Why Is This Random Firm Ranked on Page One?

Peter Boyd

January 24, 2018

In a follow-up to my article about ranking high in Google and why certain firms do better, I wanted to answer the question of why some random firm ranks high. Let’s first start by analyzing the most commons issues we see, and from there, we can then see why some other firm may rank high.

How to Improve Your Law Firm Site Rankings

Common Issues We See

Many clients come to us with issues. They have written hundreds of short, crap blog posts. They have a site architecture that is confusing. They have a website that is just dull and boring. They may have even resulted to using spam tactics to try to rank higher and get clients.

Problem With Search Results

We try to point out why a specific law firm could possibly be on page one. Usually, I start with the statement that often, out of the 10 listings, Google is going to promote a few directories:

  1. Avvo
  2. Findlaw
  3. SuperLawyers
  4. com
  5. Justia

Those directories are pretty consistent right now in late January 2018. From time to time Yelp and Thumbtack make it into page one, depending on the search. Sometimes a few other directories or portals make it into the mix too.

This means that anywhere from five to possibly seven spots are occupied by directories. This means that law firms really only get a crack at possibly three to five slots in the organic results. Now, the question is who gets those top three spots for law firms?

What Law Firms Rank High?

I typically find that there is always one firm who has the most backlinks and the best content. This firm simply ranks high because of a high authority. Generally, we find another firm that ranks high because of their content is well written and long. The final spot is sometimes random.

Sometimes, a small firm with hardly any content makes it into page one. Usually, this young upstart is ranked because of:

  1. No Spam – That firm has no penalties and has not spammed the index with crap content and bad tactics.
  2. Backlinks – They may be young, but I bet they have a few quality backlinks from trusted sources.
  3. Content – Their content is written well and answers the user’s questions.
  4. Design – They have a low bounce rate on their site. Their site is probably simple, easy to navigate, answers the user’s question, and converts.

The random firm may not have the longest copy. They may not have the most backlinks. But their site is generally solid.

What to Do

My advice is NOT to focus on this firm. Why they rank high cannot be duplicated. Instead, you should focus on making your website better. Invest in better organization, better content, finding better backlinks and in your community to earn backlinks.

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