There are two concepts that are critical to an law firm Internet marketing campaign: relevance and popularity. The reason that these concepts are so important is that search engines use them in order to organize information on the web.
In a nutshell, web page popularity might be what you would expect. It's a measure of how well your website is received by the Internet community at-large. Search engines look for a variety of signals to measure this popularity. Of these signals, the number and quality of the links that point to your website still remains the most important. Unfortunately, many attorney seo services will try to convince lawyers that merely building a quantity of links to one's website is the route to go. If only it were that easy.
The truth is that popularity on the web works a lot like popularity in the real world. Like it or not, some people are more influential in our collective popularity conscience than others. Whether you call them mavens, thought leaders, or trendsetters, these are the people that are able to influence the opinions of others better than most. The same is true for websites.
Some websites are more "maveney" than others. For example, getting a link endorsement or even mention from websites like NYT.com or CNN.com provide much more influencing signals to search engines than new websites, or websites that are not as well known online.
Search engines have become much more sophisticated too. A long time ago, creating artificial popularity by building a large quantity of less influencing links could trick search engines into viewing your website as more popular than it actually was. Now, as Google and other search engines continue to update their ranking algorithms, creating artificial popularity is much less effective. In fact, the time and effort spent trying to build artificial popularity is so inefficient that you're better off investing those resources into strategies that can help your natural popularity.
Our friends at Justia, provide an excellent SEO popularity checklist:
- Write a description of your Web site that includes your keywords and location.
- Submit site to the Open Directory Project – dmoz.org.
- Submit site to free law firm Web site directories - Justia, WashLaw.edu.
- Where appropriate, submit your Web site to specialty legal Web sites, regional, state and local law Web sites, business portals, law school alumni Web sites, bar and legal organization Web sites, law school library and resource Web sites, other library sites, other school sites, local portals, and local newspapers' Web sites.
- Search Google for keywords that describe your practice and/or location for Web sites that are well ranked. Where appropriate, submit your Web site to those Web sites.
- Pay to have your Web site listed in the law firm section of Yahoo!
- Download and use the Google and Alexa Toolbars to track the popularity and traffic rank of your Web site, as well as other Web sites of interest.
These are great tips for getting started in building your website's popularity. However, there are many more opportunities for building online popularity. And with Google's recent place search update, focusing on local strategies is becoming increasingly important. Here are some local Internet marketing tips:
- Law Firm Marketing on Localeze.
- Listing Your Law Firm With Universal Business Listing.
- Claim Your Law Firm Listing on Yelp.
- Update Your Law Firm’s Information at InfoUSA.
- Get A Free Law Firm Listing at SuperPages.
You can see 20 more of these local law firm marketing tips at Lawyerist.