Firm websites could suffer as a result of new Google Algorithm

Attracting new business is always important, and although we’d like to rely on recommendations of happy clients, more often than not people will choose our business as a result of a searching for the service on a search engine, and then contacting for a quote.

With this in mind, the position of a wills and probate website – whether a firm or sole practitioner –  on a search engine can have a huge impact on whether they will receive the business. Just think, when you Google for a service, do you tend to see the options on different pages?

Research from Legmark, has discovered that almost two-thirds of law firms score less than 50 out of 100 overall with only a handful of firms in the entire top 200 having scores that could be considered ‘compliant’.

The ‘Core Web Vitals’ algorithm will be rolled out in May 2021, and is the first time that Google has given any advanced notice of the change, giving people the opportunity to make the changes so they aren’t disadvantaged in two month’s time. The roll out is set to enhance the user experience, so it’s vital that firms don’t ignore the changes.

What performance metrics does the algorithm look at?

The performance metrics that core web vitals focuses on are:

  • Site speed – how quickly a page loads
  • How quickly the page becomes usable
  • How much a page shifts around as it loads.

What are the consequences of not complying with the new algorithm?

It has been revealed that pages that don’t comply with the latest guidelines released by Google could be dropped down the rankings pages, resulting in fewer visits to the site and a drop in enquiries.

Legmark wants to help firms become compliant with core web vitals. The agency has made the data that it collects from the top 200 law firms freely available and will be updated weekly. This data will then help firms fix any issues they have prior to the algorithm’s roll out in May.

Sam Borrett, Director of Legmark, commented:

“We’ve provided the top 200 law firms with a detailed analysis of their website performance for three years now through our annual audits, and we wanted to do something more innovative to reflect how we’ve always led the way when it comes to digital marketing in the legal sector.

“This unique API has been built to provide a free resource to law firms so they can keep an eye on their own performance and monitor how their competitors and peers are doing. It’s the first time that software has been used to combine different applications offering a one stop shop resource for law firms to help plan their website updates over the course of the next few months. The data is updated frequently and over time and following updates, the site’s performance will change and where the site ranks will fluctuate.

Websites that perform well in these metrics, are expecting a nice jump up the search rankings in the latter part of 2021 – and will enjoy the additional traffic and revenue that is generated.

“For law firms outside the top 200 there’s an option, via the page on our site, to have their data added to the list if they want to be able to also track performance. However, content is still the most important factor in how high up Google your pages can appear, so you do still need to make sure you have the very best content on the Internet, as well as the fastest-loading pages!”

You can view all the data at https://legmark.com/legal-digital-200

1 Comment

  • test

    So particioners are being rated by reference to the quality of their websites and not their core performance

    Should not the Probate Registry provide statistics as to the number of applications (to show level of experience) and the proportion needing further information (accuracy)?

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