LaurenL | August 7th, 2012 - 9:02 am
Controlling what appears in search results for your law firm is another important aspect of reputation management.
A big part of reputation management is known as SERM, or search engine reputation management. This focuses specifically on the sorts of results that come up in search engines when you look for your name or law firm name as well as whether you rank highly on searches within your industry. It uses SEO techniques to ensure that your company has a large, positive search engine footprint.
SERM techniques to consider
- Popularize good reviews. If a bad review floats to the top of the search rankings, visit as many positive reviews as you can find. “Like” them on Facebook, “+1″ them on Google, and link to them on your blog or website. This helps these reviews become more popular online, which can dramatically improve your search engine reputation.
- Produce genuine positive feedback. Have clients satisfied with your law firm’s services? Have them go to websites like Lawyers.com and Avvo.com and write about their experiences with your firm. Crowd-sourced positive feedback is the best feedback there is!
- Build web pages optimized. (But not too optimized.) Maintain a website and/or blog(s) branded with your firm’s name. Update them frequently, and make sure they use white hat SEO techniques to avoid being penalized by any changes made in search engine algorithms. This means that you cannot continually put “Sterling divorce law firm” as a keyword phrase all over your website — vary your content by using phrases like family law and domestic law instead.
- Use forums. Online forums are good ways to produce positive content for web consumption and share back links, an important SEO technique. They are also useful to enter into discussions about topical areas of practice and changes in state and federal laws that may impact your client base. You can convince customers that you are, in some way, one of them. This improves trust and will go a long way toward reducing negative feelings.
- Write press releases. Many people think of them as outdated tools, but press releases still have power. People looking for keywords related to your firm may find your press release, see you as a reliable source and choose to do business with you instead of a competitor.
- Use social bookmarking tools. Social bookmarking is among the latest trends for online marketing. Bookmarking tools include online curation sites like Pinterest, link-sharing sites like Digg and Reddit, and link-blogging sites like Tumblr. By maintaining social bookmarking pages devoted to your brand, you can maximize your positive outreach.
- Conduct ad campaigns. Sometimes the simplest solution can be the most elegant. If someone says bad things about your business, roll out a promotional offer that implies the opposite of the negative review. By using PPC campaigns filled with positive messaging, you can push the bad reviews off the top spot in search engines.
Of course, the best thing to do is to look for the source of the problem in your company’s process and change it. This is the only way to ensure lasting reputation gains. If you have a problem in the short term, however, it is best for your business if you nip it in the bud. These techniques will help you do just that.
CaseDetails.com’s Reputation Management series continues soon, with posts on what you can do and what you absolutely should not do when responding to a negative review.