Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marathon, not a sprint. Determining what works and what doesn’t can be difficult, and search engines like Google are constantly tweaking their search algorithms, which changes the way search works. To stay ahead of competitors, law firms need to keep their fingers on pulse of the latest SEO trends, but this can often be difficult with limited time and limited resources.
Optimizing your website for search engines requires making a multitude of little changes on an ongoing basis. For instance, the Google search engine has just over 200 different ranking factors. Some of these factors are outside of your control, like domain age, but many can be easy to accomplish, like adding alt text to images.
Because of the extensive number of ranking factors, optimizing a website is incredibly tedious. However, there are two easy things you can do right now to boost your law firm website’s SEO.
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, is a free web service offered by Google for website owners. Connecting your website to Google Search Console (GSC) is very easy. If your website already has Google Analytics installed, you can connect to GSC with a few clicks. GSC offers several additional easy methods to connect to your website.
#1: Submitting a Sitemap
Once you have connected your website to GSC, you can submit a sitemap of your website to Google. A sitemap is a list of pages on your website. When you submit a sitemap to Google, you are telling Google exactly how many pages are on your website and where to find them. If your website is built on WordPress, you should be able to access your sitemap when you login to your website. If you do not have a sitemap for your website, you can generate one using numerous free sitemap generators online like this one or this one.
#2: Requesting Indexing
In addition to submitting a sitemap, you can request that Google index your site. When you do this, Google uses robots commonly called spiders or bots to analyze and read through all of the pages on your website accessible via navigation or internal links.
Why These Two Things Work
When a user searches in Google, they aren’t actually searching the Internet. Instead, they are searching through a massive database created by Google. A user performs a search, and Google refers back to pages in its own database to provide users with search results. In order to appear in search results, your law firm website pages need to be in Google’s database.
Submitting a sitemap and requesting indexing from Google ensures Google knows about your webpages and stores them its database. However, it should be noted that this effect is not immediate. It will take some time for Google to process your sitemap and your request for indexing.
To get the most out of these two actions, you should regularly submit your sitemap and request indexing. How often you complete these two things depends on how often you update or add pages to your website. While every website is different, a good rule of thumb is that if you are adding less than six pages per month to your website (including blogs), you should submit a sitemap and request indexing every other month. If you are adding more than six pages a month, you should submit a sitemap and request indexing every month.
Of course, if you want these things done for you (and more), you can contact the SEO specialists at Stacey E. Burke, P.C. today.