first things that we always have to fix whenever we take over a new client’s website.
So, there should be one H1 Header. Make sure that it’s conversational, and that it contains your location and your main keyword. So, “personal injury attorney,” “criminal defense lawyer,” “divorce lawyer,” “family law attorney,” whatever you are, make sure it’s in your H1 Header.
Your Website’s URL
Now, your second most important element on a website is going to be the website’s URL. Now, the homepage is a little different because sometimes you’ll have a branded homepage, so it’s like: smithlawfirm.com. But a lot of times, you’ll see layers that have the URL of, for example, orangecountyduiattorney.com.
The Exact Match Domain Issue
That’s called an exact match domain, where basically, the domain name matches the exact keyword that you’re going for and there are arguments to be made on both sides of that.
I feel that when you have an exact match domain, Google is more critical of your domain. You won’t get penalized, but it’s more difficult to rank exact match domains in a lot of instances.
There are also times when exact match domains work really, really well, but it kind of depends on a few different things. From the research I’ve seen and from the actual examples I’ve seen, I’ve found that it can be a little more difficult with exact match domains.
Now, a long time ago, if you had orangecountyduiattorney.com, you would always be number one for orangecountyduiattorney.com. It didn’t matter what you had on the website — you could just have a bunch of pictures of cats — but if someone searches “Orange County DUI attorney,” you would still show up for it — and your website would still rank number one.
And that’s kind of why Google has made it more difficult for these exact match domains. Before, you could buy the exact match and then just kind of own the search regardless of how good your website was or what you had on the website. So, that’s kind of why they changed that.
The URL For An Internal Page
Now, if it’s an internal page — let’s say your homepage is a personal injury page and your internal page is the car accident page, for example — then your URL can be a little different.
In that case, you’ll have smithlawfirm.com, and then you’re going to insert your keywords. There are a couple of ways you can do it. You could do use new-Orleans-personal-injury-lawyer, though that’s a little spammy. I don’t like doing that.
What I would do instead is use a keyword that’s related to the general topic. So, I might use something like smithlawfirm.com/caraccident or /autoaccident or/slip and fall or something like that. Essentially, I’d use a short URL that doesn’t have the word “attorney” in it, and that doesn’t even necessarily have the geo in it, but it does have the keyword.
I think that the URL is more important than the H1 Header because I’ve seen bigger impacts from making changes to URLs in terms of Google ranks. We change the URL, rankings go up or they go down, and I’ve seen that more than with H1 Headers.
But I’m still very cautious about stuffing too many keywords into the URLs and structuring the URLs in a way that seems a little unnatural.
The Page Title
Now the most important place where you can put your keywords and the most important part for on-page search engine optimization is the Page Title. The Page Title serves a couple of purposes.
When you have multiple tabs open on your browser, the Page Title is the text that’s actually on the top of the tab. The Page Title is also displayed in the Google SERPs. When you search “personal injury lawyer Baltimore” for example, you’re going to see all the listings. And the actual title of every single one of those listings is the Page Title of the website.
Where To Put Your Keywords
Now, the most important place to put your most important keyword is at the beginning of the Page Title. So if you’re a Baltimore personal injury attorney, your Page Title should say: “Baltimore Personal Injury Attorney” or “Personal Injury Attorney Baltimore,” depending on which has higher search volume.
And that’s something that you or your SEO team should take a look at. What has the higher search volume. Sometimes, it’s the same but sometimes, it’s different.
I also like to look at what gets more searches. Is it “Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer” or “Baltimore Personal Injury Attorney” or “Law Firm” or “Attorneys” or “Lawyers”?
But the Page TItle is by far the most important part to your law firm’s SEO for every single page: an optimized Page Title with the Page Title being the very first thing. Don’t put your law firm name in there and then the keyword. The further left the Page Title is, the more important Google sees it.
So these are the three most important elements of your website: The Page Title, the URL, and the H1 Header.
My Step-By-Step Video Series
Now would you like a 24-part video series that’s going to show you step-by-step how to rank your law firm in the Google Maps? It’ll also show you how to make sure that your Page Title is correct, how to make sure your URL is correct, how to get your H1 Headers correct, and how to identify all these things.
I’ll show you in a very easy, non-techno-babble-y way because this stuff can be a little difficult. This is kind of basic SEO, and it’s really not that difficult if you have somebody showing you what to do.
So I created a 24-part video series that shows you step-by-step over my shoulder how you get your law firm ranked in the Google Maps. I actually share my screen so you can take a look and see on the actual screen how I’m doing everything. It’s a completely free guide. All I ask is that you help me cover the shipping and handling and I’ll send it to you on a USB.
So if you want to get that completely free, just go to heylawyers.com. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below and I hope this was helpful.