Google is updating its search algorithm – again. While the company isn’t overtly saying that the change is in response to a potential flood of mediocre content created by generative AI, it isn’t hard to read between the lines. In its announcement, Google shared that it will be rolling the update out in the coming months. Specifically:
- A greater focus on content with unique expertise and experience
- The update to the system will more deeply understand content from a personal or expert point of view
In addition, Google is looking into displaying content in the SERPs found in “unexpected places” like forums or blogs. Here’s what Google’s Danny Sullivan had to say about it on Twitter the other day:
So, how does this impact lawyers and their marketing teams? Can they use generative AI to create marketing content? We all know that Google looks to experience, expertise, authority, and trust (E-E-A-T) when it evaluates the quality of a page. We also know that Google’s systems evaluate content for “Your Money or Your Life” sites – such as law firm websites – much more closely for E-E-A-T than others.
Putting this all together, it is more critical than ever for law firms to create and post content that demonstrates a unique perspective and expertise in a particular matter. In addition, it increases the likelihood that a well-maintained blog or engagement in forums will result in content that appears in users’ search results.
How Can Lawyers and Law Firm Marketers Create Content that Ranks Well in the Helpful Content Update?
If you’re wondering how to create content with a good chance of getting Google’s attention, you’re in luck. Last August, Google provided guidance on how to create content that will be successful within the Helpful Content System.
First and foremost, you should be creating content for people, not for search engines. People-first content focuses on satisfying the reader and using SEO best practices secondarily. Some of the specific ways you can ensure that you are creating people-first content include:
- Providing content that is useful for your intended audience
- Creating content that clearly demonstrates first-hand expertise and depth of knowledge on the topic
- Ensuring your site has a primary focus
- Providing enough information to help consumers achieve their goal (which, for law firm websites, is connecting with a lawyer that can help them
Google is updating this guidance to focus on the importance of experience as an element of helpful content and helping users find “hidden gems.” What does this mean for lawyers, specifically?
Your about us page and attorney bios are a great place to showcase your firm’s expertise and experience. Make sure that you discuss the firm’s history, experience, and successes (if allowed in your jurisdiction). Also, be sure to highlight individual attorneys’ educational achievements, professional affiliations, accolades, and anything else that demonstrates expertise and experience.
Blogging has always been an essential part of a comprehensive content marketing strategy, but this update may make it even more important to cover topics of interest to your potential clients in your blog posts. A blog is a great place to target specific questions your clients may be asking – also known as long tail keywords. Some examples of specific search phrases you could target in your blog include:
- Who Will Cover My Medical Bills after a Car Accident?
- Is Student Loan Debt Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?
- What Do California Courts Look for in Child Custody Cases?
- How Does a Plea Bargain Work in a DUI Case?
By posting content that answers questions like these on your website, you are more likely to connect with legal consumers looking for the same legal services you provide.
Creating helpful, accurate, and compelling content takes significant time – as does staying on top of Google’s content guidelines. If you are a busy practicing lawyer, it’s extremely likely that you don’t have time to do it.
Fortunately, the attorney-led team of professional legal writers at Lexicon Legal Content is here to help. We are obsessed with creating captivating and optimized legal content for lawyers and marketing agencies that work with law firms. To learn more about our services, contact our office today or email us through our online contact form.