Digital marketing and SEO have become a major part of the law firm web marketing world in the past ten years. Despite this, the fundamentals of branding are still vital for law firms to thrive on the web.
Branding gives support to online marketing efforts. Brand names boost online marketing by driving direct marketing, it is included directly in the algorithm by Google and draws links better than non-branded content. This is mainly achieved by keeping ones branding efforts consistent and up to date.
Building ones brand leads to the second largest traffic driver that is direct traffic. Many users come to ones website via social media channels, or through other websites that one has linked to one’s site.
There are those who type in the actual URL of one’s website. When business owners add directory listings, blog posts and social content to their brand identity and values they help suffers remember their name and this boosts direct traffic.
For instance when one is scrolling through their Facebook page and see a product that they may need some day for five to six times then the product stands a chance of being memorable. Most probably when one will need the product they will type in the name of the product in Google search. At times one will type in the first few letter of the product or the URL and Google will direct you to the website.
According to David Ogilvy, a brand is the intangible sum of a products attribute. The attributes have to be unique to attract the desired consumer market. Every consumer has what they value. There are those that value price over quality while other value quality over price. Companies that have a brand name enjoy direct hits from consumer searches in the internet.
Consumers understand a brand through its consistent messaging while Google work with its algorithm to understand what a brand offers and to whom. When people search for a certain term it attracts the search engines attention. The “follow” links that appear give a strong indication of authority in Google searches.
Online and offline marketing can work hand in hand to build a brand and traffic. Commercials, trade shows and sponsorship are an offline way of branding efforts. Online mentions of a company such as through social media drive people visit the site.
A website that has clear and meaningful branding and good SEO practices will do best than one that does not have these characteristics. Google gives more link juice to companies that have invested in their branding. Acquiring links is a rigorous exercise that takes up time and money. It also requires creativity to earn an authentic link for one’s page.
A study has shown that one looking for a good link one needs to choose companies with a recognizable brand name that is recognizable. Branding is simply building a business identity. It is a way of defining ones business to the internal and external audiences. When building a business brand ensure you know what your purpose of the business. Web marketing helps to better ones online brand presence this is by understanding what sets your brand aside.continue...
Since the Google local 3-pack rankings replaced the 7-pack, people have been fighting to get their websites in top three for them to appear on the first page of search engine results.
Citations, are include mentioning of a business name, phone number, or address on other websites, are among the most important factors that help local SEO to achieve their top ranking goal. Google and Bing local Search use the number and citation source quality in the ranking algorithm.
Having accurate citations is a definite must when it comes to local SEO and getting your practice to rank in the Google search. This is especially the case when it comes to Google's relatively new 3-pack listing structure (implemented in late 2015).
Citations are one of the most important factors for Google local 3-pack SEO (almost like backlinks for organic SEO) because Google looks at the quality and authority of the websites used for citation, and will rank a business accordingly. When you have your basic citations aligned (such as Facebook, Google+, Yelp, etc.,) ideally you want to keep going and build citations that will lend your company greater visibility and authority.
According to Yext.com the top directories and sources of citations are: Google+ Local, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yellowpages.com, Yelp, Local.com, WhitePages.com, Manta, SuperPages, and in that order.
Although these directories and citations may not make a significant difference in market areas with no competition, they are crucial in other competitive regions. Besides, they are more important for local businesses that do not own their website. In such cases, Google will pull data from other sites when it cannot get information from an official site.
A standardized process for determining a citation source's quality doesn't really exist. When determining the quality of a citation, there are several things to consider. Among them are: the quality of the link profile, the domain's age and authority, and such simple things like the quality of the look of the website. Is it maintained? Does it look fresh? SEOmoz.org is another great resource for figuring out what determines the quality of citations.continue...
SEO strategies for law firms require in-depth understanding of the most effective and safe SEO techniques and how they incorporated and carried out. Legal services are one of the most expensive and competitive SEO niches in search. Many law firms have invested good amount of their resources to SEO in an effort to reach more potential clients.
Constant adaptation of SEO strategies is very crucial for the success of a law firm on the web. To help prepare your law firm's SEO strategy for 2016, the following are foundational pillars and elements worth addressing.
The most basic thing in your internet marketing efforts is the website. It should be highly professional, and the web designer must understand search engine optimization and keyword research to ensure your site is SEO-friendly.
Unprofessional web development and design can do harm to your website by incorporating things that are not acceptable by Google. The site should be search engine friendly as much as possible. Professional web development Peoria, IL will have a better Google ranking and therefore getting great exposure to many internet users
SEO requires optimization of many things such as subheadings, URLs, text, meta-tags, headings, images, categorization of the content, load time, interlinking structures and many more. There are various items in the search engine algorithms.
Quality backlinks are one of the items that can make your site rank in the search engines such as Google. The major way of getting many backlinks is by having authoritative, unique and relevant content. Other link building items include great public relations, article marketing, and directory submissions.
There are million of people using various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. All these people are your potential customers, so you should get in front of them on these platforms. Your content should be engaging, consistent and useful. Search engine optimization has been enhanced by the social content sharing among users, and this can improve your exposure.
Particularly for SEO in 2016, great content is a key element to success in search, as well as other forms of internet marketing. Without a good content, your SEO, public relations, and social media strategies will not be successful. You can hire experts to help you write e-books, blog posts, printed book, develop videos and many more. Also, ensure that you have enough time to share all these pieces of contents in the channels available.
After auditing your on-page SEO, the next crucial step is to conduct technical SEO site audit. Your site should be free of all technical issues that may cost you traffic and make it tough in ranking. The technical audit expert should focus on information architecture, server response codes and site loading time. If any of these areas are weak, they should be added to your priority SEO to do's list.
Depending on the nature and complexity of your site, a technical SEO audit can be exhausting. It is recommended that the auditing should be done in two phase. The first phase involves the listing of all metrics and targets while the second phase involves adopting recommendations. Technical auditing is meant to eliminate all technical errors and ensure the site is optimal for crawling and indexing.continue...
If there is one thing that is constantly changing with Internet, it's Google's search engine algorithm. For this reason, knowing and applying current SEO techniques that have been proven to work for long-term (and possibly the next few years) can help to ensure your law firm stays ahead of the game in this highly competitive industry.
While some of the most powerful SEO stratgies of the past may have worked for a year or two (only to become target of Google's Panda and Penguin algo updates,) some SEO strategies have been proven effective, sustainable, and safe for the long haul. Below are five SEO tips that proven effective to help uplift your law firm's rankings for 2016 and beyond.
Google knows that good content provides value which is the reason why it rewards websites that have it. It is not enough to apply basic SEO techniques to your current content such as having a certain keyword density, etc.
According to the latest Google Panda update, high quality content that goes beyond 1,000 words can make a site go up in ranking - at least to some extent. In the field of law, you can educate your prospect clients at the same time you offer your services which can also helps you get leads.
Having this type of content can allow your firm to build a reputation for itself which has a twofold benefit since people may decide to go to your site any time they need information about certain law-related topics. Content marketing isn't limited to written content, though. Posting infographics, informative videos, etc. are sometimes better ways to engage your audience.
On May 2015 Google confirmed that more searches are being made on smartphones than on desktops. What this means is that if your firm doesn't have a mobile-friendly design, it may not have the results you are expecting. A responsive design is essentially a requirement for not just SEO but also web presence optimization as a whole. The way your present your website's content and services on a smartphone can't be the same way you present it on a desktop which is the reason why you should not take this step slightly.
Although schema markup isn't very popular, it is right now one of the best ways to improve your rankings. Schema markup is a code that allows Google to provide more information about your website to people. For instance, schema markup can tell search engines if your content relates to articles or events or local businesses, etc. to help it rank in the most convenient way for users.
According to some studies, only 0.3% of websites use it and those that use it generally rank four positions above those that don't use it. If there's a way you can get ahead of the game in your industry is applying schema markup to your site.
Social media sites are the second most visited sites after search engines themselves. Having business pages in the most popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and connecting with your prospect and current clients as well as having social media buttons in your website and providing links on your blog can boost your rankings.
Google knows that going social is a trend that can always stay active. Remember to encourage your visitors to like and share your content. This brings more social value to your content, and thus bring greater SEO value to your content.
SEO never before considered voice search. However, with more operating systems providing it, this issue can no longer be left aside. Apple, Google, and Windows devices have their own versions of voice search, your content and website in general should be voice search friendly.
How is this done? posting articles in your blog answering questions (what, who, why, how, when, where) is the best ways to rank in these types of searches.continue...
The process of search engine optimization can turn into a nightmare for attorneys or law firms if they aren't using the right tools. And with the vast array of local SEO tools available out there, it's hard to know which ones are intuitive, useful and reliable.
But in all this, one thing still remains -- that law firms must take advantage of clients who search for their services online. This calls for utilizing value-driven SEO tools that provide good ROI.
Moz Local is free to use, however, if a user wants to take advantage of the enhanced listing features, the cost is a low $49 per year. This subscription service was originally known as GetListed until Moz acquired it.
Today, it's Moz Local. And it's much more than just a standard citation finder tool. It's well-organized local SEO solution that offers valuable metrics like showing you a listing score, profile completion percentage of major search engines, what others are saying about a certain company (including your own), as well as duplicate content.
And the good thing is that Moz Local is aimed at enhancing SEO aspects of local businesses across the United States, particularly attorneys.
Negative reviews can destroy a business that has taken years to build. However, with this powerful review generation tool, Give 5 Stars, law firms can better manage their reviews more effectively as every review is collected and placed under one roof, whether positive or negative.
Give 5 Stars gives businesses a tool where they can ask for customer feedback while also monitoring what others are saying online.
What's more, attorneys can also use it to embed testimonials in their sites, and this feature supports Google-friendly search snippets which is good for SEO purposes anyway. Using the basic plan is free. However, upgrades will start at $29.
Yext is a citation finder tool which also provides an opportunity to list law firms on various business listing sites. Besides tracking reviews online, Yext also provides a feature that lets a business owner analyze their local searches so they can know how they are performing locally.
Adding company blogs or websites into popular and relevant business listing sites is a good thing because it helps with SEO. However, it's a process that many business don't take advantage of because they either lack manpower, or time to do so. If your law firm doesn't have time to manually list the firm's website in these listings, Yext may be the appropriate time-saver for this task.
Google Alerts is an extremely useful tool that Google is offering for free. It helps with monitoring every mention of company brand on the web. Google Alerts will give results depending on the keywords that matter to you.
Law firms need to know where they rank in different cities they serve. Whitespark does all the local and organic search tracking to give business owners a clue as to how and where they are ranking for certain keywords. It works with all major search engines to monitor local packs, maps, as well as organic search results.
Local ranking is highly accurate and targeted. In other words, the results you see are what a searcher sited in front of a computer looked for. So if you want to understand your competitors, Whitespark is a must-have SEO tool for law firms.
There are several other SEO resources that can help law firms get more leads their way. Most free tools have their premium versions which legal professionals can take advantage of to work with more insightful data. At the end of the day, these firms should get the highest return on investment.continue...
An SEO site audit is one of the most important tools in identifying your website’s current SEO standing and overall rankings potential. In short, SEO site audits offer insights on how to improve your law firm's website to rank high in search engine results.
In most cases, an SEO audit looks at the technical infrastructure of a website, the on-page and the off-page elements that affects a website’s usability, overall search engine visibility, and conversion rate optimization (CRO).
Put simply, SEO site audit gives you a comprehensive picture of the effectiveness of your website and the marketing strategies you have out in place.
It's also worth mentioning that SEO site audits should be conducted regularly, at least every year. There are many reasons why your law firm or legal practice should perform regular SEO audits, or invest in an SEO site audit from a professional SEO company.
Google and other search engines are always updating their algorithms in a bid to better the search results. As an online marketer, you need to be informed of any algorithm changes so you can make the necessary changes to the content on your website.
Google Panda, which was introduced in 2011, looks at the quality of the content in your site. By quality, Google Panda looks at “thin” content (content that adds little or no value to your visitors), duplicate content (content sourced from other sites) and keyword stuffed content (overused keywords).
Sites with low content are ranked low and they may not be indexed in Google. For a site to rank high, it must have original content – Google has way of checking that you are the creator of the content.
The only way to recover from a Panda hit is to perform an SEO site audit and make necessary changes. Every month Google refreshes the algorithm. If not refreshing, they call an update. To be on the safe, always publish high quality content.
Google Penguin was created in 2012 with an aim of hitting sites that create unnatural backlinks. A link is like a vote to your site. If a popular site shares a link to your site, Google will take it that your site should be highly ranked. If an unknown site shares a link to your site, it is not going to count much – unless many small sites vote for you.
In the past, you could cheat the algorithm by creating a horde of self-made links and using anchor texts. Nowadays, one self-made link may affect your whole site. While a genuine link from a known site is good, getting many links from low quality sites is also effective. Like Google Panda, Google Penguin algorithm updates refresh regularly. Get good links and your site will not be unindexed or ranked low.
Google, Bing and Yahoo are always changing their webmaster guidelines. An SEO site audit ensures that you always comply with the new tools. Here elements of Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics are key to check a site's health and overall crawl and indexing rates, which indicate trust in a site.
These enhance the usability of your website. If your website is returning a 404, 403 or any other error to the visitors, the only way to tell is through an audit. Websites errors may also include broken links.
Performing an audit will identify them and help direct the lost traffic. The meta descriptions and the title tags are the first thing that a visitor will see the moment they visit your site. It is important that they are relevant to your site content. Even a good article becomes outdated, an SEO site audit will identify outdated content.
Basically, a comprehensive audit looks at site accessibility (robots meta tags, robots.txt, XML sitemap, site architecture and performance among others), indexability (whether your webpages are indexed, whether penalized and why), on-page ranking factors (URL, content and HTML Markup), off-page ranking factors (backlinks, popularity, trustworthiness and social engagement) and finally competitive analysis.continue...
Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed that we live in a world were social connection is everything. Based on the fact that 60-80% of new business connections are found through personal relationships, very few can disagree with him.
As such, it comes as no surprise that one way you can grow your web presence and reputation is to network with other professionals online. While LinkedIn is the dominant player for professional, web-based networking, there are several others worth exploring. Here are 10 websites that can help you to grow you web presence and reputation.
Beyond.com refers to itself as "The Career Network." Since 1998 it has been provided it's members with the opportunity to find jobs based on their respective industry and location.
Makerbase is geared towards individuals who develop Apps, websites and software as well. Essentially the website gives developers the opportunity to showcase their previous work to potential clients. Therefore, anyone who is searching for a logo designer, website designer or App developer, will be able to see the profiles of potential candidates as well as a list of their previous work.
Xing is essentially a European version of Linkedln that gives German-speak individuals the opportunity to find advice, partners and jobs. It is worth noting, however, that the website is utilized by 200 different countries as well.
Plaxo is essentially an online address book that automatically synchronizes and unifies your contacts. Due to the fact that this online address book is cloud based, it automatically updates your contact's information if they change it. And since it enriches your contact information through social network data, it can prove to be a great tool to utilize to ensure that the contact information that you have of your correspondents is accurate at all times.
Sumry operates as an online resume and portfolio website with a unique twist. It specifically highlights your skills, work experience and certifications on your timeline. This essentially gives professionals and companies alike, an opportunity to gain a preview as to who you are as a person rather than just a blank emotionless resume.
Doostang is another website that people who are interested in media or technology can utilize to expand their web presence. Doostang is essentially an online career networking community which can prove to be a valuable resource for people who specifically want to locate career opportunities within the technology, media, entertainment and consulting business sectors. They are able to provide their members with this opportunity due to the fact that if a social connection of one of their member's inner circle provides a job opportunity, that member receives an alert.
LocalsNetworking is a platform that gives its members the opportunity to network with other individuals who live within close proximity of them or a locally based business. For example, if you're a contractor you could utilize this website to locate plumbers, landscapers or pavers for example.
Data.com Connect gives its members the opportunity to access the contact information of millions of professionals and companies. Everything such as their title, direct phone number and email is easily organized within a massive online directory.
LunchMeet is an iOS App that gives it's members the opportunity to schedule lunch meetings with their Linkedin contacts. All a member has to do is to sign-in with their Linkedin account and choose the times as to which they are available for lunch. Once this has been done, the App utilizes your geographical location to suggest a variety restaurants where you can meet up with another individual who may be free within the selected time slot.
Jobcase gives you the opportunity to create a detailed profile which contains your preferred work conditions, salary, whether or not you would relocate for a job position and even your personality traits. What's so interesting about Jobcase is that on top of the fact that it can help to expand your web presence, it has information on over 100 pre-existing job-listing sites, such as CareerBuilder Snagajob and Monster Jobs.continue...
Search engines are becoming more complex every day and there are many things penalized, such as link spam or too many ads in the content. Today, it is necessary for any website that represents a business to go through a yearly SEO audit.
If you are experiencing a sudden drop in your site's traffic, the site may have problems and this is where and audit can be very useful. The following three platforms are known to be very good in performing an SEO website audit.
However, it's important to note that even though this SEO website auditing software can offer valuable data and actionable insights, making sense of the information is vital to cultivating strategic direction. For helping understanding software-generated audit data, or manual SEO website auditing, we suggest ClickCentricSEO.com for a trusted second opinion.
Raven's SEO Website Auditor has been around for some years and it has proved to be a good tool for SEO auditing of websites, as experts say. The software can read all the code of a website, including hidden parts, for the purpose of detecting SEO problems and repairing them. You need only one look at the summary in order to see all the issues of the website.
The SEO site audit software will indicate any broken links that may exist on your site, as well as missing Google Analytics code and duplicate errors. The software is not free, but based on a monthly subscription. It's quite effective for all aspects of SEO, including on and off-site web presence optimization, keyword usage, and other valuable metrics.
The Raven SEO Website Auditor tool crawls any website automatically, then it searches for data about the site's SEO areas and for performance issues. The latest Google requirements like mobile responsive design and page speed are considered in the search. One of the advantages of Raven's platform over others is that it doesn't limit your keyword usage or the number of projects.
The software has a major con: it doesn't show rankings more than the standard tools from Google are showing. Even if this software has always been good, there are newer platforms now that some people consider them better. A good example can be SEO PowerSuite.
SEO PowerSuite is a comprehensive platform from Link Assistant that makes SEO auditing easy. If you have specific needs in site auditing as well as backlink auditing, it really is ideal and SEO PowerSuite can help you exactly in this sense. Even through it's pricey, this software is a complete solution and it includes a website auditor.
You don’t need other programs if you use this one. The Website Audito in the PowerSuite is also fast and reliable. The program has already been useful for many companies (large and small), helping some of them to reach the first ten Google rankings. Updates are made frequently so that the program adapts to the newest changes in search engines.
Screaming Frog is a free SEO spider tool that can work as a desktop program. This software can help you to understand what search engines can find whenever they crawls a website. By crawling a site with Screaming Frog, users can learn many details about it, such as the presence of duplicate content or broken links, but also identify server errors.
Some of these issues may not be reported by the tools from Google. One of the advantages of this program is it's simplicity. All you need to do for using it is downloading it and entering the URL of your site's homepage. Once you click "Start", you will get the data that you want in different tabs.continue...
No matter how much marketers try to convince people and companies to shift their mentalities, search engines like Google and Bing still reign over the internet and decide who gets their business seen and who doesn't. That is why optimizing your website according to SEO guidelines can make all the difference between business success and failure.
This does not, however, mean that companies should spend large amounts of money promoting their websites in search engines results. In fact, that can have the opposite effect more often than not. The answer is thus to be frugal and efficient. Here's how:
1. Use the meta 'noindex' tag - Search engine 'bots' (the software that indexes pages to Google and its competitors) tends to analyze every page on your website, even those that do not matter, and thus make it harder for your website to get listed in search results. By adding this meta tag to such pages, you make sure only useful content is indexed, thus improving your SEO chances.
2. Size down (Page size, and more importantly, page load time) – is very important for search engines as well as to make browsing enjoyable for users. There are several ways embrace website optimization for faster load speeds, including getting rid of heavy graphics and videos, but the easiest and most effective way is to look for old information that is no longer relevant, such as meta keywords which are no longer indexed, and clean them out to make page load easier and faster.
3. Keep backlink records – Google's been tightening the noose around spammers' necks, and it is not good to be caught off-guard when given a penalty. The solution is to keep records of your backlink history, which Google provides through Webmaster Tools. Downloading the records even a couple of times each week will mean that you have all the information necessary on hand if you need to make a backlink profile in order to recover from a penalty, saving you a lot of time and money spent acquiring such records, which become unavailable periodically.
4. Keep Logs – Server logs can be costly, and they are largely underestimated, but they can provide valuable information about your website's users and their actions, as well as the behaviors of search engines' bots, and help you improve your performance based on that information, which means they are an unquestionably worthwhile investment to make where SEO success is concerned.
5. Be smart – which is the same as being well-informed. Most SEO tools and providers you may come across online will do little, if anything, to help your website's SEO performance. Using recognized tools – such as those from Google and Bing themselves, which are free, for the most part – and becoming knowledgeable enough to use the data they provide by following these companies and other specialized websites and blogs is the best way to make your SEO efforts efficient, and the only one that actually pays off.
All in all, making your SEO efforts efficient is as easy as taking things into your own hands, using the information and tools put at your disposal by the search engines themselves. This will not only reduce cost, but also prepare you for any SEO crisis and teach you how to deal with these situations independently, so you don't end up spending a fortune in the future to correct SEO mistakes made now.continue...
As website owners work consistently to make sure they're in line with what their readers and search engines look for, more tools are coming up to assist them achieve their SEO goals. Today, there are dozens of free and premium SEO tools, and most of them are useful. However, in a world of varieties, it's easy to forget the usefulness of other tools which do not necessarily play a mainstream role in search engine optimization.
Therefore, in this article, we cover some of the most overlook but useful SEO tools that will make a huge difference in cultivating greater intelligence for your SEO efforts.
Some time back, Google's Mutt Cutts hinted that they were going to consider grammar as a ranking factor. Google has always been concerned with user-friendliness, hence they've occasionally hinted of giving a boost in ranking to sites that will comply.
It's for this reason that a desktop software like InSite 5 will crawl a site to alert the owner of any grammar errors that may be existing at the time. There's an option for customizing dictionary alerts so website owners don't have to keep worrying of false alerts. Once InSite 5 finishes its job, the software will present results in a nice PDF format so action can be taken. It costs $60.
Whenever working on an important project, a team has to collaborate. For example, in web development, there has to be a project manager, web developer, SEO expert, content producer and so forth.
Attentiv is a platform that makes collaboration across team members an easy task, thanks to its polling, thread commenting and up-voting system that let team members become creative and decisive in accomplishing their respective tasks. The Attentiv application is free for the first 5 users. Afterwards, they charge $5 per user.
Good titles attract good click-through-rates. However, this is still something that bloggers and webmasters don't take seriously. Even if they did, most of them didn't have the skills to write attractive titles to hook readers in. That's why Title Tester was created.
To work with Title Testerm, write down a few title variants you'd love to work with. Put those titles into Title Tester and share them on social media at once so users can vote the best title to use. Title Tester is fast, effective, and at the end of the day, you will come up with a very good title to rely on for your post.
Cision Media Database (formerly Media Contact Database) is one of the most expensive tools to use out there, but people still keep using it despite that fact. Cision media database contains all types of news outlets with their reporters too. You can get contact information for journalist, their social media profiles as well as personal contact info. The beauty of using Cisio Media Database is that it promotes relationship-building, and this is quite beneficial to content marketers out there.
The use of infographics still plays a significant role in the world of SEO. Infogram is an infographic maker for both the inexperienced and experienced content marketer. However, it can also be used to easily creative attractive chats which are highly beneficial when presenting client reports. Chats can also be transferred to MS office with great ease. The trial version is of course free, but then one has to pay $15 per month to upgrade.
These are useful SEO tools that can help every content marketer gain an edge in a world where competition is tough. They might not be very popular, but their usefulness cannot be under-estimated.continue...