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Associating your law firms name with a good crowd

into_the_futureThe July issue of Bigger Law Firm magazine features a column by Ryan Conley, Into The Future of SEO.

In it, Conley made a case for citations becoming as important as inbound links. Your law firm should embrace this concept with open arms.

Here is how it works:

1) Smith & Smith, LLP setup their Google+ Local page, connecting the profile to their website, lawexample.com.

2) In their profile, they place themselves in the category of “estate planning lawyers.” Now, Google knows that Smith & Smith, LLP is equal to lawexample.com, a website about estate planning.

In the past, had John or Susan Smith been interviewed by The New York Times, the article would probably mention their name and the law firm’s name, but would more than likely not link to the firm’s website — giving the firm great exposure, but absolutely no search engine optimization value. That has changed.

If (more…)

Does Active Blogging Pay off for Law Firms?

rss stickerWe recently conducted a study to see if blogging really impacted search engine rankings. We searched for highly-competitive terms in some of the America’s largest cities and reviewed the top three natural rankings. Aside from blog activity, we also looked at the overall number of pages on the sites and social activity.

The results were mixed, but we found some interesting similarities. We looked at five key practice areas in 20 major metro areas and reviewed the top 3 sites in each search, totaling approximately 300 websites.

Results (Averages)

  • Blog entries per month – 4 – 12
  • Firms with more than 100 pages – 87%
  • Firms with social profiles – 98%
  • Number of social profiles updates (per month) 15 – 20

Some firms (a small percentage) did not have blogs at all, but the majority of firms in the top three rankings had blogs with at least one weekly blog post. Some of these firms were not routine (more…)

Your law firm’s outbound links still play an important role

resourcelinksThere is a lot of discussion within the search engine marketing community surrounding the Google Penguin 2.0 updates and how they affect inbound links to your firm’s website. In last month’s issue of the Bigger Law Firm magazine, the author created a framework for how to think about search engine marketing moving forward. It’s about connections, not just links to your website.

Connections involve social connections, citations, websites which mention your firm (even if not linking to it), inbound links, and outbound links. The outbound links are often overlooked, but are extremely important.

An outbound link is essentially an endorsement from your website — an extension of your reputation. Imagine networking at a dinner party. You stand up and introduce your friend who has a Ph.D., is a professor at M.I.T. and currently works with NASA developing nuclear reactors to be used for galactic space travel. Your status at the dinner party is (more…)

Whose opinion matters when redesigning your firm’s website?

scrutinyThe reason a website is redesigned is to attract new clients. The old site may be out-of-date or not optimized for the world in which we now live; visitors may be accessing your site from a large desktop computer, a laptop, a midsize tablet, an ebook tablet, or a smartphone. Ultimately, the redesign is about getting new clients.

When your law firm’s website is getting redesigned, it’s natural to reach out to friends and family to get their opinion about the proposed design. Sometimes this can yield good feedback about the navigation and intuitive elements of your website; since you and the your staff probably visit your website on a regular basis, you are already familiar with the navigation. A friend who does not visit your site may be able to point out things that you’ve overlooked.

While friends and colleagues can offer good advice during the design process, whose opinion (more…)

Who really owns your content?

Trapped in contract without content ownershipAfter paying for your website, volumes of useful content, and blog entries, you may be surprised to learn that your content does not really belong to you.

If you are like thousands of other attorneys, you will never know, unless you decide to move to a new service provider – at which point, your legal marketing company may inform you that you have no rights to the content that you paid for.

As many law firms assess their online marketing and look for other options, they generally reach out to law firm marketing companies to do comparisons and provide a competitive quote. Most lawyers do this search with the assumption that they will need a new website, but that the content they have spent thousands of dollars on will be transferable.

Technically yes. Legally, no.

While all content can be easily transferred, the problem comes down to the terms of your agreement. If (more…)

Google, I need an attorney

At Google’s I/O conference in San Francisco last week, they announced their plans to make internet search a little more conversational. With a little inspiration from Star Trek, Google wants users to search with casual verbal conversation.

Google Senior Vice President Amit Singhal said the search engine of the future will “answer, converse and anticipate.”

The presentations at the conference involved Singhal searching for pizza by asking, “What’s the nearest pizza place?” He then asked follow-up questions such as, “When does it close?” then “What’s its phone number?”

Google Vice President Johanna Wright showed attendees a preview by asking Google to “Show me things to do in Santa Cruz.” The search engine showed pictures, landmarks, and restaurants.

Like most early previews of Google products, this creates more questions than the company is willing to publicly answer. But, based on the examples provided at the conference, here is how your clients are going to (more…)

Getting personal leads to getting new cases

Including pictures of lawyers doing something they enjoy can make their attorney bio page more than a resume and a way to connect with prospective clients.

People hire you to handle their legal matters. They don’t hire logos, DIY legal document services, they hire you – your experience, your credentials, maybe even the style of your hair. Whatever it is, you are who they are contacting.

You need to think about the power of you when selecting an online marketing strategy. Your website should not be a buffer between you, your law firm, and prospective clients. Instead, it should be an extension of you and what you stand for.

Don’t think this only applies to sole practitioners. If you have a larger firm with multiple attorneys, you can capitalize on this philosophy by bringing the characters and personalities of your law firm to life so that the many personalities (more…)

How website security can harm your firm’s SEO

This past weekend, widespread reports of a WordPress attack spread throughout the internet. The story got traction on mainstream publications like Forbes, Information Week, and NBC News, putting some website owners in a panic.

SEO | Law Firm’s parent company, Adviatech, whose servers host hundreds of websites for law firms throughout North America, woke up staff members in Florida and California, and coordinated with their server administrators in Texas to execute an emergency plan which heightened security on all of their websites built on the WordPress CMS. Eighteen hours later, long after the sun had set on both coasts, every website had been carefully reviewed, secured, updated, fitted with additional brute-force protection, stripped of all old administrator accounts, and prepared to weather out the storm.

Having prevented their clients from withstanding an attack, Adviatech assigned several people to closely monitor the servers’ activity throughout the rest of the weekend. Monday morning, (more…)

Social may be trendy but search brings home the leads – SPECIAL REPORT

Social marketing is a popular topic on blogs, in lawyer magazines, and at conferences. This attention is certainly well deserved. Just look at the audience:

  • Facebook – 1 billion+ users
  • Google+ – 500 million+ users
  • Twitter – 500 million+ users
  • LinkedIn- 200 million+ users
  • Pinterest – 48 million+ users

Those audiences should not be ignored, however when looking at what drives leads into your office, we see that search is still the driving force.

Source of leads for law firms from Google, Yahoo, Bing, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter - Copyright 2013 SEO | Law Firm, an Adviatech company

Online lead sources for law firms:
Search engines

  • Google – 77.09%
  • Yahoo! – 8.93%
  • Bing – 8.01%

Social Networks

  • Facebook – 2.51%
  • Twitter – 0.13%
  • Google+ – 0.27%

Other – 2.97%

How We Conducted the Study

Multiple locations and practices – We sampled a variety of websites belonging to law firms in various regions in the U.S. practicing a variety of areas of law.

No name searches – Search traffic was not calculated for law firm name searches. For example, if someone searched for “Law Office of John Smith” in Google, we did not record that (more…)

Too many keywords are keeping your law firm down

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