How we got Walker Lahive top listing on Google
We like a bit of a challenge here at Gendall. In 2015, Walker Lahive, a Criminal Defence Law firm, approached us with a problem. Their website and brand were practically non-existent, and they were nowhere to be found in Google's SERPS, despite being the number one ranked criminal defence firm in the South West.
On top of this, there was zero budget for any SEO work. Surely we could design and build something and incorporate a common sense approach to the content and site structure in order to boost Walker Lahive in the search rankings? It was a fairly niche market, so we were confident of being able to do this within the overall project, without the need for an overly complex SEO strategy.
A simple, effective content strategyWe began by creating a more logical site structure and a content plan for each of these pages. New pages were added, whilst we cut out the cruft of the existing site. The idea was to produce more relevant content for the audience rather than just being a brochure style site - all of this was based on Google's high-quality content approach.
Design & buildOnce the content strategy was nailed, we moved on to the site build. A mobile first approach was key as 70% of the sites users visited via a mobile device. By using server and website caching we were able to vastly improve the site speed*, which is another feature that Google looks for in terms of page ranking. We added a sprinkling of schema data, and finally, created a Google business listing. XML sitemaps submitted and redirects in place, it was now time to sit back and wait.
The waiting gameInitially, the site ranked almost immediately for the benchmark search terms on Googles 'map' search results. Organically, Google can take some time to list new or updated sites - we usually see 3-6 weeks before it kicks into action. Sure enough, after 4 weeks, Walker Lahive began to appear on page 1 of the search results. But that wasn't enough for us - we wanted it to be top of the pile. A quick look at the Google search console, a tiny bit of research and a couple of copy changes, and within 2 weeks Walker Lahive was at the top - from absolutely nothing to top listing in 6 weeks!
So what did we take from this?Well SEO doesn't need to be this mysterious and difficult beast that constantly demands time, money and effort. With a bit of forward planning and a strategy in place from the start, it is possible (as we've shown) to reach the dizzy heights of number one without breaking the bank. OK, so the subject matter is niche, but the principal is the same - common sense and high quality content really do seem to win out at the end of the day.
*Site is no longer hosted with us