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5 Link Building Tips for Lawyers in the Post Penguin Google

Google Penguin NinjaThis year’s Penguin updates from Google have changed how many law firms are positioned in the search results. For years, we have identified many cheating law firms that heavily took part in link exchanges, buying paid links, forum spam, blog comment spam, paid posting and other link building tactics that are now yielding useless, if not damaging, links.

The old link building strategy was easy. Get a lot of links and hyperlink your key phrases (i.e., Asheville divorce lawyer links to http://www.example.com). As Dylan declared in 1964, “The times, they are a-changin’.”

If your SEO and online law firm marketing company is proposing thousands of directory links, grab their proposal, locate the nearest shredder and save yourself a lot of heartache. To help get you on the right path, we have put together a short list of ways to get good links in the post Penguin world.

1) Directories – Directories still have their (more…)

Use attorney videos to drive leads for your law firm

Attorney videos are gaining traction as useful online marketing tools. Videos can help provide prospects with answers to some basic questions about their legal needs. When people are searching for a lawyer, they are often also looking for answers and information, too.

In addition, videos introduce people to your firm’s personality. The most effective videos can help create trust with visitors. People often make hiring decisions based entirely on whom they like and trust.

Since you may never get a chance to try to win a prospect over in person with the proliferation of web-based research, attorney videos can help serve that function in your stead. Consider your video, or series of videos, to be both a critical link to visitors and a way to promote your firm through word of mouth in the absence of one-on-one contact.

Using video also increases your reach online. You can upload videos to your website (more…)

What social media practices spur the most engagement?

When your firm is engaging in social media marketing, it can seem at times like you are just throwing information out into the ether. Are people reading your updates? Do they like what you are sharing?

One of the most important things to remember about building a useful social media presence is that it takes time and patience. It is easy to get frustrated that you do not have enough followers or likes after several weeks of effort. But you do not want to purchase followers or make a grab for any potentially useless connections. The goal is to build relationships with users that actually create value.

With that in mind, understanding the user demographics of different social media platforms and knowing what those users respond to can help your firm build more successful relationships. Not every user will be interested in everything you post. Taking the time to direct updates and Tweets (more…)

How TV Ads and SEO Work Together for Your Firm

A lot of law firms use television ads to increase awareness and get leads. But some lawyers who closely monitor their lead sources have seen their search engine optimization efforts improve the conversion rate of their television advertisements.

Many elements go into a successful SEO campaign. From local profiles, videos and news releases to publishing content on third party authoritative websites to onsite work that makes the law firm’s website intuitive and conversion-friendly, a real SEO effort is spreading the firm’s name across the Internet in multiple ways. Another way of thinking about it is message control.

When someone is watching a TV ad, they are probably not standing by to write down a phone number or a website address. But your law firm’s name is easier to remember. Before calling, many people are going to Google it after seeing your commercial.

When they Google your firm, what do they see? One website and (more…)

Color Theory and Making the Right Connection with Your Law Firm Marketing – Podcast

Color psychology is something we understand subconsciously when we choose the colors that surround us. A potential client’s reaction to color must be considered before developing your marketing strategy.

Useful plugins to enhance your lawyer website functionality

If you are considering a website redesign or are looking into developing an entirely new site, your choice of content management system is a major consideration. Since attorney websites must be frequently updated to remain relevant, it is important that your site be developed on a platform that allows you to easily add and edit new pages and blog posts.

Some law firms consider developing a custom content management system for their websites. This certainly has its coolness factor, and it seems to offer the advantage of providing exactly the functionality your firm wants and needs. However, custom systems have their downfalls, most notably with flexibility and expense. And, if you ever decide to part ways with the company that designed the platform, you may have to start again from scratch.

Open source systems bring with them thousands of eager developers all working to improve the platform and create plugins – at (more…)

Attorney website content planning

Writing good web content is a distinct skill. The style of web content is very different from that of traditional articles, and it is not something with which most attorneys have a lot of practice. Website copy must be written for a target audience of both clients and search engines. It must be informative and engaging. It must connect with visitors. At the same time, it must contain targeted keywords in appropriate proportions. Too many or too few can negatively affect SEO.

One of the biggest sticking points in the development of a new website is content. It is content more than any other item that holds up web development and keeps websites from launching. Content often either falls prey to a lack of time or a cycle of endless and frustrating revisions. Coming up with a pragmatic plan for content writing can help get your website up, running and working for (more…)

What Large Law Firms Do Differently with their Websites

Large law firm office A website is more than a page, picture and words. Visitors can assess the size of your law firm simply by looking at the design of your website and the way you organize content on it.

Last year, we wrote a blog titled, “What You Can Learn from Large Law Firms”. We looked at some of the largest law firms in the U.S. and discovered that most of these firms hosted libraries of content on their websites.

When our blog article was published in April of 2011, DLA Piper was the largest firm in the country by number of attorneys. Their website had more than 37,000 pages indexed in Google. Other firms had a few thousand pages of content, but overall, most large law firms filled their websites with massive amounts of content.

This year, DLA Piper was dethroned by another Chicago giant, Baker & McKenzie. It is here that we start looking (more…)

Bring the Legal Marketing Haiku to your Website

Haiku can be both fun and challenging. Distilling something seemingly complex down to 17 little syllables forces you to look at the essence of the subject and may help you to see it in a new light. Applying this art form to legal marketing is an exercise in focusing your attention on the core of what you do and how you help clients.

The legal marketing haiku was introduced by Matt Homann on the [non]billable hour and again at Lawyerist.com a few months ago. So why join the chorus and cover the topic again? Easy. It’s a great concept. The idea of bringing the haiku to your online marketing (and your marketing strategy as a whole) is simple, honest and clever – just as the poem itself is intended to be.

Your Haiku is created by answering three questions in 5-7-5 format:

  • Who do I help? (Answer in Five Words)
  • What do (more…)

Attorneys Can Use Social Media and Adhere to Ethical Standards

Social media, to the chagrin of some and the delight of others, has muscled its way on to the legal marketing scene and is now a force that is difficult to ignore. Social media itself is not exactly new – Facebook is 8 years old – but its ubiquitous presence on law firm marketing blogs and in law firm marketing plans is a more recent development. Even busy attorneys who eye the development with suspicion will grudgingly set up a LinkedIn or Google+ profile.

The ABA has (finally) officially recognized the unavoidable role technology plays in an attorney’s daily life. This week, the American Bar Association House of Delegates approved proposed changes to ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct with respect to technology. Among the updates are modifications to the comments to Rule 1.1, which covers competent representation. The comments were amended to say that attorneys must understand “the benefits and risks (more…)