Legal Marketing Blog

This the definitive guide to SEO for attorneys.

The best part?

Everything here applies to law firm SEO in 2021.

In other words, we won’t cover out-of-date trends. We will however prepare you for legal SEO in 2021.

AND, if you’re looking for more than just SEO advice, you can check out our tips for creating a complete law firm marketing plan.

Let’s get started!

What is Law Firm SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science of attracting web visitors from Google search to your law firm website. 

SEO falls into three main buckets:

  1. On-page – The elements you see on the page such as title, headers, links to other pages from the content, and more should be relevant to the page’s topic.
  2. Off-site – Backlinks, social media shares, and mentions from other websites and social media profiles that help your rank better in Google, as well as client reviews of your law firm on platforms like Yelp and Google My Business.
  3. Technical – Website and server optimizations that help Google easily discover your web pages and present them in their search results pages.

Within these buckets exist a wide variety of ranking factors that Google uses to judge the quality of your website. 

SEO is the practice of optimizing your legal website with these ranking factors in mind to improve your visibility in Google’s search engine.

Today we’re going to highlight the most important law firm SEO strategies in 2021 and provide you with simple step-by-step guides for them. 

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How to Do Legal Keyword Research

Each day people search for lawyers and legal information using Google. The terms they search are known as keywords. 

If your legal website ranks for these keywords, you can enjoy web traffic from the users who search them everyday.

You can discover what keywords people are searching by using SEO tools like Ahrefs

Here’s an example:

WalkerAdvertising’s SEO team found the keyword “negligent vs reckless driving” gets searched 50 times each month:

So on our legal site, 1800-THE-LAW-2, we wrote an in-depth article all about this topic.

Now when you search the keyword in Google, you’ll see we’re ranked within the top 5 listings.

As one of the top-ranking articles, we receive tons of organic traffic each month from people searching this topic on Google:

So how can you empower your law firm SEO with keyword research? 

Let’s go over three steps to finding your keywords.

Step 1) Identifying your Competitors

The first step to keyword research is looking at what your competitors rank for. You can do so using an SEO tool like Ahrefs.

Simply copy/paste your website into the Site Explorer tool like this, making sure the filter is set to *.domain/*. 

Ahrefs will generate a comprehensive report for your website, including a list of your top 10 competitors in their “Competing Domains” report:

Step 2) Mine your Competitors’ Keywords

Now that you know your top competitors, you can find out what keywords they rank. Simply plug in the competitor URL into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and click on the blue number under “Organic Keywords”:

Using filters, you can pick and choose only the keywords related to your specific legal practice area: 

Once you have a complete list of all the keywords that are thematically related to your practice area, you can start planning a unique web page for each keyword. 

If you’re new to content creation, check out our proven tips for lawyer website content.

ADVANCED TIP: You can also use an SEO tool to find the keywords that your competitors rank for but you do not. We call this the content gap. 

Step 2) Finding your Content Gap 

You can use a content gap tool to discover missed opportunities.

Let’s take Ahrefs for example.

Simply plug your top competitor websites into the tool, making sure to insert your own website into the lower field:

The report will show you which keywords you’re missing out on, including their monthly volume and competition level:

Now that you know which keywords to target, let’s talk about one of the most important law firm SEO techniques: Matching search intent. 

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How to Match Search Intent

Each keyword you target in your law firm SEO has a search intent, also known as user intent. 

Search intent describes the legal service or information people are looking for when they search for a specific keyword in Google.

For example, if someone searches “personal injury lawyer,” their search intent is to find a lawyer.

How do we know? 

Just look at the Google search results, which consist mostly of web pages that connect people to a personal injury lawyer:

On the other hand, a keyword like “what to do after a car accident” has a more informational search intent. The searchers want to learn about the topic, not sign up for a lawyer just yet:

By conducting search intent analysis, you can tell exactly what someone wants when searching your target keyword. Then you can create content that gives them exactly what they’re looking for. 

Search intent is Google’s #1 focus. Just look at their Quality Search Rater Guidelines:

So to rank higher in Google search results, you’ll want to make sure each piece of content matches the search intent of its target keyword. 

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Backlinks Are Still Important

Backlinks are still one of Google’s most important SEO ranking factors in 2021.

A backlink is an incoming interlink from one website to yours. 

For example, here’s Huffington Post linking to one of Walker Advertising’s Spanish legal websites:

If a website is willing to link to your content, it means they know you offer value to users. That’s why Google counts backlinks as positive “votes” toward your legal website. Law firm websites with high-quality backlinks tend to rank better than those without them. 

How NOT to Acquire Backlinks

It may be tempting to find other ways to earn backlinks aside from creating amazing content. 

But beware… 

Google is aware of the many link schemes that have become popular in the last decade and will penalize your website if you’re caught doing them.

Google wants your backlinks to be natural, meaning someone found your content and loved it so much they linked to you.

Here are the most common link schemes to avoid in your law firm SEO plan…

Paid links 

Avoid buying backlinks. This includes exchanging services or free products for them. 

If you ever do buy a backlink, such as paying to be featured as a guest author on another site, Google recommends marking it with a “Sponsored” attribute in the source code:

This “sponsored” attribute prevents the link from passing any value to your website, so it won’t help you rank better. 

If you don’t use the attribute for a paid link, Google can penalize your website by removing your listings or pushing them far down in the search results where no one will see them.

Forum links

Forums have been a hotspot for link schemes for a long time now. That’s because you can simply place a comment in a forum with a link to your website in it. That’s much easier than convincing a website to link to you, right? 

But get this…

Since forum links don’t necessarily add value for users and might give spammers an SEO boost they don’t necessarily deserve, Google considers them a link scheme. 

That’s one reason why they created the “nofollow” attribute. This is a piece of code that a website admin can add to a link that tells Google not to pass any SEO value to the destination website. 

Here’s a normal link compared with a nofollow link (the only technical difference is the nofollow tag:

Most forums automatically use the nofollow attribute for all forum links. However, if you do place a link to your website in a forum comment, we recommend checking whether there’s a no-follow tag in the code otherwise you can get penalized by Google. 

Here’s how you can check for the nofollow attribute:

  1. Visit the web page where your link is.
  2. Right-click and choose “View Source.”
  3. Hold the “Ctrl” and “F” buttons at the same time.
  4. Type the URL of your link into the search bar that pops up.

The search bar will highlight your link in the code. From there, look for the rel = “nofollow” index attribute.

If your forum link doesn’t have this attribute, you can get busted by Google. So make sure to delete forum comments that have your link in them.

Link Exchanges

Link exchanges are what Google describes as “Link to me and I’ll link to you.” They are not allowed, especially in excess.

It’s perfectly acceptable to reach out to a website you think might find value in your content, and ask for a link. But offering a link in exchange means the website is giving you said link because they want a link in return, not because they really love your content.

So here’s how you can acquire high-quality backlinks the natural way and give your law firm SEO a real boost. 

Which Backlinks are Most Valuable?

Not every backlink is valuable. 

For example, one backlink from a highly trusted legal website is more valuable to your law firm SEO than 2,000 backlinks from low-quality sites that aren’t related to the legal system.

Let’s start by explaining which types of backlinks are the most valuable. 

Authoritative Websites

Which link would you trust most? One from the Department of Justice with hundreds of thousands of links from legal websites, or one from a low-quality blogger with zero legal-related websites linking to them?

That’s how Google thinks, too.

We call this concept “Domain Authority.” A site with a great amount of domain authority will pass more value to your website through a backlink.

For example, let’s look back at that Huffington Post link to Walker Advertising’s Spanish legal website.

Huffington Post has an extremely high domain rating of 92 out of 100:

This high-authority backlink helps our Spanish website rank better. A link from a site with no domain authority won’t provide the same SEO boost.

Links from Websites That Have Never Linked to You 

One link from a high-authority website is highly valuable to your law firm SEO.

However, a second link from the same website is not weighted as much.

When looking for a website to request a backlink from, make sure they haven’t already linked to you.

Links that are “Do Follow” 

Any link with a nofollow attribute will pass no SEO value to your website. 

Links that have no such attribute are called “dofollow,” and will pass value.

You can use an SEO tool like Ahrefs to see what percentage of your backlink profile are dofollow or nofollow:

If the majority of your links are nofollow, you might want to ask yourself why this is. Is your link-building focused mainly on paid articles or links in blog comments, both of which tend to have nofollow links?

Focusing on creating awesome legal content will help you build dofollow links in a natural way.

Here’s a tip: Before reaching out to websites, make sure they don’t add a nofollow tag to their outgoing links. Otherwise, you could be wasting your time. 

Links with Keyword-Rich Anchor Text

Ever notice those blue words when you’re viewing a web page?

This is anchor text, the words you click on to follow a link to another web page. 

Google analyzes the anchor text used for a backlink to your website to decide whether the link is relevant and valuable.

Here’s a quote from the paper on which Google’s algorithm is based:

According to Google, anchor text is a fairly important ranking factor. That’s why, in general, you want other websites to include your target keyword somewhere in the anchor text when they link to you.

But wait, there’s a catch…

Too much keyword-rich anchor text can be flagged as a link scheme, especially if the anchor text exactly matches your target keyword. To avoid penalties, only 1 to 5% of your backlinks should include exact match anchor text. 

Links from Sites that are Thematically-Related to Law

Which link to your law firm website makes the most sense? 

  1. A link from a legal information website
  2. A link from a coupon website

It doesn’t make sense that users of a coupon website would appreciate a link to a legal website. However, users reading about the law on a legal website might want to visit your law firm website to find representation.

This is why Google places more weight on links between sites that are thematically similar. 

Before asking a website to link to you, ask yourself: Will this website’s visitors value what my law firm website offers? 

How to Acquire Backlinks

The best way to acquire backlinks is by creating link-worthy content.

If you create law firm content that offers real value to your potential users, chances are more people will link to it as a helpful resource. 

Linkable content can include a blog, video, survey, quiz–whatever your audience might find useful. 

Take for example this blog we wrote about law firm marketing strategies.

We noticed that around 200 people were searching for “law firm marketing strategies” each month:

When we researched the topic, we found many legal marketing strategies, so many that you could spend days trying to find them all. 

That’s when we got the idea to compile all of these legal marketing strategies into a one-stop ultimate guide for lawyers. 

This blog was time-consuming to make. But that’s the point. We rounded up all of the worthwhile legal marketing techniques out there so that readers wouldn’t have to. 

Here’s the best part….

This type of strategy has increased the number of websites that link to us.

Just look at the growth of our backlink profile over the past year:

We saw 50% growth in referring domains in just a year.

Now let’s go over a few proven strategies for acquiring backlinks.

Finding Links to Shut Down Websites

When a website or web page shuts down, changes its name, or rebrands, it can become outdated and irrelevant to all the websites linking to it. 

That’s where your law firm website comes in. 

If you can find defunct legal websites or pages, you can reach out to anyone linking to them to let them know, ‘Hey, this law firm’s website is no longer active. But you can link to mine. We offer the same value and more.” 

You can keep an eye out for competitor law firms who are shuttering their doors. Chances are if they have a website, they’ll have backlinks directed at it. 

Just plug their website domain into a tool like Ahrefs to see all the websites that are linking to them. 

Here’s the email template we use to grab backlinks from shutdown or rebranded websites:

Dear [contact name],

I was looking for some legal information online today when I noticed your helpful and well-written blog: [link to blog]

I noticed you feature a link to [website name]. I just wanted to let you know, [problem with linked to website]. 

Here’s a screen grab of exactly where the link is: [screenshot]

I just happened to publish a blog about the same topic, which might make a good replacement: [link to replacement blog]

I hope this email finds you well. 


Best Wishes,

[Signature]

Broken Link Building

This strategy is similar to the above mentioned one, but with one slight difference. 

This time you’re only looking at competitor pages that have a 404 status code. 

A 404 means the page is not found, and usually shows up when a web page is deleted.

If you can identify all of your competitors’ 404 pages, you can find the websites that are linking to them and convince them to link to you instead of the broken page. 

You can find your competitors’ broken backlinks using Ahrefs’ broken link checker.

Or you can use the Check My Links browser plug-in. It will count all the broken links when you visit a page:

AND highlight the broken links in red so you can see exactly where they are:

Now it’s time to send the website owner an email letting them know they have a broken link, and offering them a replacement (your own amazing legal content). 

Here’s the email template we use:

Dear [website owner name],

I happened to be checking out your resource list today when I found a broken link.

Here’s a screenshot so you can find it: [screenshot of broken link]

Also, I regularly publish helpful content related to [topic]. Feel free to share if you agree. 


Best Wishes,

[Your name]

Guest Posts

Have you tried guest posting yet?

This is the process of writing a piece of content for a website that’s thematically similar to your own. You in turn feature a link back to your website in the article. 

Guest posting is still an effective law firm SEO strategy in 2021. But you have to be careful to do things right.

For one thing, only guest post on quality websites that are relevant to your own. It wouldn’t make sense for visitors of a sandwich website to follow a link to your law firm website, right? That’s what Google will think, too. 

Acquiring links from high quality legal sites, on the other hand, is a great way to boost your law firm website’s SEO. 

Here’s the catch…

Finding a website that’s willing to post your article can be tough. 

But don’t worry, we’ll show you our proven strategy for finding guest post opportunities.

First, identify someone in your niche who writes guests posts. You can check your favorite legal websites for guest posts and take note of the author.

Here’s a marketing blogger we follow: 

When we screenshot their image and plug it into Google’s reverse image search, we see all the websites they’ve guest posted on:

You can run a similar search using a popular legal writer to find legal websites that posted their guest content, then reach out to these sites for a link.

Link Round-ups

A round-up is a list that links to notable resources and news. These are shared on a daily, monthly, or weekly basis. 

Round-ups offer a great opportunity to place a backlink. 

Here’s our two-step process:

  1. Search legal-related KWs with the following string: “Lawyer” + “link roundup.” Google will show you all the legal round-ups on the web.
  2. Find the contact information for each round-up website, and reach out to them with a pitch that’s persuasive but not too aggressive.

If the content you’re offering is high quality, you should acquire some valuable backlinks to them from these round-ups.

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What to Do About Decreasing Click-Thru Rates

Click-thru rate (CTR) measures the amount of people who see your web page in the search results and then actually click on it. 

The higher the click-thru rate, the better.

Here’s a big obstacle in the way of your 2021 law firm SEO plan:

Between 2016 and 2018, CTR in Google search has decreased around 10% on mobile devices. 

Why?

Because Google is siphoning away more and more traffic from the search results page to their paid ads and their own web properties:

Here’s how you can maintain a good click-thru rate even as Google takes more and more clicks away from organic search. 

Write Titles and Meta Descriptions That Promise To Give Users What They Want

The title tag of your web page is what will show in Google search results:

That means your title tag has to be engaging or fewer people will click on it to read your content.

But what does engaging mean?

In law firm SEO, engaging means the title tag promises exactly what the user is looking for when they search the target keyword. 

Here’s an example:

We noticed that top ranking content for “law firm marketing strategies” listed a number of techniques lawyers can use to market their law firm. .

That means the search intent of the keyword is, “show me all of the law firm marketing strategies out there.”

Knowing that we needed to one-up the competition, we added even more law firm marketing strategies to our list than the competitor:

That way, when it’s time for the user to make a choice between us and the competitor, they’ll see we have more list items and click on our listing instead.

Find out the search intent of your keyword, and make sure the title tag offers users exactly what they’re looking for (and more than what competitors offer).

In addition, make sure the meta description of your article is based on what people seek when searching the keyword. 

The meta description is the tiny blurb that shows up beneath the title tag to give users a better idea of what the search listing offers.

You want to make sure that your meta description not only features the keyword or related keyword, but explains briefly what the article is about in a way that will resonate with their needs.

Check out Walker Advertising’s legal leads meta-description for example:

When lawyers search “legal leads” they want to buy premium leads that convert and are transferred instantly. So we make sure to say so in the meta description so people are more likely to click on our listing. 

Add Rich Snippets 

Rich snippets are additional data you can add to your search result listing to make it more clickable. 

There are many rich snippets available, but the only one that’s relevant to law firm SEO is the review snippet. 

Review snippets show a five-star rating for the law firm right on the search result listing:

To add review snippets to your law firm website listing, you’ll first need to acquire reviews on platforms like Google My Business and Yelp. 

Once you have reviews, use structured data markup to add the review snippet to your listing.

Structured data markup (also called schema markup) is code that tells Google to show your search listing with rich snippets. 

Google explains how to add structured data for review snippets here. If you’re not familiar with web development, you can hire a developer to add review snippets for you.

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How to Increase Your Page Speed

In 2021, page speed isn’t a ranking factor unless your law firm website is one of the slowest on the web. 

BUT in 2021, page speed may become more of a ranking factor

Specifically, Google will be looking at largest contentful paint (LCP), which measures the time it takes for the largest part of your web page to load:

That means you’ll want to make sure your web pages are loading within at least 3 seconds, especially the largest element on the page.

On top of that, having a faster web page is consistently linked with higher conversions

Image Compression

One of the most common causes of slow page loads is file size bloat. 

The larger the file size, the longer the image takes to load, which slows down your overall load time.

You can see which images are slowing you down using Google’s Page Speed Insights tool:

You can easily compress images with tools like this. 

Lazy Loading

One of the most effective strategies for speeding up page load time is lazy loading.

Your law firm web page consists of many elements (text, images, sign-up buttons, videos, etc). 

Oftentimes less important elements at the bottom of the page load before the really important ones at the top. 

In that case, when the user first visits the page, all they see is blank space. That’s because the bottom elements are loading before the top ones. Not a good user experience.

Google has ways of measuring when a page isn’t fully visible or interactive to a user, and if your page speed is super slow, it can affect your rankings and conversions. 

Luckily there’s lazy loading. This means loading your web page elements as they’re needed, not all at once. That way the user sees what they need to see right away. 

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How to Master Local Law Firm SEO

Local SEO helps you rank in a specific location where your law firm offers services.

What’s more, 46% of searches have local intent, and 88% of people who use local search end up calling or signing up within 2 days. 

That’s why local SEO is so important for attorneys. 

You want to rank wherever your law firm is in business, otherwise the competition will enjoy all your local leads. 

There are two channels to target for local SEO: Local 3-pack and local organic search.

About the Local 3-Pack

The local three-pack is a box that appears in search results when a user searches for a local business in their area.

The 3-pack features the top three local businesses as well as a map showing where they’re located. For example, here is our legal website 1800theLaw2 ranking in the local 3-pack for the keyword “car accident lawyer”:

The local 3-pack appears just above the regular search results, so if you can rank in it, you’ll enjoy more clicks than the competitors whose links are below you.

How to Rank in the Local 3-Pack

To rank in the local 3-pack, you’ll want to focus on:

  1. Your Google My Business profile
  2. Online reviews of your business
  3. Links

Google My Business

Google My Business is one of the most popular business directories on the internet. 

It’s also your way of ranking in the local 3-pack.

You’ll want to create a Google My Business listing for your law firm, and fill out as much of the profile as possible with helpful information about your practice. This includes your business name, hours, contact information, address, business type, and photos of your office and staff.

Factors that won’t help your Google My Business rankings are:

  • Keyword in the description of your business
  • Keywords in Google Posts
  • Quantity and frequency of Google Posts
  • Turning on Google My Business Messaging
  • Turning on Appointment URLs

There’s not much more to optimizing your Google My Business profile other than filling it out and acquiring online reviews of your law firm.

Online Reviews

In 2021, online reviews are more important than ever for your law firm SEO. 

Quantity of reviews, prevalence of the keyword in reviews, and high Google My Business ratings are all factors that will help you rank in the local 3-pack.

To acquire reviews, first focus on customer satisfaction. Improve any pain points you read about in negative reviews of your business. Double down on what customers praise you for. 

Next you’ll want to implement a reputation management campaign

You’ll want to do the following things to improve your online reputation:

  1. Ensure that your website ranks #1 in Google for your law firm name. If it doesn’t, your website is either not indexed, has a Google penalty, or doesn’t have enough backlinks. 
  2. Find any negative mentions of your company and reach out to the author to fix them. This can include responding to negative reviews on platforms like Google My Business and Yelp, or reaching out to the author of a review article to let them know what you’ve improved about your law firm. 
  3. Push negative review articles of your business down the search results page and bring positive reviews up. Simply build a few links to positive review articles that are ranking to try and outrank the negative review of your law firm in the search results pages.

You’ll also want to use a reputation management tool to track and acquire positive mentions of your law firm online. Here’s a list of the 15 best reputation management tools in 2021

On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization is one of the most important law firm SEO strategies. 

To improve your local SEO, focus on the following:

  • Add your keyword to the title of your website landing page in a meaningful, natural-sounding way.
  • Include your target city’s name at least twice on your landing page.
  • If you have more than one location, create a unique landing page for each geo-area. For example, if you’re a car accident lawyer in San Diego and Los Angeles, create a “San Diego Car Accident Lawyer” landing page, then create a separate page for “Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer.”
  • Create content about what’s going on in your local area as long as it ties back to your legal practice area(s). 
  • Ensure there’s keyword relevance across your entire site. Each landing page or article should be focused on a keyword that’s relevant to legal, and furthermore, your practice area. When choosing keywords, ask yourself which topics your particular audience would find meaningful.

To find out more about on-page SEO, check out this Local SEO Guide

Links

We discussed how to link build earlier. This strategy applies to local SEO, as well. 

Links are one of the top 3 most important ranking factors for ranking in the local 3-pack and local organic search. 

The more high-quality links that are directed to your website, the better your chances of ranking in local search. 

About Local Organic Search

Beneath the local 3-pack are the organic search results. 

For certain keyword searches, these blue links will have local intent, so Google will serve localized results

For example, when you search “car accident lawyer,” you’ll see the local 3-pack. Below that are the organic listings, which are localized:

97% of people learn about a business through local search more than anywhere else, so local should be a huge part of your law firm SEO strategy. 

How to Rank in Local Organic Search

To rank in local organic search, you’ll need to focus on:

  1. On-page optimization
  2. Backlinks
  3. Improving content performance

We’ve already discussed on-page optimization and links above, since they’re important ranking factors for both the local 3-pack and organic search. But we’ll cover one more essential ranking factor for local organic search: Improving content performance. 

How to Improve Content Performance for Organic Search

Content performance refers to how well users react to a given landing page. 

Using Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you can monitor the behavior of users when they visit your website. 

These tools will tell you if your content is well-received using a number of key performance indicators:

  • Bounce Rate – The number of users who visit your website and then leave before moving to another page on the site. If you have a high bounce rate on a page that’s meant to drive traffic to other places on the site, it usually indicates that the content is not giving users what they’re looking for. 
  • Session Duration – The average length of time users spend on your site. A short amount of time with no sign-ups may mean that users are dissatisfied with your content and going elsewhere to have their needs met.
  • Click-Through Rate – The number of users who see your web listing in Google search and proceed to click on it to visit your website. A low click-thru rate indicates the title and meta-description of your listing should be more relevant and engaging to users. Ask what the user is looking for when searching the target keyword, and make sure the title tag and meta-description are relevant to that need. 

By studying these behavioral signals, you can identify weak, irrelevant content and then ask yourself what changes need to be made to give users what they’re really looking for. 

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The Rise of E.A.T.

E.A.T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It’s a standard by which Google judges the value of your legal website.

Google came up with E.A.T. to combat a number of things:

  • “Fake news”
  • Extremist behavior that starts on the internet
  • Misleading information that can negatively affect readers
  • Public health epidemics caused by inaccurate articles

But when it comes to law firms, mostly Google wants to make sure A) your practice is offering good services to people and B) your articles offer accurate and helpful information. 

E.A.T is the most talked about SEO concept in 2021 for a reason…

Google has made major adjustments to their search results to make sure everything that ranks demonstrates a good level of E.A.T. 

E.A.T. affects “your money, your life” websites the most. These are sites whose content can negatively impact the health or finances of readers if it’s inaccurate and misleading. 

Legal websites fall into the category of YMYL websites. In fact, an E.A.T. study found that 8% of the websites impacted were legal-themed. So you’ll want to keep E.A.T. top of mind in your law firm SEO plan.

Where Did E.A.T. Come From? 

E.A.T. is a concept found in Google’s Quality Search Rater guidelines. 

These guidelines are meant to instruct Google employees who manually evaluate search results.

E.A.T. isn’t itself a ranking factor. It’s more like a concept that encompasses many important ranking factors.

For example, your backlink profile as well as online reviews of your law firm will figure into your level of E.A.T. 

Let’s break down the three main sub-categories: Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.  

Expertise 

Expertise refers to the level of knowledge the author of your legal content has on the subject they’re writing about.

Here’s an example…

You’re looking for an article about what to do (legally) after a car accident.

You find one article written by a personal injury attorney. And another written by a blogger who has no law degree. 

Which one will you trust? 

That’s exactly how Google thinks in 2021. Just look at this example from their QSR guidelines:

To demonstrate expertise, not only have an expert author write or outline your legal content, but display their name on the article with a link to their author bio page. 

On this author bio page, list all of the expert’s relevant credentials from degrees to awards and legal practice experience. 

That way Google can algorithmically figure out that your content is written by an expert and rank you better in the search results pages for legal keywords. 

Authority

Authority is the level of recognition that an author, website, or service receives for their expertise. 

Authority can be roughly measured by the number of mentions an author currently has from other authors online. 

An easy way to measure the authority of an author is to search their name in quotations in Google with the keyword and their site after. Just like this: “author name” legal -site:authorswebsite.com.

This will show any mentions they’ve had from other websites and authors (a.k.a. authority).

You can do the same search in Google News to see how many news articles mention them.

If your content has no mentions, it may be more difficult to rank for legal keywords. 

This is where the link building tactics we went over earlier come into play. If you can acquire links or at least mentions from trusted sites, your authority and overall E.A.T. will benefit.

Trustworthiness 

How much can readers trust the legal information you provide on your law firm website, or the legal services your practice offers?

Google now has sophisticated ways of measuring the trustworthiness of your website, so if your content and services are not trustworthy, you’ll have a harder time ranking in the search results. 

Some red flags to avoid are:

  • Too many negative reviews on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, or TrustPilot
  • Clients complaining about questionable business practices
  • Legal articles with no legitimate references or that mislead readers with inaccurate legal information.

Working on your online reputation is a great way to increase your trustworthiness. Tools like BirdEye, for example, automatically collect authentic reviews for you. 

Also listening to customer complaints and fixing any issues your law firm may have with customer service will help keep negative reviews at bay.

To learn more about how to market your law firm, check out our law firm marketing strategies guide

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