When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), there is a lot of information out there, but not all of it is good. “Gurus” offer up advice on thousands of blogs, touting their follower counts and spelling out wildly varying plans to game the system. The fact is, good SEO is a process, and good local SEO is a process that involves constant work to maintain. It’s not something you can fast-track, but it is something you can plan for.
One of the best ways to make sure your SEO plan is helping your company is by knowing and steering clear of the major myths that small law firms keep falling for time and again. By avoiding these practices, you can take your time and effort and invest it in practices that will help you achieve the page ranking your company needs.
Myth #1: Posting on Google+ Will Help Rankings
While it might be a good idea to post from your blog to the network because social media engagement is desirable, posting to Google+ does not actually help individual site rankings, apart from the way the views it naturally picks up from clicks through will help. There are more efficient ways to gain those views, though, and Google+ is not a major force as a social networking site at the moment.
Myth #2: Quality Content Brings Its Own Visitors
This myth is often used to convince people with very little experience in SEO that their high quality content is good enough. The truth is, when it comes to visibility the content needs a push to take off. Quality content will gather its own momentum and spread farther than you expect it will, but you still need the right marketing practices to make sure your audience finds it and shares it.
Myth #3: Link Building is All That Matters
It’s true that at one time, links were the main method that sites used to gain Google rankings, but those days have long passed. The fact of the matter is that Google’s algorithm changes continuously to take advantage of new sources of data as the internet itself changes. From indexing social media posts on platforms like Facebook to using an advanced bot to rank the quality of the writing on a site, Google attempts to take the whole site into consideration when determining page rank, so good SEO strategists know to work on all of these aspects of a site’s visibility.
Myth #4: Service-Area Businesses Rank Higher in More Spots With a Larger Service Area
This is simply not true either. While a large service area can help you rank strongly in your local city, you need directed SEO efforts to make sure you rank in each additional city you cover. That means a larger service area might eventually pay off with much higher ranking, but only after you have done the work of optimizing your content for a variety of geolocations. There’s no magic fix.
Myth #5: Search Engine Optimization is Obsolete
This is another giant misconception. While it is true that there have been a variety of changes to search engine optimization practices over the years, SEO is very much alive and a vital part of your law firm’s long-term strategy. Without it, you might enjoy some exposure on individual social networks, but there will not be a strong central hub for your company’s online activity.
If you are working on getting your law firm locally ranked in your area, you need partners who can help you cut through the myths by providing you and your staff with up-to-date training and information about the most recent version of Google’s algorithm. That means hiring help, and it also means clicking away from the marketing “gurus.”