With Google’s increased focus on providing relevant content, attorneys and legal marketers will find it ever more challenging to create material that stands out in the rankings. A strong backlink profile from authoritative sources is no longer enough; complementary pieces of quality content must be developed for sites to effectively perform well with search engines.
How law firm marketers will need to change how the create content
Content has always been integral to local searches, however, its importance is increasing exponentially., and lawyers should focus on creating helpful local content that provides value for readers. With the 2022 algorithm updates from Google, websites must have high-quality content that stacks similar articles together and avoid soliciting backlinks from non-relevant sites with low domain authority. It goes without saying that legal marketers should continue to avoid keyword stuffing in order to rank higher in local search engine results.
One of things that legal marketers need to be careful of is the use of Artificial Intelligence tools to write content without any human interaction. It has been theorized that Google may be targeting this type of A.I. content for a future penatly. It should be noted that Barry Schwartz from SEO Roundtable had this to say: “Since the October Spam update and the helpful content update, many SEOs are saying AI-generated content is being targeted by Google. The answer, as I said previously, is not really. Danny Sullivan from Google said again, it is not about if a human or a machine wrote it but rather if the content is helpful. But in general, Danny said content by the people for the people is what makes the content generally helpful.”
At the very tail-end of 2022, Google also updated its Quality Rating Guidelines to include the need to review sites for experience as part of the E-E-A-T acronym. In fact, Hyung-Jin Kim, VP of Search, Google, who spoke at SMX Next in November 2022 was quoted as saying that E-E-A-T, is an integral part of every search query and search result. “It’s pervasive throughout every single thing we do,”
How do you incorporate experience and expertise into your content for an SEO benefit?
Lawyers should strive to create localized content that enhances their local presence experiences in their practice area of law, which sets them apart from other attorneys, by demonstrating not only expertise in their field but also first-hand experience whenever possible. Examples of local content include blog posts about relevant topics in their area or disucssion of specific local rules, or a page highlighting legal services offered to local residents. Lawyers can also use videos, podcasts, and infographics to engage with their local audience and provide useful information. Additionally, they should optimize this local content with local SEO techniques, such as local keywords and local citations.
To remain in line with Google’s content author guidelines, it is imperative for attorneys to be featured as the expert authors of their pieces. For each author, building an extensive personal profile that showcase comprehensive information about your legal experience and links to other publications where your work can be found will help bolster this process. Furthermore, including a detailed employment history on personal profiles such as LinkedIn or Avvo can really highlight your expertise and bring more credibility to your name and authority in the eyes the Googlebot and it’s quality raters.
In addition to content, there are other ways to improve your local SEO in light of the new Google algorithm updates
Claim and optimize your Google Business Profile (GBP)
As a starting point, make sure that your law firm’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are accurate and up-to-date on your Google Business Profile. You should also include a brief description of your firm and add relevant categories to your listing. This will help your firm get found for branded search queries. However, you can also add Google Business posts that discuss recent cases that a particular attorney in the firm was involved in which will help Google see the experience and expertise of the firm and power up the author profiles. You should also include the name of the attorney who is selected as the author for your site in the business description area to tie in the specific person to the brand.
Use local keywords in your website content:
All great content starts with solid keyword research. I suggest using a tool like, Ahrefs or Bright Local as they can be very helpful in understanding the search intent of a term, as well as how frequently they are searched. keywords that include your city or region in your website content, such as “DUI lawyer in Chicago” or “Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Baltimore.” This will help Google understand the geographical relevance of your website and improve your local search rankings.
Getting featured on news outlets
As discussed above, it is critical to creating content that is relevant to your target audience and provides value to them. This can include blog posts, articles, and guides that address common legal questions or issues that your potential clients may be facing. However, once that content is published on your blog the next step should be to leverage the content with high-authority websites to get featured on news outlets across the country. One great way to do this is by rewriting your featured blog posts or thought leadership pieces as a press release and then adding a link in the first paragraph of the press release to your target blog post. You can also add a link at the bottom of the press release to your Google business profile map. Once you do this, syndicate it to major media outlets through a PR program like Signal Genesis or some other content syndication tool. You do want to make sure that when you do this, you can include a canonical tag or some other link that provides attribution to your original source to make sure that the news link is not indexed over your actual content.
Get listed in local directories and online legal niche directories
There are many online directories that are specific to the legal industry, such as Avvo and Justia. Obtaining visibility on authoritative directories with the correct citations is an essential way to give a boost to your local search engine optimization (SEO) and promote your law firm’s services. Plus, Google crawls these popular directory pages frequently, picking up links when it finds them. If Google discovers your website through one of these indexes, this signals that you are noteworthy in terms of both legal expertise and geography related to the field of law you practice.
Encourage client reviews on your Google Business Profile
Google uses online reviews as a ranking factor for local businesses. Encourage your clients to leave reviews for your law firm on your Google Business listing and other review sites, such as Yelp and Avvo. This will help local search engine indexes understand that your law firm is trustworthy and relevant to people searching within the local area. Plus, reviews from real-life clients create social credibility for your business and give potential customers much-needed assurance when making decisions about legal services.
In conclusion, content marketing can be a powerful tool for local SEO rankings
By following these best practices, you can improve your law firm’s local SEO and make it more likely that potential clients will find your website when they search for legal services in your area. Content marketing can be a powerful tool for local SEO rankings, but only if you use the right tactics. Using local keywords in your website content, getting featured on news outlets, being listed in local directories and online legal niche directories, and encouraging client reviews are all effective strategies to help improve local search engine optimization (SEO) performance. By leveraging these tactics.
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