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SEO for Law Firms: What is Answer Engine Optimization?

by Julie Lorson • January 31st, 2024 • Digital Marketing, SEO | Blog

One of your goals is likely to improve the online visibility of your firm. If you’re already working on strategies like SEO, paid advertising, and social media, then you’ll want to add AEO to your arsenal. Here’s what legal marketers need to know about Answer Engine Optimization (AEO). 

AEO: The Basics

Answer engine optimization is a method designed to help achieve more prominence in a search engine’s results by offering direct answers to a user’s inquiry. Most of the time, you’ll notice these sorts of answers in the form of carousels, snippets, packs, etc. What they all have in common is that they’re meant to deliver a better experience to users. 

At its core, AEO is intended to save time while seeking an answer to a certain question. AEO can be used across a desktop, device, or by voice command. If you search using a specific question, the search engine wants to provide a succinct and direct answer as often as possible. That’s great because people want to save as much time as possible. In today’s hyper-digital world, most people turn to the internet when they need information, and they want to get that information in as few steps as possible. 

How is AEO Different from SEO? 

AEO is meant to optimize your presence online, just as SEO is. However, AEO uses the intent, relevance, and context of your search query to provide a precise answer in the shortest amount of time. While the goal of SEO is to help your website rank higher, AEO has the goal of answering a particular question. Search engines assess things like backlink quality, domain authority, and mobile friendliness to assess your website’s overall position in rankings. 

AEO doesn’t have a negative impact on SEO, and it won’t affect the overall impact of SEO – SEO is still crucial for overall ranking. AEO and SEO should have a symbiotic relationship where both tactics work together to serve users the most accurate information and the best experience. Think of AEO as an extended version of SEO that aims to provide users with a concise and direct answer to their questions. 

Using AEO to Improve Your Outcomes

Is focusing on AEO worth your time? There are a few specific advantages that AEO can offer, including: 

  • Immediate traffic – With AEO, searchers can find your firm’s site easily and quickly. AEO helps users find your information based on their intent, context, and topic relevance without using much effort. 
  • Enhanced conversions – You’re more likely to get qualified leads if you have a credible online presence that attracts prospects. When people are searching for legal assistance, they want to see extensive knowledge and experience. Having answers that position you as an expert online makes the decision of potential clients easier. 
  • Competitive advantages – Since users don’t have to dig for your site or browse a lot of search results, you’ll have a serious edge over other competitors on the search engine result page. It’s easier to spot the details that match a search inquiry and allows your site to reach more people. 
  • Lower advertising costs – Normally, if you want to appear at the top of a search engine page, you need to pay for advertising spots. With AEO, you can get more exposure without the advertising expense. By fine-tuning your web content to better mirror relevant keywords used in search, you can more quickly become available to people searching for your expertise. 

How Can Law Firms Improve Their AEO?

To improve your firm’s answer engine optimization, start by focusing on structuring your content to provide concise and direct answers to common legal questions. This involves creating informative blog posts, articles, and FAQs that address specific legal queries in a clear and organized manner. 

Additionally, optimizing website content with relevant keywords and ensuring that it is easily accessible and understandable can improve the chances of being featured as a direct answer in search results.

Finally, implementing schema markup plays a crucial role. Schema markup provides a way to give search engines more detailed information about the content on a website, enabling them to better understand and display it in search results.

There are various types of schema markup that can be particularly beneficial for law firms, including “Organization” for detailing the firm’s information, “Service” for outlining the legal services offered, “Person” for team member profiles, and “Article” for publishing legal insights and case studies. Implementing schema markup not only helps law firms stand out in SERPs but also allows search engines like Google to better understand the context and relevance of the website’s content. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of the firm’s content appearing as a featured snippet, thereby boosting visibility and click-through rates.

Takeaway: 

AEO is a growing practice, and for good reason. It allows searchers to easily receive direct answers to the questions that matter to them. By analyzing the relevance and context of search queries, AEO helps search engines to deliver the best information while helping your firm to gain valuable exposure. For more tips on all aspects of search engine optimization, make sure to follow our blog. That’s where we share tips, trends, and tech advice that growing law firms need.

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