Previously in our series covering the five parts of a complete law firm marketing presence, we discussed:
- The starting point, a well-designed, informative website;
- The next step, proper placement in search engines;
- The third step, appearance in online directories; and
- The fourth step, presence in social media.
The fifth and final step is to have an ongoing marketing campaign to let the search engines (and the people who use them) know that your site is current and relevant. Parts of this ongoing marketing campaign involve taking actions on your firm’s website (onsite work) and others include making changes on other websites (offsite work).
Fresher is better
Search engines like Google favor sites with updated and informative content over those that have sat static for a long period. So, adding news items, blog entries, case studies, white papers, and similar items will show Google that your firm’s site is a source for new information on a frequent basis. This increases the chance for higher rankings in relevant searches. If your site is properly set up to communicate new material to the search engines — via Google Webmaster tools, for example — the new information will get into the Google index quickly and allow for better search-result rankings.
Inbound links are a must
One of Google’s core criteria to ranking websites over others involves links that point to your website from other websites. The quality and quantity of these links (in that order) are key factors Google and Bing use to determine whether your site is relevant for a particular search.
For example, let’s say you have a consumer bankruptcy practice and a website to market it. You (or someone helping you) get reputable websites dealing with bankruptcy issues, such as debt counseling sites or educational websites, to link to your site. Google will see those links from other on-topic websites and, by association, rank your site higher than those without inbound links.
(Google) Map your way to success
The importance of appearing in Google Maps cannot be overstated, especially if your practice has a great deal of local-to-you clients. You have probably noticed that Google has been showing maps on the search results page for many searches. If you haven’t claimed or set up your listing in the Google map system — controlled by Google My Business, you are missing a valuable opportunity for a significant presence in searches. Even if your practice is not based on local clients, it is still important to include accurate firm information such as telephone number and physical address, within Google maps for people who wish to contact your firm.
Woody Allen is credited as saying, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” In our educational series, “You Complete Me: The Five Parts of a Complete Law Firm Internet Presence,” we’ve covered law firm websites, search engine placement, directory listings, social media, and now, finally, online marketing campaigns. If your firm does well with the five parts, its website presence will be robust and poised to not just show up, but succeed!