Helping Search Engines Classify and Display your Firm’s information in Search Results
Structured Data on the Law Firm Homepage
For professionals such as attorneys or medical, doctors or other professions, having Google’s preferred markup on your homepage will help indicate to search engine algorithms information about your practice. This information includes items such:
1. Office locations.
2. Preferred logo.
3. Social Media accounts.
4. Official Website URL.
5. Hours of Operation.
6. Contact Information.
8. And much more…
What is Structured Data?
Computer to computer Machine Language
“Structured data markup” is a standard way to annotate your content so computers can understand it. When your web pages include structured data markup, Google (and other search engines) can use that data to index your content better, present it more prominently in search results.
Benefits of Structured Data on the Attorney Homepage
Increase positive impact on user behavior metrics to increase rankings.
Having properly implemented structured data on your site will help ensure optimization of:
• Click Through Rates Increase
• Exit Rates Decrease
• Bounce Rates Decrease
• Lowered Paid Advertising Costs
• Higher Conversion Rates
• Increased Impressions in Search (you get shown more often)
Additionally, content for pages can focus less on Geo Location phrases and more on the specific topic being presented to the user. Through Markup, Google will know the location of your services and reduce the need to use geographical terms in titles and other HTML elements.
Measuring the Success of Homepage Markup Implementation
User behavior metrics and more targeted traffic.
Many SEO’s and marketing directors make the mistake of measuring progress of markup optimization by looking at traffic alone. Analytical areas of greatest impact will be user behavior metrics which include but is not limited to: conversions, bounce rates, exit rates, time on page, engagement, page views and other tracked items. User behavior is a very strong set of signals which account for the ranking of a site and its pages.
Expect a slight drop in traffic (or Sessions) after incorporation of Structured Data on your site. This is because Google can more accurately determine the intent of searchers and display your results to searchers who are “ready to buy” – so to speak.
In the image below, notice the exceptional increase in metrics and the slight decrease in impressions. This image represents data from Google Search Console 7 days after implementation of markup:
Markup Items to be Included in the Homepage
Marking up other elements on the homepage.
There are at least six types of structured data recommended to put on the homepage of your website.
• Organization / Attorney Markup
• Contact Point
• Review Markup (for the organization)
• Social Media Markup
• Site links search box markup – although this may never show in search due to site type
• Article Markup (if articles are displayed on the homepage)
It is important to note that even if you have thorough markup on your homepage, Google will determine if it is shown in search based on the searchers intent in an attempt to show information to searchers they predict is the most useful for the specific query.
Attorney / Organization Markup
The Google Knowledge Graph and More.
By implementing Organization markup on your homepage you can specify to Google which image should be used as your organization’s logo in search results and the Knowledge Graph if it the Knowledge Graph displayed in search results.
The Basics of Attorney Markup
Required elements and other items to include.
Attorney markup can be implemented in multiple methods. Two of the most popular methods are JSON-LD and Rich Snippets. Google prefers JSON-LD markup over Schema. Either type of markup is acceptable to use on your site but it is highly recommended to use Googles preferred method of JSON-LD.
This is a most basic example of Attorney Markup which will help indicate to Google properties of the website. In the preceding example, the markup makes clear to Google that image is designated as the Attorneys logo and also specifies the website associated with it.
Properties you can add to Attorney Markup on the Homepage
There are other properties (itemprop) that can be added to Organization / Attorney markup. Some of these items include but are not limited to:
Each element listed above has additional fields that can be added to elaborate on the specific item. Some elements have other requirements, such as being visible on page. Be sure to understand requirements for each field added to your markup.
Testing the Homepage Markup
Google has created a tool named Structured Data Testing Tool to help make checking markup very simple.
It is critical to test your markup before and after it is put on a website even. To test your markup, run it through the Google Structured Data Tester at: https://developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/
Marking up other Items Displayed on the Homepage?
This is a separate topic and other elements may require more in-depth experience in SEO. However, it is good to be aware of other elements to take into consideration concerning Markup on the homepage. In some instances multiple locations or articles are displayed on the homepage of a firm’s website. When multiple locations or articles (or any other elements suitable for marking up) are found on the homepage it is recommended markup each element.
Example of multiple locations found in the footer of an attorney website:
You can mark up your articles with structured data, providing details such as the headline, images, publish date and description. Google may use your Markup to power features like “In the news” and content carousels.
Example of articles found in the footer of a website with structured data shown below marked up correctly:
Visit our friends over at Razor Rank for a more detailed article on homepage markup which explains the elements in greater depth:
About Joe Mas
Joe Mas is managing partner at Razor Rank, LLC where he leads the consulting team for technical SEO for eCommerce and major retail sites. Joe served as Consulting Division Manager for both SearchDex and Altruik and has nearly 20 years experience. Joe’s track record of success with clients precedes his reputation as a publicly recognized speaker and leader in the SEO community. For more information, visit: http://razorrank.com.