Law Firm Website Design: How long to get to the top of Google?
The short answer is it depends. What does it depend on? Here are 6 factors that affect how long it will take your firm to get to the top of Google in 2019.
Google simply compares your website to your competitor’s and ranks them accordingly. They look at the 6 things listed in this article.
It is important to know what your competitor’s are doing and more importantly, if they are paying Google for ranking. Why is this important? If they are paying Google for ranking, then the right kind of law website design professional can look at their strategy and cut a lot of corners in regards to keyword choice and design.
How is this possible? Google makes your competitor’s paid strategy public. We can look to see what keywords your competitors are paying for, how much they are paying and most importantly, how long they have been paying for those keywords.
If your competitor is paying $65 per click for a certain keyword, and they have been paying that for 8 months, then we know that is a keyword that is bringing in solid new cases. We can now use that information to focus your website on the same keyword. We take a look at their design and see what elements are causing people to pick up the phone and call.
Competitor research saves you time and money and helps you reach your goal that much sooner.
Content is king! The text you have on the site, along with the keywords you have selected, is considered “content”.
Why is content important? Google doesn’t have humans looking through each page of your site, they have a computer do it. The mega search engine has set parameters for what the computer looks for. Knowing these parameters and how to effectively get the computer program to like you more than your competitors is one of the main focuses of your attorney website designer & marketer.
To illustrate how important keywords are, look at these two examples of keywords choice:
Los Angeles Personal Injury – ZERO SEARCHES!
Now if we add “lawyer” at the end, look at the results:
We went from zero searches per month to almost 2,000. That is significant. It illustrates the importance of research, correct keyword optimization and keyword choice.
Another important factor to Google is “trending” topics. Pulling down topics from the news and blogging about it can yield 5-10 times more traffic than just generic content. Here is an example of a news headline that a DUI lawyer could use (it really applies to any type of law):
That is a story that was posted on USA Today on Jan 7, 2019 about a NBA player and DUI. Taking that story, commenting on the general aspects of the story and then going into what you would do if your client was in that same situation is what we are talking about.
If a client reads the story, they can see your legal expertise applied to a current event. Google will see that it is a current news story that you are commenting on and give you a better rank because your content is current.
How old is your domain name? Having a seasoned website makes a difference. It proves to the search engines that you have experience and value. Keeping an old domain up to date and fresh is even better.
Want to check the age of your website? Use this free link:
Performance of your website is a key factor in getting your law firm website to the top of the search engines. This includes:
a. Bounce rate
This is the ratio of people that bounce off your page without taking any action versus those who click a link. The normal bounce rate is about 30-40%. This means you want about 60-70% of people who visit your site to click a link to an interior page.
b. Session time
The average time of how long people stay on your law firm website is what is referred to as session time. The longer the better.
This is one of the main reasons people put videos on their website. It keeps people on the site longer. Smart huh?
Does your site have dead pages or links that lead to nowhere? Is your law firm website hosted without a SSL certificate? Is your mobile website out of commission?
If you answered yes to any of these, your site will have a hard time getting to the top of the search engines for competitive legal terms.
d. Load Speed
Pingdom has a great free tool to use to test the load speed of your website. Here is the link:
Why is this important? If it takes Google 3 seconds to open the front page of your website (and interior pages) versus the 1.5 seconds it should take, imagine multiplying that out by all of the websites on the internet it has to crawl. Google wants fast loading sites so it can evaluate and rank faster, provide more current rank data and most importantly ensure your potential and current clients can quickly see your site without having to wait.
The more consistent you are with updating and adding content to your website, the better. Why does it matter? In this day and age we are used to instant answers, access as well as the most current and accurate information. We take it for granted. Fake news is a perfect example. The population is so used to getting the latest and greatest information as fast as possible, they will ignore accuracy in lieu of speed.
Google and the other search engines will look at how often you are updating your site and compare that to your competitors. Do you have better content that is being posted more than your competitors? You want that answer to be yes.
A backlink is a link from another website to yours. 10 years ago people would get any kind of link from any industry and could get highly ranked. Lawyers were getting links from German dog food companies and other non-relevant websites, simply to get a backlink. Do that now and your site will be blacklisted.
Today, the sites linking to your site must be relevant and quality websites. Law firm website designers have tools that allow them to look at your backlinks and determine if they are relevant to your areas of law as well as your competitors backlinks. Yes, that’s right.
Looking at your competitors backlinks allow you to go after those same quality links. It’s a great strategy to improve your rank and shortcut the time it takes to drive in those great cases.
Understanding and following these 6 simple rules for attorney website design and marketing will ensure your firm receives high keyword rankings and stays at the top of the search engines so you can enjoy the best new cases generated through internet searches.
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