Being a solo practitioner comes with added obstacles and challenges that established law firms may not experience. From office administration to employee management to client intake, there are many tasks that must be performed in order for a legal service to succeed.
This article will focus on the importance of lawyer websites and why having one would benefit a solo lawyer.
Here’s a quick overview of everything this solo lawyer’s guide will cover:
Getting a website
Finding web design ideas
Starting a blog
Promoting the website
Improving the website’s performance
Reasons Solo Lawyers Need A Website
Solo lawyers have the ability to choose their own hours, select who they work with, and decide which cases they want to work on. While this may sound appealing at first, the additional work required to run a law firm by yourself can take a considerable amount of extra time.
To reduce some of the inevitable work, solo lawyers can use a website to delegate many of their regular office tasks.
Here are a few benefits solo lawyers can get with their website:
Advertise Legal Services.
Find New Clients
Establish a Brand / Reputation.
Share Professional Legal Knowledge
There are some DIY website builders or if you don’t have the time to build a website yourself, you can hire a professional developer.
Website Design for Solo Lawyers
Although a website should provide useful information, the design and functionality can affect whether a visitor will use your legal services or search somewhere else.
Most visitors coming to any website will be searching for the information they need right away. If your solo lawyer website takes too long to load, has an unattractive design, or is confusing to navigate, expect visitors to leave before ever inquiring about your practice.
Designing a website with your prospective clients in mind will have greater benefits in the long term. Here are a few tips to guide you toward a good website for your solo service:
Choose A Good Design. The aesthetics of your solo lawyer website is important. Consider the look and feel of your website. Ask yourself, does it showcase your professionalism? Expertise?
Don’t Confuse Visitors. When visitors come to your website, keep the message clear and make your pages easy to navigate. Nothing is more frustrating to someone online than landing on a website and not knowing what to do or where to go.
Offer Quality Content. While it may be useful to have a website featuring your office hours and contact information, you can improve your website’s performance by adding a blog and providing helpful information.
Have A CTA. You need a Call To Action on your website. This could be an onscreen pop-up requesting an email or your contact number in large font that offers the visitor a free consultation if the contact you today.
When you discuss your website with a web designer, remember to focus on the website’s function while paying attention to the overall aesthetic and design. To get more ideas for you website design, check out 2017’s best lawyer websites or 2018’s best law firm websites.
Blogging About Law
Solo lawyers with a blog on their website can improve their reach for prospective clients. Blogs are a great way to share informal information, showcase your expertise in your area of law, and build an online reputation.
Blogs allow solo lawyers with competitive strategy for marketing their legal services. For example, the information and expertise about the law may be unique to you. Sharing some tips, such as what to do after getting in a car accident, can help you stand out against other law firms in your area.
To create a successful lawyer blog, you’ll want to consider the keywords people are using in search engines. For example, if you’re a solo lawyer practicing divorce law in California, you’ll want to write an article with similar words inside. Keep reading to learn how keywords in your website can improve its performance.
Promoting Your Legal Services
In order for a solo lawyer website to serve its purpose, finding new clients, it is going to need visitors. Paid promotions can be an effective method toward promoting your legal services and finding your next client.
Google uses competitive keywords to provide ads on the first page of their results to people making searches related your selected words. Facebook offers this same feature, however, it has an even more powerful tool for targeting the perfect audience.
Depending on your budget and goals, Google PPC and Facebook Ads can have different results. For more information about which one you should use to promote your website, go to Google PPC for Lawyers or Facebook Ads for Lawyers.
Improving Your Website’s Performance
For alternatives to paid promotions, you can make a few modifications to your website to improve the performance. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method of making your website better recognized by search engines which presents your website to more people.
As mentioned before, having a blog is one way to improve your SEO. Blogs allow you to add various keyword rich pages to your website which can improve the likelihood of your website being discovered.
Other methods of improving your solo lawyer website’s SEO includes:
Lawyers practicing law in either a small town or a busy metropolitan area can try these simple steps to improve their local search engine rankings. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to implement these steps. Instead, here is a simple approach to making a few changes to your lawyer online presence that can put you in front of more prospective clients in need of your legal services.
What is SEO?
Search English Optimization (SEO) is a method of increasing the visibility of your website allowing for it to be more readily discovered. Unlike paid options, like Google PPC, SEO is an unpaid process which results in organic or earned search results.
According to Google, many people are performing local searches to find the services and solutions they require. In regards to lawyers, people may be searching for the following:
Location of a lawyer’s office
Checking opening/closing hours
Looking for the cost of service
Shopping around for the best lawyer
Some of the research that Google performed to understand people’s search behaviors found that:
Note: Some listings may require you to verify your practice before accepting your profile.
Keyword Research & Keyword Optimization
Keywords are the foundation of how the entire search engine system operates. Depending on the keywords you use, this will directly influence how your legal services get discovered. Let’s look at an example.
If you’re a criminal defense lawyer, you’ll want to use a range of related keywords in both your listings and throughout your website to improve your local SEO.
For help you find relevant keywords, you can use Google’s free Keyword Planner. To access this keyword research tool, you’ll first need a Google Ads account. You won’t have to pay for advertisement.
To understand the power of keywords, let’s split up their potential into two categories:
Research keywords are those used by people whose intentions are to find information or to learn about a topic. These kinds of searches look like, “Do I need a contract for my business?”
These kinds of searches may not result in someone taking action. Instead, they are just performing research to gather the information they need for their situation.
Actionable keywords are those used by people ready to take action. Action keywords could be in the form of contacting a law firm, setting up a consultation, or finding a location to visit your office.
For example, someone searching “criminal defense lawyer in New York” is likely looking for a lawyer to hire in their area. These are the kinds of keywords you want to focus on using within your website.
Lawyers with a website should use both actionable and research keywords throughout their website. This is one of a few things you can do to improve your local SEO.
On the more technical side, here are a few more necessary steps you can take to improve the SEO of your website and where to use those keywords:
URL. When you are creating pages and posts on your website, choose a primary keyword to be used in the URL (i.e. www.yourlawwebsite.com/primary-keyword).
Headers. Headers are distinct sections within your pages that separate the content. When you input this information onto a website, it will be coded as tags: <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, <h6>. The most important tag to use is <h1> which tells search engines what the main information on the web page is about. In other headings, you can use variations of your keyword to make your page’s SEO stronger. All of AmazeLaw’s websites come optimized for Google SEO.
Body. The body is the main content of your web pages. You are reading the body right now which, in code, is referred to as <p>. Here you’ll want to use the keyword throughout the body. Having pages with 200 to 1000 words are a great start to improving your local SEO.
Meta Description. The meta description is a small piece of information that describes what a web page is about. This is another place to use your keywords. Try to keep your meta description under 140 words.
Understanding local SEO allows lawyers to improve their search rankings and find more clients. While there may be some technical aspects to SEO, putting your legal services on listings and directories is a quick and easy way to get started.
You don’t have to be a computer programmer to understand the fundamentals of marketing your law firm’s website. To increase the number of clients inquiring about your legal services, there are a few easy steps to take. Let’s get started by laying a foundation for the basics of law firm SEO.
Some SEO Advice from a Google Expert
If you plan on getting your website on the front page of Google, it is important to know about Matt Cutts, an SEO Specialist and Engineer with Google.
To stay on top of your website’s optimization and attract new clients, here are a few tips from Google’s search engine expert:
As you can see in the video above, how your website is structured, the quality of your backlinks and the authority (or the importance) all play a part in whether your website shows up in the search results.
Now, let’s see if your attorney website is search engine friendly. Here are 7 SEO tips for lawyers and law firms:
SEO Tip #1: Improve Site Speed
Your website’s load time has a direct impact on both a visitors experience and your search engine rankings.
The speed of your website can have a dramatic effect on your business. Prospective clients searching for a lawyer may not be patient to wait for your website to load before jumping back on Google to find a faster loading lawyer website.
To check the performance of your law firm’s website you can use Google’s free Page Speed Insights Tool. If we take one of the top search results for “California law firm” and put it into this tool, here’s what you’ll see:
Marshall Law Firm has a good score for the desktop version of their website and offers suggestions to improve its performance.
You may want to talk to your web developer to make the appropriate adjustments to your law firm’s webpage load time (i.e. reducing web coding and server response time).
However, according to Yahoo 80% of your website’s load time comes from the different images, videos, and design style to that page. If you can reduce either the size of these files or minimalize your site design, you can improve the performance of your load times.
SEO Tip #2: Focus on Visitor Experience
Google and other search engines want you to focus on user experience and site design. Their goal is to offer the best websites to provide only the best experience.
Your law firm’s website should be responsive which means it can be viewed on both a desktop and a mobile device. Since so many people are using their smartphones to find information, you don’t want to lose potential clients to a competitor staying ahead in the digital race.
Another feature about user experience includes the content on your pages. All your pages should have text and a few images, this is what search engines use to determine what your pages are all about.
Think about some of the best websites you enjoy. That’s the kind of experience you want to provide when someone visits your website or reads your law firm’s blog.
SEO Tip #3: Use Words People Search For
Understanding which words are being used in search engines is the most important part of your law firm’s SEO strategy.
Keywords, the words or phrases used in searches, should be used throughout your website and blog to increase your website’s search engine rankings and help you attract potential clients.
There are a number of free research tools you can use to find exactly which keywords people are using. Here are a few you can start using now:
Once you have discovered the keywords related to your law firm, the next step is to start building pages or blog posts with them in it.
Be sure to use specific keyword phrases and don’t be afraid to create pages from keywords that have low competition. For example, if a keyword phrase like “low price divorce attorney” only gets 10 to 50 searches per month, yours may be the only website specific enough to answer their questions (and potential business inquiries).
SEO Tip #5: Avoid Penalties
No one fully understands how a website is ranked by search engines, however, there are a few known penalties that can affect you. Here are a few you should know about:
This penalty occurs if your website is showing full content to Google and partial content to your visitors. For example, if you force users to sign-in, register, or log-in to see the full content.
Hacked Site. If your website has been hacked and its redirecting visitors to spammy sites, search engines like Google will quickly pick up on this and flag it. The results can lead to your website getting buried in the search engines.
Keyword Stuffing. From time to time, using keywords in your law firm’s blog is how search engines know which content to offer their searchers. However, if you use the keyword too many times, known as keyword stuffing, your website can be penalized for it.
Getting a penalty on your website can dramatically damage your standings on the results pages of search engines. Here, the best SEO tip for lawyers is to avoid these penalties and use search engine webmaster tools (such as Google Search Console) to monitor your website. If there’s ever a problem with your website, for example, if it gets hacked, Google Search Console will send you an immediate notification.
SEO Tip #6: Add Your Law Firm’s Website to Google My Business
Google My Business is extremely important to your website’s search rankings as it affects your local SEO. After you sign up, you have to wait for a postcard to be sent via mail to verify your business. As soon as you get it, verify your website so you can show up in localized and map searched.
Other search engines have their own local listings and directories which you should add your website to:
Of all the lawyer SEO tips to help improve your website’s search rankings and attracting more visitors to your website, this is the one tip that matters most.
A call to action is a unique and noticeable statement telling visitors what to do when they arrive at your website. When potential clients are coming to your website you should have a dedicated page with a contact box, location, and other ways to reach you.
Additionally, you should think about how to make your number and contact information pop-off the page. Or, consider offering a free consultation if they schedule an appointment online. Whatever you do, after putting all this work into getting people to your website, contacting you should be obvious and easy to do.
Having an effective SEO strategy for your law firm will not only keep you competitive but also give you access to more prospective clients. If you already reviewed our SEO Tips for Lawyers and advanced SEO methods, we put together any missing pieces to the SEO puzzle right here.
Ever wondered why certain websites appear on the front page of Google when you search, “Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida”?
This is made possible by SEO.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is simply increasing your visibility in search results. There are many different ways to improve your search rankings such as backlink building, decreasing website load time, and more.
If your website is currently found on the 27th page of Google’s search results implementing just a few of the ideas in this article could see a significant increase in your search rankings.
Keep in mind, getting your website ranked on the top pages takes consistent effort because there are likely other law firms competing for the same position. However, by implementing an SEO strategy for your law firm you can take advantage of getting free traffic from search engines.
SEO Strategy #1: Know Your Search Words
The first step to improve your website rankings in the search engines is to understand the words people are using in Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.
In a Google Consumer Survey, it was found that 96% of people use search engines to find legal advice. They also found that 74% of them would go to a lawyer’s website and take action.
This makes search words extremely important so that your law firm is discovered by people looking for your legal services.
How to Find Your Keywords
There are a few free and simple tools you can use to find the keywords being used in the search engines.
Tool #1: Google Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to find all the keywords people use which are related to your law firm. The insights you get from this tool includes keywords, ad group ideas, historical statistics, competition, keyword, trends, bidding and much more.
To use Google’s Keyword Planner, you need an AdWords account. Don’t worry, you won’t have to add your credit card or purchase any ads to use their free keyword planner.
If you’re unfamiliar with Google Keyword Planner, follow these steps to get started.
Step 1: After you sign in or sign up, you’ll arrive at the AdWord dashboard.
Step 2: Click on the tool icon in the top right corner.
Step 3: Select “Keyword Planner”.
Step 4: Enter your search terms.
Let’s use “Divorce Lawyer California” for our example.
The results show some important stats like Avg. Monthly Searches, Competition, and ad-related details.
You can use these results to put together keywords your web pages and blog content.
To improve the effectiveness and accuracy of your law firm’s keyword research, be sure to adjust the location and the date.
Adjusting the Location
Your law firm SEO strategy may be to attract more clients from your local area. To do this, you can use the location settings to find all the keywords being used from within your city or town.
Use the location search to be as specific or as general as you want.
Adjusting the Date
What if there were higher rates or accidents at certain times of the year? Or you’re a tax attorney and caseloads tend to increase at certain times of the year?
If adjust the date settings, you can see keywords that are used during certain seasons, recent searches, or an overview of keywords used throughout the year.
Even though Google’s Keyword Planner is meant as a guide for setting up your Google AdWords PPC, you can take advantage of the statistic for planning the keywords for your law firm’s SEO.
Tool #2: Keyword.io
Keyword.io allows you to find longtail and other related keywords. Longtail keywords are more detailed phrases (up to 3 words) which can be used to target a smaller demographic of people.
Instead of focusing all your effort on popular and competitive search terms, longtail keywords can be used to find prospective clients your competitors might be ignoring.
With Keyword.io, you can create a strategic list of keywords for any search engine including Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo.
You can use Keyword.io to research keywords for a PPC Campaign, SEO, or article writing (more about this later).
Let’s use the same search term from before, “Divorce Lawyer in California”:
With Keyword.io, you can see variations of how the keyword is being used in the search engines.
Combining these results with Google’s Keyword Planner, you can come up with a strong set of keywords to use for your law firm’s SEO strategy.
SEO Strategy #2: Write and Publish Quality Content
The purpose of your law firm’s website is to attract prospective clients. To achieve this, you should write and publish quality content.
Here are a few simple strategies to guide you toward effective SEO Content Strategy:
Publish only compelling and quality content. You want to make sure that what you publish is both unique and useful to the people reading it. Ask yourself this, what value does your content give readers?
Use keywords. You now know how to search for relevant and current keywords so put them into your content. Use different keywords for each piece of content you publish. This not only expands your reach but also prevents SEO issues with Google and other search engines.
Share on social media. You’ll soon learn how popularity is important to improve your SEO. Start by sharing your posts after they are published and encourage others to share them as well.
Keep your content fresh. When you are writing and publishing new content on your law firm’s blog, keep it fresh and up to date. Spend a few minutes researching current events and try to write something related to today’s trends.
Obtain backlinks. You’ll learn all about this in SEO Strategy #3.
Publish frequently. Don’t just publish one or two articles and think that’s enough. You have to publish frequently to remind the search engines that your site is live and your content is important.
To get started on your law firm’s SEO content strategy, you want to be optimizing content for discovery and conversion. This means using the keywords you found and writing in a way that turns website visitors into new clients.
Also, you also understand the intent of the search words being used in Google. If someone searches, “Divorce Lawyer Fees,” they are likely shopping around for the best prices. If that person chooses your website, which do you think would be more compelling?
Sample Content #1:
Our divorce lawyers fees start at $100 per hour. Contact us today for a consultation.
Sample Content #2:
We offer some of the lowest divorce lawyer fees in town. Contact us for a free consultation to get started.
Another example of keyword intent could be someone searching for, “My wife wants a divorce.” Here, the intent is for information, both emotionally and legally, that will help them handle their divorce. In this situation, you may not want to sell your service but instead, come across as a warm friend with helpful advice.
Remember this: when you write content for your law firm’s website, you should always put your audience first. Writing to satisfy the ever-changing algorithms of Google and other search engines could lead to a negative SEO. Instead, focus on providing quality content that comes from you and resonates with your current and prospective clients.
Implementing Longtail Keywords
Let’s take another look at the list of longtail keywords from before:
You’ll notice quite a few keyword phrases found that can be used to shape the type of content you create. Alternatively, if you’re out of ideas you can use this list of longtail keywords to write articles like:
7 Reasons Not To Get a Divorce in California Without a Lawyer
Low-Cost Divorce Lawyer in California | YourLawFirm.com
3 Simples Steps for Filing for Divorce Without a Lawyer
Creating Quality Content
You could have a blog talking about your thoughts and experiences as a lawyer or you could create content with a strategic plan and a specific goal.
Again, using the list of keywords you researched related to your law firm, you can create a long-term strategy to publish and share content related to the needs of your prospective clients.
For example, during the Christmas season, you may want to write a series on the consequences and outcomes of drinking and driving. Or, if you’re that divorce lawyer from California, you can write about divorce rates and actions to take if they’re considering divorce.
Take note of what Matt Cutts, Google’s software engineer, has said about creating content:
“You need to find some way to pull people in, to get them interested, to get them enticed to try to pick up whatever concept it is you want to explain. So I would argue, first and foremost, you need to explain it well, and then if you can manage to do that while talking about the science or being scientific, that’s great.”
SEO Content Calendar
Planning out your content in advance can make your marketing efforts significantly easier.
You should plan for one to two months in advance and prepare content that can be interlinked with each other. Interlinked content are pages linking to another page on your website (this adds SEO benefits and also keeps visitors on your website longer).
Once you have created an SEO content calendar, you can start to publish on your social media accounts, email newsletter and any other places you can think of. However, before you do, you should consider the best times to publish your content. Here’s what Hubspot recommends:
Facebook: 9 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm (with 1 pm getting the most shares) on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
LinkedIn: 7-8 am, 12 pm, 5-6 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Instagram: 2 am, 8-9 am, and 5 pm on any day.
You’ll have to test your own content to see which times get you the most traffic and the best results. Ultimately, here’s a few tips to follow for your law firm’s SEO content calendar:
Post consistently (i.e. three times a week)
Use multiple social channels
Choose times that get the most engagement with your target audience
SEO Strategy #3: Build Your Backlinks
By now, you may notice that your law firm’s SEO strategy is quite complex. However, to keep things simple, the ultimate goal of SEO is to improve your popularity.
In order to boost your law firm’s “popularity” and get prospective clients coming to your website, you have to build backlinks from various online sources.
Search engines like google are looking for law firms with relevant and authority links pointing to its website. The way authority websites are measured is also based on the amount of traffic coming to that website.
Steps for Build More Backlinks
Building backlinks to your law firm’s website can be challenging. There are some methods you can try, but they could get you in a lot of trouble. For example, if you decided to purchase backlinks from an unreputable source, Google may put a penalty on your website which can block you from the search results.
To ensure your website doesn’t get blocked, here’s a few steps for building quality backlinks:
1. Publish quality content. If you’re producing great content that connects with the people who read it, there’s a great chance that they will share it with their friends and family. This is the best way to introduce your legal services to new people.
Take note of these blogs rated by the American Bar Association to be the best law blogs:
Verdict is a magazine blog provided by Justia (an online resource where you can sign up, add your website, and find prospective clients) which has a blog full of content on every aspect of the law.
Overlawyered is one of the oldest law blogs exploring the American legal system. Take a look at the bottom of this blog, notice the comment section? Here is a great way to contribute to the discussion and sometimes share a link your website:
2. Network and help others. Expecting people to link to you is unthinkable. You have to reach out to others and show off your expertise. You should join various forums and online groups to meet new people and offer help when you can. Here are some examples:
Quora is an active community of people asking and answering questions. After you set up an account for your law firm, you can search for relevant questions related to your legal services. Here’s an example using our California Divorce Lawyer:
If you had an article titled “Low-Cost Divorce Lawyer in California | YourLawFirm.com” you could insert a link into your answer. Quora is an authority website and not only can you use it to send new visitors to your website but it’s also effective for your backlinking efforts.
Reddit is a community of news enthusiast sharing and reading the top stories in America. Before you start sharing your content here, you should know that direct marketing is often frowned upon by its community members. There are various discussion boards where people are seeking answers to their problems, however, the website uses a rating system to rate anything posted and commented. So, be careful.
In this example, you can see that people are sharing their experiences getting or considering divorce in California. Here’s your chance to make direct connections with a potential client by offering content related to their situation and sharing your insights in a response.
When selecting which posts to comment, choose the ones with more points as these are receiving active engagement and interest.
LinkedIn Pulse is one of many social channels you can use to publish your content related to law firm’s blog. Here’s an example of a law firm using LinkedIn to share direct links to their blog:
LinkedIn may not be best place to find new clients but it’s a great way to build links and increase your website’s authority.
3. Become an online authority. If you’re publishing great content consistently, you can expect people to start writing and linking back to your website. You can’t expect your online authority to change overnight. By following the previous two steps and consistently engaging with people online, you can start to see more of your links getting shared online and you may even get featured on top news channels (links from these sources carry a significant authority that can boost your website’s search rankings).
Creating the perfect SEO strategy for your law firm starts with knowing which words prospective clients are searching online. Once you research these terms and create incredible content, you can start to share links to authority websites to grow your online presence and increase exposure to your legal services.
Whether you run your own blog, eCommerce platform or business website, brand advertisement is a constantly looming question worth thinking about. According to 99 Firms, 44% of website referral traffic goes through Google as it is the biggest global search engine out there, with 72% of marketers stating that content relevancy is the biggest challenge when it comes to SEO positioning.
Content marketing and link building both add to the overall SEO ranking and general positioning of your brand in their own respect, to varying degrees. Given that the nature of this question is complex, we will go through several points in regards to both content marketing and link building to unearth which approach to SEO would suit your needs the most. Let’s start off with the basics and go through the most poignant questions on the matter.
Basics of SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is often considered the de facto deciding factor in a brand’s search engine relevancy. SEO trends are constantly shifting in favor of fresh topics, original keywords, and content relevant to individual search queries.
Technical optimization elements such as keyword density, content formatting, multimedia optimization, and link building are considered baseline requirements for brands that aim to reach the first page of Search Engine Result Page (SERP). However, balancing how much content you produce against how much attention you pay to link building (promoting your hyperlinks on other websites) is a matter of perspective.
Some businesses aim for split attention between the two while others (such as in the case of eCommerce sites) go for a totalitarian approach and place all of their resources into either one or the other. Both approaches are viable and neither is the wrong choice when it comes to search ranking optimization. With that said, optimal SEO will bring your brand certain perks that would otherwise not be available to you.
Advantages of SEO
When it comes to direct advantages related to SEO of your content and website as a whole, there are quite a few items to consider. According to Tech Jury, 93% of online experiences begin with search engine queries, while only 7% of users will go as far as the third page of SERP in order to find relevant content for their engagement.
This effectively means that businesses that don’t regard SEO as an important element of their online brand awareness strategy will effectively lose a tremendous amount of traffic to other brands. Applying the right combination of link building and content marketing to your website however can bring several advantageous points to your brand, including but not limited to:
Streamlined and accessible website User Experience (UX)
Higher engagement and conversion rates
Better brand positioning and industry authority
Better networking and affiliate marketing opportunities
High return on investment (ROI) in terms of incoming traffic and revenue
Without Content, There is No Link Building
An important point of discussion can be made in regards to choosing either content marketing or link building while completely disregarding the other side of the SEO equation. While possible, this type of approach to brand-building is ill-advised for several reasons.
For one, in order to practice efficient link building, you should have quality content available on your website, whether its blog posts, product pages or other forms of media. No platform, blog or business will promote your links or embed them in their content if there is no tangible value on the other side of the hyperlink. On the other hand, content marketing by itself might yield you positive SEO and traffic over time. However, without link building, your site will come off as very competitive and unfriendly when it comes to networking or cooperation with other businesses.
Without content, there is no link building to speak off in terms of organic SEO and traffic generation. Without link building, there is no high traffic or content engagement, leaving your site barren of leads or word of mouth. As we’ve mentioned previously, both of these SEO approaches offer valuable advantages – let’s dive deeper into each one to discover the minute details which will help you decide on the best combination of the two for your specific business and industry.
Content Marketing Gives your Site a Voice
In the proverbial sea of websites, having a distinct voice is one of the most essential aspects of brand positioning. Content marketing can give your website a voice in regards to how the audience perceives your products and services and differentiates it from others in your industry. Your business culture, long-term goals, company vision, and mission statement will all add to the effect of brand marketing for whoever decides to visit your website.
No amount of link building will ever manage to help your website “speak” to the audience through blog posts or creative product descriptions as content marketing is able to. Backing that content up with well-positioned links on competitive industry websites and aggregates will ensure that your site is reputable and professional in the eyes of stakeholders.
Link Building Promotes your Brand
Speaking of brand positioning, every industry is a competitive battlefield when it comes to vying for the customers’ attention. For better or worse, your website is one of many in a specific industry, with clearly positioned leaders, followers, and newly-launched businesses. Link building can ensure that your website is visible to potential customers, curious B2B clients, and individuals who might be interested in networking and collaboration.
You can spread your link building efforts to other, related industries and thus offer unique services to that website’s audience. For example, if you run a graphic design agency, positioning your links in the arts or photography blogging niches can do wonders for your lead generation. Find interesting niches to position your brand in and use existing content marketing materials as a precedent for those businesses to consider embedding your links into their pages for mutual benefit.
Content Marketing Boosts your UX
Once you attract an audience through your link building, it’s important to create some form of value for their time and (in case of products and services) money. Content marketing in the form of blog posts, detailed product portfolio descriptions and multimedia should be created to further cement your link building efforts. This will create an efficient loop for your SEO efforts and ensure that your visitors enjoy a well-thought-out UX as a result.
Link building without any relevant content or value to back the effort up will quickly deteriorate into your brand’s reputation as a spam website. Most importantly, your SEO ranking will drop as a result of link building which isn’t backed up by quality content in the placed hyperlinks. Strive for engaging UX on your website and work on your portfolio’s sales pitches, calls to action and other engagement opportunities before devoting your attention to outreach and link building.
Link Building is a Long-Term Gain
One notable factor to consider when it comes to link building is that it can provide your website, SEO and brand as a whole with long-term gain. Once your links are positioned on competitive websites and prolific industry portals, they will most likely stay there for the foreseeable future. Whether today, tomorrow or in two years, anyone who visits those particular pages will encounter your links and be tempted to follow up on them to see what value they hold for their interests.
Content marketing, on the other hand, leans more on current trends and what is considered a hot topic now as opposed to two years ago. If you write blog posts about topics which are stale and old news in everyone’s eyes, they won’t drive new traffic to your website and most certainly affect your SEO in a less than stellar way. In this aspect, link building holds a clear advantage but it should be noted that the content your links are embedded in will grow older over time, prompting you to seek new link building opportunities constantly.
SEO Mistakes to Avoid
To cap things off, it’s worth noting that not every SEO activity will hold net benefits for your website or ranking. Even too much of a good thing can become bad as a result of spam or overreliance on singular optimization activity. In that regard, let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent SEO pitfalls you should keep in mind in your content marketing and link building efforts going forward:
Poor Internal Sitemap
Your website’s internal structure will play a major role in the SEO ranking and visitor engagement efforts. In this aspect, you should categorize your links according to their content and role in your business. Gather all of your links into a sitemap and make the map accessible through your landing page for both your visitors’ and search engine algorithm’s benefit.
Content for Content’s Sake
There will always come a time of the year when content ideas simply run dry. When that happens, you shouldn’t start creating content for the sake of publishing “new” posts or pages on your website. Look for new trends to discuss, opinion piece topics to tackle and other forms of creative content marketing instead. Patience is a virtue in this regard; it will showcase that your brand is about quality more than it is about the sheer quantity of pages.
Content quality is another important thing search engine look at. It is always a good idea to work with a variety of usual tools, writing and translation services as well, such as TheWordPoint, Grammarly, Readability Score or Hemingway Editor, to ensure the relevance, high-quality and readability of their posts.
Lack of Website Auditing
Website audit is what is commonly referred to as “SEO spring cleaning”. Even though you should actively look for new opportunities for content marketing and link building, you should also tidy up your website on a semi-regular interval. Check your pages in regards to keywords, active links, ads and other content which will affect not only your SEO but the overall UX of your website. Don’t get caught with dead links, broken media or wrong keywords in your content by running an audit on your site every once in a while.
Best of Both Worlds (Conclusion)
When all is said and done, choosing between content marketing and link building shouldn’t be a mutually-exclusive choice. Find a healthy balance of both in regards to your brand’s marketing strategy, resources, networking and most importantly – product and service portfolio available for lead conversion.
Start with relevant content and look for link building opportunities that will be happy to work with you in terms of brand positioning going forward. Before you know it, you will settle into a routine of content marketing followed by link building in a production cycle which suits your staff and resources regardless of what popular trends or industry leaders might say on the highly subjective matter of either-or.
Author: Erica Sunarjo is a communications professional with more than five years of experience. Erica runs her own blog BestWritersOnline and is proud of her an uncanny ability to explain the most complex subject in simple terms.
Lawyers depend on advertisements to build an awareness of their legal services and attract new clients to their firm. While traditional methods are still in use, online marketing (via hiring the best Facebook Ads agency and the best Google Adwords marketing agency) are becoming the common trend for advertising.
If you’re considering to use advertisements for your law firm, here are some of the biggest mistakes lawyers make and what you can do to avoid them.
Unfocused Marketing Campaigns
You may have a large budget to spend on marketing your law firm, but if you don’t have a focal point you’ll be spending your money on nothing. You can create a generic “contact for a free consultation” marketing message and take anything that comes in the door.
Or, you can segment your marketing message and target the specific legal services you offer. Invest your time and money creating marketing messages related to the specific cases your law firm handles.
Once you concentrate your marketing efforts you can find the right prospects for your firm.
Poorly Written Content
The content you publish on your website is a representation of you and your law firm. The internet is filled with spammy websites and people know when they’re being sold to.
Your content should be informative, error-free, and relatable to the people you think will read it.
Also, to improve the effectiveness of your content, add logical and emotional reasons to hire you. People are searching for someone who can truly help them with their problems.
Use your content to tell people you understand what they are dealing with and that your legal services are here to help.
Asking For Too Much
Your advertising efforts may be effective and delivering high traffic to your website. However, you may find that no one is contacting you for more information or to start a consultation.
If you’re asking prospective clients too much information in your contact boxes, many prospects are likely to turn away. People are constantly concerned about their privacy and with the rise of identity theft, there is a hesitancy to sharing personal information online.
Nonetheless, lawyers require some information to begin evaluating their case and being able to respond to it. Only ask for as much as you need and after receiving their contact information you can begin to ask the questions needed to get their case started.
Complex Web Design
There’s nothing more frustrating for a visitor to a website than a complex and confusing web design. This is known as your bounce rate, which is the number of visitors that come to your website then leave right away.
When you’re putting your legal services online, consider your visitors. Ask yourself these questions:
What is the most useful information my visitors need?
Is my contact information easy to access or will a visitor have difficulty finding it?
Does my website invite visitors to join my social?
Would adding a pop-up lead capture improve my conversions from visitors to clients?
If you’re struggling to come up with an effective web design for your law firm, consider these best law firm websites from 2017.
Also, if you have analytics set up on your website (i.e. to monitor where visitors are coming from and where they are frequently visiting) find your best content and feature them in the sidebar of your content pages.
Spending Your Entire Marketing Budget
Whether you’re using Facebook Ads, Google Adwords or and Instagram advertising agency, you have complete control over the duration and style of your marketing campaign. If you spend your entire budget without testing different ideas, you may end up with a lower return than you hoped for.
Start by setting your budget low and creating a series of tests to see which messages make the most impact on your target audience. The analytics offered in Facebook Ads and your Google account can help you determine which campaign is effective and could use more of your marketing budget.
Incongruent Landing Pages
In the world of advertising, having a congruent message is crucial. You’re marketing message and your landing pages should live up to the promise you’re making.
Advertising something like, “Steps to take after getting in a car accident,” then sending them to a landing page with a promotion to your service may not deliver the best results.
The purpose of proving valuable content online is to establish yourself as an authority in law as well as trustworthy.
Use your landing pages to capture leads in exchange for content that people are looking for.
Not Focused On Converting Visitors
You can spend thousands of dollars on advertising to get traffic to your website. However, if your website is not developed to turn those visitors into clients, you’ll be wasting your marketing budget.
The purpose of any website, especially a lawyer’s website, is to convert visitors into clients. There are many ways to do this. You can send visitors clicking on your Facebook Ads to a landing page requesting their email in exchange for valuable content.
Or, perhaps the most effective method of converting traffic, is by adding live chat to your website. Having the ability to communicate with visitors while they are live on your site allows you to address any questions they may have and arrange a consultation immediately.
The alternative would be to hope they find your contact page and send you an inquiry.
Not Having A Unique Selling Point
Having a distinct call to action is an important feature for any lawyer’s website. In addition to that, your website should have a unique selling point which differentiates your legal services from others online.
What makes you different from other law firms? How can you help more than other law firms with the same legal services?
Having case studies and client referrals on your homepage are one way of showcasing your legal abilities to prospective clients. However, you should take a moment and ask yourself what can you offer that differentiates you from your competitors.
Now that you know some of the mistakes lawyers are making with their advertisements, you may want to review advertising regulations from the State Bar.
Getting on the first page of any search engine (like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) provides your law firm with significant benefits. You can reduce the costs of ad spending by creating an SEO focused lawyer website that allows search engines to provide you with organic traffic.
This article reveals some SEO secrets specifically for lawyers.
Onsite SEO for Lawyers
If you’re don’t understand computer coding, at the very minimum you should try to grasp the concept of onsite SEO.
In order for search engines to do their job and showcase your website in their search results, you have to give them detailed information on your website.
In your articles and web pages, there are elements known as title tags, headers, meta descriptions, and URLs. Having a solid foundation in onsite SEO will deliver successful results in the other parts of SEO found here.
When it comes to your titles to articles, best practice suggests to keep them up to 70 words in length. Anything longer and they won’t b displayed in the search results.
For the meta description, use between 150 to 160 words.
Another important feature of SEO is including a keyword. This keyword is used as a primary identifier of the page or article. Use this keyword in the title, meta description, and URL.
Your article or page should also include the keyword in a readable and non-intrusive manner. Using a keyword too often, known as keyword stuffing, can actually have a negative effect on your site’s SEO.
For lawyers, keeping your keywords and content relevant to your readers while including the appropriate title tags and meta-descriptions will be of benefit to your search engine rankings.
If you intend to outsource SEO to an expert, something you may want to be aware of is Schema Markup for Attorneys. Although this may not have a significant impact from an SEO standpoint, the added coding involved provides more informative results for people using a search engine.
Schema Markup allows you to add more details to your meta-descriptions which can be displayed in the search engines. From business hours to special events, these details will be coded in a way that engines can recognize and input in the results.
These are just a few suggestions. Backlink building requires strategy and careful planning. If you use tactics such as hacking other’s websites to inject backlinks, hiding text on your page which cannot be read by visitors but found by search engines you may be negatively impacted by search engines.
Search engines use sophisticated ways to scan the internet and gather information about your website. It knows who has links to your website and where your website is linking out.
NoFollow vs. DoFollow Links
One thing you should keep in mind is that there are different kinds of links: follow vs. no follow.
Nofollow links are those that do not give you any boost in the search engines. They simply send traffic from that website to your website. That’s it.
DoFollow links are those that give you a boost in the search engines. These links are telling search engines to rank the site.
This reason this exists is to prevent spamming, however from a lawyer’s SEO point of view, you may want to know what kind of backlink you are building and whether that will provide a benefit to your search engines results.
Love it or hate it, Avvo, along with other third party lawyer review sites, is an inescapable part of the Internet landscape. Clients (past, present, and possibly imaginary) can leave reviews about your service that can either mar or bolster your law practice, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Or is there?
Like the old adage says, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. In this post, let’s discuss how you can use Avvo to attract more clients, build your brand authority, and win at life.
Lawyers can easily interact with the Avvo community at large, either through Avvo’s premium-level Advisor service or through the free Q&A forum.
Avvo is one of the most popular and well respected services of its kind.
Why should I be on Avvo?
If you’re a lawyer, you’re probably on Avvo anyway. It’s suggested that 95% of all US-based attorneys are listed on Avvo– whether they want to be there or not. This is because Avvo populates its site using public information obtained from the State Bar Association.
That said, you don’t really want to leave it with just that basic information, do you? Especially since it’s free to claim your Avvo listing, why not optimize it with the type of information that will win you leads?
Check out our tips for creating a winning profile on Avvo!
If that’s not enough to convince you, here are a few other compelling reasons to claim your Avvo listing now:
+Avvo is great for SEO
If you’d like to get found via search engine (and who wouldn’t?), don’t overlook Avvo. Avvo frequently ranks on page one of search engine results for both individual and generic results, as you can see here:
When you get actively involved on Avvo (and other review sites), you can add your response to a review, whether that review is good or bad.
When you respond, keep in mind the prospective client who will read what you’ve written. Choose words that are professional but warm, with a hint of appreciation and insight. Those are the responses that will win the argument every time compared to a “this client was horrible” type of response.
Here’s a Beginner’s Guide to Using Avvo
In order to reap the benefits of being on Avvo, you must actively participate. In fact, the more you participate, the more you can positively impact your Avvo rating. Here’s a rundown of how to use Avvo effectively:
Claim your listing right now for free, and then optimize it.
After claiming your listing, it’s time to optimize it. Be sure to subscribe to receive a list of our top tips for creating a winning Avvo profile.
If you’d like to build authority and raise your profile with site visitors who are looking for answers, get involved with the legal Q&A section on Avvo.
Consider upgrading to Avvo Pro.
Use Avvo Pro to track important analytics, such as how many people are contacting you based on your Avvo listing. You’ll also receive a “Pro” sign next to your name, which indicates that you are invested in the Avvo community (quite literally).
Another benefit of Avvo Pro is the ability to remove your competitors’ ads from appearing on your listing.
Advertise with Avvo.
Speaking of showing up on a competitor’s profile, you can opt in to Avvo Advertising. This service allows you to create an advertisement for your service that pops up on another attorney’s free listing.
One of the benefits of going with Avvo advertising, aside from greater exposure, is the fact that you can also target your ads to a specific demographic.
Get as many reviews and ratings as possible.
Avvo offers two types of reviews: client and colleague. Urge your clients to leave feedback for you on Avvo after successfully rendering a service. Similarly, court peer endorsements by asking for them the same way you would on LinkedIn.
Another feature that Avvo offers its customers is a fixed-fee advice session. You provide the service and Avvo works as a marketer. It’s offered only to those local to your geographic area, and it’s not available in all states.
Why should you care?
Participating in Legal Services gives you more opportunities to increase your ratings. And higher ratings means that you look better in the eyes of prospective clients.
For information about Avvo Legal Services, check out this page: Avvo Advisor.
If you’re an attorney, Avvo is an essential part of your online branding efforts. Your name’s on there whether you like it or not, so claim it and control how prospective clients are introduced to your brand.
Check out our tips for creating a winning profile on Avvo!
If you already own a website, why should a lawyer have a blog?
Nowadays, when people have a problem they immediately turn to Google and other search engines to find the answer. The way things work online, a few words or phrases are typed into the search bar and websites that best match it will show up.
For certain legal concerns, you may see searches like this:
Wife wants divorce
Can my brother sue me
What do I do if I get arrested?
In these situations, having a blog and writing about the legal perspective can bring more visitors to your website and potentially lead to new clients.
To achieve this, you will need to write articles with headlines like the following:
7 Things You Must Do When Your Wife Wants A Divorce
What To Do When Your Brother (Or Family) Wants To Sue You
How Your Arrest Will Affect You And Your Family
Blogging is a powerful tool that takes time, commitment and a little online knowledge to make it work. Here’s a few things lawyers starting a blog should know.
Guidelines For A Lawyer’s Blog
You may not be a web designer, but there are a few things you should know if you intend to provide your thoughts, ideas, and professional advice online. A website is just like your office space: the way it is organized, the overall aesthetic, and the level of professionalism all play a part in whether people will stick around or click away.
Here are a few guidelines to consider when it comes to lawyer’s having an online blog:
Create a responsive website. Many people are navigating the online world from a smart device. This means that your lawyer website has to be 100% responsive and mobile friendly. When it comes to the design elements on the page, keep it simple and keep it clean. And, don’t over complicate the language. People from all kinds of backgrounds will be reaching out to your online. Using simple, everyday language will be the best way to connect with potential clients.
Have a clear way to contact you.There is a purpose to providing a website and this is amplified by adding a blog. Whenever you have visitors coming to your site, your contact information should be clear and distinct. Visitors should be able to send an email with ease or touch your number causing it to instantly dial. Reducing the level of frustrations on your website and in your blog will make the experience that much better in the palm of their hand.
Educate your prospective clients. The main purpose of blogging is to exemplify your professional and answer any questions they may have. The information you provide is often the best place to begin a relationship with you. They can get to know who you are, what you offer, and how you think. Your blog is the place to build trust so that the consultation can happen without any doubts and uncertainties.
Answer questions and solve problems. You might think that there is already a lot of information on the web and as a lawyer, it may be a waste of time to be blogging about it. Your competitors may be hundreds of articles ahead of you and you keep wondering why they continue to get more and more clients. Start blogging. This is an investment in your services and the easiest way to get started is by answering the most common questions your previous clients have asked you before. When people are coming to you online, they are hoping you have the answers to your problems, which the only way you can prove to them that you have it is by writing a blog.
Add special offers. As a lawyer with a blog, this is a great opportunity to attract new clients. One of the best way to do this can be done by offering a free initial consultation. Inside your blog as well as on the side, you can create banners and advertisements that tell your visitors they can sign up for a risk-free, no obligation and no money consultation. Or, perhaps you are doing something special and offer flexible phone consultations.
SEO Benefits Of Blogging
There’s a few things behind the scenes that lawyers should know about blogging. If you’re unfamiliar with how websites work and how Google shows your website to people searching you could be wasting your time blogging online.
Here’s a little summary of lawyer SEO and how a lawyer that blogs can benefit from it.
More authority. There are elements of your website that determine your overall “web authority.” This is known as Domain Authority (DA) and is ranked on a 100-point-scale. Websites that provide more content will have a higher DA which boosts their rankings in the search engines.
More web pages. Whenever you publish a new blog post, you are expanding the depth and details of your website. Each page URL gets indexed by Google and other search engines which increases your likelihood of being found and is supported by all other benefits found in this list.
More Links. Links are an important variable that determines how well you are ranked. When you link out from your site to another authority site, Google recognizes this. However, when you link to other pages on your own website, this too is counted toward your overall ranking. Blogging gives you the chance to greatly enhance the quality of your site and give it that added boost.
More trust. Many people are seeking solutions to their problems online. If you can position yourself in a way that provides online advice and trusted information, this too helps your ranking. Google tends to favor sites that give visitors trusted information that people actually need. Having a blog will provide that added trust that other websites lack.
More traffic. Publishing regularly will allow you to generate significantly more traffic to your website, and ultimately, to your legal services. Google will often refer people using its search engine to sites that are active and consistently providing relevant and trusting content.
More long tail keywords. Keyword stuffing (i.e. using a common keyword or phrase over and over again in an article) can lead to Google penalties. When you are blogging with quality, original content, you will end up with much more “long tail keywords” in on your website. Over time, this will increase your chances that you will be able to answer specific problems that prospective clients are seeking for online.
More user experience. Google wants people to have the best user experience. To ensure this, Google expects websites to provide visitors with real answers and solutions to their problems. This will be measured by the amount of time people are spending on your website. If many people are leaving, you site is likely not the solution. However, that’s where blogging can help.
More SEO. Blogging is content marketing. And, when you are blogging you are directing your content to a specific, target audience. In doing this, you are already creating the right SEO conditions to succeed online and the more you publish the more you can expect will return.
The Value Of Blogging As A Lawyer
Aside from the technical benefits your website receives with having a blog, there is considerable value when a lawyer blogs.
Take these into consideration:
Save time and improves services. Imagine dealing with a client who didn’t do a background check and they continue to ask basic questions before even getting to a consultation. Having content in your blog is a quick and simple resource to redirect inquiries to the answers they are looking for. After they get the information they need, the next steps can be made with less hassle.
You get noticed more. You already learned a little about the influence that Google has, however, if the information your provide is truly valuable, it’s going to be shared. When a lawyer has a blog and they can connect with the needs of people experiencing legal conflict, it’s quite common that they will share this advice with their friends and family. Blogging allows you to share your experience and expertise as well as provide trust and support for those in a legal crisis.
Perfect for advertising and announcements. Another great advantage for a lawyer to have a blog is that you can showcase your past successes. Perhaps your firm was featured in the news for a big case, or you were appointed an award in your community. Posting an update about this and sharing this online gives your website that dynamic edge and professional appeal.
There are all kinds of reasons for a lawyer to have a blog. However, as a final note, the most important reason for any lawyer to start blogging, whether you are a fresh our of law school, an experienced attorney, or a retired judge, is that you can continually develop and hone the legal skills as a lawyer.
If you are considering a website or a blog to showcase your legal services and expertise, there are many different Top Level Domains (TLD) to choose from:
This article will examine whether lawyers should buy .law domain and briefly review a few methods to succeed online.
What are Top Level Domains (TLD)?
Without going too in depth about the concept of domain names, here’s a simplified version of what domain names are.
Domain names are the important piece of information that provides a readable internet address of your website. The ending of the domain name is what is known as a Top Level Domain with the most common being .com, .org, and .net.
Overall, there are more than 1000 TLDs available.
Is There Any Significance In Having A .law Domain Name?
Having a TLD can be useful in marketing, search engines, and website optimization. When you consider the most common TLDs like .com, .edu, and .gov, these are recognizable, popular, and rank well courtesy of their authority.
They is some speculation that having these TLDs do not provide measurable proof that you will get ranked higher (such as with .edu and .gov domains).
“Sorry, but that’s just not true, and as an engineer in the search quality team at Google, I feel the need to debunk this misconception. Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings.”
While Google may not rank a .law domain higher, from a personal point of view, there is significant value to be considered.
What Are The Benefits Of A .law Domain Name?
From a branding point of view, having a .law domain allows you to position yourself as a professional and a figure of authority.
Anyone who registers a new .law domain, must provide a phone number from the licensing of your agency or firm.
Having to go through this additional step during the registration process creates a trust factor for those searching for you.
Buying a .law domain name will provide an additional layer of credibility courtesy of the verification process required.
This is a summary of some the benefits you’ll receive when you buy a .law domain:
Brandable & Authority. Using this TLD allows you to create a strong and memorable brand. A .law domain can be descriptive and capture the core of your practice. When deciding on your domain name, consider using your own name, area of practice, or your target market.
Verified & Trusted. When you register your .law domain, you become verified and trusted by those seeking your services online. Only qualified lawyers can apply for this domain. Once approved, you will have a branded and trustworthy domain surrounding your legal profession.
If You Already Have Another Domain Name, Should You Transfer To A .law Domain?
As mentioned before, there may not be any considerable boost to your rankings in the search engines. If you already using a domain and it is working well, you may not want to transfer your website to the .law domain.
Consider .law as an investment in your practice but only if you don’t have a domain name already. When you transfer a website over to a new domain, you may lose traffic and potential clients.
Getting a new .law domain is an ideal choice for those starting a new website.
A domain name is only one of many factors to consider when putting your law practice online.
One of the most critical areas of getting noticed and finding new clients comes from the content you provide.
Here’s a few things you may want to keep in mind:
Offer meaningful, relevant and original content. Most search engines approve of original content. However, they should be written in a way that’s natural and connects with your target audience.
Create backlinks on authority sites. When you have published quality content, try to get your site linked with .edu or .gov sites as these have authority. Read law firm SEO Tips here. Note: Never buy backlinks — you could be penalized.
As an authority on the web and a professional of law, you have a responsibility to provide quality content that is relevant and informative to your visitors.
This update from John Mueller on Google’s Webmaster Central makes it clear that content is crucial and the domain name is not given “artificial advantage in search.”