AI Summaries and SEO for Lawyers

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By Omnizant Team
Law Firm Marketing Agency

The challenges of AI extend beyond AI-generated content. Today, lawyers face an opportunity to dance with AI for the benefit of SEO—especially in the SERP.

Google’s rollout of AI summaries in US search results is in its nascent stage. Gemini is Google’s AI language model, and, over time, it may support highly complex search queries, visual search querying and other tasks in the Google universe.

For now, we recommend that lawyers continue to focus on high-quality content. We don’t know yet how generative AI will impact organic search long-term, but past experience with other updates informs the advice in this article.

Here’s a quick guide for lawyers about how generative AI impacts SEO and content strategy.

How does the generative AI summary work on Google?

Generative AI is the use of artificial intelligence to find, organize, and generate a summary at the top of the SERP based on a variety of search results that present the most relevant information in response to a user’s query.

Basically, it’s a summary generated by AI that includes the most pertinent information that Google can find on a given search query. 

The summary has three parts:

  1. AI-generated answer to the query
  2. A carousel of websites with related information
  3. Caret dropdowns with corroborating links for parts of the answer

The generative AI summary is located at the top of the SERP, ahead of any organic results. Our research indicates that AI summaries do not appear as often for local business searches (“attorney near me”), probably because Google has other ways to surface solutions for local queries at the top of the SERP, like LSAs and Google Maps.

This is a major paradigm shift in how information is accessed and consumed online. 

We’ve addressed this in additional detail in our article on zero-click searches, especially how these elements led to success with Google’s earlier experiments in featured snippets.

We know that existing authority and organic search rankings can help you nab a spot in the generative AI summary. But clarity, brevity, and keyword matches are also critical elements in the fight for inclusion.

Ultimately, the algorithm working hand-in-hand with AI means that website owners need to think carefully about how to create content that not only includes keywords and helpful information but that is also presented concisely and readably.

How can lawyers adjust their content strategies?

To rank in generative AI summaries on Google, lawyers should build their content strategies around creating source-worthy content and blogs for the queries and niches you’re aiming to rank within. 

This is especially effective with question-based searches, which are the foundation of AI summaries—and a powerful opportunity to connect with potential clients at a pivotal moment in their research process. Note that these keywords are usually higher up in the conversion funnel, i.e., before the client knows they need a lawyer. You may not convert from these types of inquiries or content, but they’re still important.

Source-worthy content is anything that Google deems informative and comprehensive. This content should:

  • Directly address common questions
  • Use the exact keyphrase where appropriate
  • Be written simply and concisely

It is also true that if your website ranks highly organically, this can help you appear in the generative AI summary. Achieve this with:

  • High-quality content
  • Excellent user experience
  • Fast-loading speed
  • Strong backlinks profile with high authority, on-topic links to help with indexing

A strong content marketing strategy should include short-term and long-term goals that leave room to adjust based on changes in the algorithm as well as your content’s real-world performance.

User experience is still the foundation of SERP-worthy content.

For the foreseeable future, content quality will still be the most important factor that determines your success in the SERP.

You can continue to prioritize user experience across your website by delivering technical excellence, seamless functionality across devices, fast load speeds, easy navigation, and producing helpful content. This approach not only yields results with organic SEO but it will also help you create a solid foundation for AI-driven search optimization.

Review and next steps

At the end of the day, generative AI on Google is just another arm of the search engine giant. Google’s goal is singular: provide useful content to searchers.

Position yourself as a trusted authority and provide high-quality, source-worthy content that addresses common questions. Coupled with technical flair and excellent user experience, this is how you ensure that you’re worthy of inclusion in AI-generated summaries—or whatever Google rolls out next.

Succeeding online means that your firm’s online presence must be relevant and impactful in an era defined by AI-driven search. Book a website review or consultation with Omnizant to find out what it takes to rank.

About the Author
Since 2006, Omnizant's team of digital marketing experts, designers, developers and writers has helped over 2,000 law firms develop powerful websites that drive business growth.