Monday, June 10, 2013

Penguins, Pandas, and Content...Oh My

If you are like most attorneys, you barely have time to handle all the obligations of actually practicing law, let alone engage in nuanced study of different marketing techniques designed to grow your business.

In general, when it comes to online marketing you probably appreciate that Google rankings matter and strive to have a functional website.

Those with more in-depth interest in search engine optimization may have even heard of the Google "updates" which hit over the last two years.  These updates are given animal names--most recently Penguin and Panda.  If you have an SEO "guy" or work with a large website building company, your web contact may have mentioned these updates as an explanation for one change or another.

But beyond that, you probably aren't 100% sure what these animal updates actually means.

Many of the changes are technical, but the bottom line is this: content matters more than ever.  For law firms, that means more legal blog posts, adding pages to your website, more engagement with social media channels, and dissemination of useful and interesting white pages on relevant subjects.  In short: Google wants you to add quality to the Internet.  By doing so, you will be rewarded.

Google Updates, Content, & Social Media
A recent Search Engine Land article offers a helpful overview of these updates.  The story explores how with the more recent Google changes, improving one's SEO centers clearly on interesting, informative, original content.  Adding helpful material to the web and then engaging effectively with it (on blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitters, and more) is the single best strategy to improve online visibility.

All of this is common knowledge at this point, and SEO professionals are shifting all of their strategies to meet these new demands. Before all of these changes, most SEO was "tweaking" -- changing "tags," inserting keywords, and similar basic details geared toward optimization.

Today, those tweaks alone are clearly ineffective. As the article summarizes: "Technical SEO is important, but will only get you so far -- your SEO efforts need the catalysts this is content marketing."

However, there is one big problem: It is a lot harder to do than the old techniques.  Content marketing is not something that can be done behind the scenes by some tech guys.  It takes time, work, writing ability, creativity, and familiarity with relevant subject matters.  That is why most marketing companies working with attorneys or lawyers themselves hire legal content writers to help.

Be sure to take a look at the whole article to get a better idea of how all of this comes together in the typical SEO plan.

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