Once you get your law firm’s website written and have pages appearing on the first page of Google, you may be tempted to leave your website ticking over while you focus your time on your case load. This is a common strategy for small businesses, but you should check on your rankings regularly, because you may suddenly find them drop. There are a range of reasons that this might happen and they fall into four categories: someone has done some intentional damage to your rankings; your competitors have all improved their rankings; Google just changed its algorithm; or Google penalized you.

Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Journal have some good recent articles on what to do when your rankings drop.

Three Unexpected Reasons Your Rankings are Plummeting

This article focuses on the keywords in your site. The premise being that everyone else in your field is using their keywords more effectively than you are and so you’re the rankings of your law firm’s website suddenly dropped because you didn’t keep tabs on what keywords work and how best to present them. The article title mentions three reasons, but the body of the article actually lists four. Reason 4 is actually a suggestion to use schema.org to improve the situation.

Black Hat Social Media: How Buying Accounts or Follows Can Hurt Your Business

Certain behavior and tricks can get you told off, and on the World Wide Web, getting told off means having penalties applied to your rankings. If you use social media to promote your law firm, be careful that the methods you employ don’t contravene the rules. Those rules change all the time. So, you may have read some advice on how to ace social media, but applying it got you penalized because the rules changed since that advice was written.

Panda Audit 101: The Roadmap to Complete Panda Recovery

Google’s frequent algorithm updates keep website owners awake at night. The company don’t announce their algorithm changes and much of the SEO news world is filled with speculation on whether there was an update, and what changed. The rankings of your law firm’s website may have fallen because of a recent algorithm change wrought by Google. This article explains procedures you can follow to check whether a change in the Panda algorithm caused your rankings to fall.

4 Easy & Honest SEO Mistakes That Could Penalize Your Site

Google dishes out penalties to site that it feels are breaking the rules. However, Not everyone is a cowboy gaming the system and Google can’t tell the difference between a clever trickster trying to slip a cheat through under the cover of innocence and someone who genuinely didn’t know the rules (which is understandable because Google never tells anyone the rules). This article outlines some mistakes that can lose your law firm’s website its top slot without you realizing you did anything wrong.

The Real Reason No One Wants To Link To You

This article covers the painful truth that your law firm’s rankings may be falling because your website is rubbish. No one puts up a bad website intentionally. However, if you are a sole practitioner, with little time to monitor your website, sections on your site may become outdated and tatty very quickly. Just as a poor site fails to attract links, it will also get a low score from Google – partly because it doesn’t have enough links pointing to it from other sites.

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