This is the next post in my series on which website providers should be used in 2015. I’ve taken a look at whether Scorpion Web Design is a good option for lawyers as well as whether law firms should utilize Justia’s marketing services. I’ve also discussed things lawyers should be looking for in a web developer. In this post I’m going to go over three ways for attorneys to determine, in easy to understand ways, whether their current web developer is on the job.

Here’s a news flash – most attorneys aren’t good with technology. Another shocking revelation (yes I’m being facetious) is that lawyers get frustrated in dealing with web designers. The term “SEO” has been thrown around so much that it’s almost become more of a buzzword without a standard definition. This leaves lawyers wondering which person they should trust and unsure of what they need in a service. In other words, dealing with web designers leaves many attorneys looking like ‘ol boy in this photo:

Man frustrated by computer

The good news is that the process doesn’t have to be so frustrating. There are some simple to use tools which will help you figure out, in easy to understand terms, whether your current provider is doing the things they should.

Here are three simple tests to figure out if your current web developer is a good one or if they’re full of the [explicative deleted].

Attorneys should analyze their website with Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool

Digital hand pointing at a stopwatchThe speed of one’s website is a big ranking factor with Google. The big G provides a great tool for testing your site’s loading speed. Visit Google’s Page Speed Testing Tool and enter your URL. You’ll be given a numeric score, along with color codes, to judge how your site is performing. Don’t concern yourself with the specific errors or even the numbers – just remember that green means you pass and speed is not an issue. Yellow means that there are issues that probably should be fixed but you may have bigger priorities. Red means you FAIL! As an FYI – the mobile version of your site will always be inherently slower than your desktop version due to the way in which mobile devices connect to a network.

Many web developers, who can’t get a website running fast, downplay the importance of this tool. Remember though that Google says speed is important and this tool is measuring your site by Google’s own standards. Sounds pretty important to me.

Law firms should test their website with Google’s mobile-friendliness tool

Google provides a “mobile-friendly” analysis tool which works in a similar way to Page Speed Insights. We’re currently seeing about half of our clients’ traffic coming from mobile. This is a percentage that is only going to go up. This tool will establish whether your website is mobile friendly – another ranking factor with search engines. Attorneys can test their site’s mobile-friendliness here.

Attorneys need to ensure that their web developer is including structured data

Structured data, also known as “Rich Snippets,” tells search engines additional information about your site. This can include the fact that your site is owned by a law firm, geography, hours of operation, contact information, etc. The more information Google has about your business the better, as the search engine wishes to include this data with search results. You can test your site, and make sure that this data is included, here. Once you visit the tool, click “Fetch URL,” and enter your domain. You’ll then see a report showing which structured data is included, if any, and which data should be added.

Running your site through the three tests above may reveal some things that your current developer needs to get to work on and will help you decide on whether or not to switch. Additional information on how to do well in search, and what to look for in your website, is included in our SEO Starter Guide For Attorneys.

Why do you think so many attorneys are unsure of what to look for in a web developer? Please chime in through the comment form below.