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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…)

Mimicking Other Lawyers’ Strategies Not Always the Best Course

When your law firm started thinking about a strong online marketing plan, you probably ran a few searches on local competing law firms. After getting a look at the top-ranking crowd, you may have then contacted a search engine marketing company and declared that you wanted them to do whatever your competitor was doing.

In fact, some companies offer that same tactic. They check a competitor’s link portfolio and then try to get your firm linked with all of the same sites. While competitor research is very important and can lead your legal marketing company to some good opportunities, it should not be the only strategy for developing a link building and search marketing plan.

Perhaps the most valuable way to use competitor data is not to clone their strategy, but to look for their shortcomings. If the number one ranking firm for your keyword is not utilizing news releases to (more…)

Google Announces Tool to Repair Your Firm’s Search Engine Credibility

Google’s recent Penguin update targeted websites that had links pointing from sketchy internet neighborhoods. Does your law firm have a link which points traffic to it from a website advertising paid links? Is it in a directory that you can only get listed in by exchanging a link or paying a fee? Those links now work against your law firm’s ranking in Google.

As news about Penguin’s targeting spread, some website owners cried foul, claiming that not all websites linking to them were doing so by any fault or action of their own. Others, like SEO | Law Firm, at first cheered on Google Penguin, and, in a piece featured in Bigger Law Firm magazine, even said Google Penguin didn’t go far enough.

But the Penguin changes put link building squarely front-and-center. It also gave website owners (like your law firm) one more thing to worry about. Google’s terms clearly state that a (more…)

Your Law Firm Needs Unique Ideas, Not Just Unique Content

There is a strong call for content volume if you want your law firm’s website to be easily found via Google. From onsite content such as blogs, social network content, and marketing literature including ebooks, press releases, and articles, the demand for a lot of content can be overwhelming.

Prepare to be over-overwhelmed.

Unique content is not the only element to worry about. Google can also identify similar topics within unique content. This is part of their never ending quest to make sure they are delivering the best results to their end user — the searching public.

Here is what Google is trying to avoid: Pretend that you own a 2010 Audi A4 and you experience a clicking noise when trying to start your car. You search in Google for “2010 audi a4 clicking noise when starting.” If Google cannot detect duplicate topics, you may get a page of websites all saying (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…)

Google’s Newest Target is Your Law Firm’s Domain Name

Recently, Google announced another algorithm change in their efforts to stop web spam. The newest change has nothing to do with your links and little to do with content. This time, Google is targeting your law firm’s domain name.

The goal with the newest change is to target low-quality “exact match” domain names. For most law firms, this change may actually help their rankings.

Over the past decade, spammers in all industries (not just law) have been picking up domain names that are packed with keywords. A personal injury lawyer in Boston may spend thousands of dollars to snag bostonpersonalinjurylawyer.com. A business attorney may create a hyphenated domain name of Dallas-business-lawyer dot some extension.

If a law firm provides the same care and attention to their keyword-rich domain as they would a domain based on the firms’ name, this algorithm change shouldn’t penalize them. The problem is when an exact match domain (more…)

Bring Clients Back to Your Law Firm’s Website with Remarketing

Lawyers spend millions of dollars each year to get their name out to the public and bring in new clients. Some law firms spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to drive potential clients to their website. What happens after someone visits the firm’s site, but doesn’t take the next step and call or contact the attorney?

Remarketing is a pay-per-click service that can compliment your natural search engine optimization and offline marketing efforts. By placing a code on your website, you can advertise to your past website visitors in an effort to bring them back to your firm. Here is how it works:

Building a Pool – A pool is a group of visitors who have seen a section of your website. For example, a personal injury lawyer could have a pool for car accidents, one for medical malpractice, and one for workplace injuries. Google provides a code that is placed (more…)

5 Link Building Tips for Lawyers in the Post Penguin Google

Google Penguin NinjaThis year’s Penguin updates from Google have changed how many law firms are positioned in the search results. For years, we have identified many cheating law firms that heavily took part in link exchanges, buying paid links, forum spam, blog comment spam, paid posting and other link building tactics that are now yielding useless, if not damaging, links.

The old link building strategy was easy. Get a lot of links and hyperlink your key phrases (i.e., Asheville divorce lawyer links to http://www.example.com). As Dylan declared in 1964, “The times, they are a-changin’.”

If your SEO and online law firm marketing company is proposing thousands of directory links, grab their proposal, locate the nearest shredder and save yourself a lot of heartache. To help get you on the right path, we have put together a short list of ways to get good links in the post Penguin world.

1) Directories – Directories still have their (more…)

How TV Ads and SEO Work Together for Your Firm

A lot of law firms use television ads to increase awareness and get leads. But some lawyers who closely monitor their lead sources have seen their search engine optimization efforts improve the conversion rate of their television advertisements.

Many elements go into a successful SEO campaign. From local profiles, videos and news releases to publishing content on third party authoritative websites to onsite work that makes the law firm’s website intuitive and conversion-friendly, a real SEO effort is spreading the firm’s name across the Internet in multiple ways. Another way of thinking about it is message control.

When someone is watching a TV ad, they are probably not standing by to write down a phone number or a website address. But your law firm’s name is easier to remember. Before calling, many people are going to Google it after seeing your commercial.

When they Google your firm, what do they see? One website and (more…)

What Large Law Firms Do Differently with their Websites

Large law firm office A website is more than a page, picture and words. Visitors can assess the size of your law firm simply by looking at the design of your website and the way you organize content on it.

Last year, we wrote a blog titled, “What You Can Learn from Large Law Firms”. We looked at some of the largest law firms in the U.S. and discovered that most of these firms hosted libraries of content on their websites.

When our blog article was published in April of 2011, DLA Piper was the largest firm in the country by number of attorneys. Their website had more than 37,000 pages indexed in Google. Other firms had a few thousand pages of content, but overall, most large law firms filled their websites with massive amounts of content.

This year, DLA Piper was dethroned by another Chicago giant, Baker & McKenzie. It is here that we start looking (more…)