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The Benefits of Google+ Authorship and Attorney Profiles

In modern culture, online profiles – primarily Facebook – have become an extension of our identity. Similarly to the way people dress or the hobbies they enjoy, online profiles tell Internet users how we conduct ourselves and what we consider important.

Google+ and its authorship markup take that a step further by actually tying a face and identity to online content.

google+ author attorney law web marketingThe benefits of having an active Google+ profile and business page are piling up. Google+ does not have the sheer social prowess of Facebook, but its values mimic the professional networking of LinkedIn and quality white-hat SEO practices.

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, says, “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.

Since its inception, authorship markup has added a new layer to SEO and Social Media, tying the two closer together than ever before. Users can now connect a face to the content they’re viewing, both on the page and in search results. Real people can create content, showcase expertise and become authoritative figures surrounding specific topics. For example, if a personal injury lawyer frequently posts on topics such as distracted driving, drunk driving and reckless driving, he or she will develop authority on the topic of car accidents and potentially improve the chance of appearing higher in search results.

Many lawyers, however, neglect their Google+ profile. They may set up a profile and add a profile picture but never connect with anyone or add information or posts. If this profile is neglected, what does that say to Google and Internet users about the author?

 google plus social media attorney marketing 

It is similar to writing a book and not listing yourself as the author.

You have probably heard it before: your law firm needs to commit to fully utilizing Google+. It is truer now than it ever has been. If Google+ isn’t already a part of your online marketing initiative, it needs to be.

“Facebook is about building and sharing relationship information,” says Consultwebs’ Director of Search Marketing JR Oakes. “Google+ is about building influence relevant to interests.”

Also, note that your posts are more likely to appear in others’ search results when you are in their circles on Google+.

Posting Quality Content to Your Google+ Account

When posting content to your Google+ profile, you need to ensure that it is genuinely interesting. Share content from your law firm’s blog, trending news items, firm information, or even a YouTube video you found interesting.

Below is an example of news that we found interesting, and thought others would too.

Sharing other people’s quality content is a great incentive for them to share yours. After all, sharing other people’s content is one of the highest forms of online flattery. Choose content you find compelling and share it, both publicly and in Communities. Reciprocity will take you far when building online relationships.

You can make this content public, shared it with specific Circles, or share with Communities that discuss relevant topics.

Google+ Communities is another great way to find like-minded individuals who will likely read, share and engage with your content. For example, if you are sharing a blog that discusses the dangers of teen drivers, post to Communities where concerned parents would likely be, such as parent support groups or parenting advice Communities.

Expanding Your Google+ Network

Be aware that most people on Google+ are looking to utilize the platform for marketing initiatives. With this in mind, don’t expect your law firm to get inquiries through private messages. Google+ benefits come from creating a network around your authorship profile to further your authority on important subjects and potentially build new relationships within the legal and general business professions.

Start by adding people you know – business associates, past clients and peers. Connections from other states and professions can be useful and turn into equally beneficial relationships as long as they are legitimately interested in your content or business.

The idea is to connect with quality users and get your content and posts in front of other users, because each person is another chance to expand your network and earn +1s, shares and backlinks.

After all, quality content is the key to earning +1s, backlinks and, intrinsically, higher rankings.

Participate in Google+ Communities

Google+ social media attorney marketingIt is a given to look for Communities that are relevant to your law firm’s practice areas. Communities like “Lawyers on G+,” “Auto Accidents: Safety, Laws and More” and “Law Firm Marketing” are quite obvious choices. However, it is okay to think outside the box a little. Communities revolving around safety, public service initiatives – such as distracted driving and drunk driving awareness – and local geographic areas are also great places to share content.

Be judicious when sharing content. Don’t simply share every post with all Communities of which you are a member. People in a distracted driving awareness community will likely see a post regarding medical malpractice as spam. You may be ignored or even removed from the Community by the owner. Also, many Communities have different categories to choose from when posting, and sometimes those that are posted generically are considered spam.

The Golden Rule of Social Media

The most important thing to remember is to be organic. When sharing with Communities, posting and networking, the last thing you want to do is look like a robot. People want to connect with real people. If you are personal and share quality content – not just your blog, but news and other items which you genuinely find interesting – you’re going to see much more return from your Social Media efforts.

© 1999 – 2022 Consultwebs.com, Inc.National Law Review, Volume III, Number 256
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About this Author

Kenneth Harris, social media, communications, technology, marketing, law, HR
Social Media Editor

As a Social Media Editor for Consultwebs.com, Kenneth Harris works on clients’ social media profiles, performs maintenance and provides weekly updates. He also writes articles that detail various aspects that are relevant to particular client practice areas.

“Consultwebs is better than the rest because we approach law firm web marketing as a team, both within our individual departments and as a whole,” Kenneth says. “This is vital because each member of the CW Team adds something unique to what we do.  No puzzle would be complete without even the smallest piece.”

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