As 2016 limps to a close, it’s apparent this year has been rough for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons. While I am typically an optimistic person who sees the glass half full, there comes a time when a heated rant isn’t just warranted, it’s necessary.
“But Nate, when life gives you lemons, just make lemonade.”
No! I don’t want lemons, and I don’t like lemonade! Just give me my Bulleit Bourbon, neat, like I ordered.
The following is a list of 20 terrible things I’ve seen this year while working on law firms’ websites. Whether I inherit a well-intentioned DIY site, or take over another agency’s misguided attempt at SEO, there always seems to be something glaringly obvious that makes you wonder what these people did before they hired us. If you recognize any of these from your own site, you might want to make some quick updates before the new year.
20 Terrible Things I’ve Seen On Law Firm Websites
- Every page has the same title
- Every page has four identical H1 tags
- Homepage doesn’t have a phone number
- Homepage still has generic “filler” text
- Contact page shows a bunch of code instead of the actual contact form
- Contact page has an embedded map with the pin of a competitor
- Contact form doesn’t deliver the lead’s contact information
- Contact form thank you page displays a competitor’s phone number
- No confirmation when submitting contact forms (the form just goes blank)
- Clicking the phone number dials a completely different non-working phone number
- The robots.txt file sets the entire site to no index
- Links go to pages not even closely related to their anchor text
- WordPress login information in the footer (admin/login, WordPress copyright, etc.)
- Google My Business Page doesn’t have a website
- Images are all the 10+MB original super high quality large stock photos
- Images are terribly cropped, stretched, and/or squished
- Site has a page that lists all the surrounding cities/counties, and nothing else
- Site has unnecessarily long, keyword stuffed URLs
- Site has zero structure and all URLs are top level
- Copyrights are outdated
While all these things are unarguably terrible, they are all concurrently easy to fix. So, I guess after all that, I am still able to find some sort of silver lining. Maybe this was therapeutic. Maybe there is still hope for the new year. In any case, just make sure to check on #20 next week and let’s all leave 2016 behind.