We’d love to tell you that 2017 is off to a slow and steady start but with all things in legal marketing in the digital arena that’s simply not the case.
Most of the changes and trends we are going to talk about with you started to take effect toward the end of 2016. We’ve been beta testing these strategies and trends with a number of our clients and are here to tell you that we have seen upswings in traffic, activity and rankings as a result.
We have drilled down on these concepts to reach our top five digital legal marketing trends of the year (so far!) to share with you. Let’s begin!
1. Google Reviews.
Reviews matter! The most recent research from the Pew Institute shared that 88% of all consumers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation. 88% is a staggering number when we think about reviews and our law practice (and perhaps the idea that you don’t have as many as you could). While we could write an article on why reviews matter, we want to talk about the flip side. How much do you review businesses you support and use? Recently, have you been asked or prompted on your smartphone or tablet to write a review of your favorite store? It’s time to participate on Google and the review process. Our clients who are actively participating in the world of reviews are seeing an impact across all of their digital marketing efforts and it is filtering into raising their profiles. Is there a direct correlation? It may be too soon to tell but it is what we are observing and what we have observed over the last 90 days.
2. Google Maps.
Keep getting prompted to share a picture of a place where you are? Snap a picture? What about commenting on whether or not a business’s picture, hours of operation, or location is accurate? Welcome to the world of Google Maps! Just like reviewing your local community, we encourage you to get involved as a Google Map contributor. That’s step one. Step two is to ask just how visible is your business with Google Maps? Google Maps is working to become the number one way to find businesses. How do you get involved? All you have to do is sign up to contribute. Start by claiming your profile for your business. Next we want you to complete your profile (this means answering every question asked), for the biggest impact on your business.
3. Long Tail Meta Descriptions.
The truth is Meta Descriptions and Long Tail searches didn’t just come about at the end of last year. We just started to get the data and reports coming in on our end from our clients and now we can talk frankly about them with you. For the past few years, Google has searched by long tail search terms instead of just key words. We think Key Word Strategies are extremely important but they’re not the only thing to focus on. We would encourage you to rethink your Meta Descriptions on your website. Are they answering questions? Are they informative? Do they accurately portray the information you want them to? Have you updated them recently? What about quarterly? If you haven’t rethought your content, now’s the time. If you really want to know how your website looks on the internet, let us know and we will run you a complimentary report for you.
4. The lawyer vertical.
Sure, you understand there may be value to interacting with FindLaw, Lawyers.com and Avvo, but what about the small lawyer search engines no one has heard of. Chances are that not only have you not heard of them but, even if you had, you wouldn’t want to spend time updating or claiming your profile. Avoid them at your peril! These small search engines that comprise the lawyer verticals are searched first by search engines looking to find answers for your potential clients. If you really want to know what the lawyer vertical thinks of you, let us know and we will run you a complimentary report for you.
5. Website security.
It’s official. Or at least it’s being reported now. Google is dropping websites (note – kicking you out of your hard won Page 1 Rankings) that do not have security parameters in place. If you do not have your website SSL certificate in place, you simply can’t wait any longer. One of the biggest challenges we see is that while you do purchase it, your website host or provider never activates it on your website. Keep in mind, it’s not enough to have the certificate, it has to actually be put into action and working on your website.
Overwhelmed? Overjoyed? Just need some custom answers? That’s what we are here for. Don’t forget, at the end of the day, you hold the keys to your own success.
If you need a little help starting your journey to greatness, let us know, we’d love to talk about it. Contact us on our website, email us at [email protected] by phone at 850-933-5072, and we will set up a complimentary 30 minute brainstorming session.