When was the last time you took a hard look at your website’s performance? It’s easy to get stuck in the day-to-day grind and forget to step back and assess some of the basic factors that affect your site’s effectiveness.
I recommend you set aside some time this spring or summer to perform an SEO/content assessment of your website. You’ll be surprised at how many opportunities there are to improve its performance, from both an SEO standpoint and a user-experience perspective.
To aid you in your effort, here are my top 5 ways to discover how your law firm can improve its website.
1. Compare Content Metrics
Using Google Analytics, review your website’s content metrics to assess which pieces of content performed well and which ones didn’t. Look at a three- to six-month dataset and compare page views, average time on page and bounce rates.
Try to ascertain why certain pieces performed better or worse than others. Are there any patterns in content performance? Did certain topics results in better engagement than others?
If your firm has a blog, which blog posts performed the best? Were they evergreen posts or news-driven posts? Understanding how your content resonated with your web audience helps to inform future blog writing.
Break down the reports into content types (News, Blogs, Bio pages, etc.) to assess whether website traffic aligned with your firm goals. For instance, if you focused marketing resources on a specific practice area, did the practice page and related attorney bio pages perform better with the increased efforts?
2. Check Website Speed
Google provides a free page speed testing tool that measures the performance of both your mobile and desktop versions on a scale of 100. The tool also provides recommendations for making your site faster.
3. Keyword Ranking Report
Run a keyword ranking report to see which keywords the firm’s website is ranking for in the top 20 positions. Don’t just look at how many keywords you’re ranking for, but consider the relevancy of the keywords and the relative search volume for those keywords. Ideally, you want to rank for relevant keywords with a relatively high organic search volume, i.e., how many people each month are searching for the keywords.
Make sure, you aren’t just ranking for branded keywords and attorney names. Your website should also be showing up for nonbranded keywords relevant to your law practice.
Ranking for broad keywords like “employment attorney” or “immigration law” might not be achievable. In that case, you should develop content around longer phrases that will have lower search volume but higher relevancy. As an example, optimizing for “labor and employment law firm for businesses” or “corporate immigration law firm” might be more appropriate for your firm than the broader keywords.
4. Spy on the Competition
There are various online tools that compare websites. I like to use Moz’s Open Site Explorer to compare competitive link profiles and “just discovered” links. SpyFu and SEMRush offer keyword comparisons and insights into competitor online advertising campaigns.
It’s also a good exercise to visit your competitors’ websites to see what they’ve been doing. Check out their “News” pages to see what information they’re sharing about the firm. Have they hired new attorneys? Added an area of practice?
5. Check Onsite Optimization Elements
Most likely, your content management system has default configurations for meta tags. This often leads to missed opportunities to customize title tags and meta descriptions to improve click-through rates.
Run a website crawl, and look for areas where you can improve meta tags. (I use Screaming Frog.) Perhaps some of your title tags are longer than the recommended 55-character count and are being truncated in search results. Or maybe your descriptions are dry and boring.
In this example, the title tag is truncated and doesn’t provide much information to the searcher. (I’ve used the financial services market since it’s easy to pick on.) The description beneath the web address is … well … dry and boring.
By crawling your website, you can see all URLs and their respective meta tags. Look for tags that are too long, don’t make sense, seem boring or could generally be improved to benefit the user experience.
If you have other assessment strategies you plan to implement this spring, feel free to share in the comments below. If you would like help executing an analysis for your law firm, contact me, Melanie Trudeau, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 970.376.7746.