Legal SEO in 2020 is all about optimizing smarter. As technology evolves, Google’s algorithm keeps getting more advanced and digital marketers have to do their best to keep up. Google claims that its goal is to give internet-users the best results possible when they look something up on Google, and your law firm’s online presence needs to revolve its digital marketing campaigns around this fact. To help you start the year off right, we’ve broken down the most commonly discussed developments on the web regarding Legal Search Marketing in 2020.
One of the most recent Google algorithm updates makes use of new technologies to pick up contextual cues in search queries that help deliver better results. The update was nicknamed BERT. This will mostly be noticed in searches where the query is typed in a conversational manner, rather than just keywords. This transition to a more conversational standard of search processing is representative of the increase in voice-enabled devices.
Google provides this example of a search query and the results that it would produce before and after BERT. The main difference is that Google can now use the word “to” in the search query to show results where the travel destination is the United States instead of Brazil.
For law firms, this means your website should have high quality content on its homepage and practice area pages, as well as any blogs written and published on the site. Sticking with last year’s “EAT” guidelines, your site should have multiple pages or posts with content that was written with the intent of building the site’s expertise, authority, and trust. This engaging content provides great value to your website’s visitors; it can span from educating readers on a legal topic to your law firm’s experience and past results.
Writing “high quality content” is an early step to ranking in search engines, but your website’s content will rank higher when other domains start linking to it. Backlinks also continue to play an important part in SEO. Managing a healthy backlink profile, on top of providing a higher standard of content, may help your law firm’s website rank higher – but the click rate could decrease…
The addition of the knowledge graph created a highly coveted ranking spot that lawyers strive to obtain. The rich search result displays important information that Google crawled from your website. Searchers with high intent no longer have to click on your website to get your phone number, location, or hours – they can just access it within Google’s search results page.
The featured snippet, on the other hand, takes Google’s crawling a step further by providing more detailed information from your website. Entire sentences, bulleted lists, and even videos from your site can be shown within the Google results page. The searcher can sometimes get all the information they need from the featured snippet, but it typically serves as an extended preview of a webpage full of content relevant to their search.
Zero-click searches are faster routes to conversions. When your website is optimized correctly, it will appear in all Google result types for your target keywords. This means that a user could search “car accident lawyer near me” and see your law firm listed organically, in the featured snippet, in the maps, and in the knowledge graph. Each of these placements is an invitation for the user to engage your law firm, even without ending up on your website.
People love video. Producing videos for your law firm that create an emotional connection with people is one of the most effective legal branding strategies today. The best part is that your videos can be used across all digital channels and formats. Adding your videos to your website can increase the amount of time a user stays on your website, learning about your law firm. Social Media Ads that use video drive 40% more engagement than plain text. Running lead generation ads on OTT and CTV can be huge for Mass Tort campaigns.
Using the same videos across your digital campaigns helps your target market’s retention rate. Branding the videos and getting thousands of impressions will increase local awareness of your law firm’s brand. When people in your target market consider hiring a lawyer, they are likely to search the firms they have seen advertisements for. Investing in your branding now can produce long term results. Below is a glimpse at some of the top queries for one of our clients, most of which are branded terms.
It’s never too late to turn your digital marketing strategy around. The Search Engine Guys are legal marketing experts that are here to help your law firm grow and meet your goals. Whether you have questions about an SEO development, or how to run your first video ad campaign, Schedule your private 30-minute phone consultation to determine whether TSEG can help your law firm’s digital marketing in the coming year.