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Paid Search Clicks on the Move and Rising

man calling lawyerThis just in: a Marin Software study has projected that smartphones and other mobile devices will account for 50 percent of paid search clicks by December 2015. (See the full report). If your law firm utilizes pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, make sure to keep mobile search needs in mind. Considering the current rate of mobile growth, your firm may wish to reexamine the marketing budget for mobile browser accommodations well before 2015.

Law firms need to choose where their marketing dollars are best invested. If you want to garner more customers from all demographics, invest in ad campaigns designed for your mobile client base now.

Marin Software’s study found that, in 2013, the cost per click (CPC) for mobile devices jumped at an exponentially higher rate than the CPC on desktops. In fact, there were some areas where even tablet CPCs outstripped desktop CPCs. Advertisers are seeing the value in mobile visitors, and (more…)

Google’s new design and your law firm’s listing

Google layoutGoogle’s redesigned search engine results look cleaner and load faster. The new layout offers the eye plenty of open white space. And one change may affect your firm directly: paid listings and natural listings now look very similar.

The redesign mirrors changes implemented on smartphones and tablets several months ago, suggesting that Google is focusing its efforts to adapt to the app milieu.

The more immediately noticeable changes include the removal of the blue underlining under links for all results (whether organic or paid) and the use of a bigger font for titles.
The latter revision specifically deserves your attention; Google has replaced its character limit with a 500-pixel space limit to incorporate the change. As such, it may be time to revisit your title tags.

Paid ads have lost their colored boxes, and yellow “Ad” tags now appear beside Adwords text. Additionally, a line separates paid and organic search results in the redesign.

To (more…)

Google Wants Clear, Comprehensible Content

law firm taglineQuality standards are definitely a large part of a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. So, what do you do to boost the quality of technical or speciality legal content? It can be a struggle to aim your writing well. With more complex topics, should you target a higher reading and comprehension level or handle only ideas so that anyone can follow?

If content is too complex, most readers click away or check an online reference source to try and understand (and technical online reference sources may compound the problem). If the path to useful comprehension is not clear, your readers will navigate elsewhere, costing your firm potential clients. At the same time, overly general, obvious content offers nothing new and robs you of the opportunity to share your expertise. In short, balance is needed.

In a recent webmaster help video, Google’s Matt Cutts pointed to a need and desire for clear, approachable content (more…)

Google Places Now Allowing Single Word Business Descriptor

google_places_screenshotThe latest change to Google Places was announced last week, and the update is sparking some consternation. Could this latest update to Google’s quality guidelines open the door to spam?

The update was made to clarify how attorneys and other business owners may name their businesses within Google Places. Before this change, Google strictly enforced a “legal business name only” policy. Now, the service will allow the legal business name to reside alongside a one-word descriptor. That single descriptor may be added via the Places dashboard for existing firms and business. The addition is intended to help people locate the firm or describe what the business offers.

Consider a firm with the legal name “Zonga Hardling, LLP.” Google now allows the firm to add a single-word descriptor to help potential clients to find the office or understand what it offers. Now, that listing could read, “Zonga Hardling Attorneys, LLP.” (more…)

Yahoo Teams up With Yelp for Local Search Enhancements

Yahoo has announced a partnership with Yelp to boost its local search service. Soon, Yahoo will start showing Yelp’s listings and reviews of local businesses as you access Yahoo Local. The changes should roll out in the coming weeks.

Why the move to enhance local search? Yahoo was a dominant player in its industry until things went awry. Users moved to other sites and services, and the company lost a large share of the market. So, Yahoo hired Marissa Mayer, formerly head of Google’s search division, to turn that downward spiral around.

When she joined Yahoo in 2012, Mayer ordered a complete overhaul of Flickr and a home-page redesign. Then, she acquired two upwardly mobile companies, Tumblr (a blogging platform) and Summly (a story-condenser). These changes may hint at the new direction she sees.

This latest Yahoo-to-Yelp combination is yet another step to enhance the formerly jaded service. These days, it claims (more…)

New Yahoo local listings let you share more details about your firm

Enhanced listing on Yahoo Local for Chicago law firm, Briskman Briskman & Greenberg

Enhanced listing on Yahoo Local for Chicago law firm, Briskman Briskman & Greenberg

Yahoo’s new Local search design noticeably resembles Google’s existing Local format for businesses like law firms. Regardless of the flattery and ethics of Yahoo’s development, the similarities will happily allow firms to expand their web presence across a new network in an familiar way.

Yahoo has announced that its Local search results are designed to offer users detailed information about a business when they click on it in a results list. Whether users are searching for a local bookstore, pharmacy or law firm, Yahoo Local displays snapshots of businesses beside a recently updated Yahoo Maps design.

Viewers are presented with an overview of each company, which includes parking suggestions, pictures, hours of business and more. The noticeably larger map is designed to remain on the sidebar as a user navigates the results.

At the moment, the new Local (more…)

Click-to-Call Can Easily Boost Your Mobile Conversions

mobile search for lawyersMost people who need a lawyer want to speak with them as soon as possible. They don’t want to spend time filling out a form; today, people want things as instantly as possible. That culture accounts for the high number of smartphones now in use. To add convenience to your site, allow potential clients to tap a phone number and call your firm right away.

User behavior has changed. Many of your visitors are now viewing your website on a mobile device. In 2013, we conducted a study showing that more potential clients call your law firm than use an online contact form. The report provided insight into the ways in which lead generation is changing for law firms.

In our report, you’ll find that calls increased and contact form use decreased in part because of an increase in mobile access to sites. When navigating with a small smartphone screen, a user is (more…)