Some attorneys we’ve talked to think SEO “doesn’t work” for them. They’ve tried writing content, building links to their site, creating a good design…and it hasn’t driven clients to their firm.
To add insult to injury, these attorneys are being told the only way to make their online marketing work is to pay more money on ad campaigns to drive traffic.
We’ve got the data to show that SEO still matters, so why isn’t it working for these law firms?
The easy answer is that whoever built their site cut corners and missed key details—what we call technical SEO.
What is technical SEO?
SEO is a lot of things—it’s content marketing, link building, creating title tags and meta descriptions. But it’s also a bunch of detailed tasks that take specific knowledge such as creating a site structure, increasing site speed, and optimizing URLs to name a few.
A lot of agencies only focus on the more “obvious” parts of SEO, like content strategy for example, and let those details fall by the wayside. It may have been possible to move the needle that way in the past, but in today’s competitive environment, you have to cover all the bases.
The Case Study: Prioritizing the Basics
A client of ours was facing the same problem a lot of law firms face. Their once well-performing website over time stagnated then began slipping in the rankings. They had invested regularly in their marketing strategy and were stymied as to why it wasn’t working.
We learned that their website used to rank in the top 3 organic positions for a lot of search terms, both local and national. Over the years he started seeing those positions disappear which led a noticeable drop in cases.
We did a quick audit of the website which consisted of running various crawlers, speed tests, using tools like SEM Rush, aHrefs, and even received access to his Google Analytics and Search Console.
We saw exactly what he was telling us: traffic, rankings, and leads have declined at a steady rate over the years.
This attorney had pretty good content. There were pages for every practice area, each of them being well over 1000 words or more. It was clear that the content wasn’t the issue.
The devil was in the details.
The page structure was non-existent. No parent pages. The URLS were a mess. The site was slow. There were no site links in the content. The page titles and meta descriptions were not set. The header tags were all used incorrectly.
It was a technical SEO mess.
Over the past two years specifically, their rankings and website traffic stagnated. Our goal was to turn that around.
Our strategy: go back to the basics.
Sometimes SEO work can get overcomplicated. Our recommendation was simple. Leverage the existing content and backlinks and just do the technical SEO the right way.
We decided against a building a fancy custom website. Instead, we wanted to see what impact that SEO alone would have on their rankings and traffic. So we began by moving his website to one of our WordPress templates that we’ve created just for law firms.
We transferred over all of the content from the previous platform to the new website template. This was a manual effort, which was time-consuming but also allows us to edit each piece of content and implement proper SEO practices during the move.
We implemented correct header tags, used proper HTML formatting, added site links where applicable, wrote unique title tags and meta descriptions, and created a proper page and URL structure.
In a month, the website was fully transferred, optimized, and ready for launch. We launched the new website at the end of January 2019 and waited patiently for the data to roll in.
Below is a screenshot from SEM Rush taken on May 20, 2019.
You can see that all of our efforts paid off very quickly—quicker than what we usually expect. That little sliver of yellow at the top of the charts for March–May show that the site has even earned back some top 3 keywords.
Below is a screenshot of the specific ranking information for May of last year.
We can see that they had 40 keywords that were ranking in the top 3 positions of Google and 169 on the first page. The remaining 2,695 keywords were buried on page 2 or worse.
Fast forward to May of 2019 we can see that they have 166 keywords ranking in the top 3 positions on Google. They also have 559 other keywords ranking on the first page, compared to 169 a year ago.
This was all done by implementing a solid SEO strategy on the website. No new content. No link building. Just good ole’ fashioned technical SEO.
Are your marketing results stagnant or slipping?
If you’re not seeing the results you expect from your website and online presence, you could very well have the same problems our client did with their site. Contact one of the experts at GNGF for a free consultation today. We would love to talk with you and provide some insight into how you can achieve similar results.