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New Yahoo local listings let you share more details about your firm

Enhanced listing on Yahoo Local for Chicago law firm, Briskman Briskman & Greenberg

Enhanced listing on Yahoo Local for Chicago law firm, Briskman Briskman & Greenberg

Yahoo’s new Local search design noticeably resembles Google’s existing Local format for businesses like law firms. Regardless of the flattery and ethics of Yahoo’s development, the similarities will happily allow firms to expand their web presence across a new network in an familiar way.

Yahoo has announced that its Local search results are designed to offer users detailed information about a business when they click on it in a results list. Whether users are searching for a local bookstore, pharmacy or law firm, Yahoo Local displays snapshots of businesses beside a recently updated Yahoo Maps design.

Viewers are presented with an overview of each company, which includes parking suggestions, pictures, hours of business and more. The noticeably larger map is designed to remain on the sidebar as a user navigates the results.

At the moment, the new Local (more…)

Click-to-Call Can Easily Boost Your Mobile Conversions

mobile search for lawyersMost people who need a lawyer want to speak with them as soon as possible. They don’t want to spend time filling out a form; today, people want things as instantly as possible. That culture accounts for the high number of smartphones now in use. To add convenience to your site, allow potential clients to tap a phone number and call your firm right away.

User behavior has changed. Many of your visitors are now viewing your website on a mobile device. In 2013, we conducted a study showing that more potential clients call your law firm than use an online contact form. The report provided insight into the ways in which lead generation is changing for law firms.

In our report, you’ll find that calls increased and contact form use decreased in part because of an increase in mobile access to sites. When navigating with a small smartphone screen, a user is (more…)

How Many Visits Does It Take to Convince a Visitor to Contact Your Firm?

seolawfirm_exclusive_report At the start of each year, we bask in the tons of data compiled from 12 solid months of user behavior collected from all of our websites. January always brings us intriguing new insights into site visitors.

This week, we are considering the number of times a visitor typically visits your website before filling out a contact form.

We reviewed 70,000 leads generated on law firm websites in various practice areas and regions to determine what percentage of web leads come from returning visitors — and how often that visitor goes to your website before sending your firm an email. This report shows only the number of leads coming from web contact forms and does not, therefore, account for phone calls. Our results displayed a range of user behavior with a strong single-visit majority:

  • One Visit: A little more than 82% of web leads contacted a law firm the first (more…)

Chrome is the most popular browser but is it popular with your visitors?

Chrome The latest statistics on browser preference have arrived.

According to w3schools.com, Google Chrome has earned the healthiest market share between December 2012 and December 2013. In fact, it has been gaining popularity since 2011, when it ran virtually neck-and-neck with Firefox. Internet Explorer (IE), Safari and Opera are still being used, but Safari and Opera fall well behind the top three — Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Chrome was first launched in 2008, so it has come a long way in just five years. Back in 2002, IE led the pack with 83.4 percent usage. Now, the numbers for 2013 show Chrome out in the lead with 55.8 percent usage, and Firefox following with 26.8 percent. Internet Explorer, which now looks like it might vanish entirely, only attracts 9 percent of users (quite a significant drop from 83.4 percent in 2002).

What does this data mean for your law firm? It (more…)

New Clients Matter, Not Rankings

Rankings Not as Important as New ClientsOnline marketing is valuable to law firms because it reaches out to a large audience of potential new clients. Unlike the world we entered almost nine years ago, today’s online landscape is much bigger than keywords. It goes beyond rankings and trying to impress Google.

People are on social networks. They’re reading news. They’re reading opinions. They’re reading news about others’ opinions. They have emails, they run mobile apps, and they are not going to a single source for anything. Even the most loyal Google Search users may go directly to Yelp when their car breaks down. Rather than searching for a place to eat in a search engine, diners go directly to Opentable.com or Zagat.com.

Earlier this year, we published a report titled, “Social may be trendy but search brings home the leads.” In that report, we showed how Google was delivering the majority of web leads (leads that come (more…)

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…)

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…)

More clients call than click

man calling lawyerWhen measuring the success of search engine marketing, many law firms look at the leads emailed to them from their website. While lawyers notice an increase in cases, they often come via a very limited number of emailed leads.

The trend of leads using contact forms is decreasing while the ROI of online marketing for law firms is sharply increasing. How is this possible? Many people are opting to call rather than fill out a contact form.

We reviewed the calling data from a sample of our clients who use call tracking. The calls that we reviewed came in through phone numbers that were exclusively used with their online marketing efforts, not from any other advertising outlet. Those with enhanced call tracking (where the number displayed on the website changes based on the visitor referrer – i.e., if searching Google organic with a keyword, they see a tracking phone number, but if searching (more…)

Google’s Rankings Going Back to 2006

updateWhen our parent company, Adviatech, was formed in 2005, the internet looked considerably different. Websites were narrower, animation and slideshows were limited to search-engine-discouraged Flash elements, and the Google’s search results were becoming excessively gamed and ugly.

It was a common practice in those days to set up directories and landing pages for each and every keyword. Google actually rewarded the hard work of spammers by ranking keyword-stuffed landing pages, rewarded businesses and law firms that setup multiple domain names for every practice area, and positioned the directories of companies higher than actual company websites.

The result was bad search results. Since then, Google has stepped up the enforcement of authentic landing pages, the elimination of duplicate content, and the removal of spam with crippling accuracy. But one item remains — directories are coming back and ranking higher than business listings.

In 2006, we saw directories get favorable listings and worked hard to move (more…)

Want to rank high in Bing Local? Try SPAM

Bing_local_spamWe recently looked at the local results for Google, Yahoo!, and Bing in an attempt to find similarities among the results displayed in the search engines’ local results.

While Yahoo! and Bing are both powered by the same search engine, the logic behind their local results are very different.

In Yahoo!, a search for a Chicago personal injury lawyer yielded one spammy listing out of five. In Bing for that same search, we found four spammy entries out of five. The non-spammy listing looks like spam at first glance, but the law firm has incorporated their keyword-stuffed name, so they are technically “doing business as” the keyword-rich title in their listing.

Yahoo! shows local results that appear to be based on more credible variables — things like reviews, citations, reviews on other websites, and rating. They also appear to favor higher-rated law firms. Whereas Google may favor a law firm with 50-plus reviews, (more…)