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Search Engine Optimazation

Posted on 2011-09-24
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A lawyer in Rhode Island asked me to set up a website or redo his current website in a way that would have his page be prominent when someone typed for lawyers on a search engine. What ways can I accomplish this?
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Question by:mike9380
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 36593701
Tell him to advertise.  Do a search for 'lawyers Rhode Island' and you'll see what i mean.  On Google it says "About 18,700,000 results" and the first few results are referral services and the Rhode Island Bar Association.  See if your client is mentioned there.
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Hugh McCurdy earned 500 total points
ID: 36594099
Dave Baldwin's advice of advertising is good.   I have further comments.

Simply changing the design of the website isn't going to push his page to the top.  If you think about it, if it worked, thousands of law firms would do the same thing and and then it wouldn't work because thousands of lawyers can't be on the first page.

Google likes to keep their page ranking algorithms secret.  They are and they aren't secrets.

A lot of weight is put to the quality of links to your client's page.  Of course, you don't have control over that.  (One reason Google uses it.)  Still, it helps to have your client's home page linked to from other websites.  He should be on the local bar association's website (as Dave Baldwin asked you to check).

Now for some things you can do

Text in H1 headers should contain keywords that are valuable.  Your client's name and "lawyer" spring to mind.  The type of lawyer (accident, criminal, etc) he is would also help.  (Overdoing the H1 tags won't help).  The text on the page should also include the same words that are in the H1 tags.  You might as well setup the meta tags too but Google doesn't much care.  (But they might check to make sure the meta tags make sense related to the content of the text.)

Content that changes frequently also helps.  Google tracks how often a page changes.  First, this increases the frequency of visits by the spider.  Second, it tells Google that the content is fresh.  Fresh content is worth more than stale content (and thus ranks higher).

Finally, the web pages themselves should be coded properly.  The code should look like it was coded by a professional.  Professional coding implies higher quality content.  Every page you write, IMHO, should be validated by the software at  http://validator.w3.org/   You should repair any warnings reported.  The Google spider does some of those checks too.   I also suspect Google might have English grammar checks too (for pages in English).

I also suggest, if the lawyer will use it, to setup blog software on the site.  Then encourage the lawyer to write quality articles.  These are new content and Google will notice.  If the articles are good, people might link to the articles.  If that starts happening, his site starts to rise.  (So, part of this is on him.)

Following my advice won't move your client to the top.  But it should move him closer to the top.

The Rhode Island Bar association page is likely near the top for several reasons.  First, the organization is clearly important  Google might have given it a manual boost.  But many lawyers will have linked to the RI Bar Assoc page.  Worth much.  I haven't checked, but I bet the pages are well written and coded.  They probably also have changing content.

In closing, I finally got my boss to write articles and, surprise surprise, our pages started rising in the ranks.  It takes time but it has an effect.
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by:leakim971
ID: 36594119
>What ways can I accomplish this?

pay to be on the right, not on the top : https://adwords.google.com
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