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Key words and search engine optimization – it’s not rocket science

I used to be overwhelmed as far as what keywords meant (okay, I’m easily overwhelmed) as to getting a law blog or Web site search engine optimized. I kept hearing hearing about keywords that people searched on, keyword meta tags, buying keywords, putting keywords in the body of the text and gosh knows what more. I certainly had no idea what the heck search engines did with keywords.

Once I started understanding that they were “key words,” not keywords, I began to get my brain around the concept.

Internet users use key words on search engines

All you need to understand is that there are certain key words people use when doing a search for an attorney or law firm. You just use those same key words in the right place in your lawyer blog or Web site. That’s it.

When people do not know the name of a lawyer, they look for a lawyer in their city and by the type of work the lawyer does. People type in certain words, those are the key words. If I am a woman living in Fort Wayne, Indiana looking for a divorce lawyer I type in – Fort Wayne divorce lawyer – those are the key words.

If they know the name of the lawyer they will search by name – Peter Jones – and perhaps – Fort Wayne Lawyer. Those are the key words.

Think about it, you use key words with the yellow pages. And no one gets confused looking for things in the yellow pages or placing an ad in the yellow pages. I can’t even remember learning how to use yellow page key words in school. When looking for a lawyer by name, you look for their name in the alphabetical listing. When you look for lawyers who do a certain type of work, you look in that category of the yellow pages. You already chose the first key word for the city when you picked the correct phone book off the shelf.

Use of key words in lawyer blog or site

You put key words in your law blog or Web site to help the search engines find your site. You optimize your site, meaning to increase its ranking when people search by key words, by placing the key word phrases in the right places in the blog or Web site.

The places to put the keywords, the TITLE tag, the body text and the DESCRIPTION tag are discussed in my TITLE tag post and META tags post elsewhere on my blog.

Key word prominence is important for lawyer blogs and sites

Prominence is how close to the start of the area that the key words or phrase appears. In general, key words that appear earlier in the TITLE tag or closer to the top of the page will be more relevant.

If you believe certain key words are important make them prominent in the TITLE tag, in the body text and the DESCRIPTION tag. This tells search engines this key word phrase is important in this blog or Web page.

With a key word phrase in the TITLE tag – Welcome to the law firm of Peter Jones, divorce lawyer in Fort Wayne – the search engines do not think Fort Wayne is very important. The search engines think “Welcome to the” is more important. With a TITLE tag – Fort Wayne divorce lawyer Peter Jones – the search engines think “Fort Wayne Divorce” is more important and ranks that page higher.

Key word density or weight is important for law blogs and sites

Keyword density or weight is the percentage or concentration of key words on your page in relation to all other words on the page. Search engines are looking for key words phrase and then the density.

Suppose our woman searches for – Fort Wayne Divorce Lawyer – and the search engine finds a blog or Web page with those key words that contains 600 words, with the phrase – Fort Wayne Divorce Lawyer – appearing 3 times that’s a total of 12 words. 12 is 2% of 600 so the keyword weight or density is 2%.

Don’t get carried away with search word weight. If the search phrase is equal to 50% of the phrase the search engines may think the page was designed only to get high rankings in the search engines and just ignore the keyword phrase. On the flip side if the key word density is too low, the search engines may decide the blog or Web pages of other law firms are more relevant to the search.

Use key words throughout your lawyer blog or Website

Search engines which see a key word phrase on tens of pages on the blog or site think that site is more relevant to a search using those key words than a blog or Web site that only uses the key words on one page of the blog or Web site.

You are not going to get a high ranking for your lawyer blog or site if there is only one page optimized for the keyword phrase. You need lots of pages, in some cases hundreds of pages.

This is one of the reasons lawyer blogs on niche topic areas do so well in the search engines, regular entries to the blog result in lots of pages with key words for the area of law the lawyer practices.

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