Case Study: Slater Heelis

Helping a historic, local law firm to compete with major, global players.

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Slater Heelis is a full-service, local law firm with origins stretching back over 240 years. They’re based in Manchester with three offices across the city. Like with many solicitors, their clients had traditionally found them through word-of-mouth recommendations and from their presence on the high streets of their local communities.

However, with clients increasingly using Google to search for solicitors, Slater Heelis found modern technology was bringing them into competition with more firms than ever before – and often they were being outranked by global and national heavyweights with much bigger marketing budgets.

We were asked to improve the SEO performance of the website in the geographic areas around Slater Heelis’ offices in order to generate more enquiries for all of their services.

There were three areas we focused on. First, we found several technical SEO issues with the site, which were quickly fixed to provide a base for the rest of the campaign.

Once the site was in a healthy technical position, we rewrote the content for every service page on the site to better convey Slater Heelis’ expertise. Previously, content across the site was limited – it failed to convey the warm, empathetic tone a customer needs when they’re in a delicate legal situation. It also didn’t truly explain the services on offer, what the customer could expect to happen, and why Slater Heelis were a good choice.

Through keyword research and a well-planned content strategy, which considered both design and copy, we improved the quality of the site’s service pages. As one example, on each page we highlighted the department’s solicitors, putting faces to names. This helped potential customers see who might represent them, making Slater Heelis more personable and friendly in the process.

And finally, we worked on improving how well-known Slater Heelis and their solicitors were as authorities in their respective fields. This included collating customer reviews, getting mentions in the local press, and running a campaign to get links from other relevant websites in the legal industry. All of which was a key contributor to the site’s brilliant SEO performance, but had the added effect of establishing Slater Heelis as a popular and trustworthy law firm.

The results were incredible. We saw a rapid rise in keyword rankings for phrases related to the firm’s services (from 56 keywords in 1st position to 216 keywords), and we also saw an improved conversion rate, leading to a large year on year increase in enquiries across every service (+59% YoY).

Whilst other firms had plenty more in terms of resources and budgets, Slater Heelis had one big advantage: they were local, active members of the community who had been there for their fellow Mancunians since the 1800s. By playing on this in our campaign, over the course of two years Slater Heelis started outranking their competition and haven’t ever stopped doing so – establishing themselves as one of the most highly ranked sites in the Manchester legal industry and, as a result, generating a consistent stream of new leads each month.

Results:

  • From 56 keywords in 1st position to 216 (+285%)
  • From 126 keywords to 337 in positions 1-3 (+167%)
  • A 104% year on year increase in traffic to the site’s Service pages
  • A 59% year on year increase in enquiries from organic traffic

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