Here are some ways you can improve what people see when they search for you online.
No matter how they “hear about you,” at some point, people are likely to look-you-up online. Perhaps they got your name from someone who they trust and want to do some additional vetting. Perhaps they read something about you somewhere and want to learn more about you. Or maybe they’re just trying to find your contact information.
By making it easier for people to find what they’re looking for, and marshaling evidence of your reputation online, you can improve the chance that they will consider, contact and even hire you.
Whether it’s your firm website, blog or a personalized domain, I encourage you to have at least one web asset over which you have complete control and ownership.
If you go the law firm website / attorney bio route, your profile page should include the following search optimizations:
Title Tag: <title>First Name Last Name</title>
H1: <h1>First Name Last Name</h1>
You may also want to add additional descriptive language to these tags, such as:
- Attorney, lawyer, etc
- Practice area + attorney (i.e. criminal defense attorney)
- Geographic descriptions (i.e. Attorney Larry Lawyer Chicago, IL)
Modifiers like these are particularly important if you have a very common name or share your name with a celebrity.
You should research which modifiers your target audience is likely to use to find you.
If your firm’s site has authority, it’s likely that your page will likely bubble-up in search with only some basic optimizations.
But what if you decide to change firms? If you leave, it’s likely that your firm will kill your page. This is where having a personal domain that you own and control makes sense.
By a personalized domain, I literally mean:
Or something similar.
If you decide to go this route, all you need to do is:
- Register your domain.
- Pay for a hosting account.
- Optimize your home page.
For example, this site:
Google Plus Local Page
Next, I recommend a Google Plus Local Page. It should come as little surprise that Google loves Google Plus. For local searches, Google is more and more likely to serve up local search results that include Google+ pages.
If properly configured, Google+ Local Pages can also play a significant role for searches on your name. For example:
This helps people who are searching for you easily find key information, including contact information and reviews.
Like other major social media platforms, LinkedIn benefits from enormous authority. So, pages on LinkedIn tend to rank prominently without much work.
Even if you never “use” LinkedIn, it’s worth considering creating and optimizing your profile there. For example, at the time of writing, searches for my name deliver my LinkedIn page in the #4 spot:
Google also delivers a fairly robust rich snippet for LinkedIn pages too.
While you may be tempted to use a keyword-rich custom LinkedIn profile domain (i.e. /in/chicagopersonalinjurylawyer), if you want your LinkedIn page to be visible for searches for your name, you should customize your domain as you did for your attorney bio page:
You can use more descriptive keywords in your headline, location and throughout your page.
Finally, we come to Avvo.
Some lawyers hate Avvo because of their rating system. And before you claim your profile, you should consider the ramifications. But remember:
That said, it’s clear that Avvo profiles perform well in search.
Go ahead and search your name + attorney and it’s likely that you won’t have to dig too deeply into SERPs to see an Avvo page for yourself.
And over time, it’s likely that people are going to say things about you there. Which is why it makes sense for you to take control.
Also, Avvo does a nice job of implementing schema.org/ markup:
You can see how an Avvo profile validates here.
This makes these listings stand out in SERPs.