Strategy For Lawyers To Beat Your Competition At Google Search AI Overviews

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As changes to Google search seemingly occur daily in the current trend of AI everything, it’s become quite clear that the decision makers who have invested heavily in AI are making sure that AI Overviews are here to stay, and the legal and law industry must adapt its SEO strategies to thrive in this evolving online landscape.

What are AI Overviews, you ask?

It’s the featured snippet of information that is now ubiquitous across Google’s search platform. Accompanying this snippet of information is the source link where the information came from and when clicked upon, will take you directly to the website and the section of the page where the information was sourced from. Very useful and helpful, but full of bias and often times not the best and most correct of information. Sometimes it’s not even true.

I digress.

To help give some clarity and sanity to the Google search changes and how Lawyers can take advantage of the AI opportunity, we here at ClearBox have come up with a detailed action plan for law firms.

1. Keyword Audit (duh):

Utilize Google Search Console: Regularly check your traffic-generating keywords in Google Search Console to understand which terms are driving visitors to your site.

Identify relevant Top-of-Funnel Keywords: These are broad search terms like “personal injury lawyer” or “corporate law firm” that potential clients use at the beginning of their search. AI can easily provide answers to such general queries, potentially reducing traffic to your site.

Stay Proactive: Instead of abandoning these keywords, be prepared for possible disruptions. Keep your partners and stakeholders informed about these potential changes so they can adjust their expectations and strategies accordingly.

2. Master the Middle of the Funnel!

Identify Mid-Funnel Keywords: These are more specific search queries like “how to file a personal injury claim” or “benefits of a corporate lawyer.” Such queries indicate that the user is further along in the decision-making process.

Address Mid-Funnel Queries on Your Site: Ensure your website has detailed, informative content that addresses these specific questions. This can include blog posts, FAQs, and case studies.

Create Content Immediately: If you don’t already have content targeting mid-funnel queries, prioritize creating it. This type of content helps build trust and guides potential clients toward choosing your firm.

3. Focus on Brand Mentions:

Importance of Brand Mentions: In the AI Overview era, mentions of your law firm across the web (in articles, reviews, forums, etc.) are crucial. These mentions enhance your visibility and credibility.

Get Mentioned on Various Platforms: Work on getting your law firm mentioned not just through inbound links but also in online news articles, legal directories, and professional forums. These mentions can lead to AI pulling your firm into its overviews.

4. Optimize for All Conversions:

Review Top-of-Funnel Content: Examine content that targets broad search terms and make sure it’s designed to engage visitors and lead them to take further action.

Supplemental Conversions: Encourage potential clients (ie: visitors to any of your online marketing assets, such as your website) to take small steps toward becoming a client, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading a free resource, or scheduling a consultation. These are all supplemental conversions that give you an opportunity to usefully ingratiate yourself with your audience further by providing confirmation value (Potential Client: “yes, this lawyer knows what he or she is talking about, I will contact them.”)

Clearly Understandable Calls to Action: Ensure that your content has clear, compelling calls to action that guide potential clients deeper into the conversion funnel.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal and other mainstream news media outlets have discussed Google’s challenges with large language models (LLMs) in search. They generally agree that these flaws will persist, and users will adapt to an acceptable failure rate.

Google has acknowledged these issues but is not retreating. Although they’ve temporarily reduced the number of queries generating AI Overviews, expect this feature to become ever more prevalent. Law firms must be prepared for an AI-driven future in search.

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