E-A-T: Understanding Google’s Algorithm and What it Means for Law Firms

Google’s ranking algorithm heavily rewards content and creators who consistently exhibit expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T, for short). As an attorney, there are some specific strategies you can use to become more Google-friendly and visible to potential clients.

When potential clients are looking for an attorney, they usually start with Google. They’ll type in some key words, like “personal injury lawyer near me” and see what pops up. While it used to be that a new website could appear in Google’s search results virtually overnight, the 2018 Google algorithm update implemented a different system for ranking websites. In order for your law firm’s website to rank well on Google, you’ll need to focus on building up and highlighting your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, also referred to as E-A-T. It may be helpful to understand a bit more about these three concepts and how you can apply them to your overall digital marketing strategy.

Displaying Your Expertise

As an attorney, you already have a high level of expertise to offer your clients. The next step is to translate your professional expertise into engaging content that demonstrates a deep understanding of your clients’ needs. One concrete way to cultivate expertise that Google’s algorithm will notice and reward is by writing search-friendly content. This means that you can anticipate questions that your potential clients may search for, perhaps even before they realize they need an attorney. For example, someone who may be thinking about getting divorced may type, “How much will I owe in child support,” so if you have a page or blog on your website that directly addresses and answers this question, Google’s algorithm may make the connection and direct the searcher towards your site.

Building Authority

While being an expert is great, becoming an authority in your practice area is even better. The process of inviting Google to view you as an authority takes time, so prepare yourself for a gradual rise to the top. This is where the power of social media can come in handy—the more often your content is shared across these platforms, the more it may engage and inform others of your legal expertise. Also, as people begin to recognize your firm’s name, they may search more often for your practice by name, which Google’s ranking algorithm rewards heavily. Slowly and steadily, your community will start to recognize your firm’s name and you may begin to emerge as your area’s top legal authority in your specific practice area.

Cultivating Trustworthiness

Creating and maintaining consumer trust is essential. Even if you are the top authority in your field, it doesn’t mean much if clients don’t view you as reliable or trustworthy. Inviting and monitoring client reviews of your firm on platforms such as Google My Business or Facebook is an ongoing practice that you should prioritize. If you receive a negative review, you should consider reaching out privately to that individual to see if there is any way you can address their concerns. As positive reviews accumulate, potential clients will likely use this information to determine whether to work with you.

If you are interested in learning more about how the three pillars of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness can boost your firm’s visibility on Google, give LegalRev a call today at (800) 893-2590.

July 3, 2020