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Content Marketing: Hail to the King
The key to a truly successful law firm marketing strategy has always been producing a steady stream of relevant content. Even before Google released Panda and now Penguin, the most reliable way to promote long-term goals – both of being found and converting visitors to clients – was to create value through quality, meaningful content. Now, with Google supposedly cracking down on SEO cheaters, rendering old tactics (and those of questionable ethical merit) obsolete, producing content that both Google and potential clients find useful is more important than ever.

Besides, content that contains what Google considers to be keyword spam is awkward and forced. It has never been a good idea. It is difficult to relate, for example, to a “Boring, Oregon Small Business Attorney serving small businesses in Boring, Clackamas County and the Portland-Vancouver metro area who need the advice of an experienced Boring Small (more…)

De-Optimizing Your Firm’s Website for Search Engine Placement

Lawyer SEO with viewer keywordsWhat started out as a fairly slow year in the world of search engine changes rapidly changed this summer as Google updated their algorithm and made some of the most significant changes in recent history. Last week, we talked about link building, but this week we are back to discussing your law firm’s website.

Onsite SEO is something that doesn’t often change. Your law firm’s website needs to grow by adding new content and building new pages. But SEO “changes” can be done with less frequency. In fact, if a company is proposing monthly changes to your website and meta data, you can assume they stopped all continuing education around 1999.

We do quarterly reviews, which generally include a few minor changes, a meta description update (which is more about conversion than ranking improvement) and another look at any keyword opportunities we might be missing. If your website was optimized more than a (more…)

Content’s New Role in Law Firm Marketing

There is a growing misconception in the legal marketing industry that social networks are becoming more important than creating new content. However, this is not the case at all. Social networks are powered by content.

What is changing is the content itself. Whereas the online marketing strategies of the past involved producing a lot of long, extensive articles and content pieces, the new law firm marketing strategy is about more, shorter pieces of content. But this presents challenges of its own.

To keep social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest relevant, law firms need to post interesting comments and links. Otherwise, those profiles become just another advertisement rather than a community.

At the same time, if a law firm posts links to brief pieces of content that are worthless or too abridged to provide any real information, then those social network profiles are essentially spam. They will not lead (more…)

Law Firm Marketing By Design for Different Practice Areas – Part II

We recently covered design and color schemes for divorce lawyer, personal injury lawyers, and bankruptcy lawyers. This week, we wrap up our two-part series with immigration, criminal defense, employment, and estate planning lawyers.

Immigration Lawyers
Whereas many areas of the law should project a compassionate image, immigration lawyers can be less fluffy and more inspiring. A design that instills hope will best communicate with their target market. It would be completely inappropriate to stand in a dark room, looking tough, arms crossed, and holding a gavel. That would not communicate with hopeful citizens. You should inspire hope with your design while instilling confidence with credentials. A “land of opportunity” theme is a better choice than a “tough angry lawyer” theme.

Criminal Defense
Criminal defense attorneys have it a little easier. Depending on their target client base (white collar, DUI, domestic violence, sex crimes, etc), the style they should approach can vary. A white collar criminal (more…)

Law Firm Marketing By Design for Different Practice Areas – Part I

There is a difference between web design and web development. The design is the style, layout, graphics, and more. Development is when the design meets programming with content integration and page building. In this section, we will focus on the design.

A website is much like a work of art. It needs to say something to the visitor before they read it. Communication through design is why it is vital to have a professional website. Your website’s color schemes, graphics, imagery, and overall design need to psychologically communicate with your target clientele before they ever read one word of your content.

I have outlined a few areas of law and explained what their design needs to say in order to communicate with their target market. This week, we will cover Divorce, Personal Injury, and Bankruptcy.

Divorce Lawyers
Divorce and family lawyers probably work with the most stressed out client base of any practice area, (more…)

Law Firm Marketing with Short Content

At the center of every online law firm marketing campaign is content. Whether it is content on your website, blog entries, or distributed content like press releases or articles, what gets your firm attention is valuable content.

As users turn to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google Plus, we see an obvious trend change regarding what people like and what gets them to “like” or “+1” your firm. People like brevity.

From short Tweets to brief blog entires, content that is direct and to the point with just 100-200 words is what gets attention. While long content is preferred by Google on your website, short content that is heavily shared on Google Plus will still get preferable treatment in the search engine…temporarily. Which is why it helps to know when to go short and when to write long detailed pieces.

Go Long

Long, detailed content is best reserved for your website. Explain the legal (more…)

Act Social to Grow Your Firm

It is important to make the distinction between thinking social and acting social. Just being on a social network is about as useful as just having a website. The key to success is having an active presence on the social networks to market your firm.

In this month’s issue of the Bigger Law Firm magazine, they talk about Google Plus and how to utilize Google’s new social network to grow your firm. You can pick up an issue at seolawfirm.com/blf-magazine/.

Currently, the most activity is on Facebook and Twitter. The key to success is activity and activity means content. Here are a few ways to stay active on Facebook and Twitter without using up hours of valuable time.

1) Create a Facebook page. Go into your profile to create a page. You do not want your personal profile to become the face of your law firm’s Facebook presence. Create a page for your firm, (more…)

Marketing the Modern Elder Law Firm

It is an exciting time to be an elder law and estate planning attorney. Your target audience is larger than they have ever been and they are getting more technologically savvy. This means you can reach out to them in a number of different ways that are relatively inexpensive compared to traditional television and print advertisements.

The modern elder law firm needs to be focused on education. A lot of people hear about “elder law” or talk with their friends and family about “estate planning” but they may not know what it is, why it is important, and what it really entails. If you become their educator, you will be become their lawyer.

Before you start drafting articles, you should know that with a more technologically savvy audience comes many opportunities to educate and generate leads beyond articles and print literature. Let’s look at a few.

1) Video Libraries – Nobody wants to watch (more…)

The Right Law Firm Marketing Budget

We get a lot of calls each week from lawyers that are upset with their current legal marketing company. These calls generally go something like this.

“I can’t take this company that I’m working with any longer. I had them build my website about one year ago and I’ve been paying them month after month to do search engine work and nothing is happening.” The lawyer goes on to explain how they have spent a fortune on the website but really doesn’t know what exactly they are paying for.

Unfortunately, many attorneys get conned into believing that having a website and a couple of listings in a lawyer directory is going to fill up their office with a mountain of new cases. Thus, money should not be a concern.

As you know, money is always a concern. The reason many law firms overspend on online marketing is because the attorney doesn’t work (more…)

Automate Follow Up and Win New Cases

Many law firms already understand the value of email newsletters. By staying in touch with prospective clients and existing clients, you keep your law firm’s name fresh on their mind. In fact, email newsletters are a great way of getting new clients not because of the people already on your list, but because of their friends and colleagues.

Not everybody needs representation right now and that is what makes newsletters so effective. By staying in front of people that have used your services or requested information, you encourage them to pass on your information when they know someone that needs an attorney.

While they are very valuable, the newsletter is also rather time consuming. But the whole process can be automated if your law firm already has a blog.

First, you must have an account with an email list manager like Constant Contact or Mailchimp. We recommend Mailchimp for their simplicity and intuitive (more…)