Criminal Defense Law Firm Website Statistics (100 Firms Analyzed)

criminal-defense-law-firm-marketingDo you want to level up your criminal defense firm’s digital marketing?

If so, this article is for you.

We recently analyzed the top 100 criminal defense firms’ websites to see where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

We looked at:

  • Website traffic
  • Social media
  • Loading speeds
  • Content
  • Backlinks
  • Domain authority
  • …and more

And we’re going to share our findings so you can invest your time and money into the right marketing avenues.

Let’s begin.



A summary of our key findings

  1. Data shows that many criminal defense law firms have slow mobile loading speeds. This indicates that mobile speed is not heavily correlated with Google rankings.
  2. Many websites attract fewer than 1,000 monthly visitors, giving them a lot of room for growth.
  3. Backlinks remain a critical ranking factor.
  4. There is a considerable disparity between criminal defense websites when it comes to the number of keywords they rank for, with 71% of websites at or below average. A small number of firms we evaluated have established a considerable number of hyperlinks, which skewed the data.
  5. A healthy 60% of websites have organic traffic values greater than $5,000 a month, while the lowest 21% have between $0–$1,000.
  6. Many criminal defense websites have low domain ratings. This indicates a low correlation between domain ratings and Google rankings.
  7. Criminal defence websites have an average URL rating of 34.1. URL Rating had a strong correlation with rankings.
  8. The top criminal defence firms have an average of 151 Google reviews, with an average review rating of 4.81.
  9. 51% of websites have between 101-500 pages, and top-ranking pages have, on average, 1,860 words.
  10. 97% of law firms we evaluated had an SSL certificate.
  11. 96% of websites we reviewed are mobile-friendly.
  12. Live chat is an unobtrusive and low-effort way of getting more leads and signing more clients. However, only 36% of law firms have used live chat.
  13. Only 47% of law firms have a case results page, despite it being an efficient way of establishing credibility and building on an SEO campaign.
  14. Blogging is an essential way to build backlinks, capture and improve keyword rankings, and establish authority. But only 67% of websites have an active blog.
  15. Video marketing is here to stay, but only 50% of law firms have videos on their website. Consider creating video content to engage with your audience.
  16. Despite being less optimal than custom images, 92% of websites use stock photos. We recommend creating valuable, original images whenever possible.
  17. 66% of websites are using WordPress as their CMS.
  18. 92% of criminal defense law firms have registered their domain for a period longer than 5 years.

Analysis 1:

Desktop & Mobile Page Speed


Key Takeaway: Many criminal defense websites would benefit from improving their website’s mobile speed. Websites that perform well on the Core Web Vitals Assessment have a significant advantage in the SERPs.


Website speed is an important ranking factor in Google’s organic search results, but how do criminal defense websites perform?

To evaluate speed, we used the Google Pagespeed Insights tool.

If you would like to compare your website to the results of the audit, you can find the tool here.

google pagespeed insights

We found that over 64% of websites achieve a desktop speed between 81–100%.

criminal-defense-law-firm-desktop-page-speed

And the average website’s desktop speed is 84%.

criminal defence website average desktop speed

On the other hand, mobile speed is considerably slower than its desktop counterpart. We found that 54% of websites achieved a mobile speed between 0–50%.

criminal-defense-law-firm-mobile-page-speed

And the average website’s mobile speed is just 49%.

criminal defence website average mobile speed

The tool also runs the URL through a Core Web Vitals Assessment, a set of factors Google considers essential in a website’s overall user experience.

And page loading speed plays a significant role in determining your score.

Here’s what that looks like.

core web vitals

We found that only 26% of criminal defense websites passed the Core Web Vitals Assessment.

criminal defence website core web vitals

In other words, many websites can increase their rankings by improving their loading speeds, specifically their website’s mobile speed.

Why mobile? Because in 2019, Google implemented mobile-first indexing, meaning it indexes and ranks your pages based on mobile experience.


Analysis 2:

# Website Visitors From Organic Search


Key Takeaway: We were surprised to learn that more than one-third of top ranking websites receive less than 1,000 visitors per month.


When we looked at monthly website visitors, we found that 37% of criminal defense websites get less than 1,000 visitors a month.

criminal-defense-law-firm-website-visits-from-organic-search

While, on average, top websites get around 3,001 visitors per month.

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-website-visits-organic-search

The more visitors you attract to your website, the more clients you’ll get to work with. It’s as simple as that.


Analysis 3:

# of Backlinks


Key Takeaway: Backlinks appear to play a leading role in a firm’s rankings with a median of 4,174.


Backlinks are created when one website links to another, as I just did.

They’re important for criminal defense SEO and are even more impactful when given by authoritative websites.

Receiving a backlink is like getting a digital nod or vote of confidence. Backlinks tell Google that others find your content valuable, and Google will be more likely to give it a place on the SERP.

And we found that 48% of criminal defense law firm websites have between 3,001–10,000 backlinks.

criminal-defense-law-firm-number-backlinks

That seems like a lot, but websites have an average of 18,761 backlinks.

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-number-backlinks

Then there are referring domains.

Referring domains are websites that link out to a target website one or more times. If you have a backlink from the American Bar Association, then you have one referring domain.

We found that 60% of websites have less than 300 referring domains.

criminal-defense-law-firm-referring-domains

While the average is 284.

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-referring-domains

It’s been proven that websites with more high-quality backlinks rank higher on Google. While the algorithm continues to evolve, the importance of backlinks remains steady.


Analysis 4:

# of Keywords in Google


Key Takeaway: Most firms rank for a limited number of keywords, however, opportunities exist to rank for tens of thousands of keywords.


The average criminal defense firm’s website ranks for 4,832 keywords in Google.

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-kewywords-google

While that’s a healthy number of keywords, the average is skewed by some big players. Around 31% of the websites analyzed have between 0–1,000 keywords, with 71% having less than 5,000.

criminal-defense-law-firm-keywords-in-google

There’s a large disparity between the highest performing criminal defense site and even the lowest 71%.

But how do you capture more keywords? Through content marketing for criminal defense lawyers.


Analysis 5:

Organic Traffic Value


Key Takeaway: The majority of criminal defense firms have traffic valued at more than $5,000/mon. However, the traffic value opportunity can be in excess of $50,000/mon in some markets.


Organic traffic value is the equivalent monthly cost of traffic from all keywords if bought using PPC rather than ranking organically.

It’s a way of measuring the success of a firm’s SEO campaign.

We found that 60% of websites have organic traffic values of more than $5,000 per month.

criminal-defense-law-firm-organic-traffic-value

This is not surprising, as law-related keywords are some of the most expensive to purchase.

What’s interesting is we continue to see a significant amount of firms with little to no organic traffic value, signalling a lack of digital marketing.

And again, the top performers do extremely well, raising the average organic traffic value to $15,024.

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-organic-traffic-value

Want to increase your organic traffic? Learn how to make a criminal defense practice in this guide.


Analysis 6:

Domain Rating


Key Takeaway: The data suggests a low correlation between Domain Rating and top Google rankings.


Using Ahrefs, we looked at each of the hundred website domain ratings.

But what is domain rating?

It’s a number calculated by Ahref between 0-100 that shows the strength of a website’s backlink profile in comparison to others in the database.

We found that 40% of websites have a domain rating of less than 10.

criminal-defense-law-firm-domain-rating

While the average is 15.5.

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-domain-rating

There is a low correlation between domain rating and positions on the SERP, and criminal defense websites have a lot of room for growth.

But what domain rating excels at is helping you identify high-quality backlink sources.

We recommend using domain rating to pinpoint websites you want to get backlinks from as a way of improving your own domain rating.


Analysis 7:

URL Rating


Key Takeaway: A strong correlation exists between URL Rating and Google rankings. In short, to rank highly in Google, attract hyperlinks to the specific page you are attempting to rank.


Like domain rating, URL rating also evaluates your link profile.

The difference is that URL rating looks at your website on a page level, while domain rating evaluates your entire domain.

And Ahref’s found that URL rating is a stronger predictor of rankings than domain rating.

This is good for criminal defense firms, as 47% of the websites we evaluated had a URL rating between 31–40.

criminal-defense-law-firm-url-rating

On average, websites have a URL rating of 34.1

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-url-rating


Analysis 8:

Google Review Rating


Key Takeaway: A high review rating on Google My Business correlated to top rankings in Google Maps.


Regardless of whether you run a global firm or only operate locally, your Google review rating matters.

There’s a strong correlation between the number of positive reviews you receive and your positions on the SERP.

The top criminal defence firms are where they are for a reason. Their average review rating is 4.81.

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-google-review-rating

With 77% of websites having a Google review rating between 4.8-5.0.

criminal-defense-law-firm-google-review-rating

While a high review rating is crucial, the number of reviews also matters. Generally, law firms with more positive Google reviews will rank higher.

We found that 58% of criminal defence law firms have over 100 Google reviews.

criminal-defense-law-firm-number-google-reviews

But many have more than that, with 16% of firms having between 201-300 and 9% having over 301.

The top performers bring our average up to 151 Google reviews.

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-number-google-reviews

It’s recommended to make it as easy as possible for clients to leave reviews. Make it a part of client offboarding and include a button on your website.


Analysis 9:

# Website Pages


Key Takeaway: Top ranking criminal defense firms have an average of 345 pages published to their websites. Firms looking to attract more website traffic should consider writing articles.


Assuming every web page is high-quality and purposeful, more web pages typically mean more keywords.

We discovered that the criminal defense websites have, on average, 345 pages.

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-number-website-pages

And 51% have between 101-500 web pages, with most outliers falling below that.

criminal-defense-law-firm-number-website-pages

Why does this matter?

By creating high-value content like comprehensive blog posts and resource pages, you can capture more keywords and rank higher.

In fact, 76% of top-ranking pages have over 1,000 words of content.

criminal-defense-law-firm-wordcount-top-ranking-page

The average top-ranking page has 1,860 words.

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-wordcount-top-ranking-page


Analysis 10:

Website Security (SSL)


Key Takeaway: Nearly all top ranking criminal defense firm websites have a valid SSL certificate. They provide an added lawyer of security, which is crucial for law firm websites. Plus, they could give you an edge in the rankings.


SSL certificates are bits of code on your server that provide an added layer of security to your website.

They’ve become pretty common, with 97% of the top criminal defense websites sporting one.

criminal defence website ssl certificate

But do they affect SEO?

In short, they aren’t a top-ranking factor but are crucial nonetheless, especially as a law firm.

And Google has stated that, if all other things are equal, having an SSL certificate can act as a tie-breaker for rankings.


Analysis 11:

Mobile Friendly


Key Takeaway: A strong correlation exists between top Google rankings and mobile-friendly websites.


In the past, Google used a website’s desktop version for indexing and ranking. But since July 1st, 2019, they’ve switched to mobile-first indexing.

This means that Google looks at the mobile version of your page’s content to determine its place on the SERP.

All the more reason to ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as 96% of the websites we looked at are.

criminal defence website mobile friendly

How do you know if your website is mobile-friendly? Simply run it through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

mobile friendly test

Just drop your URL into the field and hit Test URL.

Here’s what a pass looks like.

mobile friendly results

If your page fails, you’ll need to make fixing that a priority. We recommend hiring a developer, but you can also check out a guide and DIY it.

Most modern criminal defense website designers will ensure your website is mobile-friendly.


Analysis 12:

Live Chat


Key Takeaway: Most criminal defense firms do not use live chat. 


Have you added live chat to your website? If not, you’re missing out on more leads and clients.

You wouldn’t be alone. Of the websites we evaluated, only 36% had live chat.

criminal defense website live chat

While some lawyers object to live chat due to customer privacy concerns, it’s quickly become a must-have.

It’s the best way to touch base with a potential client as they enter the funnel, letting you answer any questions or concerns that would prevent them from contacting you in the first place.

And it doesn’t have to be invasive. Take a look at how Affordable Defence does it.

lawyer live chat

A simple, unobtrusive button is all you need.


Analysis 13:

Case Results


Key Takeaway: Only 47% of criminal defense firms have a dedicated case results page.


If your law firm has a website, you should have a page dedicated to showing off case results.

Here’s how Oykhman Criminal Defense does it.

case results

A dedicated case result page provides a lot of value. It proves to potential clients that you’re the real deal — you can accomplish what you say you can.

It also does wonders for SEO.

Google works hard to connect searchers with what they’re looking for. If someone searches “criminal defense law firm in calgary,” a page detailing successful case results could be relevant.

We found that only 47% of websites have case results

criminal defence website case results

If you’re not one of those, getting that page up may make a tremendous difference in the success of your criminal defense marketing campaigns.


Analysis 14:

Blogging


Key Takeaway: All criminal defense firms would benefit from having an active blog. It’s an effective way to increase your website’s ranking keywords and organic SEO traffic.


If we could give you one SEO tip, it would be to start and regularly update a blog.

Blogging is a cost-efficient way to increase organic search traffic, build backlinks, and establish authority in your practice area.

While it takes time to pay off, the results are worth it.

This is why 67% of the law firms we analyzed have active blogs.

criminal defence website blogs

And Google loves fresh, relevant content. The more often you update your blog, the more frequently Google will crawl your website.

Plus, a blog gives you content to repurpose for your social media platforms.


Analysis 15:

Video Content


Key Takeaway: Video marketing is an essential technique, but only 50% of law firms have videos on their website.


If you want to:

  • Generate more leads and improve your rankings
  • Provide a more engaging experience to your audience
  • Convert more leads into clients

Then you’ll invest in video marketing, like 50% of the law firms we looked at.

criminal defence website video content

A common roadblock to video marketing is its perceived difficulty. But the truth is that it can be as easy as recording yourself on your iPhone, like Trey Porter Law.

Consider posting:

  • Testimonials and case studies
  • Interviews with the team
  • Educational videos
  • Vlogs

Video content is continuing to grow, whether you’re on board or not.

In fact, 93% of consumers watch videos before purchasing a product. And that goes for professional businesses too.


Analysis 16:

Stock Images


Key Takeaway: Custom images are preferred, however, 92% of criminal defense firms still use stock photos on their websites.


One of the more interesting findings from this analysis was that 92% of law firms use stock photos on their websites

criminal defence website stock photos

While stock photos aren’t necessarily harmful to your search rankings, they do little to help.

Google values authentic and valuable content. Images of your team and business are better options than the generic stock photo that’s been used hundreds of times.

Stock photos are also detrimental to user experience. People can spot a stock photo from a mile away, and seeing the same image on multiple sites can be a huge deterrent.

What’s good for users is good for SEO. And custom, high-quality images are what users expect.


Analysis 17:

Website Platform


Key Takeaway: WordPress is the most popular CMS for criminal defense law firms by a longshot, and for good reason. its massive support community coupled with thousands of themes and plugins make it an excellent choice for most firms.


We found that 66% of criminal defense websites used WordPress as their CMS.

criminal defense website cms

This isn’t surprising, as WordPress is the leading CMS platform with 75+ million live websites.

Its strong points are ease of use and the abundance of themes and plug-ins that it supports.

Other options include:

  • Building a custom CMS
  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • Joomla
  • Drupal

Analysis 18:

Age of Domain Name


Key Takeaway: Most criminal defense firm domain names have been registered for at least 5 years. While domain age is not a ranking factor, it is an indication of the duration of the firms’ marketing efforts.


Many marketers believe that domain age is a Google ranking factor.

The truth is, domain age doesn’t affect rankings.

And if Google’s John Mueller says it’s so, we have no reason to doubt him.

However, the longer a website has been active, the more time it had to create valuable content and build a strong backlink profile.

And 92% of law firm websites are 5 years or older.

criminal-defense-law-firm-age-domain

Criminal defense law firm websites are 11.7 years old on average.

criminal-defense-law-firm-average-age-domain


Finding value in the data

Staying on top of digital marketing is a challenge, even for the best of us.

But I hope you found value in this analysis.

What’s your biggest takeaway from the data? Do you have any questions about the results?

If so, I’d love to hear about it. Email me and let me know!