Using law firm schema, also known as structured data markup, can greatly improve your law firm’s visibility for potential clients. Schema markup incorporates structured data into web pages “behind the scenes,” facilitating search engines in reading, classifying, and displaying your content. This extra information helps the search engine “read” your page, making your site much more visible to anyone searching on the Internet for a law firm like yours.
One great benefit for using structured data markup for lawyers is an increased opportunity to have your law firm appear as a search engine results page (SERP) feature. Notice how some of the searches you do every day show you star ratings, contact information in the sidebar, and even images related to the keyword you searched. Often, the websites that appear in these SERP features used law firm structured data markup to get those high visibility results.
Additionally, if your law firm schema is clean and readable by the search engine, another SERP feature that enhances your website’s click-through-rate is a sitelink. Sitelinks are pulled from your website’s site map; they show potential clients which pages on your website most closely relate to the keywords used in a search.
When you search online for one of your practice areas in your geographical area, do you see your law firm on the first page of results? If not, read on.
What is Law Firm Schema?
So now you know why you should care about structured data markup for attorneys and law firms, but what is it exactly?
Structured data markup is computer language presented in a form of HTML code that communicates with search engines about the content on a website. These communications tell the search engine what type of information each item is. Here are a few examples of what communications might look like if we were to interpret the communications between the code and the search engine:
- This is a picture of Attorney [Name].
- This is the law firm address and contact information.
- These are the firm’s practice areas.
By adding structured data markup to your law firm’s website, you are describing what your law firm website says in a language that search engines like Google can understand. This makes it easier for your law firm content to appear on the search results page when your content matches the intent of a user’s search.
For example, if someone searches for a practice area in XYZ city and state, the search engine can easily return your website content in its search results and/or as a SERP feature.
Ethics on Attorney Structured Data Markup
What do ethics have to do with making your law firm more visible in web searches?
The short answer is . . . everything!
ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 7.1 prohibits “misleading communication[s] about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services.” Keeping your website content updated is crucial, because structured data markup will allow the search engine to “read” your website and present it publicly.
To understand how false or misleading information might be broadcast online, you should know that wrong information need not be intentional (although black hat SEO agencies might populate a page or site falsely to manipulate search results). Misleading communications can happen because of honest errors like these:
- Changes to attorneys and other firm personnel;
- Changes to firm practice area(s);
- Relocation of the firm and/or geographical coverage areas; or
- Dissolution of a firm.
Keeping your law firm’s website and structured data markup up-to-date is critical to avoid violating the professional conduct rules in your jurisdiction. Further, structured data markup facilitates revisions, making it easy to update any information on your website.
Where Do You Use Law Firm Schema?
If structured data is something you want to add to your website, but you do not know where to apply it, here are some examples of areas where the use of structured data can be helpful:
- Practice area pages;
- Blog postings you host on your law firm website;
- Pictures of you and your staff; or
- Any other page that will help guide potential clients to your site.
Each of these describes a type of information Google must “read” in order to understand its meaning and purpose. Structured data operates as a translator from English to HTML, making it easier for Google to understand and categorize your page.
Interested in Increasing Your Client Base?
To get a better look at your law firm schema or whether you have it set up at all, you can use the Rich Results Test provided by Google. If you find that your site is not taking advantage of schema markup, where can you turn? The attorney-led team at TOPDOG Legal Marketing can help enhance the full potential of your law firm’s online content within the bounds of the professional conduct code in your jurisdiction. Law firm schema will boost your law firm’s online presence, and we have the people and resources to help make that happen. Please contact us today at [email protected] or give us a call toll-free at (844) HEY-T-DOG (439-8364)!