On-Page Elements for Lawyer SEO Success

If you are a lawyer that has stumbled upon this article, it is probably because you have discovered the challenges of earning a spot on the top pages of Google’s search engine. 

As technology advances, search engines become more complicated and almost seem like a difficult puzzle to solve. The jobs of SEO agencies and specialists have become much harder, however, we can expect SEO agencies and specialists to grow as SEO becomes more challenging. 

Many SEO experts focus on off-page SEO such as social media and link building. 

On the other hand, there is on-page SEO, which is equally as important. In order to generate more organic traffic to your lawyer website and improve its search rankings, you must focus on managing all of the SEO elements on the web pages of your lawyer website

Now, this leads to the questions— Why is on-page SEO so important and how do I optimize my lawyer website? Continue to read this article to find out.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO is all of the elements on a website that can be optimized to improve search rankings. If lawyers focus on improving each website element of on-page optimization, it will make it easier for search engines to crawl your lawyer website, which means it’s easier for them to understand it and display it for the correct audience. 

There are many on-page SEO factors and combined, they create an effective SEO strategy. Your lawyer website can be a user-friendly website and have backlinks, but without optimizing its on-page elements, it will not be as successful.

What’s the Difference Between On-page SEO and Off-page SEO

There is one main difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO. 

On-page SEO is all of the elements of your lawyer website that you have control over. Essentially, everything that makes up your website that can be optimized to improve search rankings. Here are examples of on-page SEO:

  • Content 
  • Keywords
  • Images
  • Page speed

On the other hand, off-page SEO consists of online marketing strategies that drive traffic to your website and raise brand awareness. It involves strategies that are not on your website but relate to your legal business and its website. Here are examples of off-page SEO:

Link building

  • Social media
  • Guest blogs
  • Legal directories

Although there is a lot of off-page SEO that you do have control over, it typically refers to uncontrolled content such as building links on other websites that refer to your lawyer website, guest posts, and shoutouts on social media platforms. 

When your website is referred to on another website (link building) or when you are mentioned on a social media post, oftentimes you will need the help of other people by reaching out to them for organic content.

Both on-page SEO and off-page SEO are important. The two go hand in hand and can help increase website traffic on your lawyer website. If you have created an SEO roadmap, you were guided on how to focus on both. But for now, we will solely focus on on-page SEO. 

Why Is On-page SEO Important?

When legal clients enter a search query, Google will provide them with results based on what it thinks is the most relevant to what they are looking for. 

This is where on-page SEO elements come into hand. On-page SEO elements provide search engines with information regarding your website. It allows search engines to better understand your website and decide if your website would be a good fit for the search query. 

Within the SEO world, you must stand out from your competitors. On-page SEO will allow search engines to better understand your website and display it for your intended audience. 

Search engines read and understand semantics and user intent such as:

In summary, optimizing all of the on-page factors on your lawyer website will lead to your web pages being displayed more frequently on search results. In this regard, you increase quality and relevant traffic which can turn into conversions. 

Lawyer On-page Elements 

As previously mentioned, there are many on-page elements that need to be optimized. You will need to optimize all pages of your lawyer website. 

Here are 12 on-page elements to optimize on every webpage. 

E-A-T

E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, which is a concept Google uses while ranking the quality of the website and its pages. 

You must convince Google that the content and information on your lawyer website are valuable, high-quality, and trustworthy. 

Google will display a website on its search result only if it has valuable, high-quality, and trustworthy information.

If you are able to prove that your lawyer website has high-quality content and proves your expertise, then you will begin to earn a higher ranking on search results. 

Title Tag

The title tag, or HTML, is on every page of your lawyer website. The title tag is the first information relayed to search engines and users. In other words, the title tag provides them with what the page is all about. When someone searches the internet, the title tag is the clickable link that is displayed for them on search results. 

For example, here is what a title tag looks like in the SERP (search engine results page.)

The title should essentially propose the topic of the page. Title tags are important, however, they will not make or break your SEO

Contrarily, title tags can become an important element if you have not optimized any of the title tags on your website. 

Avoid these mistakes when optimizing title tags on your website:

  • Creating long title tags
  • Creating title tags that are too short
  • Title tags that do not have the main keyword or main topic
  • Using the same title tag on more than one web page

For example, if you are optimizing a title tag on a location page on your lawyer website, you should include the city on the title tag. This way your lawyer website will display for a local search. 

If you are a family law attorney and your targeted audience is divorce clients, consider including relevant keywords in the title tags of your web pages. 

Meta Description

The meta description is the text that is displayed under the title on search result pages. 

Meta descriptions can be more lengthy than title tags. This is where you can briefly summarize what the page is about without giving too much information. Remember you want to catch the attention of searchers while leaving them wanting to learn more so they click on the link. 

Similar to title tags, meta descriptions are not the most important on-page SEO factor when considering it alone. But, an effective meta description will convince searchers to click on your page to learn more which will also improve your click-through rate (CTR.)

When you have good meta descriptions for each page on your lawyer website, you will receive more clicks, increase traffic, and convert potential clients. 

Try to include local keywords in your meta description to catch the attention of search engines and online searchers. 

URL

The URL is the unique address of a web page. 

The URL structure is another small lawyer on-page SEO element that provides search engines with information regarding what a particular web page is about. Comparable to title tags, the URL should be short and simple. Use the main keyword and do not prolong the URL. 

Here is an example of a good on-page SEO URL:

www.forexample.com/family-law-attorney/immigration/los-angeles

Here is an example of a bad on-page SEO URL:

www.forexmaple.com/attorney/cali/837624892309287

In the example of what a good on-page SEO URL will look like you can easily determine what the web page is about and what information will be discussed on the web page. It is evident the web page will be about an immigration family law attorney in Los Angeles. 

In the bad example, search engines will be left with very little information. There are hundreds of attorneys in California, and the URL will leave search engines confused and assume the lawyer website is untrustworthy.

While creating URLs for the webpages of your lawyer website, there is also a specific hierarchy to follow that may help with search engine rankings. This refers to the order in which you decide to format your URL. Hierarchy helps search engines better understand what your website consists of. 

Heading Tags 

Heading tags are used to organize a web page. By separating headings and subheadings, you can improve the readability of a webpage. 

Heading tags help search engines quickly understand what the content on a page is about. 

Within a webpage, you should have one H1 tag and H2 tags. These outline the main categories that are being discussed on the web pages of your lawyer website. 

The headings should serve as an introduction to what is to be discussed next. 

Here is an example of how you may structure your content with headings and subheadings:

  • H1 = Lawyer in Tampa, Florida
    • H2 = Practice Areas
      • H3 = Criminal law
        • H4= DUI
        • H4 = Drug crime
        • H4 = Fraud

Headings provide a more organized approach to your website and generally go from more basic to specific. This helps search engines read your website and better understand what the primary focus of each page is. 

Headings also provide a better user experience to web users because it allows them to easily and quickly read each page. 

Alt Tags (Images)

Alt tags are HTML code on images that briefly explains what the picture is. It is more of a title of an image that is being presented. 

Alt tags help search engines understand what an image, video, etc is. Search engines are still working on how they can read an image. They can’t necessarily see or understand images on the internet quite yet. The alt tag is a small description of an image so search engines can easily read what is being displayed.

For example, if you are a personal injury attorney and you have inserted an image of a car accident on your lawyer website, you should include an alt tag such as “Car accident with a semi-truck,” explaining what the image is of. The alt tag tells Google what the image is of. 

Alt tags provide Google with information it does not have access to so it can better understand your lawyer website. Furthermore, if the image is not loading, the user can read what the image is by hovering over where the image would be, or if someone has a hard time seeing, they may have a screen reader read off what the image is of. 

Keywords

If you are familiar with SEO, you know how important keywords are. 

However, many lawyers make the mistake of focusing on one keyword throughout their entire lawyer website. Focusing on the same keyword on all of the pages on your website may decrease your ranking on search engines. 

If you have a handful of web pages that are all focusing on the one, same keyword, search engines will not understand which web page is the most relevant one for a search. This will lower the ranking of your website. 

Improve your search engine ranking by focusing on relevant topics and distinct keywords for each topic. Additionally, use long tail keywords to build topic relevance. 

SEO Content

One of the most important on-page SEO elements is the content of your lawyer website. We previously mentioned the importance of authoritative, valuable, and trustworthy content and should dive deeper into what exactly this means and what its role is when it comes to SEO lawyer content. 

In order to optimize your website, the content on your lawyer website should:

  • Be fascinating and compelling
  • Provide valuable information that people are curious about
  • Encourage engagement so that readers interact with your website
  • Be original – do not repeat yourself on various web pages

If you hire a writer that is experienced in the legal field you work in, but it is not interesting enough, it will not go anywhere in terms of ranking. Write interesting, valuable content, or hire a legal writer to write content that will increase website traffic.

Internal Linking 

Internal links are an on-page ranking factor. Internal links are links that take users to another web page on the same website. They help search engine crawlers better understand what your entire website is about. Using internal links will allow search engine crawlers to find relevant content throughout the pages on your website. 

They also help people that are browsing your lawyer website. People are likely to click on links that are relevant to the content they are reading to read and learn about a specific topic.

When you have internal links on your lawyer website, it engages the audience for a longer period of time because they begin clicking on links that catch their attention. Google will notice an increase in engagement and develop trust in displaying your website on search results. 

Page Speed

The page speed on your lawyer website is extremely important for ranking on Google. 

Reflect back on a time you landed on a specific website and it was extremely slow. Chances are, you left the website within seconds. Slow page speed is extremely frustrating for users, and it is a website factor that search engines notice and a website factor that will affect website ranking.

There are many things that can affect the page speed of a website. Test your page speed with Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. If your lawyer website has a slow page speed, ensure you improve the speed as soon as possible. 

Mobile-friendly

Mobile friendly refers to how well a website performs on mobile devices. Although the website may run great on a desktop, it may not be the same for a mobile device. 

As the majority of the population uses a mobile device to search online, it is important that your lawyer website is mobile-friendly. Because so many people use their mobile devices over a desktop, Google now pays close attention to mobile-friendliness when indexing websites, 

Ensuring a website is mobile-friendly can become tricky because oftentimes website owners run into issues such as fonts and images displayed too small, invalid buttons, hidden or broken website elements, etc. 

Fortunately, there is also a website tool you may utilize to figure out if your lawyer website is mobile-friendly. This will allow you to make changes and adjustments to your website where necessary. 

User Engagement

Of course, it is important for users on your lawyer website to engage with its content. Google will also take a look at how engaged users are while visiting your lawyer website.

When users engage with the content on your website, it tells Google that the content is interesting, valuable, high quality, and trustworthy. 

When there is little to no engagement, Google will interpret it as low-quality content, which will decrease website ranking over time. 

Here are examples of user engagement:

  • Clicking on another page to read more
  • Clicking play on a video on a website
  • Interacting with a tool
  • Staying on a webpage for long periods of time 

To figure out if users are engaging with content on your website, review your website’s bounce rate. If a lot of people leave the pages on your website without engagement, that is bad and something that Google will notice. There are many factors that affect bounce rate, such as an uneasy web design, or slow page speed. 

Recap

The on-page elements all play a huge role in the ranking of your lawyer website. Once all of them are optimized, you can expect an increase in website traffic. 

Although off-page SEO is also important, ensure you are not neglecting off-pafe SEO elements. 

Many of the elements we discussed do not play a huge role when looking at each one individually, however, your SEO will be affected if they are neglected. When collectively working on all on-page elements, it will positively impact your SEO.

Focus on on-page factors to increase rankings, earn organic traffic, increase engagement, and increase conversion rates. On-Page Elements for Lawyer SEO Success