The function of your law firm website is to improve your business’ visibility. It needs to bring in more people and lock more clients. If you are concerned that your website isn’t performing up to the task, read this guide for a detailed discussion on what you can do to correct this flaw.
A thorough website optimization effort needs to be comprehensive. It should cover how the website looks, how it performs, how it ranks in search engines, and are there other versions of it that could work better.
In this guide, we are going to cover design aspects, content strategies, and SEO techniques – factors that all have an impact on a site’s optimization.
Consider this your homework. Long before you put any optimization measures in place, you need to have a clear idea of where things stand at the moment. Not only do you need to take a long, hard look at your own website but also check out what the competition is doing.
Choose 3-4 best performing law firm websites on search engines and explore them thoroughly. How their websites are designed, their content tone, the site structure, and the keywords they seem to be going after will all give you important clues to what you should and should not do on your own site. Some important areas that thorough research should cover include:
- The website design
- Navigation structure
- Number of web pages
- Quality of content
- Page loading speed
- Presence of backlinks
- Presence of SSL certificate
- And more.
If you have the time and money for it, we recommend investing in a user survey to figure out what a potential client is looking to find from your law firm website, things that they aren’t getting from a rival firm. The more you know about it, the more effective your optimization efforts.
As a law firm, your business runs on credibility. For better or for worse, people make snap judgments about a site’s functionality, as well as the business’ credibility, by just how it looks. If it looks beautiful, modern, and appealing, it must be a legitimate business. Consider these numbers:
- 79% of consumers relate a website’s credibility to how the website is designed.
- 94% of first impressions depend on your website’s design.
- If people have 15 minutes to engage on a website, 66% of them would choose a beautifully designed website to do so.
And the design isn’t limited to the website alone. Everything related to your law firm business, in terms of aesthetics, needs to be top-notch for maximum optimization. Your color palette should be strong and reflective of your brand’s character. The law firm logo you design needs to symbolize trustworthiness, dependability, and success. The layout you select, the fonts you choose, all must be in cohesion with the rest of the design, too.
Also, make sure to:
- Add high-quality images and videos with clear and descriptive file names (alt texts) so the search engine can use them and rank them in results.
- Create a responsive website where the design isn’t dependent on screen size and adjusts well when viewed on different devices.
- Work on page load speed by using optimized images.
- Website navigation must be intuitive and natural.
- Do not clutter it with design – less is more.
- Create separate pages for each unique service you provide.
- Use descriptive URLs so the search engine knows what the content is saying.
For first impressions by your potential clients, the design is paramount, but to have those people visit your website in the first place, you must need to keep the search engines happy. And search engines love content.
If your website has high-quality content that shows your command over your subject, the search engine will rank it higher on the search results page. To establish command, the search engine will look at three things mainly:
- Keyword Density. If your web page and/or blog post mentions the key phrase (search term) that people are looking for. Google hates and punishes keyword stuffing. So just talk about the topic naturally, and if you really know your stuff, the keyword will appear naturally in the content. Also, use keyword variations for maximum output.
- Social Signals. How many people are ‘liking’ and sharing your content with others online? To make the most use of it, add sufficient social buttons on each page of content so people can share it easily. The more people share it, the more Google knows that your content has useful information in it.
- You get backlinks when people write or post about something that links back to your page. An organic backlink tells the search engine that you are a popular citation source, and so it rates your content higher.
Posting daily is not necessary to get better rankings. To optimize your website, pay attention to posting quality stuff.
- Focus on the things you know and talk comprehensively about them. It should be so thorough that it leaves no space for follow-up searches – if it does, it isn’t thorough enough.
- 2000-word blog posts are the ideal length to share an exhaustive view on a topic.
- You can also post tips, tricks, and advice to help people know more about your legal expertise, opinions, and services.
Having an elaborate and encyclopedic FAQs section can also help. People who are coming to hire your services have loads of questions and nothing but questions. Answering those questions will not only make your website a source of comprehensive information for clients but search engines, too.
Also, add headings: H1, H2, H3, and so on. Categorization and segmentation of content help the search engine figure out its hierarchy and improve indexing.
There are a few types of SEO that you need to take care of when optimizing your website based on latest search engine guidelines but the basics are: local SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO.
- Local SEO. When you improve local SEO, your business website appears on the top when people search for relevant local businesses. To help with it, go to Google My Business and create your account. Add a name, address, contact information, and other important details. Get reviews from your happy clients and post them online. Be location-specific in your About Us page and register yourself in online business directories, such as Google My Business and others.
- On-page SEO. This is SEO work that you do on your website. Descriptive URLs, high-quality content (text, images and video), social media buttons, fast page load speeds, and website security, all improve a site’s on-page SEO.
- Off-page SEO. This is SEO work that other people do for your website when they like, share, and otherwise engage with your content. Backlinks that route back to your content, online mentions, and reviews, etc. are all examples of off-page SEO.
Voice SEO is another cool technology that you must make the most use of. It’s all about optimizing search results that are generated when a voice-based search is performed. The figures are strong for voice search growth.
The stats indicate that 58% of people used voice search to look for a local business online. This is great news for your local SEO, too. If you have done your local SEO legwork and are gaining increased visibility in local listings, consider your voice SEO taken care of, too, with just a few tweaks here and there.
Website security is a grave concern for many small businesses. Experts state that, on average, 30,000 news websites get hacked every day. 68% of businesses feel that their cybersecurity concerns are increasing, whereas only 5% of companies have their folders completely protected.
As a law firm, these numbers are completely unacceptable. For you, data breaches are more than a security flaw. They can damage your law firm’s repute, cause irreparable damage to your brand perception, and even expose yourself or your business to all kinds of legal troubles and litigation attempts.
Therefore, take your website security seriously. Your clients need to know that their data is safe and protected with you. As people are getting more and more mindful about privacy and security online, you gain a competitive upper hand if you can show your potential clients that your cybersecurity is stronger than ever and better than all other firms.
In terms of repute, trustworthiness, and credibility, nothing can top that. To improve your website’s security for better performance, consider these:
- Security plug-ins that not only block any malicious attempts but also boost a site’s brute strength.
- Insist on stronger passwords with special characters, numeric, and multiple case letters.
- Keep updating your website to ensure that it is secure from outdated code.
- Install an SSL certificate to show your clients that their information, data, and online communication with you are encrypted and secure. When a website has an active SSL certificate, its URL starts with an HTTPS instead of the more common HTTP.
- No dead/missing pages. A missing page is one that has no information on it or where the information is not regularly updated. Such pages can be used for spamming. If a search engine flags your page as spam, it can penalize the whole website and even blacklist it. So, make sure that each page on your site is updated with fresh content, always. If you don’t need a page, remove it.
Website optimization is of no use if you aren’t tracking your improvements. The analysis helps you understand what’s going on and figure out why. It enables you to compare results, spot weaker areas, and invest efforts and money where they matter the most.
A comprehensive analysis will take a look at everything from your website’s design to its content and from its links to its structure and figure out what needs to be done. For basic (but still, detailed) analysis, Google Analytics is a great place to start. It will tell you daily website visits, pages that are performing the best, bounce rate, and other major details that will give you an overview of how things are performing.
For a more thorough analysis, deeper research, and contextual findings, some top analysis tools include:
- Spring Metrics
- Crazy Egg
- PageSpeed Insights
- And more.
Web analysis will not only improve on the technical details but can also enhance your legal marketing. It can make it more focused, drive target-oriented results, and convert leads that are arriving at your website. If you are looking for the blueprint for your future marketing strategy, analysis can help you with that. When it comes to informed decisions, buyer personas, and data-driven processes, web analysis is your wisest counsel.
Some critical details that a web analysis will help you improve include:
- Image optimization
- Site/page load time
- Coding issues
- Broken links
- Content reviews
- Website heat maps
- Landing pages
- Visitor analysis
Testing & Consistency is the Key
There are no quick fixes to website optimization; be patient. Just like a complicated legal matter, any clear results will come after due diligence. It can take anything from several months to even a year to show you how things are going. Therefore, when you don’t see any quick improvements on your law firm website look for the little things and talk to other people. How does the site look now, how does it perform, and what do people like about it that wasn’t present before?
Beta testing and user reviews will help calm your nerves as you wait for clearer results. But remaining consistent will get you there. Slow and steady, as they say.