The Impact of Google Place Search Update on Your Law Firm Internet Marketing
Have you recently noticed that your search engine positions in Google have significantly changed? This is most likely to Google's recent Place Search update. For some law firms, the update may provide you top positions for search phrases that you previously weren't even first page. On the other hand, you may have also lost visibility for local search phrases for which you were previously number one.
In October, Google began rolling out one its most significant updates in a long time. The Google Place Search update has already had a huge impact on search engine positions for local search phrases. For local law firms, this changes has serious implications for your web marketing strategies.
Prior to this change, law firm search engine optimization techniques were divided into 3 major categories, paid search, organic search, and local search. While paid search still remains its own beast, since the place search update, organic and local search engine optimization are a lot less separated. In fact, in many situations, local searches produce hybridized listings containing both organic and place search results.
The most immediate impact will be on results for localized searches. For example, in the past, search phrases that included geographic intent signals may have triggered the local business 7-pack with map to appear. Since the change, the map results have been relocated to the right side of the results page, and the local listings have been merged with the organic listings. This means that for local intent searches, the results require a combination of traditional SEO authority and trust, as well as, local authority and trust which, in part, includes local citations.
If you're looking to take advantage of this change for your firm, my suggestion is that you take a balanced approach to your law firm web strategy. In other words, you need to include traditional link building campaigns and local citation building.
Identifying the most relevant sources for citations is the first step. Just like targeting link sources, identifying citation sources should include a consideration of your industry, location, and quality of the citation source.
Make sure that your citations include consistent references to your law firm's name, mailing address, and phone number. Inconsistencies in this information across citation sources can have a negative impact on your visibility for local search phrases.
Gyi Tsakalakis is a law firm web strategist at AttorneySync.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.