October 2022

Table of Contents



Tips and Trends Industry Advice and Developments

E-A-Ting Up Search Engine Optimization

Here’s a random test: Use a search engine (Google, Bing, etc.) and look for a practice area. Now look at the top organic results (the ones beneath the ads). If you click on any of the top links, you will most likely see one common feature: most or all will have a blog or a news section. Further, each of these blog or news sections probably will have entries created within the last month. 

Bert Saper

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.


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.

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Another common tactic: Write about major cases making national news. Offering the firm’s commentary is a great way to build authority. For example, a qui tam practice could comment on the recent whistleblower filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by Twitter’s former head of security. This will help establish the firm as subject matter experts.

Good writing matters, too. Keeping the copy conversational will improve readability. Legal phrases are fine as long as they are defined and made understandable. It might be tempting to insert a lot of keywords into the post, but that is neither wise nor necessary. Keyword stuffing — as it’s known — will punish results. Doing so often makes the copy less readable or even unreadable.

Search engines will also try to determine if your content is useful. That is, does it offer general advice (with the usual “this does not constitute legal advice” disclaimer) that might help a reader make a good decision? For example, when seeking personal injury representation, outline possible resolutions and explain the pros and cons of each.

Posts can be placed without an author’s name, adding the name can help establish expertise and trust. Adding a brief bio will further establish authority.

Of course, these posts will not write themselves and it’s easy to move this down on an already busy to-do list. But establishing a weekly workflow — story idea, writing, editing, posting —  can become as routine as making coffee.

While there are no guarantees, there is a possibility that these regular posts — over time — will improve your results. If nothing else, they will add personality to your site, which is always good.