The SEO game is changing and it’s no longer enough for law firms to target and monitor organic search engine rankings alone. Rather, they need to embrace a more integrated approach: on-SERP SEO. (SERP stands for search engine results page.)
The term on-SERP SEO refers to the process of fully optimizing the first page of a search engine to maximize the visibility of your firm. In other words, it’s an SEO strategy that focuses on occupying as much real estate within each SERP as possible. Gaining on-SERP elements can increase a firm’s brand awareness and traffic as well as combat zero-click searches, which are on the rise. Keep reading to learn more about zero-click search, on-SERP SEO, and how it can benefit your law firm.
What is On-SERP SEO?
On-SERP SEO involves gaining as much exposure as possible where it counts – on page 1 of Google SERPs. It’s not necessarily about content like many SEO strategies, but more about elements like featured snippets, “People also ask” boxes, image and video searches, and local three-packs. Combining on-SERP SEO elements with paid advertising will lead to more exposure and traffic from search engines.
A Featured Snippet is a brief answer to a user’s search query, which is displayed on top of Google search results. It is extracted from one of the top-ranking pages for that search query.
It appears like this:
Less than 50% of searches lead to a click.
With Google’s richer and more interactive search results, many people can get the answers they’re looking for without clicking through to a website. According to recent expert research, less than half of the Google searches performed lead to a click on a website. Those efforts are called “zero-click” searches. Now, with featured snippets and other on-SERP features, people don’t necessarily need to visit the webpage itself to find answers to their queries, which in turn leads to less clicks and individual page visits.
What can On-SERP SEO do for your law firm’s website?
The main and most general benefit of on-SERP SEO is more visibility for your law firm. A high-profile Featured Snippet is worth a lot to your firm’s organic presence and according to Search Engine Land, a Featured Snippet gets approximately 8% of all clicks. So if you’re able to get your content in the Featured Snippet, you’ll also give your organic clicks (aka traffic) a serious boost.
How your law firm can get started with on-SERP SEO:
Find out where you currently stand in relation to page 1 of Google.
The first step is understanding where you are currently, and where you can improve. Research where people are coming from and how they find you. What is the CTR for your main keywords or phrases? You should also take a look at these numbers over time and see how things are trending.
This is the most critical part of the process. Explore the SERPs thoroughly so you can understand what is present and what’s missing. Search for common themes in your practice area, or common key phrases. Make a point of doing this every day over a period of time. That way you’ll see which featured snippets are shown, how elements change, etc. You might want to use an SEO tool to track ranking changes and what competitors are doing.
Look for on-SERP opportunities.
Look for opportunities to increase your site’s visibility in search. Here are several ways you can do this:
- Perform search intent research and improve what you can. Try to discover how people land on your site and ensure content matches that path.
- Conduct old-fashioned keyword research, but keep the potential for clicks in mind.
- Try to get a featured snippet. It’s important to note that this is easier if you already rank on page one.
- Improve visual and video search. If you don’t have videos created for your top keywords, it’s time to create them.
- Your social media can appear in searches for your law firm too, such as tweets in search and links in Google’s knowledge graph panel, so it’s good to put work in those profiles.
- Add structured data; you can use tools like the Yoast plugin to help in this area.
- Ensure your Google My Business listing is optimized and up to date. Try to get reviews, add photos, etc.
- Consider Google Ads. These are the paid listings that end up right under the search bar.
It’s important to focus on on-SERP SEO so that your law firm can compete for attention in search results. The strategy of optimizing for as many on-SERP SEO elements is not only the new normal, it’s the future of law firm SEO. Follow these tips to ensure that more prospective clients find and click through to your website on search engines.
Contact us today if you need assistance developing a comprehensive SEO strategy that will improve your search visibility, help you achieve more Featured Snippets, and increase the number of visitors to your firm’s website.