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Good luck is not a local search strategy

Lucky Law Firm MarketingWhen conducting a search on Google’s homepage, you may have noticed a little button to the right of “Google Search” which says “I’m Feeling Lucky”. Originally, the feature was a fun way to explore the web. Click “I’m Feeling Lucky,” and you go straight to the top-ranking website connected to your search while skipping the search results page. Today, Google uses the button to help Googlers discover art, food and even charities.

While it may be entertaining to play a game of “I’m Feeling Lucky” when meandering around the web, you shouldn’t rely on luck to get your law firm ranking high for local searches.

You may have noticed some law firms that are ranking pretty well in your local search results for your keyphrases. A lot of them probably have the following attributes:

1) A website with a lot of content
2) A website that has an established reputation
3) A solid link portfolio
4) (more…)

Should your law firm’s web content be shorter?

typewriter The term “thin content” became a buzzword in the SEO industry two years ago, when Google’s Panda update started pounding websites that contained useless content. In definitions, “thin content” is often connected with short page length or low word count. But Google’s Webmaster Tools Help simply defines it as content that provides “little to no added value.”

The examples provided by Google include:

  • Automatically generated content: This is content that is built by bots. Usually, this type of content is created by uploading someone else’s content into a synonym-based content generator. The result is usually nonsensical, but unique as far as plagiarism is concerned. For the sake of your user’s experience, this should never happen on your law firm’s website.
  • Thin affiliate pages: Fortunately, this type of content is not common on attorneys’ websites. Affiliate pages generally offer low-quality content with the sole intention of getting someone to click on a link to (more…)

Google+ Custom URLs Make It Easier to Find Your Firm’s Profile

Google Plus URLStrings of numbers have long plagued Google+ Pages. Recently, Google+ introduced custom URLs to make advertising your Google+ Page a little easier.

Since offering Pages, Google+ has issued a long string of numbers for the URL. This practice was certainly acceptable for linking to your profile from your website and email footer, but it caused limitations when promoting your Google+ Page offline.

While you could place your Twitter profile on your business card or your Facebook URL in a print advertisement, it would not be effective to share a profile URL such as “https://plus.google.com/118003559483403504374/,” requiring someone to type out the string to reach your Page.

You may be familiar with the custom URLs offered by Facebook. Google+ custom URLs come with slightly different rules.

Number of Fans and Followers — Facebook allows you to choose a custom URL after attracting 25 fans. Google+ only requires 10 followers to qualify for (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…)

Should your firm utilize online chat or live support?

If you are online frequently, searching for service providers or looking for answers to questions you have about products, chances are you have encountered – and perhaps used – live support. It can be handy to have someone available to answer a quick question with minimal effort on your part.

The goal of live support is to initiate contact before a visitor clicks away from your site. The chat enables a user to submit a question easily and anonymously without asking them to commit to filling out a form or making a phone call. Ideally, the representative chatting with a prospect will be able to glean some contact information by answering a few questions and making them feel comfortable with you firm’s ability to help.

To incorporate a live chat feature, most services will ask you to insert a small snipped of code on your website. The chat can be (more…)

Optimize Your Email Newsletter for Mobile Devices

If you are like a growing number of people, your phone is an extension of both your work and social lives. You can, and do, use your phone to check email anywhere and everywhere. Increasingly, people are checking and filtering emails during what used to be down time. And they are often using mobile devices in lieu of a laptop or desktop.

When designing your email newsletter, it is important to consider this proliferation of mobile readers. MailChimp, an email marketing and list management company, recently performed a study on mobile user habits, which produced some interesting insights. Notably, the study showed that much of what people are doing when checking email on a mobile device is filtering. And the most likely filtering action is to delete the email.

Your goal is to get past your readers’ filter. In the few seconds that recipients scan your newsletter, you want them (more…)

Law Firm Marketing Strategy Should Come Before Your Website Plan

Far too often, law firms focus entirely on their websites with the marketing strategy being an afterthought. For the best performance, you should lay out your online law firm marketing plan before creating a plan for your website.

Any online legal marketing strategy comes down to getting traffic to your website and phone calls to your firm. Not just any visitor will do – you need qualified traffic. While your search engine placement may come to mind, the visitors to your new website will come from various sources, Google being one of many.

Think of Google as three different traffic sources. First, you have traffic from Google’s traditional search results. This is what generally comes to mind when one thinks of search engine optimization. Second, traffic will come from Google Places. These are listed associated with the map and oftentimes are displayed along with your natural ranking. Your Google Places ranking will help (more…)

Quite Possibly The Most Affordable Lawyer Website Ever

Your law firm’s brand is comprised of several elements – your law firm’s name, your firm’s logo, and possibly your slogan.

When designing your website, your designer should take into consideration the style, color schemes, and feeling that your brand instills. However, the market downturn and slow recovery are tightening the budgets of many law firms and some are making the mistake of putting off their online marketing goals.

Your law firm must be online and the website must be professional. Even if you predominately do traditional marketing, you have to have a website that converts those visitors into new cases. But now, you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

In direct response to the changing economic environment, SEOLawFirm.com has created the Semi-Custom Lawyer Website, a complete website solution for $2,500.00.

Unlike other “template” solutions, the Semi-Custom Lawyer Website offers small law firms 14 unique designs (and growing). These designs are then customized (more…)

Invisible Keyphrases – A Negative Online Law Firm Marketing Practice

We hoped that such a practice was buried in the mid-90’s internet graveyard but its still a problem. Blending keyphrases into your attorney website that are invisible to your readers is a technique that makes the Google Bot’s face red and will almost guarantee a delisting. However, some webmasters building attorney websites are still using this as a “search engine optimization” technique.

Unlike some search engine optimization techniques, this one is not up for interpretation. Some lawyers, acting under the advice of misinformed “SEO Specialists,” have long lists of keywords in their website’s footer that are in the same font color as their background, thus making it invisible. Such a practice will negatively effect your legal marketing goals.

The problem is so irritating to Google that they not only mention it but built a whole section on hidden links and hidden text in their webmaster guidelines center.

Google is pretty direct in the language (more…)

Blogging Your Law Firm to the Top

It seems like just yesterday the web was a static place to be. Websites were static. News feeds updated as frequently as newspapers, and search engine rankings were pretty stable for extended periods of time.

Actually, that time never existed. The web has always been dynamic and quick to change, but in recent years it has been placed on turbo and is changing second by second. What does this mean for your law firm marketing efforts? You should be blogging.

Put a Blog on Your Attorney Website

It has been our experience that secondary websites just for your legal blog are not as effective as placing a blog directly on your law firm’s website. By having a blog on your site in a “/blog/” directory, you can keep your number of pages growing, build links to your blog via social bookmarks, and syndicate your blog feed into Google Blog Search, the ABAJournal’s Blawg Directory, (more…)