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…)
Recently, Google announced another algorithm change in their efforts to stop web spam. The newest change has nothing to do with your links and little to do with content. This time, Google is targeting your law firm’s domain name.
The goal with the newest change is to target low-quality “exact match” domain names. For most law firms, this change may actually help their rankings.
Over the past decade, spammers in all industries (not just law) have been picking up domain names that are packed with keywords. A personal injury lawyer in Boston may spend thousands of dollars to snag bostonpersonalinjurylawyer.com. A business attorney may create a hyphenated domain name of Dallas-business-lawyer dot some extension.
If a law firm provides the same care and attention to their keyword-rich domain as they would a domain based on the firms’ name, this algorithm change shouldn’t penalize them. The problem is when an exact match domain (more…)
Much has been written about using social media to build a community, engage with potential clients and establish expertise. But what about the SEO benefits your firm can gain from a social media marketing strategy?
The potential value of social media activity for a firm’s own SEO efforts is often underrated. The two do not exist in a vacuum – social media, blogging and website optimization must all be part of a comprehensive online marketing strategy.
Content marketing and organic link building have achieved prominence after Google’s two most recent algorithm updates. It is important your firm’s SEO efforts expand accordingly.
Probably the most discussed (and rehashed and discussed again) changes in Google’s release of Penguin are those that make regularly updated and unique content very important. Content is king. (Really, it always has been – only now everyone is talking about it.) But search engines have also incorporated changes that (more…)
Lawyers spend millions of dollars each year to get their name out to the public and bring in new clients. Some law firms spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to drive potential clients to their website. What happens after someone visits the firm’s site, but doesn’t take the next step and call or contact the attorney?
Remarketing is a pay-per-click service that can compliment your natural search engine optimization and offline marketing efforts. By placing a code on your website, you can advertise to your past website visitors in an effort to bring them back to your firm. Here is how it works:
Building a Pool – A pool is a group of visitors who have seen a section of your website. For example, a personal injury lawyer could have a pool for car accidents, one for medical malpractice, and one for workplace injuries. Google provides a code that is placed (more…)
This year’s Penguin updates from Google have changed how many law firms are positioned in the search results. For years, we have identified many cheating law firms that heavily took part in link exchanges, buying paid links, forum spam, blog comment spam, paid posting and other link building tactics that are now yielding useless, if not damaging, links.
The old link building strategy was easy. Get a lot of links and hyperlink your key phrases (i.e., Asheville divorce lawyer links to http://www.example.com). As Dylan declared in 1964, “The times, they are a-changin’.”
If your SEO and online law firm marketing company is proposing thousands of directory links, grab their proposal, locate the nearest shredder and save yourself a lot of heartache. To help get you on the right path, we have put together a short list of ways to get good links in the post Penguin world.
1) Directories – Directories still have their (more…)
A lot of law firms use television ads to increase awareness and get leads. But some lawyers who closely monitor their lead sources have seen their search engine optimization efforts improve the conversion rate of their television advertisements.
Many elements go into a successful SEO campaign. From local profiles, videos and news releases to publishing content on third party authoritative websites to onsite work that makes the law firm’s website intuitive and conversion-friendly, a real SEO effort is spreading the firm’s name across the Internet in multiple ways. Another way of thinking about it is message control.
When someone is watching a TV ad, they are probably not standing by to write down a phone number or a website address. But your law firm’s name is easier to remember. Before calling, many people are going to Google it after seeing your commercial.
When they Google your firm, what do they see? One website and (more…)
A website is more than a page, picture and words. Visitors can assess the size of your law firm simply by looking at the design of your website and the way you organize content on it.
Last year, we wrote a blog titled, “What You Can Learn from Large Law Firms”. We looked at some of the largest law firms in the U.S. and discovered that most of these firms hosted libraries of content on their websites.
When our blog article was published in April of 2011, DLA Piper was the largest firm in the country by number of attorneys. Their website had more than 37,000 pages indexed in Google. Other firms had a few thousand pages of content, but overall, most large law firms filled their websites with massive amounts of content.
This year, DLA Piper was dethroned by another Chicago giant, Baker & McKenzie. It is here that we start looking (more…)
If you spend any time with your website’s statistics, you may be familiar with “bounce rate.” The bounce rate represents the number of visitors who access one page on your website and then leave. A high bounce rate means that most people see just one page on your site. A low bounce rate means your visitors visit multiple sub-pages.
For years, search engine optimization specialists have theorized that Google uses data collected by Google Analytics as part of their ranking algorithm. Some believed that a website with a high bounce rate would not rank as well or that a site with a low bounce rate would rank higher.
On average, visitors on law firm websites click on 1.5 pages each. If you don’t have a contact form on every page of the site, you are significantly reducing the likelihood of someone clicking on “contact us.” If your site has a high bounce rate, (more…)
Marketing “experts” and self-proclaimed “gurus” all claim to have the secret to search engine success. To make it easy to understand, we have outlined some key points on what it means to optimize a law firm’s presence on the web… not just their website.
Your website should be built with conversion and user experience in mind. Is the website easy to navigate? Can search engines and human visitors easily access all pertinent information? Is it easy for visitors to contact your firm? Optimization of a website is not just about keyword placement; it’s about optimizing the user experience.
Google has finally cracked down on where your links originate. Link exchanges, paid links and website directories that accept links from anybody about anything are now getting blocked by Google. While they may not directly punish your website, they are discrediting those links, making them valueless to your website’s ranking.
Real links come from (more…)
When looking for a marketing partner for your law firm, you probably come across half a dozen firms that say they specialize in law firm marketing. From giant publishing companies that dabble in web marketing in an attempt to stay relevant to directory based solutions offered by conglomerates, should we mention these firms by name you are sure to recognize them.
We have acquired quite a few clients from these institutions over the years. While a few may have had a customer service issue or a problem with their account manager, that was rarely the cause for moving to a new marketing company. The main reason law firms jump from big marketing companies is because they realize that the market changes daily, and the big companies’ size prohibits them from evolving fast.
You need an online marketing firm that can change or add to their SEO strategy within a couple weeks when something (more…)