the seo experiment: day 0

recently i Googled myself and looked for my firm in the results. and looked. and looked. finally it occured to me that we were buried so deep that we wouldn’t be found. and when was the last time you looked for something on a search engine and clicked through past the first page to find it?

well you don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows, and it seems for a couple of reasons there has been a change in the way people look for and find things on the Internet:

1) there are more people online, doing more things. good news if people can find us online. can they? are we sure? how do we know?

2) as the cost of finding a lawyer drops, people will approach the market more often until there are nearly as many needs as there are lawyers to fill them.  will clients find us when they come looking?

3) the average web surfer can now find our firm and our competitors instantly. what have we done for them lately?

so the equation is simple: search engine rank = online success. if we can’t be found on search engines or rank at the bottom of results then we can forget about being found at all. so why did we invest in that website in the first place? and we’re paying how much to not be found?

enter the idea of search engine optimization or ‘seo’

more in my next post …

2 responses to “the seo experiment: day 0

  1. Pingback: the seo project: day 0 (the other perspective) « practice management blog

  2. john feeney of cdmedia-dvd (my ’seo guy’) had this to say in response to my post entitled the seo project: day0:

    mazy,

    the site maintained by m. hedayat + associates is hosted by justia to which you pay a high monthly fee [although not nearly as high as the ones charged by Findlaw or Lawyers.com]. you know how i feel about sites like these — referred to generally as portals — their interest is to draw traffic to themselves, not to you. for instance, has your site been submitted to search engines and ranked on its own? i doubt it. sites like these could not care less whether you get traffic as long as everyone is looking them up. if you are lucky (or pay enough) your website will be found somewhere on the designated landing page for that portal: to have them submit your site to search engines directly will require a costly ‘upgrade.’ gotcha!

    do not misunderstand: a portal solution may be just what you need. they will do the work as long as you pay. of course they are often slow to react, almost always have too many accounts to service (classic over-booking like the airlines), and have zero motivation to maximize the effectiveness of your site. but then a worry-free envirnoment doesn’t just happen. it comes at a cost. and that’s the cost. right?

    in short, if you want to see your firm in the search engine results you have to submit it directly. you also have to be able to change the codes behind pages (meta tags) and be able to track the resulting activity (or lack thereof). presently this is not possible. how in the world do you know if what you’re doing is effective?

    DISCLAIMER: not everyone can (or should) optimize their website this way. but be aware that the success of your site is based entirely on placement within search engine rankings. if your site is in thrall to a portal such as Justia, Findlaw, or Lawyers.com, then at least make sure that the portal’s landing page is strong in the rankings.

    to put it bluntly, you could very well be wasting your money and never know it.

    next time i would like to look more closely into the Grail of online seo — Google rankings. yours. mine. ours.

    p.s. even top vendors are pointing to a firm’s web site as its #1 marketing tool. time to re-evaluate if yours isn’t in top shape.

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