responsive Archives - ML Web Design, Inc.
Six months ago, Google began displaying a “mobile friendly” alert next to websites in the search results page to certain qualifying sites. What sites meet the qualification of “mobile friendly” can be viewed on their blog post here.
When Google signifies the website is mobile friendly, this means the website is responsive, meaning that it folds up nicely into your phone, tablet, etc. Essentially, the website is seamlessly viewed with ease on any screen.
So you may ask, what’s different about this little Google stamp of approval on mobile front? Well, up until recently, it was just a stamp in the search results. Google has indicated its new algorithm (effective April 21) will begin analyzing sites in the search rankings and penalizing sites that are not responsive. View the Google blog post here. This can I have serious consequences, if you are ranking well but your site is not mobile friendly. Even worse, if you’re trying to climb the rankings, and you’re not mobile friendly, it will be much more difficult to gain search engine exposure.
As I explain to clients all the time, Google’s main goal and namesake is predicated on returning the most applicable results to a user search query. The moment it stops evolving is the moment it becomes Yahoo search. Google does that by seeking out what it believes to be the best quality result for the applicable term.
So what’s the Takeaway? If your site is not mobile friendly and you have the means to change that, you need to run towards it. Hopefully, you saw the writing on the wall and adapted prior to now. If not, contact us for free consultation and we will work with you to transition you into the responsive era.
Search-engine optimization for lawyers changes with the advent of clients and in response to search engine algorithms — well, when Google changes their algorithm. So while the tactics below are not necessarily new, they are paving the way for lawyer search engine optimization in 2014. They will help you stay within best practices and keep current for your law firm search engine optimization strategy.
With that in mind, if you do not currently maximize on the five areas below you will be left in the wind–and out of the search results.
Responsive, mobile ready sites are important as ever.
Having a responsive website will provide more SEO value than ever. Google gives added value to websites that are mobile-friendly. That means, if you’re not mobile friendly, you are not only losing out, but others are gaining. This is just SEO, not to mention losing or under serving your viewers because they cannot adequately navigate your site on their mobile device. A well laid out “responsive design” can help you stay ahead of your competitors.
No substitute for good old quality content.
A large amount of quality content will always provide decent SEO value for a law firm. Although many people hear content and automatically think of blog posts, you need to have adequate pages covering your core practice areas. A blog is going to indispensable because it creates a forum on which to interact with other SEO mediums–social media, etc. In summary, don’t neglect the base content of your site.
Outbound links to complement your inbound links
High PR (Page Rank), quality inbound links have been, and will continue to be, a great foundation for your law firm search engine optimization strategy. However, the focus doesn’t need to be confined to inbound links. Buying a bundle of links is no longer an acceptable tactic, and will provide a negligible benefit, if any. Reaching out to other, preferably high PR (Page Rank) websites to raise awareness of your website, is an important part of strengthening a law firm’s SEO presence as we move through 2014 and beyond.
Social media is more important than ever
While your social media popularity does not directly impact your site, having positive social signals does help Search Engine Optimization for your law firm. This is particularly true on Google Plus, where your content is more likely to be higher in an individual’s search result if they are in your circle on Google Plus or have +1’d your content. For instance, you made a post on criminal defense, and an acquaintance in your circle +1’s your comment. A year later when they have forgotten your existence and your criminal defense expertise, searched for a [insert city here] DUI lawyer. Your site now gets a signal bump because of the prior interaction with your Google+.
Why Google Plus is worth the effort
Google Plus offers a more than just helping your content rank higher in Google results. Authorship is one of the things you MUST have in 2014. Think of how any person browses the search results. With an authorship photo next to a result, you are naturally drawn to that result. This is particularly true if your business puts out a lot of interesting content on a regular basis. Correct implementation of Google Authorship adds a nice author visual that Google pulls from Google Plus — dramatically increasing click-through rate for content that features the image. Google + also offers Google Business view, a 360 degree interactive virtual tour of your business; it’s like Google Street View but for your business premises. Like Street View, you can use the mouse to navigate and walk through from room to room bringing your business to life.