Online advertising in the legal profession has become extremely competitive, particularly in local Pay Per Click (PPC) and Google Places listings. Attorneys are savvy marketers, and many will admit that Google search is the new Yellow Pages. As a result, many law firms are optimizing their websites, and their Internet marketing efforts, to obtain the most advertising exposure possible from local, in-market searchers.
For a law firm looking to optimize their web presence, whether through SEO or PPC, it is important to understand the difference between the variety of Google's ad placements and listings. At the Law Firm Web Marketing Blog, we break-down three primary mediums that help attain better local search visibility, including some best-practices tips for optimization.
The Google Places listings in the search results have become very prominent as well as popular. Aside from having a nice map for users to view, what is also unique about Google Places listings is the page itself. A Place page is a separate entity to a firm's website. And the Place page is core contributor to better local listings in the Google Places results.
Optimizing a Place page for better local results requires a unique approach. Similar to organic search engine optimization (or natural SEO), the popularity of the page has major influence as to how well a Google Places page ranks. Although popularity is directly uncontrollable, there are a few techniques to enhance a Place page that can promote more traffic.
Bidding for top keyword exposure using local PPC advertising is no secret to lawyers. However only few firms have discovered the power behind Google AdWords Express Ads.
You may be familiar these enhanced Google ads - they have a blue pin on search results map (instead of red), and although they are paid ads, they are associated with Google Places pages. This is a relatively new feature in Google AdWords that offers an easy way to stand out in the local search results. For lawyers, using Google AdWords Express Ads could mean the difference between getting a good case, and letting it slip to a competitor.
The process to create a Google AdWords Express Ad is simple. The entire set-up is all from the edit mode of your Place page. The ad creation process is very simple. To learn more, visit http://www.google.com/support/places/bin/answer.py?answer=1040967
Although these might look similar to Google Places listings, the local search results as shown below are strictly organic listings.
These local results are called "Enhanced Google Listings" because they offer more information in the description of the ad. In addition to the Meta description, enhanced Google listings also display an address which is associated with the Google results map. Improving your results in these listings requires organic search engine optimization techniques.
Realizing better search engine exposure from local, in-market users can be achieved. Out-ranking your competitors may take diligence, but it can be done with the right approach and the right combination of geo-local SEO, PPC, and Google Places optimization.
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