The rise of the Internet created a kind of collective insanity. Within a few years of the modern Internet kicking off, nearly every business owner knew they had to have a website. For those who knew how to build websites, a golden era had begun.
Then in short order, Google came along and made sense of a seemingly senseless experience. Finding websites of interest became much simpler, more exact. They did this by giving each website a score. This was called Page Rank, not named because it ranked web pages, but because it was developed by one of the founders of Google, Larry Page.
It did not take long for people to learn how to manipulate the Google algorithm–as with any new enterprise, there are always going to be kinks which need to be worked out–the Google search engine program was no different. So, just as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was becoming a mainstay of the Internet (and being manipulated by some with good intentions and others with not-so-good), Google changed things.
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012…And Beyond?
Seeking to better their search engine, Google started a series of major changes to their algorithm. that is, the way their search engine functioned and located websites and web pages of value to searchers. Their goal was to remain the best at producting the best results.
Because some folks found ways around the search engines to fake them into recommending their websites even though the sites did not really offer anything of substance and value in the eyes of Google, the company made serious changes.
These chages set the Internet ablaze and within months, site owners feared the dreaded Google Black Hole, that place in the nether reaches of the Internet where websites get lost forever. blacklisted by Google, never to rise again…no Phoenix rising from the ashes, just a heap of ashes.
What does this have to do with content and getting prospective clients to your Law Firm as a result of the content on your website?
Glad you asked.
“Two challenges face nearly every business today: getting noticed and getting paid.”
He couldn’t be more correct.
The sole purpose of any website is to inform. That was the point of the many Google algorithm changes. The company wanted to keep their search engine providing readers with the best results. More to the point, Google wants to provide search results tailored to each individual. For instance, if I search for “the best Law Firm,” do I want the best Law Firm in Chicago?
If I live in Chicago, sure. But I live in Lubbock, Texas. So when I search for “the best law firm” using Google, guess what results I get? I get Lubbock results because Google knows my location. But I ONLY get Lubbock results IF the owners of Law Firm websites in Lubbock have made sure their website is optimized for local search. In other words, they need to identify their firm as located in this city or the search engines do not know to send local people to the site.
So, in keeping with the quote above, the first challenge is to get noticed. Local search/local optimization does this, but the second is more important.
How does a business get someone to move from the virtual world to the real world, aka, their Law Office?
This part really couldn’t be simpler. In fact, it is so simple that once you read it you will feel silly for not thinking of it. Ready?
Be an expert.
A website is a way to show your expertise. If you are a great family lawyer but put generic content on your website, you sound generic. If you are a great criminal defense attorney, but give the same, bland information that is found on every other criminal defense website, namely, the stuff that the website developer paid someone in India to write just to fill in the blanks…forget it. Your expertise will not show.
In fact, just the opposite. People will think you have nothing to offer and the website, if it gets found at all, will do more harm than good. Think about it.
How many people trust Google with advertising? Why? Because they have shown themselves experts at getting to know their visitors. They track EVERYTHING. They are masters and on a subconscious level, we know it. So we trust their expertise in advertising.
Think of any website you visit often. Do you go there for bland, run of the mill information you could get anywhere or do you go there because the information is fresh, original, and informative?
Then why not build your Law Firm website the same way?
Are you afraid to give up trade secrets? Guess what? You can tell your readers all day long exactly how to win a case and they will still hire you. Very few if any will try to represent themselves. In fact, the best way to get new clients is to show them just how much you know. That builds their confidence in your abilities and they come to trust your opinion.
That is part of the answer to the second challenge. The other part is to ask them to visit or call or give you some basic information you can use to contact them. For instance, if you would like to learn more, complete the following form. We will get back with you shortly. Go on, complete the form. It will not bite. Promise.