A website is the best marketing tool for a solo or small startup legal practice. And by performing basic maintenance and upkeep, your website actually increases in value over time.
- A website’s value can increase via SEO, usability, content & technical updates.
- Domain age impacts the SEO potential of your website.
- Good content attracts visitors and helps your SEO.
- Great content builds backlinks, which is great for SEO.
- Website analytics provide valuable, actionable data.
- Proper maintenance improves usability as web trends evolve.
Your Website Builds Valuable Over Time
If you’ve invested into a professional website, it may be refreshing to know that it actually has the capacity to increase in value over the lifetime of your legal practice. Added value can come from SEO, enhanced usability, great content and staying current with the latest web technologies.
Domain Age Impacts SEO
The amount of time you’ve had your domain name impacts your website’s optimization potential. For instance, a domain name registered for four years is more likely to rank higher than a domain name registered for only two years—with the exact same content.
By simply making sure your domain name does not expire, you are passively building what is called Domain Authority (DA), which is a score between 0-100 that predicts how highly a website will rank in search results.
It’s not a huge factor, but the difference in value between ranking 1 and ranking 2 in Google is substantial. On desktop, the first-ranked search result gets almost 31% of clicks while the second position gets less than 16%. Any slight boost in ranking can make a major difference in your business.
Good Content Attracts Visitors
Writing blog content is one of the best online marketing strategies for solo attorneys and small law firms. Here’s why:
- It’s free marketing — Content marketing is great for a firm that does not have a large marketing budget. It takes only time out of your day to write valuable and informative content.
- Generates organic web traffic — Content helps brings visitors to your site who are actively searching topics related to your content. This provides a unique opportunity: a person searching for information on a specific legal topic is probably in the market for a lawyer. In other words, readers are hot leads.
- Builds credibility & trust — Your readers are much more likely to find you both credible and trustworthy if you have a way to show them you have a breadth and depth of knowledge in a specific area of the law.
- Improves SEO — Google loves content; it’s one of their top two ranking factors. Google bots crawl & index your pages and posts to determine your search ranking. Continually adding keywords within great content can help improve your rank.
- Introduces “virality” — Visitors tend to share great, informational content via email and social media, which introduces a viral aspect to your website. More sharing means more eyes (and even more sharing).
- Shows Activity — Webpage timestamps show Google the last time a page or post was published or edited. It essentially tells them the lights are on and someone is home; you’re open for business. Even if you’re not publishing a new article, it helps to update an older, high-ranking article with new, relevant information.
To learn more about publishing legal content, check out How Law Firms Can Get Started With Content Marketing.
As you continue to publish blog articles, the value added can propel your web traffic and generate more hot leads.
Great Content Attracts Content (Backlinks)
If you’ve written a great piece of content, not only will it attract visitors, but you may also find that authors of other websites/blogs link to you content from within their own. This is called a ‘backlink’ to your website—and it’s great for SEO. Many digital folk will refer to this phenomenon as passing “link juice” from one website to another.
Google essentially sees backlinks to your site as proof of legitimacy that you are publishing solid content. Think of the SEO boost you get as a reward to you for providing value to the internet.
Building backlinks from other reputable websites and blogs with high DA are said to pass more link juice, which theoretically improves your own DA. When building backlinks to your site, look for prestigious websites that rank highly in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
As you build backlinks over time, your website builds strength in ranking potential, not to mention all of the added traffic from visitors who click over from the article that gave you a mention.
Websites Analytics Provides Valuable Data
Website data-collection is highly underutilized by small businesses. Free analytics tools like Google Analytics (GA) and Google Search Console (GSC) provide actionable data to help you understand your audience, discover traffic sources, determine your highest-performing content, see visitors’ physical location and much more.
A few examples of how web analytics data can help:
- Refine your content marketing strategies by discovering your top-performing content
- Geo-target specific locations where you get a lot of—or too little—traffic by using local keywords (e.g., “Brooklyn Tax Attorney”)
- Lean more heavily on the marketing avenues that attribute to your top traffic sources, like social media or organic search
Over time and as your sample size increases, you build stronger, more nuanced data that will help you refine your approach and target higher-quality visitors.
You can use this data in many ways—get creative with it! To learn more about using your website data to refine your online approach, check out Google Analytics for Attorneys: An Introduction for Beginners.
Maintenance & Updates Prevents Depreciation
You’ve heard the saying, “if you’re not making money, you’re losing money.” The same idea applies here. Web tech moves quickly, competitors look to capitalize, search engines modify their algorithms—nothing stagnates in digital and if you don’t keep up, you get leap-frogged in the SERPs, your audience forgets about you, your web traffic dwindles and, next thing you know, your dinner is beans from a can.
As digital evolves it’s important to understand how people browse the internet. In 2017, mobile web traffic surpassed desktop traffic. And when “57% of people say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile,” responsive web design (“mobile-friendly”) is an absolute necessity. By neglecting trends in how people use the internet, your website—and content—will lose value.
If you’re a customer of our’s, you don’t have to worry about staying proper when it comes to web technologies. All of our websites are completely mobile-friendly and we take care of all backups, maintenance, updates and more. We even manage the content on your website, but it’s up to you to supply the copy. It’s important to publish content every so often (we recommend weekly or bi-weekly) in order to stay relevant in the minds of your audience and to keep your content fresh.
Sean Si, In SEO, domain age matters, SEO Hacker, October 22, 2019
Google Organic CTR History, Advanced Web Ranking, September, 2019
Domain Authority, MOZ, 2019
Glossary: Link Juice, Crazy Egg, November 24, 2017
Desktop Vs Mobile Traffic: The Ultimate Guide, Web Traffic Geeks, 2019