Articles Posted in Search Engine Optimization

Searching.jpgI spoke with a number of lawyers over the last several weeks that came to our agency in search of law firm SEO services…… least that’s what they thought they wanted.

Really what they were looking for was more business through the internet. The particulars of which strategy they should use in order to make that happen was the reason they were talking to me in the first place. However, there is enough hype around SEO these days that most law firms assume this is route they need to take.

If a law firm has the appropriate budget, time, and resources available they should be involved in SEO, paid search, email marketing, social media, content creation, and every other type of online marketing avenue But in many cases, time and money are finite resources. As a result, a law firm must prioritize which strategies make the most sense depending on the needs, goals, and resources available.

writing.jpgI talk with lawyers everyday that have websites they need help marketing. They want their websites to bring in more traffic, more leads, and more clients. When I ask how often they are updating their sites and what type of content they are producing, the other end of the line is usually met with silence. The fact is that in today’s online marketing universe, you need to produce new content for your website on a regular basis.

Why Do I Need To Create Content?

There are a myriad of reasons why you should produce new content for your site on a regular basis. In the interest of keeping this post succinct, I’ll list 5 of the most important reasons in my opinion:

search.jpgMy wife and I moved at the beginning of September to another apartment in the city. We had a few issues with the previous landlord and our security deposit. The situation escalated to the point that I needed to speak with a landlord/tenant attorney.

I have 3 different friends living in Chicago that are attorneys. However, none of them practice in the landlord/tenant field. So naturally, I asked around to see if they could refer anyone who could help with my specific problem. One of my friends gave me the name and number of a lawyer that handled landlord/tenant issues.

What Happened Next

email.jpgWe have short attention spans these days. Especially in marketing. Everyone wants to be on the bleeding edge of the next big thing (yes even some lawyers). Social media has been talked and written about incessantly, from Facebook to Twitter to Google+. When it comes to digital marketing channels, social media is new and sexy. However, a Pew Internet study came out recently that reminds us search and email remain the top online activities.

The Econsultancy blog discusses the study in a recent post:

According to the study, 92% of internet users in the United States use search engines and send email. The number using social networking services? 65%.

Google recently announced the launch of Google Related.

Now with Google Related, a new Chrome Extension and Google Toolbar feature, you’ll automatically see interesting content relevant to what’s on the page you’re viewing, right where you’re viewing it.

Here is a video that describes the new tool in more detail:

Google News recently became more social by releasing Google News Badges.

According to the update:

“The U.S. Edition of Google News now lets you collect private, sharable badges for your favorite topics. The more articles you read on Google News, the more your badges level up: you can reach Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and finally Ultimate. Keep your badges to yourself, or show them off to your friends.”

The Greater Significance

At this time, the impact of these Google News badges isn’t entirely clear. However, when you start to look at the bigger picture you can see the puzzle pieces Google is putting together.

The grand plan appears to be a fundamental shift in how Google views authority on the web. Google wants to tie authority and expertise back to individuals and real people. Proof can be found in the approach with Google+ and usernames and changes such as Authorship Markup. They are looking for signals beyond links and social is becoming a more important component of the algorithm. Google wants to identify subject matter experts and deliver their expertise to its users.
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Inbound legal marketing is marketing that is focused on getting found by customers. It is the art of “pulling” customers to you rather than “pushing” your message out to them through interruption-style advertising.

No one does a better job of explaining the philosophy and practice of inbound marketing than Hubspot, pioneers in the field. Here is a short explanation from Hubspot on Inbound Marketing:

In traditional marketing (outbound marketing) companies focus on finding customers. They use techniques that are poorly targeted and that interrupt people. They use cold-calling, print advertising, T.V. advertising, junk mail, spam and trade shows.

google-instant.jpgThe concepts of search engine optimization are new to many in the legal profession. There is a lot of misinformation out there as well as unreasonable expectations and promises regarding law firm SEO and how it works. What follows are 5 things you should know about law firm SEO:

It Takes Time

Search engine optimization is not a process that happens over night. In fact, it doesn’t happen in one week or one month either. An analogy I like to use is that SEO is similar to losing weight. You don’t eat right and exercise for a week and expect to be thin. It is a process of doing these things every day over the course of months in order to see results and reach your goals.

There was a time, before October of 2010, that a law firm might have outsourced their “Google Maps Optimization” to one company and the “traditional SEO” to another. Some of you might be thinking, “I still have two different companies working on my Google Maps and SEO”. This shouldn’t be necessary any longer. Let me explain.

Before October 2010

Prior to the local update from Google in October 2010 there were two separate algorithms used to serve up results. The first was an algorithm for local/Google Map results which was often called the 10-pack or 7-pack. This would appear on top of the traditional SEO results when someone performed a search with local intent.

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