What do potential clients find when they look you up online? Your law firm’s website? Your business connections on LinkedIn? Your recent arrest on suspicion of murder in a town you have never visited?
When running a small law firm your name is your business. But in the world of online search, your name may not be working for you.
And let’s face it: People use search engines to check out more than just restaurants reviews. Potential employees, business partners and even casual acquaintances are often put to the Google test. Can your clients find the real you online?
What your clients see and what you want them to see becomes even more complicated if, like most people, you have multiple presences online:
- Professional website
- Personal blog
- Professional groups
The list could go on indefinitely. The way these split personalities relate and connect can determine the first impression you make on a client.
Tips to Improving Your Entry:
Go link yourself: Are your various accounts linked to each other? Don’t leave Google guessing who is who. These links in your profile will send strong signals about where the real you can be found.
Identifying the connection among these sites will also help you own the entire search results page. If you only have one website you might hold the top spot but an awkward, unrelated listing may be at No. 2.
Google and Bing may only list a few results from a single website for one keyword. By creating an expansive online presence across sites you increase the potential results search engines can draw from, and improve your chances of pushing irrelevant results off the page.
Be specifically vain: Your website should carry your name big and bold. Include your name in the meta information of all pages along with other specific, unique identifiers. The other information points – such as type of law practiced and your location – will help you stand out from similar potential search results.
When possible, use your name as your brand on other sites. While Twitter names like @GrilledCheeseGoat and @TerrierTower29 are cute and clever they won’t help anyone find you online. Example: I can be found @M_Trevor
Channel traffic: You may not want potential clients, colleagues and friends/family all going to the same place. Set priorities based on how you communicate online.
For example, LinkedIn may be the best place to post your legal industry thoughts. On Twitter, send potential clients to a specific landing page on your professional websites.
Similarly, when linking your sites you may not want to connect to your Facebook account or legal forum, but you may want to provide an easy way for people to find you elsewhere.