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Find balance with your search and social marketing efforts

Each new, highly publicized update Google releases causes some frustration among businesses that see their rankings fluctuate as the changes take effect. And Google will continue to hone its algorithm in an attempt to make search results as helpful as possible for those in need of information or services.

However, through all of Google’s updates, the basic rules have remained the same. And so has the underlying formula: a combination of authority and relevance. The search giant has simply (and consistently) been stepping up enforcement of things long considered to be unethical or bad practices and attempting to reward content that is genuinely useful.

Social media increasingly has a place within this equation. Businesses that produce content others find helpful are more likely to get liked, shared, tweeted about and followed. And marketers just cannot stop talking about social media. But it is not the magic bullet that some seem to (more…)

The Big Lawyer in the Social Networking Cocktail Party

In David Meerman Scott’s book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly” he compares the internet to a city. He notes that “Seeing the Web as a city also helps make sense of other aspects of online life. Craigslist is like the bulletin board at the entrance of the corner store; eBay, a garage sale; Amazon, a bookstore replete with patrons anxious to give you their two cents. You’ve even got the proverbial wrong-side-of-the-tracks spots via the Web’s adult-entertainment underbelly.”

He then continues to explain how social networks are like cocktail parties which is where this week’s metaphor begins. When attending a social event, you always find different people, but they can be classified in similar categories.

Can’t Hold Their Liquor

This classification of party patron can be interpreted online as the online users that talk too (more…)

A New Way to Get New Cases from the Internet

Many law firms are discovering a new way to attract the interest of potential clients and learning that there is more than one way to market a law firm online.

Among the most popular techniques is a website being ranked on the first page of Google and other search engines when those needing legal services search for an attorney in their region. This is very effective and at the center of our legal marketing strategy.

However, the journey to the goal can yield as great of a return as the actual achieved goal itself. There is no such thing as one absolute item that must be on a site to get it properly optimized; search engine optimization is made up of many services.

Optimizing the content of a website is at the very beginning of the list and must be done correctly for other techniques to be effective. However, onsite optimization is not the (more…)

Getting New Clients from Your Law Firm’s Website

As an online law firm marketing company, our specialty is lawyer search engine optimization and getting law firm websites to rank higher in Google and other search engines. Therefore, we frequently talk about it and all things that center around “SEO.” In fact, we love “SEO” so much that we even put it in our name (SEOLawFirm.com).

But we know that what keeps our clients renewing year after year is partially their high ranking but primarily conversion. How many new cases and contacts are coming from their website… that is what truly matters.

A great factor in conversion is the design of the website. The key to conversion is simplicity and fewer steps. The goal of the design is to instill confidence in a user then make it as easy as possible to contact the law firm.

Keeping It Simple

The best way to increase conversion is to add a simple contact form on every (more…)

Fewer Steps to Contact Form May Increase Attorney Website Conversion

If you tuck away the contact form, you are requiring the visitor to make an extra step to contact your law firm. The average visitor to an attorney website will visit 2.3 pages on your site. This number can be increased if you keep a blog actively updated. However, if the homepage is the first page, the second page needs to be your contact form or else it becomes less likely that the visitor will convert to a contact.

The way to improve this is to put a short contact form on every page. Regardless of the page the visitor lands on first on your site, they have immediate access to an easy way to contact you via a short contact form. Otherwise, they may just pass your “contact us” button, read some information then leave without contacting your firm.

Adding a short contact form to every page of your website is probably (more…)

A Lawyers Biggest Competitor is Not Always Another Law Firm

Every law firm has competition. Whether it’s the attorney that buys primetime television slots, the firm that takes over the front, side, and back of the phone book, or the lawyer who practices the same area of law in your building; competition is everywhere.

When deciding how to best search engine optimize an attorney website, we look at competition in a different way. Online, competition is not always made up of lawyers in your city. It often comes from more powerful sources.

When building an online legal marketing strategy, we have to first determine the most popular keyphrase for your practice area. Popular keywords are going to give you the greatest return, since they provide the most exposure. While (for example) “Dallas Texas Criminal Defense and DUI Lawyer” may yield a quick page one ranking, it’s unlikely that the 5 individuals that search for that full keyphrase each month will cover your expenses. (more…)

Get Your Law Firm Networked for the New Google

A lot of shuffling is taking place in the Google algorithm right now. Last year, their modified algorithm named “Google Caffeine” was released for public testing. In the summer, we reviewed it and realized that they were changing for the better. In November, they announced that they would begin upgrading their data centers.

In the last couple of months, we have seen a lot of fluctuation in rankings which is a pretty good sign that the upgrade is well underway. But one of things we are also seeing is that Google is looking for a new third element, social networks.

It appears that the world’s largest search engine is paying attention to how often a website is linking with popular social networks as a way to gage popularity. Some experts even speculate that they monitor Tweets and Re-Tweets.

The clear message to take from this is that you need a social networking strategy to (more…)

How Law Firms Can Use Twitter

We have been critical of Twitter in the past, but the fact is Twitter drives traffic. To effectively use it, you need content to which people will be sent. Doing a “tweet” that gives personal updates like “I’m at a restaurant,” or “Driving on interstate,” or “In a small accident from tweeting on the interstate” will not drive traffic to your website or blog.

To fully utilize Twitter, you must first get familiar with a URL shortener. You will need this to stay within Twitters 140 character limit. Bit.ly is one of easiest to use and it’s free. Just go to http://bit.ly/ and paste your long URL in the box. It generates a new one that looks like this, http://bit.ly/9CaPNn and takes up less space in your tweet.

Write a blog entry on your website’s blog or social network blog. For example, a family law attorney can write a blog entry outlining some (more…)

A New Way to Market Your Law Firm

The Internet gives law firms many opportunities to market themselves in much more affordable ways than traditional print, television and radio. In fact, even paying an online law firm marketing company to take care of everything for you can generally cost less than using a less effective Yellow Pages advertisement.

Due to hectic schedules, most lawyers do not have the time to fully handle their online marketing efforts, but we have a few tips and tools that can easily be squeezed into a heavy schedule.

Social Networking

Social networks are quickly becoming the backbone of search engine optimization. It’s theorized that search engines are looking at links being posted through social networks to gage popularity. But aside from that, social networks have an audience. If you post content on a blog on your website (which should be done) you will be reaching out to the audience of people who find it on Google blog (more…)

Your Law Firm’s Website Activity

If your law firm has a website as a part of its online legal marketing strategy, chances are it’s getting traffic every day. The value and volume of the traffic are things that need to be improved through search engine optimization, but this article is more about knowing what’s going on with your website’s activity.

When you go to a store, most major retail outlets have sensors at the doorway. You probably overlook them, but they are certainly watching you. Every time someone walks in and out, a system tracks the activity to see how popular the branch is. Consultants are often brought in to monitor shopping habits from the cameras in the ceiling to figure out new ways to attract shoppers to high profit items.

Fortunately, getting statistics about your website is a little easier but certainly no less valuable. What keywords or referring sites are getting people to come to your (more…)