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Balancing Your Law Firm’s Marketing Budget for 2013

Law firm marketing plan for 2013As 2012 is winding down, many law firms are looking to how they will spend next years’ marketing dollars. To get the most out of your marketing budget, some diversification is needed.

Phone Book

The Yellow Pages are obsolete. If you are currently paying for a full or half-page ad, consider downsizing to a quarter-page or eighth. Even demographics once loyal to phone books, such as low-income and senior citizens have shifted to the internet to search for services. If you get a measurable number of leads from your ad, you may not want to eliminate it completely, but reducing your ad space will free up some marketing dollars that you could invest in something more beneficial.

Television and Radio

If you are not already advertising on television, contact your local cable company to review ad rates. Most local markets are very inexpensive, and by targeting less expensive time slots, you can get exposure (more…)

Mimicking Other Lawyers’ Strategies Not Always the Best Course

When your law firm started thinking about a strong online marketing plan, you probably ran a few searches on local competing law firms. After getting a look at the top-ranking crowd, you may have then contacted a search engine marketing company and declared that you wanted them to do whatever your competitor was doing.

In fact, some companies offer that same tactic. They check a competitor’s link portfolio and then try to get your firm linked with all of the same sites. While competitor research is very important and can lead your legal marketing company to some good opportunities, it should not be the only strategy for developing a link building and search marketing plan.

Perhaps the most valuable way to use competitor data is not to clone their strategy, but to look for their shortcomings. If the number one ranking firm for your keyword is not utilizing news releases to (more…)

Google Announces Tool to Repair Your Firm’s Search Engine Credibility

Google’s recent Penguin update targeted websites that had links pointing from sketchy internet neighborhoods. Does your law firm have a link which points traffic to it from a website advertising paid links? Is it in a directory that you can only get listed in by exchanging a link or paying a fee? Those links now work against your law firm’s ranking in Google.

As news about Penguin’s targeting spread, some website owners cried foul, claiming that not all websites linking to them were doing so by any fault or action of their own. Others, like SEO | Law Firm, at first cheered on Google Penguin, and, in a piece featured in Bigger Law Firm magazine, even said Google Penguin didn’t go far enough.

But the Penguin changes put link building squarely front-and-center. It also gave website owners (like your law firm) one more thing to worry about. Google’s terms clearly state that a (more…)

Your Law Firm Needs Unique Ideas, Not Just Unique Content

There is a strong call for content volume if you want your law firm’s website to be easily found via Google. From onsite content such as blogs, social network content, and marketing literature including ebooks, press releases, and articles, the demand for a lot of content can be overwhelming.

Prepare to be over-overwhelmed.

Unique content is not the only element to worry about. Google can also identify similar topics within unique content. This is part of their never ending quest to make sure they are delivering the best results to their end user — the searching public.

Here is what Google is trying to avoid: Pretend that you own a 2010 Audi A4 and you experience a clicking noise when trying to start your car. You search in Google for “2010 audi a4 clicking noise when starting.” If Google cannot detect duplicate topics, you may get a page of websites all saying (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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)