Headings are not the sexiest things to talk about when it comes to legal blogging. However, they can be crucially important for your legal blog’s performance on both the search engine optimization (SEO) front and on the reader experience front. Therefore, we’ve devoted a small handful of blog posts to headers, what they are, and how they can work the best for your law firm’s website.
In our last blog post, we focused on the basics of headers, and cleared up what we had found to be a surprisingly widespread misconception about them: It is computer code that makes the font of a header format differently, not the other way around. In our next post, we’ll explore how headers help readers in ways that score SEO points, too.
Here, we’ll delve into the SEO impact of the headings you use in your legal blog posts, and how you can maximize it on your site.
Refresher: Search Engines Look for Relevance and Importance
Recall that search engines have one goal in mind: To find the most relevant and most important results for every search query someone enters.
Search engines can only do this if they are able to quickly and accurately determine what a particular webpage is about.
In theory, search engines can quickly determine a page’s content by looking at:
- The page’s title, and
- Any text put into another heading format.
It’s similar to a book: What better way to determine a book’s content than its title and the name of its chapters?
The Evidence of a Header’s SEO Impact
In practice, there are numerous indicators and studies that show that headers impact a site’s SEO score. Most of those indications and studies agree that effectively using headers can make a significant difference in your site’s SEO. According to the online marketing Moz, headers are a part of the third-most-important grouping of SEO factors that search engines look at.
How to Make Your Legal Blog Headings Deliver
Using such a strong signal can have a huge impact on how well your legal blog performs in the search engine rankings, which can make a big difference in your web traffic.
How to do it is straightforward, but not quite simple: You need to constantly be hitting those keywords in your headings. Hitting them in page titles—technically H1 headings—is the most important, but checking them off further down into a page’s content—in H2 or even H3 headings—is also important.
Needless to say, this can only be done if you’ve already planned out your online marketing goals and strategy and put together a list of the keywords that are most in line with those goals.
The Caveat: Keyword Stuffing is Still Not a Good Thing
Of course, blindly pounding on your keywords in the headings of your legal blog posts can quickly go overboard: Google will still penalize websites that it thinks are stuffing keywords into their content at the expense of the content’s meaning. Writing “Criminal defense attorney in Orlando” as the title for each and every one of your legal blog posts will likely run afoul of this penalty.
Instead, you should be focused on making your headers what online marketers call “keyword rich.” This means going out of your way to make sure you use the right terms and phrases that you decided were important for your firm’s online growth. This makes it wise to diversify the content that you cover in your legal blog, while still keeping it within your targeted practice areas. Doing so will allow you to organically hit those keywords in your legal blog headings.
Side Notes: Keywords are Important and the Call to Action
It would be remiss not to mention two important side notes that deal with the SEO impact of the headings in your legal blog.
First, the importance of hitting keywords in your headers stresses the fact that keywords are not dead. Thinking about them and then consciously executing your plan are critical steps in your online marketing strategy.
Second, while readers might not react to a call to action, anymore, designating the final paragraph—after a header, of course—to urging your reader to contact your firm can be a great way to consistently craft headers with some of the most important keywords in your online marketing scheme.
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