We’ve rounded up the questions we receive most often from attorneys
1. How do I know when my website needs updating?
When updating a website, both technical requirements and the competitive landscape must be considered.
Technical requirements are continuously evolving, punctuated by shifts in standards regarding such things as security requirements, ADA compliance, and Google’s mobile-first indexing. While some of these, such as adding an SSL certificate, can be retrofitted to an existing website, others, such as ADA compliance, are best accomplished with a new site built to modern standards. At Omnizant, we offer a free ADA compliance audit for qualified firms. Attorneys can also leverage tools like the WAVE Accessibility Scanner to better understand how their site performs with assistive technologies.
Competitive factors can be more difficult to quantify. It’s important to periodically look at competing firms’ websites and perform common searches that replicate the ones clients looking for your services will perform. Ideally, you want your firm to outrank the competition and also offer a superior user experience to visitors since many prospective clients will decide on a firm before they ever visit your office.
You are likely a good judge of the competitive factors but may be less clear about the technical ones. We are always happy to evaluate your site and let you know what technical advances have become available since your last site was created. We will also inform you if there are any specific issues limiting your site’s visibility or potentially resulting in compliance issues.
2. Will a redesign change my search rank at all?
Any change to a website is likely to affect rankings. The degree to which they are affected depends on many factors, but perhaps the most significant one is the URL structure of pages on the website. If you are migrating from one platform to another and rely on organic traffic, it is generally best to get professional help with your new site. Properly launching your new site is likely to minimize the chances of any major disruption in traffic.
It’s also important to consider that your new site will probably feature technical updates, such as responsiveness or improved page experience metrics, that will allow for increased rankings and website traffic.
3. Why is my web presence important; my firm relies on referrals?
Even when clients are referred, they often search for the firm online, look at reviews, and make snap judgments about your practice. In fact, commonly cited studies claim visitors form an opinion on a website in just a fraction of a second. Knowing even referrals are likely to judge your practice based on your web presence, a modern, attractive site is a sound investment.
4. Are legal directories worth the cost?
There are literally hundreds of legal directories online, so while not all are worthwhile, some definitely are. In fact, we include free and premium profile creation in many of our marketing plans. A great way to prioritize where to get listed is to see which directories currently rank for relevant searches in your area. It’s also worth noting that most directories offer a free listing. This can provide helpful insight into whether a directory is likely to generate traffic and leads before you opt for an expensive premium listing. Just be sure to use Google’s Campaign URL Builder to track performance.
5. Why am I being outranked by inferior competitors?
The way law firms are evaluated in the real world is quite different from the way search engines view law firm websites. Websites are primarily ranked by content and links pointing to that content; an attorney’s experience and skill do not enter into the equation. The frustrations attorneys feel about this discrepancy are completely understandable. When you find such a discrepancy between online results and the real world it’s important to take a look at your online efforts and see where they might be falling short. Our skilled specialists have the ability to highlight the technical differences between your website and that of your competitors so we can clarify precisely what needs to be done going forward.