Make Search Engines Chase You

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Being a legal search marketing consultant, I always have my ear to the ground for new online legal marketing strategies, techniques, and methods for increasing my law firm clients’ online visibility.

As you probably know, there is a lot of noise out there. You don’t need to look further than your email’s spam filter to find an out-pouring of information on search engine marketing, search engine optimization, paid search, etc. Unfortunately, most of the “information” you will find is relatively worthless.

Matt Cutts of Google chimes in on web marketing

So, when I came across this quote from Matt Cutts’ buzz feed, I became compelled to share it:

“I’m on a panel called “SEO for Google Vs. Bing: How Different Are They?” Here’s my two-minute take. Search engines do have different ranking methodologies and philosophies, so of course there are differences between how Google ranks and Bing ranks. But most search engines are pursuing what they think users want. So if you’re trying to build a site that puts user experience first and foremost (and you succeed in creating a fantastic user experience), most of the time search engines are working toward returning sites like yours.

So my advice would be: rather than chasing search engines individually or (ugh) trying to make different pages/sites for different search engines, I’d work towards making a site so great that the search engines are working to try to make sure that they return your site. By chasing after a good user experience, you help ensure that you and the search engines are both working in the same direction. That’s much better than you chasing the search engines, which are in turn chasing what we think is best for users.”

In other words, put customers (not Google) first

As those of you who have experience with Mr. Cutts know, he is the head of Google’s web spam team, and from time to time, offers great information on having success with web marketing.

Although his quote is more philosophy than implementation, it holds valuable wisdom. While the secret sauce behind each search engine may vary, the ultimate goal is the same: provide better results for their users.

I have never been an advocate of “if you write it, they will come”. While writing great content is very important, there is a lot more to web marketing than that. The truth is, legal online marketing is competitive and requires a combination of technical knowledge, skill, and experience. However, it is important not to lose the forest for the trees.

Too many web marketing consultants are focused on chasing rankings, and have lost site of the ultimate goal: growing your professional reputation online. You shouldn’t sacrifice user experience for short term gains in visibility. In fact, by keeping user experience foremost in your mind, you will align your incentives with those of the search engines.

In the long run, building a comprehensive web presence based on your professional knowledge, expertise, and experience will always generate a greater return on investment than getting ranked number one for a couple keywords.

So, the next time you find yourself obsessing on being number one in Google, think about how to be number one to the prospective clients that find you online. Your visitors, as well as, search engines will reward you for it.

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