The 5 Biggest Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Mistakes Expert Witnesses Make And How To Avoid Them
Expert witnesses who have websites face unique challenges. The site should be optimized for the search engines so attorneys can actually find you on the internet and should also contain enough information that it is useful to the attorneys who may be looking to retain someone with your background. This must be balanced with the fact that any information that you have on your site is discoverable and can and will be used against you in depositions and at trial.
Not using a website design that allows the search engines to successfully crawl your entire site
Poor site design includes a lack of clear navigation, poorly designed frames, and large sized graphics which the visitor must download. Search engine spiders can be blocked from crawling sites that are not well-designed, so it’s a major part of website optimization. If visitors can’t find what they’re looking for on your site quickly and easily, they’ll no doubt leave your site and go somewhere else. We’ve all been on websites that take forever to load, and we usually decide that it really isn’t worth it and close the site and move on to another one.
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Not thinking like a “searcher”
Targeted keywords and phrases are critical in determining the ranking of your site. Put yourself in the shoes of a searcher who may be looking for your services. What terms are users typing in the search engines when looking for your services? Use keywords and phrases in the copy of your site that they may be looking for, and not the keywords that you think they’re looking for. This is an important point and should not be overlooked. Most websites are designed using terms that we think people should be using to locate our site, when in actuality they are often using different terms or phrases altogether. Find out how your potential visitors search for someone in your field and then incorporate these buzz words in the copy of your site. Do some research by searching for various terms that you would like to be found under, and see how your website ranks. Are those terms included in your site? If not, maybe you should consider adding them. If you don’t have these particular keywords and phrases on your site – then that searcher will most likely not be able to find you.
Not using meta tags correctly (or at all)
Meta tags include title tags, keyword tags, and description tags. While not the most important factor in website optimization, they do have an important role to play. Make sure to include all these tags in every page of your site, and target them for each individual page.
Not having relevant, credible incoming links to your site
Search engines use “spiders” to crawl the web going from link to link and webpage to webpage. Link popularity is the number of relevant links that link to your site. It’s to your benefit to have credible links that link to your site. Some see this as one of the most important factors of SEO. Search engines see the number of relevant links as how important a site is. The more important a site is, the higher it should rank.
Using unethical search engine optimization techniques to get higher search rankings
There are no golden bullets in long-term search engine optimization. Techniques which are unethical and frowned upon by search engines often called “Black Hat” include: keyword stuffing, doorway pages, invisible text, etc. If search engines do find that you are using these techniques to bolster your ranking they may ban your site.
About the author
Alex Babitsky, MBA is a Partner at SEAK, Inc. As the Product Manager of SEAK’s National Expert Witness Directory, Medical File Review Consultants Directory and the National Directory of Independent Medical Examiners, Mr. Babitsky deals with expert witnesses and the attorneys, paralegals, insurance companies and other organizations who retain them on a daily basis. Mr. Babitsky consults regularly with experts of all fields on the subject of expert witness marketing. His publications include the 2004 National Guide to Expert Witness Fees and Billing Procedures, The A to Z Guide to Expert Witnessing, The 2009 National Guide to Expert Witness Fees and Billing Procedures, and What All Physicians Considering Starting an IME Practice Should Know. Mr. Babitsky received his BS degree from the University of Massachusetts and his MBA from Northeastern University. Alex can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Alex Babitsky, MBA
SEAK, Inc. www.seak.com
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