By Ian M. Bardorf
Many attorneys are looking for effective ways to market their legal services on the Internet. Done properly, Internet marketing is undoubtedly one of the most cost effective and productive ways of growing your firm. However, attorneys suffer from the relentless bombardment of inbound solicitations that claim will change their business, and drive highly qualified clients to the doorstep.
Claims like “Guaranteed 1st page Google ranking” and “We’ll put you on the top of Google“, and “Your firm will have an exclusive listing” will certainly lead one to believe that dominating the web in any particular practice and geographic area is only a credit card charge away. The reality of many of these offers is often only realized when the only noticeable increase are those appearing on your monthly credit card statement.
Determining which offers are worthwhile and which offers are scams may be nearly impossible to decipher unless you dig in and do your homework. Unfortunately for attorneys, there simply isn’t enough time in the day to practice law AND effectively manage a marketing strategy that produces results.
Thus, I am sharing my Golden Rule of Internet Marketing. Keeping this rule in mind will undoubtedly save you time, money and a boat-load of frustration:
The Internet is a market place and should be treated as such. As with the real estate market and the stock market, there are no “guarantees”.
When it comes to filtering those relentless email offers, here are a few more tips to help identify the worthy from the worthless:
- Be aware of claims that boast “top listing on Google 100% of the time” and the like. All of these services involve limiting variables and search criteria to a highly controlled and limited function. You may often appear at the top for a phrase like “Boston Bankruptcy Attorney” but the service does not include the hundreds, if not thousands of other highly qualified search variations and combinations.
- Most everything is measurable on the Internet. Before you purchase a listing in a directory get appropriate data from the provider. They should be able to provide you with the previous six months search volume, and click-through rates of searches specific to your practice and geographic area. If they can’t, move on.
- Know what services are unique versus those services that are offered through the search engines free of charge. The classic example is the claim “We’ll get you top listings in your geographic area” for $199. per month. The service is actually the search engine’s respective Local Business Directory or Maps Directory.
- There are no short-cuts for obtaining long lasting and meaningful results on the Internet. Establishing a formidable presence on the web requires a solid foundation and a variety of marketing channels. It is highly unlikely that one subscription or lead generation program is going to be your reliable, long-term resource for new business.
In the end, good old common sense goes a long way. If it sounds to good to be true, then it probably is.
Bardorf Legal Marketing is a Massachusetts Internet marketing and advertising firm working with lawyers and law firms on enhancing their online effectiveness in the areas of SEO, paid search, social media, affiliate marketing, blog and website development, and targeted local search marketing campaigns.
Ian M. Bardorf is an Internet marketing and social media advisor to attorneys and law firms seeking to grow and advance their business via the web. This article is copyrighted as original content by Ian M. Bardorf and Bardorf Legal Marketing. This article may be reproduced or republished with appropriate attribution and credit.