Steph Abbott 2014-05-30 01:51:29
You Are Here How does hanging out a shingle online help someone find your office? People are looking for legal services online. Whether you own a small neighborhood law office or operate a local bar association, potential clients and members could be searching for you on the Internet. When they come looking, you need to make sure that you can be found easily. To that end, you should create a local listing with a search engine that will help correlate your online presence with your actual brick and mortar location. LOCATION-BASED SERVICE (BY WAY OF VENICE) Beginning in 2000 with the development of the mobile location protocol, the trend in the smartphone and tablet market has been toward increased mobility. In 2012, Google launched a project code-named “Venice” that targeted local search. Results based on the user’s location now rank higher in the search provider’s pages. The technology market has since thrived in regards to user-based geolocation. Location-based services include mobile apps for everything from straightforward navigation to storefront locators. Savvy businesses and law firms continue to capture the local user as they improve their services with mobile-friendly websites. Simply put, your geolocation, combined with the preferred ranking of popular search engines, creates an ideal condition for local businesses to be found. TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS TREND Since Google’s improvements, several online search providers are now focused on local searches for businesses. You can create a local listing by completing a few simple steps with a search engine. For example, with Google Places for Business, you can log in using your Google account and verify that you are the business owner (or authorized representative). Once your listing is live, you can view the number of times the listing has appeared in a local search result. You can even track reviews from around the Web and consider whether to start a paid AdWords Express campaign. LISTING YOUR LAW PRACTICE Whether you use a pay-per-click service or rely solely on an organic localized search, it is worth your time to learn how to get your business listed with the more relevant search engines like Moz Local business listings, Google Places for Business, or Bing Places for Business, among others. A local listing is your point on a local map. Local listings work well for people who may have heard about you through personal referrals from a friend, relative, or former client. Your word-of-mouth campaign can be enhanced by online reviews and easy-to-find directions to your office. ENGAGING OTHERS WITHIN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY If you have created a local listing with a search provider, you may consider joining a virtual community with local colleagues. Traditionally, this has been done through membership with a local bar association. To stay relevant, many associations have created groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. I hope to see more bar associations create and nurture online communities. As an online community offers a platform for discussion and a shared experience, a membership organization can offer relevance to the business of law with opportunities for professional development, CLE, and social networking. Like any business, it is important for a nonprofit organization to better connect with existing members and to find new ones. Organic localized searching works for nonprofit and member organizations with limited resources. Part of my role on staff at my local bar association is to engage our members in the group’s services, events, and more. I do this using a variety of communication platforms, from print to electronic. More recently, I have used both a Google Plus page and Google Places for Business. Like other social media platforms, a Google Plus page provides a place for the local legal community to connect and share with other members. However, the real value for our association has been the local listing I created with Google Places for Business. A person using Google search doesn’t have to have a Google account to find our local listing, which provides a location, setting, and road map for a local mobile user to find texasbar.com/tbj Vol. 77, No. 6 • Texas Bar Journal 463 our website, see our event calendar, find our office, or attend a seminar. Sources and Resources Find places faster with quick access to local info on the go by Dan Zivkovic, Inside Search blog, 5/25/12. Search quality highlights: 40 changes for February by Amit Singhal, Inside Search blog, 2/27/12. Understand and Rock the Google Venice Update by Mike Ramsey, The Moz Blog, 3/12/12. Open Mobile Alliance Location Working Group, http://openmobilealliance.org/about-oma/work-program/location/. Moz Local business listings, https://moz.com/local. Google Places for Business, http://www.google.com/business/places forbusiness/. Bing Places for Business, https://www.bingplaces.com/. Yahoo Localworks, https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/local-listings. 7th annual Local Search Study, a video slide presentation presented by com-Score, http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Presentations_and_White papers/2014/Trends_Shaping_Local _ Search_in_2014. Resource Pages, American Bar Association Division for Bar Services, http://www.americanbar.org/groups/bar_services/resources/resourcepages.html, 4/19/14. Social Media and Your Legal Practice, American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, video streamed live 3/4/14 http://www.youtube.com/watchv=HX3gduhWp6M&feature=share. Google+ Communities for lawyers, https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/lawyer/communities, 4/19/14. My Cat’s Lawyer Hates Me (feat. Amir Blumenfeld!), by The Indie Machines, posted on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tVzCGrzFS0. Accessible Online Communities: Perspective of a Deaf Community Manager by Anne Reuss, Community Manager Appreciation Day news, http://communitymanagerappreciationday.com/accessibleonline-communities-perspectivedeaf-community-manager/, 4/8/14. Secrets of a Killer Blog Post: Images, WhoIsHostingThis? http://www.whoishostingthis.com/blog/2014/04/01/secrets-of-a-killer-blogpost-images/, 4/1/14. The Secrets to Writing an Attention-Grabbing Blog Post [Infographic] by Ginny Soskey, HubSpot, 4/3/14. STEPH ABBOTT is the communications coordinator for the Clark County Bar Association in Nevada. She manages two websites operated by the CCBA: clarkcountybar.org and clarkcountylawyerfinder.com. She is the administrator for CCBA’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. This article was originally published on the American Bar Association’s Law Technology Today blog. Reprinted with permission. TECHGEAR The TICKR Run Heart Rate Monitor (from $79.99) by Wahoo evaluates running form by measuring the frequency of strides, amount of vertical movement, and length of time that feet are touching the ground. It also allows the user to capture workout data on many mobile devices. WEBLINKS JOHN BROWNING is a partner in the Dallas office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, where his practice encompasses commercial litigation, personal injury defense, intellectual property, employment, and technology law. He is the author of three books on social media and the law, an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and Texas A&M University School of Law, and an award-winning legal journalist whose syndicated column “Legally Speaking” frequently appears on Texas Bar Blog. loweringthebar.net Authored by Kevin Underhill, this blog is a hilarious blend of weird laws and ordinances, bizarre litigants, and unusual cases. arstechnica.com With round-ups of tech developments, intersecting with cutting-edge legal issues, this blog is a great way to stay informed. legalethicsforum.com This site, a part of the Law Professors Blog Network, offers terrific coverage and analysis of legal ethics and professional responsibility issues. abovethelaw.com This is a gossipy source of surprisingly useful information. From firm breakups to lawyers getting into trouble, this digital water cooler is rarely dull. overlawyered.com Whether targeting the excesses of class-action litigation or “nanny state” hyper-regulatory abuses, this is one of the oldest and most popular legal blogs.
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/Technology/1724899/211768/article.html.