Law Firm Web Marketing

Common PPC Mistakes and How Optimize Your Campaign to Avoid Them

In order to enhance web presence of a company or local law firm, PPC (or Pay per Click advertising) can be a highly efficient solution.

It is an Internet advertising method that is used to direct traffic to websites. Advertisers or companies pay their publisher who is usually the owner of a website when their ad is clicked. Companies bid keywords in search engines in the relevant target market.

PPC advertising is used by millions of companies worldwide. If you want some PPC optimization tips to better avoid most of the common mistakes (and have your metrics surge leading to more inquiries about your products and services,) you should take note of the following common mistakes. Being aware of these PPC advertising mistakes will help you optimize your PPC campaign for better performance.

  • It is recommended not to link all your ads back to your home page. You should create individual pages for each ad or product. When users reach a home page they may become distracted and bounce off. Let each of your ads have its own landing page.
     
  • Improper utilization of AdWords’ keyword tool does not let you take advantage of all the features that are on offer as well as study both longer tail phrases and broad matches. You should use contextual targeting and variations in your keyword, which usually include direct and related as well as audience keywords that cover a broad range of the search content. You should also find and use negative keywords. This is where you will choose words or phrases that will be excluded in your search results so as to ensure that you are not popping up in irrelevant and unwanted searches. These keywords are then disabled.
     
  • You should use unique selling suggestions at every stage of your advertising process. Most consumers look for unique offers that are well presented. A sale is not made just by a user clicking a hyperlink. This is great tip for PPC optimization.
     
  • Do not forget to monitor your competitors. You should regularly compare your position against your competitors. Do also find out how they are targeting as well as how much they are spending on advertising.
     
  • It is advisable to target the right audience. Imagine yourself being the customer and try to establish how people search and not just what they may be searching for. You can talk to customers and collect information about their preferences and their online habits. You should also conduct research on other companies in your industry who have been successful in pay per click advertising and learn from them.
     
  • Do not ignore to create and test great PPC ads. Careful consideration of your message and copywriting is required. If possible, you should hire professionals who will develop ads that easily grab the attention of potential customers or users. Do not exceed character limits and also remember that spaces are also characters.
     
  • One of the best PPC optimization tips is to ensure that your ads are grouped effectively so as to enhance control over your target audience and your pay per click expenditure.
     
  • Your ad formats should suit your own brand. You can advertise using different video or image formats and text. Using differ
     
  • Most importantly, uninformative and underwhelming pages that have no clear calls towards certain actions usually put off the user. Take time and optimize your PPC landing pages, even if you have hired professionals for PPC campaign management services.
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3 Momentous Tips for Local SEO

Long informative posts are over-rated. So in this short post, I will outline three momentous tips for local SEO. Although these SEO tips are quite simple, they will significantly help to increase your law firm's search ranking in the Google local listings.

1. Get on Google Plus

Although Google Plus is a social media network, it directly correlates to the local organic search listings. When you have your Google Plus page created and populated, there are two important tasks you'll want to do in order to gain the most local SEO value:

1. Include a link on the law firm's website that directs to its Google Plus page. The exact HTML code for this link can be found on the Google Plus page while in edit mode. The code snippet will include the recommended anchor text “Follow us on Google+” along with a “rel=publisher” snippet in the link’s code.

2. Add a link on law firm's Google Plus page that points to its website. These is a specific field for this located on the About tab on the Google Plus page.

These two links alone will provide the "verification" need to give your listing a jump in Google local search. Think of this as a credibility measure of being one within the house (Google, that is.)

2. Seek Local Linking Opportunities

Generating link popularity is one of the most highly-sought after sources for better search rankings. However, instead of finding high authority link sources (or websites with high PageRank,) seek out local link sources.

As a law firm, one of the best places to start is with the local connections you already have. Perhaps you can write a guest blog post for a fellow attorney in the area. Because that blog has local relevance with your website, any backlinks you add in the article will have greater value for local SEO.

You should also scout for local web directories, as well as directories that reflect law or your specific legal practice. The idea is that you want to generate link popularity from relevant sources, not just high authority sources.

3. Start Producing & Sharing Content

You may have heard of a little phrase called inbound marketing. It flows directly with content marketing, which is producing and sharing awesome content with the intention of inbounding traffic directly to your website or landing page.

From a lawyer's perspective, think about the forms of content that will educated your audience. Perhaps you handle DUI defense cases. You could write an informative article about DUI defense and share it using various social media networks. Interested readers may then turn to you for legal help regarding their DUI case.

When you think about it, these three local SEO tips are interrelated. Google Plus and guest blogging opportunities help you share and gain further the content you produce. Let us know what you think of these tips, or if you have additional tips to add.

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9 Creative Social Media Marketing Tips for Your Law Firm

At the Law Firm Web Marketing blog, we have compiled some of the most powerful social media marketing tips for your law firm. We hope some of these tips will inspire to be a better social marketer.

* Create a dedicated group on Facebook to keep in touch with colleagues and prospects that you met at past meetings and conferences. These social groups are a great way to great a meaningful community for collaboration, but more importantly, law firm branding.

* Measure the ROI of social media by using performance software. You may make comparisons regarding traffic quality brought to your website from social platforms, and guage which are most effective.

* Your social media strategy needs to answer a few easy questions: Who is your law firm's target audience? What do they expect from your firm on these social media platforms? How is the firm's social media marketing strategy going to evolve?

* You have a blog for your law firm and use the great content of your blog as promotional tool via social media. This is called content marketing, and it's a highly powerful way to gain more clients and quality relationships with other law firms.

* The social medium is not the purpose of you strategy, but rather your message is the purpose. Therefore, keep in mind that Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter are to be used as a tool for delivering your message and not the strategy.

* Create blog content for your target visitors rather than for your law firm's brand (or SEO efforts.) This is very common with startup law firm. They often blog about entrepreneurship, marketing, and other topics that are not of interest to their target audience.

* If you intend to use the social media for customer service, try to picture your working hours on Twitter in terms of the working hours you have for your own support team.

* Consider social media marketing as storytelling and image your clients as the characters of the story. Try to imagine what can motivate them and the patterns they portray. Let their wants, actions and needs drive your story.

* Hashtag-stuffing tweets will not work to drive you more traffic. Research has revealed that Tweets having over three hashtags have received fewer click-throughs compared to those with no hashtags.

There's obviously more to social media marketing than these tips. However these tips are often valuable for law firm web marketers. To learn more quality tips about social media marketing, visit this page about social marketing insights and services.

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8 Attributes of Web Spammers and How to Avoid Appearing Like One

Web Spammers are responsible nefarious websites that seek to trick search engines and users. It is a shady profession that indulges in what is known as black hat SEO marketing. Every website has to use several sets of techniques to get users to access it. In the natural evolution of the Internet, those techniques are mostly authorised by search engines.

Websites are naturally accessed via search engines by users. Web spammers see this as an opportunity to bend the rules and create easily searchable spammy websites. There are several attributes that indicate a web spammer is in action;

* Pages look robotic because the content is stuffed with keywords. The titles and the articles do not have a natural flow. The words are misspelled intentionally to achieve high rank via common spelling mistakes.

* Another technique used is URLs which have almost the same spelling as popular global sites. They even mimic the colors and formats of those sites in order to scavenge some of the trafffic. They also rely on spelling mistakes in the URL.

* Too many advertisements that may cover up to 50% of the page. The advertisements may not even be relevant to the content. The pop up windows may be all over the screen seeking to induce the user.

* Websites with broken links and dead ends. Pages are not well maintained and are not consistent. They contain poor inbound links.

* Some web spammers may have only one or two pages. This is because they have many websites with more or less the same outlook. The idea is to populate the first page of search results.

* Pages whose background color does not contrast with the font. This renders the pages illegible to the human eye but remain searchable by search engine crawlers.

* Unoriginal content borrowed from other websites. The concept of plagiarism is lost on these kinds of websites. It may be replicated again and again in different domains owned by the same spammer. The content may be continually sourced by RSS feeds.

* A website may already unintentionally look spammy. It may be as a result of poor housekeeping or because of outsourcing an underhanded SEO firm. If the website is already looking spammy, some tools are provided by search engines to bring things back on the straight and narrow.

Spammy websites do enjoy top ranking but at dire costs for the web business. They may be banned and may not appear at all in search results after being reported of Web spam. Their fifteen minutes of fame may not be worth the investment in black hat tactics. If the spamming has been particularly notorious, the search engines may resort to penalising the websites. This is the worst case scenario which goes to show that it’s just not worth it.

Popular search engines have powerful and sophisticated algorithms behind their cute looking home pages. They stay one step ahead of spammers and can weed them out within days of their content being posted.

Creating a website that doesn’t look spammy is hard work because the content has to be well researched. The website has to stay looking fresh and well maintained. The keywords should be well dispersed and relevant.

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Tips for Mastering Your Firm's Social Marketing Practice

Social marketing for law firm's differs profoundly from personal social networking. There are various points, that when adhered to, will help propel a law firm’s web marketing success. The most important thing in social marketing is investing diligent effort to manage the points of engagement with your audience.

Some tips to maintain a professional social media presence include:

* Ensuring that responses in social networks are kept neutral and politically correct. This rule applies regardless of your legal practice or niche market. Not sticking to this will not only decrease your credibility as a legal resource, but it could potentially get a network barred.

* Keeping profile updates neutral by no means implicates that things should be boring. Content should be interesting by definition. Sharing information in social platforms serves more than just informing. It should be fresh and exciting aided by images and videos wherever possible.

* Interacting in blogs is fun for the end user but a full time job for a web marketer. There should be adequate updates on the profile to keep the number of participants growing and engaged. It is an opportunity for the management to literally disperse its propaganda. Therefore, a person who has intimate knowledge of the business’s policies and vision should be in charge of updates.

* Linking the company website’s blog to the professional profile is the most efficient way to maintain consistency. It eases the amount of work as the updates are automated. That being said, professional profile such as LinkedIn should cater for every social contact individually. Major clients and potential clients should be attended to by an account manager.

* A social profile should be optimized to exude professionalism and to remain relevant. Photos and images should match content. The titles and the text should be lined with relevant keywords. Part of optimizing a social page includes giving a vote of thanks to all who engage in a social exercise. Those who share the profile updates should also be individually thanked.

Gaining Social Authority

A professional social media presence is recognized by its conciseness. It is differentiated from blogs by being brief and more frequently updated. A social profile is the outgoing side of a business; it should however avoid looking overzealous. Packing the content with keywords is not the way to go rather they should be well distributed.

SEO has truly moved from blogging to being more oriented on social media engagement. This is because messages such as tweets can market anything - from products to events to even notifying about a new article. This is web presence optimization, which hinges on social authority.

Law firms should utilize the most popular and relevant social media platforms to go full circle in their updates and public relations. Therefore Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google circles may be perversely exploited. A firm can thus create its own means of disseminating news and should generally approach things to establish a web presence.

Public relation has found new meaning in social media networks. Compelling videos and photos are involved backed by professional editing. Graphics and other form of branding are an extension of the main website. This is the essence of social media engagement.

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Google Plus Tips to Optimize Your Firm's Web Presence

The organic search results will always be the best place to optimize your firm's web presence. The local organic search results especially offer tremendous value of law firms in capturing quality, lead-generating search traffic.

It is now more common than ever to see local organic search results (with the Google Map) for almost any geo-relevant keyword search. And what's significant about these localized search results is that it's not just a well-optimized website that influences a company's rankings, it's the company's Google Plus page.

Web Presence Optimization Begins with Google Plus

Take a look at the screenshot below for the Google search "dui attorneys". Notice how Google recognizes that I am searching from Peoria, Illinois, and how shows local organic listings based on this information.

Optimize Google Plus

Although the main link headline for each law firm's local search listing (e.g "LeFante Law Offices, P.C.") will take users to the firm's website, notice the link below the URL that says "Google+." Similar to Google Places pages (which were replaced back in May of 2012,) Google Plus pages are integrated in the local organic search results.

So not only is a strong website helping a firm see top local search rankings, but it's Google Plus page plays a role too. This is redefining the practice of SEO to a more broad approach that incorporates social media. At the Law Firm Web Marketing blog, we call this web presence optimization

Optimizing Your Google Plus Web Presence

There are a number of variables on a Google Plus page that can influence a firm's local search rankings. The most powerful contributors of an authoritative Google Plus web presence include:

* having a "Follow us on Google+" link on the law firm's website pointing to the firm's Google Plus page

* ensuring that the address on the Google Plus page has been verified (requires Google to send businesses a PIN verification via postcard)

* having a well populated Google Plus page that withholds an adequate amount of information about the law firm

* earning a high number of Google Plus reviews, preferably positive

We hope these tips will help you web presence optimization strategy. Remember, SEO and social media a merging. Think of you strategy in holistic manner of optimizing your firm's entire web presence, not just its website.

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3 Strategies for Creating Your 2013 Law Firm SEO Plan

2013 Law Firm SEOThe best practices of SEO are constantly evolving. For 2013, one thing that's for certain is law firm SEO is going to emphasize real marketing and social media engagement. That is, automated link building tactics and keyword optimized webpages will die off in the next few months, as social integration becomes more of a priority.

Your law firm SEO strategy for the new year will need to focus on legitimate marketing principles of attracting a real audience and establishing real connections. In short, this will emphasize quality content and social media engagement.

With that said, below are three strategies for creating your law firm SEO strategy for year 2013.

1. Establish Your Google Plus Social Presence

There's no question that social media is going to have a significant influence on your future law firm SEO strategy. One social media network that your firm must address is Google Plus. Google Plus will soon (and already has) play a huge role in Google's organic search results. For this reason, you'll want to establish your law firm's Google Plus presence as soon as possible. In short, the more quality followers you can obtain on Google Plus, the more influence you'll have on their search results - which is the pure and simple goal of local SEO.

2. Evaluate the Content & Appeal of Your Website

The content and appearance of your law firm website, ranging from the images to the copy, should be assessed when revising you law firm SEO strategy for 2013. Get a strong sense of the overall perception and motives behind your target search market. Understanding the nature of their purpose on your website will enable you to tailor conversion-oriented content that will get your firm strong cases. In addition, you may also want to evaluate the overall design and layout of your law firm's website to ensure it's an SEO friendly web design as well as up-to-date and attractive to users.

3. Create a Solid Content Marketing Strategy

Your 2013 law firm SEO strategy must definitely include a solid content marketing strategy with a diverse portfolio of content. What is more than just blog posts, press releases, and articles (which used to be the primary forms of link building) is rich media content like videos, infographics, and podcasts. Try to get creative with your law firm's content marketing efforts, and build a plan that is well in-line with your target audience, as well as your law firm's media capabilities.

You have a couple of months yet to begin creating your law firm SEO strategy for 2013. Start considering these three approaches and device a more quality and socially engaging plan of action.

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5 Ways to Leverage Your Firm's PR Department for SEO

Public Relations (PR) and SEO, although vastly different in many ways, can actually have a lot in common. When both of these practices are incorporated in a law firm’s marketing efforts, a lot can be achieved.

The main idea is that PR and SEO are both a form of optimized communication in that they must be intricately tailored for a specific audience.

Although PR involves maintaining the law firm’s brand image through public events and appearances, and SEO involves marketing a company over the Internet, there's synergy that can be created when both are merged.

In this article we highlight five ideas to leverage PR for your law firm's SEO campaign.

1. Use PR Resources for Optimized Content

Create optimized web copy and other forms of inbound marketing content (for SEO) by utilizing offline resources created by the PR department. It's important to ensure that the proper focus and purpose of the PR content is similar in its application for SEO. A lot of insights can be gained by leveraging PR content for SEO, so get creative and see what applies.

2. Leverage Relevant Contacts for Off-site SEO

A law firm's PR department establishes a lot of contacts with potential SEO clients since they work with media and other forms of marketing. Utilize the PR department to reach out to prospects and see if your firm can utilize their web properties for off-site SEO, such as guest blogging and relevant link building.

3. Utilize Offline Press Releases for Online SEO

When it comes to press release, the PR department for most law firms is responsible for generating this type of content. These press releases can easily be spun or re-purposed, and optimized for inbound marketing and SEO. It's a great way to make use of internal resources that already exist.

4. Get Social Marketing Insights from the PR Department

The PR department of the law firm can come in handy in generating insights and quality content to share on social media. This is due to the fact that PR deals with the public and established connections with the press. As a result, it's likely that the firm's PR department will have good information and content that can be used for social media (which now contributes heavily for SEO, especially local SEO.)

5. Apply Data from PR for SEO

Data that's gathered from the PR department can be used for many different marketing function, especially fro SEO. For instance, target audience data, specifically demographics and other specifics of the law firm's target market can be used to produce more relevant content for SEO.

Is you firm leveraging public relations for its SEO efforts? We like to hear your insights!

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5 SEO Copywriting Tips for Well Optimized Content

The purpose of any form of optimized content is to make it both search engine friendly (value for SEO) and reader-friendly (value for users.) This centers on creating high quality content that will be well appreciated by readers, and thus gets linked to naturally, helping to promote its SEO-potential.

SEOBut in order for strong content to reach is maximum SEO potential, it should also be keyword optimized using the best practices of SEO copywriting. And although your content might be an image or video, these SEO copywriting tips can still help you optimize your content for better rankings. Below are 5 SEO copywriting tips to help you properly keyword optimize your content for better search visibility.

1. Meta Title

The application of keywords in the Meta title can be best understood from the perspective of a search engine user. When people are searching in Google, they are most attracted to listing that show keywords in the headline of the various results.

Additionally, keyword optimizing the Meta title can also help Google and other search engine distinguish what the page is about, aiding your SEO efforts. It is suggested to keep the Meta title length within 72 characters so that it all appears in the Google search results.

2. Meta Description

The Meta description is a brief summary of the page. It helps to assure the client that your content will meet their search needs. Most often, keep your Meta description below 165 characters.

Apart from ranking, SEO copywriting is also about the way you present the content in search engines. The Meta description refers to the “snippet” copy for search results below the title. It will impact whether or not users click into your page. Whether the keywords in the Meta description will affect the ranking, is still debatable, however the searched terms will appear in bold, only making your listing more relevant to the user.

3. On-Page Copy

Typically your on-page copy will be about the topic that pertains to your page's keyword targets. That said, don't get too focused on keyword inclusion, but rather, write naturally and only include keywords when they make sense.

It is best to have a nice block of text-based copy on almost any type of content you publish. For articles, shoot for at least 300 words of copy to have the greatest SEO value. If it's images or videos, try supplementing this content with a paragraph or two summarizing what the content is about. The idea it to give a search engine spider some keyword-rich content to crawl, making your content all the more SEO-valuable.

4. Keyword Frequency

Keyword frequency is defined as the number of times in which your keyword target is mentioned on the page. . Conversely, keyword density is known as the ratio of keywords to the total number of words on the entire page.

It is a misconception that keyword frequency affects ranking. When using keywords in your content, be sure not overuse them. This also implies that your content's keyword density should not be more than 5.5% or else Google may penalize your website.

5. Internal Links

Internal linking on a webpage is a vital basis of developing well optimized websites. This help establish keyword relevancy (based on the anchor text used for internal links,) as well as the crawling and indexing of your entire website. For these reasons, linking together relevant pages is important with regards to SEO.

A few tips to keep in mind when internal linking are:

* Pinpoint relevant pages of your website that deem worth of linking to

* Use natural and relevant anchor text

* Always consider the user and if the link makes logic sense

These are tips pertain to the best practices of SEO copywriting. In summary, don't dwell on including a high volume of keyword targets, but rather focus on what is important to the search engines - quality content that offers meaning and purpose to your audience.

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3 Essential Social Marketing Platforms for Law Firms

Social Marketing PlatformsAlthough most law firms have been cautious to dive into social media marketing, now many legal practices are realizing the significance of going social as an effective and efficient part of marketing their legal services. Not only does social media contribute to acquiring more and better cases, but having a strong social media presence can help a firm establish a powerful and well-recognized brand image.

There are three social media platforms that are essential for lawyers and law firms alike. Below is an overview of these three platforms, along with some tips on how to build law firm web marketing strategies for each of them.

Google+ for Law Firms

For geo-relevant, lawyer-related keyword searches, some law firms are positioned higher in local search results. This is because these local firms have created well-optimized Google+ Local pages. These pages are huge advertising sources for locally focused companies.

It is recommended that you build a Google+ page for both for your law firm brand (a Google+ Local page) as well as personal page for yourself. Besides increasing your online visibility and potential rankings in organic search results, Google+ is a social media platform that can connect you with potential clients and fellow legal professionals (for referrals.)

To help you optimize your Google+ pages, consider these following tips:

* Verify you firm's Google+ Local page to be a legitimate location or place

* Populate your firm's "About" information with keyword rich content

* Upload professional, audience relevant images

* Make use of videos and other media that will help market your law firm

* Add a link to your firm's website or other online resources

* Establish Google authorship by linking to you blogs

Facebook for Law Firms

With so many individuals on Facebook, it's hard for lawyers and law firms not to take advantage of this social touch point. Here are a few tidbits that may enlighten you on how to use Facebook as a social marketing platform for your firm.

* The average duration a common user spends on Facebook is 55 minutes per day. That’s a solid chunk of time. Your brand needs less than one minute of that time to make its impact. Be sure to post only valuable content that speak to their interests.

* Utilize different types of Facebook pages. Contrary to your personal Facebook profile page, branded Facebook page allows your firm to build a credible presence online, establish an area for open discussions, automatically accept followers, and share legal knowledge and insights by promoting you content.

* Create space for more Facebook fans. The average Facebook user has about 193 friends on their account. In addition, if one person likes your firm's Facebook page, friends of that person may see interaction through their Facebook Newsfeed. This can further promote you brand's visibility while growing your following.

* Take advantage of Facebook advertising. Facebook ads can help you make your law firm more visible online, especially from a local market approach. Facebook ads enable marketers to tailor highly focused campaigns based on many different targeting tactics, such as location, gender, interests, or age.

LinkedIn for Law Firms

Perhaps one of the most valuable social marketing platforms of attorneys is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional social media network with a lot of potential to connect with other attorneys for case referrals and legal insights. Below are just a few of the advantages of LinkedIn for law firms:

* Connect with other attorneys for case referrals

* Earn exposure from prospective clients

* Share you content and establish your professional credibility

* Build the company's web presence with more search visibility

* Staying up-to-date on news and insights in you legal practice area

LinkedIn continues to grow as one of the most powerful social media platforms for many different users. Its diversity and growth makes it one of the best for law firm and business web marketing.

To learn more about social media and it's impact on search and other Internet marketing channels, visit this page that defines "SEO'cial," a new approach to SEO and social media marketing.

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