Legal Website Architecture: 5 Steps to a Google-Friendly Law Firm Website

Why is that law firm on the first page of Google?

Have you ever wondered why an inferior law firm shows up on the first page of Google while you’re buried somewhere on Page 4?

That was the story for Mark, the owner of a successful Personal Injury Law Firm. There was no arguing that Mark’s law firm was far superior to ninety-nine percent of the other firms in his market.

Based on awards, total compensation for clients, highest individual settlements, years in business, industry recognition and peer reviews, Mark’s law firm should be the clear choice for anyone injured because of someone else’s negligence.

However, Google doesn’t rank Personal Injury websites based on the best choice for injured victims. And you can’t cut Google a check to list you above other firms. This is bad news for the great lawyers and great news for those who understand the way search engines work.

What language is your website speaking?

You’ve studied for years before becoming proficient in the discourse of law. Today, you use language, both spoken and written, that only other lawyers understand.

When speaking to a layperson, you must concentrate to communicate in such a way that the person understands what you’re saying.

If your website is not appearing where the majority of people are looking, it’s because you’re not speaking the search engine’s language.

Google doesn’t see your website the way that people see your website. Instead of images, videos and text, Google only sees HTML code.

If you want your law firm’s website to appear at the top of search results, you first need to make sure it’s in the language that Google clearly understands and can easily index.

In other words, if Google visits your website and it doesn’t know exactly under which search phrases to index it, it will put it where it sees fit. And that may or may not be where you want it to show up.

For Mark and many other attorneys, the number one cause of their search engine woes is the language their website is speaking. Like his law firm, on the surface, Mark’s website appeared to have it all together.

But when you look at it from a search engine’s perspective, Mark’s website was a mess.

Introducing Legal Website Architecture by ApricotLaw

This problem is so prevalent among law firm websites that we were forced to create a solution to address it. We call it Legal Website Architecture.

Our team of SEO Specialists have invested thousands of hours testing variations of website structure, layout and language.

We also study Google’s patent filings to predict what the search engine will prefer in the future.

We know exactly what Google’s ranking formula is based on and we have a pretty good idea as to what will be needed to win in the future.

Legal Website Architecture is different than “law firm website design” is a lean, 5-step process to transform your website from ignored to Google-friendly in a matter of days.

5 Steps to a Google-Friendly Law Firm Website

  1. Fix website errors that are repelling search engines.

Search engines are fickle creatures. Seemingly insignificant elements of your website can cause a search engine to flee like a white-tailed deer sensing danger.

On the other end of the spectrum are serious issues not visible to the naked eye. This reminds me of a law firm’s website we analyzed recently. We quickly discovered that the website had been hacked and pages of the firm’s site were redirecting visitors to a Viagra sales page.

This was a reputable law firm. But Google will not refer its visitors to a site that could potentially harm their computers. On the surface, the site looked normal. On the code level, it was far from it.

  1. Identify client-attracting keywords for which you’d like to appear.

After ensuring that your website is free of errors, we must then identify the exact phrases you’d like your law firm to appear for.

What types of clients and cases are best for your law firm? Which are the most profitable and which are the easiest for your law firm to handle?

After working exclusively for law firms, we have discovered a long list of legal keywords that bring in good cases and others that are a waste of time. We will show you dozens of great keywords so you can quickly determine which are right for your firm.

  1. Strategically place target keywords on your website.

Now that we have the list of keywords you’d most like to rank for, we must place them in the 7 critical locations on your website that Google scans first.

It is important to not overdo this strategic keyword placement. An untrained person who thinks the more a phrase is used, the better, may cross into the gray area Google sees as “keyword stuffing.”

  1. Construct a clear visitor path so people can easily learn more.

One thing that all authority websites have in common is the amount of information they have on a given topic.

If all visitors come to your website and immediately leave after viewing a single page, Google sees this as a sign of low quality. The search engine will be less likely to trust you with its users in the future.

On the other hand, if visitors click from page to page on your website, learning as much as they can about their situation, Google sees this as a sign of high quality. By referring visitors to you, Google feels as though it is putting its users in good hands and will be more likely to send you visitors in the future.

In Step Four of Legal Website Architecture, we will lead your visitors down a specific path to maximize the value your website provides.

  1. Arrange webpages in a specific way to position you as the authority in your practice area.

Simply publishing a bunch of content about a legal issue is not enough. Many websites have a ton of great content and are still not ranking where they deserve in Google’s results.

Believe it or not, the order in which your webpages are laid out affects the way you rank. Arranging your content in a way that Google loves (based on testing, not theory), can make the difference between ranking on Page 6 and appearing at the top of search results.

In Step Five of Legal Website Search Engine Optimization, the pages of your website will be arranged in this proven Google-friendly layout.

How is Mark’s website doing?

Remember Mark, the owner of the successful Personal Injury Firm? Mark’s website went through the Legal Website Architecture transformation.

After a few short weeks, his website jumped to Google’s Number 1 position for some great keywords and onto the first page for dozens of other valuable searches.

Now that he is speaking Google’s language, his website is ranking at the top, where it belongs.

Another Law Firm Case Study

Legal Website Architecture is one of the most important steps towards having a winning presence online. This is the exact transformational process we put any website through, even for our Platinum Clients.

Here is a Before and After Snapshot of one ApricotLaw client’s Google rankings.

Before and After Google Rankings Lawyer SEO Proof Case Study
Before and After: ApricotLaw Client Google Rankings

When this firm found ApricotLaw, it was on the first page of Google for only 22 out of 95 of the keywords being tracked.

Now their website ranks in Google’s Top Ten for 93 out of 108 keywords tracked! That’s 86 percent of their desired keywords.

(Note: Keywords Tracked increased because the firm asked us to target additional keywords along the way)

You will also notice that this firm’s website is now in the very top spot for 59 keywords. It has been said that the Number One spot in any Google search, syphons over one-third of the visitors from Google to that website.

What People Are Saying About ApricotLaw

“One of the biggest factors why I chose ApricotLaw was Tom [Desmond]. As a business owner I appreciate dealing with an owner and someone who has a vested interest in my business. Tom had to learn about my business which he did. ApricotLaw built me a new updated website and optimized it as well and have me ranked highly in Google searches.”

– Phil Altman

“I was doing great until… a Google update. My rankings went from #3 to number #83. My business was doomed. Today, I rank extremely well for the keywords I requested. I would definitely recommend to everyone except my competitors.”

– James Medows

“The best part about ApricotLaw’s service is I don’t have to think about my website. To be honest I haven’t looked at it in a very long time. My law firm appears on the first page of Google for every keyword we asked for. We get calls every single day from the website. Nick Kringas and Tom Desmond have been trusted advisors for years and I look forward to working with them long into the future.”

– Adrian Hunte

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Legal Website Architecture cost?

The most basic On-Page overhaul will include 5 keywords/webpages and cost $500. After we analyze your website and discuss your situation, you will be presented with a personalized plan and an exact quote.

Will my website be on the first page of Google after your Legal Website Architecture solution?

You may jump up to the first page for some keywords, depending on how many other firms are also trying to rank for those keywords. But, this solution is not aimed at achieving specific search engine rankings. Simply put, LWA is to get your law firm in the game.

What if I already have an SEO Company, IT Person, Web Designer, Marketing Department, etc? Can I still get your Legal Website Architecture solution?

Absolutely. Unless your company/vendor/department spends most its time on this single function, they won’t know all the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization for Lawyers. You need a specialist.

Does this involve shady SEO tactics?

Absolutely not. Nothing can be more natural than optimizing your own website for specific visitors. Most search engine penalties are related to link building, not on-page optimization. There is no link building included in LWA. All work will be done on your actual website.

My website doesn’t have much content yet. Can I still get your Legal Website Architecture solution?

For websites with only a few pages of content, LWA will help you but not as much as if you had dozens (or hundreds) of pages. Simply put, the more pages you already have on your website, the greater benefit you will get from LWA. During our initial conversation, we will advise you if we think you need more content. If so, perhaps Legal Website Architecture combined with our Target Keyword Pages solution will be the best route. We won’t know until after your Website Audit and Market Analysis.

Does Legal Website Architecture work for blog posts?

If you already have blog posts on your website, they will only strengthen your LWA. If people find your website through your blog, we want to direct those people through your website properly. If, however, you don’t have blog posts on your website, we will look to see if you have enough pages to justify our LWA solution. If not, we will advise you accordingly. Perhaps Legal Website Architecture combined with our LawBlogr solution will be the best route for you. We’ll know more after your Website Audit and Market Analysis.

What to do next…

If you think you’d benefit from Legal Website Architecture by ApricotLaw, or if you have an inkling that Google is not sending you the number of visitors you deserve, schedule a call with a Co-Founder of ApricotLaw today.

We will discuss your current situation and develop a custom Website Audit and Marketing Analysis just for you… and free of charge.

If we mutually agree that your law firm would benefit from our Legal Website Architecture solution, we will craft a personalized proposal complete with price and expectations.

If we don’t end up working together, at least you’ll get a detailed analysis of your website and your competition. You can take this information and use it on your own or see if someone on your team can implement its suggestions.

Either way, you come out ahead.

To speak with an analyst at ApricotLaw, call 877-203-0751.

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