Your Legal Marketing Questions Answered

In our recent webcast, Are You Ignoring a Third of Your Firm’s Potential?, we addressed the importance of optimizing your online presence to reach the growing audience of local-mobile consumers. There were a lot of excellent questions submitted during the webcast and we couldn’t answer all of them in the time allotted. Here are my responses to the remaining questions.

Google supposedly gives a higher rank to sites with pages that have a lot of content. Yet we are told that mobile pages should typically have less content. How do you balance these seemingly conflicting directives?

Google’s goal has always been to provide the best user experience possible. For desktop sites, don’t place quantity of content over quality. Google is not solely interested in ranking pages with a lot of content. Remember that most desktop users are in research mode, more willing to read large amounts of information on their large screens.

When users go mobile, they tend to be more action-oriented and are looking for a specific set of information. Google knows which sites are which, and they’ll reward sites providing information that is tailored to the user. So although these directives seem to be in conflict, they are actually in harmony with each other. When you’re producing content for your website, be thoughtful about the end user and craft accordingly.

Isn’t it likely that more people use their phones to search for pizza or shop on eBay than try to find a lawyer?

That’s a good question and a valid point. In 2013, approximately 30% of all visits to ecommerce sites occurred via mobile. This trend does indeed follow in the legal industry: At the end of 2014, roughly 32 percent of all visits to FindLaw attorney customer sites occurred through mobile devices. Certainly some types of websites are easier to imagine on a small screen, but it’s clear that many legal consumers really are using mobile devices to find an attorney.

Keep in mind that the driver behind all of this is the shift in consumer behavior that we discussed – more smartphone sales, people spending an increased amount of time on mobile websites and in mobile apps. Additionally, for more and more people, smartphones are their only access point to the Internet.

Of Google, Bing and Yahoo business listings, which is most important?

If you look at this from a pure market share perspective, Google has the lion’s share of search traffic at around 67 percent. But in the context of understanding local SEO, having your business listing on multiple sites is essential. If you recall from the webcast, these listings create a network of citations, which in turn help to drive local search rankings.

For example, having a business listing on your local chamber of commerce website can sometimes be as valuable as your Google business listing. Don’t think of Google, Bing and Yahoo as an either/or situation. Instead, place your information on as many relevant sites as possible.

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