While most people understand that auto-playing music and those snazzy animated cursors that leave a trail of stars wherever you move your mouse aren’t “in” anymore, there are a few huge mistakes (not quite as bad as those, but bad nonetheless) we see in many of the free website audits we do.
What Are the Biggest Mistakes Law Firm Websites Make?
It’s not easy keeping up with Google’s algorithm changes and the latest best practices, so it’s completely understandable that many firms make these three common mistakes.
Poorly aimed content
Think about someone who needs your services. The bottom line is that they need help. They need targeted, helpful content that addresses them directly – they don’t need content that’s all about you.
Bad opening example: “The law firm of Smith, Smith and Joneshas many years of experience. We provide legal representation and we… Us… We…”
Good opening example: “When you’ve been injured, you deserve a caring, compassionate lawyer who treats you with the dignity you deserve.”
Few things are more dangerous than messing with Google’s guidelines on keyword stuffing. Google explicitly states that keyword stuffing includes “Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for” and “repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural.”
That means you’re playing with fire if you splatter the term Chicago personal injury lawyer (or some other variation) all over every page.
Backlinks from sites with bad reputations
When bad websites link to your website, Google assumes that you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd. If you have lots of links from spammy directories and none from reputable sites, they’re going to think your site is virtually worthless – and they won’t bother delivering it to searchers.
What Does Google Want from Law Firm Websites?
As with any websites, Google wants law firm websites to be responsive (adaptable to smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs), clean and easy to navigate. They want law firm websites to feature useful content that answers searchers’ questions, and they want them to be lightning-fast.
They also want law firm websites to put up “Notice Me!” flags – and that’s where search engine optimization comes in. With the right SEO, a fast website and a user-friendly design, Google will have no problem crawling your website and putting your firm’s pages in its index… as long as you don’t make the three critical mistakes listed here.
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