Avvo’s Mark Britton Shares Web Advertising Compliance and Content Marketing Tips for Law Firms

Mark Britton interview

John McDougall interview photoJohn McDougall: Hi, I’m John McDougall, president and founder of McDougall Interactive. I’m here today with Mark Britton, founder and CEO of Avvo, and we’ll be talking about web advertising compliance and content marketing. Mark, let me start off by asking you this: Given that so many law firms are concerned about web marketing compliance issues, should attorneys be legitimately concerned about breaking bar rules when developing content for their websites, such as blog posts and social media updates?

Mark Britton interviewMark Britton: Oh, boy. Well, first of all, I think that every lawyer, as part of their being an officer of the court, a member of the bar, should take every ethics rule seriously. However, I think it’s important to really understand what’s happening out there. First of all, a lot of bar rules have not necessarily caught up to social media, and I don’t mean to be critical of the bars in saying that, it’s a resource issue. The web is moving so quickly that even we have a tough time keeping our arms around it.

However, I think a lot of this is solved by just being very practical in your approach to any marketing. I often say, I feel that people confuse the medium, being the Internet or the world wide web or even the computer, with the message.

The same messages that get you in trouble offline or on the side of a bus or in speaking at a conference are the same messages that can get you into trouble online. If you’re approaching the web in the way that you should be approaching the web, I think that the web can be an advertising vehicle, and what I would call an advertising vehicle, meaning that telling people that you’re great. I think the web can be a tool for that, but the real power of the web and the real power of social media is it gives you this platform to speak to all sorts of groups that are massive groups that are full of 5,000, 10,000, hundreds of thousands of people that are potentially your prospective clients.

There’s this tool to go out and interact in the same way that you would go to a huge conference. Take your body to a huge conference with all sorts of prospective clients. Or take your thought leadership to a conference with all sorts of your peers.

That’s what the web offers you and that’s what I call inbound marketing, where you’re delivering something that is valuable so people gain that brand impression. That light bulb goes off in their head where they say, wow, this is a smart lawyer, I should hire them or work with them, or what have you.

To the extent that you are simply using your communications to say, “Hire me, outbound marketing, hire me.” That’s when you really have to think about whether you’re violating the bar rules, because that’s what the bar rules are fashioned to keep a box around.

However, if you’re going out and building relationships and actually giving your genuine thoughts about different issues that are out there, and helping people make better decisions and just being a genuine member of these different communities, and I’d include blogging in that, seldom are the bar rules even implicated. Just going specifically to blogging.

If you have a blog that all it does is talks about how awesome you are and that you solved, that there was this big case and who’s going to hire me next. That’s just a billboard.

Nobody in the blogosphere, other thought leaders, other bloggers, nobody’s going to listen to you. Google’s seldom going to index those pages and serve them up high. Nobody’s really going to see it unless they’re searching for you and seeing your advertising.

However, if on the other side, you actually put together a genuine blog that talks about the different evolving issues in your locale or your practice area or different things that you’re interested in, people will read that, they’ll refer to it, and because they link to it and mention it, Google will serve it up higher in the search results.

And because you’re being a genuine person and just not shilling for your practice, you’re seldom going to implicate the bar rules. I realize this is a bit of a long speech, but I think the bigger problem is not the bar rules, it’s because lawyers don’t understand how to use blogging, websites, social media, et cetera. They need help on that front.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: Given that, in general, like you said, you need to have the right attitude and get out there and share quality information, but for the people that want to dig into the specifics of the bar rules, even though, as you said, some of them may have been written a while back and may not really be even up to speed with some of the new things happening, where do you find the official info about what you can and cannot say in terms of compliance for online marketing?

Mark Britton interviewMark: Well, it differs from every state. Some states will have advertising commissions, and those…or advertising groups, and those groups will have very thorough…they’ll have written some sort of advisory or they’ll have a website that pulls together their different rulings or advisories, et cetera. It’s very easy to read that. Some states might have an advertising commission that doesn’t communicate that well or an advertising group that doesn’t communicate that well, or they will not have one at all. You can start those states by simply going to the bar’s website, looking at…they almost all have a section around attorney advertising.

There will be content in there that goes beyond just the simple regulations, as it relates to attorney advertising. I would say attorneys are great researchers, and if they go to the website, and they’re drilling down, and they can’t find the answer that they’re looking for, calling in to the bar, every bar…I believe, every bar that we deal with, or that I’ve regularly dealt with, will have someone that is fairly up to speed on advertising and how it relates to different online issues and just have a conversation with them. Quite often, they might have some material published that you weren’t able to find that they can send to you as well.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: Now that’s great advice. Do you think lawyers who hold off on taking part in blogging, content marketing, and social media will be really behind the eight ball when they find their peers have gained such greater traction with online leads than they have?

Mark Britton interviewMark: Maybe. Yes, but I don’t want to state that it’s so categorical that you’re dead unless you’re this super online marketer. There are a lot of attorneys out there that have fantastic word of mouth practices. Most of that word of mouth is offline. You know, a lot of word of mouth is moving online. If you think, John, and I think anyone who’s listening to this, if they think about whether they have purchased a product or service in the last year, relying on reviews from other people, almost everyone has, and it’s becoming very commonplace.

It’s becoming very commonplace for lawyers. Even the most offline, word of mouth lawyer is getting sucked into the online vortex simply because they have an online persona.

Here’s one thing I hear repeatedly when I go out and speak. From more senior lawyers, they say to me oh, that’s so and so lawyer. I see him on your website or he has this blog, or whatever it is. Oh, I don’t like him because he’s not as good of a lawyer as I am, and he’s getting a bunch of business through this online shenanigans.

[laughs] There’s almost this association with, OK, young attorney and doing something that is newfangled and probably shady in order to get business, to take business from this older lawyer. When really, it’s almost like complaining that that younger lawyer is using the telephone.

They just learned…the older lawyer’s like well, I don’t know how to use that telephone, and he’s actually calling clients, and he shouldn’t be able to do that. No, no, no, you have a lot of younger attorneys, and really it’s…I’m a 46-year-old guy. There are many lawyers who are well into their 50s, who are so incredibly web savvy and on top of this online marketing that it’s not simply reserved for the younger lawyer. The fact is those younger lawyers grew up more with technology and just understand innately how they go out and build relationships, engage in business development, online.

It’s very odd for the senior lawyer to say, “I’m going to join a Facebook group or a LinkedIn Group, and actually interact with people on a regular basis? I don’t like that.” Whereas, the younger lawyer says, “Oh man, that’s how I interact with people,” and they’re just killing you.

That story of the younger versus the older lawyer is one of just using technology that’s available and the way that technology is used is just becoming more and more commonplace every year that people get older, every year that those that grew up with social media become the core of legal purchasing.

I think for, maybe forever, you can have a quality practice, a decent practice, that is simply built off some other reputation that you built up. But I think you’re going to sub-optimize, I think you’re going to struggle with that younger lawyer, the more web savvy lawyer, that’s your age, if you’re not understanding these tools and how to leverage them, because that is how we are buying and researching our products and services today. We do it online.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: I certainly agree with that. I have seen some older lawyers that we work with doing great with online, but there is a bit of truth to the younger generation, it’s just a part of their culture. One story you probably saw him speak, I think his name is Damian Turco, if I remember correctly, the guy spoke at the Suffolk Law School conference…

Mark Britton interviewMark: …in Boston. Yeah. I met Damian, very nice guy and young, savvy marketer.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: He was a good example of, I’ve actually told this story to a couple of law prospects since then, where I’ll go in and talk to a potential candidate for our search engine marketing and inbound marketing services. They’ll often say, “Well, we only get five percent of our business from the web, and that’s just the way it is. Eighty‑five percent of it comes from referrals and maybe 10 percent of it comes from past customers, or maybe even those two are split, but there’s maybe about five percent comes from the web.” And I say, “Well, is that because that’s just the way it will always be, or is because you’re not really taking significant efforts to get inbound marketing?”

So I tell the story of Damian who is a lawyer who figured out how to do inbound marketing really well. I think his story was that down in Florida, in about a three-year period, he built a family law practice, largely, if not solely, from Internet marketing leads and blogging, and content marketing, et cetera, and was able to sell that firm. Now, he’s back up here with a different firm.

A young guy, I’m guessing he’s in his 30s, and to have already developed a practice and sold it based on Internet marketing, is a pretty good testament to how well it can work. Not that, as you said, some people are going to do fine. They’ve got so much business from referrals and past customers, that’s fantastic. But I would be very curious to see, on average, the people that are doing Internet marketing, significantly, what percentage of their leads come through that.

One of the other speakers at the conference mentioned that he was getting a third from referrals, a third from past customers coming back, and a third from the Internet. I had been thinking and talking with new prospects about this, imagine if, right now, you’re only getting five percent of your business through the web, but if you could expand it so that a third of it was coming through the web, it may be that’s 25 percent or so, new business. It’s not like you’re taking away from your other business. You’re adding 25 percent to your business.

Mark Britton interviewMark: That’s right.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: That’s a good potential.

Mark Britton interviewMark: I think what happens is a lot of lawyers don’t understand the leverage that is there. They have, historically, grown up in this outbound marketing that costs a lot of money and often takes a lot of time getting the creative in place. They’re thinking, “If I’m going to engage in any sort of web marketing, it’s just another marketing channel and that’s going to take resources from one area or the other.” It’s a very different type of beast, the leverage around, if you can blog effectively, I’m not saying blogging is for everyone, or having that interactive website, or answering questions online, or the different things that you can do. You can do this stuff on the go, while you’re sitting at a stop light, in your underwear at 11 o’clock at night.

It gives you, a lot of lawyers say to me, for answering questions online at Avvo. At Avvo we have this massive question and answer forum where lawyers have answered millions of questions for us, they say, “It’s actually a stress reliever for me. It feels good for me to take a break and just answer some simple questions around different legal issues.” As part of that, they’re engaging in inbound marketing.

It’s very different than the traditional marketing, to get out there and interact with prospective clients. It can be a stress reliever. It can be, and even if you don’t find it to be that stress reliever, it still, it can be that additive, it can be that multiplier to the other marketing efforts that you have.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: Are those questions on Avvo, that attorneys are answering, indexable as little mini-pages that pop up in Google?

Mark Britton interviewMark: That’s right. Each one is an individual page. It’s almost like a mini-blog post, that Google loves to index, because it’s new content and it’s unique content. Yeah, that is where Avvo drives a tremendous amount of traffic, is that we have these millions upon millions of pages that have individual questions and answers, and they’re all unique.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: If an attorney is answering those questions on your website, and I think they should do that also on their website, they should do that in video. You want to pick the keywords and the questions that people are asking so you’re not just coming up with your own stuff you want to push on people, but answering things that they’re curious about. The interesting thing about what you just said is that Avvo has a massive snowball already rolling in Google, a lot of pages, a lot of back links, the likelihood for you to rank well with that question via Avvo is really good. I hadn’t thought of that, but that…

Mark Britton interviewMark: It’s very good. It’s excellent.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: Yeah, that’s an added benefit. Do those things on your own website, but do some of those on Avvo, and actually, it would be interesting to see, answering similar questions, and see which ones come up better. If you’re getting presence from the top 10 of Google, whether it’s Avvo or your own website, both are great, and you can ride a little bit on the coattails of Avvo by doing some of those FAQs. That’s an interesting thought.

That leads me into the SEO realm a little bit. Given the recent changes with Google Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, which require both quality content and quality back links more than ever, do you feel that SEO is even possible anymore without a very organized flow of quality online content?

Mark Britton interviewMark: Well, I think SEO, it depends what you mean when you say SEO. The thing that I don’t think has ever changed, even with Panda or Penguin or the latest Penguin updates, is that Google would like you to be genuine in delivering quality content and not simply putting things out there or doing things, whether it be content or links or what have you, to game their system. All of these are updates are doing is trying to police that. I still think that there are certain things that SEO consultants can help you do in order to rank better. One of the greatest things is, and I think this is missed by a lot of lawyers, is just going back to that fundamental concept.

If you generate quality content that is unique and you’re generating that on a regular basis, you are going to have a much better shot at Google deciding that you are authoritative, a qualitative website, blog, what have you, and serving that up higher in the search results, in particular, in response for a search for your name.

And so I don’t think it’s a question of SEO somehow changing. It’s just that your ability to manipulate is decreasing. I love these updates because we’ve only watched the Avvo site, for example, continue to grow in rankings with all of these updates.

I think lawyers should feel very similarly, that if they’ve built a robust, interactive website, if they’ve built a blog that is thoughtful and people like to read, if they answer questions, if they guest blog, if they do podcasts that are well-intentioned and meaningful and really trying to push the thought leadership idea…to put different thoughts forward, then they’re going to be fine. All of this SEO stuff is fairly secondary.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: Yeah, those are some great thoughts. What we’re seeing here at our agency is that we also really love the fact that Google Panda and Penguin have made the web be a more serious place. We’re seeing a significant rise in what we’re charging people because back in the day, you could say oh, for a couple of grand a month, we can do some SEO for you, and we could do some stuff behind the scenes, directory links and article links, and these really rudimentary, somewhat…well, very mindless things, that used to make your ranks go up, and they don’t work anymore.

I think that’s great, because what it means is the old pitch that I’ve given since 1995, when we said content is king, the emphasis now is greater. The case to be made for people doing a whole variety of services together, as opposed to just oh, do that little SEO trick you do and do it in the background, those days are gone, I think.

I do see it as a pretty significant change for us, and like you said, if you’ve already got a site like Avvo, where it’s all about quality content, it’s only going to help you. If you are relying on those data techniques, I think it’s time for a bit of a wakeup call, that you probably need to get a little more organized.

What do you think about Hubspot and their approach to inbound marketing? Which is to create marketing that people love and to track it with advanced ROI analysis, and does that approach and the metric-driven methodology apply to law firms? I know we just covered a lot of that, but maybe just a little bit on Hubspot more specifically.

Mark Britton interviewMark: Sure. I love a lot of what Hubspot’s doing. We took a lot of what Hubspot’s doing and incorporated it into Ignite. I shouldn’t say a lot. Hubspot is a very broad platform. They are there to help people communicate better on the web and track the effectiveness of principally, their online marketing. Again, as we talked about in the previous podcast with Avvo Ignite, that’s exactly what our mission is. It’s just tailored for lawyers. I think that marketing that people love is an interesting marketing word for Hubspot to put out there. I understand what they’re trying to say.

But if we drill down to lawyers, it is about building content that either the prospective client is going to find interesting, that is going to cause them to remember you, that is going to cause them to hire you at a later date. I feel like there are two parts.

One is different tools, some of which Hubspot offers, that allow you to engage in inbound marketing and show people that you are a great attorney that delivers quality, thoughtful advice, et cetera, and then tracking, as people respond to that marketing, being able to track it.

I think every part of that mission on Hubspot’s or their competitor’s behalf I think is absolutely fantastic. One thing I do think they’re missing, however, is so much of…so think of things as a funnel. Marketing that people love, that’s up at the top of the funnel. That’s where all lawyers have been told repeatedly for the last decade, they need to be better at marketing their wares out there. However, once those prospects come into the firm, yes, you can measure how many prospects have come in, but it’s that conversion piece that is so critical, that I think everyone’s really missing.

Our Avvo Ignite, which you can find at ignite.avvo.com, is so focused on helping lawyers work with themselves or other lawyers within the firm to make sure that no contacts are being dropped and also that response times are short, and that follow-up times, even after that response time, are consistent and full of great communication.

And so, I think their equation of helping you market at the top is great. Helping you do ROI on whether that marketing is working is great. But hat conversion piece, we look at as immensely critical, and really differentiating for Avvo Ignite.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: Yeah, I agree, and as we discussed in the last podcast, as you said, we’ve seen a lot of our customers struggle with following up on the leads that we get them, and if they don’t get back to people in 15 minutes, the lead quality goes way down. The likelihood of a conversion goes way down. Having really good systems in place, and Avvo Ignite or Hubspot or various marketing automation and CRM systems in place, is essential. You just have to get out there, pick the one you want to work with. For law firms, it makes total sense. Avvo Ignite is like Hubspot and specific to the legal industry, so combined with great Internet marketing and then that ability to follow up, you’ll have much greater success.

With that said, do you think that most law firms have an organized and documented web strategy, similar to traditional marketing plan, and/or do you have any suggestions for being more strategic than just being tactical?

Mark Britton interviewMark: Well, no. Most law firms don’t even have a marketing plan. If they have a marketing plan, seldom is it thinking through an inbound marketing or web marketing. Looking at how you might leverage online resources differently than you’ve historically leveraged your offline resources. I think what happens with a lot of firms is if they have resources, they bring in a marketing director. If they don’t, they hire a consultant or they have a practice partner or they have a paralegal that they think hey, you’re kind of web savvy or you’re kind of marketing savvy. Why don’t you handle this for us?

It really has to start from the top, that I would give two pieces of advice for all firms out there. The first is I think you need to have an attorney or group of attorneys who really enjoy or believe in the idea of marketing online, and what that can…the leverage that that can bring to them.

If you have that religion, then you need to resource it. This is the second part of the advice, you need to resource it correctly. You need to have that marketing director. You need to have that consultant. Or you, yourself, which is seldom a good outcome, because lawyers are so busy trying to practice law.

You need someone who’s thinking about this almost every day, right? I just can’t imagine that anything within a law firm, to where you say hey, we really want to succeed in that. You know, there’s this case that we really want to succeed in. You know, we’re just going to think about it every six months. [laughs]

That just doesn’t…you just don’t succeed there. If you have an objective that you want to be better marketers, and you want to use the web as a lever, then hire someone or undertake it for yourself to be thinking about this on a daily, but at least, a weekly basis, as to whether you’re succeeding.

Set objectives, think through your target audience, think through your target time you’re going to spend, the target money you want to spend in this, and then measure whether you’re meeting your objectives. If you’re not doing that, if you’re not being intentional in that way, you might think that you have a marketing plan, but you really don’t.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: No, I would agree with that. It’s all too common when I go into meetings with attorneys or other people, like one time I went into a bank, the very senior marketing director, who’d been around a long time, he had a list on a piece of paper and he said, “Oh, these are all the things that I think we need to do.” It said Facebook and social media and email marketing and video and SEO and Paper Clip, I think he called it. He said, “Why don’t we just start with just Facebook. Let’s just start … why don’t we just do one thing?” I was surprised that even a traditional marketer who should have a background in, as you said, identifying your target audience, a SWOT analysis, creating a marketing plan, but somehow with the web, he was just so flustered by all the new stuff coming out, he couldn’t think strategically. It was just like just throw a dart at that piece of paper, pick one thing, and drill down into it.

I see an interesting thing happening right now, again coming from an ad agency family. My father owned the sixth largest ad agency in New England, McDougall Associates Advertising, which he sold in the ’90s and it got sucked up into IPG. I’ve been around advertising a long time and traditional agencies are much better at having a documented strategy. But in 18 years of doing this, I rarely see somebody come to me when we’re building a website and doing full inbound marketing. They don’t say, “Oh, here’s our marketing plan and let’s discuss how we’re going to tie directly into that and be organized.”

They don’t even ask us to do a marketing plan. We always write a strategy document, even if it’s just a couple grand a month doing SEO, we ask them their goals for their target audiences, even develop basic personas, and then having that strategy document makes the process much more clear that you’re all on the same page. I created a very basic software that I’m experimenting in beta mode right now called Plan Sprout, plansprout.com.

It’s basically a series of questions about the summary of your marketing objectives, documenting some benchmarking, how many visitors you’re getting, what’s your conversion rate so we know at the beginning what it is and after the marketing gets going, we can track success.

And then little tabs for SEO and social media. Asking those key questions, for example, in conversion optimization I asked, “Do you have a top, a middle, and a bottom of the funnel call to action so that when people go your website, there are different catch points where you can get them to give you contact information?”

Having something more organized where you understand, do I need a CRM system, a process like Avvo Ignite. If you get more systematized, my belief is that you’re going to be much more effective. There’s just too many random things happening. Pinterest’s coming up out of the blue and starting to dominate. It’s the shiny object thing. Marketers all of a sudden now say, “Oh, let’s go do Pinterest.” I think that poses a great risk of not having a better plan.

So what do you see as the sort of next steps for law firms in terms of making a forward thinking web presence over the next few years?

Mark Britton interviewMark: I think step number one is that we have to get away from this idea that the website is just brochureware. You have to have, first of all, I’m a big believer in what I call a core web presence. That is someplace where you spend the majority of your …It’s really your storefront, your calling card on the web. That is usually a website, could be a blog. It could be an Avvo profile, depending on what your budget is. I love the idea of it being a website. It doesn’t have to be expensive, right. We sell websites for $199 a month. That comes with an account manager and all sorts of Avvo goodies and you get all the Avvo thinking that goes with it. We simply deliver a website that is clean in design. It’s set up to be very responsive to drive conversion.

The problem with most websites that are out there today in core web presence is that they are, they’re all about the lawyer and they’re not well thought out. It’s just like a lawyer slapped their resume up there. They haven’t set it up in a way to where it’s trying to have a conversation with the prospective client. Whether that is some sort of making it very simple, some questions that lead to an intake form, having a question-and-answer form right there, having a chat that can pop up to interact with the person, uploading articles, and maybe even having a blog on that website. They can upload video or what have you. It doesn’t need to be something as heavy or as complex as AVVO.

I’m talking about only a website that if you have a three-person law firm, you have the home page, you have profiles for those three attorneys, you have a recent news page, maybe you have IQ page, you have your question-and-answer page. I don’t know what it is but we’re talking about maybe less than 10 pages. It doesn’t have to be this weighty thing.

But it does have to be interactive. It does have to speak to the prospective client coming in and give them ideas about how you understand their situation and how you can help them with their situation and help them down a path of saying, “OK, this is a lawyer who understands me and I should be contacting them,” so that it becomes this dynamic interactive conversion engine that most websites are not. I think that you’re just going to see much more of blurring between websites and blogs as lawyers start to think, “Oh, OK. That makes sense. This is what I need this thing to be.”

It’s being much more thoughtful about this website, this core web presence and that’s going to drive, that’ll be the big change or maybe you asked, I think, the next step. I think that’ll be the next step for a lot of law firms is getting that in place just so that they have that anchor out there on the web for … then when they go out to Facebook, or you mentioned Pinterest or anything else, they can point that all back into the core and again, it’s just a funnel – Facebook to the top of the funnel, Pinterest, to the top of the funnel you push them down into the website, you interact with them at that website, and that leads to higher conversion.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: Now that is a great way to look at it. I was impressed with your talk at the Suffolk conference in that way where you had a slide where you had the mother ship. Again, it may not be your website, but let’s say it’s your website and then little dots around that that are the little satellites that all feed into the mother ship. If you can think more strategically in that way and know that those little satellites have different purposes, maybe Pinterest isn’t going to be super highly converting. For some people it is, but maybe for some people it’s just, let’s get them to go from Pinterest and then click over and see the images on the blog and then, like you said, then you convert them from there. A lot of people are just bouncing around from one little piece to another. Having that idea of “What is the mother ship? What are the little supporting elements?” I think that’s going to give you a lot better results.

One last thought. With all of that said around having not brochureware content and trying to engage in conversations and have a deeper web presence, what are your thoughts around branding individual lawyers, a little bit of personal branding, if you will, around subject matter or practice area experts and using Google Plus author rank, this little snippet of code you can use to connect your Google Plus personal profile, your company’s Google Plus page, and anytime you’re writing on your blog or other blogs, you can show Google that this author is one and the same person and they’re a trusted, credible person?

Any thoughts on that around the value of branding individual lawyers on the web with video and blog posts and all that?

Mark Britton interviewMark: OK. There’s possibly a brand question in there and then there’s a Google Plus question.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: Right.

Mark Britton interviewMark: I’ll make a very short comment about branding and then I’ll dive into Google Plus a bit. On the branding front, I think that anytime that you have, you’re branding for branding sake so you go and buy the ad in the Bar magazine that talks about how great your firm is. Eh, that might be effective depending on your target audience but probably not. I’m a big believer that brand is an amalgamation of your different efforts, especially to the extent that you can drive inbound marketing efforts where you’re out there networking, building relationships, showing people the quality of your advice. Over time, that will amalgamate into what is brand. As far as the tool in that branding exercise, Google Plus is becoming an incredibly valuable tool because it’s owned by Google. Google built Google Plus to be a competitor to Facebook. It didn’t succeed. And so they’re tying it more into their searches and in particular when people are searching for goods or services, including lawyers, at the local level, Google is going to serve up or, dare we say, bias their search results toward those people that has identified that it’s essentially validated through the Google Plus environment.

To the extent that you create a Google Plus page and you tie your different content around the web through the authorship tags that you were talking about, John, to the extent that you get that snippet of code in your different places so that Google says, “Oh, this piece of content. “ For example, we have all the authorships set up on Avvo for Q&A in our guides, et cetera. You answer a question on Avvo and you have a Google Plus account. Google goes, “Oh, this Avvo answer comes from this GPlus participant. We know that they’re legit.”

And so they’re going to serve that higher. As far as getting your name out there and getting your content distributed more often and more widely, Google Plus is a valuable tool.

John McDougall interview photoJohn: That’s great, really good thoughts, Mark. I really want to thank you for excellent advice and I recommend people check out avvo.com, and I look forward to talking to you again soon, Mark.

Mark Britton interviewMark: Yeah, thank you so much, John.

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