A website is a crucial tool for any law firm. In today’s digital landscape, 86% of consumers say they rely on the internet to find local businesses. However, it’s important to note that having just any website isn’t necessarily better than having no website. Many times, firms are so eager to launch or update their site that they make website mistakes that can harm their credibility and ability to be found online. Here is a list of the most common website mistakes that legal marketers need to watch out for.
1. Lengthy Page Titles
The title that tells visitors what pages are about can be cut off if they’re too long. A concise title yields the best user experience and maintains the importance of each phrase within the page title. We suggest keeping your page title under 70 characters. You can also use a tool such as Coshedule’s headline analyzer to create brief, keyword-rich descriptions.
2. Overly Long Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are the text under a page title in search results. If they are too long, they’ll end up being cut off by search engines. Use a word counter to check your character length, and you can even use a tool like SERPsimulator to see an example of what your page title and meta description will look like in search results.
3. Keyword Stuffing
This is an outdated practice that has become a futile effort. Today’s search engines are looking for searcher inquiry and prioritize user experience. Having too many keywords or using them in a way that feels cumbersome or inorganic creates a poor user experience. Conduct proper keyword research using your Google Analytics data and other tools. Then create valuable and informative content around those words and phrases.
4. Cannibalizing Keywords
This practice occurs when two or more pages on your website are targeting the same keyword. This forces them to compete against each other in search engine results. Treat each page on your website as a new opportunity to get found online. Try to organize your website so that content is centered around grouping related blog posts into specific topic areas instead of long-tail keywords.
5. Not Adding Image Alt Text
Search engines can’t “read” images, but they do scan for text. You are likely to lose out on a significant amount of traffic if you don’t add alt text to your graphics. Alt text also helps make your content more accessible to users, which is always a good thing.
6. Having Too Little or Too Much Text
Search engines are best at reading text, so you need to have some on your page. However, too much text can make it difficult for them to know where to focus. Your best bet is to ensure that your page is readable and contains your targeted keyword. Don’t add more text just to try to hit a certain word count.
7. Ignoring Analytics
It’s essential to track your website’s analytics in order to optimize and convert traffic into leads. Web analytics can help you to understand your site’s visitors and their behavior, which are key insights you can apply across your strategy. If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of data available, narrow down the metrics that matter to your firm. Figure out which KPIs align with your business objectives, and make a point to monitor them regularly and track progress over time. Google Analytics is a great place to start, but you can also use other web analytics tools like HubSpot’s Dashboard to try to avoid these website mistakes.
8. Slow Load Times
Page load times can have a serious negative impact on your performance. If your website loads slowly, it could be because your hosting is insufficient, you have large images across your site, you have too many redirects, or something else. There are tools available that can help you find and address pages with slow loading times (for example, Google PageSpeed Insights).
9. Not Making Your Website Responsive
This used to be a “nice to have” for websites, but now it’s a must-have. More than half of internet traffic is mobile, so it’s critical that your website responds well to those visitors. If you’re not sure how mobile-friendly your website is, start by using Google Search Console to test pages and then make changes.
10. Lack of Internal Linking
Links are an important part of improving website authority on search engines. However, there is a science to linking strategy – you don’t want to use too many or too few links. Create an internal link structure, beginning with running an audit to identify internal linking opportunities across your website.
11. Insufficient Website Security
Website visitors will feel better if they’re using a site that they know is secure. Recent increases in personal data breaches and website hacks mean you should take extra steps to ensure the security of your website. Make sure to install a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate on your website.
12. Cumbersome Website Forms
You definitely need website forms in order to convert traffic to real leads, but if you don’t structure them thoughtfully, people are unlikely to fill them out. Having too many fields or marking too many “required” discourages visitors from filling them out. Ask for only the essential details, using no more than 5 fields in each form.
13. Not Having CTAs
Calls-to-action lets people know what they should do once they’ve arrived at your website. What would you like visitors to do next? Whether that’s signing up for a newsletter or booking a consultation, you’ll have to ask them to do it. Make sure each page has a specific CTA above the fold.
14. Not Including a Search Box
Unfortunately, many websites lack a search box – and they are missing opportunities because of it. As your website grows, ensure that you have a search box that can help people find relevant content quickly. Many content management systems have a widget that you can add to install a search feature.
15. Making Contact Info Obscure
If clients find it too difficult to get in touch with you, they’ll probably just give up. Include your contact information like email and phone number on different pages of your website. You may also want to link to social media accounts to encourage more ways of interacting with your firm.
16. Using Only Stock Images
Stock images are helpful, but relying on them can make your website look just like every other law firm’s website. If you over-use them, it can leave a poor impression on visitors. Can you use original images or graphics? Whenever possible, try to use graphics that highlight your staff, work culture, or expertise. You can even use a design solution like Canva to create your own infographics.
Even with the best of intentions, you could be making mistakes on your website. Unfortunately, those mistakes can wind up costing you traffic and leads. If you’re not getting the leads you’d like from your firm’s website, reach out to us. From website design and development to content writing, search engine optimization (SEO), and site maintenance, we’ve got you covered.