Digital Marketing That Drives Results​

How law firms can triumph with Google's people-first helpful content update

Have you recently noticed a drop in search volume, leads, clicks, and conversions for your site?

Are you focusing solely on keyword-stuffed legal articles aimed at search engines? Google has caught on, and it’s time to shift your strategy towards being more client-centric to regain favour in search rankings.

Take a moment to review your website’s performance and content. If your legal insights don’t meet the needs of your visitors, Google will take note and may penalise your site. This update affects all websites, regardless of their current standing in search results.

What is the Helpful Content System Update?

Google now prioritises original, informative content designed with the user in mind over content crafted for search engines.

The Helpful Content System introduces a site-wide signal that Google’s automated ranking systems use to recognise and reward such content.

This system is adept at identifying content that offers little value or fails to help the site’s visitors. Content deemed unhelpful is less likely to rank well in search results.

A significant presence of unhelpful content on your site can diminish your overall ranking.

Run an evaluation of search data to ensure your content is people-centred, informative, and high-quality. If you feel like there’s content that doesn’t enrich the visitor experience, refine it.

For law firms, your online content is evaluated based on the information provided and the real-world expertise and credibility behind it.

Let’s explore why these criteria matter for your legal practice and how you can leverage them to enhance your firm’s online presence.


Consider a scenario where a potential client is seeking legal advice. They come across two law firms online. The first firm has a well-designed website but offers generic advice.

The second firm shares detailed case studies, client testimonials, and insights into their legal processes, showcasing their hands-on experience handling similar cases.

Naturally, the second firm appears more appealing because it demonstrates real-world experience that resonates with what the client is facing.

For law firms, showcasing the experience of your attorneys through case studies, client testimonials, or detailed blog posts about past cases (while respecting confidentiality) can significantly boost the trust and confidence potential clients place in your services.


In the legal field, expertise isn’t just preferred; it’s required. Potential clients are more inclined to trust legal advice from a source that clearly has in-depth knowledge and specialisation in the relevant area of law, whether it’s family law, criminal defence, corporate law, or any other specialty.

Highlighting your lawyers’ qualifications, certifications, and areas of specialisation can help underline your firm’s expertise. This could include detailing your team’s educational background, professional associations, or speaking engagements at legal seminars.


Authoritativeness in the legal sector means being recognised as a leading source of information or advice. This can be achieved by contributing to reputable legal publications, engaging in community legal services, or maintaining an active, informative blog that addresses current legal issues, changes in the law, and how these might affect potential clients. Your firm’s authority can grow if reputable sources cite your content or if you win awards and recognition from professional legal associations.

Trustworthiness :

Trust is paramount in the attorney-client relationship. Your online presence must reflect a commitment to confidentiality, transparency, and ethical practice. This includes clear communication on your website about your firm’s privacy policy, secure handling of client information, and adherence to legal and ethical standards.

Reviews and testimonials can also enhance trustworthiness, provided they are genuine and reflect the quality of service and legal representation your firm offers.

Applying EEAT principles to your law firm’s online content

For law firms, especially those dealing with areas directly impacting clients’ lives and finances, adhering to the EEAT criteria is vital. By demonstrating experience through detailed case studies, showcasing expertise with in-depth legal analysis, establishing authoritativeness through contributions to legal discourse, and building trust with transparent and ethical online practices, your law firm can significantly enhance its online visibility and reputation.

Evaluating the Helpfulness of Your Legal Content

Google champions “people-first content,” designed to serve users, not manipulate search engine rankings. For law firms, this means your content should:

Be centred around your firm’s primary focus, whether catering to businesses (B2B) or individual clients (B2C), and aim to increase your case engagements, consultations, or client inquiries.

Target an audience seeking legal advice or information, ensuring they leave your site more informed and confident in their next steps without needing to consult additional resources.

Reflect on the depth of your legal expertise and experience, making visitors feel confident they’ve found reliable and authoritative advice.

Strategies for law firm content creation

Avoid the trap of creating content solely for search engines. Your primary audience is individuals or businesses seeking legal assistance.

Here are key considerations:

Avoid overemphasising keywords: while keywords help people find your content, prioritising search intent—understanding the user’s underlying need for information—will make your content more impactful. Integrate keywords naturally within content that answers your audience’s legal questions comprehensively.

Quality over search engine optimisation (SEO) tactics: content grounded in real-world legal expertise will always be more trustworthy and satisfying for your audience.

Content with intent for law firms

Creator: disclose whether your content is AI-generated or written by legal professionals. Include a lawyer’s credentials and areas of expertise in the content they write to foster trust.

  • Process: detail how your content is researched and compiled. Mention your sources, case studies, or legal precedents to substantiate your claims.
  • Intent: ensure your content aims to educate and assist, not just rank well on search engines. Google rewards content that genuinely helps users.

Adapting to Google’s update

  • Enhance pages lacking value: revise or enhance pages that don’t offer significant legal advice or insight.
  • Add author bios: for blog posts or articles, include the bios of the contributing lawyers to establish credibility.
  • Substantiate claims: especially important for law firms, ensure all assertions, whether they pertain to case law, regulations, or legal advice, are backed by reputable research or legal sources.
  • Focusing on creating genuine, helpful content will align with Google’s guidelines and, more importantly, serve the needs of those seeking legal assistance.

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