If you have a website for your law firm, it’s likely that organic search (or SEO) is a significant driver of new business for your firm.
Unlike other marketing efforts such as paid search or direct mail, establishing top rankings for your firm takes a consistent, strategic approach to content, linkbuilding and other SEO techniques. It also takes ongoing effort, as Google is continuously changing its algorithm. If you’re not careful, an algorithm update can damage your rankings and your business.
The latest Google algorithm is referred to as the Google Speed Update. Here’s everything you need to know:
The majority of Google searches now occur on a mobile phone. As mobile device usage has increased, Google has released many statements stressing the importance of making sure your website provides a good user experience on all devices.
This means you should ensure your fonts are legible on a mobile device, your content is accessible and easy-to-navigate and most importantly, the mobile version of your website loads quickly. A website that is slow to load is very frustrating for users, and Google has advised web developers to speed up their mobile sites’ load times.
With the Speed Update, Google has finally announced that not only is page speed important, but it will be a ranking factor in their algorithm. That means that slow websites will be much less likely to rank highly in search results.
Your website’s page load speed has been part of Google’s algorithm since 2010, but it has only applied to desktop searches. For years, Google has warned that mobile page speed will officially become part of the algorithm.
The Speed Update began its official rollout in July 2018.
SEOs and web developers have known about this update for years, so if your firm has kept current with website design best practices, it’s likely that your firm’s website is mobile-friendly and is optimized for page speed.
If your legal website design is outdated, you may be at risk at losing search rankings. The best approach is to work with a website developer on making sure your website is optimized for performance and speed across all devices.
If you’re not sure if your attorney website will be affected, the easiest check is to run your homepage through Google PageSpeed Insights Tool. If your speed and optimization scores are average or good, your website should not be affected. Google has stated that the Speed Update will only affect the slowest websites.
You can also view your page load times through Google Analytics or utilize Google Lighthouse. If you work with an SEO consultant or web developer, they should be able to answer questions about your firm website’s page speed.
You can also view your competitors’ websites to see how your website fares, but keep in mind that page speed is still one of over 200 ranking factors that make up Google’s algorithm. You should aim to improve your load time but striving for a perfect 100/100 may be difficult.
For example, if your firm uses Live Chat or videos, it may add to your load time. As long as you can maintain good page speeds, these elements can be important to help your website drive new business.
Not sure how to interpret your law firm’s page speed? Are you looking to improve your overall website experience, including optimizing your firm’s website for mobile devices and tablets?
We can help provide recommendations for page speed enhancements, audit your website or help you build something new. Let’s talk.