Google’s algorithm changes were particularly frequent during the course of 2014 and you may find that your law firm’s website no longer ranks as well as it used to in search engine results pages. With every algorithm change come new SEO tips and tricks and sometimes, the threat of penalties from a sudden change in Google’s philosophy can make it a better idea to just scrap your current website and start again, rather than try to root out outdated SEO features. This week’s SEO news roundup focuses on articles that contain some strong advice on designing a new website, or updating an existing one. These articles are currently appearing on Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Land.

Is Your Local Site Mobile Friendly? Should It Be?

For the vast majority of US law firms, the answer to the question of whether your website should be mobile friendly is “it certainly should.” Small US law firms get most of their clients from their immediate neighborhood and so local SEO is an essential part of any law firm’s marketing strategy. The rise in the amount of Web access from smartphones and tablets over the last year has been remarkable, and so you are now far more likely to get calls from potential clients who access your site from mobile devices than those who search using laptops and desktop computers. Google offers a range of free tools that can help you assess your website, and any new pages you add to it, for their mobile-friendliness. This article points you towards the right tools to check on your new mobile-friendly website design.

5 Questions Your Web Designer Should Ask You (and 5 More You Should Ask Them)

If you intend to hire someone to create your law firm’s new website, you would benefit from the points outlined in this article. Most of the tips here are no-brainers, however, they mainly revolve around getting a clear definition of the development project and defining the requirements for completion. These straightforward definitions are often overlooked on many business projects and it is the failure to define goals and boundaries for commissions that keeps so many lawyers in business. Don’t make the mistakes that you are often hired to resolve for others.

5 Techniques That May Be Killing Your Website (and SEO)

This is quite a long article, but it is worth reading to the end because it explains very clearly some website terms that you may come up against when working with a website designer. You know a lot about the law, and so you are not stupid. However, specialists in IT can often try to bamboozle clients with buzzwords and new techniques. By reading this article you will be better equipped to head off any fashionable but damaging methods your designer may want to include in your new site.

Updating Your Website? Avoid These 4 Common SEO Landmines

Making changes to an existing site can be harder to manage than creating an entirely new site. If you are redesigning your law firm’s site instead of commissioning a new one, you would benefit from the tips in this article. The main thrust of this piece is to make sure you don’t lose the existing good points of your site, like backlinks, and don’t let the project result in a site that looks fancy, but has terrible SEO.

An SEO Timeline for Development Projects

This Search Engine Watch article pulls together all of the advice contained in the previous articles in this review. It logs the various points in a website design project where SEO considerations should be applied. This runs from scoping the project, through to agreeing the look and feel and on to assessing the finished project. If you are a sole practitioner trying to deal with your case load, you may find all the involvement this checklist recommends a little time consuming. However, it is worth paying attention to details yourself on such a project, because a new website with bad SEO features will be a waste of your time and money.

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