Google Penguin 2.0 rolled out last week and Matt Cutts‘ assertion that it’s targeting black-hat SEO seems to be viable. The first Google Penguin caused a lot of collateral damage for websites that inadvertently crossed the ethical link-building line. Thus far, Google Penguin 2.0 appears to be more discriminate, hitting websites that knowingly and willingly acted unethically to achieve links.
In his article, Langdale explains how Google has evolved beyond the need for links; it can match relevance of a brand by reviewing the content around the brand and associate profiles such as Google Authorship.
Here is how Google used to review relevance:
Your law firm’s website is http://www.example.com, (more…)
Every industry has its jargon, acronyms and language that is shared only by those within the profession. Such shorthand is necessary and understandable; people, particularly those who deal with highly technical information, benefit from methods that help them quickly communicate ideas among themselves. Sometimes acronyms spill out into the general population and become so widely used that they can be comfortably employed by writers in any industry with the understanding that most people will be aware of their meaning. But more often, industry terms are confusing to those who have no cause to them them regularly.
There is a difference, technically between acronyms and initialisms. Acronyms form a new word that is pronounced as such, like SNAP, while initialisms form a series of letters that is read as letters, like FBI or ACH. Both acronyms and initialisms should be used thoughtfully and sparingly when writing for a broad audience – (more…)
At Google’s I/O conference in San Francisco last week, they announced their plans to make internet search a little more conversational. With a little inspiration from Star Trek, Google wants users to search with casual verbal conversation.
Google Senior Vice President Amit Singhal said the search engine of the future will “answer, converse and anticipate.”
The presentations at the conference involved Singhal searching for pizza by asking, “What’s the nearest pizza place?” He then asked follow-up questions such as, “When does it close?” then “What’s its phone number?”
Google Vice President Johanna Wright showed attendees a preview by asking Google to “Show me things to do in Santa Cruz.” The search engine showed pictures, landmarks, and restaurants.
Like most early previews of Google products, this creates more questions than the company is willing to publicly answer. But, based on the examples provided at the conference, here is how your clients are going to (more…)
Each new, highly publicized update Google releases causes some frustration among businesses that see their rankings fluctuate as the changes take effect. And Google will continue to hone its algorithm in an attempt to make search results as helpful as possible for those in need of information or services.
However, through all of Google’s updates, the basic rules have remained the same. And so has the underlying formula: a combination of authority and relevance. The search giant has simply (and consistently) been stepping up enforcement of things long considered to be unethical or bad practices and attempting to reward content that is genuinely useful.
Social media increasingly has a place within this equation. Businesses that produce content others find helpful are more likely to get liked, shared, tweeted about and followed. And marketers just cannot stop talking about social media. But it is not the magic bullet that some seem to (more…)
In a highly saturated market, firms must pay attention to every piece of their marketing efforts. Small details may be the things that ultimately push people to choose you over the competition.
Convincing a website visitor to contact your firm is just a first step; the ultimate goal is of course to convert that visitor into a client. The more you can personalize their experience and convince them that you are a trustworthy resource, they more likely they are to actually take the next step and hire your firm. An often underutilized resource in the conversion process is the thank you page that is displayed after a visitor completes a form submission.
Hopefully, your website already uses thank you pages. That is, once a visitor fills out and submits a form, they are redirected to a page that at a minimum thanks them for their interest in your firm and tells them (more…)
Including pictures of lawyers doing something they enjoy can make their attorney bio page more than a resume and a way to connect with prospective clients.
People hire you to handle their legal matters. They don’t hire logos, DIY legal document services, they hire you – your experience, your credentials, maybe even the style of your hair. Whatever it is, you are who they are contacting.
You need to think about the power of you when selecting an online marketing strategy. Your website should not be a buffer between you, your law firm, and prospective clients. Instead, it should be an extension of you and what you stand for.
Don’t think this only applies to sole practitioners. If you have a larger firm with multiple attorneys, you can capitalize on this philosophy by bringing the characters and personalities of your law firm to life so that the many personalities (more…)
Much of the practice of search marketing is centered around getting people to your website. Having a diverse collection of links pointing to your site and ranking well in search engine results should increase the number of people visiting your pages. But what happens once those visitors arrive at your website. Are they staying? Do they read your articles or just scan your pages? Are they contacting you?
Keeping users engaged on your website has two main benefits. First, the longer they are on your site, the more likely they are to convert. If people looking for information on legal services find a wealth of it on your pages, they are more apt to trust you and contact you. And the more engaged visitors become with your content, the more likely they are to remember you and recommend your site to others. You may not even be aware of it, but you (more…)
Having a regularly updated website and attorney blog are both important factors in any search marketing campaign. In addition to the basic SEO value of well-written content, frequent posting helps to establish trust with potential clients, who will come to see you as a reliable source of helpful information. Being the expert who people can turn to for helpful knowledge has good marketing potential.
But there is a whole world out there beyond your own website where people looking for legal services are searching for information about you. The firm Moses & Rooth, curious about opinions from actual consumers not marketing companies, partnered with Mike Blumenthal to conduct a study about the behaviors of those in need of a specialty lawyer. One question asked, if you are searching for a lawyer online, “what is most important to you?” The top choice of respondents was, “Information about them elsewhere on the Internet,” followed (more…)
Law firms may not want to think of themselves as small businesses, but competing for new clients increasingly requires the implementation of business strategies, from law firm practice management to holistic marketing plans. As traditional methods of attorney marketing continue to move toward obsolescence, online marketing efforts are taking a larger and larger share of marketing dollars. Because of this, your website must be effective.
MarketingProfs published a provocatively titled article this week, claiming that most small and medium business websites will fail. Small and medium businesses (SMBs), the article claims, are not as prepared to face the reality of competing online as they should be by this point in the life of the Internet. Their analysis is based largely on data drawn from vSplash’s SMB DigitalScape, which reveals some surprising facts about small and medium business websites, including: