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Your Law Firm’s Website is the New Marble Floor

Upgrading your law firm’s design could possibly upgrade your website’s performance. Imagine for a moment that you are shopping online for an item. You use the usual methods to find websites that are selling the very item you need or want.

Finally, you stumble across two sites – they both have the same product, but one is more expensive than the other. The more expensive item is offered on a nice website that has a professional design, easy to navigate menu, and even has an intuitive checkout process. The site offers clear images of the product, even multiple angles and comments from other buyers.

You could save ten to fifteen percent if you buy from the second website. This website has random moving objects that are distracting. The bright green text is placed atop a black background making it difficult to read. And while the website assures you that you can purchase online, (more…)

Designing Your Law Firm Website Like Apple without Sacrificing SEO

What Your Law Firm Can Learn from Apple Part II

Last week, we discussed the simplistic, clear, and intuitive brand of Apple. With their easy to identify stores, no frills image, and use of negative space (white space), they have been able to dominate their markets in a way that “clutter as much as possible” Microsoft has not.

When comparing Apple’s strategy to determine how you can integrate their wisdom into your law firm marketing strategy, we must first express that Apple’s website design style is unique to their size. They don’t have to include their keyphrases such as Apple, iTunes, iPhone or iPod because they already have the weight and strength to get top placement in the search engines for those terms with a minimal amount of text.

But you can still design your law firm’s website with Apple-like simplicity and still achieve Overstock-like optimization.

First, focus on the top. The very first things (more…)

What Your Law Firm Can Learn from Apple

An easy way to stay ahead of the competition is to look at other law firms in your area to see what they are doing, and then implement a better strategy. That’s actually basic marketing. However, to really be an innovator in your field, look around at other industries and see what you can learn from them.

This week, let’s look at Apple. Everyone is familiar with the Apple culture of simplicity and clean design. When you walk past an Apple store, do you see big red letters that say, “Computers and MP3 Players Here at the Apple Store”? No. You see a silver background and the white Apple logo. They don’t even include the rightful trademark symbol at the top right of their logo…it would take away from the simplistic feel.

I remember several years ago being in New York City looking for the Apple store on 5th Ave. I was (more…)

What RSS Can do for Law Firm Marketing

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. With a name like Really Simple Syndication, the workings for a beginner can be anything but simple.

Most popular blog platforms will automatically generate RSS feeds. Blogs like WordPress, Blogger and TypePad will create an RSS feed based on your blog entries. Then other blog owners can receive your RSS feed and subscribe to your content. Or they can subscribe to your content using an RSS feed aggregator like the freely available Mr. RSS Puller (http://mrrsspuller.sourceforge.net/).

RSS feeds allow people to customize the information they receive. If you like the technology section of the USA Today, but the political commentary of the Washington Post, then subscribe only to those categories. If you are interested in what is getting published on other websites, plug in their feed and have it automatically updated.

On the marketing side, having an RSS feed readily available will increase the number of eyes that (more…)

Law Firm Marketing Going Beyond SEO

When it comes to attracting more cases to your law firm, search engine optimization is probably one of the most effective and quantitative methods of marketing. It puts your law firm in a position to attract contacts from potential clients who are already aware they need legal representation.

But is that all the entire Internet has to offer? A higher ranking in the search engines? No, in fact now is the time to go beyond search engine optimization and focus on one primary goal of “getting found.”

Getting found means being present through as many websites, articles and newswires as possible. Getting found means having a presence in as many places as possible. We are not talking about spamming classifieds sites or random linking; going beyond search engine optimization means social networking on overdrive.

Social networking provides you with an instant database of potential clients. By publishing a blog on a social network, you (more…)

Law Firm Marketing to Help Rise Above Competing Firms

With search engine optimization, you are constantly competing to be the best website in your field, while convincing Google that your law firm website is in fact page one material.

The best way to do this is to make your website an asset to your visitors. About 5 years ago, the quality of search engine results was getting lower due to the introduction of two ideas – doorway pages and keydomains.

Doorway pages were pages that frequently repeated the target keyphrase in order to display an “optimized” page. Ultimately, a website was filled with hundreds of doorway pages containing repetitive copy, the only difference being the keywords.

Keydomains worked along the same lines only instead of having highly optimized pages, they had highly optimized domain names.

For a while it seemed like no matter what you searched for in Google or Yahoo, you were bombarded with low quality spam pages that provided little, if any, (more…)

Should Lawyers Social Network as a Method of Online Law Firm Marketing?

We spend a lot of time talking about social networks. Why? Because they work. Social networks are probably one of the greatest things to hit search engine optimization since the popularity of blogs.

Is it appropriate for your law firm to engage in social networking? Yes… with restrictions.

The first rule of business in social networking is to avoid MySpace. MySpace is not a place for business; it’s a place for kids, and their market share is quickly switching to Facebook.

The goal of any social networking is twofold. First, you need to get your name out in a community, and then connect with other businesses, law firms and individuals with whom you may share common goals and interests. Doing so may result in cross country exchanges of leads and prospects which is certainly a priority.

The other side, which excites us as online legal marketing geeks, is the further spreading of content and generating (more…)

Lawyer Directories vs. SEO

A lot of legal marketing companies like to offer enhanced listings in directories. Others prefer to focus on search engine optimization. The question is, which one is better?

Lawyer directories, such as http://directory.seolawfirm.com, Lawyers.com, and others do provide a useful service when it comes to driving traffic to your website. However, if a legal marketing company is ONLY providing a directory link, your ranking is not likely to improve in Google or other search engines.

The process of search engine optimization consists of your onsite presentation and use of keyphrases, and the number of third party websites linking back to your law firm’s website. Just one directory listing will not achieve that as you need multiple links to your website to enhance your ranking.

Does this mean you shouldn’t use directories?

Not at all. What this means is you should use both. Directories are a good traffic source and generally, a directory is a powerful (more…)

Can Your Law Firm Afford a High Google Ranking?

A major concern of law firms (mid to large firms as well as sole practicing attorneys) is whether or not they will see a return on their search engine optimization. For smaller firms, an even bigger concern is whether they can afford search engine optimization at all.

Since last year’s economic downturn, traditional advertising has experienced a steep decline. Radio, television and print advertising are slowing sectors of marketing; however, online marketing is on the rise even with less than favorable economic conditions.

Why are so many law firms turning to online marketing? It is more affordable than traditional marketing; plus, you can track conversion of an online law firm marketing campaign in ways that traditional marketing cannot be monitored.

With a search engine marketing campaign, you can see how many visitors the effort is yielding. Through tracking contact forms, you can also monitor conversion.

How much does search engine optimization cost?

The amount of work (more…)

Thirteen Year Legal Marketing Advantage

When performing a search engine optimization analysis for a new legal client, we ran across a competing law firm whose website had been online since 1996. The website was ranked number one and it appears it will stay that way indefinitely.

Thirteen years…

The Internet has been used commercially since the early nineties and began trickling into homes around the world in 1992 (although it originally went live in 1969 as a U.S. Department of Defense project called ARPANET).

Four years after the Prodigies and AOLs started making their irritating fax machine noises on computers everywhere, this one competing law firm purchased a domain name and set up a website.

Today, that firm has thirteen years of links to it. Some of those links are as old as the website itself. The result of this thirteen year old investment (which the attorney was most certainly mocked for doing when he originally purchased the site) now (more…)