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Expanding Services and SEO

February 28, 2007

Hi Jill,

 

Your email newsletter is one of my favorites, and I get a bunch of them from
SEO “experts” and others.

 

Here’s my question:

 

My law firm client has an existing website that focuses on contingency
litigation (taking a percentage of any award instead of charging by the
hour) for individuals injured by medical bungling, or their families in case
of death caused by medical bungling. They want to expand their business to
include contingency litigation for businesses wronged by other (big)
businesses.

 

The question from an SEO standpoint is, would they be better off with a new
domain name and website for the business side, or a home page that says
business clients click here, individual clients click here, etc. I am
concerned that optimizing the existing site for a new line of business might
be difficult, but on the other hand starting a new site from scratch means
months in the sandbox.

 

Your advice would be appreciated.

 

Best regards,

 

Buck

 

++Jill’s Response++

 

Hi Buck,

 

It’s very common for law firms and other types of businesses to offer a
variety of services to many different target markets, so it makes perfect
sense to have this information on your current website.

 

I think where you’re getting confused is in thinking that the home page of
the site is the only one you can optimize and get ranked in the search
engines.  This simply isn’t the case; every page of your site is a gateway
to the rest of it.

 

I would suggest creating a new section or page on the existing site that
describes the new services, and optimizing it accordingly.  You’ll also want
to be sure to link to the new section via the global navigation on every
page.  This makes the most sense from the user perspective.  The great news
is that if it makes sense from that perspective, it makes sense from the
search engine one as well.

 

Trying to create a completely different website for the same law firm in
order to showcase a different range of services just doesn’t make sense.
You might want to have a look at some large law firm websites.  They usually
offer completely different types of legal work, but manage to categorize it
nicely on their site.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Best,

 

Jill