Posts Tagged ‘SEO’

Google Search Algorithm – Quality 1st

May 8, 2011

Since the beginning of the commercial Internet, businesses have been looking to push their way to the top of search rankings.  Over the years there have been many trends and most of them involve “gaming” the system.  Initially, Google’s approach was to reward quality sites – those that people returned to again and again as witnesses by linking to those sites.  However, businesses focused on secretive ways to game Google and Google doesn’t like that.

This post to their official webmaster site lists out what they want to promote in high ranking websites.  Quality is number one and rather than paying lots of money to create link farms or generate lots of dubious content, here are some things Google will be looking for in ranking your website:

  • Authority of Author
  • Are these topics of Interest or Driven by Keyword Popularity?
  • Quality of Copyediting
  • Originality of the Content
  • Is the Content Substantial or Superficial?

Blogging Your Way to SEO

September 14, 2010

John Jantsch in Duct Tape Marketing gives 7 ways to acquire links to your site and improve your SEO.  Here is what he has to say about the power of blogging,

“Without question creating a blog and consistently writing keyword rich content is the number one SEO activity for the small business. (For any size business) This is no longer something to debate, blog content will improve your chances to compete in the search engines many times over and draw links from other blogs and sites that syndicate content.”

Kevin O’Keefe picks up on this and reminds us that, “Though I don’t believe high search rankings should be the leading reason for publishing a law blog, your publishing a blog may be your single best way of achieving high search engine rankings as a lawyer or law firm.”

Not mutually exclusive

If you write a strong blog for your niche, then searches for topics will show up prominently in Google search results.

Beware of the SEO trap

July 4, 2010

Kevin O’Keefe posts insightfully about the dangers of blogging merely for SEO (making yourself highly visible in search results for relevant topics).  One of the points he makes is that when lawyers blog for SEO, they trash their reputation.  Don’t simply repost and plagiarized , rely on SEO tricks of seeding your crappy content everywhere so your blog is highly visible because guess what?

If you have nothing to say and everybody knows it, this won’t help you get quality work.  But you ask, how will I have time to regularly create quality posts and have a practice and a life?

Think of blogging as a participating in a conversation.  You pick an issue or range of issues to write about.  You read what other people have to say about these topics, you scan the current news, you rely on your pre-existing database of writings on the topic and you converse. When we talk we shouldn’t go on and on about a topic, preventing other people to get in a word.  Instead we make a couple provocative statements or share an insight and we wait for someone else to response.  Then we respond to that comment and so forth. That’s blogging – its creating a conversation and participating in a community, adding your voice to mix.

Tout your legal practice expertise

April 10, 2010

I’ve noticed that many solo practitioners and small firms create a “practice areas” page for their website where they list a variety of practice areas like: wrongful termination, whistleblower suits, employment discrimination and leave it at that.

This is a missed opportunity for a couple reasons:

  • Google likes web-pages devoted to specific practice areas.  If you offer whistleblower lawsuits then create a practice page specific to that topic.
  • Visitors to your website want to know if you can help them with their issue and “whistleblower” alone may not be specific enough for them to understand that this applies to their situation.

Some tips in creating these pages:

  • Consider your audience: if you want defense work and are looking to appeal to in-house counsel, then using legal jargon is fine but if you are looking for plaintiffs to join a class action, you need to use plain language in your descriptions.
  • Check Google’s keyword tool and see how people are searching for the practice description you are using.  Make sure you include the popular ones on your page to devoted to that practice.

Take advantage of Google’s local biz center

January 12, 2010

One of my favorite marketing websites, Duct Tape Marketing, posts this video about enhancing your Google local business profile that drives content for the Google maps that people use increasingly for mobile devices.  Did you know you had a local business profile?  If not go to: Google Local Business Center and fill out your profile.  Then watch the video for tips on how to maximize your visibility using categories.  Remember: this is Google so exactly how they use these categories is unclear.  See the discussion about categories in this Duct Tape Marketing link.

I added my profile about nine months ago and it shows up with my mug shot at the bottom of the first page of Google search results on the all too popular name, “Randy Wilson.”

Dangers of outsourcing SEO

January 5, 2010

Ostensibly a story about an individual who went after attorneys he didn’t like through Twitter and obtaining followers by default, but I find another angle more cautionary.  The problem started with a the criminal defense attorney who outsourced his website, social networking and SEO work to someone else.  This individual was allegedly using a network of phony Twitter accounts to drive traffic back to the attorney’s websites.  That’s bad enough but the kicker was that this individual used other attorneys content on the website.

Lesson:  You need to learn enough about the Internet, SEO and social networking AND pay attention to what’s being done on your behalf to avoid getting taken for a ride.

SEO lessons for law firm

December 1, 2009

Habush, Habush & Rottier, is suing the law firm of Cannon & Dunphy claiming that Cannon has been paying Google and others to direct people who search on Habush’s name to go to the Cannon website.

The Cannon law firm is claiming that this was done through a “marketer” and that they didn’t request the use of the competitor’s name a paid search term.

Lesson 1.  Make sure your SEO strategy is an extension of how you market your services generally.  Good SEO is also good marketing.  If true, Cannon, by redirecting search results hits from a more popular law firm, is surrendering on its marketing efforts.  It is saying that it can’t compete legitimately with Habush so it needs to take a surreptitious approach.

Lesson 2.  Learn about the basics of good SEO and make sure to hire reputable SEO companies.  Perform due diligence and don’t be dazzled by claims that suddenly the firm’s phone will be ringing nonstop with new business.  The phone might ring instead with complaints about the firm’s SEO tactics.

SEO still a mystery? You are not alone!

October 29, 2009

Has anyone else notice how many articles, books, seminars, white papers there are on unlocking the secrets of SEO?  Have you found when you’ve started reading or listening that the secrets remain unlocked?  I have.

But I did find a couple books I can recommend that truly make sense in penetrating the mysteries.   

“Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day” by Jennifer Grappone.  This is a very practical guide to setting up an SEO program.  One aspect to SEO is that it requires a strategy, program and ongoing attention.  This book will help you get started with this.

“Search Engine Optimization: Your Visual Blueprint for Effective Internet Marketing” by Kristopher B. Jones.  This book is very practical and gives you actual action items and provides screen shots to implement them.

Downside to both books is freshness.  The hour a day book was published in 2006 and the visual blueprint book was published in 2008.  However, these books have such depth that I think they are still worth purchasing.

Friday Freebie: Video Tips on SEO

October 31, 2008

My first video insert!  No talking heads, just cool free urls.  Thanks Rich, whoever you are!