As you are probably discovering yourself, the old ways of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are no longer serving you / your law firm in terms of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). And by old, we mean 2012. If your SEO company is guaranteeing results via linking, directories, and other vague promises, RUN (this is not an acronym and it is very important ).
Not only did Google release a number of algorithm updates last year (including the Exact Match Domain (EMD) update, one dozen plus Panda updates, changes to actual search results pages, and unnatural link warnings through Google Webmaster Tools), but it has shifted its focus to content and SMO, or social media optimization. Therefore, the right social media campaign for lawyers will include a diverse and holistic perspective to SEO. One that favors quality over quantity, and community engagement over key word spamming.
If you are interested in building your law firm’s web presence, read on for 6 SEO tips for top SERP placement.
Wondering if your law firm needs an active presence on social media? Social media for lawyers is not a new concept. Many law firm, from Am Law to solos, have been utilizing the social networking sites to build their practices, establish themselves as authorities in their particular field, and generally dominate the online world of potential business. With all the chatter about search engine rankings, SEO, and what works vs. what doesn’t, here are a few reasons why social media for lawyers is a must in today’s competitive environment.
4 Reasons Social Media Campaigns for Lawyers are Necessary:
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR LAWYERS: BUILDING YOUR PRACTICE IN THE AGE OF THE NEW MEDIA
Twitter, Facebook, Avvo, Yelp, LinkedIn… Where to begin? And is it even necessary? For lawyers looking to expand their practice, establish themselves as a reliable authority in their field, and/or build relationships with media and journalists, increasing your online visibility is a must. A professional, SEO friendly website is the foundation and engaging, ethically sound social networking sites are the springboards to a visibility that showcases your reputation and expertise and helps you build the law practice of your dreams.
Kristen Marquis, Esq. is an attorney turned social media expert. She understands the practice of law and what drives your potential client. Join us for lunch in Santa Monica, California on April 5 as we help you identify, create, and maintain the appropriate social networks for your practice.
WebPresence, Esq. is delighted to sponsor the upcoming Santa Monica Bar Association Annual Judges’ Reception. On March 13, 2013, Southern California lawyers and legal professionals will have a chance to network while also taking a moment to honor the local judiciary. This will be a great opportunity to dine and connect with fellow members of the bar in a gorgeous setting outside of the courtroom. As we always say, building your network in person is just as important as building your network online! The event will take place at the lovely Loews Hotel in Santa Monica.
We look forward to seeing you all there!
For more information on the event, please contact Kristen, who is also an SMBA Board Member and Officer.
Times, they are a changin’. As many lawyers who employ SEO companies to increase their search results rankings are learning, Google can’t be bought. Panda and Penguin, two updates for the much-discussed Google algorithms for determining search result placement, brought down many law firms last year when the updates started to penalize companies that purchased links, spammed key words, or created invisible white pages for clients in the hopes to increase their online visibility. Not only are these practices shady, but they no longer work. WebPresence, Esq. saw a number of law firms disappear from the first page of a Google search thanks to these updates.
Unfortunately for many more law firms, Google is at it again. This time, Google is going after over-linking and over-keywording and the search engine marketers that engage in these practices. This is great news for those of us who provide quality legal content for blogs — our unique, information content will be rewarded with higher search engine rankings.
WebPresence, Esq.’s founder, Kristen Marquis (who is also an active attorney), authored an article for California Lawyer magazine on the ethical issues lawyers face when engaging in and on Social Media. As every practicing attorney knows, there are strict guidelines surrounding ‘advertising’ and ‘soliciting’ that a lawyer must adhere to in order to avoid the wrath of a State Bar. Familiar with the relevant rules and requirements, Kristen breaks down what California lawyers should and should not do while building a Web Presence.
The following is an excerpt of the article “Social Media for Lawyers: Beyond the Yellow Pages,” which can also be found in California Lawyer’s January 2013 print edition…
You’ve been Googled! You know it’s true, in part because you’ve done some Googling yourself. Whether it was looking up opposing counsel, your client, or your new next-door neighbor, you’ve used the powers and reach of the Internet to find out a little more about someone.
And you can be sure your potential clients will do the same when they need an attorney.
Broadly speaking, attorneys have been slow to adapt to social media and building an online presence. Many are stuck in the Yellow Pages Age, or at least have the (very mistaken) impression that they don’t need to worry about building their identity online. They assume that word of mouth has propelled their practice thus far and will continue to do so. However, if your potential client can’t research you online, they move on. Studies indicate that 90 percent of Americans consult the Internet before choosing a company or professional to do business with. Having no digital presence, then, can be nearly as damaging as having negative reviews posted online (and those reviews are out there, whether you know it or not).
To continue learning about the steps you / your law firm must take to stay in line with the State Bar while maintaing an active online presence, read the entire article here.