Perhaps life has really been about search all along. We search for the right job, the right spouse, the right schools, the right restaurants, pretty much the right everything. So Google has either made searching easier, or harder, depending on how you look at it.
In today’s legal marketplace, as lawyers, we want to make sure that we can be found by those doing the searching. What complicates things for people like me in the “law marketing biz” is that the methods, tools, tricks and rules keep changing—those pesky algorithms—meaning that you need some sort of online PhD to keep your law firm clients on track, so they can be found by their prospective clients. So it made sense for me to address this fluid subject matter in my November/December 2018 ABA Law Practice Magazine column, In Search of…Lawyers and Clients (For 2019 and Beyond).
As is the case with most of my marketing columns, the topic finds me. Every day, I’m working and talking with different attorneys at different law firms in different parts of the country—and whatever topic comes up the most is often my next column. A few conversations on the most effective search mechanisms left my head spinning. I’m not going to lie about it either. I had no idea what newsjacking or hyperlocalization or geo-fencing was. I did not know all the nuances of what could and could not go into various forms of Facebook advertising. And focusing on things like “snippets” in Google definitely helped me steer some of my law firms in the right direction.
So I did what any smart person does by getting lessons from people that know much more than me. And now I know…and if you read the column, so do you. My key sources were Tim Stanley, the Justia CEO and original creator of Findlaw, and Laurence Banville, a partner at AG Conexus, a digital marketing strategies company in Philadelphia. I’ve known Tim for nearly 20 years. As I usually say to the many law firms I send to him and his partner-in-crime Stacy Stern, whatever they tell you—just do it. Don’t argue or say you heard differently from someone else. I know and trust Tim and the Justia team. Laurence works with many aggressive plaintiffs’ firms on equally aggressive online strategies—and I find myself taking notes while having one of our occasion “catch up” coffees. Like rapidly changing areas of the law, you need to stay up to date—because yesterday’s answers are probably wrong. Of course, this means there will be things you read in my column that are already slightly out of date—such is the world of print and hard copy—but certainly a good lesson on newer tactics and the directions that “search” might take you down the road. For many law firms, it is imperative that you are looking at your SEO and related search strategies often to make sure you are spending time and money on the right things and in the right places.
So our search for everything in life continues. Here is to hoping you can find what you are looking for. And that those looking for you—they can find you too.