Law Firm Web Marketing

    

Lawyer Web Marketing: What the Future Holds...

Being a lawyer is already a task in itself. There is an obvious a wealth of time handling a hectic work schedules and competing with a significant number of contemporaries who work equally hard. Add to that the need to keep one's legal cerebrum receptive enough to understand behavioral patterns of all the individuals involving any particular legal matter, since that is often a the key to empathizing what clients are dealing with.

The focus, however, in the initial as well as subsequent stages, for most lawyers today is twofold - while on one front, they have to deal with the aforementioned aspects; on the other front, there is a need to portray their superiority over others, by explaining to the potential customers, how their services differ from those offered by competing attorneys. In other words, lawyer web marketing has gained a pivotal position in aiding an attorney to build an impressive client portfolio.

Marketing has always been a highly dynamic process - continuously changing consumer perspectives and off course, a vast category of products and services to choose from. Such an environment has ensured that conveying the right message to one's potential customers through healthy marketing practices is highly essential. Interestingly, marketing over the Internet, is an even more dynamic and volatile process, owing to the changes made by the world's leading search engine: Google. The practices of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), developed to steer Google and other search engines into recognizing a website as credible, need to be professionally executed.

One of the recent changes made by Google to its search results display was the inclusion of personalized results - which may include a local influence. Moreover, alterations were made by the search engine to its Google Places results, which has a most definite local impact on lawyer web marketing.

Website Content & Organization

The infamous Google Panda update in February 2011 further reinforced the priority that Google has always been known to place on quality written and well-structured content. Now, just a year later, in 2012, the news is that the company plans to place importance on a relatively technical measure in order to aid its spiders to reach to the various dimensions of content put up on a website - the search engine will now benchmark whether or not html tags which markup web pages (better known as schemas) have been included. Basically, these tags have always been in use by Google, Yahoo and Bing, while scanning web pages in response to user queries, in order to display the most accurate results.

Schemas are known to substantially aid DBMS (Database Management Systems.) When it comes to evaluating the current status of lawyer websites, data is meticulously structured in most cases, however, the process of retrieving the date from databases, in response to user search queries, and converting it to HTML, can be cumbersome. By aiding Google spiders in retrieving information more conveniently, through the usage of schemas, the benefits to an attorney's websites in terms of search engine rankings, will only be amplified. This being a technical dimension nonetheless, would be best if dealt with, by a webmaster or related technical specialist.

Food For Thought

Care should be still taken to ensure that the vast number of other parameters taken into consideration by Google in presenting search results, will continue to hold importance. Some of them being

  • Credibility and novelty of information on the website: Quality websites gain popularity when people link to those websites. Valuable copy is linked to naturally, although there are services that aid this effort.
  • Authenticity of the website creator: Always include NAP on your site. That is your firm's Name, Address, and Phone Number.
  • Differentiation from competitor websites: Create only unique content that separates you from the pack. In addition, keep the structure and organization of your pages unique to your liking, don't replicate what your neighbor is doing.

It is indeed true that such periodic small changes made by Google will alter the best practices of lawyer web marketing in the years to come. However, partnering with an authentic company, with a good track record, and one which offers a dedicated lawyer marketing program, will certainly ensure that an attorney reaps the benefits of uphill search engine rankings.

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5 Traits of a Successful Law Firm

What are the features of successful law firms that make them stand apart from ordinary firms?

A law firm that want to earn reputation and recognition in the market place can realize greater potential by developing well-nurtured institutional traits that can help a firm occupy a special place.

In essence, a law firm that inculcates habits of success through well-crafted business and marketing development principles stand a better chance to register long-term success with respect to client relations and revenue generation.

What are the 5 traits of a successful law firm?

Living With and Learning From Clients

Law firms that have earned acclaims from clients and from the market place have realized that they must do more than simply understand their clients’ cases. In effect, successful law firms are firms that have started to live with their clients.

Such firms find ways and means to get closer to their clients, where firms even go to the extent of sending lawyers to live at the client quarters for some time, and further their cause by using clients as sounding boards. In an attempt to live with a client, law firms have even started to send professionals to work at the client premises to know more about the client and his operations.

Ensuring Clients Belong to the Firm, Not a Specific Lawyer

There is also a major shift in the way a law firm looks at its clients, and days when law firms looked upon specific rainmaking awards to define success of the firm is a thing of the past. Successful law firms have started to build subjective compensation schemes that stress the importance of team work, quality work product and client satisfaction.

The phrase ‘my client’ has lost sheen in law firms, and the mode which advocated lawyers to serve their own clients to reap rich rewards are becoming outmoded with passage of time. A successful law firm focuses on serving its clients better, as a firm now relies more on team work and not on a specific client lawyer to bring complete client satisfaction.

Utilizing Technology to Enhance Client Relations and Marketing

Law firms have realized that in order to cut through the clutter, and to gain an edge over competition, technology should get utilized in the best possible way to stand apart from competitors. Successful firms have started to use technology in many ways, where law firms make good use of client-management software to enhance relations with clients, and firms use proprietary knowledge to store the experience and knowledge to learn from experience and to allow lawyers gain expertise in a specific subject of law.

Sowing Seeds of Transparency and Trust

An institutional trait that allows a law firm to stand apart in a crowd is its tendency to share relevant information with employees who work for the betterment of the firm. Sowing seeds of transparency and trust begins right from recruiting a potential candidate, which gets strengthened through other trust-building themes introduced by a law firm. Some of the law firms share information by providing access to their files, a step taken to share and win the trust and confidence of employees and clients.

Identifying and Selling Core Focus

Gone are the days when a law firm took pride in its ability to provide legal solutions to all types of legal problems. Successful law firms have started to recognize the power of their core strengths, and have started to promote their strengths to attract the attention of clients.

In simple terms, law firms have moved away from wearing a boutique approach, and have started to identify their core strengths, nurture skills in these areas, and trumpet their success registered in these core areas to bring in more clients.

Law firms that stand apart from the crowd can be identified by some of these institutional traits. Not only can this help the firm gain recognition in the market place, but can set the firm off in how it handles it's client relations and overall perspective.

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Best Practices of Blogging

Blogging has emerged as a full time income source many different individuals. Marketers in particular are joining the blogging endeavor, for the cost-effectiveness and ease of success offers great potential to gain exposure, generate leads, and improve revenue streams.

However, solid blogging requires a lot of effort and smart implementation to become successful. Below we outline some of the best practices of blogging:

Write With Meaning

If you want to earn leads (and money) by blogging, you should definitely be a proficient writer. When you are coming up with a blog article ideas, find something creative, interesting, and relevant to talk about. The objective is to create content that captures the interests of a target audience, and hope that your audience follows your blog for the long haul.

Market Your Blog

In order to attract readers to your blog, you will need to invest some time in marketing your work. Some of the most efficient ways to obtain a strong readership is through social mediums. Twitter is great way to expose your content to a relevant audience, and it's free. Also free are tools like Facebook, which can help you attract a more long-term following and help your blog become more viral.

Be Patience

Patience is very much needed to become a successful blogger. It is not uncommon to invest several months into your blog without seeing any true value in return. It takes some time to get noticed by people. In addition, it takes time for search engines to index and rank your blog, so it may take awhile before you start realizing search engine traffic.

Consistent Interaction

It is also key to interact with your visitors regularly. Make sure that you answer their queries in the comments section of your blog, and provide honest feedback when necessary. Interaction is also key with your social media marketing efforts - respond to Facebook comments, Tweet regularly, and post alluring incentives or comments that attract readers.

Be Humble

You need to be a humble blogger; character will help you to sustain the reputation of your blog. If you come across as courteous, creative, honest, and respectful, people will honor your blog and offer you respect (and readership) in return.

When it comes to blogging for a legal practice, these best practices are essential to be successful. They help instill a greater sense of confidence in your audience, and can turn curious readers into quality clients.

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Hone in On Your On-Page Optimization

There are many SEO's and webmasters who are constantly trying to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to search engine optimization. The ideal SEO recipe that Google and other search engines tend to favor seems to change consistently.

The good news is that the best-practices of on-page optimization has remained fairly consistent after Panda - a Google algorithm change that penalized websites with duplicate and/or keyword stuffed content. Aside from the latter concern, the techniques of on-page optimization have remained pretty consistent in nature.

To better hone in on you on-page optimization efforts, we have compiled the SEO do's and don'ts for on-page optimization

On-Page SEO Do’s

1. Write a creative, keyword relevant title. The title is one of the most important parts of a web page. In addition to including the primary keyword target, the title is the main headline in the search engine placement, so it must sell too.

2. Use H2 and H3 tags where they're appropriate. These tags help the search engines understand the second and third most important headings of the page, and serve as ideal opportunities to use secondary keyword targets.

3. Add alt tags to your photos. This is not only simple to do, but it also adds a lot more keyword relevancy to the page. The image alt tags (or alternative tags) are there incase the image cannot be displayed. The text should reflect the image, however if keyword inclusion is always welcome.

4. Trim the fat. Slow loading pages get punished by Google. The Google team has made no secret that they are now ranking fast loading sites better due to their performance and overall user experience. If you are neck and neck with a competitor, removing unused scripts and choppy code may be enough to put you over the top.

5. Optimize keywords per page and align the page title, meta tags, and on-page copy with the respected keyword target. Don't attempt to optimize a page for a ton of keywords, just pick one or two.

6. Update your site often. The powers that be, love fresh content. Give them what they want and be rewarded. Blogs are a great way to keep fresh content flowing in a natural fashion.

On-Page SEO Don’ts

1. Never stuff keywords in your content. This is an old trick and your site will only be penalized for over-using a keyword phrase on the pages. Use a natural flow while writing and allow the keywords to come out in an organic manner.

2. Avoid using hidden text. This is another old trick that the search engines are now privy to. If you try to hide text by making it the same color as your background, this can result in the site being penalized.

3. Do not promote off topic affiliate programs. Just a heads up, there are some offers out there that don’t look good on your site or to search engines, keep your ads clean and only display ads from reputable and relevant brands.

4. Re-size your images the right way. Many times people will use html code to re-size an image. The problem with doing it that way is the image still has to load entirely before resizing it. If you upload an optimized image to your site, it will boost load times and help your sites overall presence.

5. Avoid graphic intensive themes. This rule is here just to remind you that the more graphics you have, the slower the page may load. And unlike text, not all images are index-able, so they serve no good to the SEO effort.

We hope you can benefit from these on-page optimization tips. Thanks for visiting the Law Firm Web Marketing blog.

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The Importance of Article Marketing for Lawyers

Article marketing, also referred to as content marketing, is the approach of publishing valuable online content that results in a direct, or better yet indirect, promotion of an organization.

Legal professionals need to become good article marketers to better promote their services on the Web. But it's not just the promotion that makes article marketing powerful for attorneys, it's the positioning.

Better Position Your Practice

Lawyers in particular can seriously reap the benefits of article marketing. Delivering content to a relevant group of readers can help an attorney establish his or herself as an expert.

Article marketing coincides with information marketing, and that's exactly what attorney's thrive on. Legal professionals make money on providing counsel and offering legal advice. When that advice is free in the form of articles, people tend to listen.

As a result, article marketing can be an excellent way for a lawyer to promote his or her law firm. Strong content published by a legal expert can help establish a reputation, position a firm's legal services, attract new prospective clients, and increase the brand image and recognition of a firm.

Leverage Your Advertising Efforts

Lets say for example a business professional is seeking information on intellectual property law for his new software program. This individual finds a great article about IP law and how it relates to the modern digital age. At the close, the author adds a subtle call to action that says "looking for legal assistance with your intellectual property?" which directs the professional to the attorney's (author’s) contact page.

Well optimized articles that speak value to readers can be the best advertising tool an attorney can take up. They speak both relevancy and empathy to readers, which is a combination that can flourish in any advertising strategy.

The best way to begin on your article marketing endeavors is pinpoint the areas of law that you know best. Find a problem that many clients face, talk about it, and reference ways in which you can provide a solution. If the article is compelling enough, you will set the stage for a new influx of qualified cases.

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3 Success-Oriented Perspectives for Law Firm Web Marketing

The law firm marketing game has changed drastically with the web. The tools and innovations at our disposal make it easier to find the exact type of legal help we need.

In moving forward with your law firm web marketing strategy, we outline three success-oriented perspectives to help you achieve great returns on your Internet marketing efforts.

Carve Your Niche

In today's competitive legal realm, there are few attorneys that take great pride in their general practice. This is because it is virtually impossible to represent yourself as a specialist when you claim to know it all.

When it comes to law firm web marketing, speaking to masses can be counterintuitive. Instead, carve out your niche and reign king in your specific area of practice. You will earn more respect by potential clients as well as your peers. This can result in more referrals and higher quality cases.

Creatively Standout From the Crowd

In any marketing effort, standing out from the clutter is essential. And because lawyers are often savvy marketers, the need to get creative is imperative.

The next generation of law firm web marketing will entail more than just SEO and Internet marketing. Attorneys will need to get social, as platforms like Google+ evolve in to serious marketing game changers. This will imply increased focus on a firm's local community as well as figuring out ways to be more relevant to its target market.

In addition, the online marketing executions of a firm will need some innovation to stay competitive. Do you have a great point to make? Try conveying your message in a video, rather than an article. Looking for ways to connect with other attorneys? Build an online local lawyer alliance using social media to facilitate cases and spread client referrals.

Be a Wealth of Knowledge

In the legal profession, being an educator is not only a part of being an attorney, but can also be a part of building a powerful reputation.

If you are an expert in your area of law, prove it! Create content that centers around educating your audience. Not only will they trust you and come to you for more advice, but they will be better equipped before receiving legal counsel (which contributes to more qualified leads and a more intelligent client.)

We hope these three perspectives will help you hone in on your Internet marketing strategy. Thanks for visiting the official Law Firm Web Marketing blog.

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Top 3 Tips for Law Firm Internet Marketing

Law firm web marketing is one of the greatest channels to gain a competitive advantage in the legal profession.

Internet marketing for law firms places significant focus on search engine optimization, which is essential to be found on Google, Bing, and other major search engines.

Implementing the best practices of law firm web marketing and SEO is one of the best ways capture prospective customers. A high ranking website that is visible on many relevant search phrases can provide incredible opportunities.

Below we've outline the top 3 tips for law firm Internet marketing, and how to get the most SEO benefit from a legal website.

Keyword-Focused Content

The content of a website is an essential element to SEO. By intricately weaving relevant keywords into the copy of your website, you help search engine spiders (or crawlers) index your site according to those keywords. As a result, your website will have more relevance to the targeted keyword phrases that drive you business.

In today's competitive SEO game, it is important to choose keywords that are very specific to your legal practice. Generic keywords, such as "business lawyer," can be too broad and too competitive.

Not only should you consider highly specific keyword targets, such as “business tax attorney,” but also consider local variations, like “Atlanta business lawyer.”

This leads us into our next point about geo-local SEO.

Localized Law Firm SEO

The local search results, such as Google Places, are becoming increasingly important for SEO. Because most law firms represent clients in specific regions, it is wise to reference geo-specific keywords in your SEO efforts.

Be sure to include the local information about your law firm on your website. A solid tip here is to include the firm’s address in the footer of the website. It also doesn't hurt to mention your city or local service areas within the content of the site, such as "contact your trusted family lawyers in Chicago, IL."

Additionally, you can really maximize your local SEO strategy by including geo-references in your link building efforts, which is described in more detail below.

Build Backlinks

Inbound links, or backlinks, are the powerhouse to higher organic search engine rankings. Link building has become very important to compete in SEO, and now there are a number of platforms available to build backlinks.

Some of the most effective resources to build links to you law firm's website are legal directories, forums, and blogs. Whether you want to start your own blog, or surf other related blogs to write comments (and add links to those comments,) the channels are almost endless. They just require a little creativity.

Legal directories are often times the easiest way to earn backlinks. This task demands finding the proper online directories that will allow you to place (or buy) a listing on their directory. Your listing will contain a link back to your law firm website, and thus deem it more credible and trustworthy in the search engines.

Where real strategy comes into play is the link's anchor text, or link name. If the anchor text of the link reads your specific keyword target (e.g. “Grand Rapids personal injury lawyers”) then the webpage being linked to will have greater relevancy to that particular phrase. You can even take this link building practice deeper by executing partial linking strategies.

We hope these 3 law firm Internet marketing & SEO tips will help you on your way to better success in the search engines. Thanks for visiting the Law Firm Web Marketing Blog!

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