How Can Google Search Console Help with Law Firm Marketing?

Do you get a constant flow of clients for your law firm? More to the point: are you doing everything you can to make your firm known to potential clients, bring them to your website and persuade them to contact you for an initial case review? In this article, we will show you how to do this using Google Search Console, a free tool that helps you understand who visits your law firm website and how to attract the right type of users.
We will also highlight the importance of search engine optimization and why organic search is more valuable than paid traffic. All these are aspects of digital marketing strategies that your competitors are probably using as you are reading this article. Once you start using the Google Search control for your personal injury attorney website, and using the data it gives you correctly, you will start growing your page search rankings. This means that more people looking for a lawyer will find your website in search queries and will choose to visit your site and book an appointment with you.

What Is Google Search Console?

According to Google Support Center, Google Search Console is “a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results”. It contains a series of tools which help you understand:

  • how Google crawls and indexes your website
  • any indexing issue and error (pages that will not appear in search results) and how to fix them
  • website security issues you need to solve
  • the traffic on your website, spit by various parameters
  • the number and source of inbound links (websites that link to your own site.

At the same time, Google Search Console offers your data on the performance of each individual keyword, web page and other useful details on user interaction with your website, such as:

  • time spent on your website
  • bounce rate (percentage of people who leave your site immediately after landing on it)
  • search terms they used by users to reach your website.

The Role of Google Search Console in Your SEO Strategy and Marketing Efforts

When you talk to some legal marketing experts, they may tell you that the quickest way of getting results, i.e., more traffic and more clients, is investing in PPC (pay per click) campaigns. We will not dispute this, but what you want is constant visibility for your online presence, not just a quick spike in website traffic.

SEO efforts take more time until you see the first results, but their positive effects are also longer lasting. When you stop paying for Google ads or other types of paid marketing, you will stop seeing the results. With a solid SEO strategy for your law firm site, you will continue to generate traffic from prospective clients for a long time.

So, what is the role of Google Search Console in boosting the presence of your law firm in search engine result pages and optimizing your ongoing digital marketing campaign? This set of free tools from Google will help you identify:

  • the ideal keyword for each topic cluster on your website
  • if your SEO strategy is working and delivering the results you are expecting
  • ways to improve user experience on your website
  • if your site meets Google’s requirements for ranking
  • new topic ideas based on the highest performing content pieces on your website.

Before we discuss the benefits of using Google Search Console for your lawyer SEO strategy, let us show you around this tool, starting with the basics.

How to Sign Up for Google Search Console

The basic prerequisite for using this tool is having a Google account. You cannot use your divorce attorney professional email address, but one that you use for personal reasons (Gmail free mail from Google).

In your browser, type search.google.com/search-console/about in the search bar and then click on “Get Started”. You will be asked to log in to your Google account.

The next step is to add your website. The panel will offer you two options:

  • Domain (mylawfirmsite.com)
  • URL prefix (https://www.mylawfirmsite.com).

Our recommendation is to add your domain, especially if you are in the process of migrating your law firm site from HTTP to HTTPS. You will avoid many crawling and indexing issues, such as broken links, bad URL redirects, etc.

The last step is to verify the ownership over the web domain. You can do this in one of the two ways:

  • manually, by adding a Google tag to your website code
  • automatically, through a plugin installed on your WordPress website.

The Most Important Tools Available in Google Search Console

When you open the Google Search Console dashboard, you will see a menu on the left side, containing three main sections:

  • Overview
  • Index
  • Enhancements.

Each of these sections contains different tools you can use to monitor your website. Let us look at the ones that are most important for your law firm:

Performance

This tool helps you understand how your website performs in Google Search results. You can see:

  • how the website traffic evolves over time, as a result of your SEO efforts
  • the top ranking keyword
  • impressions
  • the top ranking pages
  • the most popular piece of content on your site.

You can download the Performance report for the entire website, or customize it for various metrics which are important to you, such as:

  • period of time
  • click-through rate
  • conversion rate
  • keyword queries (the keywords users actually typed in the Google Search bar when found your website).

You can also find out what type of device the visitors are using to browse your website. Even if you do not get a lot of traffic from mobile devices, we advise you to make sure that your website is mobile friendly. Starting with this year, Google is using the mobile-first indexing method. This means that the mobile version of a website is the primary version that Google spiders crawl and index. Not having a website optimized for mobile devices will actually penalize your website and demote it from Google rankings.

One of the latest additions to the Performance tool is the Google News report. It gives you insights on the way visitors interact with your site on Android and Apple devices, as well as on news.google.com.

URL Inspection Tool

The URL inspection tool shows you how Google indexes your website. You simply have to type in the URL of your site in the search bar, and, if there are no issues, you will get a confirmation that your site is on Google and can appear in search results.

You can also check a more detailed report that shows all the pages of your website actually indexed by Google. In case of indexing errors, they will appear in this report, together with the specific error description. In some cases, you will get a notification that the page is indexed, but with a warning, meaning that there is an issue with it that you should look into.

Coverage

The Coverage tool will display the status of all your web pages – both indexed and not indexed. This is where you should look for any crawl errors – you will get an explanation for the reason why Google could not crawl a page. The main reasons for these coverage issues are:

  • server errors (when your site gets more traffic than the server can handle)
  • DNS errors (when there is an error with your domain provider)
  • 404 errors – this is the most common error, appearing when you delete a web page or unpublish it.

Core Web Vitals

The Core Web Vitals tool has also recently been added to the Google Search Console, because one of the most recent Google updates to its ranking algorithm includes these criteria. The Core Web Vitals refer to:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – how long it takes for the first large element of your website to load
  • First Input Delay (FID) – how quickly the website respond to a user’s action (clicking on a menu option, for instance)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – how long it takes for the website to become visually stable (the page elements stop shifting) after all the elements are loaded.

The Core Web Vitals represent may not be the most important ranking signal, but it definitely is on a par with keyword rankings, for instance. In the corresponding tool in Google Search Console you will see how your website performs from this point of view).

Mobile Usability

Last but not least, the Mobile Usability tool shows you whether users experienced difficulties in interacting  with your site on mobile devices. Google collects behavior data from website visitors and gives webmasters a list of design or development issues that prevent an optimal browsing experience.

Know If Google Penalized Your Website

The last section of the Google Search Console is called Security & Manual Actions. This is where you can find out if your website is secure and safe to use by visitors. Also, if your website violates any of Google’s guidelines, you will be notified that a manual action was taken against it.

The notification is detailed and contains:

  • the nature of the identified violation
  • how to fix the issue
  • supplementary resources if you need help with understanding the violation.

Once you believe that you completed all the suggested steps to solve the issue, you should go back to the notification and click on the Reconsideration Request button.

Benefits of Using the Google Search Console for Your Law Firm Digital Marketing Strategy

The Google Search Console offers you a wealth of information on several aspects, such as how Google indexes your site (the Coverage report) and how your site performs in searches (Performance report). But you can go beyond these basic data, and extract valuable information that will shape your SEO strategy and help you bring more potential clients on your website.

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Identify the Best Keywords for Each Web Page

The Performance tool shows you both how your chosen keywords perform, but also what terms users actually typed in to find your site. When you notice a pattern of keywords emerging, you can use these details to research new keywords, including for local search and being featured on Google Maps.

The terms used by visitors tend to sound more natural than suggestions made by online tools. They are usually long-tail keywords, which are less competitive than the ideal keyword for your law firm (such as family law attorneys, criminal defense attorneys, etc.).

3. Measure Your Marketing ROI

You invest in SEO effort, content creation, and other services, but do you get any results? Did your average click-through rate increase? Did your conversion rate grow? You can find all these data in the customized reports you can generate and download from your Google Search Console dashboard.

They will help you plan your marketing budget in a smarter and more effective manner.

3. Measure Your Content Performance

Is your content reaching the right audience? And does it prove interesting and useful to them? You can measure this with the Performance tool. You can opt to see your top-performing pages and identify your top-performing content.

If your blog posts are among the top results, then you have a winning content strategy. If they do not perform well, you should take a look and see what the problem may be:

  • keyword stuffing
  • duplicate content
  • short, generic topics that do not offer value
  • outdated information that needs to be edited or deleted.

4. Identify Top Performing Topics for High Quality Content Pieces

Based on your best-performing topics, you can discover the types of topics that your website visitors are most interested in. Thus, you can start searching for new content ideas around these topics. Actually, this is one of the best practices for improving your page rank: creating content pillars around main topics and expanding them with detailed articles. This is one of the ways in which Google verifies the relevance of a website to a specific search query.

5. Identify and Fix Issues with Your Website

Every warning and notification you find in the Google Search Console is accompanied by an explanation of what went wrong and suggestions to fix this issue. Websites may develop various crawling and indexing errors over time if you do not perform an audit from time to time.

The most common errors that prevent Google from indexing your website correctly are:

  • dead internal linking – anchor text in a page pointing to another page in your website that no longer exists
  • broken links – when you changed the URL structure of your site but did not update the sitemap
  • bad redirects – when you change from HTTP to HTTPS without establishing a proper page redirect protocol.

Some of these issues are easy to fix on your own. For others, you should rely on a professional digital marketing agency, who can offer your complete website development and management services, besides SEO and content writing.

Reasons to Hire a Digital Marketing Company to Help You with Your SEO Efforts

One of the most valuable resources you have is time. This is not something you can ever get back. As a lawyer, you should devote most of your time to your clients, reviewing their cases and preparing their defense.

Unfortunately, SEO efforts take a lot of time. You should constantly monitor the Google Search Console to identify both positive and negative results. You need to act quickly based on these data and adapt your digital marketing and SEO strategy.

This is where an experienced legal marketing agency steps in. A team of seasoned professionals can help your law firm website generate qualified organic traffic and grow the number of customers. From the audit of your website to keyword research and monitoring the Google Search Console, digital marketing professionals will do the laborious and technical work, while you will see the results.

At Triple Digital, we rely on our experienced team and on the most innovative marketing techniques to help all clients achieve their goals: growing their business, creating a visible and valuable brand name, expanding their market share.

We are experienced in working with law firms in various specializations – from personal injury attorneys to criminal defense lawyers. Thus, we know the challenges you face and we have tested and proven solutions to make your website more visible to potential clients in Google searches.

Don’t waste valuable time trying to handle all the aspects of your business – let the professionals at Triple Digital help you with your SEO efforts. Call us now: 1-833-TripleD.

 

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