by Jon Sutten
Wow it’s been six months already! Looking back on what I have learned about the Legal Marketing Industry since I started here at GNGF is very humbling. I can relate to the frustrations attorneys have when researching how to market their practice online. Unfortunately there are many false promises out there in our industry. Many people making claims that are unrealistic and downright impossible to fulfill. It was shocking to me there is a whole classification of “black hat” tactics that are made to game the search engine algorithms. I wasn’t aware of the things to watch out for and what to believe when it comes to making your website appear in search. I know many professionals in the legal industry must feel the same way.
One of the biggest changes in my perspective is looking at the search engine as a business that is trying to best serve it’s customers. When you or I search for something Google wants to show us good results or we can ultimately choose another search engine to use. Therefore Google wants to show websites that have certain characteristics and features that Google has honed in over time. Things that worked 2-3 years ago to get a website ranking well in search don’t necessarily work anymore. Google is often changing its algorithm in an effort to serve the users best. We are now at a point that Google wants a website to be mobile responsive, have readable content that provides information about a particular topic, has content that is added regularly, has high quality backlinks that are obtained naturally and organically, has reviews, and has other directory listings and websites that have information that is consistent with the website. The algorithm wants to show local businesses near where the search is taking place geographically. The search engines are identifying the black hat tactics that are used and are penalizing websites for using that strategy.
I have learned it is very important to understand everything that goes into your web presence as a whole. I have seen many beautiful websites that look and perform great when you use them. What I didn’t understand before coming to GNGF is that unless things are done correctly from an SEO perspective, that beautiful website will not show up in search and can be downright hard to find when you’re looking for it without the specific URL. Be cautious about what you’re getting when you’re investing in your marketing. Make sure you can track your ROI accurately. I have learned so much about the right way to do things and I am glad that is the way we do things here at GNGF, the right way.