What Google Wants From Law Firm Websites in 2021

by Apr 1, 2021

When we use Google to search, we naturally expect it to return helpful information to us. But for any given search, there are thousands of web pages with potentially relevant information.

So how does Google figure out which results to suggest to you?

The way that Google determines which results to return for any given search is highly rational. And, by following Google’s logic (and using the right tools), any attorney can easily succeed online and drive more potential clients to their firms.

This post will explain how Google works and how to get in front of potential clients as they conduct searches related to their case or matter.

How does Google decide what to return in search results for any given search?

With the amount of information available on the web, finding the information we need would be nearly impossible without help to sort it. Google is designed to do just that: 

It’s able to collect the information available on the web and sort through millions of webpages in its search index to find the most relevant, useful results in seconds, and present those results in a way that helps you find what you’re looking for.

Google’s systems examine several factors to give you the most useful information, including the words in a query, topic relevance, the expertise of sources, and your location and search settings, and more. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query.

When you search, Google sorts through all of the pages and tries to return the best and most useful information related to your search. Imagine having a very helpful librarian who, when you ask a question, runs to the library shelves and, in a fraction of a second, returns to you with a stack of ten relevant books to check out.

While many people become focused on figuring out what Google’s algorithms are doing and how it weighs the individual elements that determine rankings, there are much better and easier ways to go about optimizing your law firm’s website for search.

How does search engine optimization (SEO) fit into what Google wants?

Most attorneys who have spent time thinking about their website marketing have also thought about the idea of search engine optimization (SEO). There’s a good chance that this topic scares, confuses, or frustrates you.

What exactly is SEO? If you do a Google search for this topic, there’s no shortage of complicated answers and technical information that can make you feel even more confused and frustrated.

But in short, to succeed with SEO means that your law firm’s website predictably attracts, engages, and converts new clients from free search engine traffic.

Succeeding with Google (and your potential clients) essentially comes down to two things: 

  • User experience: How easy it is for clients to use your website and get the information they need 
  • High-quality content: the value of the information that you provide on your website.

To a lesser extent, there are some technical elements of search engine optimization. However, without high-quality content and a solid user experience, those technical elements are not needle movers for law firm websites. The technical aspects of SEO basically involve structural clean-up. That structure is built into LawLytics, along with the user experience, and the support you’ll need to write that quality content.

Both user experience and high-quality content are important to engage potential clients. A website with great content but poor user experience isn’t likely to attract and engage potential clients, just as a fancy design without the substance of information that potential clients are looking for will keep potential clients from reaching out to your law firm.

Why is website content so important to Google and your potential clients?

The written content on your website is the single biggest driver of search engine rankings, visitors, and leads because Google is in the business of connecting searchers with the most useful content. 

Google depends primarily on text to predict if a website page will provide a good answer to a search query. In general, the more confidence Google has in the quality of the content on your website, the higher it ranks your content.

When Google refers a visitor to a page on your website, it learns from the outcome:

  • Outcome 1: The visitor stays on your website. This makes future Google referrals for similar searches more likely.
  • Outcome 2: The visitor returns to Google to try again. This makes future Google referrals for similar searches less likely.

Content drives SEO results, and without it SEO success is impossible. The other factors discussed below have supporting roles. The importance of content is great news for pragmatic attorneys. It means that you can compete and win in any market regardless of budget.

A great-looking sites isn’t enough. Even the best-looking sites will fail to generate leads without a focus on user experience and value. Your potential clients want a website that’s easy to navigate, works well on all devices and guides them through the site without trouble. And, most of all, they want access to information about their case or matter.

How you build the site is very important so that it’s easy to make changes, upgrades and updates. The site also must load quickly on all the major search engines.

That’s why it’s important to build your law firm’s website on a technology platform that ensures you get what you need to have a high-performing law firm website that doesn’t cost you a fortune or cause you to miss opportunities.

LawLytics makes it easy to have a Google-friendly website that attracts new clients to your firm.

The LawLytics platform and support makes it simple to follow Google’s best practices without struggling with technology or overpaying for website marketing.

If you already have a LawLytics website and you’d like guidance around creating content (or help taking it to the next level), we’re here to help.

If you don’t have a website (or if you’re using a platform or agency that makes your online marketing complicated), switching to LawLytics is easy and affordable. See how easy it is to grow your practice through Google by doing a quick interactive demo of LawLytics.

To learn more about how to reliably attract and convert clients from free search engine traffic, see our 2020-2021 Guide to Law Firm SEO.


LawLytics Newsletter

Get insights, webinar invites and exclusive legal marketing news in your inbox.