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Gyi’s Law Firm SEO QuestionsA bunch of SEO questions lawyersand law firm marketing managersshould be asking. Gyi Tsakalakis AttorneySync firstname.lastname@example.org Internet Marketing, SEO, SEM for law firms. 1
OverviewHi there! – When it comes organic search engine optimization, there’s a still a pretty large knowledgegap out there. And one of the best ways to close this gap is to ask and get answers to a variety ofquestions on the subject to make more informed decisions.I’ve compiled these questions from a variety of my favorite SEO resources. You’ll probably recognizemany of the questions from Google, SEOmoz and elsewhere.Where applicable, I’ve adapted them to be specific to law firms.It’s important that you understand that these questions are designed to give lawyers and theirmarketing managers one framework from which to approach SEO. They are not comprehensive. Andthey might not all be applicable to your firm.Finally, at the risk of stating the obvious, they’re just questions.The key to whether you’re likely to realize a return on your SEO investments in both time andmoney depends on how you and your SEO consultants understand and can effectively executeanswers to these questions.If you find them helpful, please don’t hesitate to download, embed, email or otherwise share them!And if there’s something important that I’ve missed, please don’t hesitate to comment. 2
Before Launch• What are you doing offline that people are likely to talk about online?• Who are all the different people that comprise your target audience?• What is your audience looking for online?• What language will these people use to find information online?• Where are these people going online to find what they’re looking for?• What can you publish online that supplies their demand for information?• How will what you publish online be different from what others are publishing?• What topics can you provide unique high-quality on that people are searching for?• Can you provide the best pages on your subject-matter on the internet?• How are you going to listen, respond and act upon feedback about your site from people who visit your site? 3
On-Page• Are your pages designed to provide the best possible experience for your human users?• Are all your pages reachable from at least one static text link on another page of your site?• Do you have a site map for users and one for search engines?• Are you limiting internal links on your site to those that help users find other pages?• Do your pages clearly and accurately describe the page’s topics?• Can you tell what each page is about by reading only the page’s URL?• Can you tell what each page is about by reading only the page’s <title></title>?• Can you tell what each page is about by reading only the page’s <meta name="description" content=“” />?• Do your pages include the words that people might use to find information described on your pages?• When you use images, do their titles and “ALT” attributes accurately describe the images?• Do each of your pages contain one unique title and meta description? 4
Technical On-Page Again• Does your site have a robots.txt file?• Have you reviewed your site’s robots file to make sure that search bots can access sections of your site that you want crawled and indexed?• Have you tested and do you regularly monitor site performance including page load times?• Have checked to make sure that your site doesn’t use auto-generated content, cloaked elements, manipulative redirects, hidden text or links, doorway pages and scraped content?• Have you done a Google “site:yourdomain.com” search to see how many pages are returned in results?• Have you searched on keywords like your name, other lawyer names and firm names to see how your pages appear for these searches in search results?• Have you viewed your pages through a text browser, crawl tool or fetch as Google in Webmaster Tools?• Have you included your firm’s accurate Name, Address(s) and local Phone numbers to your site? 6
Page Content• Is the information on your pages, accurate, well-researched, reliable & trustworthy?• Is it clear that the information on your pages was written by a subject-matter expert?• Is the information on your pages unique and especially insightful?• Have you avoided creating duplicate, redundant articles optimized to capture slight keyword variations?• Have you asked people in your target audience whether they would be motivated to interact, contact or hire you after reading your pages?• Have you asked people in your target audience whether they would be likely to bookmark, download, email subscribe to, or otherwise save or share the content on your pages?• Have your pages been reviewed for spelling, grammatical and typographical errors?• Is the information on your pages original or does it merely mirror information that can be found elsewhere?• Have you compared the information on your pages with information on other pages that appear in search results for similar search queries?• Do your pages include useful analysis or interesting content, as opposed to, thin or obvious information? 7
Off-Page• What are you doing to let people know about your site?• What are you doing in the real world that people are likely to talk about online?• Who are all the people who might be interested in the information on your pages?• Who are all the people who might be able to help you tell others about the information on your pages?• What organizations and associations might be interested in the information on your pages?• Are you making it easy for people to understand how to subscribe, link to and share your pages with others?• Are you encouraging people to visit and interact with your pages?• How are you interacting with other people online who might be interested in the information on your pages?• What other sites are relevant to your practice?• Where else is your target audience likely to look for information that is relevant to the information you provide on your pages?• What can you do to help people using those other sites find useful content on your site? 8
Quasi On-Page Off-Page• Have you created a Google Account for your law firm?• Have you verified Google Webmaster Tools for your site?• Have you verified Bing Webmaster Tools for your site?• Have you installed a web analytics tool (like Google Analytics) on your site?• Have you properly implemented rel=“publisher” for your site?• Have you properly implemented rel=“author” for your authored posts?• Have you properly claimed & optimized your law firm’s Google+ local page?• Have you claimed, completed and optimized listings for your firm on various social networking sites and relevant legal profile sites?• Do you have a process for encouraging happy clients to provide reviews of your services online?• Have you crawled you site with tools like Advanced Web Ranking, SEOmoz’s crawl tool or Screaming Frog to review your internal link structure and HTML? 9
Hiring an SEO• Have you reviewed examples of the SEO’s work and success for other lawyers?• How long have they been providing search engine optimization services to law firms?• Have you asked whether your SEO follows search engine webmaster guidelines?• What goals and milestones will be used to track performance?• How will success and failure be measured? How will goals and milestones be established, tracked and met?• Do you know the nature and extent of your SEO’s experience working specifically with law firms?• Does your SEO have experience working with law firms with similar practice areas and geographical areas as yours?• Are they familiar with your state’s relevant rules of professional responsibility?• Is your SEO currently working with other law firms that you would consider competitors?• Has your SEO communicated their most important search engine optimization techniques and strategies?• Will they keep you updated of any changes they make to your site?• Will they provide reasoning and rationale for anything they intend to do on your behalf? 10
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