One of the most common questions we hear from law firms and title agencies is “How do I get my website on the first page of Google?”
What these title agents and attorneys understand about their marketing is that by not being on the first page of Google, they are losing 75% of their opportunities.
However, what they often DON’T understand is that if they want their customers to find them online, then they are asking the wrong question!
A better question would be “What keywords do you want to rank on the first page of Google for?”
Keyword relevance is arguably the most important factor in boosting your ranking on a search engine like Google, because without it, search engines don’t know where they should rank your site.
For instance, let’s say you were looking for a service provider to mow your lawn. Searching “lawn mower” would probably bring up a list of machines for sale, not a list of lawn care companies.
The same is true for other service-oriented businesses like restaurants, law firms, and real estate title companies.
This is why keyword relevance is such a big deal. The verbiage you use on your website must match the language used when people are searching for you, otherwise search engines simply won’t display your content.
Figuring out what relevant keywords to use
Whenever I’m asked how to rank well on Google, I always reply with the same two questions:
- What services or practice areas do you want people to search when looking for your business?
- What towns, neighborhoods, and cities provide the most sources of your business?
The answers to these two questions are not only going to be the most relevant search terms, but will also provide the geographic information search engines need to give your business and potential clients the most relevant results.
Location, location, location
Many service businesses may think that their target market is the entire state – or states – in which they do business.
Although it may be true that your license covers the entire state or country, you likely don’t have offices in every town, nor the manpower to reach customers across the country.
Therefore, most of your business probably comes from specific pockets near your offices or home, OR for a specialized service.
Those are your target customers – not the entire state.
Of course there are exceptions to this rule but remember that the wider your target, the harder it is to rank well.
Let’s use an example: Who’s hungry?
One great example of location and keyword targeting at work is something we call “the restaurant search.”
If I’m standing in Los Angeles and search for “Chinese restaurant,” I would expect to see a list of Chinese restaurants near me, not a list of Chinese restaurants in Dallas or a list of restaurants that serve Mexican, Italian, or Indian food.
Those results just aren’t relevant!
It makes sense in that context, right?
As a service business, this is exactly why it is important to use the towns, cities, and neighborhoods you service in the text on your website!
This makes your website “relevant” in Google’s eyes to people searching from those locations.
How search engines work
In other words, if your web page both answers the question best and is targeted at the right market, it gives it the best chance to rank well on Google.
This is exactly how search engines work for service-based businesses.
Google tries to narrow down the searcher’s location while also making sure that they are delivering the most relevant results, based on the keywords and search terms included in the person’s search.
How to rank on the first page of Google?
Of course, there are many other factors that determine how well your website ranks.
Information you have on your website, backlink quantity and quality, the amount of time people spend on your site, and whether your site is both secure and mobile-friendly are all other factors that determine where your website ranks – thus how much business you get from your website.
However, after building thousands of web pages for attorneys and title agents, we’ve discovered that location and keyword relevance both play critical roles in the number of people who can find a business online – assuming your website has all of the other ingredients, of course.
This is exactly why the website we build have as many of these ingredients as possible including content related to your industry, to give best chances of getting the most qualified web traffic a Google search can offer.
Then, all you need to do is determine the areas and services that you want search engines to associate with your business.