To rank pages of content in search engine results pages (SERPs), Google’s algorithms evaluate a number of on- and off-site factors. It can be challenging to pinpoint exactly what each and every factor taken into account is, especially considering that Google is regularly changing and updating its algorithms.
However, in terms of on-site factors for law firm SEO, the following are typically the top on-page elements Google will assess when ranking pages:
- Title tags – Title tags, which are considered to be one of the most important on-page SEO factors, concisely tell Google (and users) what the content on a specific page is about. The most effective title tags will be those that:
- Include relevant keywords
- Are logical, unique and compelling to readers
- Fit within the character limits (which are currently about 60 to 70 characters, including spaces).
- Heading tags – These tags will appear on the page of content and should be used in a logical way to explain the topics covered in different sections of the page. Heading tags, including H1, H2 and H3 tags, should:
- Include relevant keyword phrases
- Be unique (In other words, the same heading phrase should not be repeated within a page or across multiple pages.)
- Ideally be included between every 2 to 5 paragraphs to outline a clear structure for the page (This tends to make pages more user friendly, as users can easily scan the page to find the specific section(s) they are looking for).
- Page descriptions – Meta descriptions, which appear in SERPs under the titles, briefly explain what a specific page is about (providing a bit more detail than the limited title). These descriptions, which should be limited to 150 to 160 characters (including spaces), should:
- Include relevant keywords
- Be unique and clearly disclose what the page discusses
- Be written with the user in mind (In other words, write a description that you would find enticing or that would compel you to click on that page title).
- Image tags – These tags include the alt tags, as well as the description/caption for the image (which can all be the same text), and they provide another way for Google to assess what a page is about. Good image tags will be those that:
- Include relevant keywords
- Are clear and concise (i.e., are typically less than 70 characters)
- Make sense (i.e., are not simply a “keyword dump” but provide some description of the page and/or image).
- Page URLs – The words listed after the main portion of the URL and the backslash are what we are referring to here (e.g., the underlined portion of the following: epicwebresults.com/seo-on-page-factors). Good page URLs will be those that:
- Are short and clearly identify the main topic of the page
- Are unique and include a relevant keyword phrase
- Are not ones that include randomly generated numbers (like “p=2468”).
- Links – Both external and internal links to and from a given page will also be evaluated by Google to determine what the page is about and how “authoritative” that page is. With linking, the quality of the link (and anchor text for a given link) is much more important than the quantity of links provided.
- Keyword use – If you’ve made it this far into our post, it’s probably becoming clear that how you place and use keywords on your page (and in its meta data) is crucial to proper optimization. What we can add here is that, in addition using an appropriate (i.e., a relevant and searched keyword phrase) in the various places that we’ve mentioned thus far, it’s also advisable to:
- Include your target keyword phrase within the first 100 to 150 words of the page’s content.
- Incorporate appropriate variations of the keyword phrase (if any exist) in the headings and/or content.
- Not overstuff your content with keywords and, in general, limit the keyword density for the page to around 3 to 5 percent.
- Loading time/site speed – Ideal loading times are between 3 and 6 seconds (and studies have shown that 4 seconds tends to be the “make or break” waiting time, with users being far less likely to wait for a site to load or revisit that site in the future if they have to wait more than about 4 seconds for a page to load). Although a number of factors can impact page loading times, the videos, images and other elements on the page itself are among these factors.
- Content length – Google is starting to place more value on longer-form content (i.e., pages that are at least 750 words in length). Pages of content that are less than about 450 words are usually seen as being “thin” on content, meaning that they are not usually ranked as highly as longer pages that provide more details and information.
- Content quality – Another important on-page element is the quality of the content featured on the page and, more specifically, how well-written and unique that content is. High-quality content that will be ranked better by Google tends to be content that:
- Offers new insights or unique information (i.e., not content that regurgitates information from other sources)
- Is free of typos and grammatical errors
- Is easy to read and is user-friendly.
Contact Epic Web Results for Attorney Marketing & Law Firm SEO Solutions
When you are ready to realize the best results from your law firm’s website, contact the professionals at Epic Web Results. We are up to date with the latest advances in Internet marketing and law firm SEO best practices, and we are highly adept at developing custom attorney marketing solutions that can help law firms’ sites soar to the top of search engines.
To learn more about our customized, innovative Internet marketing solutions, contact us by calling (800) 501-9724 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.