Part 1: Build Your Law Firm Website’s Online Authority with Quality, Informative Content
The early- to mid-2010s was a time of immense change in the world of search engine optimization (SEO).
The rules were updated, and the bar was raised in terms of which sites got the top spots in the results. It was during this time that search engines began placing a premium on quality, informative content. This forced law firms to make their websites something bigger than just an online brochure.
When most people think about appealing to the search engines, most think about Google, and nobody else. While Google’s algorithm changes will dominate the discussion in this post, it’s important to remember that the unique requirements of Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines must be considered in any SEO strategy.
How Google’s Algorithm Updates Changed the Way Law Firms Created Their Websites
In 2011 and 2012, respectively, Google released its Panda and Penguin updates. These were two of the first updates that made content quality a primary focus. The impact was a complete game changer for law firms trying to win approval from search engines.
Pages were now being judged on whether their content provided worthwhile information based on the searcher’s intent. And, in the case of the Penguin update, over-optimization of thin content was sniffed out, and Google dropped many sites from its top search results.
So, Exactly What Is Quality Content, and Why Is It Important to My Firm’s Website?
Indeed, this is the—perhaps literal—million-dollar question. If your law firm is relying on its website as a primary source of prospective clients, you’ll want to do everything in your power to ensure that it’s as attractive as possible to the search engines. Because, as mentioned previously, the quality of your content is now a major consideration in the ranking of your website.
Quality web content provides the user with deep information about the searched topic. Blogs, scholarly articles and other information-based pages get high marks from the search engines. That is not to say there is no room for marketing messages and calls to action in website content—there certainly is. It’s just that the search engines want more from the page than marketing.
So, when you go about creating your page on copyright infringement, use the majority of the page to tell users about the nuances of copyright infringement and less of it to tell them why they should call your firm to handle their case. It seems counterintuitive from a marketing standpoint, but it’s one of the best ways to get a higher ranking from the search engines.
Quality Content Goes Beyond Making Your Firm’s Website Relevant to the Search Engines
There are more advantages to creating quality content than simply appealing to search engine requirements. A focus on creating quality, informative content can help to position you as an authority in your selected practice areas—an attorney who cares about helping people understand their legal issues rather than simply looking for new clients.
Providing informative content is good for business development from both an SEO perspective and one of building credibility with clients and prospects. Learn more about building a comprehensive SEO strategy with a free download of our SEO playbook, “Rise Above the Rest: The Key Ingredients to SEO Success for Law Firms.”