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Nine types of blog entries to help generate good topic ideas

bloggingMarketers have been telling attorneys to blog for years, since it became obvious that content would rule the online marketing world. Scheduled blogging makes your website relevant to visitors, gives people a reason to trust your expertise and provides a consistent stream of content that is helpful when building organic links to your site.

Good blog entries take time. If you are blogging on a regular schedule, it can seem like you are under constant pressure to produce. You should just be able to sit down and hammer out a bunch of content, right? But creativity does not always work that way – with a sudden flash of brilliance that all the Web will recognize. Thoughtful blog posts that present a solution or give practical advice (and are by definition more likely to be shared) require your attention for longer than 30 minutes. But that does not mean that you should (more…)

How much your firm’s SEO rankings would cost in PPC

Law firms often look at their SEO investment in terms of increased rankings, web leads, phone calls, and other measurable improvements. But there is another way to look at your SEO investment, the pay-per-click value.

The pay-per-click (PPC) value looks at these elements:

1) Your search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

2) The cost-per-click (CPC) for those keywords at their current position (i.e., if the website is ranked number five for “Boston divorce lawyer,” the CPC would be based on a sponsored listing at position five). That is calculated for all three search engines.

3) The amount of money it would cost to run ads 24/7 on all three search engines with no daily maximum. This is essentially the level of exposure you are receiving with your search engine placement.

We ran a report on a small handful of websites in various practice areas and cities to show a comparison of what (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…)

Six tips for building your blog readership

Lawyers blog for a variety of reasons, marketing often being chief among them. Blogging and other online social activity can be both rewarding and frustrating. Every regular blogger has wondered if there is really anyone out there reading their tips and insights. For your professional advancement (and peace of mind), it is good to know that your blog readership is growing. More readers mean more interaction, more prominence online, more opportunities to build trust with visitors and ultimately more chances to secure a new client. Try some of these tips for making your blog more active and productive.

1. Be a good reader. Good writers read. Regularly. Writing in a void without exploring examples of the skilled writing of others can result in poor quality material. Reading helps strengthen your own writing and critical thinking skills, particularly if you read material that comes from a point (more…)

Too many keywords are keeping your law firm down

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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…)

Create the right impression with your profile picture

Even if you are consistently posting the most prescient, insightful information on your social media profiles, people will likely notice your picture before they start paying attention to what you have to say. First impressions matter, and they are almost always visual.

Like it or not, you need a good profile picture – a picture of you, not your dog or your child or your favorite beach. And you need a quality picture – one that does not look like it was taken in a cave with a camera phone. If the first thing people see on your profiles is a turn-off, then they may never recognize the value that you have to offer through your professional activity and services.

Why put time into your profile picture?

You want to portray an accurate professional image. A good profile picture should achieve a balance between being eye-catching and appropriate for your industry and (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…)

Naming your law firm for the right clientele

Determining your law firm’s name goes hand-in-hand with determining your market. If you are a personal injury lawyer, a personal bankruptcy lawyer, a divorce lawyer, or some other consumer-oriented attorney, you are going to require aggressive marketing. However, large corporate bankruptcy, business litigation, and niche, specialty areas may require a more traditional look.

For the specialty practices, the classic law firm style will probably be best. Many of your clients will have traditional ideas about working with attorneys, and a clever name may make your firm appear inexperienced.

If you’re in one of the more aggressive areas of law, you have a lot more to consider — especially if you work in personal injury.

Personal injury lawyers are advertising everywhere: billboards, television, radio — even via direct mail based on accident report lists (in states where that’s legal). Branding yourself in the competitive personal injury market is going to be a (more…)

Mobile Optimization is a Must for Law Firms

mobile search for lawyersLast year, Google’s paid links (listings powered by Adwords) saw traffic from mobile devices account for 25 percent of clickthroughs — a significant number, and one that law firms must pay attention to.

When looking at consistency between natural Google rankings on desktops and smart phones, we see little changes. About 85 percent of desktop rankings have the same position when conducting a search on a smart phone or via tablet.

Those other 15 percent are generally websites that do not have a mobile-friendly website or a responsive web design, and generally perform worse on mobile searches. Since Google is aware of the device a user is using, we can expect them to improve their mobile search engine to be more selective.

If you are on a road trip and craving some pizza, you can get out your smart phone and type in “pizza.” Knowing your location, Google will display pizzerias near your (more…)