I confess that I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore; instead, I create new goals as I enter into each new year and hold myself accountable for reaching them by reviewing them throughout the year. My goals are not only things I want to accomplish; some are what I hope to rid myself of, whether it’s an unhealthy habit or something that is no longer serving me well. When it comes to law firm marketing, there are some things you may still be doing that will not serve your SEO efforts well in 2020. Here are 7 bad SEO habits you can jettison this year:
#1: Having similar content on different pages.
Each page of your website should have different and original content. Some people make the mistake of duplicating content on different pages and changing out only certain keywords in an attempt to rank higher for those keywords. However, you will only degrade the quality of your pages by doing this.
#2: Using a shotgun approach for link building.
Link building is important for SEO, but not just any link will do the job. You must be intentional in researching sites that attract the same demographic target as yours and then develop a targeted email request instead of spamming the universe with generic requests for links. Get to know the websites that serve the same audience you do, follow them on their social media platforms, and then craft a personal message with reasons why a link from their site to yours makes sense. And be sure to reciprocate as well! For more tips, read my post about the importance of backlinks to your law firm website.
#3: Developing content only for SEO.
Without content, there is no SEO. But just having any kind of content sprinkled with your keywords is not going to do much for you and certainly not for your site visitors. Google has long preached the value of quality content, which means it is critical to your SEO efforts. If you develop content for your website with your users in mind, answering the questions they are asking, you will be doing things right in the new year.
#4: Forgetting to optimize on-page elements.
There are a number of elements on your law firm website that you can control to ensure search engines will find and index your content so prospective clients can find you more easily. Optimizing the titles, subheads, and images on your website pages are fundamental to good SEO practices. To learn more about on-page SEO, check out my post on Law Firm SEO.
#5: Failing to fix harmful technical issues.
Most websites have technical issues that hurt the performance of their site, whether it is broken links, improper redirects, duplicate content, slow load time, 404 errors, and more. Review this technical SEO checklist from Search Engine Journal to see what you need to fix.
#6: Not reviewing analytics reporting.
If you are working with an SEO company, they should be providing you with a detailed monthly report on the work they’ve done and the results of that effort. If there is poor performance in one area, they should be making recommendations on how to improve. Be sure you schedule some time to go over this report every month and understand what you are reading. Your SEO depends on it!
#7: Failing to stay current on SEO best practices.
If you or your SEO company fails to stay up to date on the latest algorithm changes, webmaster guidelines, and best practices for SEO, your search ranking will suffer. Most lawyers cannot be expected to stay on top of the latest SEO trends, but you should know the basics so you can gauge whether or not your efforts are paying off. You can do this by reading industry blogs and articles, attending online webinars, or going to seminars like our Rainmaker Retreat so you stay current.