Website Checklist – Example Solicitor Website

 

On-page factors

Your target keywords should appear in the: –

  1. Page Title tag
  2. Page file name
  3. H1 tags
  4. Meta-Description
  5. Body text – try to include your main keywords in the first 150 words. Avoid keyword stuffing but include synonyms and related keywords. In general, pages with less than 300 words prove difficult to rank. There is debate on the best length. Your page should provide a good answer to a search. The length of the page will depend on the information required.
  6. Alt tags

See http://firstwebsitedesign.com/ranking-google-1-page-factors/  for details

Give special attention to the Page Title tag. Google indexes the first 70 characters including spaces. The Home Page of a website has the best chance of ranking on the search engines so greatest effort should be applied to it.

  1. Write great content. High quality content is king.
  2. Navigation including the menu should make it easy for visitors to move around the website.
  3. Schema markup. This is particularly important for NAP – name, address and phone number.
  4. Internal site search
  5. External links, particularly if they include your target keywords in the anchor text, have a positive effect on ranking.
  6. Ranking on search engines is increasingly dependent on user signals such as time on page and on the site. Videos are popular as they allow the visitor to be fed information without effort. Videos tend to increase user time on site.
  7. Google analytics is a free program that provides crucial feedback information including visitors each day and the pages being visited. This information can assist you to upgrade your website.
  8. Social share buttons
  9. Calls to action
  10. robots.txt
  11. sitemap.xml
  12. Your website should be backed up regularly at intervals dependent on the frequency that the site is updated.
  13. Security: Hacking is on the increase. Criminals try to gain access to your website either to take it over completely or to add links to their websites to boost their income.
    1. We recommend WordFence – a security plugin for WordPress websites.
  14. HTTP or HTTPS- The majority of websites re still on HTTP. We now recommend upgrading to HTTPS – Read More…..

WordPress Website

  1. Akismet – this is an anti-spam plugin: It reduces spam comments.
  2. Permalinks should be set to ‘Post name’. WordPress will include the Page Title in the file name. For example, the title of a page is Conversion Rate Optimisation and the resulting URL will be yourdomain.com/conversion-rate-optimisation/
  3. Wordfence is a great security plugin that has Anti-virus, Firewall and Malware Scan facilities. You can set the number of login attempts that can be made.
  4. There are many plugins that speed up your website. Jetpack has a module which speeds up image downloads.

Good Practice

  1. Responsive websites – the content adapts to fit the screen size from large monitors to smartphones.
  2. Images can make a webpage eye-catching. Large images can slow page download speeds. A balance is required.
  3. Page speed – avoid slow download speeds. The section above the fold should download in less than three seconds.

Applying the Checklist to a Solicitor’s Website.

The objectives of the website is to attract new visitors who may become clients. The website should be pleasing to the eye and easy to navitage.

Let us consider the Home Page of a website for a firm of solicitors in Plymouth. The target keyword ‘solicitors in Plymouth should appear in the Page Title tag, H1 tag and meta-description. It should appear once or twice in the body text. Search engines cannot see a picture: Alt tags explain the nature of the picture. Our target keyword should be included in at least one or two image alt texts.

Solicitors in Plymouth has 22 characters including spaces. Usually searchers are looking for solicitors with special interests such as employment, family or conveyancing. These words could be included in the Page Title tag as well as the other key areas.

Schema.org is the result of collaboration between Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! to help you provide the information search engines need to understand your content and provide the best search results possible at this time. Adding Schema markup to your HTML improves the way your page displays in SERPs. The markup for our solicitors should indicate the firm’s name, that they are a law firm and include the business address and telephone number. The telephone area code provides further confirmation of location.

A two or three-minute video on the home page providing useful information may increase user time on the page and this will increase rankings for the site. A professional such as a firm of solicitors should employ a videographer with appropriate expertise.