Update Your SEO Strategy for Google’s Search Generative Experience

by Kalin Dudley | January 16, 2024

In Part One of Google’s Search Generative Experience for Legal Marketing, we introduced the concepts of zero-click searches and Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE). As both zero-click searches and SGE aim to simplify the search process by displaying the most relevant results directly to users, it’s more important than ever for personal injury law firms to stand out as authoritative, knowledgeable, and trustworthy to Google’s algorithm. In this section, we will help you to better understand how to do just that.

Update Your SEO Strategy

Identifying and targeting relevant keywords for law firms to take advantage of zero-click searches involves strategic research and optimization. Here’s a step-by-step approach to get started.

Understand User Intent

Identify common questions or search queries related to personal injury cases. Consider the intent behind these queries (informational, transactional, navigational). Focus on specific, longer phrases that reflect user intent and potential questions.

Use Keyword Research Tools

Use tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs to find keywords related to personal injury law. Look for high-volume, low-competition keywords and those most likely to trigger featured snippets. Continuously monitor keyword performance using tools like Google Analytics or Search Console. Track which keywords are driving traffic and engagement.

Localize Keywords

Incorporate city or region-specific keywords to target local audiences (e.g., “personal injury lawyer in [City Name]”).

Use Google’s Tools for On-Page Optimization

Google rewards optimized websites, and thankfully, it also provides tools to make optimization easier and more effective.

Focus on Question-Based Queries/Optimize for Featured Snippets

Target FAQ-related content. Create content that directly answers common questions in a concise format to increase the likelihood of appearing in answer boxes. Develop comprehensive, authoritative content on safety tips, frequently asked questions, and personal injury topics that address various aspects of the law. Monitor the content’s performance over time using analytics and refresh it regularly.

Utilize Google My Business

Ensure accurate and detailed information appears on your firm’s Google My Business, including services offered, reviews, hours of operation, and location.

Implement SEO Best Practices

Craft compelling meta descriptions and titles that encourage clicks even when a user doesn’t click through.

Utilize Structured Data Markup

Structured data markup is a method of adding specific code to a website’s content, enabling search engines to better understand and display that content in relevant and enhanced ways in search results. It provides context and clarity and can mean increased visibility and a higher likelihood of attracting clicks from users seeking specific legal information or services.

Claim a Knowledge Panel

Claiming and updating a Knowledge Panel on Google involves these steps:

  • Claim Ownership: Start by verifying your identity or authority over your firm in Google’s Knowledge Panel. Visit Google’s Knowledge Panel claiming portal and follow the instructions to verify your association.
  • Use Google Knowledge Graph: Use Google’s Knowledge Graph data feedback tool. Submit relevant information or corrections directly to Google, providing accurate details and credible sources to support your updates.
  • Keep Information Accurate: Regularly monitor the Knowledge Panel for accuracy. If any information needs updating, such as contact details, opening hours, or additional information, submit feedback through the “Suggest an edit” option on the Knowledge Panel.
  • Provide Verifiable Sources: When suggesting edits or updates, include authoritative sources that support the changes you’re proposing. This helps Google verify and potentially implement the changes more effectively.
  • Be Patient: Google’s review process for suggested edits can take time. Continuously check for updates and, if necessary, follow up on the status of your submission.

Adapting Content Strategy

Content creation and marketing have transitioned towards prioritizing user-centric, high-quality content distributed across multiple channels. This shift involves a focus on:

  • Understanding user intent
  • Creating engaging and valuable content
  • Optimizing for search intent
  • Leveraging data for insights
  • Nurturing community engagement
  • Building long-term relationships with audiences to foster loyalty and trust

In addition, content clusters and diverse content types play pivotal roles in bolstering a brand’s online presence by providing depth, relevance, and versatility. Content clusters organize related topics or themes into interconnected pieces, enhancing SEO and user experience. By creating comprehensive hubs of information around a central topic, websites can establish authority and visibility on search engines.

The Importance of Diversifying Content

Diverse content types, such as articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, and interactive content, cater to different audiences and content consumption habits. This diversity also maximizes engagement across multiple platforms. It enables law firms to communicate with potential clients effectively, catering to different learning styles. This can expand firms’ marketing reach and create deeper connections with audiences.

Images can also serve as a type of content. High-quality images can benefit a law firm in zero-click searches by increasing the chances of appearing in image packs or featured snippets on the SERP. If an image is featured in a snippet or knowledge panel, it can provide immediate information related to legal topics, potentially driving traffic to the firm’s website.

New content should be focused on targeting certain keywords, which can be identified using keyword research tools.

To leverage keyword research tools effectively, follow these tips:

  1. Define your objectives and target audience.
  2. Explore relevant keywords in your industry, considering search volume, competition, and trends.
  3. Analyze keyword performance and prioritize those aligning with your content strategy and audience intent.
  4. Use the data and information you’ve learned to optimize content, uncover new opportunities, and track keyword performance over time.
  5. Regularly refine your approach based on the data and insights gathered to enhance your content’s visibility and relevance across search engines.

Anticipating Changes and Preserving Traffic

A consistent and effective content strategy is a great way to boost organic traffic to a website, but the initial traffic spike will often be followed by a lull.

Law firms can brace for potential drops in organic traffic by diversifying their traffic sources, such as investing in social media, email marketing, and paid advertising. Focus on optimizing website content for SEO, staying updated with search engine algorithm changes, frequently posting new, high-quality content, and enhancing local SEO efforts for targeted clientele.

Additionally, fostering client relationships, monitoring analytics, and expanding content formats can help maintain a resilient online presence. It’s also important to establish a strong domain authority.

What Is Domain Authority and Why Does It Matter?

Domain authority refers to a search engine ranking score that predicts how well a website is likely to rank on SERPs. It’s based on several factors, including the quality and quantity of inbound links, content relevance, website structure, and overall trustworthiness. Domain authority indicates a website’s credibility and expertise in a particular field.

It matters because it influences search engine rankings—a website with a higher domain authority is more likely to rank higher in search results, gaining more visibility, traffic, and potentially more opportunities for business or engagement. Increasing domain authority is important for websites aiming to improve their online presence and attract a larger audience.

Once domain authority is established, it is important to maintain and improve it over time. The same is true for gaining authority in the organic search results.

What Are the Impacts of a Drop in Traffic?

Steadily increasing the number of visits to your site from the organic search results is important to helping your site’s rank improve. Although occasional dips in traffic are to be expected, large drops can be signs that something is wrong—and they can have a detrimental effect on your firm.

A 25% drop in organic traffic, for example, could significantly impact a personal injury law firm’s online visibility and client acquisition. Such a decrease might lead to reduced inquiries, potential client intake, and overall conversion rates. It could affect the firm’s ranking on search engines, impacting its exposure to potential clients seeking legal services.

With fewer visitors reaching the website, there might be a decline in engagement and fewer opportunities to convert leads into clients. This drop underscores the importance of diversifying traffic sources, optimizing content, and adapting strategies when needed to mitigate the potential adverse effects.

Diversifying Traffic Sources

Relying solely on search engine traffic for an injury law firm website can be risky. While organic traffic is valuable, dependence solely on this source leaves the firm vulnerable to fluctuations in search engine algorithms or unexpected drops in rankings, which can impact visibility and lead generation.

Instead of relying solely on organic traffic, it’s important for firms to diversify their traffic sources. There are several alternative platforms for driving both ad and organic traffic to a website beyond search engines. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X, LinkedIn, and even TikTok offer opportunities to engage with audiences through paid and organic posts, stories, and interactions. Content-sharing platforms like YouTube for videos, Medium for articles, and SlideShare for presentations also enable content dissemination to broader audiences.

How Can You Use Social Media to Generate Traffic?

Utilizing visual content like infographics, videos, or images to convey complex legal information in an easily digestible format can significantly enhance engagement and encourage users to visit your firm’s website for more detailed information. Additionally, hosting live Q&A sessions, webinars, or workshops on social media platforms can drive traffic by directing participants to the firm’s website for deeper insights and consultations.

Strategic use of hashtags, geotargeting, and paid advertising campaigns can expand reach and attract a relevant audience. Engaging with community groups, influencers, and participating in relevant discussions can also boost visibility and drive traffic organically. The key lies in fostering meaningful connections, providing valuable insights, and then encouraging users to visit the website for further information and legal assistance after having convinced them of your competence with legal matters.

We hope you found Part Two of our series on Google’s Search Generative Experience enlightening. If you haven’t already, be sure to read Part 1 for a comprehensive understanding. For personalized guidance on SEO and web management services tailored to your law firm’s needs, feel free to contact us at cj Advertising. Your online success is our priority, and we’re here to assist you every step of the way.