#007 – Part 4 – Creating Great Content Series – Organizing & Formatting For SEO

 


Law Quill | #007 - Part 4 - Creating Great Content Series - Organizing & Formatting For SEO

CREATING GREAT CONTENT SERIES

This series is about giving small and solo law firms the information and tools to create amazing content for their own websites to gain more organic traffic, help potential clients, and rise in the Google rankings.

Part 3 – CREATING GREAT CONTENT SERIES

This series is about giving small and solo law firms the information and tools to create amazing content for their own websites to gain more organic traffic, help potential clients, and rise in the Google rankings.

Part 4 – ORGANIZING AND FORMATTING FOR SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)

As an attorney, you understand that your legal documents MUST be in a certain format, or a court may not accept it.

Similarly, there are also best practices regarding the organization and formatting of your blog posts for SEO!

After you have done the hard work of researching your topic and finding an amazing keyword, make sure that you know how to organize and format your article to optimize it for search engines!


SHOW NOTES

Some of the resources I visited about in today’s episode include the following:

CoSchedule – Headline Analyzer

Short Pixel

Note: Link to websites may include affiliate links, in which I would receive a small fee or reward for the referral. However, please know I only provide referrals for companies and services I either use myself or believe in strongly.


TRANSCRIPT

Hello, again, welcome back to our series, which is about creating great content. And today we are going to be talking about organizing and formatting your article for SEO.

Now, I know this probably sounds like the least sexy thing ever, right? But it’s really important because you spent all this time finding a great topic idea. And you’ve spent all this time finding a great focus keyword, you don’t want to lose that by having mistakes in your organizing and formatting. So as an attorney that practices law, you know that when you hand in legal documents, they have to be in a certain format, they have to have specific wording. And in some cases, some courts even required to use a particular font.

So formatting and organizing content should not be unfamiliar territory for you. And it should come as no surprise that there are frankly best practices to formatting and organizing your articles on your law firm website for SEO optimization purposes.

These organizing and formatting decisions that you will make actually can increase your chances of being placed on the first page of Google. So these are big guidelines that can help ensure that you get the proper techniques to format and organize that really valuable content. you’re providing to potential clients on your law firms website.

Choosing the Right Title

So let’s just get into it. Okay, the very first thing that is so important is your title. Now, I understand that we’ve already talked about the fact that you want to try if you can to use your focus keyword within the title, but there is a much more important bit of research that you need to do regarding your title, you need to spend some time on the title of your article, because there are certain things that can get you to the top of Google if you use them correctly.

For example, using numbers in your title, so the top five things you should never do before you get divorced, or the seven estate planning documents you need to create generational wealth. Interestingly, statistics show that odd numbers in titles work better than even titles. Another trick you can do is go ahead and do a little bit of research on your competitors. And if their article is the seven top tips you need to follow before starting a new business, then you should make yours nine or 11 or 15 tips.

Google tends to reward more content and more quality content, it’s really important that you take some time to create a title that is going to capture the attention of your audience on Google, I am going to give you one of the best ways to determine if you have a good title. There is a free tool from co schedule called headline analyzer. And I will link to that in the show notes. And it actually scores your title, which can allow you to choose different titles and see which one actually will work better for SEO purposes and capturing attention and getting traffic back to your website.

Formatting Your Article Correctly

The next formatting issue you should have is regarding the actual content of your article. Your title should always be an h1 header, and then all of your sub headers need to be h2 sub headers.

Using Headings and Sub-Headings

The use of headings and subheadings simply can’t be overstated. They are critical for your SEO, not only just to capture reader attention because a lot of the times frankly, people are looking at your blog posts on a mobile device and that will break up the content visually for them. But it also provides critical information to the Google bot about what you think are the very most important sections in the article. So it helps not only for readers, but it also helps the Google bots understand the information that you’re trying to provide. So, the h2 and h1 headings are extremely important.

But I want to also talk about h3 subheadings. These are where you are doing deeper dives into your content regarding what exactly legal issue you are attempting to convey. For example, if your article is about the types of injuries that are common in car accidents, that’s going to be an h2 header types of injuries in car accidents. Underneath that you are going to have h3 subheadings, such as traumatic brain injury, broken and fractured bones, internal organ damage, aortic dissections, whatever it is, these are the subheadings that Google will also look through to determine what your article is about. You can even have h four headings if it’s appropriate.

Using Bulletpoints

However, I also suggest that you use bullet points or lists throughout your article because that also helps break up the content. And not only is that visually appealing for a human reader, but Google bots tend to like this, because they understand that you are providing a list of information regarding that h2, or h3 subheading. Again, it’s allowing a reader to skim that material more quickly, because frankly, that’s what readers are doing. They are skimming this material. And it’s creating these snippets of information that don’t even need to be complete sentences, but that are providing value to the people that are reading your article. This is really great for long lists, which can even include types of compensation awarded in personal injury cases, or, for example, the benefits of a trust over a will in certain circumstances. So making sure that you have h1 h2 h3 bullet points and lists is excellent for the organizing and formatting of your article.

Internal and External Linking

The next area you need to consider regarding organizing and formatting your blog article on your law firms website for SEO is with respect to both internal and external linking.

We are going to get in a bit more detail on the next episode regarding internal and external linking. But just know that as you’re doing your research for your article, you will need to include external links to authoritative sources. You will also need to be doing internal linking which is hyperlinks from one piece of text on your law firm’s website to another piece of text or article or area on your law firm’s website. So that isn’t a very important formatting issue that you will need not only to keep people moving through your website, but the external linking is also showing Google that you are linking to authoritative sources. And that just creates more value and authority within your own blog post. And we’ll talk a lot more about that in the next episode, which is part four of creating great content. But I just wanted to highlight that right now, because it is truly an important part of the organizing and formatting of your article. The next thing you want to do regarding the formatting of your article relates to your visual media.

Including Media in Your Article

One of the best things you can do for the SEO on your website is to include pictures, and media in your articles. Now, pictures are obviously just pictures. media can include videos, media could include infographics or charts, or any kind of other visual data. Now videos and pictures often take up more room on your website. And those need to be optimized to load as quickly as possible.

So what you will need to do is make sure to include some sort of free compression software on your website to compress your photos or other media to make it smaller without losing any quality. Now, your readers are not going to really notice any difference but The Google bots will reward a website page that has a faster load time. So this is really important for the formatting of your article if you use pictures or media, which, frankly, I strongly suggest that you do. So for pictures, you can just if you have a WordPress website, you can just download a plug in, that will compress the pictures for free. There are also some paid ones.

And the one I use is called short pixel. And I will link to that in the show notes as well. For a video, you need to make sure that you are not hosting the video on your website. But rather, you are simply linking your video to an outside platform such as YouTube. So you will create your video and you will upload it to YouTube, then you will get the YouTube link and in bed that into your article somewhere within your post. Usually, people put the video at the top. But we’re not really sure regarding the Google algorithm that it matters exactly where the video is. But again, wherever the video is placed within your article, you just need to make sure that you’re not actually hosting that on your website.

Optimizing Your Website for Speed

I want to take just a short minute here to discuss why optimizing your website for speed is so important. First, first of all, we all know that everybody has the attention span of a gnat now when they are surfing the internet, or attempting to find content, right. So when they get to your website, the first thing is if you have a load time of more than two seconds, and I’m not kidding, it’s two seconds, people will bounce away. And that’s actually what it’s called, it’s called a bounce rate. So Google keeps track of your bounce rate on your website, you need to make sure that the front page, the front door of your website loads quickly. And that actually is impacted by the entire content of your website.

So if you have a lot of articles on your website, that are bogged down with these heavy videos and large images, the amount of load time that it is going to take to actually load your site is going to be several seconds, and people will leave your website. Now if people are coming to a specific article, because you’ve been promoting it on social media or on your email list. That particular article also needs to load fast. So you want to make sure to do your very best to increase your speed time throughout your entire website.

Another suggestion I always tell people is to get with their IT person and have them run some tests just to see if there are any plugins that you can either remove or update in order to make your entire load time faster. Now, all of that doesn’t specifically relate to one particular organizing or formatting of an article. However, it is really important that you format every article that you create, to have the best load and speed times as possible, because it’s going to help not only that article but your overall site.

So now that I’ve convinced you that you need to organize and format your article for SEO, you may still feel a little confused exactly how to do that. My best suggestion for you is to simply go search Google for your particular keyword or topic and see how your competitors are organizing and formatting their articles to get to the top of Google. A lot of times this can give you inspiration for you to format your article in a similar way.

Again, you cannot plagiarize the actual content of their article. But I suppose you can plagiarize their formatting if you want to include bullet lists. Or perhaps if you get creative inspiration for developing an infographic or some sort of chart or graph that will help your reader better understand what it is that you’re trying to convey. Going to competitor websites is an excellent way to get that inspiration not only for your articles and for keywords, but also for the organizing and formatting of every particular article as well.

So I hope that this podcast helped you understand better how to format and organize your law blog article for not only the reader, but also for your overall SEO. And again, remember, just like you have to hand in legal documents in a certain format for the court, you also have to hand in your articles on your website to Google in a certain format so that they will accept them and consider them valuable enough to put them on the first page of Google.

Next up, we are going to be talking next time about the internal and external linking that you need to do within every article, why it’s important, why it matters and how to do it. So stay tuned. And if you want to get any of the resources, or tools that I talked about in this episode, just head over to lawquill.com/blog and find the podcast episode for the show notes and you will be able to get that there. In the meantime, I look forward to chatting with you again in the Legal Marketing Lounge.