Using Google’s Latest Ranking Factors to Improve Your Law Firm’s Visibility in 2024

As you revisit your law firm’s digital marketing strategy, it’s critical to use Google’s latest ranking factors to boost your visibility in 2024. Prioritizing high-quality content, backlinks, and keywords can propel your website higher among the search results pages.
February 17, 2024

As search engines like Google evolve, especially with the increasing availability of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, it’s essential to adjust your digital marketing strategy to remain visible and relevant to these algorithms. Law firms often believe that maintaining a client-centered and search engine (SEO) friendly website is enough to attract a steady stream of new clients every year. However, a stagnant website quickly becomes outdated or “stale” in the eyes of powerful search engine algorithms, causing your website to fall lower among the research results when someone in your community searches for legal services or information on Google. As we move into 2024, it’s worth taking a look at the latest ranking factors that Google uses when evaluating a website. Understanding these ranking factors can help you tweak your digital marketing strategy to appeal to Google’s latest algorithm, ultimately improving your law firm’s position among the search results pages. Let’s take a look at Google’s latest ranking factors as well as some practical strategies to help your law firm appeal to these factors and boost your online presence and visibility moving forward.

Understanding How Google Generates Search Results

First, it’s helpful to understand how search engines like Google generate search results for people looking for information or answers regarding a particular topic. According to Google’s website, “Google’s ranking systems are designed to do just that: sort through hundreds of billions of web pages and other content in our Search index to present the most relevant, useful results in a fraction of a second.” In order to provide a searcher with the information they are looking for in the most time-efficient way, Google uses several factors to search, evaluate, and present results that are meaningful and relevant to the user’s query. By the most current estimates, Google uses over 200 ranking factors to deliver high-quality results to searchers throughout the world. Below are the most significant ranking factors that Google uses so you can prioritize the factors that will likely provide your law firm with the most beneficial results.

High-Quality Content

It may not be surprising that websites with high-quality content are ranked favorably by Google. However, what does the term “high-quality content” actually mean for your law firm’s website? Google measures content quality by showing a preference for original content that is updated with fresh content on a regular basis. For example, if your law firm’s website contains multiple pages for the various practice areas you offer, it’s critical that you avoid duplicate or redundant content. In some cases, regularly publishing duplicate content may cause Google to stop indexing these pages—which will have a negative impact on your website’s visibility and performance. Instead, focus on writing fresh content that anticipates the needs and concerns of your potential clients. You can make your content even more search-engine friendly by organizing new posts or pages using multiple headings and subheadings. Clear and logical organization makes it easier for Google’s algorithm to scan your content and rate it as high-quality, boosting your ranking among the search results pages.

Prioritizing Backlinks

When Google evaluates the reliability and quality of your website content, it looks for backlinks that serve as endorsements for your website. Essentially, backlinks (also known as inbound links) show Google that other sources validate and value your website, improving your trustworthiness and authority in the legal landscape. Consider posting links to recent professional accomplishments an attorney at your firm recently celebrated or a magazine article profiling your firm’s recent win. Moreover, be sure that the links you use in your practice area pages and blogs connect to trusted, high-quality sources (rather than other firm’s blogs or outdated statistics).

Understanding Search Intent and Keyword Relevancy

In order to make your website appealing and relevant to potential clients, it’s essential to consider search intent. Many people who end up hiring an attorney initially start with a question about a legal topic. In fact, someone who eventually becomes your client may not even think they need a lawyer to help them with a particular issue. When you understand where the typical client journey begins, you can tailor your content to appeal to your potential clients’ primary concerns and frequently asked questions. Anticipating the needs of your clients is a great way to make your content more client-centered, relevant, and appealing to searchers in your community.

Check Your Website’s Loading Speed on All Devices

Google prioritizes websites that load quickly (ideally in under three seconds) over those that take longer to display the content. If your website takes too long to load, searchers will likely give up and look for another website that displays information more quickly. Generally, loading speed can be improved by avoiding large image files, broken links, and animated add-ons that load independently of the written content. It’s also important to visit your website from several different devices (i.e., desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones) to ensure that any user can access your website quickly and easily.

Intuitive Site Navigation

Websites for law firms with multiple practice areas may use subpages to highlight every single practice area. While this strategy may be SEO-friendly in many ways, the way in which these pages are organized matters. When a user visits your website, you want to be sure that they can locate the information they are looking for as smoothly and easily as possible. Websites that are too cluttered or display confusing navigation menus will likely send visitors elsewhere. For example, navigation menus that contain too many nested pages can overwhelm potential clients, and they may become frustrated in their search for information on their desired legal topic. In contrast, clear and logical site navigation tools can keep your visitors engaged and appreciative as they travel easily from page to page. You can work with your digital marketing strategist to implement an intuitive site layout that appeals to both site visitors and Google’s ranking algorithm.

If your law firm’s goal is to engage with more clients and grow your practice, talk to the LegalRev team today about how we can help. Call us at (800) 893-2590 or schedule a quick meeting here to discuss your vision and marketing goals.

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