Friday, December 29, 2017

SEO Year in Review -- 2017

As time goes on SEO evolves and changes as google strives to provide more focused results.  2017 saw quite a few changes in SEO.  While I posit that SEO is still the best marketing spend for Law Firms the ways in which to execute Law Firm SEO has changed.

What doesn't work:

  • I am surprised, even some high-end marketing firms like BlueText still advocate for term density, it's not 1999 anymore.  Term denisity is only important insofar as you give enough information for google to understand your content, so on one end of the spectrum is no parsable content (like a flash site) on the other end off the spectrum is a site that spams terms and may get penalized.  A good medium is to utilize few pronouns and many specific terms.
  • Links from comments, spammy links, controlling how people link.  Google strives to keep linking organic so be mindful of inbound links and how you discuss links on your site.  One of my clients went from 200k uniques to 2.5m uniques monthly by getting rid of comments about linking from on the site and some careful optimization to meta. 
  • Following your competitors.  In an early meeting I was shocked to hear a guy in Denver talk about his SEO strategy, which was to copy the terms his competitors used.  It is dangerous and short sighted.  
What does work: 
  • Keyword research is still essential.  Good keywords can describe what you are writing about or guide you to what your audience wants.  There will be both low hanging fruit and medium competition terms with great traffic that you should seek. 
  • Public Relations is still important.
  • Think outside of the box in SEO.  SEO extends far beyond the google search bar and works on AVVO, Martindale, app stores, youtube and more.  
  • Optimized Rich Media.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dealing with Social Media Backlash

Nearly every law firm, if they are involved in serious and/or personal litigation, will be the subject of negativity from the opposition.  You may also be exposed to some negative reviews and other information posted on various web properties included but not limited to Twitter and Facebook.

Unfortunately this is not a problem that will solve itself.  Without a measured reaction or further complaints these complaint postings will be quite visible forever. 

The first step is to plan and consider your response.  After that you will have to execute and implement resources to respond to various postings according to a plan.  It is important that this be executed well or else it can look less than desireable for a potential client googling you or your law firm. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Meta Descriptions vs Law Firm SEO

We covered Titles vs Law Firm SEO last week this week the next logical step to cover is the Meta Description Tag.  Meta Description tag is the next "most powerful" tag behind the title tag.  Remember these are powerful so use them with respect.  Help Google understand your content, not misunderstand it, and produce good content if you can.  Use these tags and let google know exactly what your content is about. 

That's my old speech on Meta Tags.  Now they do so much more.  Meta tags are often fed through syndication services, and appear as the description across Social Media Sites for example twitter, facebook, linkedin.  This is a powerful tool. 

Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to create keyword rich attention grabbing titles and follow up hard with an action getting SEO infused description.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Choosing Great Titles

HTML Meta Titles are not readily visiable to the end user, but that doesn't mean they aren't important. While writing blogs or distributing publications via www its important to allow such content to be found. The content is more important and will be as Google transitions to Latent Semantic Indexing, however, meta titles is your opportunity to tell Google exactly what your content is about.

The more google understands about your content the better chance that they will serve it up to a person with a similar inquiry. Titles are also important because they get distributed via RSS. When your blogs autopost to twitter, linkedin, facebook, and etc, they utilize meta titles to describe the content.

Its always important to think about your titles and how your most wanted audience would search for the content. Too often attorneys write articles for other lawyers. If your looking to pick up conflicted out clients this may be a great strategy. However, many clients are left out because they will utilize different words to describe their queiries. Thus, people who are actively seeking your content will not be able to find it, merely because of syntax.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Content Generation's Import

Content Generation is foremost; especially if you're presenting information that furthers human knowledge on a specific topic. It's easy to tell why google would respect this step, and I believe more ranking import will be put back into ranking content quality.

However, with Law Firm SEO it helps even more because often legal queries that clients will likely run into are fairly specific which means that your content can rank for its intended number one audience.  This is important because a good audience will drive more sales, more calls, and more referrals versus an audience that is not interested in the subject or professional help dealing with the subject.

SEO is Niche Online Networking

SEO is an interesting marketing technique because it draws people in who are looking for help and information about various topics, often niche or "longtail".  The niche aspect is actually a great boon for attorneys in specialized verticals because it allows people in need to find you vis a vis what information you have provided on that topic. 

I know there's some marketers out there shouting "SEO is inbound marketing" but the truth is what is the difference for a professional organization such as a Law Office or Law Firm.  Networking drives referrals, that's exactly what you want from creating content to do "online networking" for you.    I'd also argue that effective SEO strategies often employ "online networking" tactics.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Importance of Picking Great Keywords

While it's always good to rank for your corporate namesake, and partner and attorney namesake searches, there is a whole world of interested consumers for your legal services.  In fact these people want to find you for genuine answers, which usually means a pressing need, and a close proximity to sale. 

If you're picking the wrong keywords, or not optimizing for keywords at all you'll likely see a high bounce rate, the rate at which a person "bounces" off your page by pressing the back button to google, for searches other than namesakes.  This isn't a good proposition for you, people who genuinely need help, and google.  Google prefers to feature pages with low bounce rates because it means that google searchers have found what they're looking for.  That's google's main goal.  With good keyword selection SEO represents a valuable service to searchers who have found the solution to their problem and the legal service provider.  It also means Google has won too.

Keyword selection is a key differentiator between SEO companies.  Overseas SEO may be able to understand the search patterns and complex language of legal searches, cheap SEO providers will likely not be as involved in selecting the best keywords and may not be familiar with your market.  Law Firm SEO is intimately familiar with the legal market and the challenges that face attorneys at law, as well as issues such as Professional Advertising Standards.  Our experience means that you get the best visitors possible, as many as possible for the lowest costs; in other words we can maximize your ROI and even project ROI before we execute campaigns.  This service known as Search Engine Marketing Management (or SEMM) and can be extremely helpful in ensuring that your marketing dollars are maximized. Our experience also means that you don't have to educate us about your market on your dime.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Trial Attorney, Search Engine Optimizer Allegory

I am sometimes asked the about the difference between Search Engine Optimizers (SEOs) (including companies offering Search Engine Optimization). I often suggest it reminds me about the differences in litigators. I'll explain why in this extended metaphor.

Not All Litigators are the Same
Some litigators have nearly perfect win percentages even when presented with hard to win cases, upwards of 90%, while other trial attorneys have a win percentage closer to 50%. With such drastic differences its clear that there is a difference in trial attorney skill which affects success.

There is an intense competition and intellectual challenge presented by contesting a case in trial. Excellence often perseveres.

In a trial a third party, be it judge or jury, ultimately decides the outcome. The litigator who presents the best case to the third party often wins. However the third party does have to judge upon a set of laws, that while open to interpretation, are known to each party to varying degrees.

Google the Judge, Jury, and Law Maker
An effective SEO will prepare your content to be understood and digested by a third party, Google. Google will then judge your case for ranking assignment for search input terms. There are an infinite number of search terms.

Google has algorithms which rank websites. These can be thought of as the law; however, because many of the algorithms are trade secrets, the law of the land is unknown. Your SEO will have to reverse engineer these laws. This is an intellectually challenging task and excellence will persevere. SEO is not a purely pay-to-play, or pay-to-win, venue like Pay-Per Click. Just like you can't buy a judgment in the courtroom.

Presenting your Law Firm's Case to Google
In the courtroom a good litigator will present an excellent case to the Jury (and Judge!). A good litigator is statistically more likely to win a trial (this based on excellent litigators win percentage).

A good SEO will present an excellent case why your website should rank to the Jury, that is Google. Ultimately an SEO's skill can mean the difference in ranking or not ranking for a term. Not only does an SEO need to present a good case, they also need to be able glean the ever changing laws as best as possible to be able to present a good case. SEO is intellectually challenging and an intellectual competition.

The Opposition 
Unlike a trial where there are essentially two competing parties represented by the plaintiff and defendant, in the expedited Google Court Room, each term is compared to other sites, so in essence it is a competition for the best content to match a keyphrase against several million petitioning websites. 

Advisory Role
An excellent trial attorney can be trusted to give sound advice about whether to take a case to trial, or if there should be a case brought to trial. Hopefully this advice comes with some understanding of how these cases will affect the bottom line, and high-level corporate strategic positioning and strategy.

A good Law Firm SEO should be able to present a list of words that you should rank for, and conversely recommend against terms where the volume or value isn't there.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Law Firm SEO Consulting

We can help you market your law firm to your target demographics no-matter how many lawyers your law firm has or how diverse your law firm's area of practice is.

We can help your attorneys reach your potential clients through effective search engine marketing.