As an attorney or legal professional, the last thing you want is for your website to come off as spammy or “3:00am-infomercial-garbage”. We have all been subjected to these sorts of sites: blinking banners, pop-up call-me buttons, beckoning chat boxes, you know the type.
We don’t intend for our websites to come off this way. Perhaps you hired someone to create your website many moons ago when styles were different, or you hired someone to do your SEO ten years ago and practices have changed. Unfortunately, according to HubSpot in an recent article titled Does Google Think Your Website is Spammy, Google hates spam and this can have a drastic effect on how your website is displayed in search engine results. Fortunately for us, there are many tools on the web and articles on how to update your website to not appear spammy. Here are 3 ways to have a non-spammy website:
1. Publish quality content. Yes, I know creating quality content that your readers are actually interested in takes time, and it’s not something you can completely outsource. But, it’s absolutely necessary your website contains original content that is interesting and useful. If you get stumped for ideas, follow other attorneys in your field on Twitter and read their blogs. Write about rule changes, industry news, events you attended, common client complaints, etc. Become the go-to person for everything related to your practice.
2. Ditch repetitive keywords. It’s great to know about what keywords people are using to find your site on Google or other search engines. Once you establish your desired keywords, don’t overuse them on your website or in your blog posts. Use these keywords naturally as you would in conversation. For example, when I started this blog I used the term “Social Media for Law Firms” over and over as I was excited about the subject and wrote tons of content. I had no idea what SEO was and didn’t care to be honest. I moved up in search results because I wrote a lot of original content that included those keywords. I didn’t spend hours worrying about where to put “social media” or “law firms”.
3. Start using social media. Search engines such as Google incorporate social sharing and social search into their search results. This is because search engines are always looking for relevancy and authority when ranking search results. According to Nielsen Research, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and/or family more than other advertising. Because people are sharing their recommendations more and more online, these word of mouth referrals are being incorporated into search. Track how often your content is shared online and incorporate sharing widgets on your content. Start conversations online and get to know your community. It takes time, but it’s part of social media – you can’t skip it.
The bottom line is that you need to think like your potential client when designing your website. What information do they want? How do they want to be treated? How do you want to be perceived? Take a look at your competitors online and see how they represent themselves. I also want to stress that creating a high-quality website takes time and effort. You can’t outsource it all and you definitely have to be involved in the process. Focus on quality and creating high quality content for your readers.
Do you have any other tips to share? Feel free to share them in the comments below.