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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]

Online Press Releases for Lawyers

Online press releases are an important part of your inbound marketing strategy, as they are no longer solely designed to reach traditional offline media. Online press release distribution for lawyers has become a staple in many law firms’ digital marketing strategies.   Online Press Releases and Search Engine Optimization Recent Google algorithm updates have negatively impacted the value of online press. While the quantity of links is less important now in SEO, links are still a... [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]

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]

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]

SEO Tips for Social Media Managers

A great article and infographic from Sprout Social for lawyers to read about social media's impact on SEO: "The connection between social media and SEO has been debated for years. Marketers continue to argue over whether or not social media activity influences search rankings and while there’s evidence to support both sides, the truth is that there’s no concrete answer. What we do know is that social media can be used as a part of your SEO strategy." [MORE]

Marketing Your Law Practice

Last week I had a great time speaking in Boca Raton, Florida at the American Association for Justice Women Trial Lawyers Caucus Leadership Summit. This event occurs only every other year. I had the pleasure of speaking with a fantastic co-panelist, Megan Hargroder. We put the presentation together in Google Docs and the formatting is a bit messy on a few slides from transitioning it between Google -> PowerPoint -> SlideShare -> My Blog, BUT it's still awesome enough to... [MORE]

Digital Marketing Is Not Just For Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Anymore

How It Used To Be It seems like only a few years ago that the only lawyers who dared to advertise online, showcasing their case results, awards, certifications, honors, and other such selling points were members of the plaintiffs’ bar. While lawyers seeking to help victims of negligence fought hard to get the right to advertise in a meaningful way to potential clients that might otherwise not find them, lawyers in many other practice areas maintained their disdain for advertising... [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]

On-Site SEO You Can Do Yourself

May 18, 2016 | by Emma Hanes | SEO
Once you’ve created quality content for your website and blog, one of the biggest challenges is driving traffic to your new content. While there are many ways to achieve this (social media, backlinks, etc.), one of the most important inbound marketing vehicles is organic search engine results. This is because a significant percentage of your website visitors should arrive on your website via search engines. So how do you make sure your content is showing up in the right results for... [MORE]

What Is SEO and How Does It Affect Your Law Firm?

Jun 14, 2016 | by Emma Hanes | SEO
Whether you are in the marketing industry or not, you have probably heard the phrase “Search Engine Optimization” or “SEO,” but you might not know what it really means. Even experienced marketers find it difficult to explain exactly how it works. To understand SEO, you have to learn how search engines like Google determine search results. Understanding Search Engine Results If you’re standing in line at the grocery store and you see the magazine The National Enquire with a... [MORE]

You Get What You Pay For: What To Know Before Hiring A Freelance Writer

Sep 07, 2016 | by Emma Hanes | SEO | Content Marketing
Lawyers are busy, so when it comes to creating content for websites or blogs, many hire freelance writers. Even marketing agencies might rely on freelance writers to tackle large projects. With no shortage of freelance writers available, this is a great way to ensure your law firm implements a successful and effective content marketing strategy.   But not all freelance writers are created equal. You might be thrilled that $40 can get you a blog post or page of content for your... [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]

Competitor Analysis: Is Your Law Firm Marketing Keeping You Ahead of the Curve?

When it comes to marketing a business, it’s important to know what you’re up against. While it would be nice to solely rely on your firm’s strong lawyers to bring in the business, that’s simply not enough. How do you know your firm is taking the right steps toward an effective marketing strategy? Understanding what other law firms are doing and how yours is stacking up against their efforts is one way to find out. A competitor analysis will help your firm establish what’s already... [MORE]

Thinking Inside The Box: What Is The Google Answer Box and What Does It Mean For Your Law Firm?

Jan 11, 2017 | by Emma Hanes | SEO | Content Marketing
If you’ve used the Google Search Engine lately, you might have noticed a new feature, the Google Answer Box, which prominently displays a detailed result above all other organic search results and paid ads. The Google Answer Box marks a significant shift in the way Google displays search results, and law firms seeking a competitive edge can use the Google Answer Box to their advantage. Say Hello To Knowledge Graph Google’s sole goal is to provide the best search results possible... [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]

Going Local: Five Tips To Get Your Law Firm Website To Appear In Local Search Results

May 08, 2017 | by Emma Hanes | Google | SEO
If you live in Houston and you search Google for a plumber in the area, it isn’t helpful to see results for plumbers in California. This sounds obvious, but this concept is having profound effects on search engine results. In order to provide users with the best possible results to match their search, Google shows a preference for businesses based on the searcher’s location. If your law firm website is not optimized for local search, you’ll be left out. Location, Location,... [MORE]

Link Building For Lawyers

Jul 10, 2017 | by Stacey Burke | Google | SEO
What Is Link Building? Link building is a component of off-site search engine optimization where your law firm website earns links on other websites. Earned natural links directly improve the reputation of a website and its search engine rankings. In link building, a natural link is a freely given editorial link and an unnatural link is a link you make yourself. Both affect rankings in Google. Link building used to be easy – the more links, the better your website ranked. Until... [MORE]

Directory Listings Are A Law Firm’s Best Friend

Jul 17, 2017 | by Emma Hanes | SEO
Nobody likes filling out forms. The information is repetitive and the work is tedious, but lawyers must make time to complete their law firm directory listings. People rely on popular law firm directories to help them locate attorneys and law firms, which means appearing on them can be extremely beneficial for generating new clients. The benefit of having up-to-date directories is that you can drive traffic to your law firm website and/or provide contact information for users ready... [MORE]

2 Things You Can Do Right Now To Boost Your SEO

Sep 12, 2017 | by Emma Hanes | Google | SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marathon, not a sprint. Determining what works and what doesn’t can be difficult, and search engines like Google are constantly tweaking their search algorithms, which changes the way search works. To stay ahead of competitors, law firms need to keep their fingers on pulse of the latest SEO trends, but this can often be difficult with limited time and limited resources.  Optimizing your website for search engines requires making a multitude of... [MORE]


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