Law Firm Web Marketing

    

3 Experts to Help Support Your Law Firm SEO Strategy

Local Organic SEO ExpertFor any SEO campaign to succeed, it is important to have highly qualified and experienced professionals who are not only able to see through the campaign, but also have the ability to adapt the campaign to fit the ever dynamic and fluid online market space.

For a law firm or independent legal practices that's keen on running a successful SEO campaign, here are three experts to help support your law firms SEO strategy and ensure its success. These might seem like unconventional SEO experts, but are roles that are defining the all-encompassing approach to building an authoritative online brand and rank-worthy website.

Technical SEO Experts

The role of a technical SEO expert is one of the most important roles any organization has to fill if the business wants to get the highest return on investment on their SEO campaign. A technical expert is usually charged with the responsibility of developing and implementing the appropriate SEO strategy across onsite technology, content strategy as well as link acquisition.

He or she is usually charged with the responsibility of undertaking market and competitor research and analysis, carry out technical SEO site audit of the website or social media channels and utilize both on and off page optimization strategies to ensure that these campaigns are not only implemented but are tracked and reported correctly according to laid out criteria and deadlines.

A good technical SEO expert is usually well versed in using some of the leading SEO tools such as Search Metrics, Majestic, Moz, Webmaster Tools, Google Analytic etc. they not only ensure that the original coding of the site is up to standard and SEO friendly but are also at hand to perform any required technical changes on the site so as to ensure that the site is search engine friendly and ready. For a law firm, a technical SEO expert will handle all the complexities involved in any search engine campaign.

Social Media Managers

The social media manager is bound to be a highly motivated individual with passion and experience in designing and implementing the organizations content strategy, creating and delivering relevant content, blogging as well as ensuring community participation as well as leadership. In short, this role helps to view the SEO strategy as more of an all-encompassing web presence optimization strategy that brings together multiple platforms and market touch points.

He or she is supposed to be an advocate for the company in social media spaces, engaging in relevant dialogue sessions with clients. because what you post on your social channels is the main foundation for your social media marketing campaign, the social media manager does perform a brand discovery which mainly outlines what it is about the business that makes it unique, this usually includes the firms core values and beliefs and the reasons people want to engage the law firm in business.

A good social media manager is therefore the link between your clients on the social media market space and the business. This linkage does gain a lot of importance when you take into consideration the number of people who use social media on a daily basis and are therefore at ease conducting business on the same space.

Content Strategists

Content strategists are important for the law firm because they help the firm achieve business goals by fully maximizing the commercial impact of the content. For a content strategist, content refers to a wide variety of information such as web or digital information, blog posts, social media conversations, RSS feeds, email newsletters, web pages etc. this content usually overlaps into both online and offline forums and does require the content strategist to play a leading role in both of these facets.

A content strategist will for all intent and purposes concern himself with the entire lifecycle of content; from analyzing, planning, writing, editing, distributing, managing and eventually monitoring content in all its forms. It is therefore important to take note that there is basically no need of developing or creating a multi-channel, multimedia content strategy if your law firm does not have a qualified content strategist.

A good content strategist will therefore develop the requisite tools as well as tactics that allow your business to get the most from its content. For best results, it is advisable to get a content strategist who is well versed in legal issues.

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How to Evaluate a Site's Backlink Profile for SEO

Site AuditLong-believed to be a critical element in the process of SEO, backlinks are considered a dirty word for many marketers, specifically due to Google's changing policies in regard to link building. Backlinks are an important indicator of authority, allowing Google to determine a website's value, and whether or not it delivers the information users are looking for.

Yet backlinks can be tricky, and webmasters need to rethink their link-building strategy in order to get their websites ranked higher. Unnatural links obtained from link schemes can do more harm than good, offering short-term results that make websites vulnerable to penalties imposed by Google.

And if you are not the one trying to acquire unnatural links, there's another  and oftentimes much scarier  premise: your competitors are submitting links to your website across the Internet to land you in the penalty jail. That's why doing back link audits periodically can help you identify bad backlinks and take further action to remove them.

Backlinks Site Audit Process

The guide below shows you the process of doing a backlink site audit, as well as the variables to take into account in order to ensure that all of your links are completely natural.

Step 1. Find a suitable backlink checker. The most popular tools available for auditing your backlink profile are Ahrefs.com, Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer by Moz. However, you will need to get a paid monthly subscription to get access to all of your backlinks and easily export them in a CSV file format.

Step 2. Once youíre found the desired tool, enter your website URL in the designated field, and wait for it to parse the data.

Step 3. Take the time to review the various information gathered by the tool. Regardless of the SEO back link checker you use, the report should be pretty much the same in terms of elements included: number of backlinks, number of referring domains, anchor texts, URL rating, domain rating, referring pages, and more. While they are all important, only a few of them will directly impact how your website ranks in search engines and these are:

Anchor Text Ratio

The anchor text is a text that webmasters use to embed clickable URLs in. Most of the time, anchor texts are keywords instead of random phrases, and the more competitive these keywords are, the higher the website will rank for them.

In essence, if someone links back to your website with the anchor text, say, best digital marketing agency, this tells search engines that your website is very relevant to that keyword, so it will rank higher for it. Look at the anchor texts included with your backlinks if they are highly relevant, that's good, but if they seem randomly choose, have them changed or completely removed.

Relevancy of Referring Sources

Are the referring sources relevant to your website or niche? If you have a website about shoes (and implicitly, in the fashion industry/niche), relevant backlinks should be coming from websites in the fashion industry as well.

This shows search engines that you have authority in your niche, helping you get at the top of search engines. If you spot a backlink in, say, automotive industry, itís not relevant, and it may actually hurt your rankings instead of helping you rank higher.

Domain Authority of Referring Sources

Domain authority is the most important factor included in Googleís ranking algorithm, and it is calculated based on different variables such as the number of relevant backlinks you have, relevancy of referring sources, and more. The domain authority ranks site on a 100-point scale, so the closer you are to 100, the more authoritative your website is (and the higher it ranks in Google).

To determine the domain authority of your referring sources, simply copy and paste the root domain name in another browser tab with the same backlink checker opened. If a website with a high domain authority links back to you, it means that your content is of a very high quality and likely meets Google's Webmaster Guidelines, thus giving you a boost in search engine rankings.

Social Credibility of Referring Sources

The modern era of information technology is dominated by social media, and websites with a good presence on social networks are usually given more weight in SERPs. A good presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other platforms shows search engines that your content is appreciated by your audience, thus ranking your higher.

Take the time to analyze the social credibility of your referring sources. Never let the number of likes, shares, tweets or +1s fool you many companies purchase them in 10,000-for-$10 packages, so they're of a very high quality despite the huge number. Instead, look at user engagement: how often do customers post on the company's social profiles, and how much overall activity does it have?

Final Word About SEO Site Backlink Audit

These are just a few of the things to keep top of mind when doing a SEO site backlink audit. Make sure to copy and paste bad backlinks in a separate document, so you can create a disavow file to submit to Google Webmaster Tools and have those hurtful links removed. This will increase your authority and help your website rank significantly higher, giving search engines no reason to ever penalize you.

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Moz Unveils 2015 "Future of SEO" Survey

Moz SEO 2015Every two years, Moz interviews some of the best minds in the SEO industry concerning the future of search engine optimization and how Google's ever changing algorithm is influencing it now and in the future.

This time, there are a handful of useful insights we can gather from the latest survey by Moz on 2015 ranking factors. In addition to this, the survey also touches on how Google's algorithm features are expected to change in the next 1 year.

Foundational Factors of SEO

Of course they still had to touch on the same ranking factors that we're all familiar with. These include mobile friendliness, analysis of site pages, usage of data (CTR), readability and design, influence of structured data on serps, app popularity, site speed and many more.

Of all the ranking factors that were taken into account, the survey projected that some factors would remain constant in the next one year. These included topical relevance of links, quantity of paid results on serps, social signals, presence and prominence of ads over content, raw domain authority, internal links and many more.

The survey also predicted that the effectiveness of paid links and influence of anchor text would decrease. Nevertheless, all the factors that Google's algorithm touched revolved around user friendliness. So the general consensus was that the search engine was more concerned with user experience than anything else. That's the reason it touched heavily on mobile friendliness, perceived value, readability and many more.

Specific SEO Ranking Factors

On a scale of 1-10 (Least relevant to most relevant), below we outline several specific ranking factors that impact Travers City SEO in 2015.

On-page keyword optimization

On-page SEO is concentrated on particular keywords placed on some parts of the HTML code. When it comes to on-page optimization, keywords put in title elements still maintained an influence of 8.34. On the other hand, keywords incorporated into specific parts of HTML elements maintained a relevance of 4.16.

Domain-level keyword features

These are features that deal with how keywords are used in the domain and sub-domain names, plus how they're likely to affect ranking. Keywords incorporated in the exact match domain had relevance of 5.83, while keyword in the domain extension had 2.55 only.

Link metrics for individual pages

This has to do with metrics concerning various pages of a website. These include page rank, number of inbound (backlinks) and outbound links and many more. In this study, it was found that raw quantity of in-bound links from high authority sites had a relevance of 7.78, while external links pointing back to a page had a relevance of 3.85 only.

The uniqueness of a page had an influence of 7.85, while pages that featured open graph data maintained it at 3.64.

Qualities of branding & brand metrics

The search volume of the brand or domain showed a relevance of 6.54, while social media pages for popular businesses fell at 3.99 relevance.

Page social features

This part studied third-party metrics related to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and many more. The survey found that content engagement stood at 3.87 on average, while up-votes on particular site pages on social media maintained a relevance of 2.7.

The future of SEO

These SEO experts were asked to give their views on anything they thought would come up and influence ranking. Some of the sentiments worth noting are summarized below:

  • The app world will be noticed by Google. For instance, if a webmaster had a popular app that was relative to their competitor, Google wouldn't hesitate to notice it.
  • Mobile-friendliness will increase, together with directly or indirectly related factors.
  • User location may influence mobile serps. On the other hand, connected devices like watches and cars would allow voice search.

These factors, plus many more, make the world of SEO and ranking now and in the next 12 months. Therefore, with this information, webmasters can fine-tune their site resources to maximize on these changes and also stay out of the way for possible penalties.

To learn more about the survey and its findings, visit Moz.com.

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5 Local SEO Resources That Provide Honest ROI for Attorneys

Local SEO ResourceThe 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.

1. Moz Local

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.

2. Give 5 Stars

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.

3. Yext

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.

4. Google Alerts

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.

5. Whitespark

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.

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