One of the best ways to ensure your legal website is successful and profitable is to study other sites from your particular niche. In particular, if you are attempting to vie for the top spot with one of your closest competitors, then the importance of profiling that competitor and fully understanding what they are doing to excel in online marketing can be critical to your own firm’s success. The only way you can pass your competitor in search engine rankings is to directly compare your site statistics to theirs. Believing you can ignore your fellow attorneys who are struggling to reach at least some of the same clients you are is a mistake—after all, they may be using new and innovative strategies you haven’t even considered.
Determine your Closest Competitors
Although it is likely that you are already well aware who your closest competitors are, just to be positive, type on Google the keywords and key phrases related to your own website and see which other sites rank well for the same words. Once you have identified the websites which use the same keywords and phrases, check their backlinks to see where they are acquiring them. Backlinks are incredibly significant because they are viewed as a type of “recognition” given to your legal website from other legal website owners. All search engines bestow a higher reputation for superior backlinks—especially if they are from other quality websites within your specific niche or legal specialty. And, of course, the more significance your site is perceived to have, the greater it will rank. Finally, read through the competitor’s websites so you can check the content of their legal website pages, making note of the number of pages on each website, the number of words on each page, and the internal link structure of each site.
Check out Competitor Backlinks
If you are looking to gain lots of information regarding those oh-so-important competitor backlinks, or are simply looking for the best SEO keywords for your own legal website, give SEOprofiler a try. (www.seoprofiler.com). Simply enter the URL of one of your legal competitors in the search box at the top of the page and press the return key. Once the information comes up, you can click on the blue tabs to switch from section to section—each tab contains different information regarding your competitor’s backlinks. You can move your mouse pointer over any question mark icon on the results page if you want further information. This level of SEOprofiler is free, however if you upgrade to a premium membership you can do a bit more sleuthing.
If you are merely interested in finding out how many visitors or hits your legal competitors are garnering each month—a good indicator of how effective their website is—then there are several sites that will give you varying degrees of information. First, try TrafficEstimate, which is free. Search for a competitor’s web address to see the estimated number of visitors to the site in the past month. Although the resulting number is, at best, an estimate, it will give you a good ballpark figure. You can also try Alexa (www.alexa.com) which is also free; you can search for any website and see how it ranks compared to all other websites in the word. Alexa will give you a good idea of your competitor’s online performance. Again, don’t take the numbers for the gospel truth, however they can be extremely useful for comparing similar legal websites, or sites within the legal industry. Of course most of the sites promise to give you the best, most up-to-date stats on your competitors, however the results can be a little less than. Of all the sites, SEMrush most consistently gave the most accurate results regarding competitor’s website info. The downside is that you must pay to get a full data list from SEMrush, however the ability to see the keyword lists and how your competitor’s rank for those terms is appealing. Google Trends, Google Insights and Google AdPlanner are also good options for testing various components of your competitor’s site, and all are useful to some extent, however—as expected—they will be testing based on Google search.
The bottom line is that to boost your own legal website’s performance, it is always a good idea to look at your competitor’s performance. You never know what jewel you may find that can be integrated into your own website, boosting traffic and bringing in quality clients.
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