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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…)

Beat the crowd: Tips for rising above the competition in a saturated market

The Am Law Daily announced last week that early numbers show only modest growth for a prestigious group of New York’s largest law firms last year. Within the study is the admission from several partners that persistent pressure to lower rates is cutting into profitability, even with a rise in some types of litigation work. The push for firms to lower their rates or pursue alternative billing agreements is growing as law schools continue to graduate more students than the market can absorb. Not only is the market saturated, but too many young attorneys are graduating ill-prepared to meed the demands of both employers and clients. Some are responding by attempting to cut rates even further.

The problem is becoming so pervasive that some law schools are considering opening their own firms to better prepare students for the real world of the legal profession. Arizona State, for (more…)

Set your firm apart in a way that matters to clients

One difficulty confronting firms that are operating in an undeniably saturated market is the ability to effectively communicate what sets them apart from all the other firms competing for the same clients. Many attorneys have begun to recognize that they must define themselves in a way that is distinct from their competition. And this is correct. One key to successful marketing is showing clients how you are different from (and better than) all of their other options.

Unfortunately, many attorneys identify and promote the wrong things – things that clients do not find relevant or helpful. These things can be categorized as “features” of a firm, like having 20 years more experience or boasting a larger network of non-lawyer collaborative partnerships. That is not to say that these thing don’t matter; it is simply that they matter to people searching for a lawyer only insofar as they provide a real advantage to (more…)

Too many keywords are keeping your law firm down

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Spice up your attorney marketing with infographics

Attorneys and law firms are not generally known for their infographics, but there is no reason that should be the case. You may love them or hate them, but regardless of your personal stance, it is important to recognize that they do garner more attention than plain-text posts and articles. Infographics are an easy way to distribute helpful facts, lists or other data. As social media assets, they are easy to share. As visuals, they are more likely to get attention and be seen by a diverse audience.

Infographics can be fun and interesting, but they are only effective as a marketing tool if they gain traction through pins, shares and retweets. Infographics must be well-designed, engaging and contain information that people actually want to know. Certain types of content are more likely to go viral than others, like lists, graphics that tell a story, information that is surprising, (more…)

Digital Business Card Options are Expanding

Depending upon who you ask, business cards are either an essential professional tool or a dinosaur left over from the old days of print. The reality is probably somewhere in between; you will not win new clients through the sheer brilliance of your business card design, but a good card can help keep you in touch with valuable connections.

Truly tech-savvy early adopters have been searching for ways to digitize the business card for some time. LinkedIn offers an app called CardMunch, which lets you take a picture of a physical business card with your iPhone and then convert the information to a contact in your address book. This may be good for storing other people’s information, but it does not address your ability to share your own digital card. Other apps, like Cardcloud do allow you to create and share a digital business card via phone or email. Unlike some card (more…)

Creating a Sitemap for Your Law Firm’s Website

Since content is one of the most important aspects of your website, it is time to do some planning. For the sake of this demonstration, we are going to use the fictional law firm of Smith & White, divorce lawyers in Boston.

Decide on the type of general overview page you want to use – for example, “About Us,” “Attorney Profile,” or “Firm Profile.” The “About Us” or “Firm Overview” page is a general overview of your law firm. If you are a solo practitioner, you will want to substitute this page for an “Attorney Profile” page. If you have more than one attorney, it is appropriate to include an “About Us/Firm Profile” page as well as individual attorney profile pages.

Like anything else, your website needs a plan. So let’s start by creating a preliminary content sitemap. The list is organized by the level of importance, as if it was going to (more…)

Yes, you should pay attention to your law firm tagline

Law firms have more considerations than other service providers and retail businesses when it comes to choosing a name. Traditionally, a firm’s name is made up of the name of its partner or partners. In cases where there are too many partners to list, the firm’s name may contain only the names of senior partners or founders.

The past few years have seen a trend toward shortening firm names as one piece of branding and marketing efforts. Shorter, branded names are easier to remember and may help set a firm apart in more competitive markets. Not all firms are able to move away from traditional partner naming, however, and not all firms wish to. Some state bar associations require firm names to contain the names of partners. And some firms, especially those that are older or more well-established, understand that their client base is not interested in a new or shorter (more…)

Is your firm developing its own voice online?

Most law firms understand that regular online activity helps with marketing efforts. But the formula for success can seem elusive, and frequent changes to search algorithms frustrate some firm’s efforts. Your ranking may bounce about unpredictably, making it difficult to determine what is working and what is not. It is clear that blogging and social media can be a force for good, but they may also backfire, harming your reputation among clients and peers.

Google claims to be waging a war against unoriginal, robotic and repetitive content. Over the past several years, the search engine has targeted and taken out one technique after another that it considers to be cheating or in some way unethical. Some of these changes have succeeded while others have been less effective, and adapting is challenging enough. You must also factor in the additional weight that is now being given to social cues such as (more…)

How your law firm can dominate Google for hundreds of keyphrases

Your search engine optimization strategy is often centered around high-traffic, targeted keywords. These keywords are generally based on a city and practice area, like “New York personal injury lawyer” or “San Francisco business attorney” or “Divorce lawyer in Seattle.” But many law firms have learned how to dominate hundreds of keyphrases simply by answering questions.

To do this, consider all of the questions prospective clients have asked during consultations. A family law attorney could consider the following:

How long does a divorce take?
Will a divorce ruin my credit?
What happens to my house in a divorce?
What happens to my business in a divorce?

While a question like “What happens to my business in a divorce?” gets very few searches in Google, the individuals searching for that answer will probably be larger clients.

But what above the first question, the one about the time it takes to get a divorce? Here are some variations of that (more…)