Sloppy Code and Losing Clients to Competitors….

First things first… I don’t have a horse in this race and I didn’t even find the example (Hat tip: my good buddy, Gyi.)  But… it does serve as an example of just how easily poor code can really hurt your business. FWIW, Gyi and I covered this specific example during a recent Lunch Hour Legal Marketing Office Hours session.

I haven’t written a blog post in a long while, but this example has some very small, but important visual content that wasn’t going to come through well in any other medium. So here goes.  Check out the following image and see what’s wrong….

If look really closely at the URL in the bottom left hand of that image, you’ll notice that the click through on the call-to-action “no fee unless you win” goes to…. another law firm’s website (

And further, if you check out the actual page URL, it’s (not their actual homepage) and when I check out the actual homepage, the design is fundamentally different.

So Why Is a Law Firm Site Sending Prospects to a Competitor?

The cynic in me wants to believe this is an underhanded attempt by Staver ( to steal business from a Personal Injury competitor. Maybe the site was hacked, maybe the ‘agency’ that built Deverna Law was a family member of Staver’s (and don’t believe that doesn’t happen). However, the firms are in different geographic markets. In reality, it just looks like the have a common agency, who when building Staver’s site started by doing the WordPress equivalent of a copy and paste of the Deverna site. In doing so, they unintentionally copied an earlier design iteration of the homepage that now links back to Daverna. It’s a lazy approach to building sites and because there clearly was limited, if any Q/A upon launch created this problem. (And FWIW, Gyi thinks this is more intentional than lazy… I’m just being generous here.)

How Can I Check My Own Site?

I don’t want to dismiss the nefariousness of some agencies in deliberately pulling tricks like this.  I’ve seen it happen numerous times – more often as a linkbuilding tactic than directly stealing clients (which would be grossly brazen). So it’s important to occasionally run a query on outbound links coming from your site, to see just what you may be unintentionally promoting. You can do this through a simple audit in numerous tools including: Outlinks in Screaming Frog, the Backlink Audit tool from SEMRush, or the Outgoing Links tool in aHrefs. Here’s an example of our own site’s outbounds on SEMRush:

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