If you are looking to improve your online presence, boost rankings, and increase visitor-client conversion rates, it is time to consider conducting a law firm competitor analysis. Conducting competitive research can help you learn not only more about how your competition works but how your firm can improve. You can identify opportunities to outshine them while staying on top of industry trends, site visitors’ expectations, and clients’ needs.
Identifying Your Competitors
While you may know who your local competitors are, you may not be aware of your online competitors. You will want to perform a Google search to identify those law firms. You need to search for your law firm name and make a note of which other firms pop up on the search engine results page. As you are gathering information about those law firms, record the following:
- Law firm name
- Serviced practice areas
- Target audience
- Marketing channels
- Initial strengths and weaknesses
What Are the Parts of a Law Firm Competitor Analysis?
Once you have a solid list, you can start making comparisons to your law firm. To stand out in a niche market, you will need to focus on how your online competitors obtain their clients. To do that, you need to break down their marketing strategies. Your analysis should include the following components: website design, linking methods, content, rankings, and social media activity.
For a website to succeed, it needs to hold the attention of its intended audience. While SEO best practices continue to evolve, some desirable website design elements remain static. Those elements include:
- Layout – Websites should be designed with user intent in mind. For example, most people read from top to bottom. As such, you will want to include the most important information at or near the top of a given web page.
- Navigational ease – Visitors should be able to get to their intended location within your website in three clicks or fewer. If a website’s sitemap is complex, the website may not be easy to navigate.
- Load time – Something as seemingly insignificant as load time can make or break a website’s performance. Quality websites load quickly and do not freeze or lag. The longer a user has to wait, the more likely they will leave the site.
Linking Strategies and Website Content
In terms of linking strategies, you will want to look at what your competitors are doing internally and externally. Remember that links are a primary factor Google uses to determine the authority of websites. That means that the more websites that link to your individual web pages, the better your reputation. Consider using Moz’s Link Explorer to compare link metrics among different websites.
When analyzing your competition’s content, remember that the most successful law firm websites have practice area pages and a regularly updated blog. However, there are additional types of content like ebooks, white papers, and infographics that law firms can use to increase website engagement. If your competitors vary their content more than you are, it may be time to ramp up content production.
In addition to the types of content your competitors are producing, you will also want to look at the structure of their content. Make a note of their keywords and how they funnel their content. If they are ranking higher than you, you may draw inspiration from their content management.
Search Engine Rankings
Once you have an idea of how your competitors manage their website and content, it’s time to look at search engine rankings. If you don’t know where to start, consider the following for a webpage that is ranking well:
- What is the primary keyword?
- How many times is the primary keyword used?
- Where is the primary keyword’s placement?
- How many words are on the page?
- Is the content engaging and helpful?
- Are visitors encouraged to act?
Use the answers to those questions to determine potential changes you could make with your keyword strategies.
Social Media Activity
Outside of a law firm website, social media activity can be a driving factor for converting potential leads into paying clients. Take your competitor list and start looking for their social media pages. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are among the most common platforms for lawyers. Once you find those profiles, consider the following questions:
- What types of posts are they publishing?
- How often are they linking to their website?
- Are they running ad campaigns?
- Are they using call-to-action phrasing in their posts?
- How are they promoting their social media pages on their website?
How to Evaluate Your Law Firm Against Competitors
Once you have conducted a thorough law firm competitor analysis, it is time to evaluate your law firm website against those competitor sites. Then start, consider any overlap among the target audiences. What are your primary selling points, and how are they different from your competitors? You will also want to determine if you address any pain points that your competitors are not. If you are, great, keep it up. If not, consider other valuable information you can provide website visitors.
If you are struggling to analyze your competitors or you want to start fresh with a new digital marketing strategy, consider outsourcing your marketing needs. If you are running a successful law firm, you might not have the time or bandwidth to balance your online presence and marketing needs. If that is the case, you can work with digital marketing professionals to improve your online presence.
Improve Your Online Presence
When you conduct a competitor analysis, you can determine how your services are different from your competition, which can help you with future marketing strategies. Maybe your law firm specializes in a unique area of law compared to your competition. You can start targeting ads, content, and other campaigns for potential clients with that knowledge.
With a thorough law firm competitor analysis, you will be on your way to improving your online presence and webpage rankings. Building out the analysis can seem intimidating at first. Still, once you gather all of the necessary information, you will have what you need to determine how you stack up against your competitors.