Have you Googled your law firm recently? Did you notice that the description of your site was a bit different than the last time you checked?

There’s a reason for that. That text is called a “meta description,” and it’s something that every major search engine uses. When you see it in search results, it runs between 25 and 160 characters. It also describes what’s on the corresponding page of content on your site. That’s why you need to take care when describing your firm online. A well-crafted meta description entices users to click.

Attracting Users

To illustrate, let’s use an example from outside the legal profession:

Google Search in the Twin Cities – “thai restaurant

first

Google Search in the Twin Cities – “Minneapolis thai restaurant

second

Same restaurant, two different searches, two different meta descriptions. The actual description for the page is “Award Winning – Sawatdee Thai Food in Minnesota.” When the searcher typed in different words, Google changed the description by grabbing snippets of text from the site to make this a better match for what the user was looking for. It also added bolded keywords, based on the specific words that the searcher entered.

As an attorney, you want to be found by as many different relevant searchers as possible. To do that, you need to write your meta descriptions concisely and with care.

Writing Your Description

Here are three approaches to consider:

  1. Focus on what would attract a user to click on your result. A meta description isn’t for your use, it’s for potential clients. Don’t include information that won’t interest a user.
  2. Use relevant keywords and phrases so the user knows what the page is about. What are potential clients looking for that you can provide? Where are you located?
  3. Stay within the length guidelines. Don’t exceed 160 characters. If you do, the browser will ignore those extra characters.

Not following these general guidelines doesn’t mean that your site won’t show up in search engine results. But they will give you a better shot at attracting searchers — and at converting them into clients. You’re not in the restaurant business, but you still want to serve up something customers want to buy.

Have questions about your site? Get your free consultation now to learn how FindLaw’s legal marketing solutions can help grow your firm.

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