Google SERP Features & Your Legal Marketing

Google has a purpose: make information easier to find.

Your law firm marketing team has a goal: maneuver through the SEO rules in order to make your law firm’s website content the first to be presented and found on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Google takes a person’s search and replies to it with one of four types of result categories:

  • Knowledge Graph
  • Ads
  • Organic Search
  • Local Search

SEARCH RESULTS IN FOUR DIFFERENT CATEGORIES

THE KNOWLEDGE GRAPH (Google’s Database)

Google’s Knowledge Graph pulls data about businesses, organizations, people, and places from sources it deems authoritative. It then restructures the information based on the searcher’s intent.

PURPOSE: provide instant answers to basic queries

  • Results don’t always link out to a particular page or article
  • Information is drawn from various references and sources
  • For some SERPs, this info is placed at the top, above every other kind of search result

HOW THIS AFFECTS LAWYERS SEO:

Because Google (every single time) is going to beat everyone on the short answers, it means that content must be built out with the long answers — the deep content that explains all the ins and outs of what your site and lawyers web design is representing.

Short Answer: Google for the Win!

If a searcher asks their phone, “what do I do after a car accident?” Google will give them an instant answer in steps to follow.

Long and In-depth Answer: Attorneys Marketing Strategy Scores!

What if the searcher asked, “how do I get permission to take my child to another state if I share custody?” If your lawyers marketing content addresses this, then your team just beat Google — and what’s more, Google knows it and will present your site as the option for an answer to the searcher’s query.

ADS (Adwords)

TEXT ADS

Text ads are visible for nearly any search, IF they meet two points of criteria: you paid for them and the search is relevant.

PURPOSE: basic paid ads supplied to the searcher at the top and bottom of their SERPs

  • Paid function
  • Google decides the ad is suitable based on the searcher’s apparent intent
  • Usually created in Adwords
  • There are ad extensions available to help make the ad more dynamic and responsive
  • If Google sees the extensions are relevant to the searcher’s intent, it will then show the applicable extensions

Google has a video explaining their extensions and how they benefit search results. Your team at Attorney Marketing Network can also help in this process of ad creation and extensions as they create the SEO for attorneys.

HOW THIS AFFECTS SEARCHING FOR LAW FIRM SEO:

If a person searches: “why do my feet hurt after court?” More than likely, an ad to your firm’s site — no matter how great your law firm web design has been executed — is not going to give them the answer to their query.

However, if they search: “attorney to represent me in court,” they are more than likely expecting to find products or services, not a commentary — therefore your site would be displayed as an option.

CALL-ONLY ADS

Call-only ads display the business phone number with a link to call from the searcher’s device.

PURPOSE: When someone is looking for a specific kind of company or business (i.e. personal injury attorney) and their commercial intent is high

  • Only happens on a device that can make phone calls
  • Allows for two lines of text and a link to business website
  • The size of the screen determines how much text is shown to the searcher

HOW THIS AFFECTS SEO FOR LAWYERS:

This allows the potential client to immediately call your firm without having to go to your website or find the tab for “contact us.” They can be on the phone with your legal team within seconds of inputting their search.

This provides a higher rate of competition amongst legal marketing with the local search results of other attorneys also turning up in answer to the searcher’s query.

Your team at Attorney Marketing Network can help you create a law firm marketing strategy and put it into action.

PRODUCT & SHOWCASE SHOPPING ADS

These two types of ads are both image-intensive and product-based. They wouldn’t be used for any type of marketing for lawyers. Therefore, for the knowledge alone, we will simply mention them here — as there might be a use for them in the future.

Product and showcase shopping ads are results that would appear for a search where the person:

  • Knows what they want to purchase, but do not know where (e.g. MacBook Pro)
  • Has not yet fully determined what or where, but have a category of an idea (e.g. laptop computer)

They would be presented with a carousel of images from different stores and links to purchase or find out more information.

ORGANIC SEARCH (Relevance)

PURPOSE: to give the searcher the best results to match their query and to place those results into the easiest format for reaching their goals

Organic search results simply mean the listings & links:

  • Relevant to the search language
  • Not advertisements
  • Individual sources (not a compilation of sources like the Knowledge Graph)

Non-organic searches can possibly included PPC (Pay Per Click) Ads.

HOW THIS AFFECTS LAWYERS MARKETING:

This is where the in-depth answer wins the long game. As in the Knowledge Graph, Google is grading the content of your site, which would be attorneys marketing attorneys, against the intent of the need the searcher has: finding an attorney.

Google is smart and getting smarter. No longer does it read by keywords alone — it understands the content surrounding the keywords. Rich and deep content persuades Google that your site knows what it is talking about AND it is the answer the searcher is looking for.

Through high-text content — that is comprehensive, relevant, and invaluable — law firm SEO can be employed and wielded as the greatest marketing for lawyers possible. With keywords balancing out the content depth, a wider base for search results can be prepared and laid.

Our representatives at Attorney Marketing Network can share the possibilities this approach can make for your law firm website design and lawyers SEO.

FEATURED SNIPPETS (Snapshot Result)

PURPOSE: A featured snippet is a block of information Google found within a website that is relevant* to the searcher’s query and is then displayed with the organic results along with the website link, page title, and URL

“When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question, and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.” — Google

*The relevance might be explicit or implied by the search.

HOW THIS AFFECTS LAW FIRM SEO:

With powerful and compelling content written within your lawyers web design, Google will be able to pull answers out for your potential clients immediately upon their search.

These answers are skillfully created by the copywriting teams at Attorney Marketing Network and are crafted to be proficient enough to grab Google’s attention so it hands the answer to the searcher.

The results should be an online search transformed into a physical client.

LOCAL SEARCH (Mixing Organic & Knowledge)

PURPOSE: to give the searcher immediate results that are both relevant to their search as well as to their location

Google uses a searcher’s location data and Google Maps to provide relevant results that either are expressly or by implication looking for a location.

LOCAL PACKS

PURPOSE: to show in one place the Google Maps, Google Reviews, business hours, and phone numbers for local results

Local packs only appear when Google assumes the intent of the searcher is to find a physical location.

Your firm will only be displayed in a local pack if you listed your business with Google. To find out how Attorney Marketing Network can help you get listed with Google, contact a rep today.

Just because a business is listed with Google does not mean it will automatically appear in a local pack. There are still factors Google will consider:

Relevance & Distance

Google considers both the relevance of the business to the searchers query as well as the distance the business is from the searcher.

This means the searcher could be standing near an Outback Steakhouse, but if their search says, “what is the price of an Outback?” the steakhouse will not come up in Google’s results. Their results would instead show them the nearest Subaru dealership.

Best Match & Prominence

Google also takes into consideration what are the BEST results for the question posed to it. This is where the SEO for lawyers and your law firm web design are vitally needed. The results are being generated based on the online presence of your site — links, content, and relevance.

It is also looking at the prominence of your site by taking into account Google Reviews and backlinks. The more your firm has, the more likely you will get listed in a local pack search result.

HOW THIS AFFECTS SEO FOR ATTORNEYS:

The strategic planning of your firm’s legal marketing is key to collecting the clients that are surrounding your business. Daily, people are searching for the help your firm could bring them. With the right network surrounding your team, these potential clients will find you.

To find out how to ratchet up your content so your site can answer Google’s call when searchers are seeking an attorney in your area, call a member of our team at Attorney Marketing Network today (877) 566-7626.