7 Questions to Ask When Your Website Isn’t Working the Way You Want

By Foster Web Marketing

If the website for your estate planning practice isn’t generating the leads and conversions you were expecting, it’s time to take a closer look at what could be going wrong. Your website is the hub of all your marketing efforts online. If it’s not doing its job effectively, you absolutely will struggle to connect with the potential perfect clients that are searching for you.

The good news is that underperforming websites don’t just “happen.” There are usually cumulative, underlying issues impeding your ability to attract prospects—and those issues can be fixed! You just have to methodically evaluate some key areas, get to the bottom of what’s broken, and start taking steps to get your site back on track.

In the course of analyzing hundreds of law firm websites and rooting out problems, we have developed a tried-and-true list of seven troubleshooting questions that all estate planners should be asking themselves. These questions will help you get to the bottom of why your website isn’t living up to expectations and put you on a clear path toward generating the leads and conversions you want from your investment.

Question #1: Does My Website Content Show My Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness?

Google has been very clear about what it looks for in high-ranking website content. It should be written for your human audience, not for search engines. And it should clearly demonstrate your E-E-A-T—experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

So, what that means is that regularly adding content to your website is just one piece of the puzzle. If you want that content to actually attract new clients, it needs to be robust and relevant. Your blogs, FAQs, videos, and other content should provide answers to your perfect clients’ most pressing questions. It should be accurate, ethical, and written in language they understand. It should help guide potential clients through their “client journey” and show them that your practice can help them solve their problems.

You can’t just write content or shoot videos for the sake of having content on your site—that won’t help you or your potential clients. Instead, you need to have a solid strategy for producing helpful, relevant content that captures your target readers and boosts your visibility in search.

Question #2: Do I Have an Effective Keyword Strategy?

If you want people to find your site, you need to have a strategy for targeting the keywords that make the most sense for your estate planning practice. So, you need to optimize your robust content with relevant keywords that help search engines connect searchers with your website.

In the old days, that meant taking big, broad keywords (think “Atlanta estate planning attorney”) and plastering it all over your website. But these days, Google’s algorithms are much more sophisticated, and your keyword strategy needs to be more sophisticated, too.

You want to use your content to naturally target highly specific keywords that are highly relevant to your audience. You need to find a balance between high search volume keywords with lots of competition and long-tail keywords that are less competitive but bring in perfect clients for your business. You need to have a plan for targeting those keywords and be consistent in working toward your goals. And, because everything online is always evolving, you also need to keep evaluating and adjusting your strategy for effectiveness over time.

Question #3: Are My Local Citations Accurate and Consistent?

Local citations are all the places your business name, address, and phone number are listed online. This might include your Google Business Profile, industry specific directories, social media profiles, review sites, chamber of commerce listings, and more. Any inconsistencies in your contact information can confuse search engines and your potential clients—even if it’s something as simple as “404 Smith Street” versus “404 Smith St.”

That’s why you should periodically audit all your online profiles and ensure that all details precisely match your website. It sounds like a lot of work, but there are great tools that help you find, adjust, and monitor your local citations, including the Local Listing Tool in our DSS software. And, once you’ve laid the groundwork, you just need to do a check-up once or twice a year to make sure everything still looks great.

Question #4: Am I Actively Improving My Website?

Your website may have been absolutely perfect when it launched, but it needs regular updates and improvements to keep attracting and converting clients for you. Don’t let your estate planning website get stale!

If you’ve noticed a slow trend downward over time, you want to take a good look at your strategy for ongoing maintenance. Are you adding new blog, FAQ, or video content regularly? Are you updating pages that have drifted out of date over the years? Do you check for broken links, malfunctioning contact forms, missing images, and other functional issues? Does your website meet current technical standards for page speed and mobile optimization?

These are all little things that can grow into big problems over time, so you want to have an ongoing plan to identify issues and keep growing your website’s client-attracting powers over time.

Question #5: Have I Been Hit by a Google Penalty or Algorithm Change?

This is actually one of the more unlikely problems you can have with your website, but it’s definitely the most feared. Major drops in organic traffic may indicate a Google penalty for poor or inappropriate content, shady backlinks, or other violations. It can also indicate that there’s been a major algorithm change that has changed the old rules for ranking.

If you think you’re being directly penalized, you can check Google Search Console to confirm. You can then address any problematic elements on your website and appeal.

If you’ve lost rankings or traffic due to an algorithm change, it can be a little trickier to confirm. Our team of SEO experts is constantly monitoring for algorithm updates and preparing our clients for upcoming changes. Google rarely “surprises” anyone with major updates. Most of the time, Google has been clear for months or years ahead of time about what it’s looking for and how you can adjust.

That’s why it’s so important to follow Google’s guidance and work with experts that can help you mitigate the impact of major updates. It’s definitely an area that’s much easier to prepare for than it is to fix after the fact!

Question #6: Am I Expecting Too Much, Too Soon?

When you launch a brand-new website (or make positive changes to your old site), you need to give it some time to “cook.” Google and other search engines need some time to understand your website and its relevance to searchers. Instead of a major jump in traffic and leads, you might see a slower upward trend as Google evaluates your authority, your backlinks from other authoritative sites, how users react when they click onto one of your pages from a search, and more.

It might not happen overnight for you. Heck, depending on where you are and how many major competitors you have, it might not even happen over the course of a few months! However, you should start seeing natural, upward progress in that time that continues to build on each success.

Ultimately, if you have a clear strategy for adding content, getting natural backlinks, and addressing the needs of your audience, the organic search engine traffic will come. You just have to set realistic goals and be patient.

Question #7 Am I Resting on the Success I’ve Had With My Website in the Past?

Past success doesn’t guarantee future performance, especially when you’re talking about websites and SEO. Don’t make the mistake of taking your success for granted! Search algorithms, technical standards, and user preferences change constantly. You need to continually optimize, hone, and adjust your website strategy and be ready to change with the times.

These days, most estate planning websites need some kind of significant refresh about every two years to stay competitive. Whether it’s an updated design, total rebranding, or little boost to your site’s technical backbone, it can make or break your ability to keep attracting great clients online.

Get Your Website Back on Track With Experts That Care About Your Success

Whether you handle your own website and online marketing or work with a partner agency, you need an ongoing strategy that positions you for the leads, clients, and profits you want. If you suspect that your website isn’t all it could be, the first step is to carefully examine these potential problem areas and pinpoint what’s causing your website to underperform.

Concerned? You can check your website’s health by requesting a no-strings marketing analysis with our Foster Web Marketing team, or you can reach out with your questions at 888.886.0939. We’ve been helping estate planning attorneys take control of their online marketing for decades, and we hope our time-proven guidance will help you, too.


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Since 1998, Foster Web Marketing has provided boutique website design and digital marketing services to lawyers, doctors, and other professionals across the U.S. and around the world. We use our in-house website design, content writing, search engine optimization, and coaching teams to strategize more effective marketing plans for our clients. We also provide powerful marketing software that supports businesses in attracting their “perfect clients” and achieving consistent success online.

Foster Web Marketing is the current web designer of nationally renowned estate planning attorney and Ultimate Estate Planner’s President, Philip Kavesh’s, law firm’s website.  Take a look at www.kaveshlaw.com.

For more information about Foster Web Marketing and to get a free website analysis, click here.



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