Previously I posted about The Right SEO for Your Law Practice Digital Edge podcast where Jennifer Ellis indicated that good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) now costs more than most law firms would be willing to pay, particularly small law firms. That is very significant in a time where more and more people use the Internet to search for products and services.
Well, as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. So let me direct your attention to Kevin's O'Keefe's post on his Real Lawyers Have Blogs site "Google running real-time tweets by lawyer name and tags." Kevin and I both believe that a lawyer who has an active blog can demonstrate expertise, build a following and develop relationships in a way that can produce better client development results than great SEO. But it works differently for different lawyers and types of practices. Some lawyers are not natural writers and have trouble dropping the legalese in favor of more clear and succinct writing for online readers. In addition, good writing takes time and that is particularly true for substantive law topics which require research. I would be embarrassed if everyone knew how long I spent on some of my three paragraph blog posts.
But it is big news that those who search in Google will now see relevant tweets in their search results when they use the Google app (iOS and Android) and mobile web. (The desktop web version is coming soon.)
You may not think you are a great writer, but anyone can tweet and you can build a following by retweeting other experts on a topic combined with your own tweets. Everyone who blogs should be tweeting out the links to their blog posts. Kevin has lots of interesting thoughts, so read his post. One thing he noted is that clients and others who search for you by name may now learn that you set up a Twitter account but haven't used it in years.
As an active Twitter user, I've been impressed with how powerful it is as a global communication network. Following those you are interested in and having them follow you is only one aspect of Twitter. Using hashtags to join in a discussion on a topic of interest with the entire world of Twitter users. You can include a hashtag in your tweet to join in the conversation and search for that hashtag in Twitter to see what others are saying. If you then search for the hashtag you see what everyone is tweeting using it. So a hashtag like #Ferguson or #isis may explode with activity after a particular event. If I tweet about our NBA local team it will be seen by my followers and, if any of them retweet it, their followers. But if I add the hashtag #okcthunder my words will been seen by all Twitter users wanting to discuss the game or the team.
Now Google is opening that content up to everyone who uses Google, not just those who use Twitter. My guess is that will bring more users to Twitter.
But I am sure that a small firm lawyer who actively uses Twitter can increase their profile in Google search results, which is the point of SEO in the first place. And it is free, except for the investment of your time.
(I have just scratched the surface of hashtags. Here's a post where you can read more.)