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Great Design Can Fail Your Law Firm’s SEO But it Doesn’t Have To

While most of our clients come to us when it’s time to update their website’s design or rebrand their firm, others decide to go with their local branding firm. It’s not a common occurrence, but when it happens, we work closely with their selected firm to insure that the onsite search engine optimization is in place on their newly designed website.

One particular client was with us for several years; we achieved top three rankings for them statewide for personal injury, auto accident, and tort keywords — clearly positions worth protecting. But early communication with their branding firm presented us with a big red flag when their account manager told us that their content management system was “SEO friendly” because it allowed us to add keywords to a meta tag on each page. That branding firm went on to convince our client that they could handle their entire search engine optimization (more…)

Focus on benefits when communicating with prospective clients

Marketers like to talk about positioning, unique selling propositions and differentiation. Differentiate or die! is a common refrain heard among marketing gurus young and old.

Given the sheer number of firms competing within the same geographic areas, attorneys certainly face a challenge when attempting to set themselves apart from their competition. The reality of the legal profession is that it is not possible for firms to offer a service that is completely distinct from that of other firms. One family law attorney will handle divorces within the same legal framework and constraints as all others, and this holds true for other practice areas as well. You can find a niche market, offer a unique billing structure or have specific areas of specialized experience, but at the end of the day, the law is the law.

In addition, research has shown that people do not see a lot of actual (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…)

Your Firm Can Use Social Media to Build Authority and Valuable Links

Much has been written about using social media to build a community, engage with potential clients and establish expertise. But what about the SEO benefits your firm can gain from a social media marketing strategy?

The potential value of social media activity for a firm’s own SEO efforts is often underrated. The two do not exist in a vacuum – social media, blogging and website optimization must all be part of a comprehensive online marketing strategy.

Content marketing and organic link building have achieved prominence after Google’s two most recent algorithm updates. It is important your firm’s SEO efforts expand accordingly.

Probably the most discussed (and rehashed and discussed again) changes in Google’s release of Penguin are those that make regularly updated and unique content very important. Content is king. (Really, it always has been – only now everyone is talking about it.) But search engines have also incorporated changes that (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…)

Bring the Legal Marketing Haiku to your Website

Haiku can be both fun and challenging. Distilling something seemingly complex down to 17 little syllables forces you to look at the essence of the subject and may help you to see it in a new light. Applying this art form to legal marketing is an exercise in focusing your attention on the core of what you do and how you help clients.

The legal marketing haiku was introduced by Matt Homann on the [non]billable hour and again at Lawyerist.com a few months ago. So why join the chorus and cover the topic again? Easy. It’s a great concept. The idea of bringing the haiku to your online marketing (and your marketing strategy as a whole) is simple, honest and clever – just as the poem itself is intended to be.

Your Haiku is created by answering three questions in 5-7-5 format:

  • Who do I help? (Answer in Five Words)
  • What do (more…)

Does Bounce Rate Matter on Law Firm Websites?

If you spend any time with your website’s statistics, you may be familiar with “bounce rate.” The bounce rate represents the number of visitors who access one page on your website and then leave. A high bounce rate means that most people see just one page on your site. A low bounce rate means your visitors visit multiple sub-pages.

For years, search engine optimization specialists have theorized that Google uses data collected by Google Analytics as part of their ranking algorithm. Some believed that a website with a high bounce rate would not rank as well or that a site with a low bounce rate would rank higher.

On average, visitors on law firm websites click on 1.5 pages each. If you don’t have a contact form on every page of the site, you are significantly reducing the likelihood of someone clicking on “contact us.” If your site has a high bounce rate, (more…)