It’s not unusual for law firms to suffer a nosedive in search traffic and wonder why. It can happen because of a variety of factors.
The first thing to do, is to identify whether in fact you’re receiving less search engine traffic or less traffic from clicks or links from other websites or less traffic from other sources generally. You obviously can turn this data up via your Google Analytics on your firm’s site.
If you have lost traffic from Google search generally, this may be caused by a decline in ranking for specific keywords you are targeting in the search engine, or more sinister, it can result from being penalised due to unethical SEO (search engine optimisation) activity. You won’t necessarily know if the latter has occurred unless you have Google Webmaster Tools integrated. If you do not have this done, simply Google, “webmaster tools” and follow the prompts. (Your web design and development company should have done this for you).
If you have been penalised or “sandboxed” by Google, your Webmaster Tools will offer a brief explanation as to why this has occurred. You then need to remedy the issue. It usually means you have acquired links from questionable sites, which can occur if you have outsourced your SEO to a company that promise extraordinary rankings. Repairing this can be time consuming and may see your firm not recover its former ranking position for many months. We know of one law firm who ranked #2 for a highly searched term, who because of their SEO practice was relegated to position 26 and 6 months later, they’re now position 12.
If you haven’t been sandboxed, the drop in search traffic may merely be as a result of your competitors amping up their SEO efforts which is impacting upon your firm’s traffic. Reviewing your SEO can be a wise thing to do at this point.
If your Analytics suggest a lost of link traffic, check that those links are still functional. For example, you may have derived a link from a excellent referral source that has been lost due to a re-development of their website. You may be able to rectify this by simply contact them.
Also, look of course at your social media and email campaign links. An ordinary open rate in an email campaign can have a significant impact on search traffic.
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