Why should a law firm bother with search engine optimization? If you don’t, your law firm is in serious trouble. This from online and communications strategist Dave Taylor, addressing the question as to companies in general.

…[T]his question is a real core issue for any business in the 21st century. In a nutshell, more and more people are moving online to find just about every product and service imaginable. They do that primarily through search engines like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) and Microsoft Live (Nasdaq: MSFT).

What these three search engines have in common is that they analyze every page they find on the Web to automatically figure out both what the page is talking about and what some people call a ‘quality score’, a quantitative measure of whether the content is unique, where the inbound links are coming from (a link from the NY Times is far more valuable than a link from some spam site, for example), the ratio of content to advertising, and so on.

If you have a site online and you aren’t clear about how those sites work and what they’re looking for, you are doubtless finding that you can’t be found when people are searching for your own product or service. And if they can’t find you, they can’t hire you or buy your products.

Until now, law firms have looked at websites has a necessity, akin to a listing in Martindale-Hubbell. The focus was design and little attention was paid to making sure the website could be found when people were looking for a lawyer on the net. The result – law firm websites that couldn’t be found on the net anywhere near the first page or two of the search engine results pages, the only place net users look.

This is why firms are looking at other alternatives, one of which is blogs. More than one of LexBlog’s large law firm clients has turned to a practice area blog to make certain that the firm’s content and lawyers could be found by an exec, in-house counsel, or reporter doing an Internet search on the relevant topic.

Google antitrust law firm and you’ll find Sheppard Mullin’s Antitrust Law Blog in the number one position. Try telecom lawyer at Google. You’ll find Davis Wright Tremaine’s Telecom Law Blog in the number two position following the Wall Street Journal.

Small firms with one prominent practice area have turned to well designed blogs alone, without a website, to make sure they can be found.

Google Austin criminal defense lawyer. You’ll find Jamie Spencer who, without a website is number one at Google. When prospective clients find Jamie on the net, they are more impressed with Jamie’s informative criminal defense blog than a law firm web site going on ad finitum about how wonderful the lawyer is.

Google where your law firm is located and what you do. If you can’t be found, your law firm is in serious trouble.

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