Law Firm SEO’s Most Common Mistakes (Don’t Make Them)
There’s no question that law firms need an SEO strategy, but don’t undermine your efforts by making these errors. Read on, and protect your site.
Attorneys specialize in different types of cases and laws. And while we’re not saying it’s exactly the same, like law, SEO has its own set of rules and regulations.
Like any business effort, having an SEO strategy is important. It’s especially crucial to make sure you’re not undermining that very strategy by making these serious optimization mistakes.
That’s why this post is devoted to the most common law firm SEO’s mistakes, and what you can do about any violations.
Posting Boring, Uninspiring, And Keyword-Stuffed Content
Google’s primary job isn’t to rank websites and pages. It’s to share relevant and useful content with its users. With over 100 billion searches a month, Google understands how important it is to make sure that the sites with high rankings deserve to be there.
That’s why a dull and generic block of text with the main keyword “find a good DUI lawyer” slapped in it at every opportunity just won’t cut it.
Not since Google released Hummingbird in 2013, shifting the focus from mere keywords to usefulness and relevance of content to deliver better results to users.
Keywords are still important but don’t stuff your content with a target phrase. Today, it’s not the density or frequency that counts, but the placement (more on this later).
More importantly, the content (especially that of a law firm’s website) should be high quality: accurate, original, useful, and written expertly.
People who search for law and attorney-related phrases often need quick and expert help – and wasting time reading 500 words of fluff is the last thing they want to do.
Ignoring Page Titles And Descriptions
Google analyzes and shows them in the results page so users can learn what your page is about before they click on it. If a page’s title and description are not optimized (or worse, empty) ranking and getting traffic will prove difficult.
The title appears not just in Google, but in other websites (and even browsers) as well. So, create a title that accurately describes what the page is about while using your main keyword. Here’s an example with the target keyword bolded:
“How To Find A Good DUI Lawyer: Questions To Ask”
And one last page title tip: Keep the title down to 55 characters or less (so it doesn’t get shortened in the results page).
On the other hand, the page description won’t help a page rank. But the description can mean getting more click-throughs. This description is a lawyer’s opportunity to quickly advertise their content to users who need legal help.
Write a unique and compelling description for every page, and use 150 to 160 characters so it doesn’t get truncated. And, be sure to include the target keyword, or tweak the phrase a bit so everything reads naturally.
Here’s quick example:
“If you or a loved one was arrested for DUI, you need to find a good DUI attorney fast. And the key to hiring the right lawyer is to ask the right questions.”
Terrible Page Loading Time
How long does a page take to fully display its contents? The answer can be the difference between getting search love from Google or getting snubbed.
If a page takes forever to load, SERP rankings and conversions take a hit. Google uses speed in their algorithm and slow loading times won’t earn favors. Worse, a page that takes as short as 6 seconds to load is abandoned by visitors 25% of the time.
There are many ways to increase a website’s speed.
A lawyer website with a clean design and minimal on-page components (especially no Flash) not only looks great and aligns with the profession. It also minimizes HTTP requests and loading time.
Start the campaign for a faster site speed by auditing the entire website with an eye for reducing on-page components.
After cleaning the website of unnecessary on-page components, enabling compression and caching while optimizing high-quality images are good follow-up steps to ensure a faster website and better user experience.
Using Unresponsive Design
More Google searches are performed on mobile devices than desktops in the US.
And since Google prioritizes the satisfaction of its users, using responsiveness in its algorithm and ranking responsive sites better than their counterparts makes perfect sense.
Google’s John Mueller even said: “A good way to make it (a site) work in both worlds (mobile and desktop) would be to have a site that uses responsive web design techniques to adjust to the size of the user’s device / settings.”
Responsive design uses proportion-based grids, flexible images, and CSS style sheets to adjust how the content is displayed depending on the device (ex: desktop, tablet, phone).
If that sounded like an alien language, reading tutorials on creating responsive websites might be in order.
Employing Shady Link Building Practices
Getting the top spot in the SERPs used to be easy.
Simply choose any of these outdated link building tactics that follow or combine them for good measure: profile spam, reciprocal linking, automated submission to spammy directories, and article directory link building.
But since the Penguin was set loose, websites that built low-quality backlinks and violated the Google’s Webmaster Guidelines lost rankings.
Sure, building links from high authority sites take more time than an automated submission to 1,000 subpar directories. But the former will help a website rank while the latter will do more harm than good.
Ready To Better Optimize Your Lawyer Website?
We’ve just looked at the five common SEO mistakes a website should avoid.
But more importantly, we’ve also looked at actionable steps to take to correct these mistakes and properly optimize a site.
If you found this post helpful and informative, would you let know how you would like to improve your law firm’s website? For an instant overview try our Free Website Audit Tool, or contact us for an in-depth analysis.