Appearance remains a common thread of acceptance in too many facets of life. It’s cliché and sad but true. Unless you’re a Kardashian, how you look on the internet is a daily make-or-break decision. While many tools exist to influence marketing choices for your law firm and its website, another one to consider is the Google Search Console. This very important tool is a gateway into the perspective of the “ones and zeroes” that rate your website and affect its SEO rank. Every asset in an erratic online landscape is worth a few moments in the fitting room to ensure your law firm looks its best. Let’s take a look at the Google Search Console and see if it’s tailored for you. Here’s a breakdown of how law firms can use Google Search Console.
How Law Firms Can Use Google Search Console to Improve Their Online Presence
You’re Too High Maintenance
A user’s first impression of a website is beyond crucial. Survey a group of marketers and most would say this interaction was the top Family Feud answer on the board. Oddly enough, they would be wrong because “the user” is second to the sentient and extremely non-human Google bots.
For the uninitiated, the “bots” are Google’s version of Skynet without the desire for world domination. This automated system scours the internet like an armada of hawks, ranking and rating pages on such merits as the aesthetic, quality of information, and the ease of “indexing and crawling,” an industry term for how well your website is organized and mapped. Their process is like running a fine-toothed comb across everything online to see what passes the mustard.
In the end, the webpages that receive the blessing of Google’s bots find themselves at the top of the SEO food chain, potentially landing the coveted featured snippet we’ve previously discussed. The road to that type of success online is not easy. It’s hard to objectively prognosticate what makes the bots happy on a Monday since their standard could change by the time Friday rolls around. To combat this erratic roller coaster, the Google Search Console was conceived, and it remains a valuable tool to give marketers a lens to view their website in the way the bots envision it.
Using this insight, your law firm may be able to make decisions that help pave your website’s path to the summit of search results. This free service is available to website owners and marketers to monitor the health of their website and performance results, specifically, metrics impacted by the user experience and, obviously, searches. Other benefits of the GSC include identifying errors so you can fix them, providing access to search performance overviews, monitoring your website’s “indexing and crawling,” and the capability to review internal/external web links. Additionally, you can reindex your site to help increase the chances of a higher rank after the bots inspect every nook and cranny.
Online Fashion Police
The primary function of the Google Search Console is to aid in the improvement of your SEO rank. While it cannot accurately predict the actions of the bots, the GSC can be a tremendous asset, particularly in honing the precision of indexing and crawling. As mentioned earlier, indexing and crawling are one of the main factors used by the bots to rate and rank. The URL inspection tool warns of potential issues related to indexing and crawling before it drops your website in rank, possibly giving you time to act before it’s too late. The GSC also generates error reports detailing aspects of the website that may adversely affect how the bots perceive it. This tool examines granular information like web links, site maps, mobile usability, avenues to potential 404 errors, and even the last time a page was crawled. Any breadcrumb that can offer insight to you may show up on the GSC’s radar, and once you see that blip, it’s time for your law firm to act.
For a more in-depth look at other ways to improve your search ranking, check out this free eBook: SEO for Law Firm Websites.
Start Your SEO Engines
For your law firm to utilize the Google Search Console, someone on your team must verify the site’s ownership. Data is gold, so this is a way to prevent security breaches and other nefarious activity related to your law firm’s website. Otherwise, what’s to stop your competitor from looking under the hood to see how your machine runs? Verifying ownership involves four methods, each requiring a level of access only the website owner could provide. These are your options:
- Upload an HTML file to a page on your website that Google and their bots can see.
- Add a metatag to your header.
- Use admin privileges in Google Analytics.
- Via the Google Tag Manager.
Successful completion of one or all of these steps will result in a notification from Google, and the race is on. The Google Search Console will be at your disposal. Where you take your website is limited only by the ambitions of your law firm.
The Google Search Console was created to give website owners & marketers another tool to increase the chances they would fall into the good graces of the “bots,” artificial intelligence that rates and ranks every web page on the internet. The bots sift through internet content to decide which websites will reign supreme in the user search results, where the balance of power could shift daily. The Google Search Console was conceived to combat this tumultuous process and give website owners & marketers a chance to see their website the way the bots view it. Your team may foresee potential roadblocks to success through features such as a URL inspection tool, error generation reports, and more. Should the Google Search Console become a valuable asset, your law firm has an opportunity to discuss and implement changes that could improve your SEO rank so dramatically that your place on the throne is never in question.
We are well-versed in navigating the Google Search Console and helping clients understand how to identify and address problem areas on their websites. Please don’t hesitate to reach out today to learn more about how we can help your firm.