Welcome to Justia's SEO Center
The Justia SEO Center provides free information for lawyers, law firm Web masters, marketing directors and marketing consultants on how to optimize a law firm Web site successfully to attract and obtain clients online.
There are two keys to Web site SEO success: (1) Quality Web Site Content -- Providing quality content that reflects the relevant aspects of a law firm, e.g., practice areas, location, attorney profiles, and other helpful information; and (2) Optimized Presentation of a Web Site's Content -- The quality of content is not enough to obtain maximum visibility on the Internet. A Web site must be structured and optimized to allow search engines to index content easily and to improve the search engine ranking of your site.
The good news is that this is a relatively straightforward and natural process. The Justia SEO center has been designed to help you walk through this process with detailed discussions, examples, checklists and tips.
Read more about the components of SEO below.
What is SEO?
With the number of Web sites on the Internet increasing at an exponential rate, gaining primary placements in search engine rankings allows you to market your law firm in a very powerful and effective way. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an online marketing strategy that increases your Web site's visibility to the millions of people who find information and services on the Internet. SEO can position your firm among the top search results of a given query, which can dramatically increase traffic to your Web site, and establish a Web presence for your practice. More...
The quality and depth of your Web site content will often determine whether or not a potential client hires you. In order to get this content indexed effectively by search engine crawlers, you need to strategically select and place relevant keywords or phrases into your Web page content and specific HTML tags. This section discusses tips on how to compile a list of keywords and phrases that best describe your practice -- the words that potential clients might use in their Internet search queries when they are looking for legal services and information. More...
Web Site & Page Layout
The way you structure your site and design the layout your published pages will have a large impact on your site's search engine ranking. Each individual Web page on your site also should be optimized so that search engine crawlers can quickly and easily find your Web site content. This section offers tips on how to optimize your Web site design and layout. More...
Web Site SEO Popularity
Link popularity refers to both the number and the quality of links that point to a given Web page, such as your law firm's home page. Most search engines currently use the popularity of a Web page as one of the criteria for how it will be ranked -- each incoming link to your Web page from another Web site is seen as an editorial endorsement and will increase your popularity in a search engine's ranking algorithm. The value of having links to your Web page on your page's popularity is discussed in this section. More...
Search Engines, Web Directories and Portals
The Web search industry is in a constant state of change. Google, Yahoo! Search and Teoma are the current leaders in the field, but only a short while ago, InfoSeek, Excite, Lycos, Inktomi, AltaVista and AllTheWeb were the search leaders. Yahoo! purchased Inktomi and Overture (which owned AltaVista and AllTheWeb) and combined their technologies into Yahoo! Search. MSN is currently finalizing testing on its MSN Search, and will release it formally later this year (2005). Change is the only constant in this environment. This section provides individual summaries of the major search engines, Web directories, consumer portals and legal portals and directories. More...
Final Notes and Notess
One of the great benefits of the Internet for lawyers is its power to connect them with thousands of potential clients. Search engine optimization of a law firm Web site is the most cost-effective way a law firm can market itself online. While it may take some time to learn the ins and outs of search engine optimization, it is well worth the effort. If you do not have the time, you may want to hire an outside firm to optimize your Web site or purchase a Web site that is search engine optimized during its development (Justia provides search engine optimized Web site design services for law firms).
Before hiring a search engine optimization consultant, read what Google has to say about the SEO process. Also, it is a good idea to find an ethical consultant, who does not try to spam search engines or stuff keywords into the text of a page. Bruce Clay has an SEO ethical code which many, including Justia, have agreed to uphold.
For ongoing updates and the latest news of what's happening in the search engine world, two excellent information sites are Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Watch and Webmaster World. If you are interested in learning how to use search engines for online research, a great place to start is Greg Notess's Search Engine Showdown site.