Examples are great learning tools, so in this first installment we decided to examine the website of a Law Firm located in Lubbock, Texas. The chosen firm is Field, Manning, Stone, Hawthorne, & Aycock.
Following is the process we use to generally review a Law Firm website to determine what can be done to improve search results.
Step One: How Active is the Site?
To determine how much activity is taking place on The firm of Field, Manning, Stone, Hawthorne, & Aycock website, we first look at the Alexa Rating for the site.
Notice first the words “No Data” located just under the name of the website. This is where the Alexa Traffic Rank data is located. The starting number is 20,000,000 and drops to 1 with the site ranked number one getting the most traffic on the Internet. Which site gets the most traffic? You guessed it…Google.
To give you some idea about these ratings, Oakes Writing, in operation for under a month, currently has a rating of 1,888,804. Our sister site, CriminalJusticeLaw.org, in operation for the last seven months, has an Alexa rating of 627, 360.
Clearly, the criminal justice website gets more traffic. But we do not intend to brag (ok, maybe a little). This information is provided because we know the exact amount of traffic we get and from this information, we can draw conclusions about any site online from just the Alexa rating.
To the left of the global rating is the country rating (U.S. in this case). Keep in mind that Alexa rates the top 20 million websites so any site with less traffic than these does not get rated. So from this we can tell that the example website gets very little traffic. This is a Law Firm we can help.
How Much Activity Contributes to The Law Firm Website of Field, Manning, Stone, Hawthorne, & Aycock?
The next thing we do in checking activity is to go to the Internet Archives. This site is formally called the Wayback Machine and provides screenshots of the site over time. From this, we can see that the site was launched in mid-2003. The firm clearly spent a couple of years building and otherwise active with the site, but then something happened, we do not know what.
What we do know is that the Wayback Machine crawlers, as with search engines, only crawl sites which are active in adding content. So for the next several years, no content was added. Then, there was modest activity until 2016 when the crawlers noted activity and crawled the site often. This indicates that content was added or changed.
In clicking on the links in the Wayback Machine for various dates, we determine that the key changes made were to the images. Still, even cosmetic changes get noticed by the search engines. This illustrates the importance of images, which will be discussed in a future blog.
By way of example, look at how often these crawlers, which predate Google, crawl Google…
What Would Oakes Writing do to Help The Law Firm of Field, Manning, Stone, Hawthorne, & Aycock?
The first thing we would do to help the website of the Law Firm of Field, Manning, Stone, Hawthorne, & Aycock in Lubbock, Texas is expand existing content. In looking at the site, the appearance is nice. But the site has content that is far too brief. So brief that the search crawlers largely ignore the site and the owners of the site do little in the way of activity. This is reflected in the Wayback Machine and certainly in the traffic results of the site.
Expanding content would do a couple of things:
- Restore activity which would gain the attention of the search crawlers.
- Provide ample content so that the search crawlers would recommend the site to those searching for that content.
See, think of a website as a library and the pages as books. If one were to go to a library and on entering see shelves which were largely empty, one would likely find another library. A website is no different. If there is no content, there is nothing of substance for readers. If there is nothing of substance in the library, the search engines are not going to refer readers to it.
So the first step to helping the Law Firm of Field, Manning, Stone, Hawthorne, & Aycock in Lubbock, Texas is to expand content. Can more be done?
Of course, but that is the subject of the next blog.