Thursday, December 4, 2008

PR in the Age of Search Engine Optimization

Consider this: Up to 80 percent of Web traffic now begins in a search engine. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important practice that businesses are now embracing as they seek to stay competitive in a world linked 24/7 to the Web.

Between December 2005 and April 2006, online searches jumped 25 percent from 5.1 billion to 6.4 billion per month. Annualized, that shift is a 95 percent increase.

Potential clients are now buying services, not waiting to be sold. Through comprehensive identification of keyword search phrases and other research, SEO provides companies with a powerful way to influence the decisions and perceptions of consumers interested in their

The business reality of the Web’s impact is changing the way law firms need to conduct effective public relations efforts. Here are five ways to get top-dollar results from your firm’s PR efforts in the age of optimization.

  • Smart optimization helps you speak directly to your audiences.
    Today smart optimization enables you to bypass mainstream media gatekeepers and go directly to your audience via optimized press releases, white papers, blogs, and Web landing pages found directly through Google, Yahoo! and other search engines.

  • Speak in your audience's language, not yours.
    Audiences don't need to learn about your Firm's practice areas, they want information helpful to them. Replace your legalese-heavy 'Our practice areas' with "Ten important things to know about real estate law".

  • Its not just who you know but who knows you.
    A key factor in favorable search engine rankings is the number of inbound links from other Web sites and the quality of those links. Some of the most sought-after links are those from .gov and .edu domains. Search engines know these are credible institutions so having them link to you increases your search engine power. How do you do this? Online article distribution- (see our Social Media for Attorneys page for details) press release optimization, and by registration of your Web site with relevant, high-quality online directories.

  • Be professional, everywhere.
    Keep your firm messaging consistent. Periodically, do Google searches of not only your Firm name, but the partner's names and key words that identify your practice. Make sure there aren't any unprofessional or contradictory messages out there on the World Wide Web.

  • Move beyond mainstream media.
    With more and more media layoffs the opportunity is better than ever to get your message out there so get to work!

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