Florida attorney, Rick Georges blogs that he’s always unimpressed with pitches from companies promising to increase his visibility on Google.

I have never attempted to increase my visibility online; but, have opted to continue providing content which I think is pertinent and valuable (a matter of opinion), and to do it often. After 20 years of web writing, and 11 years of blogging, I think the secret is providing quality content on a frequent and consistent basis over time.

As a result, searches relating to legal technology routinely bring up posts from “Futurelawyer,” Rick’s blog.

Perhaps there’s the occasion to pay for SEO help. Maybe you’re not willing to share of yourself like Rick. But knowing as well as Rick the power of giving of yourself, I, too, am a believer that you “don’t pay money to someone who claims to increase your visibility.”

Beyond proper indexing of content on Google, sound technology and offering value to readers, there’s little I have done to optimize my blog for Google. Yet, like Rick, my blog ranks at the top of Google for searches for items I have blogged about.

Rick suggests sharing your blog posts on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.

I’m with him. I share my posts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Sure, there’s likely some direct influence on Google search. Rick believes especially in the case of Google+.

The indirect impact may be greater though. That being building your name, influence and readers. So long as you are sharing other’s content (blog posts, news stories), you and your blog posts will be received.

But bottom line, I agree with Rick.  “Do good work, do it often, and do it everywhere you can. No big secret.”

  • I sort-of agree.

    I believe there is value in optimizing basic web pages for SEO where a firm describes its services and differentiates itself from competitors. But twisting a blog post up like a pretzel to include key words and phrases just to attract Google’s spiders is insane because, more often than not, it makes the post all but unreadabl

    Don”t let the SEO tail wag the law marketing dog.

    • I think that’s right, James, don’t be driven by search performance in all you do. Trying to load a post with keywords and links in an attempt to rank may work an embarrassment too. People can see through it.

  • Conrad Saam

    Hmmmm…… methinks the data doesn’t support thy conclusion.

    Search Results Page for your query shows no sign of Rick: http://mockingbird.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Tail-and-Dog.png

    • Items he writes on re legal technology I am sure are showing up. I am sure if you search on the word blog, I’ll not show up.
      As I mentioned to Gyi Tsakalakis, when I pen posts relating to SEO I think of both you — not in a bad way. I have referred lawyers and law firms to each of you when they were searching for credible SEO folks.
      The point Rick was making and I am making is that paying for SEO is not necessary in many, and probably most cases. In other cases it can be very worthwhile.
      Those lawyers who choose to give of themselves by sharing insight and commentary on niche areas by publishing online do very very well on Google. Lawyers who network through blogging and other social media by sharing other’s work do even better than blogging alone.
      That’s it. ;)

      • Conrad Saam

        I have no reason to believe anything he does is showing up. The specific example he cites – he claims shows up in the “top 25” (which will generate zero traffic) doesn’t actually show up. AND, if it did (for him) its easily explainable through personalized results. Let’s see the traffic for these terms from GA and I’ll be impressed.

        If your point is that “paying for SEO isn’t necessary in many and probably most cases” and the data you are using to validate that point is inaccurate, then perhaps, your point is as well.

        • I have not felt the need to check his site, Conrad.

          My point remains valid. I am not saying your services are not worthwhile. I am saying that those lawyers who give of themselves by publishing on a niche (blogging) are not going to need to pay for SEO to get seen on Google.

          • Conrad Saam

            But you are saying he doesn’t need to pay for SEO to get seen on the Google, and yet the example you are both using to show he is being seen on the Goolge is 100% inaccurate. And you know this, but are sticking to your guns.

            And I did check his site – it’s a technical disaster – an SEO technical makeover would do him the world of good – in terms of actual traffic and therefore business. Instead of these false positive vanity searches his phone would actually ring with prospective clients. This is a guy who is pouring content into a borked site and he thinks he’s winning. Like filling the tank of a car with no wheels.

            The legal marketing industry has a well earned and well deserved reputation for chicanery and deliberately ripping off lawyers. Posts like this make that worse not better.

          • What’s the example that I am sticking with? Searches relating to subjects on legal technology?

            Relax on Rick needing to get business, as if every lawyer’s presence on the Internet is focused on getting as much traffic as possible. I don’t know about Rick, but there is a world of lawyers who get their work by word of mouth and relationships, with the Internet just enhancing and accelerating this.

            Rick is a lawyer and a person you know nothing about but choose to belittle out of what feels like defensiveness. I also don’t need you telling me I am giving legal marketing a bad eye with my posts.

          • Conrad Saam

            Your entire post is the example. Erroneous conclusion from what you know to be inaccurate data. Aren’t you mildly curious why a lawyer thinks he is winning when you know the example he is pointing to is inaccurate? Doesn’t your post further mislead him that he’s winning when you know he isn’t? And why are you so dismissive of reviewing the data? Aren’t you the least bit curious about the actual results instead of repeating your “Internet accelerates word-of-mouth” talking point?

            Here’s a Google indexed page of a parrot dancing on a tennis ball on Rick’s blog: http://futurelawyer.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8345170df69e201b8d1fe27ac970c-popup

            Perhaps you can explain how this helps him accelerate and enhance work driven by word of mouth business, because I can certainly explain how this (and the 3,700 other pages like it on his site) hurts his SEO performance.

          • What’s winning, Conrad? Maybe having a good law practice, making a good living, having a beautiful wife whose company you enjoy, enjoying life (travel, fine dining, good drink) and writing on what you want, including parrots on “Parrot Sunday,” a regular column I enjoy, is winning.
            Not everyone looks at blogging as being measured by traffic. The lawyer bloggers who inspired me to blog did not blog much about the law. They certainly did not measure winning as SEO success as you do. They blogged because they enjoyed it and the relationships they built as a result. Believe it or not, they got business as a result.
            I don’t begrudge the work you do. As I said before, I have referred law firms to you. Rick’s a good guy. He’s expressed his opinion that lawyers do not need to pay to perform on Google, an opinion I agree with. If he’s not winning by your definition, so be it.

          • Conrad Saam

            We must have different markets – I work with lawyers seeking more business. The reason we look at traffic is because for each 100 sessions, on average that generates 3-4 new contacts. And those contacts generate business.

          • Oh please, Conrad. You are walking through the world with blinders on and showing your naivety.
            Good lawyers generate work by using the Internet do so without looking at web traffic as you do. Many (probably most) do not extra pay for SEO. The lawyers that are building a name and relationships need not worry about Google and SEO year after year – though they’ll rank anyway. A name is something you keep for life.
            It’s not an either/or world. Since the mid 70’s lawyers could advertise on television, radio, billboards and run yellow page ads. They did so year after year to keep business coming in. Success or winning as you call it was measured by traffic and phone calls. I did all of it but billboards during my 17 years of practice.
            Other lawyers chose not to advertise. Some of them were the best lawyers in the state and had all the business they wanted. My mentor, a Milwaukee plaintiff’s trial lawyer, was such a lawyer. He got his work via his name and relationships. He was a lawyer’s lawyer.
            Though I advertised, I did get my best work by reputation and relationships.
            When the Internet hit what I liked about as a lawyer was that lawyers could get work by virtue of reputation and relationships. I did and it was long before Google and SEO. I did it by sharing information and answering people’s questions. Giving of myself, the thing Rick talked about, really worked for me on the net.
            If lawyers do not have time to build a name or relationships through the Internet, that’s fine. If they don’t have time to give of themselves on the net, that’s fine. They may be great lawyers and do fine work for people.
            Some of these lawyers will focus on web traffic and SEO. Some will hire you. That’s all okay.
            But don’t suggest all lawyers seeking business through the Internet must be looking at only traffic and SEO. That’s like saying all lawyers who wanted more business needed to advertise.

          • Conrad Saam

            “your walking through the world with blinders on,” said the man who said SEO traffic doesn’t drive business.

          • Not sure where you got that one.

          • Matt

            What I’ve seen in the real world is that lawyers and law firms can maximize their success online by combining what Kevin preaches – authentic participation in a specific legal niche – with what Conrad is talking about – ensuring a technically sound, well optimized website built on data-driven marketing strategies.

            In fact, we recently acquired a client who had blogged with LexBlog since 2006. The quality and authority of the content on that site was amazing, and the lawyer was absolutely getting new cases from it, including from search!

            We were able to take that foundation of authoritative, authentic content built up over years of publishing and add in the data-driven marketing and SEO focus in which we specialize.

            The result was a substantial increase in both conversion rate and in overall search traffic to the site.

            I really don’t think these two ideas need to be mutually exclusive or in opposition of one another. In fact, there is enormous opportunity for the lawyer who chooses to invest in each simultaneously.

          • Thanks for the comment, Matt. Agree across the board. I don’t think SEO and building a name/authority are exclusive at all. The only point I was making (and that I think Rick Georges was making) is that blogging relevant info/insight in a caring can result in good search rankings. Can more be done with SEO? Sure. That’s why I’ve referred folks to Conrad and Gyi — now I need to remember you as well.
            Merry Christmas.

          • Matt

            Absolutely. Merry Christmas to you as well!

  • It’s reputation & relationships + the internet.

  • Alex Uria

    Great post, Blogging is an essential tool for lawyers, I don’t think that means that you can completely ignore Google and SEO but rather think of Blogging and content as a big and important part of your marketing and also for getting new clients.