In the recently aired Google’s Top 3 SEO Factors First Episode of SEO Myth Busters. In the episode, Martin Splitt (Google Webmaster Trends Analyst) discussed top three SEO factors website owners should be focusing on to get organic users. Towards the end of the show, Splitt answered some guest questions:
How does Google know which pages are the most relevant for users?
Splitt gave a somewhat vague answer about some of the things they use to determine relevance for their users, stating “We have over 200 signals to do so…the title, the meta description, the actual content that you’ve got on your page, images, links, videos…”
Obviously, this answer doesn’t give too much concrete advice about how to rank your pages higher based on relevancy, but the following questions got Splitt to dig a little deeper while discussing the top 3 SEO factors.
Creating Relevant Content is one of Top 3 SEO Factors
Splitt names the first SEO factor as content, saying, “You have to have really good content, and that means you have to have content…that services a purpose for the use… So, if your content says where you are, what you do, how you help me with what I’m trying to accomplish, that’s fantastic.”
Having content that serves a purpose ties us back to that relevancy piece. If you create content that is more likely to match with keywords that people are searching for, your page is more likely to pop up on the results page and get clicked on by the user.
Google likes when pages are able to be matched to exactly what their users are searching for, since that’s ultimately what their users like. Therefore, you want to create content that accurately and concisely conveys the purpose of your website, so that your pages are more likely to come up for searches relating to it.
A good way to make your content relevant is by speaking in your ideal client’s language. Splitt uses the example of searching for local ice cream. He talks about how users are less likely to search for your brand name than they are to search for things like “local ice cream shops” or “ice cream near me.” Therefore, instead of only using your brand name, you might want to include those search queries that people are more likely to use in your content.
Using Descriptive Metadata another Top 3 SEO Factors
In the past, Google has identified meta descriptions as not being a ranking factor. However, recently, meta data has seemed to become more important in their eyes. When asked about this second SEO factor, Splitt said, “Make sure that you have meta tags that describe your content… Have a meta description, because that gives you the possibility to have a little snippet in the search results that let people find out which of the many results might be the ones that help them the best.”
We have to ask ourselves: does that mean that meta descriptions are a ranking factor in Google’s eyes, or are they just there to showcase your content once your page does rank on the result pages, making it more likely that users will click on your website? We’re leaning toward the latter.
In terms of meta titles, Splitt had one important thing to say: “Have page titles that are specific to the page that you are serving. So, don’t have a title for everything. The same title is bad.” In other words, make sure you’re not using the same meta data for multiple pages on your site. Create descriptive metadata that is specific to each page.
Improving Overall Performance is final Top 3 SEO Factors
It’s pretty well-known that Google ranks sites with faster speeds and better performance over others. However, John Mueller made it known that while it’s an important factor in their algorithm, it sometimes isn’t the most important factor. For example, if your page is highly valuable and should be seen by viewers based on relevancy, but your site speeds are slow, your site may still rank high on the result pages simply because Google believes it is too valuable not to rank based on speed.
However, that doesn’t mean you should pass up the opportunity to make your site perform better just because you have valuable and relevant content. According to Splitt, if we combine that relevant content with higher site speeds and better overall performance, your chances of ranking high on the result pages are even better.
The overall message here is that we should be focusing on defining the purpose of our website. Too many website owners focus so much on using keywords that they forget the real reason why they are creating content.
Making sure our websites reflect the purpose of its being by creating relevant content, using descriptive metadata, and improving overall performance will increase our chances of getting seen and clicked on when we rank of the search engine results pages.
Digital marketing is constantly changing to accommodate the trends of society and changes in technology. That is why it’s wise for your law firm to be consistently reviewing your digital marketing strategies. These law firm marketing strategies should include looking at your website performance and content, SEO practices, and any PPC (pay-per-click) advertising you may be using.
Law Firm Marketing Strategies for 2019
Performance and Speed
The faster your site loads, the more likely you are to rank higher on search engines, when combined with relevant and valuable content. When you check your Google Page Speed Score, you should aim to be over 90.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Accelerated mobile pages (or AMP) is a form of HTML code that you can use to signal to search engines that your site is mobile-friendly and is likely to load faster because of it. To increase your chances of ranking higher due to mobile speed, you should implement AMP.
HTTPS is the most common security feature used on reliable sites. When users see that a website uses HTTPS, they are more likely to find you trustworthy. Google also encourages website owners to use this security feature, so they can help keep their users’ information safe.
Reevaluate the Use of Plugins
Plug-ins are a very easy feature for many website owners to use, and they can add some great features for website users as well. But, if you’re using too many plug-ins, they can slow down your website. Make sure that you’re only using the plug-ins that are absolutely necessary for your website.
Educational videos are an increasingly useful tool for law firms to connect with their potential clients. It catches the eye of your website visitors and helps them get to know a little more about your business. It may also be helpful if you can get video testimonials from previous clients.
Use Real Photos
Instead of filling your website with stock photos, try using actual photos of you, your staff, and your offices. This will help your potential customers make a deeper connection to you as a person.
Include Contact Forms
Using a contact form as a call-to-action is a great way to generate leads for your law firm. You can place short contact forms on every page of your website (as long as they don’t become irritating to your customers) along with a clear button to catch their attention. You may even want to include some free lead magnets, such as an ebook.
Display Client Reviews
Having a page on your website that is dedicated to showcasing client testimonials and reviews is one of the top ways to build trust with your audience. You can also choose a few to display on your home page, so your visitors don’t even have to search for them.
Display Your Phone Number
Make sure that your phone number is displayed at the top of every page on your website, while performing digital marketing review for law firms.
Use Live Chat
Including live chat on your website may help your law firm see a dramatic increase in leads. This is especially useful, because people usually only use live chat when they need immediate help (in your case, these leads would need an attorney right away).
Showcase Badges & Awards
If you’ve won any awards, completed certifications, or been honored in any way, you should include the badge for it on your website. This digital marketing strategy for law firms, will help your potential clients, to see you as trustworthy and knowledgeable.
Update Your Content
Content is one of the highest-ranking factors on Google. One way to consistently have new content is by having a blog, so if you don’t have one, you should set one up. Make sure that your content is relevant to the latest search queries by focusing on the purpose of your content and making it valuable for your audience.
You can also include a resource page where you can link to other trustworthy sites and content that your audience should be aware of.
More Law Firm Marketing Strategies for 2019
Focus on Mobile-Friendliness
Since people are using their mobile devices more often these days, Google ranks sites that are mobile-friendly higher than those that are not. Therefore, you should make sure that you create a website that performs well on any device.
Optimize for Local Search
Make sure that your business info is the same across the internet. You should ensure your business name, address, and phone number are correct in all directories. Google will find this more trustworthy.
Participate in Social Media Marketing
Google considers a business’s social media activity (either directly through their social media pages or indirectly from other pages linking to their site and social media pages). Google evaluates this while determining their level of authority and reliability. All law firm marketing strategies should include a social media strategy that helps you engage with your audience and establish yourself in the law industry.
Have a Blog
As mentioned earlier, a blog will help keep new content coming out on your website. Make sure your content is relevant, consistent, and offers real value to your audience.
Build Organic Backlinks
During digital marketing review for law firms, find ways to get other trusted law websites to link back to your website.
This organic backlinking is a great way to build authority.You can do this through networking, offering valuable answers in forums, and building strong partnerships with relevant businesses or bloggers.
Use Rich Content
Rich content is most important strategy during digital marketing review for law firms.You should be using types of content such as video and images alongside your text.
PPC advertising is a good way to increase your chances at being seen for keywords that may have higher competition. However, PPC advertising should not be used on its own. You should be integrating it with your other law firm marketing strategies. And don’t expect huge results right away; it may take some time for this strategy to work for you.
Consistently reviewing these law firm marketing strategies for your website, SEO, and PPC advertising is a good way to keep your law firm marketing strategies up-to-date. Staying on top of the latest marketing trends and adjusting your law firm marketing strategies as needed will help you get your name out there and generate more leads.
Law firms can easily improve their marketing strategies on their website by offering a live chat feature. Using live chat software gives your website visitors an easy way to contact you and get their questions and concerns answered right away, which may help you stand out among other law firms that may not offer live chat on their websites.
While it benefits your website visitors, it’s also benefiting you. With live chat, you’ll be able to generate more leads and possibly move your leads through the sales funnel faster by scheduling consultations and offering them valuable answers to their questions instantly.
Something to consider when implementing a live chat feature on your website is the ethical standards that the American Bar Association has set for lawyers’ websites. Once you’ve reviewed them, here are some of the main benefits of using live chat on your website:
Easy to Implement
Installing a live chat feature on your website doesn’t require a ton of technical knowledge as some people believe. At Veritas Law Firm Marketing, we can get your fully branded chat service up and running in just a couple of weeks. Our 24/7 chat representatives will be thoroughly trained on your firm and have a complete understanding of the practice areas you support, and how to best connect your web visitors to best attorney for them. With our website chat service, you can make even the most basic law firm website engaging and dynamic in just a few simple steps without the use of in-depth knowledge on computers. And once we install the code on your website, all you have to do is wait for people to visit your website and use it.
Once someone goes on your website, the live chat feature will be available for them to use. Once they decide they want to chat, one of our 24/7 representatives will be available to assist them. Our chat representatives goal is to get a summary of the issue the web visitor is facing, obtain the website visitors contact details, and let them know an experienced attorney will get back to them as soon as possible to help them for a consultation. Once a chat session is complete, you will receive an instant notification with a full transcript of the conversation for easy follow-up. We can send the notifications via email, text message, or both so you can get back to your new potential client as soon as possible.
Make a Good First Impression
Most people who need the help of a lawyer are looking to get their questions answered as quickly and conveniently as possible, so live chat allows them to contact you and gives them relief compared to having to use contact forms and wait for you to reply by email or phone.
Being able to offer your website visitors their answers as quickly as possible helps you build trust between you and your leads, and a relationship can be built off the feeling of your easing their anxieties and fears in a possibly stressful situation.
Gain Competitive Advantage
Tying it in with the last benefit, being able to help your prospective clients in stressful situations may be exactly what they need to choose you to help them in their time of need. During these stressful times, as your prospective clients are searching multiple sites for the answers they need, your website may stick out to them by offering a live chat feature where they can get their answers quickly and easily.
Save Time With Client Intake
Depending on the software that you use, you may be able to intake clients and leads even when you’re busy or it’s outside of business hours. You can utilize our 24/7 website chat service to perform new client intake, and pre-screen potential clients without taking time away from your office staff. This will allow you to have a detailed summary of the situation prior to even starting your consultation, saving you time.
You’ll also save money by not having to hire someone to constantly be handling administrative tasks that include inquiries from the live chat function on your website.
Increase Conversion Rates
You don’t want the money you spent on your website (and not to mention the rest of your business) to go to waste. Therefore, you want a website design that is going to convert your visitors into clients. Live chat increases your chances of converting leads into clients, since you’ll be able to offer them answers and valuable information quickly and easily.
Our live chat service increases leads and conversion rates by about 20% on average, so the investment is well worth it.
Having a live chat feature on your website is an excellent way to improve your marketing strategies via your law firm website. Website visitors are likely to find you more valuable and trustworthy and may end up converting to clients. If you’re looking for a way to build stronger relationships with your leads, adding a live chat function to your website is the way to go. If you are interested in adding 24/7 web chat to your law firm website, please contact us to arrange a free website audit with our dedicated law firm marketing consultants.
You are a capable and talented attorney who excels in your field, but does anyone else know that? The unfortunate reality these days is that many great attorneys are eclipsed online by average or even below average attorneys with better digital marketing help.
We created the attorney marketing guide to help attorneys better understand what it takes to make your law firm stand out and thrive in the increasingly competitive legal industry with a consistently changing digital marketing landscape.
As an attorney, you know how catastrophic it can be for someone without a legal background to try to represent themselves in court. The same can be said for law firm marketing and search engine optimization. At Veritas Law Firm Marketing, we take care of every aspect of your digital marketing, so you can focus on your clients.
Although our law firm marketing guide is comprehensive and detailed, it is presented it in a way that is easy to understand, regardless of the extent of your technical background.
Keep reading to discover actionable tips on how to improve your law firm’s online presence and find out how to take your law firm from where you are right now, to where you want to be online.
Law Firm Website Design
A great law firm website design can set you apart from the competition and help you convert more new cases from the internet.
Beating your competition online is more important than ever if you want your law firm to succeed, and the more competitive the market gets, the more creative you have to be when it comes to your digital marketing strategy. It is no longer good enough to simply have a website, you need to ensure your website is dynamic, built for conversion, and covers all the bases.
That’s where we come in. We don’t just build websites. We ensure your digital marketing strategy covers all the necessary bases to ensure your success online.
Responsive Law Firm Website Design
Google rewards law firm websites that provide the best user experience, regardless of the type of device your visitors are using. It’s no longer good enough to have a website that is simply visually appealing, your website needs to be able to automatically resize and display properly on a mobile device, desktop, and tablet, otherwise your website visitors will likely have a poor and frustrating experience. Our law firm website design team takes all of these factors into consideration and all of our websites are built out with the latest responsive design elements in mind.
Once we launch a new law firm website design, the work doesn’t stop there. We believe that your website content should evolve with your business. In fact, search engines reward websites that are updated on a regular basis as they look at this as an indicator that your law firm is fresh and up to date. If you launch your website and don’t continually update it with new SEO optimized content, you will be missing out on valuable opportunities to increase your rank, and improve your visitors experience.
Comprehensive Custom Content
Content has always been king. However, creating content for content sake is not a good law firm marketing strategy. People use search engines to ask questions or research a legal problem they are facing. Your content needs to be unique, comprehensive, and catered towards answering the questions your potential clients are asking online. Unfortunately many law firms focus more on the overall look of their website, while overlooking the fact that the content on their website is what they need to focus on in order to show up in search engines and increase their rankings. All of our law firm websites are built out with tons of educational, informational content to ensure your firm gets found online by the people searching for the services you provide.
Tracking & Reporting
Getting visitors to your website with a great law firm website design is only half the battle. It is also important to understand how your web visitors are interacting with your website, and whether your website is providing a good return on investment. Having a comprehensive tracking and reporting system in place allows you to harness crucial analytics to help you better understand and enhance user experience on your website and ensure your law firm marketing program is profitable. Our comprehensive tracking and reporting portal is made available to our clients 24/7 and tracks everything from phone calls, live chats, online form submissions, and more. We also track where your visitors are finding you online (ie. Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.) and how your SEO program is performing on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis.
Structured data, also known as Schema mark-up is website code that helps provide context and important details to Google such as your business location, service areas, phone number, and more. As an attorney, you don’t need to be an expert in structured data, but your digital marketing partner should always ensure that your structured data has the correct mark-up and is properly optimized for search. All of our law firm websites are built out with structured data included standard.
Ultimately, the overall goal of your website is to make it easy for potential clients to find, and contact you in their time of need. This means that no matter where a visitor is on your website, and no matter what type of device they are using, you need to make it easy and convenient for them to contact your law firm. Even though most law firms aren’t fully staffed around the clock, your website should be. All of our websites are built out with conversion optimization in mind, and include a 24/7 law firm live chat service at no additional charge. This ensures your website literally works for you while you sleep. Your phone numbers should also be easily accessible, and clickable on mobile devices. For users that would rather send an email, you should also provide easily accessible contact forms on every page to give your visitors the ability to contact your firm in whatever way is most convenient for them.
Social Media Integration
Social media has completely changed the way attorneys communicate with potential clients. Social media is a crucial component to any law firm website design. A solid social media marketing strategy will give your law firm the exposure you need to stay top of mind for potential clients in need of your legal services. People look to social media now the same way they look at reviews and testimonials from friends. The opportunities for referrals on social media is growing everyday, and if your law firm isn’t staying connected with your clients and prospective clients via social media, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to engage with your followers and gain new referrals.
Email Nurturing Campaigns
Email nurturing campaigns are an essential part of any law firm marketing strategy and should focus on providing as much information about your law firm, and their specific legal issue as possible. work by allowing your website visitors to opt-in to content (eBooks, Video Series, etc.) on your website in exchange for their email address. Once you have their email address, you can send them personalized information in the form of educational guides, videos, blog posts, and more specifically catered to the practice area or legal issue they are facing. These emails can then be automatically scheduled out over time to help educate them about the legal issue they are facing, and ensure you stay top of mind when they are ready to retain your services.
Are you interested in a new law firm website design to help you stand out from the growing competition? Keep reading our complete law firm marketing guide and contact us to arrange a free consultation with our law firm marketing experts.
Law Firm SEO Services
Law Firm SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization enables your law firm to be found online when people in your area are seeking the legal services you provide. The key to law firm SEO is to create a wealth of high-quality content and educational information that provides real value to your website visitors.
We live in the age of instant gratification, and if you don’t make it easy for your potential clients to get the answers they need, they will likely find those answers elsewhere.
People like options, so it’s equally important to provide your valuable information in a variety of formats. This means offering text-based content, videos, eBooks, blogs, etc. to allow your website visitors to read and digest the information in their preferred format.
According to a Google Consumer Survey, 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine to find answers to their questions. With the influx of smartphones and tablets, the days of the phone book are long gone. One of the worst things you can do for your law firm is to not appear in local searches when people have questions about the practice areas you support.
Our dedicated law firm SEO experts optimize your website with the keywords most relevant to your firm, and the practice areas you support; but we don’t stop there!
We also optimize your website for the common questions related to every practice area your firm supports. These “information queries” are typically presented in the form of a question such as “What are the no-fault benefits in New York State?” or “What are the DWI penalties in New Jersey?”.
These are some of the most important queries to optimize for because they are located in the “awareness phase” of the client’s journey. In this phase, potential clients are seeking information to help them understand their rights and decide who to retain to help them.
If you can connect with visitors in this crucial phase, and help them better understand their legal issue, you have a much better chance of converting the visitor into a client.
First impressions are everything. In fact, 72% of people seeking legal advice only contact one attorney. Providing a wealth of valuable information and helpful resources on your website will help your firm gain visibility and traffic from search engines. This will help ensure potential clients find your firm first when performing searches related to the practice areas you support.
Video marketing is a crucial component of all of our law firm SEO and digital marketing programs. In fact, video marketing is so important that all our law firm SEO programs include on-site video production at no additional charge.
Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to communicate and connect with your clients. Many people would rather watch a short video, than read an article about their legal issue. These educational videos allow you to showcase your expertise, and brand yourself as an expert in your field.
Are you ready to take your law firm to the next level? We are dedicated to helping law firms grow. Get a competitive advantage over your competitors and start attracting qualified new clients today with law firm SEO by Veritas Law Firm Marketing. Keep reading our law firm marketing guide to learn more about how to help your firm prosper in the digital age.
Video Marketing for Attorneys
One of the most compelling ways to encourage your website visitors to contact your office is to give them the opportunity to meet you before they even enter your office. Video marketing for attorneys allows you to tell your story and showcase your expertise.
By providing educational videos on your law firm website, you allow your website visitors to find and digest the legal information they are looking for quickly and conveniently. Research shows that 72% of consumers would rather watch a video than learn about a legal service by reading text. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, video marketing for attorneys is priceless!
Did you know that U.S. adults watch an average of 1 hour and 16 minutes of video per day on their digital devices? YouTube, which is the largest video sharing platform in the world has over 4 billion video views every single day. It’s hard to deny the growing impact of video marketing for attorneys, and how it can help increase your law firms visibility, engagement, website traffic, and marketing ROI.
Today, Google uses over 200 ranking factors to determine your website’s quality score. Their algorithms monitor and remembers the interactions of people using it’s search engine. The amount of time someone spends on your page is a good indicator of user intent, and content relevance. By providing educational videos, it keeps your website visitors engaged, and on your page longer, indicating to Google that your website is full of useful, relevant information. If your pages consistently keep visitors on them longer than your competitors, Google will adjust the search results to favor your website.
On-site video marketing is included with all of our SEO programs at no additional cost, because we know how important they are to ensuring your online success. We optimize all of your videos for SEO and then add them throughout your website on all relevant pages to surround your website visitors with the information they are looking for, but we don’t stop there. We also create a custom YouTube channel for the firm, and share all of your educational videos socially for maximum reach. The videos are also transcribed to give your website users the option to digest the content in their preferred format.
Video marketing for attorneys allows you the opportunity to connect with your website visitors like never before, and establish a level of trust and comfort before they even step foot in your office. Attorney websites with educational videos tend to have better conversion rates, and better overall performance online. Keep reading our law firm marketing guide to learn how video marketing for attorneys can help your firm grow.
Law Firm Live Chat Service
24/7 Website Live Chat For Attorneys
Are you looking for ways to make your law firm’s website more modern, dynamic and engaging? One of the easiest ways to improve your website engagement and capture more client leads is adding a 24/7 law firm live chat service to your website and starting the conversation with your website visitors in real-time.
Let’s face it, people have become increasingly impatient, and when they are looking for an attorney, they want to be able to make contact as soon as possible, regardless of the time of day.
If a client has an urgent legal matter and needs to contact an attorney immediately, live chat gives them that option 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Our law firm live chat service allows you to provide potential clients with instant gratification, so they can rest assured that your firm has received their inquiry, and an experienced attorney will contact them as soon as possible to address their concerns. This prevents them from continuing their search for other attorneys online.
Most attorney websites are reactive and wait for a potential client to fill out a contact form or pick up the phone and call. Our 24/7 law firm live chat service is proactive and invites your website visitors to start the conversation, providing around the clock accessibility to your firm.
How it works:
When a visitor lands on your website, our live chat representative engages the user and asks if there is anything they can assist with.
If someone is looking for help, we gather a summary of their legal issue, and contact details and let them know that an experienced attorney will contact them as soon as possible to address their concerns.
Our chat agents do not provide legal advice. They ask questions specifically created for your law firm in order to obtain contact information and qualify your leads, while still maintaining the human element your website visitors are looking for.
As soon as our live chat agents complete a conversation, the full transcript is sent to you via email and/or text instantly. All pertinent details and contact information are included so that someone from your office can reach out to the client and assist them with their legal issue.
Our chat agents’ primary function is to help build relationships through conversation and to qualify your leads before your competition ever has a chance to speak with them. Many law firms have seen a 25% increase in conversions from their website after adding live chat.
With the legal industry more competitive than it’s ever been, you need a way to stand out from the competition. Live chat gives you that competitive advantage and can help grow your law firm.
Our Law Firm Live Chat Service Will Save You Time & Money
Our 24/7 law firm live chat service helps attorneys save time and money by providing a cost-effective solution to customer service, that literally works while you sleep. Automating your new client intake and having a detailed summary of their legal issue prior to contacting them will save you valuable time and money performing intake over the phone.
Another important differentiator of our 24/7 law firm live chat service is that it is fully staffed around the clock with both English and Spanish speaking agents that can assist your website visitors at any time of the day.
How often do you go to a website and see a live chat service available? Of those, how often do you notice that it says, “live chat currently offline”?
While some firms have realized the importance of providing a live chat service on their website, many are still using automated robotic services that are only available during regular business hours.
By providing a 24/7 fully staffed live chat service to your law firm website, you will gain a competitive advantage and provide potential clients with another differentiator between you and other attorneys in your space.
Our chat agents will pre-screen potential clients and get a summary of their legal issue, so you know in advance what issue they are facing, and what concerns to address when you contact them. This will save you lots of time performing new client intake.
Another great benefit of adding a 24/7 live chat service to your law firm website is that it improves overall user experience. With live chat, your website visitors no longer have to stop what they’re doing to pick up the phone or send an email when they have a question.
Instead, they can make immediate contact with a live chat agent on your website, and their question will be sent to the office for immediate follow-up.
Our live chat agents are also thoroughly trained on your website and are able to direct your visitors to helpful content and resources on your website.
How Much Does Law Firm Live Chat Service Cost?
We offer our 24/7 law firm live chat service for a flat-rate, so there are never any surprises at the end of the month. This allows you to pay much less than other pay-per-lead options out there.
In fact, we are so confident in the effectiveness of our law firm live chat service that we offer a free 30-day trial with no credit card required. Never miss a potential client again, sign up today and start converting new clients in your sleep!
Social Media Marketing for Attorneys
Many smart attorneys these days are leveraging social media to help their law firms gain exposure and engage with their potential clients socially. If you want to do the same, you need to start with a great looking website that delivers a lot of educational content about the services you provide, and the frequently..
How to Improve Your Website Rankings After Google’s March 2019 Core Update
In mid- to late-March, Google launched an update to their algorithm that they are officially calling the “March 2019 Core Update.” If you’ve recently seen changes in your website rankings, this update (like most other updates) may have affected your SEO techniques and replaced your website in search results with one that the new algorithm finds superior.
Updates to Google’s algorithm are nothing out of the ordinary, in fact they happen almost daily, but Google is not likely to announce the update unless people start questioning the rankings of lots of sites. SEO experts are usually quick to notice when just about every site’s rankings are changing, and Google has confirmed this update after these changes were brought to light.
(On a little side note: Google is also usually against naming their updates, but this time around they announced the name of the update on Twitter, saying “We understand it can be useful to some for updates to have names. Our name for this update is ‘March 2019 Core Update.’ We think this helps avoid confusion; it tells you the type of update it was and when it happened.” So, likely in the future, we’ll be able to clarify which updates we’re talking about.)
Maintaining Your Website Rankings
Not unusually, Google has not given any advice on how to maintain your website rankings after the update or provided any information on what specifically has changed in their algorithm. They usually only do this if they are trying to get webmasters to act on a certain behavior.
In fact, those SEO experts we mentioned before also haven’t provided any specific advice. That’s because most of them are looking at this as more of a step back rather than a step forward due to the fact that many sites whose rankings went down in previous updates actually saw their rankings go back up. This leads us to believe that previous updates may have been a little harsh on some websites, and the March 2019 Core Update has reversed those updates to make it even.
As of now, the only official advice that we have is statements that Google referred to on their Google Search Liaison Twitter Account: “Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year. As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.”
For those asking how they can improve their rankings after the March 2019 Core update, Google really had only one thing to say: “There’s no ‘fix’ for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”
While this isn’t very specific, the advice can be summed up like this: keep creating valuable content (keyword being valuable). As long as the content on your website matches the content that your audience is searching for, you’re good to go. Google’s algorithm is designed to find websites that match the keywords and phrases that people are searching for, so by creating high quality content with an audience-specific SEO strategy, you’re naturally setting yourself up for a higher ranking.
If you’ve noticed a drop in your ranking since the update, you might want to consider publishing some fresh content to give Google something new to index on your site. Google also searches for sites with a good EAT rating (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness). So, if you’ve been hit by the recent March 2019 core update, here are some simple ways to improve your content and EAT rating:
Add an author byline to all of your posts. This allows Google to know if your content is being written by someone who is an authority in your subject. This is especially important if you are in the healthcare, wellness, or finance industries.
Don’t duplicate content. Google will decrease your ranking if it finds that you have duplicate, paraphrased, or rewritten content. It’s best to have completely original work. And if you have duplicate content that is already on your site, you might want to consider taking it down.
Establish a strong personal brand. Making sure that Google knows you are a unique brand can include adding things like an “About Us” page, contact information, or testimonials or customer reviews.
Include only natural, quality backlinks. Instead of creating backlinks through Private Blog Networks or blog commenting, try some other high-quality techniques like networking, blogger outreach, and broken link building.
Make your site more secure with HTTPS. Google likes to suggest websites that are more secure for readers, so getting SSL certified will help to improve your EAT rating.
Regardless of where your website sits in terms of Google ranking and how the most recent March 2019 core update has affected it, creating valuable content is the best way to improve your ranking. Keep giving your audience what they want and Google will automatically detect that you are a reputable source.
If you have questions about how to get your law firm website to achieve top rankings and dominate online in your area, please contact us to arrange a free consultation with our law firm marketing specialists.
Website videos help our clients to stand out and brand their law firms. Featuring educational videos on your law firm website allows visitors to actively engage with a business before they even set a foot in an office. The field of law is complicated, rife with technical jargon that may bemuse, baffle, and buffalo anyone seeking attorney representation. It is true that there is no substitute for an in-person consultation, but including educational videos online provides legal professionals the opportunity to answer frequently asked questions, alleviate concerns, and appeal to potential clients ahead of time. Website videos have an additional benefit: watching these website videos increases the amount of time that an Internet user spends on a business’s website, and the more time that is spent on a website, the higher that the website rises in Google search results. Because of their simplicity of use and advantage in generating automatic promotion, law firm website videos help attorneys better connect with their web visitors and prospective new clients.
After an accident, before a divorce, or during a series of discriminatory events in the workplace, potential clients have manifold concerns that they do not know how to address. With the exception of the rural regions of the Midwest, the United States on the whole has no shortage of lawyers. Because of all the competition, attorneys must take additional measures to distinguish their practices, and creating a virtual, interactive, and informative environment is one of the most effective routes to forming a distinctive brand.
When Veritas Law Firm Marketing meets with our partners in the legal fields, we film a number of short educational videos in which our partners explain how to manage complicated situations, what their clients’ rights are, and when attorney involvement is necessary. These website videos are an opportunity for our partners to introduce themselves to future clients, break the ice, and make the clients feel comfortable. This way, when a client contacts one of our partners, any apprehension on the part of the client is dispelled, and the case can proceed without a hitch.
A prominent side effect of featuring explanatory videos on our clients’ customized websites is the beneficial impact that they have on the websites’ position among search engine results. The more time that is spent on a website, the earlier that the website appears in the list of websites that follow a search on Google. Because watching videos requires more time than skimming through pages of text, visitors to our partners’ websites devote more time to their visits, increasing the web traffic. This creates a positive feedback loop, as significant time spent on your law firms’ website promotes further visits to that website, creating more publicity for the business and expanding that business’s client base.
Veritas Law Firm Marketing offers affordable website videos based on your law firms’ specific needs. For more information on how the use of website videos can benefit your law firm, contact our office to learn more.
Whereas some online directories include links to nationwide or global companies, other directories exist only to promote businesses at the local level. It is crucial for a business’s visibility to its name, address, and phone number (NAP) featured in these local directories, as people who use those directories will be more likely to find that business if its NAP is included as local citations. Using that business’s services or buying its products then allows the business to gain a foothold in that area, expand in local popularity, increase revenue from its market in the area, and appear higher and higher in search results.
Why Are Local Citations Important?
Because directories vary in their reputation, that is, their ability to provide legitimate links to real, dependable businesses, Google prioritizes some directories over others. The inclusion of a business’s NAP in a more esteemed directory increases Google’s opinion of that business, boosting that business higher in Google search results. The more reputable local citations that feature a business’s NAP, the higher on Google search results that the link to this business’s website will appear. According to the algorithm that Google uses, the key to visibility is not the sheer number of the local citations that feature a business’s NAP, but rather the number of high-quality local citations that feature the NAP.
In this way, if a business’s NAP appears in multiple reputable online directories in a given area, people who live in that area will be more likely to find that business through Google searches. There are three types of Google searches that are most affected by the quantity of local citations: Google Maps searches, “near me” searches, and general searches. After submitting a query for a law firm via Google Maps, the interactive map that features the search results will not include every single law firm in a given area; only those firms listed in the most high-quality, local directories and those with the best reviews will appear initially. Firms with less visibility can be accessed by zooming in or moving the map, but these firms will receive less web traffic because they do not appear first. A “near me” search for a law firm will provide a link to Google Maps, but it will also feature a short list of three local firms. A general search will produce a similar result, with a Google Map and an abbreviated list of nearby law firms preceding a series of links to national firms. Again, the law firms that are included in more reputable, local directories and have received the best reviews will be among the handful of firms to appear.
Of course, local citations in directories only go so far. Establishing a presence in an area is not the goal, but rather the foundation, and strong word of mouth increases a business’s staying power. On the web, one common form of word of mouth is online reviews from customers, and these have been proven to significantly encourage or discourage patronage to a business. The proximity of a business to the person performing a Google search is important, but a large number of positive reviews can boost the business’s position among the search results. Through the guidance of a specialized marketing service, first-party reviews (those included on the business’s website) will appear below a business’s link on a Google search results page, and a high average ranking across many reviews increases the likelihood that the link will be clicked by 154%—more than doubling the number of visits. Google takes into account only the reviews on the business’s website, and those on third-party sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, and Facebook are not considered in Google’s algorithm. However, consistent ratings across websites enhances credibility, so asking customers to provide reviews on both the business’s site and a variety of other platforms will only strengthen the appearance and appeal of the business online.
Having a solid digital presence is truly critical, and that can be accomplished and maintained as long as all the information available online about the business’s NAP is correct. Erroneous contact information may seem to be a minor issue that can be swiftly and easily remedied, but statistics would disagree with that assumption. On average, over two-thirds of the information online about law firms is inaccurate, and because seven in ten people would prefer to work with better-reviewed attorneys farther away than with local attorneys who have fewer positive reviews, misinformation can greatly affect how many clients a law firm receives. These trends are similar for legal professionals; more than 60% of the contact information for legal providers is incorrect, and three-quarters of consumers place their trust in online reviews when they search for an attorney. Because four in five individuals looking for a new attorney search for information online before turning to other sources, the accuracy of a business’s NAP is essential to garnering new clients through the Web.
Learn more about local citations for attorneys
If you are interested in learning more about the importance of local citations for your law firm, contact us today to arrange a free consultation with our law firm marketing specialists.