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Google Penguin 2.0 and Law Firm Websites

Google Penguin 2.0 and Law Firm Websites Google recently rolled out the 2013 update to its 2012 Penguin anti-spam algorithm changes.  The most prominent anti-spam face of Google, engineer Matt Cutts, announced the update May 22, 2013 on his blog, generating well over two hundred comments already.  This May Penguin update is the fourth Penguin-related update and is an actual change to Google’s algorithm, not just a data refresh. This updated algorithm will specifically target... [MORE]

Google Authorship for Lawyers

Aug 20, 2013 | by Stacey Burke | Marketing Services | Google | SEO
Have you started to wonder why some lawyers' faces are showing up in search results? How are they making that happen? The answer is Google Authorship.  Google Authorship is a relatively new search feature, launched by Google just this year in 2013. According to Google, Google Authorship serves to link your Google+ profile to the content you create. But I don’t really use or like Google+, you might be whining while reading. Too bad, Google has, as usual, found a way to force users... [MORE]

Going Viral: Our Five Most Socially Shared Posts of 2013

Google Authorship for Lawyers Back in August, I wrote about a relatively new (then) digital marketing feature, Google Authorship. I surmised that this tool would prove most valuable for (1) spotting authors in search results by their photos showing up next to their posts, (2) showcasing an author’s connectedness in search results (number of circles), and (3) search engine optimization. Google Authorship and Google Author Rank have surpassed all conservative estimates of their value... [MORE]

Backlinks, Law Firm Websites, and Search Engine Optimization

Recently, Google’s Matt Cutts published a new video for avid search engine fanatics, this time concerning backlinks and how their value may or may not have changed due to Google’s more recent algorithm updates. Cutts, Google’s head of webspam reaffirmed the importance of backlinks. According to Cutts, Google’s testing of its own search algorithm in a variation that excludes backlink relevancy resulted in “much worse” search quality for the user. “It turns out backlinks, even though... [MORE]

Legal Marketing: Lawyers’ Five Most Common Questions

What is SEO and do you do that? I speak to lawyers I know and lawyers that cold call me for advice almost every single day. Over 75% of them ask me about SEO without the faintest idea of what it means or if it even truly matters, but are still prepared to spend money on it because they “heard” they need it – and they do. SEO is search engine optimization.  The long and short of it is this: search engine optimization means that search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are better... [MORE]

Social Media Advertising for Lawyers: Are you doing it right?

Most law firms utilize pay-per-click advertising through Google AdWords to target potential clients but have yet to jump onto social media advertising.  While once thought of as “free marketing tools,” Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn have evolved over the last few years into stellar advertising engines. Each platform serves a different advertising purpose. In today’s social world, as a law firm trying to reach new clients, you must pay to play. The good news is that social... [MORE]

Setting up Google Plus Profiles for Lawyers

What Falls Under a Google Account?  A Google Account is a user account that provides access to Google-owned services. You can use any email address to set up a Google Account; a Gmail address is not required. The Google Account is like an umbrella that holds underneath it the user’s YouTube, Gmail, AdWords, Google Plus, and so many more of Google’s digital properties. With one single login, your law firm should be able to access its Google Places for Business, YouTube, and... [MORE]

Google’s Pigeon Update and the Increasing Importance of Directory Listings

Sep 03, 2014 | by Stacey Burke | Google | SEO
On July 24, 2014, Google pushed out a significant local search algorithm change that some experts have dubbed the Pigeon update. The overarching point so far seems to be that local directory sites are getting better visibility in Google’s search results. The Pigeon update impacts both listings within Google Map Search and those that appear in Google organic search results. The local directory boost seems to have benefitted Google’s own listings, as well as Yelp, TripAdvisor,... [MORE]

Social Media Audience Building for Lawyers

In a recent file review at my office, I gave my team a primer on how I build audiences on social media across the channels that are most relevant to attorneys. Many law firms set up social media channels and some even share content on them, but if no one is listening is social media worth it? In most cases, the answer is no. Which social networks should lawyers use? The number of social media outlets seems to grow exponentially each year. Busy lawyers should be selective about... [MORE]

Google Update: Mobile Website Design Critical for Law Firms

Apr 08, 2015 | by Stacey Burke | Google | SEO | Google Analytics
Your law firm may have received a notification email from Google in the past few weeks that one or more of your websites fail to meet mobile friendly requirements. You might have ignored it, forwarded it to your marketing directory or agency, or deleted it. But, now Google has told us all that mobile usability will be factored into its ranking algorithm for searches that originate from smart phones.  Google is launching its mobile-friendly algorithm update on April 21, 2015. What... [MORE]

What is the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

Jul 24, 2015 | by Stacey Burke | Marketing Services | Google | SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – they sound alike but they are not the same thing. Both are broad categories referencing strategies used online to improve search engine results, overall market saturation, and brand awareness. The broader category is SEM, which actually encompasses SEO. Where SEO focuses solely on organic or natural search results, SEM uses digital advertising to target more specific audiences with precise messages. Many lawyers... [MORE]

How to Avoid Law Firm SEO Scams

Aug 12, 2015 | by Stacey Burke | Google | SEO
On every lawyer listserv I belong to, in every marketing group I attend, on almost every phone call I have with a potential law firm client, I am asked the same thing – can you do my SEO or have you heard of so-and-so random SEO provider? I wonder if people even really know what SEO means beyond the tantalizing “appearing ‘page one’ on Google.” SEO should be undertaken only as part of a comprehensive plan designed to build value over time. Search engine optimization that sounds too... [MORE]

Google Authorship is Not Really Dead

Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google Switzerland, recently spoke at SMX East, making the surprise recommendation for webmasters to keep including Google Authorship on new websites, and not to remove it if it is already in place. The reason he cited was Google might use it again in the future. Many webmasters stopped implementing Google Authorship on their websites over a year ago after authorship and related photos were dropped from search results.  If you have not set... [MORE]

Six Things Law Firms Can Do To Rock Local SEO

Local SEO is what it sounds like – optimizing a website for searches related to the geographic location in which you practice law.  Almost all people searching for local services do so online these days. And, if someone is searching for a local lawyer, you don’t even have a chance to compete for their business if you do not optimize your website for local search. Building up your law firm’s local SEO is one of the few digital undertakings you can work on that will be truly... [MORE]

Ethical Legal Marketing and Determining Your Return on Investment

Apr 24, 2016 | by Stacey Burke | Marketing Services | Google
Thank you to DJ Seidel and the Houston Bar Association Law Practice Management Section for having me speak in Judge Smoots-Hogan's courtroom this past week. I enjoyed the setting and the company. The goal of my presentation was to address the following questions that lawyers commonly ask me about their firm's marketing decisions: How much can my law firm spend on marketing? How much should my law firm spend on marketing? What marketing services should my law firm spend money... [MORE]

8 Mistakes Your Business Is Making On Social Media

To many, social media is the “next big thing” when it comes to marketing a business. The fact is, it’s already a big thing, it’s here, and it’s huge. If you happen to not yet have social media platforms set up for your business, that is your first mistake. Social media marketing means huge potential for your business, particularly in areas like brand recognition, brand loyalty, and lead conversions. Major “don’ts” for your business when joining and contributing to the social media... [MORE]

The Hot New Google Ranking Tool: AMP

Aug 30, 2016 | by Lisa Hopkins | Google
Let’s face it: we all live on our phones today. Emails are answered on the fly, the soothing tone of the map lady directs us to our destination, and dinnertime debates can be settled with a quick Google search. Smartphones and mobile devices now represent 65 percent of all digital media time, and that number is only projected to increase. Google has already made changes to its algorithm to accommodate increasing mobile search volume. In April 2015, Google released an update... [MORE]

Why Am I Not Ranking On Google?

Sep 29, 2016 | by Lisa Hopkins | Google | SEO
Somewhere in the three to ten days after we launch a new website for a client, I am invariably asked, “So when we will start ranking on page one of search results?” There seems to be a common misconception that a brand new website will immediately get noticed by Google and start appearing on the very first page of search results. That’s just not going to happen. Ever.  Search engine optimization takes time and effort, and I can guarantee you no website begins ranking overnight.... [MORE]

Extra! Extra! How To Use Google News For Your Law Firm

Oct 04, 2016 | by Emma Hanes | Google | SEO | Content Marketing
Search engine optimization is a marathon, not a sprint, and while many law firms implement long-term SEO strategies, one potentially quicker SEO approach that might work for you that nearly all law firms completely overlook is Google News. You have likely seen Google News headlines appearing in organic search results, but have you ever considered how these Google News headlines are generated and how they could become a source of new leads for your firm? Probably not, but here’s why... [MORE]

Seeing Stars: The Importance of Reviews and Ratings

Nov 21, 2016 | by Lisa Hopkins | Google | SEO
This article won the SmallLaw Pick of the Week award. The editors of SmallLaw, a free weekly email newsletter for solo practitioners and those who manage and work in small law firms, give this award to one article every week that they feel is a must-read for this audience. In today’s digital era, everyone’s a critic. Yelp, Facebook, Google, Foursquare… the Internet is rife with locations for both happy and dissatisfied clients to leave their opinions about your business. Good... [MORE]

Negative Nellies: How To Handle the Bad Reviews

Nov 28, 2016 | by Lisa Hopkins | Google | SEO
Last week we discussed just how important online reviews are for for digital marketing and brand management.  Like it or not, potential clients depend on ratings and feedback to form opinions about your law firm before even landing on your website or stepping foot in your office. So now that your law firm understands how imperative reviews are, what happens when you receive a bad review? Debbie Downers are Real The first thing to remember about negative reviews: unhappy people are... [MORE]

How Search Is Changing In 2017

Feb 06, 2017 | by Emma Hanes | Google | SEO
If you were getting comfortable with your law firm’s SEO strategy, 2017 is going to throw you a few curve balls. While search is an ever-changing phenomenon, there will be some big changes coming throughout the next year. To stay ahead of competitors, law firms need to quickly adapt and implement new strategies to work with search engines and not against them. Here are five ways search is changing in 2017:  People are asking questions via voice search. Well this one isn’t really... [MORE]

Search Engine Optimization Requires A Long-Term Commitment

When most law firms start spending money on search engine optimization (SEO), they both hope and expect to see results quickly. While implementing an SEO strategy does lead to immediate changes - like fresh content and better site structure organization - ever the over-achievers, lawyers generally want to see page one, result one organic search results on all major search engines as soon as possible. The bottom line is that you will start seeing results in six months, meaning... [MORE]


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