Legal Search Marketing – 2010 Best Practices for Lawyers and Law Firms

Competition among lawyers, especially in today’s business environment, is as fierce as ever. As a sole practitioner or small law firm, every little advantage that you can create against competitors is going to benefit you. Many attorneys put themselves at a distinct disadvantage without even realizing it. For those attorneys who are not Internet savvy, here are three simple online marketing suggestions that address common mistakes, are easily implemented, and will give you an advantage over the competition.

1. What’s with that email address?

Even something as small and as simple as an e-mail address can have a large impact on your business when it comes to determining whether or not you are going to earn a new client’s business over the competition.

When the internet was first taking off a few years ago, nearly everyone was signing up to utilize free web based email services such as AOL.com, Verizon.com, Gmail.com, Yahoo.com, etc. These free, or generic, web-based email services were very convenient and were primarily created for individuals that wanted email accounts. Even if the account was created for small business purposes, it was acceptable then, but this has changed significantly in recent years. [Read more…]

Question: How do I get the best rankings on Google?

Well, you’ve got to love the enthusiasm surrounding this question.

I’ll assume your asking about getting great rankings in the organic search listings as opposed to the Sponsored Listings or the local business listings which comes at the top of the search engine page when someone search with a geographic reference, like “Boston, MA divorce lawyer“.

This is referred to as SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Although there are many components to a well optimized web site, it basically comes down to this (according to Google):

  • In your site design, use text rather than images and Flash for important content
  • Have relevant and descriptive content on the specific topics you focus on.
  • Make your site work with JavaScript, Java and CSS disabled
  • Organize your site such that you have pages that focus on a particular topic
  • Avoid HTML frames and iframes
  • Use normal URLs, avoiding links that look like form queries (http://www.example.com/engine?id)
  • Market your site by having other relevant sites link to yours
  • Don’t try to cheat the system (by stuffing your pages of keywords, or attempting to target specific content at search engines, or using link farms)

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.

Search Marketing Tip – Building links for law firms

If your law firm sponsors an event make sure you ask the host to add a link to your website from the online description of the event.  Here’s why.

Many times an event coordinator will ask an attorney to speak at an upcoming event on an area of their specialty or focus. In their own marketing efforts the coordinator will publish the details of the events highlighting the speakers invited.

The value of publishing your website (and getting an active hyper-link to your site) in their online listing is significant. It’s significant not because people attending the event will see your site and click through to visit your website, but because a link from their site to your website serves as “a vote” in Google’s eyes. Even better, if the event is about Massachusetts real estate law, and the listing details topics about Massachusetts real estate law, then links to your website which also discuses Massachusetts real estate law, then you’ve potentially established a highly effective link. The more effective links you create, the more “authority” your site will earn in the eyes of the search engines. More authority equals more visibility. [Read more…]

Legal Search Marketing Newsletter

You will find a lot of helpful information and tips regarding Internet marketing for attorneys in our newsletters. We’ve provided an archive of past editions as a resource. We encourage your to subscribe to our Legal Search Marketing Newsletter and get the information you need to effectively market your firm on the web.

Past feature articles of Legal Search Marketing. Enjoy the knowledge!

 

  • What Attorneys Need To Know About Upgrading to SSL

Subscribe to Legal Search Marketing Newsletter Today:

Full Name:

Email Address:

Please type the text displayed:
captcha

Question: Isn’t SEO just adding keywords

Isn’t “optimizing” a website just the task of adding lots of targeted keywords?

Although adding appropriate keywords to any web page is a critical step in properly optimizing a site, it is just one task from various interdependent actions and processes required to effectively optimize any site.

Perhaps the most important factor regarding the “process” of adding appropriate keywords to your website is specifically ‘how its done’.

The most severe ramification for improperly optimizing your site is becoming “blacklisted” by the search engines. That means, your website will never be served in the search engine results. One would really have to be totally negligent or willing to take a tremendous chance for potential short term value to become blacklisted for improper implementation of keywords, but it does happen.

For a more complete answer regarding the optimization of your website, I would invite you to read my article title SEO 101.  Let me know what you think.

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.

Legal Search Marketing – Internet Marketing for Attorneys

The practice of search marketing has significantly progressed over the past few years and businesses from Fortune 100s to the two attorney law firm in South Boston, are reaping the benefits. However, still most businesses fail to embrace what is arguably the most cost effective means of marketing and advertising their services by continuing to believe that effective marketing on the Internet is simply having a website.

Search marketing is a continual process of integrating and optimizing various online components. The fact is, there is only so much real estate on the search engine result page (SERP) and we all know that Google is not going to present your website ten times as the only choice. The search engines look for variety. They select websites, blogs, directory listings, social profiles, videos, press releases, PDF files, and just about anything digital that they can index.

Effective search marketing converts searchers into clients by ensuring your brand appears within the SERPs in the right place, at the right time and with the right message. Your chances of obtaining optimal SERP real estate for highly appropriate and targeted search terms significantly diminishes if you simply rely on your website alone. [Read more…]

Search Marketing Tip – Check if your site is indexed

A quick and easy way to determine if your website has been indexed or is even being recognized by the search engines is to do a simple search engine index check.

Here’s how:

To determine how many of your web pages the search engines have discovered and indexed use the following techniques. If your website has 50 pages and you see that the search engines have only indexed 25, then you know that half of your web pages are not appearing on any search engine result pages (SERPs).

Yahoo! To determine if your site has been indexed by Yahoo! you will use Site Explorer.  This allows you to explore all the web pages indexed by Yahoo! Search.

Google: To determine if your site has been indexed by Google, you can simply type “site:yourdomain.com” in Google’s search box. Be sure to enter your website’s domain, and not ‘yourdomain’ :)

Got a question? Let me know if you have any questions about your search marketing strategy.

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.

Excuse me Twitter, can you hear us?

Twitter is getting a good ol finger wagging, browbeating, reprimand from its users. Why you ask? Well, its simple. And its kind of complex too. The short of it is that Twitter has decided to remove a feature that allows users to “Reply” to all users who are part of the conversation, whether they follow you or not.  Twitter says they implemented this change because:

“based on usage patterns and feedback, we’ve learned most people want to see when someone they follow replies to another person they follow — it’s a good way to stay in the loop. However, receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to folks you don’t follow in your timeline is undesirable. Today’s update removes this undesirable and confusing option.”

However, many Twitterers have responded negatively to this abrupt change and through the hashtag feature, folks are voicing their displeasure in a somewhat Twitter uprising by adding #fixreplies to their Tweets. Here, you can see how it works for yourself: #fixreplies.

The underlying issue for Twitter is this. If you build a social community that becomes popular, like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and lots of others, then you (Twitter) need to keep in mind that its the community of users that have made your property so successful and will continue to make it successful. Because individuals have selected your community as a place they wish to live and visit, they expect to be included in decisions that affect their quality of life in their community. Its the age old struggle between an authoritative party who think they know best and the people who are affected. Online social communities are not exempt from this dynamic. So, Twitter, lets have a Tea Party!

Ian M. Bardorf has over 15 years of sales and marketing experience in Internet technology, with a specific focus on Internet marketing and online advertising.

What about Pay for Performance marketing?

In an online world where just about everything can be tracked and measured, why do so many marketers have trouble putting ROI on any sort of online marketing, advertising or lead generation campaign?

There was a terrific post by Pat LaPointe on the measurement of Social Media where he adds his comments and insight to an interview with three experts from well-know companies who were asked about the best ways to measure the ROI of a social media campaign. [Read more…]

Embrace social media, people!

Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all the rest may have seemed a little adolescent, juvenile, immature (you choose your favorite) just a few years ago but today they are undoubtedly integrated into the vast majority’s daily lives.

A few short years ago many folks, ahem, my age, didn’t see the value of subscribing to such online communities believing wholeheartedly that they were for high school and college kids who were living their reckless youth. Forget about the older generations (meaning, older than me) as they feared all sorts of catastrophic repercussions for such reckless online behavior. From simple online privacy intrusions, comparable to the 1980’s telemarketer calling at dinner time (drove my Dad nuts), to the idea that somehow your ATM pin number and credit card information would inexplicably spread throughout the world, the older generation had very little interest in this “fad”. [Read more…]