93 percent of website traffic are driven from search engines. Being that search engines are saturated with law firms, ranking high on the search engine results pages (SERPs) is crucial to get the attention your law firm deserves. To get ahead of the competition, fully optimize your website.
However, what happens if your rankings suddenly drop? A loss in website traffic is caused by many different criteria.
Here are 8 key factors that to examine when determining this decline:
1. Redesigning Your Website
Making sure the design of your law firm website remains fresh and unique is crucial when making sure potential clients remain on your site. Statistics indicate that about 66 percent of people would rather read the information on a website with an attractive design.
When taking the next step and redesigning your website, make sure that it doesn’t affect your hard-earned rankings. Take specific steps to ensure that your rankings are kept intact:
• Analyze the structure of inbound links to your redesigned site. Do all of them work correctly?
• Map out all your 301 redirects and have a strategy for implementing them.
• Record baseline metrics like traffic, rankings and page URL mapping. A site audit should be conducted before you make any changes or redesign your site.
While carefully redesigning your site, find ways to implement better SEO techniques to improve rankings. For the Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard law firm, implementing SEO, content marketing, and social media strategies successfully generated 300 leads per month.
They made sure to respond fast to inquiries by streamlining their intake process. As a result, this efficient communication system preceded in a record-setting settlement in a wrongful death case.
2. An Overloaded Server
Server issues affects your search engine rankings, especially when there is an overload or crash. Of course, if you are on a shared server, there’s a higher likelihood of this occurring when traffic spikes develop.
Some hosting packages will shut your site down if you go over a specific bandwidth limit. Therefore, a website host such as Google Cloud will alleviate this problem. Your website won’t get penalized for an increase in traffic.
The site stays up, and your business pays a little more to ensure the automatic increase in bandwidth.
3. Traffic Sources
Traffic to your law firm website is driven from many different sources. The search engines will pay attention to the number of pages on your site that are clicked. Also, Google measures the time spent on each webpage.
Here are a few common sources of traffic:
• Organic search results
• Social media sites
• Paid search
• Direct traffic typed into a browser
• Email marketing
Analyzing which one of these sources is driving traffic to your site is an important metric to follow to determine which channel you should focus on improving. Also, it is essential to examine bounce rates for your industry.
If those numbers start to slip, your search engine rankings will drop. Keeping up with those statistics indicates whether your website has any problems that needs to be fixed immediately.
Encourage driving direct traffic to your website by making your brand stand out. Do this by providing valuable content and becoming a thought-leader amongst those within the legal world.
As a law firm, become the go-to authority in your industry by providing definitions for legal terms that represent your specialty. This provides potential clients with valuable information that may relate to their circumstances.
4. Internal Navigation
The navigation on your legal website allows visitors to locate information smoothly. 38 percent of visitors will leave a website if they find the layout confusing or hard to follow. A narrow, flat structure with two or three deeper levels is best format to utilize.
If you are a personal injury lawyer, you could have a main navigation section that is titled “Vehicle Accident.” The next level of navigation would include “Pedestrian Accident,” “Car Accident,” “Truck Accident,” and “Motorcycle Accident.”
An internal link strategy must be implemented with the use of various keywords. Your site can get penalized if you are targeting keywords and overuse that same keyword too many times. Therefore, a variety of keyword phrases that have similar meanings looks more natural.
For example, use “personal injury lawyer,” “personal injuries,” “suffering injuries,” and “injuries” as keywords and keyword phrases to replace internal navigation that uses one specific keyword.
Google uses Latent Semantic Indexing to understand the content. As a result, your site avoids keyword stuffing and appears less spammy to the search engines. This gives your search engine optimization a boost.
5. Redirects That Are Broken
If your site has been around for a while, it’s possible that you’ve had to make a few structural changes. Tasks such as migrating to a different server or implementing redirects changes how your website is seen by Google.
It’s important to make proper use of a 301 redirect. Canonical tags, XML sitemaps, and links must also be updated. A 301 redirect is seen as a change of address notice. This lets the search engines know that your website, a few pages, or just one page has moved.
When 301 redirects are implemented correctly, your site won’t lose any of its rankings. However, you may get penalized for having duplicate content if it isn’t done right. Search engines will start indexing your new and old website addresses if 301 redirects are incorrect.
6. Keeping Up With Your Competition
A dip in your rankings also occur when your competition is implementing advanced strategies. Therefore, monitor and analyze your competition’s content and the methods they are using in their campaigns that is driving traffic to their site.
A couple of useful tools to check on past and present versions of your competitors’ sites include Versionista and the Wayback Machine. You can increase the rank of your website by implementing tactics that you find the competition is seeing success in.
By using these programs, you are actively ensuring that your law firm is establishing its digital presence. Set up a campaign with a keyword spy tool to conduct keyword research and use websites, such as SERPs.com to check keyword ranks.
This allows you to discover all the keywords being used by your top competitors and, in turn, increase your ranking. Take those keywords and make new pages with them to build up your content. This creates value for potential clients who visit your website.
7. Link Penalties
If you use any type of gray hat or black hat techniques to create links to your website, you risk receiving a bad quality link penalty. Google will penalize sites with low-quality links which hurts the rankings for that site.
It doesn’t pay to use spammy or risky link building strategies. On that same note, you’ll need to disavow spammy links if an unscrupulous competitor decides to send them to your site
High-quality links can be created by implementing a solid strategy. Broken links should be fixed with new ones that are valuable. Sending out a press release of new legal news opens the opportunity to get cited on a high-authority website.
Continue to write and promote content that keeps up-to-date with the world of law by utilizing your social media platforms and its ability to produce proper exposure.
Smaller law firms can conduct local link building by getting involved in the community. Link building also includes commenting on other legal blogs or becoming a guest contributor.
8. Calculating Time Spent On Your Site
User engagement is a key metric that’s related to search engine rankings and utilizing Google Analytics allows you to measure that engagement. Additionally, measure bounce rates and the average time that a user is on your site. These metrics determine if you have certain pages that need work to improve the experience for your users.
Fix this problem by implementing:
• Easy navigation
• A great design
• Readability and shorter paragraphs
• Various content
• Relevant keywords
• A convincing call-to-action
• Fresh content
• Utilizing Google Analytics
After investigating these important factors, it is time to implement these few changes. Increasing your visibility online ensures that your rankings remain higher than the rest.
In turn, see leads turn into dedicated clients and receive positive recognition for your practice.