For law firms seeking to improve their online advertising efforts, whether through search engine optimization or Pay Per Click, it is important to know the various ad placements and listings in Google. Here we break-down three primary components of Google search that can help firms realize improved local search traffic.
Google Places Optimization
Google Places results have become very prominent as well as popular. In addition to offer users a nice map for browsing, what's also unique about these listings is the page itself. A Place page is a entirely separate entity from the website. And the Place page is main contributor to better listings in the local Google Places results.
Optimizing a Google Place page for improved rankings takes a unique approach. Similar to how a website is ranked in the organic or natural results, website popularity has a major influence as to how well a Place page ranks. There are a few techniques that can enhance a Place page, and thus, increase its popularity.
- Reviews: Strong, quality feedback correlates to enhanced credibility, even to search engines. More and better reviews on your Place page can result in more trust and better rankings.
- N.A.P.: It's almost as easy as taking a nap. This is simply, and accurately, including your firm's Name, Address and Phone Number on the Place page. It is a must.
- Honesty: In the description area of you Place page, never mislead (or keyword stuff.) Be honest and truthful with your audience, and provide good detail on what your firm is about.
Express Pay Per Clicking
Bidding on practice area keywords for better search exposure is no secret to attorneys. However, only few firms are utilizing the power behind Google AdWords Express.
Google AdWords Express ads feature a blue pin in the search results map (instead of the more common red pin.) Additionally, these unique PPC ads are tied to Google Places pages, displaying an address as well as a link to the Place page.
This relatively new advancement to Google AdWords advertising offers an easy way to stand out in the local search results. For law firms, taking advantage of Google AdWords Express could mean the difference between getting a strong case.
The process to create a Google AdWords Express Ad is super easy. The entire set-up is all from the edit mode of your Place page. For simple tutorial and to learn more about Google AdWords Express, visit http://www.google.com/support/places/bin/answer.py?answer=1040967
Google Enhanced Listings
Although these listings look similar to Google Places results, the search results shown above are simply organic, or natural, placement that have been enhanced. These local results are called "Enhanced Google Listings," and they offer more information in the ad compared to traditional organic placements. Improving your results in enhanced listings entirely based on search engine optimization efforts.
- Meta Title: Tailor a concise meta title that best represents your firm and your core practice areas. Google displays 72 characters of a title in the search results, so a good title is right in that range.
- Meta Description: Similar to a meta title, the description is also an essential aspect to see better organic SEO results. In addition to providing a brief summary of your firm, a respectable balance of keyword inclusion can also promote your rankings.
- Building Back Links: Link building is one of the most influential factors to increase natural search engine rankings. From the perspective of Google, more back links directing to a site means trust and popularity. Solid link building can be done through diligent content marketing, link sharing/trading, social mediums, blogging, and other methods that capture online awareness.
Attaining better search visibility from local, in-market search engine users can be achieved. Out-ranking your competitors may take persistence, but in time, it can be achieved with the right approach and the right combination of local organic SEO, Pay Per Click, and Google Places optimization.