Attorneys create and submit documents regularly, and these must be completed in a standard, court-approved format. In the same way, any content that your law firm posts on its website must be organized in a format that makes sense to consumers, and optimizes for SEO purposes. Surprisingly, website or blog content must be structured not only for individuals, but also for the Google bots that crawl and index the internet. Find out more about formatting your blog post so it gets noticed by humans and Google bots alike.
The way you format a blog post really matters. Organizing the headings and subheadings correctly gives clues to the reader where to find information fast, since most readers merely scan blog posts anyway. If they want to dig deeper, they can, but the key information should be obvious for the reader. Titles, headings and subheadings also serve as road signs for Google’s indexing bots.
The first, biggest and most noticeable element of a blog post is the title. If you have a focus keyword, it is a good idea to insert it in your title, and a title should always be an H1 header. Use Headline Analyzer to determine if you have created a strong title. This free tool actually scores your title, and allows you to compare various titles to see which one works better for SEO. Here are 5 more useful tips for creating a compelling blog post title:
1. Use numbers. Numbers grab a reader’s attention, and strangely enough, odd numbers are more favorable than even numbers. For an added advantage, take a peek at a competitor’s website. If they list 5 essential estate planning documents, be sure you increase your list to 7, 9 or 11 within your blog post. Here are some examples:
2. Ask a question. This arouses curiosity and tends to attract casual browsers. Here are some powerful examples:
3. Utilize “How To”. A title that includes How To promises a solution to someone’s problem, such as these:
4. Employ a Comparison. Comparisons of X vs. Y help a reader make a choice, such as the following examples:
5. Start with “The Guide To…” This classic can be extremely effective, such as:
If you really want to succeed in formatting your blog post, after the title, the next subheadings should be H2 size, and these are critical both for SEO and for user-friendly reading. Remember that most readers merely scan the information at first. Subheadings are also important for mobile users, and optimizing your blog for mobile readers makes Google look favorably on your site. Organized subheadings also provide key structural data to the Google bots who are roaming and indexing your blog. As you break down your topics and information further, you can use H3 subheadings, then H4 subheadings and bulleted lists.
As you produce content, you should add links to the text as part of formatting your blog post. These links can transport users to a cited source, or to a different destination where they can access more information.
Internal links allow users to travel to other destinations within your own website. These can be helpful for directing readers to view more information on a certain topic located elsewhere on your site. Internal links can benefit your website because they:
External links are connections that direct a user from one website to another domain. It transports a visitor off your site and onto another. When you create external links that connect to quality sources, this establishes credibility on your own site. When links bring visitors from other sites to yours, these are called backlinks, and they bring value to your website. These backlinks tell Google that your site has the quality and reliability that others want to link to it.
Be sure to include visual media within your blog posts, such as: Images, photos, charts, infographics and video. These support your text, enrich user experience, and optimize your site for SEO. The downside of visual media is that it may bog down a website and cause it to load more slowly, but there are ways to counteract this. Free compression software, loaded onto your website, can optimize your media without affecting the quality. The readers will not notice the difference, but Google does; it rewards pages that load quickly. WordPress users have free plugins that optimize images, such as Short Pixel. One final word about embedding video clips: avoid hosting the video directly on your site, because this will compromise site speed. Instead, insert a video that is hosted on another site, such as YouTube.
It is worth taking time to mention the importance of your site’s loading speed. Even with all the proper structure and the perfect title, if your website loads slowly, nobody will stay around long enough to read your quality content. You can check your website’s loading speed with Google’s Page Speed Insights. A fast-loading website is crucial because it:
If you are new to formatting your stie, an excellent way to begin is to search Google with your chosen keyword or topic. Examine the sites that rise to the top of these search results, and look specifically at the blog posts or articles within. This can give you a lot of inspiration for how to format your posts and how to insert visuals effectively.
Just as attorneys complete documents properly for the court, website and blog content must be structured correctly as well. Formatting your content strategically for Google is not as complicated as it sounds. By remembering these simple guidelines, you can expand your success in search results, attract more traffic to your blog or website, and keep your audience engaged.
We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your law firm website’s content, and how we can take these tasks off your plate! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.