If your website is outdated and not very user friendly, this suggests that you may not stay up-to-date on law changes, and people will simply leave and go elsewhere.
Website trust signals for Google and for your prospective clients come in many forms.
Just as a picture can paint a thousand words, the design of your website can say a lot. People make snap judgements on the quality of a firm and the quality of the legal services on offer, often from the quality of a website.
Giving off a good impression is crucial if you want to increase your conversion rate. You want to give prospective clients the confidence they need to believe that you will get the job done. You also need to build trust with Google that your webpage provides the knowledge and expertise capable of advising people on important matters to improve search rankings.
Revamping your website can create an image of certainty in the user’s mind, giving them instant comfort and safety to proceed with your services.
Does my website need a redesign to rank on Google?
If your website was designed more than three years ago, it is probably too old. Websites age over time, and you need it to be aesthetically pleasing to new visitors. You should regularly check the copyright year at the bottom of your website to ensure that it is the current. If it isn’t, this can give the impression that your website isn’t active.
Most importantly, poor web design will lead to lower search rankings. Since 2022, Google has considered a website’s user experience and performance in its ranking factors with a group of factors called Core Web Vitals. Scoring poorly on these metrics will hurt your rankings, and affect how trustworthy your website is for Google..
If a website revamp is needed, this is a great time to rethink your law firm’s content marketing strategy, which should be search engine friendly and:
- Contain relevant content which targets specific keywords
- Use meta titles and headings which are relevant
- Have images optimised for SEO
- Have an XML sitemap which is submitted to Google
- Be mobile friendly: this is especially important as over 55% of online traffic comes through from mobile devices.
Another important consideration is how your website compares to your competitors. If they are modernising at a faster rate than you and also constantly updating their law firm’s SEO strategy, it is more than likely that they will outcompete you in rankings. If your features, functions, content or images are outdated, this will not send trust signals to Google, as it will lack experience, expertise and authority. Redesigning your website can help to update some of these and allow for more relevant content, which gains trust with both search engines and your potential clients.
Getting the right balanced approach to Trust
Evaluating whether you are sending the right Trust signals to Google should start with asking yourself if you are happy with your returns from the online market. If you aren’t, or have doubts around whether you are maximising profits, there is probably some progress you can make in your trust signals, one of which involves website design. In 2022, Google updated its E-A-T policy to E-E-A-T, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust.
You have to go the extra mile to prove your law firm’s E-E-A-T criteria, as your business comes under the “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) category. This label is reserved for topics that could impact someone’s personal life in terms of their finances, health or wellbeing, and are subject to additional scrutiny. For example, if you are offering someone advice if they have been arrested for a certain crime, and this is incorrect, it could have detrimental consequences on their life. So, Google needs to know that your information is accurate – and that the source can be trusted.
Adding client testimonials and reviews helps to show that your customer service is excellent and that you have previously shown that you are experts and get the job done efficiently and effectively. It is also important to state your values on your website, which allows customers to know what you stand for, and presenting this in an engaging, user-friendly way is vital.
Good website design is a factor that can facilitate trust: having an up-to-date website will help users understand you are constantly innovating ways to improve your service. Consistency between fonts, sizes, and themes helps to maintain your brand identity and values. When customers see this, it gives them a sense of familiarity and reduces scepticism.
How to tell if your website is performing for both users and Google
If you ignore your website, it can become more of a problem than an asset. It is important to set out goals and KPIs to know how your website is performing, such as increased traffic, attracting new business, and ranking well in search results. There are many ways in which you can easily track these, including:
- Total website traffic: More traffic means more opportunities for conversions. You can check this on Google Analytics, in the Traffic Acquisition report. Select the time period you are interested in, and see if it has grown.
- Visitor Engagement: It’s important to understand what visitors are doing once they come to your site. This can be found in the Acquisition report too. It allows you to see important performance indicators, such as average engagement time, events per session, and bounce rate. You can break this down further if you have set up events on GA4 for specific interactions, such as a download or form submission.
- Traffic from different sources: It’s important to assess who your traffic is coming from, as you don’t want a high level of spam traffic. You can find this on Google Analytics, under Acquisition > User Acquisition. It will show you sources including search engines, social media, and ad type. You can also see which sources are resulting in more conversions and revenue.
- Keyword rankings: You should check which queries you site ranks for regularly which can be done using platforms such as Google Search Console or SEMRush. You can also see how competitive a certain keyword is, and can work to make website improvements to improve your rankings.
There are ways in which you can help your website perform and build trust with Google. For example, creating and maintaining your Google Business Profile helps drive traffic to your site whilst local business schema markup helps your business to appear in rich snippets in SERPs, increasing your visibility.
Keeping track of these metrics will help you assess how to make website improvements, which will help with conversion rate and revenue for your business.
Trusted experts in all aspects of the legal sector
The team here at Cure Digital are trusted experts by legal clients across all aspects of the online domain, from marketing to website design and development. We have over 15 years of expertise in website project management for law firms and scoping new website projects.
Every law firm is different. We take time to understand your values, goals and objectives and will align our strategy accordingly. We are knowledgeable, reliable, responsive and results-driven. We set clear KPIs which we measure frequently and keep you updated regularly.
We continually stay on top of changes to Google’s algorithm and quality guidelines, which E-E-A-T comes under. We consistently innovate and look for new ways to maximise your profits online.
Whether you are a large or small firm, maintaining a good, modern-looking website is a must if you want to gain trust with search engines and your customers. Get in touch with us today for your free consultation and we can help take your business to a new level.