Search engine optimization (SEO) is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. All of the factors that determine where your website shows up in search results are in constant motion. Other web pages, users, search ranking algorithms, and even the internet itself, are always changing.
Good results today won’t necessarily hold up tomorrow. To keep your law firm’s pages close to the top of the search results, you’ll need to be vigilant and ready to act when negative changes occur.
One of the best ways to do this is to conduct regular SEO audits. An SEO audit involves going through your firm’s site and examining all of the factors that go into search optimization. The idea is to find the elements that are working and, of course, the elements that are not, and make any necessary adjustments.
Think of it this way: If you don’t take a look under the hood, you won’t know whether the components of your website are working properly and actually helping you attract website visitors, close new business, and see measurable digital marketing ROI.
Below are a few of the most pressing reasons you should conduct an SEO audit of your law firm’s website. Most marketing and SEO experts recommend that you conduct SEO audits at least once per year.
A Significant Algorithm Change Has Occurred
In reality, search algorithms change on a daily basis. The major engines (i.e. Google and Bing) are constantly running experiments and tweaking results to see what works best. Occasionally, though, major and sudden changes are either announced or become evident to industry watchdogs.
A sudden change in the results algorithms can mean anything from slightly lower rankings to becoming buried below hundreds of other results. When this happens, an SEO audit is usually required to figure out what will need to be changed throughout your site to restore good results.
Webmaster Guidelines Have Been Updated
Google maintains a collection of guidelines they expect webmasters to follow in order to be included in their search indexes. Following the general webmaster guidelines will help Google find, index, and rank your law firm’s website. When these guidelines are updated, it’s important to make sure that your site is in compliance. If your law firm’s site doesn’t meet the published guidelines, you run the risk of having pages penalized in search results, or even having your entire domain removed from Google’s indexes.
Search Rankings Have Dropped Without Reason
If you notice that your law firm’s pages are falling in search results, seemingly without reason, this is a perfect time to conduct an SEO audit. When you can’t find an outside explanation, like algorithm changes for example, the problem is usually internal.
A lot of what goes into SEO happens “under the hood” of your website. Sometimes, even though you think you haven’t changed anything, changes do occur. Plugins designed to optimize your blog, for example, can make changes to your site’s underlying code that will affect search rankings. An SEO audit will bring to light minor changes that you may not have noticed.
Your Competition Is Gaining Ground
Maybe your firm is still ranking well in search results, but you’ve noticed that your competition is moving up fast behind you. In this situation, an SEO audit can help you stay a step ahead. The audit should uncover any problems or errors that might allow your competition’s pages to overtake yours. It’s much easier (and much better for your law firm) to work towards maintaining a good ranking than to recover a good ranking that has been lost.
You’ve Made Major Changes To Your Site
Whenever you make major changes to your site, whether it’s removing old content, publishing a lot of new content, or something like changing publishing platforms, an SEO audit is an important part of making sure that your law firm retains its place in search results. Making big changes to your site without verifying that your search engine optimizations are still in place could bring disastrous results.
Proactive Wins Over Reactive
If you wait until you have a problem, you’re going to lose a lot of traffic, time, and money while you try to figure out what happened and how to fix it. Even after you resolve any issues, you still have to wait for search engines to notice and adjust your rank in results.
The main benefit of performing regular SEO audits is that doing so is proactive rather than reactive. By staying on top of what’s going on between your site and the search engines, you stay ahead of potential problems and mitigate any negative effects as soon as possible. When done correctly and regularly, SEO audits help to maintain a steady flow of the most valuable traffic there is — search engine traffic.
SEO audits are an important component of keeping your law firm’s SEO strategy up to date. Every year, search engine criteria and ranking factors change so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the ways in which your website is affected. If your website isn’t properly optimized for search, you’re missing out on a significant amount of search engine traffic, as well as attention from prospective clients.
Contact us today if you need assistance developing a comprehensive SEO strategy that will improve your search visibility and increase the number of visitors to your firm’s website.
Updated and Republished from Oct 23, 2017.