Lawyer Websites Should Not Use Same Internal Links for Differing Pages
So Should Lawyers Use the Same Anchor Text For Different Internal Pages?
The primary goal of a lawyer or a law firm setting up a legal website is to inform readers about their practices and provide potential clients an opportunity to reach out to them about their injury or accident. To inform readers about the quality of service, the website must have high-quality content in the form of blog posts that create awareness of legal topics such as filing claims, what to do after an accident, and so on.
One of the SEO tools a law firm website uses to guide users to the relevant content or pages is internal links. The links help potential clients navigate to the relevant content from the main page and increase a law firm’s chances of securing that client.
With proper internal links in place, it can not only help potential clients seek the information they need to make a decision on whether they want to approach that law firm but also assist Google in better evaluating the content of the website and therefore affect SEO ranking.
C.O.L.T is the largest case referral network that not only connects potential clients with lawyers but also provides resources for attorneys to help improve their web presence.
Link building boils down to internal and external links that contribute to the growth of the website, and in this article, we will focus on internal links, Google SEO rankings, and the problem areas you should take care of for your law firm’s website.
What Is an Internal Link?
Any link that redirects from one page to another on the same website is commonly referred to as an internal link. The personal injury law firm’s main page might list all the types of accidents the firm may deal with and also include links to specific pages with detailed information about the accident.
A good example is a law firm having “car accident” listed on their main page with a link that redirects to a page with all the information you need to know about car accidents, such as the common types of car accidents, types of injuries from a car accident, how to file a car accident claim, and other relevant information.
Are Internal Links Important for Websites?
Many SEO beginners are well aware of the importance of external links to authoritative websites. However, very few focus on internal linking strategies as they are not properly informed about the importance of internal links. Having too many internal links often creates a distraction, while having the right number of links can keep visitors engaged.
Internal Links Improve User Experience
Good SEO practices help in improving the SEO ranking of the website, and one of the important criteria that Google uses for ranking purposes is the user experience. Internal links improve the user experience and make it easier for users to navigate through the website. With proper internal links in place, visitors can easily find relevant information that they are searching for.
The longer your visitors stay on the website, the more they are redirected to the information they are looking for and the higher the dwell time, which is an important factor in SEO ranking.
It Helps With Search Engine Catalog and Rank
Google spiders crawl through new websites, trying to understand the information on the websites, and then catalog the information in their database. When a potential client or a user searches for information on the Google search engine, Google will try to serve the most relevant information in its database and rank it on what it believes is helpful to the user. Internal links help Google understand a website’s structure and discover relevant content on the website.
It Helps Search Engines Understand Content
Pages without any internal links are often referred to as “orphan pages,” and it is difficult for search engines like Google to find and index them. The anchor text, which has an internal link to it, helps search engines understand what the page is about.
Types of Internal Links
There are two types of internal links: navigational links and contextual links. The navigational link help users navigate around the website, while contextual links redirect users to relevant content.
Navigational links help improve the user experience and are found all across the website to make it more user-friendly for visitors. Although these links are essential for helping search engines better understand the structure of your website, they don’t matter much when it comes to SEO as contextual links.
- Header: The header follows the users across the entire website and keeps the website user-friendly. It reduces the bounce rate and, most importantly, helps Google crawlers understand the website setup. You should focus on links to pages that your readers might find important in your header. The attorneys can have links to their blogs, contact us pages, profiles, and practice areas.Tip: Avoid cluttering your header with unnecessary drop-down menus by making the header more intuitive.
- Footer: Found at the bottom of the website, the footer often provides key information such as contact information and social media links. Here, you can also include HTML catalog links that are not present in the header.However, you should note that footers do not carry as much weight as the other navigational links or contextual internal links. Nonetheless, it does improve your website’s user experience.
- Sidebars: Sidebars also contain navigational items and often appear once you leave the homepage of a website. It is often used to redirect users to the different key areas of the website.
- Breadcrumbs: These are a trail of links that help identify the page’s position in the website’s hierarchy and allow for easy navigation. Breadcrumbs are often found below the header but above the content.If your law firm offers different legal expertise and a potential client visits your car accident page, then the breadcrumbs may look like this: Home > Practice Areas > Personal Injury Law > Car Accident.Breadcrumbs are crucial as they provide search engines with another way to understand the website’s structure. The best way to use breadcrumbs, in terms of SEO, is to follow structured data guidelines.
Contextual links are links within the text content of a webpage that point users to other pages on the website with that relevant information. Links often redirect to related topics, providing value to the readers.
The contextual link not only redirects users to the relevant information they may be looking for, but also refers users to additional useful information – for SEO purposes, these contextual links are the most important types of internal links.
Search engines use contextual links and the text around them to determine what the information on that web page is all about. To help users understand what the contextual link may be about, it is crucial that your anchor text is natural.
Tips: Use two to four contextual links per web page and make sure that the anchor text shouldn’t be longer than four words. Since you have a header and footer on every page, there is no need to link to the same page in your contextual links.
Common Internal Linking Problems
Broken Internal Links
Broken links not only frustrate users, affecting a website’s credibility, but also Google crawlers, which can negatively affect a website’s SEO efforts. There are online tools you can use to help you scan web pages and identify broken links for replacement.
Pages without any links to any other pages will not rank well in Google search results as the bots are unable to navigate to these types of pages. Ensure that your site structure is well-curated and that all links lead to relevant pages on your site.
Using the Same Anchor Text for Different Pages
If you use the same anchor text for different pages, you’re going to end up confusing Google as to which page it should consider authoritative. Lawyer websites should not use the same internal links for differing pages. It is crucial that you keep your anchor text varied for different pages.
Burying Important Pages
Your most important pages should be on the site’s key navigational links, such as the header, footer, and sidebar navigation, so that it is easy for users to find.
Linking a Secure HTTPS Page to an HTTP Page
If you’re linking a secure page to a non-secure page, you’re going to create a discrepancy risk that Google will immediately identify, affecting your website’s SEO ranking.
Too Much Focus on Google’s SEO
Oftentimes, site owners are so caught up with SEO rankings that they forget who they are creating all this content for. A great user experience is a key factor in SEO rankings, and if your user is happy with the website experience, it is generally good enough for SEO.
Internal Linking Strategy You Should Consider Following
Focus on a law firm’s internal linking strategy is crucial, and to do that, there are a few things you should take into consideration.
- Think about your website’s ideal structure: Your website structure helps improve the user’s experience, which contributes to the SEO ranking. The website structure should resemble a pyramid, with the top of the pyramid being the homepage. Below are some categories, and then further below are posts.
- Determine important content: Your website posts should have relevant content that people are actually trying to find pertaining to your services. Once you’ve determined the content, you can add links to it.
- Add contextual links: Once you’ve written a lot of articles, now is the time to link them together. This linking strategy lets Google know that the linked articles are also relevant to the topic.
- Link hierarchical pages: It is crucial that you link parent pages to the child pages if your website contains hierarchy pages. You must also ensure that the sibling pages link with each other. A properly organized website with web pages perfectly linking with each other makes a lot of sense and improves the user experience.
- Add related post section: Try adding a related posts section on your website, and you can easily do that using add-ons or plugins. However, before you do that, test the posts to see whether they are related or not. Yoast has fantastic internal linking suggestions that can determine whether a related post is actually related.
- Add navigation links: You can also add relevant internal links from your home page or the top navigation directly to your related posts. However, make sure you only do this on pages or posts with content that is crucial to your business. You don’t want to unnecessarily clutter your homepage or overload the top navigation.
- Add links to categories and tags: Creating internal links to your most popular posts in the sidebar or your website’s footer ensures that important links are always present throughout the website. Link value passes on to these popular posts, giving them a boost and helping increase web traffic.
Here are some dont’s that you should always be careful of on your law firm website:
- Don’t repeatedly use links across all your content that redirect users to one page.
- Don’t link to both versions of your webpage; only use one – for example, https://mysite.com/.
- Don’t hide your content deep within your website’s structure by not linking it properly.
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