Our last blog discussed what tools law firms could use to enhance their online reputation and increase the likelihood of being found in search results. Like so many pieces relating to online marketing, there was one search engine that dominated the blog. That was, of course, Google.
In the past, we have analysed whether or not legal content is held to a higher standard by Google and what must be done to excel in Google rankings. We have also mentioned the importance of search engine optimisation, and have shared countless articles on our social media accounts about this search engine giant.
However, today, we take a look at why, when conducting business online and implementing an SEO strategy, it is vital that you take into account other search engines.
It is natural that law firms will want to be found on Google and rank highly on the search engine – after all, Google enjoys 64% of the market share and is the most popular search engine by far. While almost two-thirds of search traffic signifies Google’s dominance, Bing and Yahoo have a combined share of just over 30%, showing the danger of failing to optimise your site for all three search engines.
Regardless of the search engine, the main goal of optimising a website is to increase the likelihood of being found online, which, in turn, can improve the number of conversions. With this overall objective in mind, it is vital that law firms optimise their site to allow them to rank on Bing. This is because it is Bing, of the three major search engines, not Google, which has the highest conversion rate.
There are many reasons for this higher conversion rate, including:
• Bing users tend to be older and have more disposable income
• Bing is more effective in personalising results used on IP location. For example, to show results for a Rochdale personal injury lawyer, Google may require a user to search for “Personal Injury Solicitors in Rochdale”. Bing however, will automatically show results for Rochdale if the user, based in the area, searched for just “personal injury lawyers.”
As well as having a higher conversion rate, both Bing and Yahoo are continuing to grow in popularity. 2014 data shows that Google had a 67% market share in comparison to the 64% now enjoyed. With the current trend set to continue, being found on Bing could be exceptionally important for law firms in the future.
Despite the popularity of the Google, many law firms assume that if they are doing well on the search engine, then they will be found on all other competitors. This is not the case. If a law firm fails to optimise its site for Yahoo and Bing, then it could miss out on business opportunities, due to the different ranking factors each search engine takes into account.
When optimising a site, it is imperative to know that Google differs from both Bing and Yahoo, meaning that if you are focusing on improving your Google performance, you could be damaging your performance on other search engines. A prime example of this can be seen by looking at Google’s algorithm. This algorithm recognises synonyms and context around a keyword allowing and rewarding more creativity. Bing and Yahoo do not reward this, preferring to rank content with exact keywords rather than other substitute phrases.
Unlike the unique algorithm which has proved to be so successful for Google, Bing and Yahoo have the same fundamental principles. This means that if you optimise your site for Google alone, you will likely be damaging your rankings on other search engines which could affect traffic and conversions.
There has been a significant increase in the number of law firms using digital and content marketing in an attempt to boost their overall performance and business leads. With the online legal sector becoming more competitive than ever, and law firms attempting to benefit from the online market, failing to optimise for Yahoo and Bing could be costly for law firms. By not taking into account Yahoo and Bing as part of an SEO strategy, law firms would be effectively turning their back on 30% of potential customers who use said platforms. While it is widely accepted that Google remains a key player in online search, failure to take into account other search engines could result in a significant loss of business. By carrying out key SEO practices, you can ensure that your site can be found by Yahoo, Bing and Google, which could lead to an overall improvement in your online growth, brand awareness and overall conversions.
If you would like some help to nurture your own content, Curated Media can help. We work with lawyers and law firms to help fulfill their online content needs. Our team of experienced writers, lawyers, online marketers and web developers have the practical knowledge to curate, as well as create.