Attorneys and law firms recognize the importance of creating and maintaining an effective digital marketing strategy to attract, engage, and retain new clients. Building a client-centered website, posting search engine optimized (SEO) blogs and social media updates, and responding to online reviews from clients are all core components of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. All of these activities are designed to boost your rankings among the search results pages. Search engine algorithms, such as Google or Bing, are becoming increasingly complex in their ability to search, assess, evaluate, and rank information in a matter of nanoseconds. Now, as generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools integrate more with existing technologies and business practices, it’s essential to understand how generative AI will affect SEO best practices for businesses and law practices. This post will explore some of the most cutting-edge generative AI search capabilities and how they could reshape the digital marketing landscape in the near future.
Google’s Improved Search Capabilities
According to a recent Google update, new generative AI capabilities in Search will “take more of the work out of searching, so you’ll be able to understand a topic faster, uncover new viewpoints and insights, and get things done more easily.” Essentially, users will be able to ask more complex questions instead of breaking down a larger question into manageable topics. For example, if you are planning a road trip with small children, you may wonder which landmarks would be most enjoyable for your family to visit. Rather than searching each individual landmark and evaluating the pros and cons of each one on your own, Google’s generative AI search technology will perform this evaluation and comparison for you. It will present you with a narrative summary of its findings, along with the opportunity to ask further questions in “conversational mode.” In this sense, the generative AI search will act as a travel agent of sorts, guiding you toward a solution that best suits your needs.
How Generative AI Will Affect the Consumer
With so many people making purchases online, new generative AI technologies will have a significant impact on the online marketplace. When you search for a product, Google Search will provide you with a “snapshot of noteworthy factors to consider” when making your decision. Search will point you toward customer reviews, ratings, prices, and product images to assist you with your assessment of the product. According to Google, its new Shopping Graph model will serve as the “ultimate shopping data set.” Based on 35 billion product listings (with more than 1.8 billion listings refreshed per hour), Shopping Graph will help consumers find products using specific criteria. All you have to do is enter a few parameters (i.e., “winter coat with hood, size Large”), and Shopping Graph will scan billions of listings in mere seconds to provide you with the highest-rated products matching your criteria.
Incorporating More Varied Perspectives and Sources
Google strives to build generative AI technologies that incorporate a wide range of voices and sources. The company’s new generative AI Search feature is built on diverse perspectives and varied sources, enabling the search results to reflect and encompass a plurality of responses. It’s important to note that Google will continue to include Search ads among the results pages, boosting certain products and services to drive more traffic to these websites. However, Google maintains that it is “committed to transparency and making ads distinguishable from organic search results.” Paid ad campaigns will remain a vital tool for businesses and law firms looking to boost their visibility and engage more clients.
Exercising Responsibility and Transparency
As Google moves forward with its generative AI Search feature, the company acknowledges that there are limitations to the technology’s capabilities. For instance, every perspective on the web is not reliable or credible, and Search may mistakenly include erroneous information in the results it provides. It’s easy to assume that the summary Search provides is trustworthy and reliable, but we must recognize that some information may be outdated, irrelevant, or downright misleading. This is especially true for legal topics, as laws and legal procedures are constantly changing. When someone searches for information about a legal topic, they should not assume that Search will give them the most accurate results. Law firms can appeal to searchers to address this issue by urging people to contact their offices for the most reliable answers to their legal concerns.
How Law Firms Can Evolve With Search Engines
Search engine algorithms prioritize websites that display accurate, high-quality, and user-friendly content. The best way your law firm can remain competitive and visible to search engines is to maintain a client-centered website and post regular updates (i.e., announcements about cases your firm recently won, highlighting a new practice area, or explaining a particular legal topic). Once potential clients land on your website, they will appreciate your efforts to provide clear and reassuring information, increasing their likelihood of enlisting your services.
If you’re ready to discuss your law firm’s digital marketing strategy, give LegalRev a call today at (800) 893-2590.