Myth-busting: Dispelling some common misconceptions about search engines
For some, search engines may seem like some sort of voodooism where results magically appear that is relevant for users. Of course no one really believes that search engine results magically appear out of thin air; however there is a bit of mystery involved with search engine optimisation (SEO) and as a result, a whole cottage industry has developed with the goal of helping people understand the intricacies of search. As search engines becomes increasingly important for businesses, many opinions abound as to what constitutes effective strategies for search, so how does one separate fact from fiction? It's easy to feel a tad bit overwhelmed by the excess of information when it comes to SEO, and we'll take a look at some of the myths surrounding search, while trying to dispel some of the more egregious SEO related misconceptions.
Once on top, my website ranking will never drop
Myth-busting: It's only natural for law firms to want to occupy top spot in search results, because holding a high search position means that it will be easier for potential clients to find you, right? Well not quite, because search engines will take into account factors such as the location of the user and search history when determining what the most relevant results are for the person, rather than a website that exercises good SEO practices.
More keywords on my website means a better search engine ranking
Myth-busting: Search engines will look to keywords and phrases used on a site when trying to serve up the most relevant results for the user. As a consequence, lawyers should try to be as specific as possible in their use of keywords, and should also include location information, as well as their areas of specialty to ensure good search visibility.
On the other hand, as important as the use of relevant keywords are on your site, you should also be aware that overusing keywords can also impact the search ranking of your website as well. The algorithms that both Google and Bing employ, have become increasingly sophisticated at weeding out sites that excessively pepper their content with keywords with the sole aim of only attracting visits, rather than the provision of high quality content.
The rest of my website isn't important if there is compelling content
Myth-busting: Yes, having fresh and relevant content plays a significant role in the search performance of your site. However, search engines also give weight to factors such as design, ease of navigation, website loading time, and user experience when determining search results..
There is no doubt that having excellent content on your site plays a significant role in search performance. However, you'd be remiss if your sole focus is only on content, while neglecting other factors such as website design, the loading time of the website, and the overall user experience - all of which plays a role in SEO. We aren't suggesting for one moment that content isn't important, but with that being said, all parts of your site should also be a consideration as well.
Links to my site will mean more visitors
Myth-busting: One metric that search engines use when determining the quality of a website is how many external sites link back to it. As a result, some websites have tried to influence search engines by attracting as many links as possible from less than reputable sources. Search engines have cottoned on to such tactics and have also made their own adjustments by punishing websites engaging in such practices.
Perhaps the biggest thing for lawyers to keep in mind is that there is no substitute for quality content and a website that is user friendly. By initiating sound SEO practices will give your site the best opportunity for achieving the highest possible search ranking.