The number of people clicking through to your website is obviously a key metric for the success of your business—but did you know click data is also a ranking factor on Google?
Historically, Google has been pretty tightlipped about clicks and their impact on visibility in the SERP. But testimony in a recent court case confirmed what many SEO marketers have long suspected.
Attorney sites benefit from a wide variety of SEO techniques, but this confirmation makes a strong case for investing specifically in click-through optimization.
Here’s what you need to know about click-through rates for attorney sites, how click rates affect ranking, and basic steps to improve click-through performance.
It’s official! Click data has an impact on your site’s rankings
In a game-changing moment in September, a former Google employee spilled the beans while testifying in court. He confirmed something we’ve all had a hunch about: “Pretty much everyone knows we’re using clicks in rankings.”
Clicks matter when it comes to your site’s Google ranking.
This information shook the digital marketing world—but there’s a catch.
Of course, it’s not as simple as just getting more clicks. The intricacies of the relationship between clicks, CTR (Click Through Rate) and ranking go beyond simple cause-and-effect. The truth is that Google’s algorithm is a bit of a puzzle. Google uses factors like content, credibility, accessibility, and mobile-friendliness to rank a site via machine learning in addition to user input like click data.
What happened: A Google employee testified in court about click data.
Why it matters: Long suspected but never stated, we now have proof that click data matters.
Going forward, law firms should invest in click-through-rate optimization using these tactics
Your SEO agency should focus on click-through optimization to get your law firm website to rank better. Here are several strategies you can utilize:
Aligning Content with Search Intent
When developing your site’s content strategy, it’s critically important to make sure that your content matches the intent of the people who want to find your pages. This helps to ensure that once you have enticed people to click on your site (more on that right below), you will satisfy their search intent with awesome content.
Page titles and meta descriptions
These should correspond to the search intent of the page. This technique helps users easily understand what your page covers and why it will help them.
Do not over-describe or use flowery language! Please, do not use clickbait language, either. This may work on social media but it will not help if you’re trying to rank higher.
Remember, your user will be scanning an overcrowded SERP. Make it easy for them to choose your page.
Optimize for mobile to improve CTR
A mobile-friendly website is non-negotiable, not only because Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites in its rankings. Optimizing your website’s design and functionality for mobile users ensures seamless navigation and quick loading times.
In other words, a responsive design can not only improves your search rankings but also enhances the user experience. This means visitors are more likely to explore your content and click through to other pages.
Create rich snippets
You can utilize structured data markup to leverage rich snippets as part of your content planning.
For attorney websites, this could mean including additional information like client reviews, ratings, or specific legal services offered. Rich snippets not only make your listing stand out in search results but also provide users with more context, increasing the likelihood of a click.
Rich snippets are different from featured snippets. Rich snippets enhance search results by adding extra information, such as reviews or event details, while featured snippets are selected excerpts from a web page that Google highlights at the top of the search results. Rich snippets provide supplementary information within search results, whereas featured snippets aim to directly answer a user’s query.
Ideally, rich snippets should entice visitors to click through to your website for a deeper dive. Ask your SEO agency about zero click searches and make sure you’re strategizing carefully and separately about both tactics.
A/B testing to improve outcomes
This is a classic design tool that you can use to test different versions of something (A vs. B) and see which one performs better.
For instance, you might experiment with different meta titles and descriptions. Variation A could feature a concise, keyword-rich title and a description emphasizing unique legal expertise. Variation B might test a slightly longer title with a compelling call-to-action and a succinct description.
By deploying both versions simultaneously and analyzing the click-through rates for each, the attorney can determine which approach resonates better with users.
You can use software to conduct A/B testing efficiently—just ask your agency. This method allows for data-driven decisions, helping refine content to maximize clicks and enhance the website’s performance in search engine rankings.
Review and next steps
CTR is an important metric—but it’s not the only factor, of course. Under the Google Helpful Content update, machine learning and signals make up an ever larger portion of how Google assesses and ranks websites.
User input (like click data) is just part of Google’s assessment of your website. It’s not the only one, so don’t displace all your other SEO efforts in favor of click-through optimization!