The top results are all examples of companies who are engaging in good search engine optimization (SEO) practices. And if you are a legal organization hoping clients find your name on the first page of a Google search, SEO matters.
While the exact factors that go into a search rating are closely held, some general guidelines that never go out of SEO fashion include:
- The copy has strong keywords, which are phrases you might expect visitors to enter when searching for your services. (But don’t try to fool search engines by blanketing your content repeatedly with the same keywords — search engines don’t like that.)
- Each page has a brief “Description” tag that summarizes the content.
- The copy is logically ordered and employs heading tags that indicate main topics (H1) and subtopics (H2, H3).
- Page URLs and titles reflect the content of the page. For example, an area about employment law has a web address like “www.yoursite/employment-law” and a title like “Employment Law Experts.”
- The site:
- Loads swiftly and avoids overly large media elements.
- Is easy to navigate and has a good user experience.
- Is mobile-friendly.
- Is accessible — meaning it is friendly to assistive technologies, such as screen-reading software and large print.
This SEO primer from Google states that “A site with a good reputation is trustworthy. Cultivate a reputation for expertise and trustworthiness in a specific area. … Expertise and authoritativeness of a site increases its quality. Be sure that content on your site is created or edited by people with expertise in the topic. For example, providing expert or experienced sources can help users understand articles' expertise.”
These practices, in turn, help build the site’s expertise, authority and trust, or E-A-T score.
BUILDING AN E-A-T SCORE
To build a strong E-A-T score, many experts suggest regularly adding content that demonstrates the site’s expertise.
How does a busy firm do this? It takes a little thought and planning, but once a workflow is set up, it can be as easy as posting to Facebook.
“The content that you showcase on your website through your blog is one of the most critical ways that the Google bots, and potential clients, make a determination regarding whether or not you have the authority or expertise to be placed at the top of the Google search engine results, or get hired,” says Annette Choti, author of Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide for Law Firms. “Providing consistent and compelling content allows you to rise above your competitors and truly demonstrate your trustworthiness and reliability on a particular subject area.”
Posts can be on subjects beyond the legal arena. For example, if your practice focuses on estate planning, and you want to show in searches for high-net-worth communities, write about dining or shopping experiences there. Does the community have a farmers’ market? Create a post about the quality of the produce and how much the office enjoyed it.