As we said in our first book, the first key to Kirkpatrick’s data-analysis is vigilance. We constantly adapt our ads so they are reaching stronger audiences in more effective ways. Vigilance is the only way data collection can be effective. The programmers at Google and other search engines understand this. Every few days, they adjust the search engine’s algorithms to present better results to their users.
Therefore, advertisers and advertising agencies must constantly adapt how we organize and share information digitally, to ensure we’re getting the most from search engines. This informational organization has become so integral to law firm and small business success, it’s grown into an industry all it’s own — Search Engine Optimization.
As with any industry — as it became more useful, it has become more expensive. Here are some tips on what to expect from your site’s SEO and why it is so important:
Think in Outcomes, Not Methods
When you’re trying to redirect your SEO efforts, you’re usually after something specific. Maybe it’s more traffic, more firm visibility, more ad impressions, more clients, or all of the above. However, when lawyers speak to their SEO teams, they want to get too specific, “We want to get better ranking on these six keywords.”
Things like keyword rankings are methods, not outcomes. They are methods that might have outcomes you didn’t think about. So if your real goal is more traffic, but you tell your SEO team to get better keyword ranking. They will up your ranking, but it might not lead to more traffic. So it isn’t that they didn’t do their jobs, it’s that you didn’t ask for what you really wanted.
SEO experts know what the search engines want. Speak to your SEO team in outcomes, and let them worry about the methods!
Why Have my Visits Gone Down?
Most industries enjoy feast seasons, as well as famines. Our law firm clients see a dip in the numbers during the spring and fall — when people step away from the television & computer to outside.
If you know a dry spell is coming, adjust your ad buys accordingly and save some budget for your feast season!
Be(come) a Brand
Google’s algorithms favor established brands. Small law firms may feel hopeless — your budget barely creates enough advertising to stay in the race, you certainly don’t have the budget to establish a widely-known brand. However, this train of thought is problematic. All a well-known brand needs is a formulated online marketing strategy.
Create a simple, concise message for prospective clients. Every advertisement, social media and blog posts should tie to your single message. We’ll get back to this when we cover niche marketing again in a few weeks.
To succeed long term in the organic search space and traffic from search engines, you need to be(come) exceptional — worth sharing & worth searching for — The number of searches each month for your brand name is definitely a signal that you’re becoming a known brand. Apple is a major brand because they created something of value that people love and want to talk about and share.
Great branding doesn’t come from a billion dollar budget, the budget comes from branding!
The Best Results are Never Immediate
SEO is possibly the most powerful tool you have in you digital advertising toolbox. It has the strength to establish your law firm as an expert in the minds of anyone who visits your website. Anyone worldwide…
However, this type of groundwork, this type of influence is a long-term strategy. Your SEO efforts are an investment.
Finding the best SEO strategy for your firm is a lot like finding the best desk for your office. You could order a cheap, mass-produced piece online. The desk might fit in your office, it might crumble under the weight of all your paperwork — in the name of saving money, you might have to replace it in a few years.
Or you could have a desk commissioned from a craftsman. He’s going to talk to you about what you need specifically. He will measure your office and make sure that he builds a desk to the exact measurements. Then he’ll use methods and materials that will last through years of hard work. You’re going to pay more for a custom piece, but the strength of that desk will outlast even you.
A good SEO strategy is like that second desk. custom, built by professionals and will last longer than a single career. It requires hiring high quality writers, designers and web developers to create link worthy content. Great SEO requires an active partnership between a client and a service provider…it’s something you do together, not something that you just have done for you.
You’re not paying for better rankings, you’re paying for a better site! Don’t skimp.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about how well your firm’s website is optimized, contact Kirkpatrick Creative, today!