Mega-ish-SERP for Lawyers

Gyi Tsakalakis
October 23, 2013

Not too long ago, Dr. Pete gave us, Mega-SERP: A Visual Guide to Google. In it, he gave us 24 distinct SERP features. It's a really great visual depiction of the overwhelming majority of features you can find in a Google SERP today. Inspired by that post, I give you: Mega-sish-SERP for lawyers.

Disclaimer: This is not a real Google SERP, although it was created from actual results.

(click image to view full size in new browser tab)


Obviously, not all of the search features highlighted by Dr. Pete are triggered by lawyer searches. These are just a few you should consider.

A. AdWords Paid Search (PPC) Ad - AdWords advertising isn't right for all types of law firms. However, for firms wanting to attract clients from the public at-large, they can be one of the best ways to buy attention. Unless you can dedicate serious resources (read time and money) to managing your account, you probably ought to get some assistance from someone who has experience managing direct response paid search campaigns for law firms.

B. Traditional Organic Result w/ Authorship - This is the old-fashion organic search result enhanced by Google authorship. This listing is ordered based on Google's "black box" algorithm of over 200 ranking signals. In a nutshell, Google orders these results based on a page's (site's) relevance and popularity with respect to the searchers query. To appear here, lawyers ought to focus on getting their HTML right and earning quality links to their pages from other relevant and popular sites.

C. Review Rich Snippet - This review rich snippet feature is generated by structured data markup on the lawyer's site. There are a variety of structured data markup tags that lawyers should consider to enhance their appearance in organic results.

D. Google+ Local Pages - Distinguished from the review rich snippet, these reviews are being pulled from the firm's Google+ local page. By inter-linking your site with you firm's Google+ page (and adding the appropriate code) Google will list reviews of your firm, as well as, the local pin, address and phone information.

E. Sitelinks - Google generates sitelinks to help their users navigate your site. Google only shows sitelinks that their algorithm determines are useful to users. Pay attention to your site's structure and organization to nudge Google to show sitelinks. You can also demote pages that you don't want included as sitelinks via Google Webmaster Tools.

F. Knowledge Graph (Brand) - This box also appears to be generated from Google+. As you can see, knowledge graph results are given a lot of SERP real estate on Google. They also help users find contact information, reviews and map information.

G. Map Result - Map results are generated when SERPs include pinned listings. These used to be tied to a firm's Google Places listings, but since Google is migrating, merging and augmenting its local program, these results are somewhat in flux. Check out this post at Local U for more information related to these listings.

H. Places Listings - These are the more traditional "local pack" results. As previously mentioned, these listings are tied to creating Google+ local pages for office locations and attorneys at your firm.

I. Video Results - Video can be one of the most effective ways to marshal evidence of your reputation, knowledge, skill and experience. If you do produce web videos, be sure to mark them up with structured data to produce these attention grabbing video snippet results.

J. Knowledge Graph (Recent Posts) - If you're a blogger, you should consider adding the relevant blog structured data to generate these nice knowledge graph recent post results.

K. Image Results - Like it or not, people will want to know what you look like. Image results give a face to your web presence. Monitor and markup up your images and image results to make sure the images you want to appear show up in SERPs.

L. Related Searches - Establishing a reputation for excellence service, coupled with some well-thought out PR can motivate people to search for your name, firm name and variations thereof. After establishing a name for yourself, it's likely that you'll begin to see related searches. The idea is that these will help users uncover more information about you. Seeing searches related to your name and firm name are good indication that people are looking for you online.

As I said at the outset, these aren't all the search features that lawyers may be able to leverage to enhance their search listings. But it's a pretty good start. Head over to Google and search for your name and firm name. Compare your SERP to this one. Which features do you see? Which are missing?

Are there any features that you've generated that I've missed? Don't hesitate to share examples below.

Gyi Tsakalakis
Co-Founder of AttorneySync
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