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Lawyer blog must be local – study indicates

The Search Engine Journal reports what most lawyers would expect – people looking to buy something are searching by their local area. The findings of a new survey of more than 5,000 online buyers conducted by The Kelsey Group and BizRate.com reveal that local commercial searches-those seeking merchants near my home or work”-represent 25.1% of all searches being performed by online buyers, more than double the amount previously estimated by analysts. In addition over one third of all search activity is being conducted to make a purchase.

Read on to see the information gathered and why it is critical lawyers take this into account when publishing blogs for marketing purposes.

“We had calculated the number of local commercial searches at about 10% of all searches being conducted,” said Greg Sterling, director of The Kelsey Group’s Digital Directories: Interactive Local Media Continuous Advisory Service. This survey data suggests the number could be more than twice that figure.”

Chuck Davis, President and CEO of BizRate.com said, “Consumers are increasingly using search for shopping related queries. In fact, over a third (36%) of all search activity is now shopping-based, defined as using search functionality to look for a merchant, research a purchase or make an online purchase. We expect to see shopping searches continue to increase.”

Some of the survey results were proof the Internet is blowing away other forms of marketing:

Sixty-four percent of respondents said that search engines were the main way they find things on the Internet.

Commercial search results were rated as good or excellent by 80% of respondents.

Forty-four percent of survey respondents are performing more local commercial searches than one year ago.

What does this mean for a lawyer looking to market?

First, it is obvious you need to be on the Internet, second, you should question why you would be spending much money on non-Internet marketing and third, you just have to make sure you are spending your Internet marketing time and money effectively.

To be effective you need to take into account people doing a search for a lawyer are including the name of their city or region in their search. When doing your blog that means get the name of your city, metro or however you think folks in your area would name the area where you get clients placed in the keywords in two places. First is the title tags and second is in the text body. That’s what the search engines like Google are looking for. Also keep in mind the search engines are only looking at the first so many characters in the title tag so get your locale’s name early in the title of your blog post.

Most blogging software will generate the title to your post automatically and place the title in between the title tags that are hidden in the html source code for the individual archived page. Included in the title are generally the title of the blog and the title of the post. So you want to get the name of your locale in the title of your blog and, when possible, in many of your posts.

One way to blog locally is to blog local news and legal matters related to your practice area as a lawyer. That way you can blog, for example, Milwaukee Journal reports law suit in sexual harassment. The city of Milwaukee will get picked up in the title tags. Assuming you then naturally use the name Milwaukee again in the blog text you will have a critical keyword in the text.

Lawyers are paid to be creative as part of their job. Use a little creativity with your blog titles and blog text and you should be able to perform well when it comes to folks looking for a local lawyer in the search engines.

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