Back in the 90s, learning HTML and making personal web pages was a popular hobby for people who considered themselves ahead of their time. Young people who considered themselves ahead of their time but didn’t have access to a modem (remember that America Online subscriptions were a pricey status symbol in those days) created zines on offline word processing software, saved them to floppy disks, printed them, made photocopies, and distributed them by postal mail. What the personal websites and the hard copy zines of Generation X had in common was an affinity for outlandish fonts and unorthodox use of italics, bold text, and caps lock. Pressing ctrl+b was an act of liberation.
Of course, by the time Gen Xers entered law school, their college professors had thoroughly disabused them of the notion that using bold text for emphasis was appropriate or professional. Therefore, law firm website content written by lawyers tends to use similar formatting to the other texts that lawyers produce in their professional lives. If the fact that sometimes, using bolded text for emphasis can make your law firm website better makes you feel like your whole life has been a lie, perhaps it is time to enlist the help of professional content marketers to produce legal blog content for your law firm’s website.
Bots Are Getting Better at Making Inferences, but They Still Appreciate It When You State the Obvious
If you have done some research about do-it-yourself SEO, you have probably read that using keywords in bolded subheadings is as important as using them in the main text. What is less commonly known, however, is what John Mueller of Google revealed during a Google Search Central SEO office hours virtual meeting on November 12, 2021. Mueller said that including important words and phrases in bold text within the text of a paragraph can help boost the SEO rankings of the web page.
Google’s bots (Mueller refers to them as crawlers) are pretty good at identifying the most important phrases on a web page full of content, but bolding the most important phrases gives the bots an additional hint. Artificial intelligence is getting better at understanding human language; consider that, earlier in the pandemic, a bot did a bang-up job of writing a pastiche of Kafka’s Metamorphosis; some human readers found it even more unsettling than the original. Despite this, the less you rely on search engine bots to make inferences, the better.
Bold Text Dos and Don’ts
A few bold or italicized phrases in the text of your blog post or content page can be a boon to Google crawlers and to human readers who are quickly skimming your page on their mobile phones to find the answer to a question that arose in the course of an in-person conversation. Keep it professional, though. A little bold text goes a long way. Don’t make your law firm website look like the conversations you had over AOL Instant Messenger in college over which Star Wars film was the best.
Not Too Much Bold Text, but Just Enough
You can count on the
legal content writers at Law Blog Writers to be judicious with their use of bold text and all other aspects of your law firm website.