Lawyer Website Search Engine Ideas to Attract More Clients

By Bob Schwartz, CRS, GRI co-owner of Copyright Promotions Unlimited

84.8% of web cruisers use search engines to find sites like yours! (Source: GVU Center, College of Computing- Georgia Institute of Technology) Loads of people use Internet search engines every day! Simply submitting your site to the Internet search engines is not enough! If your site does get indexed (listed) by a major search engine, it will just be one of millions. So, just being listed, has nothing to do with making sure you get a good position. Positioning is what matters most!

The secret to obtaining this great number of potential clients is a search engine position on the first three pages of the returned keyword search results. If your keywords rank below page three, your share of this potential traffic will be practically non-existent. There are many ways to better your site's ranking. The most effective of which would be hiring a company that not only specializes in site positioning, but guarantees their results.

With the forceful demand to achieve a top search engine position, the cost to achieve it is not low. However, it is usually much less than what you would end up spending on a bid-for-position search engine. Earning a high ranking on the search engines is the best advertising "bargain" on the Web today. The reason is simple: Millions of searches are conducted everyday. The thousands of Web sites that appear near the top of those search results essentially get free advertising. People must be able to find your site on one or more keywords when they do a search!

This article focuses on what you can do (without knowledge of HTML coding) to increase your site's chance of getting its fair share of Internet search engine traffic:

#1. Make sure every page of your site has the correct Title, Meta description & content tags. Often only the entry page of sites has proper tags, leaving the other site pages with incomplete/improper tags. Do not just copy your entry page tagsover to your other pages. To be effective, the tags should be relevant to the content on that page.

#2. Continuing on with tags, you should check any framed pages used on your site. Here you need to ensure that you are using good NOFRAME tags. Not all search engines correctly index framed pages. Without the correct NOFRAME tags here, your framed pages may not be properly indexed.

#3. Last but not least, sites that are graphic intensive should be utilizing the ALT tag to properly describe each graphic. No search engine reads or indexes graphics. Therefore, the ALT tag is very important.

#4. Do not use “Under Construction” text or images on any page. This is basically a sure way to not be indexed on many major search engines. If your page is not complete, do not publish it!

#5. Apply for web site awards. Some awards are more difficult to attain than others, but all are always free. The award issuing sites only require you place a link back to their site attatched to their award graphic. Awards add creditability and also enhance the time spent on investigating your site. An excellent graphic is the face of the Legal Excellent Content Award.

#6. With the algorithms of most search engines factoring in link popularity, your site should have a links page. To be effective, this page should be linked to your site's entry page. Use this page to trade links with other sites in related (but non-competitive) industries. For example, legal sites dealing with accidents could link to other legal sites that do corporate or immigration law for example. Real estate sites could trade links with home improvement/maintenance sites, financial planners, lenders, lawyers, etc. Keep in mind, the objective is not to just link these sites, but to exchange links with them! Area of caution: There are some sites that will offer you free membership in a link exchange service. You are required to host a number of pages on your site that list the other participant’s links. Though the concept is nice, and somewhat effective in increasing your link popularity, the search engines have caught on to this trick and as one of our prospective clients recently realized, will de-list your site for this practice. Plus, the importance of links to achieving a better ranking for your site is based on the standing of the site linking to you. So, a link from a site highly ranked will be worth more in the search engines eyes than hundreds of links from low/non-ranked sites. Do not fall for the optimistic, yet unrealistic instant promises of these services. Building effective links takes time and perseverance.

#7. There have been recent changes in search engine submission policies. Today to get your site indexed rapidly, the most cost effective, and in some cases, the only way to get on certain search engines, is to pay for a guaranteed site review. The two best places to apply are through fee for the Yahoo review is $299, recurring annually. Additonally, you are paying for a review only, with no guarantee of being listed. Also, these services do NOT guarantee where your site will be positioned, just that if accepted, it will be indexed. Finally, keep in mind your fee of $299 is NOT returned if your site is not accepted. Here is part of an email site rejection notice received by a local site from Yahoo: “Dear Business Express Client, Yahoo! has reviewed the URL you submitted with Business Express order #. We're sorry to report that we've decided not to include your site in the Yahoo! directory at this time. We base our evaluation of each site solely on the content it has on the site at the time of evaluation. When we reviewed your site today, we found that it did not have enough content to support a listing through the Business Express program.” The Looksmart search engine has changed to a pay-per-click basis.

#8. To lessen the potential for your site submission being rejected, and to insure your share of the Internet search engine traffic, you can hire a company that specializes in positioning. The most cost-effective things to consider with this approach (in order of importance) are:

A. A guarantee that YOUR specified keywords will receive a position on page one, two or three of the search engine results. B. A written outline of the entire program.C. No charge should be made for any positioning beneath page three.D. There should be a sliding fee charged that is based on real results. E. There should be a maximum charge stated. F. Prior to hiring any firm you should verify their actual prior results.

#9. With a a small amount of time and a modest investment you can achieve some very respectable results yourself. There are a few programs available, but the best one, which we utilize in our own business, is IBP.

They have a free, thirty-day demo program that is down-loadable. Plus, their the extensive help section, alone, provides invaluable insights into top search engine positioning. There will always be skeptics and site owners who do not take the time or place the investment into their sites to attain top rankings. No matter how completive the keyword phrase, with the application of the proper techniques top search engine positions can be obtained. In conclusion, websites can be very productive in achieving huge search engine keyword directed traffic. For further info on the Internet search engines, software programs listed above and web site promotion, visit: Bob can be contacted at: Copyright 2007 Promotions Unlimited


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