In this legal services competitor analysis report, we will be taking a look at two law firms. One is Slater and Gordon Lawyers. The other, who would consider Slater and Gordon a competitor is Crisp & Co Solicitors.
However, we first came across Slater and Gordon Lawyers whilst researching for our Crisp & Co’s website analysis report.
What stood out in this website analysis was that Slater and Gordon have both:
- The second-largest share of Crisp & Co’s Industry Competitors website traffic (5.76%) and;
- The largest share of Organic Competitor website traffic (27.05%)
See images below:
In this legal services competitor analysis report, we take an in-depth look at the online performance gap between the two law firms.
Performing this SEO competitor analysis allows us to:
- Learn what works and what doesn’t in the industry
- Identify Slater and Gordon Lawyers’ weaknesses to see how Crisp & Co could potentially capitalise on them
- Find Slater and Gordon Lawyers’ strengths, and see how Crisp & Co can replicate them for success
About Crisp & Co
Visit the website: crispandco.com
Crisp & Co are experts in family law and they were founded in 1996.
The firm has 14 locations in London:
- Canary Wharf
- Kingston upon Thames
- The City
- Covent Garden
About Slater and Gordon Lawyers
Visit the website: slatergordon.co.uk
“Slater and Gordon Lawyers is one of the UK’s largest and well-known law firms with offices in a number of locations throughout England, Scotland and Wales”.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers was founded in 2012.
They have offices in the following locations:
- Liverpool Central
Site Health Comparison
A website’s Site Health score is based on the number of errors and warnings.
The higher the score, the fewer problems the website has. Thus, the better the website is optimised for search engines, and user satisfaction.
The number of issues of the highest severity.
The number of issues of medium severity.
Notices are not considered major issues. Though it is recommended that they are fixed nonetheless.
Clearly there are issues for both law firms, however Crisp & Co have considerably more to resolve.
For instance, Crisp & Co’s most pressing issue is the fact that their website can’t be reached. This means their site is inaccessible if you type in either ‘https://crispandco.com’ or ‘http://crispandco.com’.
It is absolutely imperative that Crisp & Co resolve this issue. This is because they are definitely losing potential website visitors and by extension, potential clients.
Website Speed Tests
We were unable to run a website speed test for Crisp & Co…
That is…until we used the “www” version of the website.
“Page speed is a direct ranking factor, a fact known even better since Google’s Algorithm Speed Update. However, speed can also affect rankings indirectly, by increasing the bounce rate and reducing dwell time.” – How Page Speed Affects SEO & Google Rankings
It’s evident that Crisp & Co need to fix issues that are slowing down their website.
In comparison, we easily ran a website speed test for Slater and Gordon Lawyers. However, let’s move on to compare and analyse their website traffic.
Competitor Traffic Analysis
We noticed something during this section of our legal services competitor analysis report. That is, both websites have very high bounce rates. However in August 2020, Slater and Gordon Lawyers were seriously outperforming Crisp & Co.
To illustrate, Slater and Gordon Lawyers website had:
- 590,700 more visits
- 487,400 more unique visits
- An average visit duration that was over double Crisp & Co’s
Slater and Gordon had over 23 times more visits than Crisp & Co.
But where are they getting all that traffic from?
Slater and Gordon Lawyers received 76.53% of their traffic “Direct”.
In other words, the majority of their traffic comes from searchers:
- Entering their name into their browser’s search bar
- Finding them from browser bookmarks
- Discovering links external to their browsers (like PDFs or Microsoft Word documents)
Whereas, Crisp & Co received the bulk of their traffic (57.70%) from “Search”. This means their site users arrived directly from search engines such as Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.
Neither of these legal companies has a healthy, balanced selection of traffic sources.
In fact, according to guidance from web analytics pro, Avinash Kaushi, Slater Gordons over-reliance on direct traffic is unhealthy.
But what does Slater and Gordon Lawyers’ high amount of direct traffic indicate?
Well, we can infer that the majority of people visiting their website are existing customers. Alternatively, they may be people from offline campaigns.
On the other hand, Crisp & Co have a high amount of Search traffic. This suggests that they are at the mercy of search rankings and their (not so favourable) algorithm changes.
Both of these companies will benefit from a more balanced approach to traffic acquisition as shown below:
Backlink Analysis Comparison
“Backlinks are links that travel from another website to your website. They can come from social media sites and directories, but they most often come from blog posts and the content of other websites.
Ideally, those links come from other relevant websites within your niche and industry.”
Slater and Gordon Lawyers Backlink Analysis
The Slater and Gordon Lawyers website is associated with some very prominent websites such as yahoo.com, bbc.co.uk and theguardian.com.
For example, Slater and Gordon Lawyers have 11 backlinks from the BBC.
However, let’s look closer to one these links:
In fact, if we follow this particular link, it leads to the following article:
And subsequently, contains this text link:
Which leads to this page on the Slater and Gordon Lawyers website:
A large majority (95%) of Slater and Gordon Lawyers’ backlinks are text links. And, only 2% of their backlinks are Nofollow backlinks.
Crisp & Co Backlink Analysis
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the top 10 backlinks for Crisp & Co and Slater and Gordon:
This is what we discovered:
- Crisp & Co gets 31 backlinks from its top 10 referring domains
- Slater and Gordon Lawyers gets double that amount. In fact, they have 60 backlinks from their top 10 referring domains
- 60% of Crisp & Co’s referring domains are simple business directories
- Only one of Crisp & Co’s top 10 backlinks is from a news article
- Slater and Gordon Lawyers get around 50% of their top 1 backlinks from news publishers. And, only one of their top 10 backlinks is from a directory
Let’s move on to the types of backlinks each site has to learn more.
Backlink Type and Link Attributes
Whilst looking at both law firms backlink types and their link attributes, we unearthed some interesting insights.
For instance, 98% of Crisp & Co’s backlinks are text links. However unlike Slater and Gordon Lawyer, 16% of Crisp & Co’s backlinks are ‘Nofollow’ links.
This means that almost a fifth of Crisp & Co’s backlinks have no influence on their website’s search engine rankings. However, Slater and Gordon Lawyers referring domains are also somewhat odd.
Weird Referring Domains
There is a clear difference in backlink strategy between the two law firms. Yet, they both have some pretty weird top 10 referring domains:
This is due to the fact that…well, actually…we’re not sure!
As such, we’ll move on and analyse their keywords, perhaps this will give us some more information.
For our keyword analysis we’ll look at the following:
- Top 100 Keyword Rankings
- Non-Branded Keyword
- Number of featured snippets
- Untapped Keyword Opportunities for Crisp & Co
- Weak keywords
- Gap analysis
Top 100 Keyword Rankings
Crisp & Co have 2,341 keywords. These keywords generate 14.3K of organic search traffic.
In comparison, Slater and Gordon Lawyers have 21,063 keywords. These keywords generate 103.2K organic search traffic.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers get the majority of their traffic (11.47%) from the branded keyword “slater and gordon”.
In fact, almost a third of their keywords are branded keywords.
In comparison, Crisp & Co gets the majority of its traffic (4.23%) from the unbranded keyword “annulment”.
As such, this means 98.8% of their keywords are unbranded keywords.
Naturally, as one of the bigger law firms Slater and Gordon dominate branded keywords. As such, let’s look at and compare the top 5 non-branded keywords for Crips & Co and Slater and Gordon.
Top 5 Non-Branded Keywords - Crisp & Co
Crisp & Co’s top 5 non-branded keywords are focused around information about divorce and annulments.
These 5 keywords account for 17.58% of their website traffic. And they have an estimated total of 30480 monthly searches.
However, Crisp & Co only rank in position 1 for 2 out 5 of their top unbranded keywords:
Top 5 Non-Branded Keywords - Slater and Gordon Lawyers
Slater and Gordon Lawyers’ top 5 non-branded keywords are mainly focused on information about solicitors.
These 5 keywords account for 12.49% of their website traffic. And, have an estimated total of 35200 monthly searches.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers rank in position 1 for all of their top unbranded keywords:
This includes an important keyword for Crisp & Co: “family law solicitors”.
Crisp & co specialises in ‘Family Law’. However, they have quite a few multi-discipline law firms outranking them for the keyword “family law solicitors”.
Crisp & Co only rank for 15 keywords which include the words “family law solicitors”.
Only 3 out of those 15 keywords are in the top 3 positions in the search results.
Overall, Crisp & Co rank for 75 keywords that include the words “family law”.
In comparison, Slater and Gordon Lawyers rank for 35 keywords including the words “family law solicitors”.
And just like Crisp & Co, only 3 of those keywords are in the top 3 positions in the search results.
Yet, they have 176 keywords that include the words “family law”. That’s over double the amount that Crisp & Co have.
Clearly, Crisp & Co need to focus on the keywords related to their specialism. Or, perhaps they need to work on some other, more achievable keywords in the short-term. This will help them later on as they work on ranking for their desired keywords.
Next, let’s do a keyword gap analysis. This will help us discover which keywords bring searchers to Slater and Gordon Lawyers’ website, but not Crisp & Co’s.
From there we can identify valuable keyword opportunities that Crisp & Co are missing out on.
Competitor Keyword Gap Analysis
Below is a visualisation of the keyword overlap between the two law firms:
We can see that Slater and Gordon Lawyers rank for almost half of the common keywords.
Yet, we also discovered that Crisp & Co rank for 495 keywords with lower rankings than all of their competitors’ rankings.
The top 10 of these keywords have an estimated total of 243,000 monthly searches.
That said, the average keyword difficulty for these keywords is 75.98%.
We will now take a closer look at how Crisp & Co’s keyword profile intersects with Slater and Gordon Lawyers.
Below is a break down of the profile intersection:
This data uncovers:
- 1,100 Shared keywords that both Crisp & Co and Slater Gordon Lawyers rank for
- 19,500 Missing keywords that Slater and Gordon Lawyers rank for that Crisp & Co do not rank for. This is the same as the number of ‘Untapped’ keywords
- 495 Weak keywords that Crisp and Co rank for. But lower than Slater and Gordon Lawyers rankings
- 610 Strong keywords that Crisp and Co ranks higher for than Slater and Gordon Lawyers
- 19,500 ‘Untapped’ keywords in which Crisp & Co doesn’t have a ranking but one of their competitors does
- 1,200 Unique keywords that Crisp and Co ranks for that Slater and Gordon Lawyers do not rank for
Next, we analysed this list for keyword opportunities. We did this by focusing on weak, missing or untapped keywords with a difficulty less than 60%.
Our legal services competitor analysis report indicates there are 495 keywords that both rank law firms rank for. But overall, Crisp & Co ranks lower for all of them.
However, let’s focus solely on keywords with a difficulty less than 60%. These are possible keywords that Crisp & Co may want to work on.
This leaves us with a list of 15 Keywords with a total monthly search volume of 1380.
Here is a list of the top 5 keywords from that list:
There are 19,500 missing or untapped keywords that Crisp & Co and Slater and Gordon Lawyers both rank for. But – no surprises by now – Crisp & Co ranks lower for all of them.
And 7% of these missing or untapped keywords (1438) have a keyword difficulty less than 60%.
In total, these keywords (1438) have a monthly search volume of 158,120.
However, not all these keywords would be suitable for Crisp & Co.
As such, we looked for opportunities linked to seed keywords such as “family law”, “divorce”, “solicitors” and “london”.
This is what we discovered:
Basic analysis of the 1438 missing/untapped keywords with a keyword difficulty less than 60%, uncovers possible 437 keyword opportunities.
These keywords have a total monthly search volume of 50,960.
Competitor Analysis Social Media Insights
Most Engaging Channel
Twitter is the most engaging channel for both law firms.
When analysing the stats for September 2020, it revealed that Slater and Gordon Lawyers’ social media audience far outnumbers Crisp & Co’s.
Despite this, it is clear that Crisp & Co is posting more actively.
Continuing our legal services competitor analysis report, we decided to dig down deeper into these audiences. Looking at the data across four social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Evidently, it’s clear that Facebook is the second most engaging channel for both companies.
Social Post Analysis
Competitor Social Posting
Below is an at-a-glance look at Crisp & Co’s social posting from 19 August 2020 and 17 September 2020.
This is Slater and Gordon Lawyers social posting for the same period:
Crisp & Co receive more engagement with less hashtags. This is likely due to the fact that they post more regularly. Let’s look further into this.
Hashtags & Engagement
Crisp & Co’s two most popular hashtags Crisp & Co from 19 August 2020 and 17 September 2020 were #FamilyLawHour and #separation.
In comparison, the two most popular hashtags used by Slater and Gordon during the same period were #FreeWebinar and #CharityPartner.
Our social media analysis also includes a summary of the activity and engagement on posts containing URLs.
Between 19 August 2020 and 17 September 2020, Slater and Gordon Lawyers had 13 posts containing a URL.
These 13 posts contained 8 unique URLs. Of these URLs (37.5%), 3 were linked to content on slatergordon.co.uk.
The average engagement per follower for these posts was 0.060%.
In comparison, during the same period, Crisp & Co had 34 posts containing a URL.
These 34 posts contained 20 unique URLs. Of these URLs (40%), 8 linked to content on crispandco.com.
The average engagement per follower for these posts was 0.39%.
It would appear that Crisp & Co are more successful with their social media posts.
In conclusion, our legal services competitor analysis report highlights that Crisp & Co has a long way to go. At least, before it can compete fairly with Slater and Gordon.
Naturally there is a disparity in scale between the firms, but Crisp & Co could learn from their competitors’ success.
However, while Slater and Gordon currently rank high, this doesn’t mean they always will. And we’ve learnt that the firm does have some weaknesses in other areas.
This is something which Crisp & Co could take advantage of and capitalise on.
By replicating the success of their competitor, Crisp & Co will be well positioned to start ranking higher and elevate their legal firm.
It’s also worth noting that Slater and Gordon shouldn’t get too complacent. Legal marketing, like all forms, requires a great deal of continual work. Dropping the ball for just a moment gives their competitors a brief window of advantage.
Our reports can help companies learn exactly why their competition is ranking higher than them. And, they can help build a marketing plan that actually works.
If you would like a detailed competitor analysis report of your own, get in touch.
Did you find our legal services competitor analysis report interesting? You might like to read our free weekly website analysis articles, including our case study on Crisp & Co.