Why is On Page SEO important for Law Firm Websites?
On Page Search Engine Optimization (AKA On-Site SEO) plays an important role in where your law firm’s website and Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business page, GMB) ranks in Google’s organic search results.
Basically, almost everything that goes on on your website would be categorized as “On Page SEO.”
Personally, I prefer to split apart “Engagement SEO” from “On Page SEO,” so I don’t consider user experience SEO factors to be a part of On Page. But, for clarity’s sake when you’re reading other content about this topic, most in the SEO industry do not make this distinction. They are missing out on some SEO opportunities as a result.
Whatever is on your website also affects the other areas of SEO.
See also Off Site SEO for Lawyers.
Simple & Key On-Site Optimization Areas
There’s a small handful of foundational On Page SEO pieces that are simple and critical to the base of your website’s SEO setup.
If this is weak, then you may be fighting an uphill battle.
Fortunately, once we figure out what the optimal setup for a single page is, typically it is quick and simple to make the actual changes.
The title of your page (AKA meta title tag) only has a limited amount of space, so Google’s algorithm seeks to gain a lot of meaning out of a page’s title.
The title tag should be easy to edit.
The sooner in the title that you put words and phrases, the more important you’re telling Google those words and phrases are to the relevance of that page. Therefore, more important phrases should most often come first in the title.
The Title will also show up in Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), so writing something that interests or disinterests your target market and compels them to click to your website can affect your SEO results.
The URL of a page is on par in importance with Title tag above.
You usually have even less space to work with than with a title tag.
You should shoot for having the URLs be domain.com/[rephrased & truncated keyword set].
The H1 tag is on par in importance when compared to URL & Title, but a little less important than each.
I prefer to make the H1 tag a rephrased version of the Title with reordering and rephrasing of things.
H2+ tags (H2, H3, H4, …) are not as important as the above areas, but can still affect your website’s rankings in Google.
I recommend shooting for a minimum on every page to be 3 H2 tags and none of the other kinds of tags @ H3+.
But, if the content is long form or the target keywords on that page are high in valuable (as is the case with many law firms), then going to 10+ H2 tags and many H3 & H4 tags is not out of the question. But, at that point, On Page goes from simple to…not simple.
How you interlink the pages on your website has a huge impact on rankings for most law firms because attorneys almost always have a wide and deep keyword set.
How inner pages are linked together has less of an impact on your rankings when your keyword set is small.
The larger the keyword set, the more impact and value good interlinking can give you.
And, let me tell you, only the most hyper-specialized of law firms have small keyword sets.
I see a lot of websites get the Titles, URLs, H1’s, and even H2+’s done pretty well, but don’t do the interlinking properly.
Interlinking properly is complex and a lot of work to navigate if you really do it well…which is why most lawyer SEO agencies do a cookie cutter job in this area.
Writing SEO Content
The actual text on the page content does affect how that page ranks, but it is typically not as critical as the above factors.
It is actually most important that the language and content on the site engages your target market’s interests.
Long form content that has a lot of SEO boxes checked, but reads like crap is worse than having a small amount of highly interesting content that gives the visitor a Call to Action (CTA).
That said, a law firm can invest a lot and go real deep on the SEO content + Interlinking and get some excellent results. This might not be the best path for all firms.
Technically, meta descriptions are not considered in Google’s algorithm. Or, more precisely, they are not directly considered.
The meta description is treated by Google as suggested language to include as an excerpt from your page in their SERPs.
Therefore, it can affect your website’s Click Through Rate (CTR) & general engagement metrics.
However, Google’s algorithm may pull content it thinks its user would find interesting off your page.
If you don’t include a meta description, then Google will always try to pull an interesting excerpt off your page.