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.
Whether through Pay Per Click advertising or Organic SEO, the legal profession is one arena that has taken full advantage of Internet marketing opportunities - however only a few firms are taking advantage of the benefits of Google AdWords Express.
Google AdWords Express is an automated version of AdWords and is designed to make Internet advertising easier for locally-focused small businesses. Simplified to match the needs of entrepreneurs with limited online advertising experience, AdWords Express offers a number of advantageous. The core benefits are that it costs less than a dollar per click and can substantially increase local search visibility for a website.
Buts it’s not just simplicity that small businesses are appreciating in Google AdWords Express. In this platform, local businesses can incorporate their Pay Per Click ads and Google Places page. These add-ons can help a website's search listing stand out even more, which is especially valuable for law firms targeting keywords in competitive practice areas. Instead of representing one of the many red pins in the local Google Map results, a firm could stand out from the crowd with blue pin.
Offering the utmost simplicity from ad creation to measurement of results, AdWords Express provides everything a local business needs to start advertising online.
The legal profession is a highly competitive, even from a local approach. Google's AdWords Express offers an attractive option to maximize a law firm’s web presence with minimal costs and excellent results.
Formerly known as Google Boost, AdWords Express made $28 billion for Google in ad revenues for 2010. In the first two quarters of 2011 it generated $32 billion, declare it a success in the Google books.
With users coming from all across America, it initially targeted just two markets; small businesses like local law firms and those that do not have the time or money to take a larger leap in search engine marketing. The potential that AdWords Express offers to local law firms is immense, particularly for those with limited or non-existent experience in online marketing. Even for those with online marketing program, Google AdWords Express ads can be a great enhancement.continue...
Law firm web marketing is one of the greatest channels to gain a competitive advantage in the legal profession.
Internet marketing for law firms places significant focus on search engine optimization, which is essential to be found on Google, Bing, and other major search engines.
Implementing the best practices of law firm web marketing and SEO is one of the best ways capture prospective customers. A high ranking website that is visible on many relevant search phrases can provide incredible opportunities.
Below we've outline the top 3 tips for law firm Internet marketing, and how to get the most SEO benefit from a legal website.
The content of a website is an essential element to SEO. By intricately weaving relevant keywords into the copy of your website, you help search engine spiders (or crawlers) index your site according to those keywords. As a result, your website will have more relevance to the targeted keyword phrases that drive you business.
In today's competitive SEO game, it is important to choose keywords that are very specific to your legal practice. Generic keywords, such as "business lawyer," can be too broad and too competitive.
Not only should you consider highly specific keyword targets, such as “business tax attorney,” but also consider local variations, like “Atlanta business lawyer.”
This leads us into our next point about geo-local SEO.
The local search results, such as Google Places, are becoming increasingly important for SEO. Because most law firms represent clients in specific regions, it is wise to reference geo-specific keywords in your SEO efforts.
Be sure to include the local information about your law firm on your website. A solid tip here is to include the firm’s address in the footer of the website. It also doesn't hurt to mention your city or local service areas within the content of the site, such as "contact your trusted family lawyers in Chicago, IL."
Additionally, you can really maximize your local SEO strategy by including geo-references in your link building efforts, which is described in more detail below.
Inbound links, or backlinks, are the powerhouse to higher organic search engine rankings. Link building has become very important to compete in SEO, and now there are a number of platforms available to build backlinks.
Some of the most effective resources to build links to you law firm's website are legal directories, forums, and blogs. Whether you want to start your own blog, or surf other related blogs to write comments (and add links to those comments,) the channels are almost endless. They just require a little creativity.
Legal directories are often times the easiest way to earn backlinks. This task demands finding the proper online directories that will allow you to place (or buy) a listing on their directory. Your listing will contain a link back to your law firm website, and thus deem it more credible and trustworthy in the search engines.
Where real strategy comes into play is the link's anchor text, or link name. If the anchor text of the link reads your specific keyword target (e.g. “Grand Rapids personal injury lawyers”) then the webpage being linked to will have greater relevancy to that particular phrase. You can even take this link building practice deeper by executing partial linking strategies.
We hope these 3 law firm Internet marketing & SEO tips will help you on your way to better success in the search engines. Thanks for visiting the Law Firm Web Marketing Blog!continue...
Being a lawyer is already a task in itself. There is an obvious a wealth of time handling a hectic work schedules and competing with a significant number of contemporaries who work equally hard. Add to that the need to keep one's legal cerebrum receptive enough to understand behavioral patterns of all the individuals involving any particular legal matter, since that is often a the key to empathizing what clients are dealing with.
The focus, however, in the initial as well as subsequent stages, for most lawyers today is twofold - while on one front, they have to deal with the aforementioned aspects; on the other front, there is a need to portray their superiority over others, by explaining to the potential customers, how their services differ from those offered by competing attorneys. In other words, lawyer web marketing has gained a pivotal position in aiding an attorney to build an impressive client portfolio.
Marketing has always been a highly dynamic process - continuously changing consumer perspectives and off course, a vast category of products and services to choose from. Such an environment has ensured that conveying the right message to one's potential customers through healthy marketing practices is highly essential. Interestingly, marketing over the Internet, is an even more dynamic and volatile process, owing to the changes made by the world's leading search engine: Google. The practices of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), developed to steer Google and other search engines into recognizing a website as credible, need to be professionally executed.
One of the recent changes made by Google to its search results display was the inclusion of personalized results - which may include a local influence. Moreover, alterations were made by the search engine to its Google Places results, which has a most definite local impact on lawyer web marketing.
The infamous Google Panda update in February 2011 further reinforced the priority that Google has always been known to place on quality written and well-structured content. Now, just a year later, in 2012, the news is that the company plans to place importance on a relatively technical measure in order to aid its spiders to reach to the various dimensions of content put up on a website - the search engine will now benchmark whether or not html tags which markup web pages (better known as schemas) have been included. Basically, these tags have always been in use by Google, Yahoo and Bing, while scanning web pages in response to user queries, in order to display the most accurate results.
Schemas are known to substantially aid DBMS (Database Management Systems.) When it comes to evaluating the current status of lawyer websites, data is meticulously structured in most cases, however, the process of retrieving the date from databases, in response to user search queries, and converting it to HTML, can be cumbersome. By aiding Google spiders in retrieving information more conveniently, through the usage of schemas, the benefits to an attorney's websites in terms of search engine rankings, will only be amplified. This being a technical dimension nonetheless, would be best if dealt with, by a webmaster or related technical specialist.
Care should be still taken to ensure that the vast number of other parameters taken into consideration by Google in presenting search results, will continue to hold importance. Some of them being
It is indeed true that such periodic small changes made by Google will alter the best practices of lawyer web marketing in the years to come. However, partnering with an authentic company, with a good track record, and one which offers a dedicated lawyer marketing program, will certainly ensure that an attorney reaps the benefits of uphill search engine rankings.continue...
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