Originally published on March 8, 2019, and updated on Oct. 1, 2019:
You know the importance of digital marketing for law firm business development. You realize that much of your online success — if and when it comes — depends on doing the right things SEO-wise so your law firm website shows up on the first page of Google. You know that you certainly do not have the time (nor the inclination, probably) to become an SEO expert. You did not go to law school for this.
So you hire someone to take this on — either someone on your staff or an external resource. Because it’s important. It must be done and done right. So why aren’t you seeing the results you want?
A recent post at Search Engine Watch provides 10 reasons why your SEO campaign might not be working:
- Poor content.
Poor content is the #1 reason why SEO campaigns fail. If the traffic on your site is close to abysmal, this has a real (bad) effect on your SEO. People are only going to stay on your site if they find something of value; absent that, they will leave as soon as they arrive and will not come back. Your content must be original and error-free and include a good mix of various types of content — text, photos, video, infographics, etc.
- Poor host.
If the company hosting your website is unreliable, the performance of your site will be compromised and that results in loss of rank. Don’t make your decision of a website host provider based on price; base this important decision on reliability and competence.
- Lack of links.
The content you have on your website and blog needs to have backlinks from authoritative websites as well as hyperlinks that help attract visitors to your site. Curate these carefully, as Google will know if you are buying backlinks and penalize your site.
- Not keeping up with Google algorithm updates.
Google is constantly changing its algorithm in a series of updates that must be taken into consideration by your SEO strategy or the search results for your site will be affected in significant ways.
- High bounce rate.
If people are leaving your site after viewing just one page, you will incur a high bounce rate and that is bad for SEO. You need to routinely check your Google Analytics to monitor the bounce rate for your site.
- Outdated SEO strategy.
Change is the name of the SEO game, so if you are still deploying old SEO strategies, you are going to get hurt. Most importantly, be sure you are on top of your Local SEO game — being on the first page of search results when someone is searching for an attorney “near me” is critical to business development! (See recent post on 6 Ways You Can Improve Your Local SEO Right Now.)
- Dwell time is short.
If people are leaving your home page, landing page, or blog right after they get there, your SEO suffers.
- Too great expectations.
You won’t see SEO results overnight, so you need to adjust your expectations. Your SEO efforts will take at least three months before bearing fruit, so be patient.
- Neglecting social media.
Google uses social media signals to gauge the popularity of your online properties, so be sure you are active on the social media sites where your target market likes to hang out.
- Your site is not mobile-first.
This is a basic requirement since Google made mobile-first a ranking priority three years ago. In 2019, your sites need to be responsive and mobile-friendly so they display content correctly no matter what device is used to access those sites.
TIP: Get more insight into how to right your SEO wrongs by reading our SEO Guide for Attorneys.