[author: Noreen Fishman]
2022 is well underway. Now is a great time to assess where SEO is going: where should you spend more time, talent, and resources? What trends have you noticed and which ones should you pay attention to? Here, we detail what experts say are the 10 most impactful law firm SEO trends for this year.
Law Firm SEO Trends
1. User intent is crucial
If you follow our blog, you’ve seen the term “user intent” a lot. Law firm SEO has been so crucial for so long that people have started to think of content as a research tool, rather than material created for users with their intent and keywords in mind. Google recently made several updates to better identify the good intention behind a user’s search, regardless of the type of queries. Focus on a more holistic approach to your content strategy this year. Whether you’re creating video, blog, or web content, it needs to be properly planned not only for the keywords, but also for the user intent behind them. Look beyond keywords in their raw form and try to glean meaningful insights from them before creating content based on them.
2. Focus on quality content (site-wide)
Many businesses, especially those with robust websites, may have multiple pages categorized as “discovered, not currently indexed” in Google Search Console. This displays a template for search engines that not all published pages are high quality. Many marketers have undertaken short-term SEO efforts (like adding multiple pages of content to get links) that may give them a temporary boost in rankings, but don’t provide quality signals. long term at Google. This trend has also contributed to a ton of duplicate content on the web. Now Google wants to differentiate which content is truly valuable to users. Spend time researching the interests of your target audience, organizing these entities by topic, and prioritizing them by aligning them with business goals. Simply put quality before quantity, now more than ever. Additionally, now is a good time to invest in resources (training, books, etc.) to help your content team improve their SEO and copywriting expertise. Check out this free eBook, SEO for Law Firm Websites, for a deeper dive into SEO.
3. Localization of content
Experts say that Google will focus much more on this aspect over the next year. We’ve already started to see country-specific content outranking more global elements, and that will become more evident over time. Local content will be more important than ever. This means not only mentioning a specific location, but also making the content locally relevant. For example, rather than just using your city as a keyword in content creation, include information about the professional organizations your business partners with or legal updates from your specific municipality.
4. Single images will have preference
The reliance of web designers and marketers on stock photography will likely decrease over the next few years. Sites that leverage original images are likely to see an increase in normal search. Today’s Internet users are familiar with the Web and social media and are accustomed to identifying staged images. They respond better to more lifestyle-oriented images and convey authenticity. The more Google rewards sites for using original images, the more companies will use them. This encourages the growth of original content from creators. Additionally, Google last year announced an effort to make SERPs more visually navigable and intuitive. This means that larger blocks of images are likely to be displayed in the results of some queries. All of this indicates that companies should invest more resources in their own unique photography and graphics.
5. Some Law Firm SEO Practices Will Be Automated
Some experts say they have noticed that more and more SEO tactics are becoming automated. Things like technical audits, competitor analysis, and search intent analysis have already become automated in a few areas, and there’s good reason to believe this practice will catch on. The automation of technical audits will use machine learning to segment technical issues by content type, making the automation of these audits even more “intelligent”. Many common SEO horror stories could be avoided with the use of a real-time SEO validation and alert system. Such a system would help to avoid generating problems in the first place or monitor them in real time to be notified as soon as a problem is reported. In a rapidly expanding environment, automation can help businesses fill gaps in technology, skills, and resources.
6. More machine learning and natural language processing
Some of the more subtle changes we are seeing in law firm SEO involve these topics. Google’s changes to multimodal search suggest there’s a greater focus on “search journeys” rather than independent queries. This, combined with the monopoly that big tech companies have over data, will allow developers to capitalize on these advances in new ways. People who can take advantage of this data collection and find ways to combine it with advances in natural language generation will be able to expand their content creation. You can also expect more commoditization of machine learning solutions for content generation and categorization.
7. Changes related to the mobile page experience
Last year, Google introduced new tools that support mobile experience and page optimization. As these changes mature, we’ll likely see the mobile page experience become more important to Core Web Vitals. The entire mobile experience – from discovery to how users interact, engage and use pages – will come together as we’ve seen with the content experience over the past few years. years. This will be key not only for mobile UX, but also for mobile Core Web Vitals, mobile friendliness, mobile-first indexing, and mobile security.
8. Look into sustainable SEO strategies
Recent advice to SEO professionals is to stop trying to “chase” algorithms and better plan long-term SEO efforts. Google has already added results enhancements to encourage sustainable choices in areas such as Shopping, Maps and Nest. Reducing the carbon footprint of websites and digital infrastructure is seen as an important step towards achieving net zero and may eventually play a role in search user behavior. For example, Google is starting to display the carbon emissions of flights and to label environmentally friendly hotels. It is no exaggeration to assume that one day search results will show the ecological impact of web pages. In general, we should all expect to encounter “greener” attitudes online.
9. Index Now
This is an API that immediately notifies search engines when content on a website is created, updated or deleted. With this feature, search engines can quickly crawl and reflect website changes in their index and search results. This process changes the way SEO professionals and search engines interact over the long term. Many IT teams can take much of the frustration out of how search bots access websites. In addition, crawlers could lighten the load on systems, which is very important for companies that launch new pages quickly. It’s also useful when changes are made to a database that updates a large amount of urls. Currently, Bing and Yandex are leading the way with IndexNow.
10. Growing Importance of EAT
As a reminder, EAT refers to expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, and is generally considered an important approach to SEO. Understanding how to demonstrate the right level of EAT on your website involves tactics such as link building, online PR, and technical SEO. As we mentioned above, quality matters much more than quantity. At the very least, be prepared to hire skilled writers who are passionate about your topic if you don’t have any on staff. There is no real metric for measuring EAT in on-site content, but you can take a close look at ranking pages and unranked pages and document the differences for insight. For example, you might find that a lack of reviews or video content makes a difference in rankings.
Understanding these trends is important because they matter not just for this year, but for the foreseeable future.