In the effort to drastically minimize malicious traffic onto your law firm’s website, and especially contact forms, you can add Google’s reCAPTCHA service tool to your site. Google’s reCAPTCHA was developed to distinguish between humans and computers, thereby protecting websites from unnecessary spam.
It should be noted that this tool is mainly to fight bots and not spam. While bots can deliver spam, so can real people. So If you’re getting spam from real email address that are sent from real people, this will not filter that, but typically your email provider will. This tool is made to cut down and eliminate spam via bots.
If you take the security of your website seriously, you should add the free anti-bot tool. Here’s a quick and easy to follow guide on how to add reCAPTCHA to your website and lock down your contact forms. You can watch the video here, and the full guide is below:
- Know If Your Site Requires v2 or v3
Google reCAPTCHA was recently re-launched, and the service now comes in a version 3. Still, some software integrations require version 2. In order to successfully add the free service to your site, you will first need to check your integration software to determine if a version 2 or version 3 is preferred. Selecting the incorrect version will result in an alert for non-compatibility. It isn’t a terrible mishap, but the form won’t work, and you will have to repeat the setup process again.
The main difference between version 2 and 3 is the look at what the user has to do. Version 2 is the familiar “I am not a robot” checkbox, and version 3 is in most cases invisible, meaning users don’t have to do anything, but the site is still monitoring and protecting your forms.
If you are using WordPress, you can check if your website has integration available for reCAPTCHA on the theme options, or in many cases, the contact form plugin you are using. Here, you’ll be able to see if version 2 or version 3 is required. If you cannot find a description, take a guess. You have a 50% chance of getting it right, and as mentioned, if you’re wrong, it will only take you another minute to get the other keys.
- Head to Google’s reCAPTCHA Landing Page
The next step is to set up the service in your Google account so that you get the required keys. Begin by going to the Google reCAPTCHA home page and on the upper right hand corner, you will see the “Admin console” button. Click the button and sign into your google account.
Once you have logged in, you’ll be able to see if you have already added reCAPTCHA for the site in the past or if you have the service for any other website using this same Google account. Either way, select the “+” plus icon on the top right of the site and register a new site. It is not uncommon to have added a reCATPCHA before, especially if the software previously used version 2 and now uses 3.
- Adding a Label
The “label” entry field is only for your use, so feel free to put any label on here. Using the website’s name can be beneficial if you have multiple sites on the same Google account. You can quickly identify it later. If you plan on using multiple integrations on the same website be more specific with the label. For example, if you are using one on a contact form, and another on consultation request form you can name them more descriptively.
- Select a reCAPTCHA Type
Based on your earlier determination, you will need to select the reCAPTCHA type your software requires. This is a simply radio checkbox for version 2 or 3.
- Add a Domain Name
Here, you will need to add the URL as the name of the website ending in “.com”, “.net”, “.biz”… only. Whatever your top level domain extension is, it should end there. No http(s) prefix…no www. Simple domain.tld… example would be example.com, not https://www.example.com/.
- Adding Additional Users
You are able to add additional users for additional user access and notifications but this is not entirely necessary, as you can always log into your reCAPTCHA account to get up to date information about how your website is being protected. Further, for most websites you will never come back to this panel after you have set up the integration.
- Terms of Service and Alerts
As soon as you submit, you will be given a “site key” and a “secret key”. You will need to add these to you website where it asks for these values. This again could be the theme options, a plugin configuration or somewhere else, and each of those integrations may look different, but it should be easy to find since there are only two values it asks for. Finally, you will need to add these two keys and save the changes, update, or publish. You should hopefully get a confirmation of the save and then it is time to test the function.
- Run a Test
Open your website and see if the reCAPTCHA tool has been successfully added. Head to your contact form page on your website, and here, you will be able to see if the reCAPTCHA has been set if your integration places a reCAPTCHA badge. Version 2 will be easy to spot as it adds a “I am not a robot” box on the contact form near the submit button. Version 3 may be harder to find as most integrations will keep it invisible.
If so then you’re all set. If not, back up and see if you missed something in this guide.
- Contact Us For Additional Support
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