We still have not located that crystal ball…
However, we do live and breathe this subject, paying frequent attention all year-long to what is happening in a quickly evolving digital marketing space. Along our journey, we have developed new legal marketing strategies and tools – as well as retired old ones – to generate a strong return on investment for our clients, and we would like to share a few insights on what we believe will move the needle this year.
Voice Search Continually Will Impact SEO In a Substantial Way
You surely already have some IPA (intelligent personal assistant) that you utilize to browse information. Apple added Siri to their latest macOS Sierra, desktop OS, and Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO stated last May that voice search accounted for 20% of search queries, a figure which already might be closer to 30%, if you ask our company. As voice recognition software increasingly has become advanced, its presentation to the mainstream is now having some substantial effects on search.
The reason is that individuals phrase things differently as they are typing into Google, opposed to while talking with their mouths. We talk to intelligent personal assistants like people, and the search engines – and SEOs – are altering their approach to cater to the methods in which individuals are browsing information.
Individual Content Pieces Will Be Lengthier
Longer content is better because individuals like longer content for most kinds of subjects. Unless of course, it isn’t formatted or well-written with scanning in mind. Everything else being equal, though, long form will get the bump, irrespective of what a few deep thinkers may have told you about how no one reads long form content on the Internet.
Video Content is going to Be Commonplace for Many Law Firms
All things indicate that video marketing will continually gain significance (according to Cisco, 69 percent of all consumer online traffic by the year 2017 is going to be video), and 2017 is going to be the year that many small and medium businesses – including law firms – will not think twice about getting their smartphones out to create an informative, unscripted, short video for their social media network, or ask somebody to take a lot of pictures at community events or office parties.
All in all, video content is an excellent medium for dispensing authoritative advice to prospects, connecting on an emotional level with an audience, and building trust.
More Law Firms are going to Invest in Community Outreach
Do you know that saying about killing two birds with one stone? That is the principle behind community outreach; it helps accomplish a couple of key goals for firms:
- Brand development
- Search Engine Optimization
The former is intuitive: getting engaged in community outreach includes an excellent method of building a lasting brand inside the community. However, the search engine optimization side of things is a fairly new development, as companies have become more aware of how getting involved with reputable organizations, which include nonprofits and universities, may also assist in bolstering their website presence.
The reason is that many of these kinds of websites – particularly .edus – have a massive amount of authority on Google (“top level” domains). As you get involved in their efforts, whether it be sponsoring a community event or offering a scholarship, you’ll get a backlink to your website from their website, providing you some of the top-level authority that points back to your website.
Content is going to Be More Visual
Consider it the antidote to the idea that lengthier content always is better. It isn’t. Not if it is not valuable and particularly if it isn’t visually appealing.
If you are presenting your audience with huge blocks of content, without anything that breaks it up and helps them do a little skimming, it does not matter how great it is. Plus, because readers are bouncing, your search engine optimization will also be ailing. Google is putting an increasing amount of weight onto how readers behave on a page. Making the content more visual is going to work wonders to improve metrics such as bounce rate, views, and time on page, not to mention a lead to an increased amount of actual conversions.
Is 2017 Going to Be Your Year?
I hope that this post has brought a little clarity to your 2017 legal marketing plans.