By Kalvin Macleod

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a complex and ever changing process with mysterious tips, tricks and improvements on the ground. It helps increase the visibility of your website and content in the judgmental eyes of search engines while maintaining readability and timely relevance to your equally judgmental potential customers.

While SEO can seem like a black box of unknown secrets, it doesn’t have to be that confusing. Creating a great SEO plan is like building a great house: the process can be daunting and there are many potential pitfalls, but if you get it right you can end up with the homepage (page) of your dreams.

Similar to a new building, all good SEO plans start with patience, planning and, unfortunately, in most cases with money. Of course, if you don’t have a big budget, you can still build a successful SEO strategy. However, to balance the cost, you will need equal amounts of elbow grease and sweat balance.

In keeping with the house analogy, here are eight steps to creating an effective SEO plan:

1. Select the correct location.

Just like building your own home, the first step is to secure the best piece of land. When creating an online SEO plan for your law firm, that country is a domain name for your law firm. Your domain should be linked to what you do in some way – either it reflects your name, what you do, or at least something you can remember. Avoid hyphens and intentional spelling mistakes and stick to the most important top-level domains (.com) whenever possible. Keywords in your domain are also a great way to increase search engine traffic, but not always possible.

2. Build a strong foundation.

Every home needs a foundation, and with SEO, that foundation is crawlable and compelling content. For thousands of years – or at least it feels so long – the generation of targeted, easily consumable, keyword-rich content has been the building block of modern websites. Finding the right wording takes careful research, keyword planning, and careful formulation to ensure you are answering the right questions for the right audience by delivering the right content in a timely and accessible manner. If your website doesn’t meet these requirements or does it in a complicated way, any potential lead won’t hesitate to visit other, more content-friendly destinations.

3. Choose the right floor plan.

Every house needs a floor plan and every location needs a structure. By carefully designing the overall content and linking structure of your website architecture, you ensure that you make keyword-rich content accessible in a variety of ways with a minimal number of clicks. This inevitably leads your visitors on a critical path to goal achievement.

4. Build the frame.

Whether you already have a website or are building from scratch, it’s time to lift the walls or reconfigure the rooms. If you are in the planning stage for a new site, now is the time to look at the materials you will be using to build it. You want to make sure you are using reputable construction companies, quality building materials (such as a great CMS), and safe, expandable building blocks in case you need to renovate in the future.

5. Install the plumbing, electrical, and fax lines.

These are the technical things that are never very exciting when building a house, but are essential for a functioning – and livable – home. For SEO, this refers to the underlying optimizations that contribute to a great user experience: fast page speed, user-centric functionality, responsive design, and an attractive, accessible user interface.

6. Add the surfaces.

For a home, finishes include paint or a kitchen splashback, but when it comes to SEO, finishes are any other additions that can help you get search engine noticed. This can include elements such as proper titles, keyword descriptions, meta tags, schema markups, and keyword rich URLs.

7. Add the curb appeal.

For a home, the appeal of the curb is the front porch and side garden. For SEO, it ensures that your content can be shared and earn backlinks. Make it easy for others to post your content on their websites and social media accounts, and use large, legible headings. bold, noticeable buttons; and an aesthetically pleasing design.

8. Let yourself be assessed.

Now that you’ve built your website using all of the best practices available, it’s time to analyze the data to find any gaps or underperforming pages. You can then make improvements, such as: B. Reach a more focused approach to content or a larger audience with additional long-tail keywords.

Unfortunately, there is no panacea to ranking high on Google (and other nameless search engines), but by following the steps above there are a multitude of ways you can pacify the almighty algorithm and ensure you get the traffic that you want to earn. It’s an iterative process and a long-term game that requires a continual investment of time and budget to ensure you are one step ahead of your competitors. If you do it right, with thorough planning and the right partners, you can turn the investments made in this early stage into a sustainable and profitable lead generation tool that will make your website a must-have home in the neighborhood.

Kalvin Macleod is the co-founder and lead developer of the digital branding and marketing agency Cubicle Fugitive and the Ontario-wide online directory Toronto Lawyers. For nearly 20 years, Macleod has used technology best practices to strategically navigate law firms through the complexities of website development and online marketing. With a deep understanding of the unique challenges that professional service providers face, Macleod develops web-based solutions that are innovative, targeted, and cost-effective. For more information on SEO, website development, and branding for law firms, contact kalvin.macleod@cubiclefugitive.com and visit www.cubiclefugitive.com.