Content marketing will continue to get a lot of attention as websites adjust to Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm, which was quietly rolled out in August and formally announced at the end of September. This release is the first entirely new rewrite of the company’s algorithm since 2001, and it changes the way Google looks at keywords. Hummingbird is a move toward a more contextual, semantic search; that is, rather than just focusing on individual keywords or keyphrases, the search engine will try to discern the whole meaning of the text a user enters in order to return results that more accurately reflect the searcher’s intent.
How does this affect your firm’s effort to continually better your search rankings and increase traffic to your site? If you have been keeping abreast of the series of updates known as Panda and Penguin, then it is unlikely you will have to make too many (more…)
Over the last decade, keywords have dominated the focus of many firms’ marketing practices. What was “Smith & Smith” became “Chicago divorce law firm Smith & Smith with attorneys helping Chicago residents with divorce and family law matters.”
These keywords went from being complimentary to the brand to becoming the brand. Some law firms even incorporated law firm names based on the most popular keywords in their area.
But Google changed all of that when they started releasing Panda and Penguin, the content and inbound link changes, to battle spam within their search results. Now, Google can piece together information about your firm.
Our fictional law firm, Smith & Smith has a Google+ Local profile with their address in Chicago, IL and the categories divorce and family law. If they submit a news release about child custody, Google will see “Smith & Smith” and know that they are a law firm in (more…)
Attorney marketing is tricky in many ways. You must sell a service that only a certain percentage of the population will ever need, and you do not have the same ability to manufacture demand as large retail companies like Nike or Apple. Attorneys are also restricted in many different ways by a variety of recommendations unique to each state bar’s interpretation of best marketing practices. Lawyers must even approach marketing differently than other service providers who face fewer constraints on they ways in which they can present themselves to the public.
However, attorneys can learn from traditional retail marketing in one very important way: The predominant message of successful campaigns is a focus on benefits rather than features. This is true of top national brands that may not mention a product at all until the end of a spot to local businesses. A commercial for a landscape architect will not showcase (more…)
Pinterest announced on its blog last week that it would be expanding its current bundle of rich pins to include article pins. Article pins will contain additional information, like the headline, author, story description and link to the article, within the pin itself. The feature will be rolled out over the coming months, with larger publishers already seeing access to the new pins.
Previously, when a publisher pinned an article, the post would contain only a picture associated with the article and a link to the story. (Remember, always attach pictures to your blog posts and articles if you want to encourage pins.) People had to guess from that limited context whether the pin was relevant to themselves or their followers.
Pins present a particular challenge for attorneys, whose business is much more difficult to visualize than that of other industries, like fashion or food and beverage, that can (more…)
Generally, the consequence for taking a shortcut with your search engine marketing is some sort of disciplinary action from Google. But a law firm in San Diego is getting more than an SEO problem; the online review and business directory, Yelp, is suing the firm, claiming their employees posted fake reviews to the company’s Yelp profile.
The firm owner, Julian McMillan, believes there is no merit to the case and that the lawsuit is more about retaliation. “They’re an Internet bully and they abused their dominant Internet position for advertising contracts,” he told ABC News. “Here they are trying to squash my freedom of speech in small claims court, which awarded me back $2,700 for my advertising contract.”
Marketwatch suggests that the law firm in San Diego, McMillan Law Group, is not an isolated matter. Yelp says it has been stepping up efforts to squash fake reviews and taking on advertisers that they (more…)
Part one in this two-part series can be found here.
Like most social networks, your ability to benefit from YouTube One Channel relies heavily on the level of involvement to which your firm is willing to commit. At a minimum, you should brand your channel and fully fill out all meta data, like titles and descriptions, so your videos will be correctly categorized and easy to find. YouTube is now using the title of your channel rather than your user name to display in search results, so make sure it is simple and relevant (and please, no keyword spam).
Here are some additional things you can do to maximize the benefit of your channel:
Take advantage of YouTube Analytics. Google has made a real effort to make YouTube’s analytics more useful by, among other things, adding charts that help you visualize how well your videos are performing. For smaller publishers, the charts (more…)
Google Authorship is a method for attaching a specific author to online content so that the author can be associated with his or her work across the Internet, no matter where it is published. Google advertises Authorship as a good way to validate content, help get discovered and attract more readers.
The little pictures you see next to some search results are displayed because of Authorship. If you see those images, it means Google has determined, through both markup and a linked Google+ account, that the person shown is responsible for the content being presented. There is still much discussion in the SEO community about whether or not adding Authorship helps with search marketing, although many people have reported positive results in terms of both ranking and click-through rate post implementation.
Google recommends using Authorship as one method of building reputation and establishing trust. At the March 2013 Search Marketing Expo (more…)
YouTube rolled out its new One Channel platform over the spring and early summer. By now, whether you have set up your channel or not, any YouTube accounts you have should have long been converted to the new design. With the changes, Google is attempting to make the site more of a subscription based destination, rather than a video hosting site. As the name implies, all users now have a channel to which others can subscribe, and additional ways of promoting their channel. The new design and functionality also provide more opportunities for engagement and community building.
Since Google is providing you with several new tools, it is worth the effort to understand how they can help your firm. Here are some things you can do to take advantage of One Channel:
Choose the right banner and channel avatar. Responsive design has come to YouTube. The One Channel design is similar to the (more…)
When measuring the success of search engine marketing, many law firms look at the leads emailed to them from their website. While lawyers notice an increase in cases, they often come via a very limited number of emailed leads.
The trend of leads using contact forms is decreasing while the ROI of online marketing for law firms is sharply increasing. How is this possible? Many people are opting to call rather than fill out a contact form.
We reviewed the calling data from a sample of our clients who use call tracking. The calls that we reviewed came in through phone numbers that were exclusively used with their online marketing efforts, not from any other advertising outlet. Those with enhanced call tracking (where the number displayed on the website changes based on the visitor referrer – i.e., if searching Google organic with a keyword, they see a tracking phone number, but if searching (more…)
Google is giving small business owners a chance to have their sites personally reviewed by engineers on Google’s webspam team. If you have a smaller site that you think should be ranking better against your larger competitors, this is your chance to plead you case.
Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts put out the call on Twitter for owners of smaller websites to submit their information via a simple Google form.
If you choose to submit your url, you will be asked to provide details about why you think your site is better – or higher quality – than others that rank more favorably and why you think you should outrank other, perhaps larger, sites.
Google has made it clear that submitting your site for review will not affect your rankings. This is purely an exercise in collecting data, but it could be an indication that Google is taking seriously the complaints of (more…)