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Should your law firm’s blog have loyal readers?

lawyer blogsFor nearly a decade, search engine marketers have been the hailing the blog as the best communication invention since Gutenberg’s press. The blog provides an easy way to keep your website active, up to date and filled with good content. It also makes it easy to share your content through various online outlets and social media.

But some law firms believe that their blog is going to become a one-stop resource. That people will cancel their Wall Street Journal subscriptions, turn off NPR, and clear NYTimes.com from their browser’s cache, looking solely to the firm’s blog for new information. Not only does that not happen, it should not happen.

Our goal is to bring in new cases for our clients. If the majority of web traffic is not new traffic, our clients get concerned. When our clients are reviewing their statistics, we are judged harshly if too many of their website’s (more…)

A review of Google’s 2014 algorithm changes – Part 1

Google Penguin - © 2012 - 2015 Adviatech Corp. All rights reserved.2014 brought a steady stream of changes to Google’s algorithm. The majority of the updates were aimed at preventing spam and low-quality content from reaching the top of the search results, and rewarding high-quality content. As collected by Moz, the changes that occurred in the first half of 2014 were:

February 6, 2014: Page Layout #3
The page layout update released early in February was the first major change of the year. The update penalized pages with too many ads close to the top of the page.

March 24, 2014: Unnamed Update
March 24 brought rumors of a Panda update, as many sites saw ranking changes and algorithm flux trackers spiked. However, Google never confirmed this update.

May 16, 2014: Payday Loan 2.0
This update to the “payday loan” algorithm, which targets spammy queries, was released just prior to Panda 4.0. The rapid succession of the updates made it difficult to examine the exact effects (more…)

Click-to-Call Can Easily Boost Your Mobile Conversions

mobile search for lawyersMost people who need a lawyer want to speak with them as soon as possible. They don’t want to spend time filling out a form; today, people want things as instantly as possible. That culture accounts for the high number of smartphones now in use. To add convenience to your site, allow potential clients to tap a phone number and call your firm right away.

User behavior has changed. Many of your visitors are now viewing your website on a mobile device. In 2013, we conducted a study showing that more potential clients call your law firm than use an online contact form. The report provided insight into the ways in which lead generation is changing for law firms.

In our report, you’ll find that calls increased and contact form use decreased in part because of an increase in mobile access to sites. When navigating with a small smartphone screen, a user is (more…)

How to Write Content that Captures Your Readers’ Attention, Part 2: Email

This is part 2 in a series of posts about how to write content that people actually want to read and share. Part 1, which you can read here, focused on legal marketing article titles.

email subjectMarketers have been trying to invent new ways to get people’s attention since the invention of the profession. This is particularly true online, where visitors’ already short attention spans are even shorter. Email marketing is not new and shiny, but studies show that it is still one of the most effective direct marketing methods. SEO concerns are less relevant to your subject lines; your goal is to get people to open that email.

Writing click-worthy email titles

Similar rules apply to writing good email titles as do to writing good article headlines. People must be told up-front why they should bother to click on your email when they have so many others to occupy their time. (more…)

Who really owns your content?

Trapped in contract without content ownershipAfter paying for your website, volumes of useful content, and blog entries, you may be surprised to learn that your content does not really belong to you.

If you are like thousands of other attorneys, you will never know, unless you decide to move to a new service provider – at which point, your legal marketing company may inform you that you have no rights to the content that you paid for.

As many law firms assess their online marketing and look for other options, they generally reach out to law firm marketing companies to do comparisons and provide a competitive quote. Most lawyers do this search with the assumption that they will need a new website, but that the content they have spent thousands of dollars on will be transferable.

Technically yes. Legally, no.

While all content can be easily transferred, the problem comes down to the terms of your agreement. If (more…)

How website security can harm your firm’s SEO

This past weekend, widespread reports of a WordPress attack spread throughout the internet. The story got traction on mainstream publications like Forbes, Information Week, and NBC News, putting some website owners in a panic.

SEO | Law Firm’s parent company, Adviatech, whose servers host hundreds of websites for law firms throughout North America, woke up staff members in Florida and California, and coordinated with their server administrators in Texas to execute an emergency plan which heightened security on all of their websites built on the WordPress CMS. Eighteen hours later, long after the sun had set on both coasts, every website had been carefully reviewed, secured, updated, fitted with additional brute-force protection, stripped of all old administrator accounts, and prepared to weather out the storm.

Having prevented their clients from withstanding an attack, Adviatech assigned several people to closely monitor the servers’ activity throughout the rest of the weekend. Monday morning, (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…)

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…)