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LEGAL CENTS: Take Google+ a step further to increase traffic

By: Jane Pribek//March 4, 2014//

LEGAL CENTS: Take Google+ a step further to increase traffic

By: Jane Pribek//March 4, 2014//

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Jane Pribek is a former family law attorney and Wisconsin Law Journal’s editor-at-large. She can be reached at [email protected].

A little over a year ago, I wrote about the plusses of Google+, but also observed that it didn’t seem like many Wisconsin lawyers had embraced the platform for marketing.

Not long afterward, Google launched “Authorship,” and if you’ve previously been resistant to Google+, it’s time to reconsider.

To illustrate its effectiveness, go to Google and enter the search terms “DUI attorney Milwaukee.” On the first page of results, you’ll see 10 organic results, two of which have a headshot next to a byline. The other results are all text.

Aren’t you more likely to click on the result with the headshot? And aren’t you more likely to click on someone who’s an author?

Germantown attorney Nathan Dineen believes you are. Dineen, of Vanden Heuvel & Dineen SC, is one of those two results with a headshot.

“The visual impact of having a picture there is very important,” he said, “to people trying to find an attorney.”

Dineen said traffic to his website has increased as a result.

Milwaukee lawyer Karl Gebhardt said Google+ and Authorship have provided simple, free ways to draw attention to his blog and informational articles he already had on his website. It’s translated into more business for Gebhardt Law Office, he said, and given him an edge in a practice area where the competition for clients is particularly fierce: plaintiffs’ personal injury.

“It’s such a competitive market and I’m a sole practitioner,” he said. “I’ve got to compete with bigger firms that can throw millions of dollars into advertising. How does a small guy like me compete? Well, I can do what I can with the Internet, where we’re all on a level footing.”

To use Authorship, start by creating a Google+ profile. Post a high-quality professional headshot.

Then, go to plus.google.com/authorship, sign up with your email and click on the verification link Google sends you. Your email address should contain the same domain name as your website and blog.

Then, under the “About” section of your Google+ profile, under “Links,” go to “Contributor to” and add your website URL.

Dineen cautioned that, depending upon the location of the computer, as well as the date and time of the search, you can enter the same search terms and the results will vary. But he said he’s relatively certain his website always pops up in the first page, as a result of this and other SEO strategies he’s employed to get there.

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