When a person is searching for a lawyer on Google they don’t just find websites. Gone are the days of 10 boring blue text links. Now potential customers are seeing video, images, Twitter, Google Plus Local, LinkedIn, various review sites like Avvo and more.
Below are the type of things someone might find searching for a lawyer.
- The law firms website which could include a picture of one of their key partners next to the search results, if they are using Google+ Author Rank.
- The firms Google Plus Local listing with reviews
- A YouTube video of the lawyer
- A LinkedIn profile that has recommendations and valuable content
- The lawyer’s Avvo profile with reviews and articles
- The Twitter account of an individual attorney or of the firm
- A paid search ad
- The attorneys Super Lawyer profile.
- A news article or press release
- The single topic blogs on a separate URL from your main firm website
Start with these five essential tactics for improving the blended search results for your law firm.
1. Google Plus Local
Google Places has been replaced by Google Plus Local. Whenever Google feels that a user’s intent is local it will display Google Plus Local listings. You need to claim your listings, verify with a phone call or postcard, complete your profile which should include adding images and video and get listed in the various directories that help your profile rank. The more you optimize your Google Plus Local listing and get reviews/directory listings, the more you will start to show up in the search results with your local listing.
In the image below you can see how prominent local listings now are.
I stopped doing that I can’t work this year
The amount of people searching for images online is staggering. You need to name your filenames in a descriptive way, offer a small and large version of your image and use all tags with descriptive keyword rich text. By doing this you will have a better chance of images appearing in the search results.
3. Video optimization
Online video optimization is a great way for law firms to enhance their branding. I personally believe that the focus should be on branding your top experts as opposed to solely making videos about the firm. In addition to a high quality firm overview that highlights your experts, make sure to have attorneys in each practice area create 1 to 3 minute short videos sharing helpful information for potential customers. Proper file naming, titles, descriptive keyword rich text and links from your YouTube videos to your website will all help in making your videos pop up in the search results. Keep in mind that if no one watches your videos they will be less likely to rank well.
4. Press releases
Online press releases are great way to get more visibility. Keep in mind that the news search engines stopped displaying releases after about a month because they are likely old news. So you should create press releases on a monthly basis and submit them through sites like PRWeb. Make sure that your press releases are not overly salesy, have keyword rich links to your website and some kind of helpful call to action like a link to one of your blog posts. The real magic happens when news sites pick up your release and either re-release it or write original content about you.
5. Single topic blogs
While your main blog on your website is good for search engine optimization and adding to the size of your site, a single topic blog on a separate URL in brand individual attorneys and experts and create additional links search results. Not to mention that each new off-site blog that you create gives your website another powerful backlink.
Scholarly articles in Google blended search
Below is an image where you can see after searching for environmental exposure lawyer Google displayed it scholarly articles. We get a lot of kickback from some customers that don’t completely buy into the idea of creating thought leader content. This helps to illustrate how Google is hyper focused on finding experts that have been cited by other experts. Check out http://scholar.google.com/ and do some searches in your topical area to see if you or your competitors show up.
If you want to get even more advanced with blended search results, you should strongly consider creating Twitter and LinkedIn accounts as well as being listed in AVVO and Super Lawyers type of directories.
Having multiple listings will make you stand out more, strengthen your brand and generate high-quality leads for your law firm.