Luckily, there are a number of strategies to ensure your website ends up on the first page of Google results instead of on the 42nd moon of Jupiter. These strategies are known as search engine optimization (SEO) and include a number of tools and tactics, from a user-friendly website design to a robust presence on social media to cleverly crafted copy.
-- Mike Duncan, CEO & Creative Director, Sage Island
Even a terrific website won't grow your law firm if people can't find it in a Google search. As an internet user yourself, you probably have a pretty good understanding of how important it is to show up on the first page of Google results ... especially when people are searching for your services in your market. Not so much for those who are hoping to find an attorney three states away from you, right?
Mike Duncan summarized it like this:
The Internet, like the universe, is constantly expanding. According to a recent study, we collectively send 500 million tweets, upload 4 million hours of video to YouTube, like 5.75 billion things on Facebook, and perform 6 billion Google searches every day. Which means the Internet shares another quality with the universe – if you’re not careful, your content will disappear into a black hole, never to be seen again.
Despite what you may have heard (or read on the interwebs!), SEO is not simple, it's not dead, and it's never a once-and-done proposition. Oh, and there are still gray-hat and even black-hat tactics that some unscrupulous (or inexperienced) SEO providers employ that can backfire. Usually, these tactics will work for a short period of time, often rocketing a website to Google's page one before getting blacklisted and banned to search engine oblivion.
One of the reasons Integrity Marketing is so successful getting our clients ranked well is that we take an holistic approach to your digital marketing. In other words, while we definitely implement best practices on your website, we also take into account how your email marketing will impact your SEO (yes, your email marketing affects your SEO!), how social media drives search engine results, and especially how users interact with your website once they get there. When it comes to search engine rank, Google's constant goal is to deliver the most relevant results; the results most likely to meet the needs of their users (aka, people conducting the Google search).
That concept bears repeating:
Google's constant goal is to deliver the most relevant results; the results most likely to meet the needs of their users (aka, people conducting the Google search).
They don't care if you're a great attorney, have tons of credentials, or have spent a lot of money on your digital marketing. They care about the user. And that's why they still dominate online search.
You may not know it, but your IMS account manager is, for the most part, a silent super hero. We don't send you an alert every time we make an adjustment to boost or maintain your position on the search engine results page. We just do it, and trust that you realize your website didn't land on page one because someone sprinkled magic pixie dust over it. It's your account manager, rolling up his or her sleeves, staring down the data, and making the ongoing adjustments that keeps you in front of prospective clients.
Here are just a few of the things our SEO experts do for you, behind-the-scenes, to get (and keep) your website on Google's page one.
- Submit and check your website’s sitemap. The Internet is a vast system of information and data. While search engines crawl through it fairly regularly, there’s a chance they may overlook some important part of your website, or that they’ve fallen behind schedule and haven't indexed your latest blog post. By submitting sitemaps manually, we control what web crawlers see and how often they look.
- Adjust the crawl rate of search engine bots for your website. Sometimes you don’t want the search engine bots crawling your site frequently, as their presence can occasionally slow down your site or server. We can implement a crawl delay value, which forces the crawler to wait a specific amount of time between visits. This can help keep your site running smoothly and loading quickly, which improves the user experience ... which improves your SEO.
- Analyze keyword searches and click-through rates that led users to your website. How are people finding your website? What words are they searching? How long do they stay on your website and what other links do they click on? We use all of this data to gain incredible insight that guides how we tweak website design, create new content, focus blog posts, or craft a video marketing strategy. Knowing what users want makes it much easier to give them what they want.
Your account manager uses some of the most sophisticated web analytics tools available to get your SEO results. Beyond Google's webmaster tools, IMS employs several third-party services to help aggregate, analyze and enhance your critical data. We also find that E2 CRM tracking gives us granular data about how users interact with your website, email marketing, and blog content that is helping us super charge optimization efforts for those clients using it.
Finally, you can be your own best ally in search engine optimization. How? Attend our upcoming Legal Marketing Boot Camp and work with us to craft better strategy, design and critical sales processes that can boost your conversions by more than 70 percent. The Boot Camp runs from June 8 to 10th at the IMS headquarters in Kansas City. There are still a few seats available, but registration is limited.