Law Firm Websites Perform Best by Partnering SEO and Design
BY Kerrie Spencer
Your law firm website houses your business on the web. Think of creating a website as similar to building a home. Before the walls come up, you need a foundation. So, while you want to maximize your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, you also need to pay close attention to your design efforts and templates.
Many law firms focus on content and keywords predominantly in their SEO strategy, leaving the design on the back burner. While content is still King, design and user experience (UX) are the foundation. It is crucial to build a firm foundation to keep the business active, profitable, adaptable and flexible to change with the times and Google algorithm changes.
Audit Your Law Firm Website Design Regularly
All websites, apps and content, need to be audited regularly. Your firm's site needs to be updated and, in some cases, completely redesigned every three years or so. Doing this keeps audience interest and keeps your firm out in front of Google's algorithm updates.
Auditing is unavoidable if you want to keep your law firm in front of potential and existing clients. Inevitably, all websites need to be tweaked and updated. Do it before it becomes an issue. Make sure the design is updated and tweaked and remains a positive experience for the user. Law firm websites that do not meet users' expectations of being fast, efficient and easy to navigate means visitors shy away, something that Google notices, which affects your firm's ranking.
Design and SEO Are Partners, Not Competitors
Are the design of a website and SEO two different things? They often appear to be opposites. Design creates a beautiful and responsive website with effective navigation, and copywriters create informative and convincing content. These two areas have to work together to maximize SEO efforts.
Design needs to be present in today's mobile world, which means the correct coding needs to be used. Surprisingly, it does not need to be fancy and complex coding; it can be reliable HTML and CSS. Other coding methods that provide the bells and whistles may be a hit at first but, in the end, may not rank well. If your site is poorly programmed, does not navigate well or read well, that affects your page rank.
Design Tips To Help Maximize Your Firm's SEO Strategy
As already mentioned, keeping your law firm website updated is essential. Even if your site has good traffic, regular tweaks are beneficial to keep everything running smoothly. When reviewing your website, make sure to review the following tips to maximize your firm's SEO strategy:
1. Have Clear Brand Marketing
Your website design needs to incorporate your brand values and mission.
2. Check Out the Competition
Make sure to monitor your competition and see what they are doing. You can use the data you collect in your own efforts to improve your site.
3. Understand Industry Trends
Think about the legal industry when reviewing your website. What social campaigns could you be implementing? What new design could you be adding?
4. Have a Mobile-Friendly Site
Different screens require different design approaches. Remember, not everything that looks great on a desktop screen will look good on a cellphone screen.
5. Pay Attention to User Experience
Make sure to offer users the best-enhanced experience and offer simplicity and speed.
6. Be Flexible and Ready to Adjust
You can do everything in-house or hire it out. However, you need to be able to respond to changes rapidly.
7. Use Meta Tags
While meta tags will not help you rank better, they are essential for the search engine and for user experience. Remember to use Meta tags and text and use it on images.
8. Gather Data
Understand your audience and obtain valuable data. Information from your target audience will help you tailor your site to their needs, interests and wants.
9. Think Like Google
Try to think like Google to stay ahead of algorithm changes and set up alerts to advise you of those changes.
10. Investigate ROI
Always track the return on your investment (ROI) to determine your successes.
What Comes First When Developing an SEO Strategy?
This is a tricky question, but the answer is that content and design go hand-in-hand, with copy having a slight edge when it is planned out in advance of the website. The truth is, whatever works best to get a well-performing law firm website is what you need to do with all the steps in mind while you create. Copy can be adjusted. Design elements, not so much. Plan ahead when you can. The outcome is going to benefit your firm.
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