So I never realized that talking about my experiences with paid vs. organic search would be such a hit. Since there seems to be a lot of demand for this kind of stuff, I thought I’d talk about 5 tips and tricks that I use (among many, many others) to help people find my website. FYI, if you’re a lawyer or law firm and you’re looking for some consulting advice, drop me a line. So without further adieu, here are my 5 tips to help your website rank higher in search engines:
1. Write regularly
When I first got a quote from an SEO company (a few years back) about helping me to reach page 1 on Google for my keywords, I was told that I would need to product 15 new articles every month. 5 new blogs posts. 5 pdf documents. And 5 word documents. Today, looking back, I realize that if I had hired that company, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today in search engine rankings. Why? Because you need to empty your brain on your blog as frequently as possible. Why? Because if you don’t do it, someone else will. Try aiming for 5 new posts, articles, etc. every WEEK. That may sound like a lot, but you’ll soon get used to writing quickly about topics that interest you. Your writing skills and your writing VOICE will improve.
2. Write Well
Writing a lot isn’t the solution if you’re not writing unique and interesting stuff. Near the beginning of my SEO days, I hired an article writing company. I paid them about $9 per 500 word article. I just wanted to try them out. They could save me a lot of money in the long run if I wasn’t sitting in front of my computer writing all this stuff. I told them to give me a blog about Canadian criminal law. I told them the topics I wanted covered and some examples from various websites. What I got back – 2 days later – was a piece of crap. It’s like they paraphrased what was already written on the web. The writing style was that of a 17 year old. I couldn’t possibly use it. And that was the end of that experiment. Another SEO company gave me a quote and wanted to write legal-related stuff for $100 per article. I figured that they would outsource it and pay $9 and keep $91 for themselves. What would I get in return? Likely: crap. Why? Because no one can write about legal stuff unless they know it. You can’t pretend. You either know it or you don’t. You either have the skills and knowledge and know-how or you don’t. You either went to university and became a lawyer and articled or you didn’t. Don’t try to pretend to be a lawyer: you can’t find yourself in hot water when things go wrong. So, at the end of the day, the only good quality content which I put on the web comes from me, an Ontario lawyer who thinks he knows what he’s talking about.
3. Write With Your Audience In Mind
Look, you can’t just write whatever you want. You need a purpose. A strategy, if you will. Your purpose may be: I need to get prospective clients to find me on the internet. Or your purpose may be: I need to show my existing clients that I have a web presence. Or your purpose may be: I need to do something fun and show the world a little bit more about me by talking about humerous or interesting things in the news. Whatever your purpose is, just be clear about it from the get go. Trying to do too much with your writing can confuse the end-user. Make it simple, and constantly hammer the same message.
4. Organize What You Write
Yes, you need to write for your audience, but you also need to write with search engines in mind. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, Ask, Bing, etc. look for certain things to help them decide how to rank your content. Is your content original? Is it regularly updated? Are you targeting certain keywords in your text? Are the keywords in your URL and headings? Are your image files named with your keywords? Are you using a low keyword density? You need to think about these things, but don’t overdo it! Search engines know when you’re trying to trick them and will punish you (by sending your website to the sandbox – i.e. making it hidden – for months at a time). If you think about your audience and understand a bit about SEO, then you’ll be fine. Just don’t try to trick anyone or your website will suffer.
5. Write Interesting Stuff
If you’re passionate about what you write, then it will show. If you’re just talking about boring legalese which only other lawyers and judges will read, what’s the point (unless that’s your target audience)? If you love what you’re talking about and have strong views about it, then it will show. People love to read examples. They want to see a little bit of theory and a lot of application. So entertain them, if you can. I realize that the law can be a bit (or very) dry sometimes, so try to jazz it up. A lot of lawyers are afraid about what to write, so I generally ask them: what interests you? You can only write about “Toronto personal injury lawyers” so many times before no one cares. But if you talk about crazy cases you were involved in or read about, then that’s a good start. If you talk about solutions to people’s problems, then that’s good too. If you talk about your personal experiences, it shows your audience that you’re human too. So what are you waiting for? Try it out!
These 5 tips will help increase your traffic: you’ll develop better writing skills, more interest in your writing from your target audience, and higher rankings from search engines and other websites that want to link back to your website. Best of luck and if you need any help, give me a shout!