I just created a new local directory, BestInjuryLawyerFortLauderdale.com. I did this because I believe that local online marketing is the future and presents a solid opportunity for those of us who already have online marketing skills.
If you live in the United States and you keep your eye open for advertising you will notice that personal injury attorneys spend crazy money on advertising. In my town, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I see their ads on taxis, on the backs of buses, heck one lawyer even rented a truck, slapped a huge sign with an 800 number on it and pays somebody to drive the truck around town with his sign on it.
If you do a keyword research you will see that car accident lawyer, personal injury attorney, mesothelioma, dui attorney, criminal defense lawyer etc are some of the highest bid keywords in Google Adwords advertising.
I used the Google keyword research tool to research local personal injury related keywords. I was surprised. More people search for "injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale" not "personal injury attorney Fort Lauderdale." It makes sense actually. Would you say you are looking for an "attorney" or you are looking for a "lawyer." Most people use the word lawyer. I think mainly attorneys and judges use the word attorney.
I was even more surprised to find that local Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers are paying an average of $60. per click for the keyword "injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale." Wow! This is because just one case can result in hundres of thousands of dollars in fees.
I have noticed that Google often picks up on the keywords in the domain name when indexing. It is not enough just to have a keyword related domain. You must also have high quality content to get ranked. However, having your keywords in your domain is definitely a very strong factor in search indexing.
So I chose the domain name BestInjuryLawyerFortLauderdale.com. I know it is a mouthful. Obviously I am not going for the branding strategy. I plan on setting up local directories in many cities each with their own local keyword based domain name.
I could have chosen a single generic personal injury domain name which was not local but the competition is quite stiff. It is much easier to get ranked for keywords when they have a local qualifier. And the big trend in online marketing now is local.
Google has created over 50 million Google Places pages for local businesses. These Places pages are appearing at the top of searches for most local searches. Yet only about 2% of business owners have actually claimed these pre-optimized pages. Google sees the future in local marketing yet the market has not caught up. We are not even talking about the international market. Local marketing is wide open and now is the perfect opportunity to dive in.
Google just purchased Zagat, the restaurant review publication for $66 milion, to use in conjunction with their local marketing platform. (Google, look me up in a year and make me an offer on "Bestinjurylawyerfortlauderdale.com please!")
Google tried to buy YELP, a huge local directory, in 2009 and even aggregated some of YELPs local listing into Google Places until YELP yelped about it. Google sees local as the future and now is the time for online entrepreneurs to hope on board.
My business plan is not to rely on those high priced Adsense clicks, though I will take all they will give me. I first want to build a quality directory in my niche, and then I want to offer specialized SEO packages for personal injury attorneys.
I am starting first in my city because I believe you have an advantage over the big boys when you can actually go meet your customers. Personal service is something that Google really is not very good at. So if you are going to go local, do it right where you are unless you are living on a deserted island.
Is the lawyer niche the only niche? No it is not. There are many local niches. Just see who is spending money on advertising in your area. If they are willing to buy billboard ads for their local business perhaps they might spend some on your local online advertising packages.
In any case, I would appreciate it if you would visit my local directory and let me know what you think. If the spirit moves you it would be great if you would share the link on Facebook as well. Here is: BestInjuryLawyerFortLauderdale.com. Thank you! Matthew Meyer.