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10 Ways to Turn Around Your Law Firm’s Failing Website Traffic

by Kevin Vermeulen • November 9th, 2023 • SEO | Blog

law firm's failing website trafficYour website is a crucial part of your overall marketing strategy. Hopefully, you regularly track performance and know which metrics to watch. If so, you know the range of traffic that’s normal for your website. What should you do if you notice falling traffic? Here are ten tactics to turn around your law firm’s failing website traffic before it becomes a bigger problem.

1. Have you been penalized?

Determine the nature of the penalty. Is it a manual penalty, algorithmic penalty, or a combination of both? Knowing the source of the penalty is crucial for devising an effective recovery strategy. A manual penalty from Google will result in an immediate drop in traffic as either the affected page or your overall rankings fall. Check the Google Search Console for notifications and then address the problem content. If you work with an SEO firm, reach out to them about penalties. If you work on SEO yourself, check for content that could be considered spammy or black hat SEO

2. Review traffic channels.

If you notice a drop in traffic, it’s important to note where that traffic is coming from. For example, if paid traffic drops, look at any campaigns you’ve paused. Also compare branded vs. unbranded traffic. If you see a drop in branded terms, it means that people have less desire to search for your law firm and you need to figure out why. Regularly assess and adapt your strategies for each traffic channel based on the data and results you gather. Keep in mind that it might take some time to see significant improvements, so be patient and persistent.

3. Pause paid campaigns.

To some degree, it’s expected that paid traffic will cut into your law firm’s organic website traffic numbers. That’s not a problem as long as your overall traffic is increasing. In some cases though, if you have too much of a paid presence on Google Ads, there is no benefit to buying more ads. Try pausing the ads and see how the numbers look. Remember that pausing your paid advertising campaigns means your ads won’t be shown, and you won’t incur additional costs. It might be a good idea to revise your campaign so that you target keywords and keyphrases you know that your law firm does not rank for organically. Determine if you need to reevaluate your campaign strategy or allocate your budget elsewhere. When you’re ready to resume your campaigns, simply follow the same steps to unpause them.

4. Are you losing backlinks?

If your referral traffic is dropping, take a look at your backlinks. Start by conducting a comprehensive backlink audit to identify which backlinks have been lost and why.

If you notice that certain pages have dropped in traffic and they also happen to have lost backlinks, there’s a good chance you’ve found your problem. You may need to reach out to those referral sites or develop fresher content. Focus on creating high-quality and valuable content that naturally attracts backlinks from authoritative sources. Recovering from lost backlinks and building a strong backlink profile is a gradual process. Focus on consistently providing value to your audience and the online legal community to attract new backlinks over time.

5. Your website is not secure (it is HTTP, not HTTPS).

Online security is essential and Google has gotten a lot tougher on websites that have not fully migrated to HTTPS (Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol). Without it, your website is considered not secure and you’re bound to experience a significant, and even permanent, drop in website traffic. The solution would be to purchase and install an SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer).

By addressing security concerns and implementing these strategies, you can not only improve your law firm’s website’s traffic but also provide a safe and reliable experience for your visitors. Website security is crucial for maintaining trust and credibility with potential clients and search engines.

6. Are competitors taking your traffic?

You might be losing rankings to other law firms. If they are offering new or more valuable content, visitors might be heading to their site instead of yours. In this case, you can either refocus on a new keyword strategy or try to one-up their content strategy. Conduct a thorough competitive analysis to identify which competitors are gaining traffic and what strategies they’re using. This analysis requires a comprehensive and persistent effort to create high-quality content, engage with your audience, and continuously monitor and adapt your strategies to stay ahead of your competitors.

7. Update your keyword strategy.

An old keyword strategy can create a slow, steady, and consistent decline in your law firm’s website traffic. The solution would be to audit your keyword strategy, looking for outdated or generic keywords and research alternative keywords with a higher search volume and overall value. Then, revise your content to include these alternative keywords. Continuously monitor the performance of your keywords using analytics tools. Adjust your strategy based on what works and what doesn’t.

8. Understand how answer boxes affect traffic.

If you notice a change in your content or keyword search volume, consider that Google may have decided to offer the answer to the searcher’s query in a new answer box. Answer boxes are the brief, highlighted answers that appear at the top of some search engine results pages (SERPs) when a user enters a query. Earning an answer box can significantly boost your site’s visibility and drive traffic. Answer boxes are very convenient for users, but can discourage actual traffic to your website. That’s a good thing, but if it’s causing you to lose traffic, you may want to expand on the answer and make it too long to be read in an answer box alone.

9. Look at page types and traffic types.

Examine which pages are suffering the most. Is there a decline in traffic or a significant bounce rate increase for category pages, blog posts, or other content? Develop a strategy based on the unique problem pages – for example, if blogs are resulting in lower traffic, consider a content refresh with more relevant topics. By delving into the different types of pages on your website and the sources of your traffic, you can create a tailored strategy for each page type and traffic source. This data-driven approach will help you identify weaknesses and capitalize on strengths.

10. Take user experience into account.

It’s possible you are discouraging returning traffic by not optimizing UX. This is particularly true if you have recently redesigned your website or made changes to navigation or page structure. Also pay special attention to how long it takes your pages to load, as that can be discouraging to future traffic. 

It’s worth noting that before you stress about specific reasons for failing website traffic, there are a few basic items to look into. First of all, when you pull reporting, make sure that your dates are accurate. Being off by even one day can significantly impact numbers. Also, check with your IT team for any issues. Has the site been down at all, or have there been any delays in loading time? In most cases, it makes sense to cross these off your list before moving on to the other tactics.

Takeaway

There are many small things that can improve your law firm’s failing website traffic, but at the end of the day, visitors are drawn to a great user experience and helpful, relevant content. Any strategy you employ should focus on those fundamentals first, and build from there. 

If website traffic is presenting a real problem for you, we can help! Contact us today for a free consultation and we’ll tell you what it will take to improve your search visibility and increase traffic.

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