used to think that using keywords on my Web site was cheating the search engines or doing something a tad shady. Must have been the guilt factor from 16 years of Catholic education and the fear we lawyers have of even coming close to violating our cannon of ethics. Plus I was too lazy to try and figure keywords out.
Boy was I an Idiot. Unfortunately so are a lot of Web developers designing law firm Web sites and lawyer blogs.
Keywords just help the search engines find your site in the index they keep of all blogs and websites. Use of the right keywords in the right places on your lawyer blog or Web site, called search engine optimization, just helps people searching for you or a lawyer like you to find you in the first couple pages of search results as opposed to being buried hundreds of pages down.
How keywords work for lawyer blog and Web site
When folks go to the search engines they type in a word or a phrase. The search engine then looks in its index of blogs and Web sites for blogs and sites that include those words.
I’ll use an explanation I borrowed in part from Peter Kent’s Search Engine Optimization for Dummies to give you and idea of what the search engines look for. Suppose, a person types in Spokane divorce lawyer. Generally the search engines look for:
- Pages that contain the exact phrase Spokane divorce lawyer
- Pages that do not have the exact phrase Spokane divorce lawyer but do have the words Spokane, divorce and lawyer in close proximity
- Pages that have the words Spokane, divorce and lawyer somewhere on the page but not not necessarily close together
- Pages that have the word stem somewhere on the page, for example Spokane, Divorce and lawyers somewhere on the page
- Pages that have links pointing to them, in which the link text contains the phrase Spokane divorce lawyer
- Pages with links pointing to them with the link text containing the wordsSpokane, divorce and lawyer, although not together
As Kent explains the search engines do not do exactly this, they also consider certain characteristics of the keyword phrase:
- Is the keyword phrase found on bold text?
- In italic text?In bulleted text?
- In text larger than most of the other text on the page?
- And hundreds of other things the search engines keep secret.
In heading text, the stuff in tags?
Bottom line, use keywords to help the search engines find your lawyer blog or Web site. Second, help people find your lawyer blog by using the proper keywords in the right places on your lawyer blog or Web site.