Law and Legal

Post-COVID SEO Mistakes Are Above the Law

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people, including lawyers, to work from home. Businesses have had to adapt to the online market. The focus quickly shifted to providing a positive online experience for customers and search engine optimization (SEO). Many businesses got confused trying to understand this new normal but did not know how to successfully deal with it. Today, companies are still learning how to manage online and making costly (SEO) mistakes. COVID has changed the way every business, including law firms, operates. Read on to find out which search engine optimization mistakes you should avoid in order to grow your law firm online.

No plan
One mistake many law firms keep making is not having an SEO strategy or plan. The solution to this problem can be to hire an SEO agency with legal experience. Professional website content must be carefully planned. Whether you create it yourself or hire a digital marketing agency to do it for you, an established plan will provide useful and valuable content to your users and boost your search engine rankings. A solid SEO plan can include keyword research, setting responsibilities, goal setting, competition analysis, regular website updates, and investing in new resources to achieve your goals. Your competitors are completely using digital marketing to their advantage, and so are you.

Website visitors don’t want to be sold to. They want to understand what you can do and how you can solve their legal problems. While it’s important to promote your legal services and how they differ from others, helpful, non-promotional content will be most helpful to visitors and will encourage backlinks from others who value your legal authority.

Bad formatting
Website visitors want to have a convenient, organized, readable theme. Usually these are H2, H3 and H4 headings to separate content, as well as bulleted and numbered lists. Titles should not be too long or specific and include keywords for SEO optimization. These formatting strategies will attract more visitors to your site and help them better understand the material. Proper formatting of your content also helps your Google rankings.

Not including local pages
It is a mistake to skip pages on your website that are specific to a particular location. Local searches have increased significantly over the past 10 years, with three-quarters of mobile searchers visiting the local businesses they find within 24 hours.

Optimizing the local aspect of your website by adding location-specific pages is both easy and important to include on your law firm’s website.

Failure to provide relevant content
Your online material should be relevant and easy to understand. When legal matters are stated clearly and concisely, your brand or message can be lost. Sometimes legal jargon is too hard for the average consumer to understand, and over-explaining can cause them to lose focus. If your website content is confusing, wordy, or seems out of place, your bounce rate will increase. Users will leave if you:

Unable to clearly explain topics. Discuss too many topics. Use too many keywords. Try to optimize for too many unrelated keywords.

Providing outdated content
As law firms and other businesses start back in the office again, their websites may have old business hours or incorrect information about online appointments. Cleanup protocols may still be listed on sites even if the protocols have subsided.

Bounce rates tend to increase and SEO rankings decrease when vendors provide outdated information to users. It is important to avoid outdated content by regularly updating your website with current topics and information.

Do not use alternate tags
Alternative tags or alt tags describe the images on your site. Images will never load properly if the wrong extension, wrong file name, or wrong file path is used.

The alt tag will describe the images if they are not displayed. These tags provide another opportunity to add keywords that will be recognized by search engines. Alternative tags also help make websites more accessible.

Here are some guidelines for working with alt tags:

Writing unique alt tags for each image. Making alt tags concise and informative. Including keywords in the description.

Pages are not indexed
The user can search indexed pages on Google. Not having your pages indexed is comparable to not being able to access or search for your pages for the general public. Unindexed pages are not crawled.
Lack of indexing can be caused by the following reasons:

404 errors Duplicate content Low authority Outdated sitemap Source code problem for meta tags

Submitting a URL check to Google Search Console can help fix Google indexing issues. This will help you determine if your web pages are indexed or not.

Not optimized for mobile devices
In our post-COVID world, websites need to be mobile friendly. Most people use mobile phones to search for services. The pandemic has increased our use of mobile devices and more people are still doing business.

Google ranking is determined primarily by the mobile version of a website. If you have a great experience with your website on desktop, but the mobile version is not user friendly, your Google ranking will suffer.

Your mobile website must be of high quality and work well on all mobile devices. Slow speed, slow loading, unresponsive design, broken links, blocked files, and limited community information are some of the reasons Google may find a site not mobile friendly. Mobile sites are reformatted for different devices. Potential customers will go to a more mobile-friendly site if yours isn’t working.

Here are a few tips to help make your site mobile-friendly:

Use the Google mobile test Test it yourself Use responsive design Combine local and mobile plans Include mobile-friendly content Choose a reliable web host Find ways to minimize load times Redesign pop-ups to be mobile-friendly Enable faster mobile pages

Do not use meta descriptions, title tags, or schema
SEO results often depend on title tags and meta descriptions. Skipping these elements will affect your SEO ranking. These descriptors affect the performance of the search engine. Some law firms may not use schema to inform search engines of content, and this can negatively impact how a search engine like Google ranks your site.

Next Steps in Digital Marketing
COVID has changed the way the whole world works and looks at things. The legal industry is no exception. Even SEO has changed since COVID. Make sure your firm doesn’t make the SEO mistakes outlined in today’s article, which will save you time and money. Ensure your law firm continues to grow online and compete with other law firms in your area by developing a comprehensive and strategic marketing strategy for the post-COVID world.

Annette Choti, Esq. graduated from law school 20 years ago and is the founder of Law Quill, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small and individual law firms. Annette has written the best-selling book Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide for Law Firms and hosts the Legal Marketing Lounge podcast. She is a sought-after keynote speaker and CLE speaker in the United States and Canada. Annette used to do theater and professional comedy, which isn’t all that different from the legal field, to be honest. Annette can be found on LinkedIn or at [email protected].

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