Google has an evoking interest in helping lawyer (website owners) put their best foot forward in search. Lawyers who are willing to learn can find a bunch of free tools from Google to help them do SEO (search engine optimization i.e. Optimizing your website towards Google search) on their website. PathLegal has highlighted some tools that Google make available for free that lawyers may not have known about.
1. Google Webmaster Tools
Perhaps the greatest tool for website owners is Google’s Webmaster Tools interface. It allows lawyers to see keyword phrases that people have used to visit their site, inbound links, HTML errors, the presence of malware, mobile usability status and provides the ability to submit a website for crawling among many other features lawyers can learn how to use.
For example, you can see things like:
- Average rank in search for determined keywords or targeted combination of words that people may use for search.
- Code improvements that you could make.
- Notifies you of 404 crawl errors you can redirect.
- Whether elements like meta descriptions (a brief description that appear as snippet upon search) and title or headings are in order.
- When your pages have been submitted to Google and their index status.
- Any malware that may be present on your site.
- How your site appears in search
It’s fully free to use Google Webmaster Tools. You have to set up a Google Account to use it and you also have to verify your website in order to get it submitted.
2. Google Analytics
If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? In other words, you should be tracking your marketing progress. Webmaster Tools can help you do that but if you are looking for something a lot more powerful, you should check out Google Analytics.
Google’s free tracking platform is leader software in its industry. It is relatively easy to use for those just starting out with analytics programs and it is also highly customizable for the code junkies out there. Lawyers can see basic information about their sites such as the number of visits, the length of visit, where visitors came from, the geographic region they are located in, and real-time data about the website.
You can also set up custom tracking to see when visitors are clicking on buttons, watching videos or performing other actions on your site. Reports are customizable by time frame and you can get pretty granular with the data. Installing analytics is easy and if you have a WordPress site there are some plugins that make installing it super easy.
3. Google PageSpeed Insights
Increasingly, the speed at which your web pages load is important for ranking well in search. It is also important for your users who (like everyone else) get really impatient when your pages do not load fast and thus lawyer may lose a client.
Google provides a free tool called Page Speed Insights. By simply copying and pasting your website URL in the analysis bar, you will be given a score on a scale of 1 to 100. It even analyzes your site on a mobile scale.
There are a lot of page speed analyzers on the web and they are all pretty much free. The sweet part about Google’s tool is that it provides you detailed information on how to fix your lawyer website if it is slow. Google also prioritizes the tasks that you should be focusing on into very important to marginally important compared to how much time it will take to finish it.
4. Google Keyword Planner
We all know how important keywords are to our marketing efforts in search, especially for lawyers. Formerly the keyword tool, Google’s Keyword Planner is a re-vamped version of the popular research software. While others may not agree, the planner is way better than the keyword tool. Did we mention that it is free?
One of the notable features of the planner is that it takes a more focused approach to developing keyword lists for users. The old tool sort of left you on your own to find keywords and ensure that you knew how to organize them on your website.
The new planner organizes your words for you so that you know how to group them more accurately for use on your web pages. A cleaner interface and more streamlined process in addition to better filters make the tool more robust and easier to use.
5. Google Alerts
This is one that I like that does not always get a lot of fanfare. Google Alerts is a service that was generated out of Google Labs and it allows you to keep track of content that is published on the web. Content is a crucial part of lawyer’s success in increased traffic or visitors.
Basically, the way it works is you enter a word or phrase into Google alerts and tell Google that you want to be notified when that word or phrase is published on the web. Say you want to know when someone is writing something about you on online. You could enter your name (either without quotation marks for the broad match or with for exact match) and Google will send you an email the next time a scathing review appears with your name in it (or hopefully a rosy one).
6. Mobile-Friendly Tester
As of April of 2015, Google officially places significance on mobile usability as a ranking factor. They kindly provide this free tool for assessing whether not a website is mobile friendly. For lawyers, it has become a mandatory one. Just like with the page speed tool, they provide suggestions for fixing mobile usability issues if you have them.
7. Google Tag Manager
Tag manager works along with AdWords and Analytics. It is a tool designed for marketers and others that do not have the coding knowledge like lawyers required to increase (or even install) these products. It works a lot like installing Google Analytics in that there is one snippet (called as a container snippet) installed on your website. After that, lawyers can simply create rules in a user-friendly (and code-free) user interface to do things like create events, install remarketing code, perform conversion tracking and other advanced tasks in AdWords and Analytics.
Conclusion: With these tools, any lawyer not having coding knowledge can easily track the performance of their website and can do to increase the number of visitors.