Google Basics

Lawyer Web Marketing On Caffeine Newsletter Series  

Lawyer Web Marketing On Caffeine

By: Rod Foster

President of RF Marketing Group

In This Issue: Google Basics: How Google looks at and ranks your web pages.

If you are serious about web marketing, then you want good organic (not paid) search engine results from Google. Pay-per-click advertising is a good way to start, but it is not a great long term solution. With pay-per-click you can’t grow your law firm unless you pay larger and larger sums of money every month for the service. That is just not a solution for the typical law firm trying to compete on the internet.

So how does Google determine who they are going to put at the top of their search results pages (SERPS).

In this issue I am going to briefly describe “Google Basics” so that you will have a good idea how to structure your website to perform well. I will cover many more Google tips in much greater detail in future newsletters. But we have to start with an overview. You must understand how Google views your website and why some websites are ranked higher than others.

Authority and Relevance: Google is the number one search engine in the world because they consistently deliver good search results compared to other search engines. There are some good competitors out there that might threaten Google’s position in the future, but for now, Google is the king.

Google tries to match the visitor’s keywords to the best possible web pages. They have a secret algorithm that ranks web pages based on their relevance and authority.

OK, I don’t want to bore you, so I will keep this really brief and simple:

Relevance: basically means that a web page has the matching keyword phrase (or a related phrase) to what the visitor typed into Google. If you have the matching keywords, your site is relevant, if you do not have the matching keywords, then your site is not relevant.

Authority: basically means that Google wants to know how many other websites link to your website with that keyword or phrase. They also evaluate the authority or quality of the other websites that link to you to determine your website’s authority. If the links to your website are from high ranking sites, then your site will likely have good authority for that keyword. If the sites that link to you do not have a good reputation, then your site will likewise suffer. If you are new to search engine optimization, then that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Stay tuned I will explain this in much more detail in more articles to come.

It is important to note that Google indexes individual web pages for relevance and authority not entire websites. Google wants to bring the visitor to the exact page in your site that best matches the keywords searched for.

How do your get your site to have Relevance and Authority?

Relevance is all about content. The more unique content that your website has that matches the keywords that you desire to perform well in, the better chance you have of succeeding. I cannot emphasize this point enough. I have read that some website optimizers are suggesting that content is no longer as valuable as it once was. They argue that inbound links have replaced content. That is simply wrong. Inbound links are important. But content is what Google is looking for. Give it to them. Try to have 100 pages or more of good practice area specific content on your website.

Authority is all about getting links from other websites. Basically Google is very democratic about this. They weigh what other web pages say about your page more than what you say (in your meta-tags) about your website. It is like a voting system. The more votes (inbound links from other websites) that you get for a certain keyword, the better your webpage will do for that keyword. Not all votes are the same. If your site gets votes from low authority sites (low traffic sites that don’t get many “votes” or links themselves), then you will not do as well as if you get links from high ranking sites.

So when you plan your internet strategy, plan to write content, and plan to get inbound links from other websites to give your site both the relevance, and authority that it needs to perform well in Google results.

If you want to grow your law firm business from the internet, you must connect with potential clients. For that you need favorable Google organic search engine results. I have seen law firms go from 2 or 3 web clients per month to receiving 20 to 30 web clients per month by making their site more relevant and creating better authority. They did this by an intense dedication to adding content pages to the site, and adding good quality inbound links to the site.

Understand how Google looks at and ranks web pages. Then bring your website in line with these rules. Not only will you get better results from Google, but you will also likely get better results from all of the major search engines.

Finding the Time: I hear many lawyers say, " I just don't have have the time to write articles or find good linking partners". Then hire someone who can do it for you and do it correctly. The pay-off can be huge. As always, if there is a service that we can provide for you don’t hesitate to call. But even if you don't use our service, find a someone that you can trust and hire them. Get your site in line with Google's rules and reap the rewards.

Have a successful marketing day!

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