In today’s podcast Marcela De Vivo of SEMrush, speaks with us about common SEO mistakes, Google’s featured snippets, and the connection between user experience and SEO for law firms.
Podcast Show Notes
Marcela De Vivo is a Digital Marketing Analyst & Speaker for SEMrush. As an industry veteran with nearly 20 years of digital marketing experience, Marcela travels the world speaking about SEO, data-driven marketing strategies, omni-channel optimization, and the evolution of digital. Working with SEMrush has allowed her to combine her passion and expertise in forward-thinking marketing, analytics, and disruptive technologies.
What are the biggest SEO mistakes that law firms make?
Sometimes law firms treat SEO as an afterthought. They build beautiful websites with lots of large images and videos, only to find out that they’re not ranking on search engines. Why? Because their website themes are too heavy and make their site slow. 53% of mobile users will leave a site if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds.
Another issue is lack of content. When a law firm’s website doesn’t have content, there’s nothing the search engine can use to determine what the site is about. Ranking is really about the ability of Google bots to crawl the site and the content they find there and the ability to crawl the site is very much related to user experience.
Tips for improving technical SEO for law firms
The first step is to conduct an SEO audit of your site which is incredibly easy with the many tools available. Some of the issues that can be found through an audit include broken links, bad interlinkage, or duplicate content. Setting up and using Search Console to review these errors and exclusions consistently is essential for law firms.
Canonical tags is another way to improve SEO for law firms. A canonical tag is a line of code in which you’re telling the search engine which page is the primary page. For example, if you have a long written version and a video on the same content, you want to mark the written content as the primary content so Google can assess its relevancy and rank it higher.
How can I address user experience when optimizing my content?
It all starts with user intent. In the past, we used to look at keywords and write articles based around them. However, it’s very different now due to changes Google has made. You need to go to Google and see what they are showing: videos, snippets, or articles? It’s important to understand the intent behind the query and to create content that matches that intent. Google Search Console will help you do this and also help you measure the click through rates. Optimizing the title and description of content is important to drive clicks.
Google is now telling users the answers to their questions directly on the top of the search results page. Google is adapting to how users search, meaning they’re making the search engine more voice search friendly. Featured snippets are the answers that Alexa or Google Home provide when users ask a question. Within the code and content, you can optimize to potentially earn your content the featured snippet slot. By adding the query to your content as well as bullet points, you increase your chances of being the snippet featured at the top of the page.
While featured snippets are certainly user-friendly. What do they mean for law firms trying to drive traffic to their site? As marketers, the best thing we can do is get the maximize brand visibility. Even with the featured snippets giving the answers directly on the search results page, they still showcase your firm’s name front and center. When users see a law firm’s name attached to the snippet, this builds trust and reputation.
How can I guarantee I am delivering the best, most relevant experience to my visitors?
The most important thing is user experience. Beyond Search Console, it’s also important for law firms to look into Google Analytics. You want to look at metrics such as session duration and bounce rate to see how valuable and relevant your visitors seem to think your content is. There are new metrics now that help you understand audience personas and demographics. Based on this data, you can start crafting your law firm’s content strategy accordingly.
Check out SEMrush, as it can make marketers’ jobs much easier. Tools like site audits, keyword tracking, and snippet optimization can help collect data that will make improving SEO for law firms much easier.