Law Firm Website Design + Attorney SEO

Client: McMinn Law Firm

Alex Wright Web Design and SEO was contacted by the Technical Search Optimization and Digital Marketing manager of a local law firm to redesign their law practice web site. I knew we were off to a good start – a law firm that has a dedicated position for search engine optimization is our kind of business! McMinn Law wanted a redesign for their website, prioritizing a few key things:

  • Speeding up their already fast website
  • Creating a modern, mobile optimized new website
  • Maintaining and improving their great Google search placements

The McMinn Law team had worked hard to get great first page listings on Google. They needed to maintain their great search profile while modernizing the look and feel of their website, especially on mobile. They had a WordPress website but it was bloated with template and plugin files that couldn’t be further optimized. All of those are our bread and butter.

We made a plan for the technical SEO requirements necessary for a law firm’s website to rank well on search engines. The law firm’s Digital Content Coordinator was creating a lot of fantastic legal digital marketing content for social media so we talked about working with the new design aesthetic that they were already using.

We worked together to build their law firm a custom WordPress website. The advantage of creating a totally custom WordPress template instead of an off-the-shelf pre-made template is the ability to create the exact tools needed for the client’s exact needs without the bloat that normally comes along with general market pre-made templates. My team put together a custom backend page builder so that the law firm could build custom pages with layouts specifically designed for their needs. And we added tools to speed up the website and rank well on search engines. Working with the McMinn Law team was fantastic – being paired with a team that values page speed and technical SEO as much as we do made for a great working relationship.

So it turns out that search engine optimization for personal injury lawyers is very competitive… All joking aside, personal injury lawyers take their search engine optimization seriously, and the team at McMinn law had excelled at keeping their law firm in the coveted Google local three pack while maintaining great desktop search rankings. A website redesign for a high ranking business in a competitive market has to be approached with skill and care. And some extra creativity. Along with the traditional suite of lawyer website design requirements, McMinn Law needed to know that we could handle a couple technical On-Site SEO requirements:

  • Speed up their website that already had a 99/100 on Google’s PageSpeed Insights test
  • Focus on mobile website performance
  • Create a Page Builder with enough customizations so that they could build out dozens of great looking pages but lean enough that it wasn’t bloated with unneeded code

The McMinn Law team was focused on page loading speed because faster websites perform better on search engines and because customers stick around longer on faster websites, especially for mobile. SEO and lead retention are critical for personal injury law firms, which exist in the upper echelon of search engine keyword competition.

While working on their attorney website design, we added a couple on-site technical SEO tools including:

  • Critical CSS technology to add above-the-fold style information to each page’s code so that pages can be displayed more quickly
  • Responsive image technology to load pages more quickly – especially on mobile – by sending high resolution images to large screens and lower resolution optimized images to smaller screens
  • Incorporated image lazy load technology using Intersection Observer to defer loading of images that aren’t on the viewer’s screen to speed up initial page load time
  • Slimmed down code that eliminates sections of the Boostrap framework that the attorney website design does not require
  • A custom made backend Page Builder with customized modules with specific layouts that the law firm needed
    • Full width text
    • Split column text
    • Infographic pop-up display
    • FAQ display
    • Client review display
    • Video display with built-in Vimeo and YouTube players
    • Attorney awards display

The website was launched and while there were some early but typical fluctuation in the law firm’s search engine rankings, the long list of great first page personal injury law firm search rankings held up and the previous website’s fast page loading speed was sped up even further.

  • Designed and built a custom WordPress theme based on the UnderStrap WordPress framework and Bootstrap 4 front end framework. We use UnderStrap and Bootstrap 4 to create totally customizable websites powered by the world’s most popular Content Management System
  • Created a bespoke backend Custom Page Builder for the client to add layouts suited to their needs without any of the jack-of-all-trades bloat associated with off-the-shelf templates and page builders
  • Added above-the-fold Critical CSS technology using Penthouse and Autoptimize for super fast page loading and top tier Google PageSpeed Scores
  • Utilized responsive image technology to automatically send high resolution images to large screens and lower resolution optimized images to smaller screens and mobile phones for faster page loading, better search rankings and crisp image display on all devices
  • Developed a custom system to collect online reviews of the law firm and display the reviews on their website and on Search Engines using Structured Data
  • Hosted the new legal website using my team’s super fast managed WordPress hosting powered by WP Engine
  • Added open source fonts as well as Font Awesome 5 Pro hosted locally for optimal performance and speed
  • Removed the long jumble of page redirects that the client had amassed and replaced the redirects by rewriting the database to modernize all their internal links