Will Google’s AI Overview Ruin SEO For Law Firms?

Google's newest AI product is here (Google AI Overviews) and it's taking over prime real estate in search engines. This will have a large impact on how lawyer's approach SEO and content marketing going forward.

By Ryan Stewart | on Jul 5, 2024


AI is here, and it’s taking over Google’s Search Results.

Google AI Overviews (formerly SGE) are summaries of content generated using artificial intelligence. They allow the user to consume the content, without the need to visit the website.

google ai overview answers

If your law firm is investing into content development for SEO, this can cause headaches, as you will likely be losing organic traffic to your website in the comings months.

So what does this mean for your law firm?

That’s exactly what we discuss in this week’s episode of Lawyer Up! & To The Right.

Google AI Overviews and Their Impact On Law Firms

Google’s AI search engine now provides summarizes content directly into search results for certain queries.

For example, when users search for something like “What is the DUI limit in Florida?“, they will likely encounter AI overviews that extract and summarize information from various websites and roll it into a single answer.

google ai overview answers

There’s a sense of déjà vu with this new feature, which is not to be confused with Google’s Featured Snippets results type.

featured snippets lawyer seo

The above screenshot is from one of our personal injury client’s websites. Featured Snippets tend to drive more traffic that traditional results, many studies show that ranking here is a powerful SEO strategy.

AI Overviews are different because they summarize information from multiple sources, and essentially us the AI to create an overview version of the entire web.

The jury is still out on the impact this will have on organic traffic – will these destroy websites? Or will these open up a new opportunity for visbility?


What Types Of Searches Will AI Overviews Steal?

It’s crucial to understand the intent behind different types of search queries in order to understand the full impact of AI Overviews.

Initial studies show these AI Overviews are only impacting ~9% of total search queries, and they are exclusively for informational based queries.

ai overviews show up rate for law firms

Informational searches (aka “Awareness” stage traffic) such as “What is the DUI limit in Florida?“, typically don’t convert into leads or client calls.

Most people asking these questions are either studying for an exam or settling a bet between colleagues, these searches are usually about finding fast, reliable information.

seo content funnel for law firms

Conversely, transactional queries like “How to get out of a DUI in Florida?” indicate a higher intent to seek legal assistance. These queries often display sponsored ads and pay-per-click (PPC) ads at the top of the search results, signaling that the user is likely looking to hire a lawyer.

ppc ads and ai overviews

As of right now, these AI Overviews might cut into your overall traffic, but not your leads.


Adapting Your Content Creation To Focus On Conversions

For law firms, the key takeaway is to focus more on creating content that targets transactional (Bottom funnel) queries.

  • wrongful death lawyer
  • pedestrian accident lawyer
  • slip and fall lawyer
  • uber accident lawyer
  • average car accident settlement
  • what to do after a car accident

content topics for lawyers

Our agency has an entire database of keywords we’ve collected over years of working with lawyers.

This is where the money is made – searches that can reel in relevant traffic and get the phone ringing. Informational content, while not harmful, should not be the primary focus of your SEO strategy.

Instead, law firms should invest in content that addresses specific legal needs and scenarios, such as “How to get out of a DUI in Florida?” or “Steps to take after a car accident.

featured snippets lawyer seo

These types of content not only attract potential clients but also provide detailed information that users may not find in a simple AI-generated summary.


Adapting to AI and Future-Proofing Your SEO

As AI continues to evolve, platforms like ChatGPT are becoming more integrated into everyday search behaviors. Although ChatGPT is not primarily a search engine, its partnership with platforms like Apple suggest that AI-driven search engines will become more common.

chatgpt seo for lawyers

The future of SEO is fragmented – it won’t just be about ranking in Google, it will be trying to get visibility on multiple platforms like ChatGPT, YouTube and TikTok.

Law firms should consider how their content and online presence are perceived by these AI platforms. Go beyond the basics and show AI systems what sets you apart by prominently featuring your expertise, impressive case results, and feedback from satisfied clients – it could be the key to securing valuable recommendations.


The Role of Reputation and Authority

In the changing landscape of SEO, building and maintaining a strong online reputation is more important than ever. Law firms should focus on showcasing their expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). This includes:

  • Highlighting case wins and successful outcomes
  • Featuring press mentions and publications
  • Accumulating positive reviews across platforms like Google, Avvo, and FindLaw

Readers get the benefit of thoroughly researched content that peels back the layers of a subject. After a thorough examination, we’re left with one unmistakable takeaway.

With AI altering the search engine terrain, law firms must adapt their SEO tactics to stay competitive and visible in the digital landscape.

Attorneys seeking a competitive edge online should focus on one crucial thing: queries from people ready to take action. When they build a robust online reputation around these high-intent searches, they set themselves up to attract more clients.

SEO is not dead; it’s evolving. Law firms that adapt to these changes and focus on quality, relevant content will thrive in the new AI-driven search landscape. Elevate your search engine ranking by augmenting your SEO tactics to reflect the freshest perspectives and user behaviors.


Need SEO Help?

At WEBRIS, we’ve helped hundreds of lawyers get more clients through Google Search. If you’re looking for a strategic partner that can drive real business results for your law firm, book a time to chat here.

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