/lawyermarketing101.com/Rene Perras/ 04/07/2011
Google is taking new steps to make their local search and Google Places more relevant and make the Yellow Pages even more irrelevant for marketing programs for lawyers and other local businesses.
As many law firm marketers already know, Google changed their cumbersome local business center, opened in 2005, to Google Places last April. Subsequently, it has made the Google Places even more important by reserving up to seven of the top spots on their search engine results pages (SERPS), as most searches for goods and services are geographically oriented. Now in an effort to play catch up with Facebook, Groupon and other social network sites that are rapidly becoming more and more popular, Google is focusing on ad products that are geographically targeted. In fact, Facebook recently became the most popular marketing channel for local businesses.
Two of the new ad programs work in conjunction with Google Places. One is called Tags, which places a yellow flag on the Places listing and a pushpin on the map highlighting the location. The second product that was just recently launched is called Boost. Businesses create a short blurb about their products or services, list their URL and set a budget. Google automatically creates a search engine marketing campaign for the advertiser and selects the appropriate key words for the ad that appears with other PPC ads at the top of the page.
While every Google ad program is not right for legal marketing, their focus on local advertising is based on the fact that regardless of the final determining factors in choosing a law firm or any other service, in most cases, proximity to a searcher is usually the starting point.
Regardless, obtaining and keeping your position in Google Places requires more than just signing up for the service. It requires expertise in SEO for lawyers and consistent ongoing efforts for your law firm to achieve this critical real estate. Google Boost may be a useful tool for less competitive arenas than the practice of law, but it makes good sense to get a seasoned lawyer marketing team to help in the selection of key words to develop any pay-per-click campaign to make it as effective as possible.
For more information on Google Places for lawyers, legal website design or a complete lawyer marketing program for your law firm contact Rene Perras.
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