Employment Law Research: What you should know about SEO

Electronic devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and notepads have changed the way most employers, small business owners, human resource (HR) professionals and other company representatives operate their business. Electronic devices make it possible to store, easily transport, and retrieve documents, such as employee records, contracts, and financial data. In addition, electronic devises enable us to conduct legal research on the internet. Whether you use electronic devices in your office or while you travel, they can increase productivity, offer simplicity, and save time. On the other hand, without some basic search engine optimization (SEO) skills, these devices can be costly, and a time waster. Understanding SEO is not just for the web page designers or SEO experts, on the contrary, employers, HR professionals and other company representatives should know basic SEO.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

To begin, SEO is a technique used by most webpage designers or SEO experts to optimize or increase the visibility of a website or webpage within the search engines. Thus, when you use specific words or word phrases while searching the internet, otherwise referred to as an organic search, the search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, will retrieve the information that best matches your request.

SEO flow

This means the website designer or SEO expert populates the website with “keywords, or keyword phrases” within the webpage URL, title tags, the webpage description, Meta and ALT tags. Finally they populate keywords and keyword phrases within the content of the webpage. This practice enables – you the researcher – to stumble upon their webpage when you use the same or similar keywords or keyword phases. Let’s assume, you have HR research project, and you need to research the legal topic related to minimum wage. Using the Google search engine, we could start the research by asking a broad question “What are the minimum wage laws?” Without fail, Google matched the terms within the question with a whopping 18,000,000 results. That’s great and all, but the clock is ticking, and we don’t have time to be stumbling over thousands of webpages.

Stop Stumbling: Develop a Research Plan using Boolean Search Logic

Developing a research plan will reduce your stumbling time. To begin, develop a research plan by identify the topic. Second, narrow the legal topic “minimum wage” with defined keywords. For this example, my defined keyword is Arkansas. Finally, I will use Boolean Search Logic to produce specific results.
Let’s put this to the test. Using the Boolean logic “AND” with the defined keywords Arkansas, wage, hour, and laws, you will notice this narrowed the results to 144,000. Naturally, I am not going to sift through all the results, but I could select the most reliable sources related to “Arkansas Wage and Hour Laws” listed on the first page.

To recap, to optimize your productivity using an electronic device for research, develop a research plan and apply some SEO basics with Boolean logic, which will save your employer, and HR department time and money.

Contributed by Suzanne Mathews