Friday, September 16, 2011

Linking Keywords Is the Hallmark of Good Legal Blog Writing

Keywords are what make law firm blogs useful for SEO purposes.  But there are mistaken assumptions among many attorneys and legal staff members that run blogs about how these keyword links actually work.  Not all links are created equal.  Finding topics to post on, creating the lengthy post, formatting the article, and then actually posting the material can be a time-consuming and grueling process.  Unfortunately, all of that legal blog writing effort is often wasted when proper keyword linking strategies are not employed.

It is not enough to link any phrase on a blog post to any page on a firm’s website.  This is akin to being in a canoe and moving the oars above the water.  It’s a waste of energy.  While it may look like you are doing everything right from afar, upon close inspection a key ingredient is missing that will actually produce the results that one demands.  It is always disheartening to see attorneys put in so much effort on producing good content for their blogs only to fundamentally misunderstand the way that keywords are used to transform the blog into a tool that improves the firm online visibility.

Here are a few keyword and linking fundamentals that every law firm blog writer should know:

(1) Link the Correct Words.  Far too often attorney-writers highlight any old phrase or word and link it.  This is the biggest mistake one can make.  There must be a very specific and intentional list of words and phrases that are targeted by a firm, and ONLY those phrases should be linked back to the firm website.  Everything else is a wasted effort that either adds to the total link count in a post unnecessarily or takes away links from words that actually matter to the firm.

(2) Location Matters.  Many writers who understand the basic keyword process fail to give proper weight to value of link location.  There are two main points to remember here.  First, keywords within a title are given extra weight by Google crawlers.  Whenever feasible without forcing it or repeating oneself, a keyword (unlinked) should be used in the title of a post.  Second, linked keywords in the first sentence—or, better yet, beginning of the first sentence—are always considered “super-links” that should be prioritized whenever possible.

(3) Don’t Overdue it.  Long gone are the days when one could jam in fifteen links in a single 500 word post and get value out of it.  The links must not be abused—the Google crawlers are too smart for that.  Instead, the link to word-count ratio must always be abided by.  It is wise to shoot for 4 links for a typical 500 word post, plus or minus one.  The Goldilocks principle applies in these cases.

(4) Landing Site Consistency. Just as it is unhelpful to link non-relevant keywords, it is also a waste to have scatter-shot landing pages for those links.  Not all pages on a law firm website are created equal.  Those with specific static content related to the links coming-in are prioritized by crawlers.  In other words, when one links “Texas burn injury lawyer” in a post it should land on a page that discusses Texas burn injuries on the firm’s main website.  This should be the case every single time that a burn related link is used.

Understanding these basic principles is the difference between those law blog writers that provide consistent results and those that row above the water to get nowhere.  All attorneys who want to drive clients to their firm with these efforts must take these points to heart.

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