Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Thinking About Google Searches

In prior posts I have talked about the importance of showing up on page one of relevant Google searches. The idea is to determine how your prospective clients will search, and having your site be google-friendly to that search.

I suspect that when most people do a google search, they realize it's all about hitting the right key words. If you do a lot of google searches yourself, you know that if your search is too broad you get too many irrelevant sites. Conversely, if it's too specific, you may get nothing. When you are the search-ee, you want to be found by as many search parameters as possible.

Some search terms are very broad, but you still need them. For example, the term "lawyer" by itself is way too broad by itself. For fun, I googled "lawyer", here's the result
Look over page one, it's interesting.

You probably won't be found with that search, although the presence of lawyers.com and findlaw.com on that first page, may get some clients your way, if the client enters those sites and you are listed.

A search term that narrows a search, which a lot of people use, is geography. Here's the google result for "lawyers new york"
Also interesting. I note that Andrew Bluestone's blog about attorney malpractice cases made it on page 1. Findlaw.com is on this first page, lawyers.com is not.

Let's narrow the geography further with "lawyers queens new york"
Hey, I know some of these guys!! I'm not showing on this page, but I'm OK with that, I've been narrowing my practice areas. I notice Gross & Levin are on page 1....I know them and like them and respect their work. Looking at their site, I see it's a Findlaw site, and showing on page one of a google search like this, I'd say they got good value.

A little more narrow, on topic and geography, I'll google "queens new york probate lawyer"
Uh-huh, there's my Findlaw dollars in action.

A few related points.

I am not a computer expert, and you don't have to be an expert to be effective at internet marketing. The main thing to do is THINK about what kind of clients you want and how they would seach the internet for an attorney. You can then do those searches and see who is coming up and what they are doing. Search a lot, play around with it, you'll be surprised who you see and what you'll learn.

It's true that Lawyers.com and Findlaw.com, who market pretty aggressively to lawyers, cost some money. Used effectively, they can really pay dividends. If you do something that is not the usual, you can make your own site pretty easily and its a narrow enough area, you'll show up high on google searches.....and it costs zero. I did a home-made website for my court appearance business (OK - Felicia did it). It gives basic information about what we do, how we charge, etc. Here's what a search for "Queens per diem court appearances" gets...
Not only is my wecoverqueens.com showing first on page one, my blog stuff about per diem is showing too. I don't pay extra to have it show that way....it just does.

I am fascinated by internet marketing for lawyers. If any of my readers wants to discuss a lawyer internet marketing question with me, please email me.

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