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Good luck is not a local search strategy

Lucky Law Firm MarketingWhen conducting a search on Google’s homepage, you may have noticed a little button to the right of “Google Search” which says “I’m Feeling Lucky”. Originally, the feature was a fun way to explore the web. Click “I’m Feeling Lucky,” and you go straight to the top-ranking website connected to your search while skipping the search results page. Today, Google uses the button to help Googlers discover art, food and even charities.

While it may be entertaining to play a game of “I’m Feeling Lucky” when meandering around the web, you shouldn’t rely on luck to get your law firm ranking high for local searches.

You may have noticed some law firms that are ranking pretty well in your local search results for your keyphrases. A lot of them probably have the following attributes:

1) A website with a lot of content
2) A website that has an established reputation
3) A solid link portfolio
4) (more…)

Adwords can connect your law firm to the suburbs

Suburban Law Firm MarketingSearch engine marketing often focuses on getting top placement for the most popular keywords related to your law firm’s practice area. This strategy generally delivers the most leads, and it’s a solid approach. But when a big-city search doesn’t perform as well in the suburbs, a pay-per-click campaign might fill the void.

For several years, Google has been using the geographic location of the searcher to determine what search results to display. When you are looking for a place to eat, a mechanic or most other local services, you don’t have tell Google where you are. It knows. And people are catching on.

In most cities, keywords and phrases entered without a city descriptor are getting more traffic than keywords with them. Here are a few examples. The keywords below that do not include a city show the number of searches from within the previously identified city’s limits.

Los Angeles personal injury attorney (more…)

Getting people to use your law firm’s app

iphone_clm_to_goMany law firms see a mobile app as just another item on the list of desirable marketing tools. Once it’s built, they cross it off the list and don’t think about it again, even if it attracts very little attention. They don’t realize that an app needs a marketing plan of its own to really succeed.

If you build it, they won’t necessarily come.

Getting your law firm’s app in the Google Play or Apple store will not independently yield downloads. You have to convince people that your app offers something they can’t currently get from your website.

As a lawyer, knowledge is your product. People pay you for what you know and for the time you spend using that knowledge on their behalf. When someone goes to a doctor, they want to feel better. When someone goes to a lawyer, they want information and action.

You can draw people to your firm by (more…)

If your firm’s website doesn’t go mobile, Google will tell you.

mobile websiteGoogle has started notifying webmasters of their incompatible websites. These notices are sent out through Google Webmaster Tools or via email. If you have received one of these notices, here is what you need to know.

  • It’s not a penalty. Google is not penalizing your website for any wrongdoing. It’s not a warning or a manual action.
  • It may affect your ranking. Last year, Google introduced the “mobile-friendly” tag on the search results page. If you do a search on your mobile device, the search results page will show “mobile-friendly” next to the websites that are responsive or have properly configured mobile websites. We have noticed the majority of websites showing on the first page have the mobile-friendly tag — which leads us to believe that Google is giving preference to these websites for mobile searches.
  • You can fix it. There are a number of options to quickly correct your website. You may (more…)

Should your law firm’s web content be shorter?

typewriter The term “thin content” became a buzzword in the SEO industry two years ago, when Google’s Panda update started pounding websites that contained useless content. In definitions, “thin content” is often connected with short page length or low word count. But Google’s Webmaster Tools Help simply defines it as content that provides “little to no added value.”

The examples provided by Google include:

  • Automatically generated content: This is content that is built by bots. Usually, this type of content is created by uploading someone else’s content into a synonym-based content generator. The result is usually nonsensical, but unique as far as plagiarism is concerned. For the sake of your user’s experience, this should never happen on your law firm’s website.
  • Thin affiliate pages: Fortunately, this type of content is not common on attorneys’ websites. Affiliate pages generally offer low-quality content with the sole intention of getting someone to click on a link to (more…)

Should your law firm’s blog have loyal readers?

lawyer blogsFor nearly a decade, search engine marketers have been the hailing the blog as the best communication invention since Gutenberg’s press. The blog provides an easy way to keep your website active, up to date and filled with good content. It also makes it easy to share your content through various online outlets and social media.

But some law firms believe that their blog is going to become a one-stop resource. That people will cancel their Wall Street Journal subscriptions, turn off NPR, and clear NYTimes.com from their browser’s cache, looking solely to the firm’s blog for new information. Not only does that not happen, it should not happen.

Our goal is to bring in new cases for our clients. If the majority of web traffic is not new traffic, our clients get concerned. When our clients are reviewing their statistics, we are judged harshly if too many of their website’s (more…)

Your Law Firm’s Local SEO Strategy for 2015

local_network_logosIn July 2014, Google released the Pigeon algorithm update, which significantly altered local search engine results pages (SERPs). As 2015 begins, it is important for law firms to understand the effects of Pigeon on local SEO strategies.

One of Pigeon’s biggest impacts was that directories like Yelp and Legal directories increased in ranking, while some local businesses took a hit. Jobs, real estate, movies and insurance took the biggest hit. However, on the whole some law firms actually saw a small boost from the Pigeon update.

According to Moz’s Local Ranking Factors 2014, Pigeon also changed which ranking factors were most important. Following the update, the following ranking factors became more important:

  • Domain Authority of Website
  • Proximity of Address to Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
  • Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  • Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  • Physical Address in City of Search
  • Quality of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g. Yelp Elite, Multiple Maps Reviewers, etc)
  • Quality/Authority of (more…)

A review of Google’s 2014 algorithm changes – Part 2

searchIn our last post, we reviewed the algorithm changes Google released during the first half of 2014. Here, we will take a look at the changes in the second half of the year, as compiled by Moz:

August 6, 2014 – HTTPS/SSL Update
Google updated their algorithms to give a boost to secure sites. According to Google’s announcement, the initial boost in rankings started out small, but may be increased in the future depending on the results.

August 28, 2014 – Removal of Authorship
After dropping authorship photos on June 28, Google completely eliminated authorship in August. Authorship bylines were completely eliminated from search engine results pages (SERPs). According to John Mueller, Google’s research found that removing authorship did not cause a reduction in site traffic.

September 23, 2014 – Panda 4.1 (#27)
Google updated the Panda algorithm, which filters out low-quality content, in mid-September, affecting 3-5 percent of queries. According to Google, the update was (more…)

A review of Google’s 2014 algorithm changes – Part 1

Google Penguin - © 2012 - 2015 Adviatech Corp. All rights reserved.2014 brought a steady stream of changes to Google’s algorithm. The majority of the updates were aimed at preventing spam and low-quality content from reaching the top of the search results, and rewarding high-quality content. As collected by Moz, the changes that occurred in the first half of 2014 were:

February 6, 2014: Page Layout #3
The page layout update released early in February was the first major change of the year. The update penalized pages with too many ads close to the top of the page.

March 24, 2014: Unnamed Update
March 24 brought rumors of a Panda update, as many sites saw ranking changes and algorithm flux trackers spiked. However, Google never confirmed this update.

May 16, 2014: Payday Loan 2.0
This update to the “payday loan” algorithm, which targets spammy queries, was released just prior to Panda 4.0. The rapid succession of the updates made it difficult to examine the exact effects (more…)

How voice search is changing the way people find your law firm

Rankings Not as Important as New ClientsVoice search is an increasingly common way to use search engines, with companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft all pushing their versions of the technology. Google in particular has recently advertised its voice search capabilities in venues such as the World Series. More and more people are using voice search, and the increase in its usage is changing how people find law firms.

The increase in the use of voice search is substantial. A recent Google study found that 55 percent of teenagers ages 13-18 use voice search daily. Most people enjoy using voice search – fifty-six percent of adults said that using it makes them feel “tech-savvy.”

Smart phones have been ubiquitous for years now, with many people relying on Siri for their searches. In addition, the use of tablets continues to grow, 171 percent last year according to the Google study. Tablets are widely used, both in an out of the (more…)