Somewhere along the way, lawyers got it into their heads that they should refer to themselves with some iteration of their location, practice area(s) and attorney.

Yes, Chicago personal injury lawyer and Illinois bankruptcy attorney, I’m talking to you.

Why are you doing this?

Since you probably aren’t doing this offline, I’m guessing it has something to do with your understanding of search engines and the internet.

Maybe you’re trying to rank for these keywords in search engines?

Perhaps this explains why the titles of every page of your site repeat this pattern. However, you’re likely doing more harm than good. While you should create unique descriptive titles for each page of your site, stuffing repetitive, boilerplate keywords throughout your site makes you look spammy silly.

And what about you folks who are using this pattern in your twitter handles?

Again, I’m guessing many of you think were told that this will help you rank. And admittedly, sometimes it does.

However, I’m willing to bet that you can’t keep your doors open from the search traffic to your twitter profile from a single keyword. Plus, even if you get some traffic, you still have to motivate people to hire you. How many people do you know that would hire a lawyer merely from a generic nondescript Twitter profile? And how many of those people are actually likely to turn into profitable paying clients? One? Two?

Maybe you’re still unconvinced. You know you’ve been getting great “results” from buying keyword-rich domains, building anchor text links and leaving comment spam that all follow this pattern. And maybe you have.

Just don’t go crying and complaining when your sites and blogs begin losing huge amounts of traffic.

Let’s forget about search engines for a moment. Maybe you simply think that this is an effective way to concisely communicate what you do and where you do it.

Of course the problem is that everyone else is doing the same thing. That’s not really going to help you differentiate yourself from your competitors. I suggest that you’ll have much better luck with a haiku.

And what about the people who already know you. Have you thought how this might appear to your actual clients, colleagues, friends, family, etc. You know, the people who might actually refer new clients to you? Do you think that they will be more or less motivated to refer other people they know to your nondescript website? “You should talk to Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer, she’s the best.”

But don’t take my word for it. Go search on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for attorneys that are doing this. Check out how many authentic conversations they are having. See who is really following them. Look to see whether or not people are actually commenting, liking and sharing the “stuff” that these profiles are posting.

Think about your own online interactions. Do you usually follow nameless faceless social media profiles and pages? Aren’t you more likely to unfollow, ignore or even block them?

Isn’t any slight perceived value of describing yourself this way far-outweighed by the loss of authenticity and distinction?