Legal Search Marketing – 6 SEO Tactics to Avoid

By Ian M. Bardorf

Search Engine Marketing is one of the most effective tactics to generate leads, help you promote your expertise, reach prospects and stay connected with clients. A good ranking on Google’s results pages is a measurable gateway for new business. Enhancing your website so that it’s listed at or near the top of Google, Yahoo or any other search engine is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

But along with the growing focus on search marketing has come a proliferation of agencies that claim they provide Search Engine Optimization. Many of these are website design firms or ad agencies that have simply added “search engine optimization” to their websites and have no in-depth experience. They often over-promise and under-deliver. Even worse, some of them can hurt your business in the long run.

Search engine optimization, if done well, is not a product or a commodity, but a sophisticated process that requires well trained and experienced individuals with up-to-date insight on the business.

In a tight economy, you simply can’t afford to spend valuable resources on an effort that may or may not deliver the results you need. Here are six tactics to avoid when considering SEO.

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Question – How can I attract local clients to my website?

Since most people (97%) search online before making a purchase, it’s logical that anyone seeking an attorney will head to Google first.

The most important thing you can do to be found in a “local search” is to claim your Google Places page and verify that the basic information is accurate. I wrote an article about Google Places that explains how in more detail.

The second most important thing to attract local searchers is to gather testimonials and ratings for your business. Client reviews are critical for local attorneys to gain visibility on search engines and social directories like Yelp that people turn to for referrals. Reviews and ratings offer two benefits: differentiating your firm from the competition and improving your rankings on the search engine results pages.

Encourage your current clients to write testimonials. Once you have obtained their reviews, submit them to relevant websites and feature them in an easy-to-use and easy-to-find section on your site and LinkedIn profile.