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The results are in: which law firms are ready for Google’s update?

Bits & Blogs

The results are in: which law firms are ready for Google’s update?

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The results are in: which law firms are ready for Google’s update?

Back in April 2021, we were discussing the hotly anticipated Core Web Vitals update. Following the success of Legmark’s API tool measuring these new performance indicators, we’ve now collated our findings in the 2021 Legal Sector Website Analysis.

It’s been another eye-opening year for the top 200 law firms in the UK. Using data from the highest revenue-earning firms, we’ve analysed website performance based on:

  • Traffic value
  • Mobile and desktop speeds
  • Domain ratings and Trust Flow
  • Keywords and traffic.

This year’s report is the largest to date, featuring several new sections including the ‘star players’ for 2021. So, what made these law firms score top marks on website performance?

Hint: it wasn’t revenue.

The firms have been scored based on our own custom-made weighting system. As a result, even the smallest firms have flown in the face of their larger competitors thanks to a healthy investment into SEO.

Let’s take value per keyword, for example. This metric works by taking the overall monthly traffic value (based on how much it would cost to rank for these terms on Google Ads) and dividing it by the total number of keywords for which the site ranks.

Against all odds, the highest-scoring firm was relatively small. In fact, it only ranks 163 in the UK for revenue – but its keyword efforts are outstanding! We saw a similar pattern for other smaller firms and noted that many of those offering niche services, for example, car accident compensation claims, scored higher.

Where does page experience fit into all this?

While law firm marketers might be panicking about finessing their page experience, our report shows that other factors are still just as important, such as keywords.

Nonetheless, we can see that many firms have thought ahead by investing in mobile speed. The 153rd largest law firm in the UK ranks in third place for mobile page speed. Meanwhile, we don’t see any mention of heavyweights such as Irwin Mitchell until position 5, and even thereafter, smaller firms rank considerably higher.

It would be sage advice for larger firms not to get complacent. Indeed, our research showed that brand searches such as Irwin Mitchell attracted up to 15,000 searches per month. But with smaller competitors getting ahead on user experience (UX), these top-flight firms should keep an eye on all facets of their SEO.

How does your firm measure up?

Another new feature for 2021 is the introduction of radar graphs, benchmarking one firm against another. This gives us a clear visual for who’s topping the charts in terms of metrics such as mobile speed, total traffic and domain rating.

It forms the basis for our ‘star player’ analysis – showing where a company has clearly invested (for example, on-site versus off-site) and where it needs to improve. When paired with more thorough analysis, such as niche firms versus a broader range of services, it provides a clear action plan for the future.

How can my firm get ahead?

The good news is that the latest Google update is one of the ‘kindest’. Rather than spending hours chasing links and writing quality content (which we still must do, for the record), this one could potentially be fixed with a few small technical changes.

Of course, playing with hosting providers or minifying code is not for the faint-hearted – but it’s relatively simple for an expert.

Our 2021 findings have proven that all ‘traditional’ forms of SEO remain a priority. As law firms, we need to continue producing relevant, high-quality content that answers users’ questions. We just need to give page experience a little love too.

The Legmark Legal Sector Website Analysis is the largest report of its kind, offering a comprehensive look into the UK’s top 200 law firms for website performance. The report gives advice and guidance for firms of any size as to how to improve online performance to make more money from your website.

To find out how to reduce your marketing spend and increase your bottom lines, download the report at Legmark today.