While search engine optimization isn't as popular a strategy as it used to be, you can still use organic SEO to drive traffic to your website. Search is still the most popular way to access websites, according to 2012 technology surveys. So let's get down to SEO basics with this guide for anyone who needs a quick refresher course. Keep reading to learn more about what organic SEO looks like and how you can implement it for your law firm.
SEO Basics #1: Search Engines and Keywords
Every day, search engines run programs that index pages from all over the internet. While indexing those pages, they scan the text of the web page for any words that it contains. If someone searches for words that you included in your web page, they'll be displayed in that person's search results.
How, though, do search engines decide which pages to place where? Well, they could decide to just place them randomly—perhaps even changing them with each search. But then you'd have a hard time finding the best results, and this search algorithm would encourage spammers. Instead, every search engine tries to put the best results first. Trying to make your website appear early in search engine results by using keywords in a natural-seeming way is called organic SEO.
The idea behind these SEO basics is that by optimizing your website in a certain way, you'll be much more likely to appear very early in the SERPs (search engine results pages). Because only about one in twenty internet searches ever results in clicks to the second page of search results, it's critical to learn organic SEO and have the best SERPs possible.
SEO Basics #2: Keyword Density
Keywords tend to be more heavily weighted (as in, they matter more to search engines) when they're in the titles and headers. Keywords in the text, to keep the organic SEO look, shouldn't be too dense. If the same keyword appears too many times, your SEO may be dismissed as spam.
Today's SEO basics also include the idea of latent semantic indexing, or LSI. When using this kind of search engine optimization, you include not only the exact dictionary keyword you're using in your organic SEO, but also several variations on that keyword. LSI is part of SEO basics now because it helps you avoid keyword spam while still bringing up your density. This means that Google and other search engines are likely to place your article higher in their results.
SEO Basics #3: Link Building
Another way that search engine indexers decide whose organic SEO is quality content and should be placed first is by checking out inbound links. According to SEO basics, a web page that has a large number of links going to it will usually be a better-quality page than one that has rarely or never been linked.
This means that if you want your organic SEO efforts to do well, you need to put in some effort to build inbound links. How can you do that? Well, there are several ways. An SEO basics guide from a few years ago may have recommended an “article marketing” service that would put your article on several hundred different websites and build inbound links that way. However, this kind of service is now regarded as being for spammers, and most search engines will lower your rankings if you use article marketing for your organic SEO.
Instead, you should focus on building links through guest posts with other bloggers, as well as posts on social media websites. This lets you handle the SEO basics of link building without looking like a spammer to the search engines you're trying to attract.
SEO Basics #4: Quality Content
The single best way to improve the SERPs for your organic SEO efforts is to make sure that the quality of your content is very high. Quality content is one of the goals that you absolutely can't forget. No matter what revisions or changes search engines make to their algorithms in the future, organic SEO that has quality content will likely be safe.
Make sure that your quality content isn't plagiarized from another source when you use it, and that it reads naturally. No one will want to stay on your page if your organic SEO looks choppy or clunky instead of smooth.
SEO Basics #5: Speed Matters
One part of SEO that law firms often neglect is speed. What does speed have to do with search engine optimization? Everything. Because some websites are so much faster at loading than others, Google and other search engines have now made page loading time an important part of their search results rankings.
This means that in order to get the best SERPs, you need the best speeds. You can now use several different free tools to see how fast your organic SEO pages load. If they're slow, you may want to consider switching hosting providers to someone faster and more reliable.
SEO Basics #6: Analyzing Your SEO Results
If organic SEO is done right, it won't look to an average viewer like you've changed very much at all on your website. Because the changes can seem so small, it's critical for all law firms using SEO to do regular tests on their web traffic. Split testing, in which you change just one thing at a time and see how the website performs with and without the change, can be an effective method of developing great organic SEO.
Seeing a sudden drop in your web traffic soon after a new search engine algorithm is implemented can mean that your organic SEO is now thought to be in violation of anti-spam policies. You can usually find out what the changes are and change your copy accordingly.
Sudden upticks in your traffic are noteworthy, too. You should get a backlink tracker so you can see who is linking to your organic SEO pages. You can then work on creating a link building relationship with whoever linked you.