10/08/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Rene Perras…… Le Buzz // Rene Perras
It’s okay to admit it; we have all “Googled” ourselves, curious to see what could be on the Internet with our name attached to it. But, perhaps the biggest culprits of this type of “self-searching” are law firms and attorneys who have retained high-powered law firm marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) companies to move their law firm to the top of search engine result pages (SERP).
Law firms and their lawyer marketing and SEO companies often run into problems when the lawyer’s SEO expectations are exaggerated or not in line with the program that they signed on for. Lawyers who search the Internet to see what progress their website placement has made on Google, can often become aggravated when they see their competitors ranked above them, and believe, rightly or wrongly, that they haven’t spent nearly the same amount of money. But, there may be a reason for that.
The lawyer may be searching for terms and phrases that their law firm website hasn’t been optimized for, which would lead to the disheartening SERP results. The terms a website is optimized for should be based on the original goals outlined for the project, which many not be what was typed into the search query. If the marketing plan was to optimize for New York City car accident attorney and similar terms, typing in New York City personal injury lawyer will display rankings that cannot be as high as hoped for. Having a clear plan, with open communication will help keep the law firm and the law firm marketing/ SEO company on the same page.
Lawyers and consumers don’t usually think on the same level when searching the Internet for attorneys and law firms. The typical consumer doesn’t speak legal jargon, and will not search the Internet using terms they are unfamiliar with. For example, if someone were attacked inside a parking garage, the victim likely wouldn’t search for a “premises liability lawyer.” Instead, they will more likely type in “injury lawyer,” or “injury lawyer in West Palm Beach.” Your SEO and law firm marketing company should optimize for the terms that an everyday person in your local area would search for, not a knowledgeable attorney who speaks the legal jargon and knows what type of lawyer to hire.
Obtaining top placement on Google, Yahoo and Bing is not something that can be achieved overnight. Simply building a website and optimizing it will not place your law firm on page1 in Google; it is something that is cultivated and nurtured over time. Depending on who else is optimizing for the same terms and seeking the same precious Internet real estate, will also determine where your website is placed on SERP. Any Internet marketing company that promises you that your law firm’s website will have hundreds of hits and rank number 1 on Google in a very short time is inflating your expectations, only to have them destroyed when they can’t keep their promise.
The best way to manage SEO expectations is to have an open and honest conversation about what an SEO Internet campaign entails and how long it will take to achieve the results you’re seeking. Part of that conversation should include the areas of practice that you want to focus your efforts on and how broad a geographic area to inlcude.
For more information on effective law firm marketing, Internet marketing campaigns, private label newsrooms or any other of our attorney Internet marketing programs contact Rene Perras.