Chris Dreyer About the Author Chris Dreyer is the CEO & Founder of Rankings.io, a law firm search engine optimization agency that offers high-quality SEO services for lawyers. Chris contributes to the Rankings.io blog and also to many Internet marketing & legal marketing publications including but not limited to Moz, Ahrefs, Legal Ink Magazine, Attorney at Work, and more. For more information, go here.

Title Tags for Lawyers

Introduction

What is a title tag?

A title tag is a piece of HTML code that you attribute to a specific page. The content of a title tag is what is displayed in search results and, as a result, is one of the most impactful elements of on-site SEO. Ideally, a title tag should be comprehensive, but it is equally important that it be concise. Ultimately, a title tag should represent the intent of the page (i.e., why this page exists).

Purpose

Why should attorneys optimize a title tag?

When properly optimized, a title tag helps Google understand the intent of your page. Consequently, a better understanding of intent will lead to more accurate search results, as Google will have a better grasp of which consumers are looking for a page like yours.

Procedure A. Definitions

Identify any acronyms, abbreviations, or specialized terms used in the SOP.

  • HTML – hypertext markup language; the language of websites and optimizations
  • On-Site SEO – all search engine optimization that is performed on a website
  • SEO – search engine optimization
  • SERPs – search engine results pages
  • Title tag – a piece of HTML code that you attribute to a specific page
B. SEO Tools

List and specify, where necessary, SEO tools necessary to complete the SOP procedure completely

  • Yoast SEO – simply the best WordPress SEO plugin
  • Screaming Frog – our recommended tool for auditing your existing title tags
C. SEO Warnings

Indicate any negative consequences that could result if procedure is not followed or is followed incorrectly; listed here and at the critical steps in the procedure.

Law Firm Advertising Ethics and Title Tags

Attorneys should be cautious when employing SEO agencies who do not specialize in the legal vertical. Many common SEO keywords (superlatives such as “best,” “top,” etc.) are violations of state bar associations advertising ethics guidelines.

Title Tag Length 2019

There is a character limit (roughly 65-80) for how much of a title tag Google will display before truncating (shortening) it. It is our recommendation that title tags be no longer than 65 characters.

Other Things to Avoid

  • Duplicate title tags
  • Keyword stuffing (e.g., using the same keyword more than once in a title tag)
D. Step By Step Procedure

List all pertinent steps, in order, and all tools needed to accomplish.

How do you write a title tag in WordPress?

1. Install the Yoast SEO plugin.

2. Remove the site name found in WordPress settings (generally found on the left-hand sidebar): WordPress Dashboard > Settings > General.

Title Tag WordPress Settings

This allows us to use the built-in Yoast shortcode %%sitename%% to be displayed within a title tag.

3. Locate the post or page you wish to update by using the dashboard for navigation. Click the Edit button below the page/post.

Find post pages

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the Yoast SEO section. Click on the Snippet Preview to update the SEO title.

Update title tag in Yoast

Note: remember to limit your title to 65 characters.

5. Click Publish (located near the top right side of the page), then check for accuracy.

Watch video below on how to double-check your work:

Title Tag Best Practices for Attorneys

Generally, we recommend only targeting one geography per page. For example: a Chicago car accident lawyer should only target Chicago in a page title. We recommend creating a separate page for the purposes of targeting county-, state-, or nation-wide terms (e.g., “Cook County car accident lawyer,” “Illinois car accident lawyer,” “hire a car accident lawyer”). The reason is that this practice makes it easier for Google to ascertain the geographic intent of a page. In addition, it’s easier to take advantage of geographic permalink optimization of the URL (e.g., /chicago-car-accident-lawyer/, /illinois-car-accident-lawyer/, etc.).

It is also my considered opinion that including a phone number in a title tag is a poor practice. The logic behind this is that Google may measure click-throughs after a search query. If you have given a potential client your contact information without needing to actually visit your site, Google may interpret the lack of clicks to your pages as a bad result for that particular query.

Try to make your title tags compelling by using words such as “experienced,” “how much is your case worth,” “free consultation,” etc. Bear in mind that advertising ethics guidelines may vary from state to state.

TL;DR 

How to Optimize a Title Tag on WordPress
by Sonya Palmer, Director of Operations

Quality Control

How do I evaluate if the SOP was successfully implemented or executed?

How to Audit Your Title Tags

There are two simple methods of auditing a title tag on a 1:1 basis.

1. Hover your cursor over a browser tab that’s currently pointed at your page.

Browser Title Tag

2. Right click in white space on the page you wish to audit, then select “View Page Source” from the options that appear. Once you’ve opened the page source, Ctrl-F search for “<title>” within the source.

Source Code Title Tag

Law Firm Title Tag Examples

Below are some examples of optimized title tags.

  • <title>Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer | Firm Name</title>
  • <title>Houston Car Accident Attorney | Firm Name</title>
  • <title>Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer | Firm Name</title>
  • <title>Phoenix Family Law Attorney | Firm Name</title>
  • <title>Pittsburgh Employment Lawyer | Firm Name</title>
  • <title>Melville Bankruptcy Attorney | Firm Name</title>

Google Compliance

Create Good Titles and Snippets in Search Results – Search Console Help.” Google, Google, support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35624?hl=en.

 

References

Title Tag | Learn SEO.” Moz, Moz, 22 Jan. 2019, moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag.

Change Log

Created 1/30/19.

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