Law firms and attorneys who want to attract new clients must stay competitive online. One of the essential ways to develop an effective online presence is to generate high-quality law firm website content that appeals to search engines and provides value to people. As search engines like Google continually refine and update their algorithms, knowing how to develop and present content that follows search engine optimization (SEO) best practices and meets your clients’ needs is more important than ever.
Law Firm Website Content and SEO Best Practices
As a lawyer, your focus is to help your clients by making sure their rights are advocated for and protected. However, chances are you’re not reaching many of the people who need your services if you aren’t generating quality law firm website content. Web content comes in many forms, but the character trait all content should have in common is that it provides value to the consumer.
With Google’s ever-changing algorithm, how can you deliver the quality content your audience of potential clients needs and improve the chances that those people see it? While it is important to implement the best law firm SEO you can, meeting keyword quotas or otherwise fulfilling SEO best practices should never compromise the usefulness and readability of your content.
What Do We Mean by Quality Law Firm Website Content?
As Bill Gates predicted way back in 1996, when it comes to the Internet, content is king. The term content here includes the text, visual, audio, and technical elements that create what end users see on their screens. Ideally, all of it works in conjunction to create a seamless user experience.
For attorneys and law firms, quality legal website content may include the following:
- A home page that conveys your law firm’s mission, values, culture, focus, and capabilities;
- An “about us” page with additional details;
- Practice area pages;
- Attorney and staff biographies;
- Regularly posted, informative blogs;
- Relevant, geotagged photos and infographics; and
- Relevant, engaging videos.
Each page of web content published should serve a purpose and answer different potential questions or search queries. Google’s purpose is to provide Internet users with the best possible answer to a question. As the company and other search engines continue to refine their algorithms to do this more effectively and efficiently, the importance of the quality of your content and the user’s experience on your website will continue to increase.
Why Quality Legal Content Is So Important
Almost half of all Google searches are seeking local or geographically based information, and more than a third of people seeking legal services begin their search online. If your digital presence is not strong, the attention of potential clients who are looking for the services you provide in your geographic area will be directed to the competition.
A review of how Google’s search engine works can help explain why quality content is so important. Google uses web crawlers—sometimes referred to as spiders—to scan and index websites. The websites that display the highest level of relevancy and authority tend to rank highest in Google’s search engine results.
The more reliable and valuable your content is, the more likely it is that Google will deem it worthy of a higher ranking. To understand what content people find helpful for a certain query, Google considers clicks, page views, and how long a user stays on your page and website (among hundreds of other factors). As people engage with your content and spend time on your website, Google perceives this as an indication that you’re an authority on the subject matter, and it may, in turn, present your website in search results that match a related query. This means greater visibility and a higher conversion rate of curious Internet searchers to clients for your law firm.
To meet these standards, law firm website content should ideally include the following:
- Hyperlinks to and from relevant, high-quality, authoritative websites;
- Use of on-page SEO, including meta descriptions, title tags, and headings that use appropriate, artfully integrated keywords;
- Quality legal content that is easy to read;
- Fast loading speed and adherence to technical best practices; and
- Useful information that addresses the targeted search queries.
While these factors are established as important, Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and Google doesn’t disclose the exact measures it uses to determine a website’s value related to a given search. Google is constantly tweaking and updating the ways it processes information and ranks web content.
The latest updates are likely to favor law firms that use SEO best practices, provide quality legal content that applies to the search query, are located in a relevant geographic area, and have established some level of authority on the topic at hand.
These factors are sometimes referred to as E-A-T and YMYL, which stand for “expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness,” and “your money, your life,” respectively. Law firms that don’t invest in quality content writing for lawyers could be jeopardizing the legitimacy of their site and may be penalized for it by Google’s algorithm.
How Google Search Updates Impact Law Firm Websites
The Google algorithm is constantly in a state of flux. SEO experts estimate that the algorithm changes at least one to two times a day, resulting in up to 600 changes per year. While many of these updates may not affect your day-to-day operations and Google ranking, some changes can significantly affect your law firm.
One of the more significant algorithm changes in 2021 involved Google’s core web vitals—factors that determine how user-friendly your webpage is. Web pages that experienced slow loading times, excessive ads, and movement while the page loads generally were pushed down in Google’s ranking since these negatively impacted the user’s overall experience. In all cases, websites that try to push low-quality content to the top of Google search ranking through the use of keyword stuffing, block-heavy text, and spam links have been a catalyst for algorithm changes.
Great Law Firm Website Content Starts with TOPDOG
When it comes to generating effective web content, the focus should be on creating value for the intended audience while adhering to SEO best practices. You’re an expert in your field. Although ethics rules generally prohibit attorneys from directly saying that, your law firm’s website content should speak for itself. At TOPDOG Legal Marketing, LLC, our attorney-led team of legal marketing professionals will develop detailed, accurate content to generate quality leads for your law firm. Call us at (480) 744-7331 or fill out our online contact form to learn more.