2013 is coming to a close. We’re writing this post to thank our readers for a great year and to give some insight as to what we’ll be discussing in the months ahead.

A thanks to all of our readers

We couldn’t be happier with the way 2013 progressed at SEO for Lawyers. The number of unique visitors coming to our site grew 827 percent from October through December 30th. This is because of our readers, who are the ones who made it possible. Here’s a shout out to each and every one of you.

2013 year in review

Amit Singhal announcing Hummingbird

Google search chief Amit Singhal officially announcing Hummingbird.

2013 saw some major changes in the way attorneys market themselves online. Probably the biggest change of the last year was the “Hummingbird” update Google made to its search algorithm.  There was also the “Penguin” update that reduced the influence of “spammy” sites in search. These were just a few of many changes made in search marketing in the last twelve months. It’s fair to say that search engine optimization, and online marketing, has changed more in 2011-2013 than it did from 1998 to 2010. How an attorney must approach their search marketing will change more in 2014 than it did from 2011-13.

Attorney web marketing in 2014 and beyond

2014 is going to see an explosion of new form factors for which you need to optimize your website. From the 1990’s until the 2000’s it was only really necessary to concern yourself with the PC (and typically you only had to be really concerned about how your site ran in Internet Explorer). 2007 brought about major changes with the iPhone and the rise of Android meant you had to be concerned with how your site performed on smart phones. 2010 brought about the iPad. It’s important to understand that smart phones and tablets aren’t the end of new form factors on which your site must perform well – they are just the beginning.

In the coming year one can expect “wearable” computing devices to become more widely used along with other new mediums. These include form factors such as smart watches, smart eyewear (such as Google Glass) and a host of others. One can also expect to see a rise in the television as a place where your web page must render appropriately. It is important to be prepared for each of these form factors as search is not “universal” – in this I mean that search engines do not rank a site the same on all platforms; if a website renders poorly on a smart phone, for example, Google will not feature that site as highly on smart phones even though it may rank highly on desktop computers. Understanding the upcoming changes in form factors will be crucial to web marketing.

2014 will also see an increased use of “social signals” in the algorithms used by search engines. Search has been moving this way since 2011 and this is going to expand as the importance of identity on the web continues grow. The combination of new form factors and increased use of identity on the web means that search is going to change more in 2014 than maybe any year prior. Google’s Eric Schmidt recently discussed a few of these issues in this video clip:

Over the next several weeks we’ll be launching two new series on our site to help attorneys prepare for these changes in search marketing. One of these series will be providing tips and tricks on optimizing your site for non-traditional form factors. Another of these series will deal with the use of social media by the legal profession and how to properly go about establishing identity on the web.

Upcoming events at SEO for Lawyers

We’re very excited about projects we’re going to be launching in 2014. Along with the content described above, you can expect the following:

  • Our first E-book, by the end of January, 2014, which will geared towards helping attorneys with their online presence.
  • The launch of our “monthly video question” program. Over the course of each month we will be accepting questions from our readers and will publish a monthly video to answer them.
  • We will also be launching a weekly e-newsletter discussing the week’s developments in search marketing and other relevant topics.
  • Finally, we’ll be launching a collaborative law blog shortly which will assist lawyers from around the United States in establishing the “authorship authority” that is becoming increasingly important to Google and Bing.

We couldn’t be more excited for the year ahead and look forward to being an important part of our readers’ search marketing planning.