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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…)

Facebook Graph to Help Law Firms Connect with Clients

Facebook’s announcement about their search engine, Facebook Graph, has left many with questions about how to make sure their firm is well-positioned when the new feature leaves beta and hits the mainstream.

While the company works to distinguish itself from Google, the process in which a Facebook page ranks well when users search in Facebook Graph shows a close resemblance to the classic rules of search engine optimization.

Facebook Studio posted these suggestions on their blog:

Continue to invest in your Page by making sure your Page is complete and up-to-date.

The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.

If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.

Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and (more…)

How Legal Marketing Companies Bet Against You

Betting Against Law FirmsWe recently conducted an internal study, looking at how law firm marketing companies manage working for competing law firms. If a company is providing search engine optimization services, this is of particular importance, as there are only 10-15 natural listings between standard and local.

Over the last four years, the number of online marketing firms which claim to focus on attorneys has dramatically increased. Much of this is due to the economic downturn that started in 2008; many search marketing firms looked to lawyers to maintain their revenue, as law firms in many practice areas were not as severely effected by the economy as other industries.

Some search engine optimization companies offer exclusives, agreeing to only work for one law firm per city and practice area. Others, like SEO | Law Firm, limit their market size to three attorneys per keyphrase – thus, they would not work with more than three “Boston (more…)

A New Website Will Not Harm Your Firm’s Ranking

A new website does not have to harm your search engine rankings.

Online marketing consists of many things beyond just search engine placement – things such as your website. All of your online marketing efforts will eventually lead a potential client back to your law firm’s website. When that happens, is your website ready for conversion?

Some law firms have been building out their websites for over a decade. They have built-out libraries of tutorials, frequently asked questions, blogs, and landing pages. Their websites’ age, quality, and the massive amounts of content they hold have kept them on the first page of Google for popular keyphrases. Their sites get a lot of traffic, but that traffic is not turning into leads.

Having a lot of great content is crucial. It’s important for search engine rankings, and it’s important for conversion. But, if that content is not organized to follow a (more…)

Giving Away Free Information May be Key to Building a Bigger Law Firm in 2013

When planning your law firm’s website content, you may want to take time to organize some free information to be distributed to your visitors. Free information builds credibility, loyalty, and ultimately will bring in new cases.

While some areas of law require a fast decision from the client — like personal injury — most areas of law pertain to things people and businesses have to think about. Should I file for bankruptcy? Should I get a divorce? Is the infraction of a competitor worth filing a lawsuit over? Should I have a lawyer for the purchase of a small building? All of these are questions that individuals and companies work through prior to picking up the phone.

It is in those legal markets that free information and the collection of data will be of great value.

We will use a fictional divorce law firm to show you what to do.

Divorces are rarely mutual, and (more…)

Good and Bad Keyphrases for Your Firm

Attorney SEO Keyphrases for LawyersAfter you decide to move forward with a comprehensive search engine optimization campaign, it is time to determine your best primary keyphrases. Your SEO company should do this for you, but it’s important to know their process.

What makes a good keyphrase and a bad keyphrase?

Good Keyphrases

It may come as a surprise, but popularity is not all that makes a good keyphrase. A keyword like “lawyer,” which gets millions of inquiries each month on Google, will not serve your law firm well; it is too general. This is why most of the results for the word “lawyer” returns directories and information websites that have thousands of pages built into their websites.

A good keyphrase targets your region and your practice area in a format that proves to be the most popular and relevant.

Bad Keyphrases

A bad keyphrase could be one that is too general, like “lawyer” or “lawyers,” or too targeted. For (more…)

How Older Law Firm Sites Lose their Position

Google Penguin - © 2012 Adviatech Corp. All rights reserved.

Google Penguin may not be the only reason an older website loses ground in the search engines.

Having an old domain name and a well-established presence in Google can help your law firm achieve and keep high search engine rankings. But sometimes, older websites fall from their coveted positions, leaving the law office confused and faced with declining leads.

This week, we look at some common causes for dropped rankings.

Google Panda/Penguin Updates – Earlier in the year, Google released a series of content-related updates called Panda, and penalizing link-related updates, dubbed Penguin. Most of the older law websites that experienced a decline were being penalized for duplicate content, link exchanges, or possibly by having old websites that had formatting and technical issues.

Not all websites that saw a drop in their rankings did anything wrong. We looked at a number of the law firms that compete with our clients (more…)

How Older Websites Discourage New Clients

Having a website with a high ranking in search engines like Google and Bing is just the beginning. After your law firm is getting high placement, it’s time to improve the click-through rate (CTR). The click-through rate is a percentage which reflects the number of times your search engine listing is clicked on, compared to the number of times it is just shown and not clicked on.

Once your website is getting visitors, the next metric that matters is conversion. Most legal marketing professionals look at the number of visitors on your website and compare that number against the number of inquiries received through your website’s contact form(s).

Your click-through rate is most often improved through modifications to your page title and descriptions — the two items seen in your search engine listing. But improving your website’s conversion rate often comes down to design.

As web hosting is relatively inexpensive, it’s fairly common (more…)