Earning Rankings

Gyi Tsakalakis
October 2, 2012

SEO Nick publisher Nick Eubanks poses the following question:

Does your content really deserve to rank on page one for your target keywords? Is it one of the 10 best, most informative, most useful pieces of content on the internet?

This is the question that lawyers should be asking themselves when they set out to build a professional presence online.

Unfortunately, most lawyers prefer to ask:

How do I trick search engines into thinking my page is one of the best pieces of content on the internet?

Which devolves into discussions of cheap SEO tricks intended to artificially inflate rankings. Which, admittedly, may work for a short time.

And unless you are really one of the few "black hat" SEOs who is able to consistently stay ahead of each search engine update, your "house of cards" web presence practice is certain to topple at some point.

The truth is that earning rankings is a much wiser approach. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Update Resistant - If you take the earning rankings approach, your rankings are not subject to tanking after each update. In fact, if your content is the best around, you will welcome each new update as search engines work to reward content like yours with increased visibility.
  • Professional Reputation - Earning rankings means creating great "stuff" on the web. Whether it's the written word, imagery, video or data visualization, by publishing informative and useful pieces of content, you will demonstrate your mastery of the subject matter. Which, in turn, will move you in the direction of becoming a recognized expert on the subject. You'll also avoid harming your reputation through shady lawyer SEO techniques.
  • Increased Conversions - Earning it will also have a positive impact on your conversion rates (i.e. the number of visitors who take some defined action on your pages such as subscribing, downloading, or contacting you). No number of visitors in the world is as valuable as a single conversion. When you're truly earning rankings and visitors through great web content, you will notice that your visitors become more engaged with your pages, your site, your firm and you. Which is the only way to move them from searcher to client.

Over a long enough time period, earning rankings will always beat gaming rankings.

But let's face another fact, earning rankings is tough. Which is exactly why it's more valuable and why search engines are constantly updating to understand which pages deserve to rank.

It's a rare case that you can launch a site, write a couple of words and become one of the most widely-read blogs on your subject. Far more often, it will take you years to establish your presence.

If you need targeted visitors tomorrow, consider Adwords for your law firm.

But if you're looking to position yourself as a leading online resource in your field and have the patience and resources to actually achieve that goal, then focus all of your energy on becoming one of the very best, most informative, most useful or even most entertaining sites on your subject matter.

You'll also be one of the very few lawyers who, at this stage, has adopted the "earn it" mantra.

(Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fortwainwright/7840838752/)

Gyi Tsakalakis
Co-Founder of AttorneySync
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