Law Firm Web Marketing

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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Mobile Text Message Marketing for Law Firms

Law firm mobile marketing is becoming a highly effective method to obtain quality cases and retain respected clients.

Many legal practices both large and small are taking advantage of mobile marketing strategies, particularly in the form of text message marketing. Especially for law firms with a local market focus, the opportunities to go mobile are very significant.

But what exactly makes text message marketing for attorneys so great? That answer comes in many forms.

Strategic Text Message Marketing

Text message marketing or SMS (short message service) marketing is good method to obtain more traffic, but you need to execute this appropriately. The first step is building your opt-in database, or list of recipients who are willing to accept your text message blast.

After a sufficient list has been established, whether through social media, email marketing, or other creative methods, the task of tailoring SMS blasts begins. Here it is important to empathize with your market and send them an incentivizing message that offers value.

Below are 3 good examples of creative text message marketing strategies for law firms:

  • Coupons that offer a free legal analysis or consultation
  • Reminders or promotions regarding events or enticing offers
  • Setting up short codes to facilitate client communications (e.g. “text ‘APP’ to 12345 to get make an appointment.)

Mobile Marketing for the Legal Profession

Every practice offers something unique with respect to its areas of law. This means that each strategy for law firm mobile marketing is original. It is important to take into consideration the advertising and marketing objectives of the firm, and implement strategic mobile components accordingly.

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5 LinkedIn Marketing Tips For Legal Professionals

LinkedIn has emerged as one of the most successful social networking sites for business professionals. The facilitation of referrals and interaction with like-minded individuals has made LinkedIn a valuable tool, particularly for lawyers.

Recent studies have indicated that about 2/3 of legal corporate counsels use LinkedIn for marketing purposes. Additionally, executives of all industries and professions are using LinkedIn to explore new avenues and expand their business.   

To help legal professionals establish a valuable LinkedIn presence and attain better cases, we have identified 5 tips that prove highly valuable.

1. Develop relationships with the referral sources – This will do wonders for the long run. For instance, a lawyer who practices copyright law can find networking opportunities with members of a corporate or business law firm. This creates a relationship for business reciprocity and sharing opportunities with another.  

3. Network with potential clients – This is one of the best lawyer LinkedIn marketing tips that is similar to the latter. Let’s say you work in bankruptcy law. Some of the greatest relationships you can build on LinkedIn is with lenders and bankruptcy professionals who can pass business along to your practice.

3. Build relations with members of the media – More than 91 percent of media professionals are on LinkedIn, and this is really big number as compared to other social media sites. This includes journalists, reporters, and editors of regional, national, and local publications. Not only can these relationships lead to greater opportunities to market and publicize your practice, but establishing credibility with media professionals is sound reputation management.

4. Showcase your practice more personally – Investing in legal services can be daunting for both businesses and consumers. By presenting your practice from a more personal perspective, you can instill peace of mind in your potential clients.

Depending on the size of the law firm, each attorney should have their own profile on LinkedIn, and it should be linked to the main site of the company. This will help your customers know who it is they are working with.

5. Bolster relationships with existing clients - Whether a business or individual, existing clients are also a powerful source of good referrals. To keep yourself better organized, create a LinkedIn group dedicated to existing clients. That way you can better manage these valuable assets in your marketing efforts.

6. Broaden your network for expert witnesses - LinkedIn can help you establish connections with niche specialists whom can act as expert witnesses. This can empower your practice, and provide clients with the confidence to hire your for their case.

For all types of legal professionals, being LinkedIn can deliver many great things. Whether career seeking, networking, or marketing your practice, LinkedIn offers a wealth of opportunities to grow. We hope you appreciated these 5 LinkedIn marketing tips for legal professionals.

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Social Media Marketing Tips For Lawyers

Social media is significantly underused by attorneys and law firms alike. Only the most savvy of the legal profession are effectively using social media to enhance their practice.

Depending on the area of law, the right social media marketing strategy can work wonders for a law firm. Not only can social media help a firm interact with new and existing clients, but having a social media presence can greatly enhance a firm’s search engine optimization efforts.

Why Go Social?

There are so many reasons why law firms should be taking the social plunge. To some Internet users, social media platforms like Facebook are used as their primary search engine. And because geographic relevance is automatically factored in to the Facebook search results, having a law firm Facebook page can promote further and free advertising exposure.

But social media for the legal profession extends much further than Facebook. Many attorneys are realizing a huge competitive advantage by optimizing their YouTube videos for select practice areas. In addition, some firms are finding strong cases by marketing their articles on StumbleUpon and Digg.

Almost any lawyer will agree that one of the strongest resources to get good cases is referrals from other attorneys. Social media can play a role in facilitating this as well. In essence, the possibilities for social immersion are virtually limitless to the typical law firm. All one needs is to be a bit creative with respect to their practice and their target audience.

Social Media Tips for Lawyers

  • YouTube videos are one of the best social media tools for lawyers looking to enhance their marketing strategy. A short discussion about specific legal issues can not only improve an attorney’s credentials as an expert, but optimized videos are also quite powerful for SEO.

  • Audio recorded podcasts are also great for explaining basic tips on various legal issues. Similar to videos, podcasts offer a rich medium for relevant users to interact with your brand.
  • Get social through local or regionally-relevant social sites. Here you can post events or content to a more in-market audience. This can help establish your local brand image along with your online brand image. 

  • LinkedIn is social media platform that is must for the legal profession. This goes back to the value of referrals, and LinkedIn is the ideal site to communicate with other like-minded professionals.
  • The more common social platforms like Facebook are still important for many types of law firms. Particularly for attorneys in consumer-focus practice areas, such as criminal law or family law, a Facebook page enables relevant information seekers to learn about the firm. Here users can also see what others are saying about a firm, thus establishing greater trust.
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Partial Linking for Lawyer Web Marketing & SEO

There is no doubt that link building is now the powerhouse to stronger search engine rankings. For law firms with regional SEO focus, or those who are optimizing for locally-targeted practice areas (e.g. "Dallas business litigation lawyer,") the strategies for link building come in many forms. 

It is not only important to consider what sources for link building a law firm should use, but also how links are built. In this article we discuss a great linking strategy for lawyers who have a local SEO focus. To learn more about the general practice of link building, read this post about SEO link building tips for lawyers.

Partial Linking Defined & Described

Before we can define partial linking, we must first define "anchor text." Anchor text is used to define the visible words that are displayed in a link. Using customized (or optimized) anchor text substitutes the need to use the URL for the link. As a result, a search engine spider can better evaluate the keyword relevancy of the anchor text to that of the webpage’s content. This is a big factor in SEO, for it makes websites more popular on certain keyword phrases.

The practice of partial linking means using only a part of the link destination's keyword target in the anchor text. For example, a law firm web marketing blog wants to build an optimized backlink to a website for a corporate lawyer based out of Boston. The blog writer could script the link's anchor text to include all keyword in the targeted search phrase (e.g. "Boston corporate lawyer" or "corporate attorney in Boston.") However from a partial linking perspective, the blog could publish the anchor text to include only the city "Boston," or perhaps only the practice of "corporate" law, in the link.

Why Partial Link Building?

Some might ask, why script the anchor text of link to read only a portion of the true keyword target? For one, SEO is long-term endeavor. Google interprets websites based on single words and the density of those single words. Although keyword phrasing is important, becoming more relevant on single words is sound strategy for local Internet marketing and long-term link building.

The homepage in particular is the most important page of a website when it comes to SEO. The home domain supports a number of keywords, and may be relevant on several un-related terms. Partial link building is highly effective for backlinks pointing to the homepage. This helps to focus the keyword relevancy of site one word at a time. And although this might appear less efficient than linking with a full keyword phrase, the result can support greater, long-term rankings on both local and globally-targeted keyword phrases.

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Local Internet Marketing Is Ideal For Lawyers

The web is now buzzing with various exciting opportunities that offer ways to increase your revenues though Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) With the fast penetration of the Internet in every nook and corner of the U.S., now searches for legal representation and counsel are happening from many local areas.

As per the latest reports of Google, about 8.3 million searches are now being done for “lawyers” on search engines alone. Therefore, local Internet marketing for lawyers offers many opportunities to capture relevant searches that could result in a huge case.

Advantages of Locally-Targeted Online Marketing

Local online marketing for lawyers is much more cost-effective than a phone book, television, or radio advertisement. These channels offer limited information and ad exposure. But in case of website marketing, you can obtain top search engine visibility from your prospects and target customers. The cost of impressions for a PPC ad or organic search placement is significantly less than a print ad. And when users hop on Google to find a "personal injury lawyer in Dallas, TX," that's just what they want.

Realize a Better ROI

Many lawyers still prefer newspapers, TV, law directories and similar advertising mediums. Though few attorneys may have got some success with these venues, but the real question here is that how much returns they are getting on their investment. In most of the cases, search engine optimization campaigns are highly cost effective and can generate long lasting results. While newspaper ads or direct mail campaigns are recycled or thrown as waste, local website marketing for lawyers continues to generate quality leads for them. Now the lasting effect of this kind of marketing means that your marketing budget is being well utilized and generates more revenue for you. Maximum leads with less money, as well as quality of leads, make local Internet marketing for lawyers a clear choice where they should spend their marketing dollars. 

Gain Maximum Online Visibility

As we discussed above, SEO can help you in getting higher rankings on major search engines resulting in higher traffic to your site and more business. Companies providing local SEO services for lawyers actually work for maximizing their online exposure. All major search engines such as Google, MSN/Yahoo and Bing now show results depending upon the location of the user. Therefore, if your site is optimized for local SEO, you can gain better ad exposure from in-market users.

A good local SEO company will target keywords of local/geographic relevance combined with practice areas keywords (for example, "Atlanta criminal defense attorney".) This can rank the site of an Atlanta-based attorney on the top of search engine result pages for queries that relate to criminal defense. They will choose the keywords that are used by relevant clients for searching lawyers in their area.

Aside from this, providers of local SEO services also use other Internet marketing techniques, such as manual directory submission, PPC marketing campaigns, article and blog submission with links to your site, and even social media marketing. These services are starting to replace traditional forms of marketing and serving ideal for law firm web marketing.

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