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How to use heatmap data to improve your law firm’s website performance

heatmapA number of tools are available to show you how your users interact with your law firm’s website. This data can show you what’s working, but it’s not there to affirm that you are doing things right. The real value of knowing visitors’ behavior is understanding what you can do better.

Heatmaps can show you how your users interact with your content, navigation menu, and interactive elements on your site.

Clickmap – A clickmap will show you how visitors interact with clickable items on your site. For example, do more people click on “practice areas” in a main menu, or are they more inclined to click on a specific practice menu in a sidebar? You can use clickmaps to try different things to see what converts best. For example, one month you may have a button that says “Contact Us.” Another month, you can try something different, like “Contact a lawyer” or “Get (more…)

Think beyond text on a webpage for your content marketing

beyond textContent marketing will continue to get a lot of attention as websites adjust to Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm, which was quietly rolled out in August and formally announced at the end of September. This release is the first entirely new rewrite of the company’s algorithm since 2001, and it changes the way Google looks at keywords. Hummingbird is a move toward a more contextual, semantic search; that is, rather than just focusing on individual keywords or keyphrases, the search engine will try to discern the whole meaning of the text a user enters in order to return results that more accurately reflect the searcher’s intent.

How does this affect your firm’s effort to continually better your search rankings and increase traffic to your site? If you have been keeping abreast of the series of updates known as Panda and Penguin, then it is unlikely you will have to make too many (more…)

Your Most Powerful Keyword is Your Law Firm’s Name

CreativityOver the last decade, keywords have dominated the focus of many firms’ marketing practices. What was “Smith & Smith” became “Chicago divorce law firm Smith & Smith with attorneys helping Chicago residents with divorce and family law matters.”

These keywords went from being complimentary to the brand to becoming the brand. Some law firms even incorporated law firm names based on the most popular keywords in their area.

But Google changed all of that when they started releasing Panda and Penguin, the content and inbound link changes, to battle spam within their search results. Now, Google can piece together information about your firm.

Our fictional law firm, Smith & Smith has a Google+ Local profile with their address in Chicago, IL and the categories divorce and family law. If they submit a news release about child custody, Google will see “Smith & Smith” and know that they are a law firm in (more…)

Speak to client needs by turning features into benefits

benefitsAttorney marketing is tricky in many ways. You must sell a service that only a certain percentage of the population will ever need, and you do not have the same ability to manufacture demand as large retail companies like Nike or Apple. Attorneys are also restricted in many different ways by a variety of recommendations unique to each state bar’s interpretation of best marketing practices. Lawyers must even approach marketing differently than other service providers who face fewer constraints on they ways in which they can present themselves to the public.

However, attorneys can learn from traditional retail marketing in one very important way: The predominant message of successful campaigns is a focus on benefits rather than features. This is true of top national brands that may not mention a product at all until the end of a spot to local businesses. A commercial for a landscape architect will not showcase (more…)

More Clients Call Than Click On Your Law Firm Website – PODCAST

When measuring the success of search engine marketing, many law firms look at leads sent to them from their websites. It seems leads via mobile are changing website lead dynamics.

Pinterest adds article pins to its collection of rich content

article pinsPinterest announced on its blog last week that it would be expanding its current bundle of rich pins to include article pins. Article pins will contain additional information, like the headline, author, story description and link to the article, within the pin itself. The feature will be rolled out over the coming months, with larger publishers already seeing access to the new pins.

Previously, when a publisher pinned an article, the post would contain only a picture associated with the article and a link to the story. (Remember, always attach pictures to your blog posts and articles if you want to encourage pins.) People had to guess from that limited context whether the pin was relevant to themselves or their followers.

Pins present a particular challenge for attorneys, whose business is much more difficult to visualize than that of other industries, like fashion or food and beverage, that can (more…)

How Fake Reviews Can Get Your Firm Sued

ReviewsGenerally, the consequence for taking a shortcut with your search engine marketing is some sort of disciplinary action from Google. But a law firm in San Diego is getting more than an SEO problem; the online review and business directory, Yelp, is suing the firm, claiming their employees posted fake reviews to the company’s Yelp profile.

The firm owner, Julian McMillan, believes there is no merit to the case and that the lawsuit is more about retaliation. “They’re an Internet bully and they abused their dominant Internet position for advertising contracts,” he told ABC News. “Here they are trying to squash my freedom of speech in small claims court, which awarded me back $2,700 for my advertising contract.”

Marketwatch suggests that the law firm in San Diego, McMillan Law Group, is not an isolated matter. Yelp says it has been stepping up efforts to squash fake reviews and taking on advertisers that they (more…)

8 Ways to Get the Most our of Your YouTube Channel – Part 2

Part one in this two-part series can be found here.

youtube one channelLike most social networks, your ability to benefit from YouTube One Channel relies heavily on the level of involvement to which your firm is willing to commit. At a minimum, you should brand your channel and fully fill out all meta data, like titles and descriptions, so your videos will be correctly categorized and easy to find. YouTube is now using the title of your channel rather than your user name to display in search results, so make sure it is simple and relevant (and please, no keyword spam).

Here are some additional things you can do to maximize the benefit of your channel:

Take advantage of YouTube Analytics. Google has made a real effort to make YouTube’s analytics more useful by, among other things, adding charts that help you visualize how well your videos are performing. For smaller publishers, the charts (more…)

Google+ Adds Automatic Authorship and Post Embedding

authorshipGoogle Authorship is a method for attaching a specific author to online content so that the author can be associated with his or her work across the Internet, no matter where it is published. Google advertises Authorship as a good way to validate content, help get discovered and attract more readers.

The little pictures you see next to some search results are displayed because of Authorship. If you see those images, it means Google has determined, through both markup and a linked Google+ account, that the person shown is responsible for the content being presented. There is still much discussion in the SEO community about whether or not adding Authorship helps with search marketing, although many people have reported positive results in terms of both ranking and click-through rate post implementation.

Google recommends using Authorship as one method of building reputation and establishing trust. At the March 2013 Search Marketing Expo (more…)

How To Write Content That Captures Your Readers Attention – Podcast

Capturing your reader’s attention and delivering content that ranks well in search engine results is rapidly becoming the same thing. Don’t look now, content counts and social profiles and being active matters.