No one is calling our office… The Internet is not working for us… We’re on page 6 of Google… We’re getting calls but they’re outside of our practice areas… We’ve invested all this time and money and have nothing to show for it…
Willie Vitari, our COO, and Nick Kringas, our President and Co-Founder, were on a zoom call yesterday.
The purpose of this call was to identify the most common website mistakes lawyers make that keep them from succeeding online.
In the end, Nick and Willie boiled them down to the 5 most common and deadly website mistakes.
These mistakes are the cause of so many symptoms we hear about.
Avoid these and more people will find your website, plain and simple.
More importantly, the right people will find your website – those looking for the legal services you provide.
Here are the 5 deadly website mistakes crippling most law firms.
It’s been said that most website visitors do not scroll!
That means most of the people that find your website only see the top section.
Regardless of how staggering that is, the Above the Fold area (the ATF) is the one section every visitor sees.
Doesn’t it make sense then to spend most of your time and energy getting the top of your pages dialed in?
Let’s break this down even further.
It’s safe to say your homepage is the most visited page on your site.
And the ATF is the most valuable real estate on any page.
So, if you want more of your visitors to call your office and schedule a consultation, focus 80% of your time on the top of your homepage.
Without getting into the psychology and typical behavior of a website visitor, here’s the bottom line.
Put a call to action (a schedule-a-call button) 1. In the top right corner of your homepage (at the end of your main menu) and 2. In the center or right-center of the ATF (the top section of your homepage).
On mobile, you should have a call to action button at the bottom of your site that stays there no matter where the visitor goes.
We see so many law firms that just don’t ask for the sale. Or if they do, it’s further down where no one sees it.
Make it easy for people to do business with you.
Some keywords are obvious.
We know you want to rank for location + car accident lawyer and location + personal injury lawyer.
But what about the other dozens of search queries that could bring your firm clients and cases?
More often than not, we meet lawyers that don’t have a clearly defined keyword strategy.
Other times, we meet lawyers that want to rank for keywords that no one is searching for.
Both are mistakes.
You should have a clearly defined list of keywords that you want to rank for. We recommend identifying 20 to 30 terms that have search volume.
If you’re doing this on your own, spend an hour or two using SEMRush or AHREFS.
Plug in keywords you can see your ideal client searching.
Do they have search volume?
Search those terms in Google.
Copy the related searches from the bottom.
Plug those into the tool, too.
Rinse and repeat until you identify your 20 to 30 target terms.
You wouldn’t believe how many lawyers are working on their sites without a clearly defined list of target keywords.
It’s like throwing darts in the dark. If you hit your target, it will be out of sheer luck.
These mistakes tie into one another.
You can’t possibly have a well-optimized site without knowing your target keywords.
Once you have your target keywords, you should have a dedicated landing page (a page on your website) for each of those terms.
Without getting too technical, here’s the bottom line.
Make sure your target keyword is in these critical areas:
With a dedicated landing page for each target keyword, Google now knows what you want to rank for.
Without a dedicated landing page for each target keyword, you’re essentially leaving it up to Google to figure out what your site is about.
Allowing Google to rank your site for what it thinks your site is about is not ideal.
How can you expect your ideal prospect to find and call you in this case? You can’t.
And you’ll be lucky if they do.
This one’s my favorite.
Nearly every attorney we meet believes that content is king and the more content on your site, the better.
99 times out of 100, this general belief leads attorneys astray.
First, Google allocates a limited amount of “crawl budget” for scanning your site.
If you have hundreds of news-related or off-topic blog posts on your site, Google will never get to your target keyword landing pages – a.k.a. your money pages.
The next consequence of this mistake is getting traffic you don’t want.
Have you ever gotten a call from someone looking for help in an area of law you don’t practice?
How about from out-of-state, where you’re not licensed?
This is a symptom of the content on your site ranking for the wrong search terms.
If a page or post doesn’t add to your target keyword list, don’t publish it.
WARNING: If your firm is guilty of this, please don’t delete pages blindly. That could make things worse. Contact a professional with experience in bloated sites. Every situation is different and requires analysis and thought before taking action.
Most attorneys we meet simply don’t have enough links to rank.
They don’t have enough other sites linking to theirs to tell Google their site is the best.
Google crawls the web by following these links. If your site is not linked to, Google won’t visit very often.
Plug your domain into AHREFS and look at the number of referring domains pointing to your domain (total links to every page on your site).
Next, do the same for a site that you see at the top of Google.
Is there a big difference between the number of referring domains?
Many attorneys that come to us are behind there competition in this area.
On the other end of the spectrum attorney sites with too many weak or irrelevant links.
The two factors Google looks at when valuing links are Relevance and Authority.
Relevance means it’s better to get a link from a law related site than it is to get one from a dating site.
Authority can be measured by a number of tools. We prefer AHREF’s Domain Rating, or DR.
Anything over 20 is decent. Having too many links from sites with DR’s under 20 is not great. The higher DR/Authority, the better.
Either way, a low number of referring domains or too many weak and irrelevant links, the result is the same – a site that’s not at the top of Google for the best keywords.
For links to your site, start by getting listed on as many legal directories as you can.
Fill out each profile as much as they let you.
Add as many links back to your site as the directory allows.
Spread the links around – point them to your homepage and target keyword landing pages.
P.S. If you’ve made any of these website mistakes and are feeling the effects, let us know.
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