Monthly Archives: August 2010

Tags on Google Places for Law Firms – What Are You Waiting For?

Law Firm Internet Marketing SEO Local MapsThe minute that the tags came out for the Local Business Listings on Google Places, we called all of our clients to tell them why they should sign up immediately for tags. As soon as our clients gave us the go ahead, we added the tags which allows our clients to sponsor their Google maps listing.

For $25 a month, Google will place a nice yellow marker tag next to your listing. As soon as we began signing our clients up for the tags we saw there rankings jump up within 24 hours. The tags even show up on Google Maps and mobile phones! As mobile phone marketing becomes more and more important – tags are one of the most important factors in “mobile phone” SEO.

One of the keys to ranking high on Google is thinking about what Google wants your business to do – what would Google do? By creating the tags in the first place Google wanted all of the owners of the local business listings to sign up. After all – the company wants to make a profit.

So we do what Google wants – especially when it is free. And we do it before everyone else catches on. Our clients with the tags were the first attorneys in town to sign up for this service. And by the time the other attorneys in town figure it out, our clients will be leading the way on the next new trick Google wants us to use.

Watch this video produced by Google – it explains it all.

What are Tags on Google Places for Local Business Listings

When advertising your law firm on Google, the local business listings called “Google Places” are the single best value for your advertising dollar – because it is free! Your ideal clients are already searching Google looking for an attorney to handle their specific legal problem.

By creating a free business listing with Google Places for your law firm, you can help your ideal clients find your law firm more easily. By simply adding a tag to your Google Places listing you can highlight particular info that you want your ideal customers to see (okay, that part will cost you a simply monthly flat fee of $25 a month – but we call that “nearly free”).

What can be highlighted? Your law firm can design the tag to highlight any of the following:

  1. Highlight a coupon for new customers (although coupons don’t really work for attorneys and law firm but you can customize the coupon to provide a “free legal guide” on the particular service that you want to highlight or the law firm’s monthly newsletter. Anything that you can give away for free that provides your potential clients with helpful information).
  2. Highlight a video about the services that you provide;
  3. A link to your website (for many of our clients we started with that link because when the client clicks on the link it takes them directly to the attorneys main website).
  4. Highlight “posts” on your Place Page from your business (posts are the status updates that can link to any page deep within your website);
  5. Highlight photos of your business.

At Internet LAVA we are in the process of testing each of the different options to see which are more beneficial for our clients. As we gather more information, we are beginning to adjust the tags to provide our clients with the biggest benefit to make sure their local business listing on Google maps really stands out from the competition. Watch Google’s video on the specific tag types.

We have noticed that small changes can make a huge difference in the number of calls our clients receive from their ideal clients. And since are clients are the only law firms right now benefiting from the tags – our clients are enjoying every minute of it. Many of the attorneys have called us to ask – “Are you kidding? Why are we the only ones doing it? Thanks for telling us about this – we love it!”

Do Tags Affect Search Results Rankings?

Although Google claims that the “tags do not affect search result rankings” we know that they affect something because we have seen our clients rankings jump up several spots within 24 hours of adding the tags. Perhaps, the numbers of hits to the local business listings control a part of the search rankings determination and by adding the tags you are affecting that part of the equation. Or maybe the keywords that you can add to the tag somehow affect the search ranking equation. We don’t know why it works – but we know through “reverse engineering” that it works.

Watch a Google’s video to learn more about Tags.

Although You CAN Cancel Anytime – You Should NEVER Cancel

In order to sign up and add your law firm’s tag it takes less than 5 minutes. You will need a valid credit card. Go to your law firm’s Google Places Dashboard and click on the “Create Tag” link to get started. But once you sign up – don’t let anything happen to that credit card. The fine print of the contract says that Google can delete your entire business listing if you let the payment lapse. So once you sign up, you need to pay that $25 as long as it is still an option.

While Other Attorneys Pay Per Click – Our Clients are Tagged

Take a look at all of the attorneys that are paying thousands of dollars a month in pay per click. Yet, no one has told them about how they can pay $25 a month to have a tag next to their local business listings. Which is the better value?

Well, you can pay thousands of dollars a month for pay per click and be in the sponsored listings section. Of course, most of your ideal clients are going to be drawn to the 7 business with the nice map next to it. And of those 7 businesses, most of your ideal clients are going to be drawn to that one business with the nice yellow tag next to it that says – “Visit Our Website.” And the tag only costs $25 per month.

Read more about the mistakes made by attorneys using pay per click advertising and the benefits of more targeted niche advertising.

Google Places – What Else Am I Missing?

When we begin representing a new client one of the first things we do is revamp their local business listing. We are amazed at how many attorneys do not take advantage of the free resources available to them. What do attorneys miss when they do the local business listing themselves?

  1. Adding the tag (as discussed above);
  2. Adding “a post to your place page” which acts much like a Facebook status update and it allows you to link to an interior page on your website;
  3. Adding one standard category, and 4 other categories customized to the attorneys practice (instead of just using 5 standard categories);
  4. Taking advantage of the service areas and location settings to show your client’s which jurisdictions you practice in;
  5. Adding at least 5 photographs which are properly tagged (in other words you can name each photograph and it doesn’t hurt to use the same key words in those tags that you used when creating your custom categories); and
  6. Adding at least 2 videos which are properly optimized using the keywords that should match your custom categories).

Although we provide a lot of free information here about how to optimize your Google Business Listing, we also keep the best and newest tips for our clients. If your law firm is paying per click and not taking advantage of EVERY other advertising option Google has available, then your internet marketing provider just does not have your best interest in mind.

Internet LAVA – Stay Way Ahead of the Curve

At Internet LAVA we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve. By taking advantage of every new option available for internet marketing, we help our clients rank at the top. We welcome your calls for a free consultation.

During the free consultation, we will take you on a free tour of what your ideal clients find when they begin their search for an attorney on-line. We will also show you how your current marketing budget could be redirected to provide you with a much better and immediate return on investment.

Topics: Mobile Phones SEO for Law Firms, Google Places Tags for Attorneys, SEO for Local Business Listings, Pay Per Clicks