With the release of Penguin 2.0 in May, Google made it apparent that, among other things, a business’s location would play a little more heavily in search results. You may have noticed over the last few months that businesses near you are getting preferential placement in results for non-geo-specific terms like “sushi” or “veterinarian.” Your firm can take advantage of this development by adding a targeted local strategy to your online marketing efforts.
Google wants to see more diverse link profiles and higher quality content in its quest to provide relevant and useful results. Old-fashioned link exchanges and over-optimized, location-based keyword stuffed pages will do your firm more harm than good. Google may be giving physical proximity more weight, but it will still recognize and penalize geo-specific keyword spam.
Instead, local search marketing efforts must be organic. Here are some things you can do to make sure your local marketing is on track:
1. Update directory listings. The web is full of directory services, and you could drive yourself crazy (while wasting valuable time) trying to fill out a profile on all of them. At the very least, make sure that your address is consistent and correct on larger sites like yellowpages.com, Yelp and City Search. Also, fully fill out a profile for your firm on attorney specific sites like Nolo and Avvo. Google your firm (and yourself) to see if there are directories that have created a listing for you, and either delete or claim the listings in order to ensure that all address information is accurate. Google compiles location data about your firm, and inconsistencies make you seem less trustworthy.
2. Get press releases in local papers. Offline networking with local reporters is a valuable marketing investment. Newspaper, radio and TV reporters have column space and air time to fill, and they are always looking for stories of interest to the community. Some things that provide good material for press releases are special events, involvement in community activities, the launch of a new program or a significant achievement by an attorney or staff member. Having a relationship with reporters also makes it more likely they will come to you when looking for quotes or commentary on larger, nationwide stories.
3. Sponsor or participate in events. If you sponsor a...CONTINUE READING
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