You want your company to be the first one that comes to your customers’ minds. But if a simple Google search doesn’t place you front and center, establishing relevance can be tough. Luckily, dissecting the recipe that is search engine optimization is possible for companies beyond tech.
To start ranking higher in search results requires a well-crafted and executed intentional SEO strategy that goes beyond your site map. Fortunately, you can start leveraging SEO tactics today as you strive for first-page results status.
1. Offer More Than Just an About Page
Sure, there are some basic pieces of information that your website should offer. But if you’ve stuck to the template provided by your site builder, you’re probably missing out on key components. Worse yet, you’ve replicated the site maps of others in your industry.
Instead of following the pack, deviate from the norm and create a website that’s both informative and valuable. Serving as your digital reception room, your website tells potential clients who you are and what you’re about. If you’re crafting a law firm digital marketing strategy, for example, the benchmark sites of your peers probably provide more don’ts than dos.
Consider demystifying the legal field through strategic SEO practices that rank high in search and establish expertise. Create a law firm blog where you break down popular topics or provide helpful information. While there is a place for client interest forms and bio pages, focus your efforts on traffic-driving content.
Engaging with a lawyer is a scary time for clients, so they’ll be searching for reliable advice from trusted professionals. If your blog offers a wealth of information, they’ll use your content to guide their decision-making. Posts like “What to Do When a Parent Dies Without a Will” provide specificity on a sensitive topic. While you’ll disclaim legal advice, your willingness to make a sensitive subject understandable can draw the right clients in.
2. Use Metadata for Your Advantage
Search engines don’t exactly read your content. Instead, they rely on metadata to arrange search results for the person who’s just hit “enter.” If the term metadata isn’t familiar to you, now is the time to incorporate it into your vocabulary.
Metadata is data that gives information about other data. If that’s a confusing definition, don’t be discouraged. As you aim to improve your search rankings, the appearance of metadata and the opportunities to add it will become clearer.
Think of your law firm blog and the data fields your publishing site offers. If you’re adding an image, you’ll see a section for “image description” or “alt-text.” This is where you’d describe in words what the image is. The benefit of filling this section out is two-fold: It can improve the accessibility of your site for those with visual impairments and help Google understand your content better.
Check out other popular, high-ranking sites and hover over the images to reveal the image description for ideas. Beyond adding “woman and man in meeting” to a blog post header, think about how your image tells a story. Text listing “married couple meeting with a lawyer for estate planning in CITY STATE” can improve how Google reads your page.
In this example, you’re including your services, field, and location in the image alongside a value-packed article. Be sure to name your image in a search-friendly way like “couple-estate-planning-CITY,” to further improve ranking. Avoid keyword stuffing, which can drive down rankings instead of improving them. Focus on accurate and helpful descriptions for the most benefit.
3. Establish Authority Through Links and Shared Content
Now that you’ve enhanced your website through content and metadata, it’s time to expand your reach. SEO doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so simply improving your site’s content isn’t enough to rank on Google’s first page. To fully realize your SEO potential, you need to send your authoritative content into the world.
First, determine the target topics you want to rank highest in. If you’re a financial consultant, this may be “retirement planning.” If you’re a personal injury attorney, this may be a “car accident lawyer.” Put yourself in the position of the person searching and consider what they may be thinking. Generally, you won’t use technical terms as much as you will more familiar ones.
Once you’ve got your list, practice searching them on Google. If they bring up results that resonate, you know you’re on track to develop your keywords. Next, identify a link on your website that you’d want that keyword to bring traffic to. This link should be informative, helpful for the reader, and include a call to action.
Include this keyword and link within the content you create for your blog and other sites. Publish your content on relevant blogs, industry publications, and traditional news outlets with keywords linked within the copy. The more your links appear across the web, the higher authority you’ll establish on Google, which will improve your rank.
View SEO as an Essential Marketing Tactic, No Matter Your Industry
Marketing is one of the most fluid and finicky fields out there, and the advent of digital marketing makes it even more so. However, you can confidently embark on an SEO journey knowing that the web isn’t going anywhere. As more people are adopting a digital-first lifestyle across work and social pursuits, your web presence matters even more.
Investigate SEO best practices and use them as a guide for your marketing efforts. If you need support and guidance, seek out the expertise of a consultant or consider hiring in-house support. When you craft your digital presence to reach your ideal clients through search, you’ll establish authority and grow your business.