Law Firm Web Marketing

    

Internal Linking Tips for Enhanced SEO

Organic search engine optimization is a significant aspect of most website marketing strategies. Many SEO experts will agree that the efforts performed off from the website (off-site SEO) have the heaviest impact on search engine rankings; however there are some aspects of on-site SEO that are often overlook.

Interal linking tips for double stacks

One of those on-site techniques is internal linking - or the linking between pages of the same web domain. In essence, internal linking (or "cross linking") is favored by search engines and displays good on-site navigation and usability. And when strategically implemented, internal linking is a way to get multiple rankings for one keyword search (also known as "double stacks".)

Internal Linking 101

It is very easy to build internal cross links within your website. There are two very important variables to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure to use targeted keywords as anchor text (link text) when you build a link
  2. Make sure that the two web pages being linked together are relevant to one another

For instance, if you have a page on your website all about "men's hair loss treatments," and another page all about "men's hair loss products," these two pages share relevancy to one another (both about men's hair loss) and are worthy of being cross linked.

More specifically, if the anchor text of the link reads "men's hair loss products," and the link points to that page about products, the search engines will only deem that page more relevant the keyword search: men's hair loss products. You dig?

Internal linking is a must-do strategy for thorough optimization of a website. Not only does it contribute to greater SEO performance, but also better navigation when users visit your site. If you follow these internal linking tips, you might be able to see multiple stacks of your website listing in the search engines rankings.

Do you have any additional internal linking tips that you use? Please add them in the comments section below.

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Mobile Marketing Tips for Law Firms

Mobile marketing is gaining immense popularity, and in almost any professional context. Mobile marketing for lawyers and law firms is projected to be one of the most efficient channels for branding and advertising, especially for those legal professionals who handle plaintiff-consumer cases.

However, if carried out inaccurately, mobile marketing could offer minimum returns and could even pose detrimental risks if not monitored correctly. Lawyers in particular will want to focus on mobile marketing campaigns that target very specific markets and areas of law. And with the various opportunities for mobile marketing, legal professionals will want to exploit only those techniques that will aid their marketing efforts, not hinder them.

Below are considerations and tips to help you and your practice develop the optimal mobile marketing strategy.

Considerations for Going Mobile

The first and most important step to implementing mobile marketing for your law firm is to set goals and objectives. This may require an extensive evaluation of your services and your firm's position in the market, but in essence, this phase of incubation and planning will help you figure out exactly how mobile marketing may help your firm.

Some questions you may what to ask yourself are:

  • What types of services is your target market searching for on mobile phones?
  • What types of mobile applications and mobile marketing tactics suit the firm the best?
  • What types of clients will be receiving mobile-based promotions?

Start getting your creative juices flowing, and conjuring up some innovative, yet intuitive ideas that flow with the services and brand of your firm.

A Mobile-friendly Website is a Must

Some law firm websites are complex and deep with tons of webpages. If a prospective user is looking for help from a mobile browser, you will want to make sure the content of your website is clearly viewable. More importantly, you will definitely want to ensure that you have a legitimate call to action so they can contact your firm.

In some cases, a dedicated website, such as .mobi, may need to be developed in order to cater to your mobile market. If this investment seems overkill, you can reduce the size of the mobile website to only a few key pages, or perhaps create a simple landing page that includes only basic information about your firm. And of course, don't forget about a prominent call to action.

Capturing Mobile Traffic

There are plenty of mobile advertising channels to choose from, but the most powerful come in the form of search engine marketing.

Being found in the search engines, whether on a PC or smartphone, can be a complete marketing game-changer. There are two methods to obtain better search exposure: organic SEO and Pay Per Click advertising.

Organic SEO for lawyer websites requires a more long-term investment of optimizing the content on the site, as well as executing link building campaigns and other off-site strategies. This process is a bit more time consuming, however it can offer great returns and cost-efficient marketing spend.

In Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, the opportunities are a bit more immediate. A firm can bid for top search engine placement on the keywords that drive the best traffic. And with mobile search, attorneys can take advantage of "click to call" - when a user clicks on a paid (PPC) ad, his or her phone immediately starts calling the firm. What's nice about "click to call" is that a mobile-friendly website is not needed.

Mobility Moving Forward

First, have your goals, objectives, and overall game plan laid out. Don't be afraid to ask for insights from other marketers or even future prospects. Perhaps try surveying a few of your trusted clients to get feedback as to which mobile marketing strategies might work the best.

Mobile marketing is growing fast, so make sure your legal practice is ahead of the game.

If you have any questions or comments about mobile marketing for lawyers and law firm, please add them in the comments section below.

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Local SEO for Lawyers: Part II - (Off-site SEO)

In Part I of Local SEO for Lawyers we discussed the importance of well-optimized content on the website. In Part II, we move into the most significant contributor to higher search engine rankings: off-site link popularity.

Generating links to your website is ever critical for local SEO, especially if your geographic target and/or practice area is highly competitive. Links pointing to your site displays credibility and trust, which is something search engines highly value while determining rankings.

The process of link building must respect two important factors: how the links are build (such as the link name or anchor text is used) as well as where the link are built (on related, high authority websites or unrelated, low authority websites?)

The "How To" on Local SEO Link Building

When building links to your site, it is very important to understand the concept of link names or anchor text. The anchor text is the clickable words that represent a link. For example, read this Wikipedia page for more information on anchor text (note, the word "anchor text" is the anchor text of that link.)

Search engine spiders crawl and interpret the content and links of a webpage. Once a spider hits a link, it reads the anchor text of the link and then takes the link to its respective URL destination. In short, the spider knows whether or not the anchor text of the link (and the surrounding content of that link) is related to link's URL destination.

If a link has the anchor text "Chicago business lawyer," the page being linked to is most likely about (and most likely optimized for) a business lawyer in Chicago. Assuming that is the case, the spider will credit the page with not only greater search engine value, but also greater keyword relevancy to phrase "Chicago business lawyer."

In essence, the best practices of building links is using keyword targeted anchor text. It is also a good approach to mix up your anchor text by using partial linking strategies. An example of partial linking would be to use only select keyword targets as the anchor text, such as "Chicago lawyer" or "business law firm."

The "Where To" on Local SEO Link Building

Where a link is built determines how powerful the link is. Google offers a measure of "webpage authority" called PageRank (PR.) Webpages have a PageRanks ranging from PR0 to PR10, however even a PR5-6 is considered high for link building purposes.

Ideally, you want to build links from sources that have high PageRanks, although that is easier said than done. Find high PR linking sources has become a hot commodity for local SEO. So much so that the business of buying and selling high PR link placements has become major sub-industry to SEO.

There are a number of resources available to build links from a variety of sources. For local SEO, using a blend of locally-focused directories and information sites can be a simple source to establish a few links. In addition, we recommend:

  • Online Articles: Not only are article submission sites (such as Ezine, Amazines.com, or GoArticles.com) great ways to build links, but the content of the article itself is a great promotional tool and can help position yourself as an expert in your area of law.
  • Web 2.0 Properties: These carry a broad definition, but essentially they are external pages built to highlight a specific topic. Some of the most effective Web 2.0's for lawyer linking building are Squidoo, Hubpages, Weebly, and Wordpress.
  • Press Releases: These are by far one of the easiest ways to publish link-infused content for local SEO. Choose a credible press release submission site that offers the ability to customize anchor text. In addition, some press release sites can funnel PageRank to a quality press release, so choose a credible source such as PRWeb, PRNewswire, or i-Newswire.

You can also take advantage of other attorney websites in which you may be affiliated or friends with. In many cases, the most powerful PR links come from friends with a high PR websites who are willing to lend you an optimized link. Just be sure to let them know the specific anchor text and URL destination to get the greatest benefit.

That completes our series on Local SEO for Lawyers. We hope that these points of both on-site and off-site SEO have enlightened you, and that you can now hone in on your local SEO efforts independently. To learn more check out this very insightful 2013 local SEO guide created by one of our writers of the Law Firm Web Marketing blog.

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Local SEO for Lawyers: Part I (On-Page SEO)

Local SEO for lawyers is all about geographic relevancy (city, state, county, etc) as well as keyword relevancy (practice area, type of lawyer, legal service, etc.) Making a website relevant on these two factors is not rocket science. In fact, all it takes is the proper balance of keyword inclusion throughout the content, and right link building techniques.

Many attorneys take pride in the their content and ability to convey ideas through words. As a result, many of them take the task of SEO copywriting into their own hands.

In part II of Local SEO for Lawyers, we will focus more on the link building aspects of a website, but for now, the on-site content is the primary focus.

Local SEO Copywriting for the Legal Profession

Once a lawyer has determined the geographic target (e.g. Chicago, IL) and the keyword target of the site (e.g. Business Lawyer,) the task of copywriting begins. The first and perhaps most important rule is to optimize a webpage only for one or maybe two closely related keywords. For instances, one page might be optimized for "Chicago Business Lawyer/Law Firm" and another page "Chicago Employment Lawyer/Law Firm." The main idea is having focused, dedicated pages.

In addition to having keyword focused pages, each page must contain the SEO-targeted keywords, and in the right areas throughout the page. There are several on-page (visible to the user) and off-page elements (visible in code and search results) that search engine take into consideration. We will discuss each below.

Off-Page Local SEO Elements

URL Name: URL naming is huge factor to any local SEO strategy. Typically the more inclusion of keywords in a URL, the better. A good URL name for latter example would be something like “/Chicago-business-lawyers.html.” Just remember to keep your URL’s short and tight, and never keyword stuff URL’s (e.g. “/Chicago-business-commercial-attorneys-lawyers-law-firms-chicagoo-illinois-il.html”.)

Page Title: As perhaps the most important element in the SEO process, the page title should always include the targeted keywords of the page, and in exact phrase match. The page title is also the main link or headline for the pages listing in the search results. Most search engines only display 72 characters of the page title in the results page.

Meta Description: Also shown in the webpage's listing of the search results (just below the title) is the meta description. For local SEO optimization practices, include the keyword target in exact phrase match at least once, and perhaps a variation later in the description (e.g. flip the keyword from "lawyer" to the "law firm" variation.) Most search engines only display 160 characters of the meta description in the results page.

Meta Keywords: It's argued that meta keywords have no role for local SEO, but some professionals still include them. Matt Cutts of Google has stated and posted so on his blog, but some SEO's believe the more keywords included in a page, the better.

Image Alt Tags: Search engine spiders cannot crawl and place local SEO value on images. That is why there is image "alt tags" that serve as alternative text for users who cannot view the images. Here is another opportunity to include keywords in the page. However for best practices, ensure your copy is relevant to the image and do not keyword stuff - include with cohesion and moderation.

On-Page Local SEO Elements

In addition to the off-page elements, there are a few on-page elements that should be clearly stated and aligned. Alignment is key, meaning the keyword inclusion of the off-page elements must directly coincide the on-page SEO elements. Also important is having a fair amount of content, such as at least 100 words of relevant copy.

Headers: H1's are one the strongest on page elements and should reflect the off-page title. Keyword inclusion in the first H1 is important, and variations should be strategically used in H2's and H3's down the page.

Body Copy: It doesn't hurt to include the exact phrase match of your keywords early in the body copy (the first couple sentences is ideal.) Use variations throughout the content, but in logical manner. If you're struggling for copywriting ideas, don't get too overwhelmed. Try something subtle like "As Chicago business lawyers with experience serving local companies, we..."

Strong Tags: Strong tagged copy is bolded in the text. Strong tag exact phrase keywords to help make the page more relevant on targeted phrases for local SEO.

The Attorney Takeaway

Both the on and off-page elements of a webpage are significant for local SEO, and both must be aligned and parallel. The trick to being a good SEO copywriter is respecting both the user and the search engine spider while constructing optimized content.

One last point: legal professionals are good writers, but many of them like to write thoroughly. That can mean long, drawn-out sentences that are not friendly for web users. Keep sentences easy to read and understand, and always remember the true target audience of your message.

Keep reading the Law Firm Web Marketing blog for Local SEO for Lawyers part II.

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3 Efficient Web Marketing Tips for Lawyers

Legal professionals do not exactly need to spend a substantially large sum of money if they want to market their services and website on the Internet. By choosing the right channels, attorneys can promote their practice in a cost efficient manner.

Below we highlight three effective and affordable methods for lawyer web marketing on the Internet.

Building The Perfect Domain

For lawyers who are just starting out in creating their website, buying and building the domain (or website) is key. Choosing a domain name that includes relevant keywords can be highly effective, particular for lawyer SEO. This can increase the relevancy of the website on target keyword phrases, and can excel the site's performance in the search engines.

In addition to the name of the domain, the content on the website is imperative. Always dedicate the homepage of the domain to the core keyword targets, and center the content on those core keyword targets (e.g. "Business Lawyer"). Other supportive web pages of the domain will be optimized for other areas of practices (e.g. "Business Bankruptcy Lawyer"). It is important keep pages dedicated and focused on only one or two related keywords.

Articles & Press Releases

Submitting articles and press releases is a very inexpensive way to market your legal services. Articles commonly pop up in the search results for related keyword queries. If you can write optimized, compelling articles that are found by your targeted market, you can obtain highly valuable advertising exposure.

A quality written article or press release can help position yourself as an expert in your area of practice. By providing people with quality, informative content that answers questions and addresses common issues, readers will respect your content and thus your practice.

Social Media Marketing

A majority of attorneys and lawyers these days do not effectively apply social media to their Internet marketing mix. Lawyers can substantially increase their website traffic be exploring relevant social media sites.

Some attorneys will argue that social media has no value for them. These legal professionals are quick to assume that consumers are the only individuals using social media. Websites like LinkedIn offer a great way to connect with other attorneys who may be willing to refer cases and share legal expertise.

Another powerful social media tool for lawyers is video marketing via YouTube. Attorneys can highlight their legal services, address a major legal concern, or talk about unique aspects of the law. Whatever the topic of interest, videos are popular way to attract in-market leads.

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