Website code for SEO refers to the HTML code and associated verbiage located in the underlying technical portion of your legal website. We know! It’s all technical! But we’re trying to relate the SEO coding aspects as opposed to the visual and content portions that you add to web pages.
HTML creates the structure of web pages and how your law firm’s website is displayed. Your web browser reads the HTML and interprets it. Certain HTML elements send signals to search engines that improve your rankings. Your law firm’s website code plays a crucial role in your online marketing efforts. Mainly, your title tags carry a lot of weight in search rankings. To see an example, look up at the tab on the top of your browser. “Website Code for SEO” is my title tag. This is also the title that is displayed when a web page shows up in search results as illustrated below.
Since your title tag is an accurate description of your web page, this is a major element how search engines define web pages and return results. It also serves as the main heading in search results for users to determine if the page is applicable to their needs. Hence, that’s why it is imperative that your title tags are optimized.
In conjunction with the title tag is the Meta Description. The Meta Description is a description of the web page’s content. While it has little to no value for Search Engine Optimization and search rankings (this is an ongoing discussion in the industry), it can serve to influence a user to click on your website listing thereby improving your click-through rate (CTR). The Meta Description is only in the website code and will not appear on the website page.
You need to optimize your meta description. Not for ranking but as a call to action. If someone is seeking a lawyer and views your law firm’s website in the search results, the description below the title may be the last chance to convert a user into a client! So make it count!
Internal Linking Structure a.k.a. Site Navigation is another element that plays a vital role in getting your website found. Creating a logical internal linking structure provides for multiple benefits. To begin with, it makes it easy for search engines to crawl through your law firm website and find all your web pages (Indexing). Illogical linking structure can confuse the bots or not allow them to crawl 100% of your website and therefore only the web pages crawled can be returned in search results. A logical internal linking structure will also distribute link juice or link power throughout your website via the navigation and internal links (links from web page to web page within the same website). This allows for more of your web pages to rank higher in searches. Additionally, a logical internal linking structure will help users find what they are looking for (Usability) reducing bounce rates and thereby sending signals that your website is helpful.
Included in the range of creating a logical internal linking structure, anchor text also plays a role in boosting your SEO. Anchor text is the words you see highlighted in blue and link to another web page. For example, this is an internal link to the Diamond R Creative homepage regarding search engine optimization for legal marketing and lawyer websites. While this example is over-exaggerated, you have probably seen them. It supports structural linkage and adds to the aforementioned benefits. As with main navigation, adding or having keywords in your anchor text that aptly describes the content works on two levels. It allows for keyword promotion and link relevancy. Link relevancy is how much the content of the source page matches the content of the anchor text and is a strong SEO signal and value. That is why your title tags should aptly match your web page content.
Below are some more elements that can be optimized to assist in your SEO campaign. Using and tweaking each is a standard process for search engine optimization and something Diamond R Creative embraces to provide a holistic service for our clients.
|H1 Heading Tag||Code for Local Search||Social Meta Tags|
|H2 Subheading Tags||Nofollow Links||Image Alt Tags|
|Schema Markup||Robots Meta Tag||XMLSitemap|
If you wish to learn more, Google the phrase Website Code for SEO or just click on the anchor text! It’s a good start to find information about Website Coding.
And don’t forget! As with all things that are built: test, test, and test. Not only test the set up created but validate it. Validating website code is simply ensuring it is on par with W3C standards. Very much like ensuring a sentence you wrote adheres to the rules of grammar. Errors are made. It happens. Some people believe it is a non-issue if your website works. Others feel code should be 100% valid. Understand that bad code will not affect your rankings unless it is a serious error. Even Google, Bing, and Yahoo! home pages have many errors. Knowing which can affect your ranking is the key. And at the end of the day, it is a good practice to run your web pages through a code validator tool to discern any possible issues and keep your code up to snuff as possible.