Although it is true that more online exposure will increase your chances of acquiring new business, this general concept has resulted in some risky Internet marketing practices.
With respect to the classic phrase “quality over quantity,” it is unfortunate to hear of SEO and Internet marketing companies promoting the use keyword targeted microsites. But it’s not just the concept of using microsites that muddy up brands, it is how each microsite is executed.
So what exactly is a microsite? A microsite is a separate domain that consists of a page, or a group of pages, with the purpose of supplementing a larger domain. The idea of microsite is not all that bad. However often times, businesses are duped into buying several microsites to better their search exposure. This easy outlet for SEO’s typically results in diminishes quality of content and questionable online advertising practices.
One group of professionals that are a popular target for the microsite Internet marketing pitch is lawyers that offer a number of practice areas. Countless firms are convinced by shady SEO companies that building a microsite per practice area is the best way to obtain keyword dominance. Yet many do not realize the risks and implications when rolling out many microsites, especially when the content of each microsite is repurposed over and over.
Obsolete microsites can easily damage a law firm's rankings and online reputation. The reason behind this is simple. Many law firm marketing companies fail to provide copywriting services, let alone understand the importance of unique, optimized content. This results in the same blocks of content being published on many domains, and often times these domains link back to the house, or the main website of the law firm. That’s pretty much telling a Google spider, “Hey, we’ve got duplicate content here. And it is all stemming from this particular source.”
Putting out a bunch of microsites with similar content can spell disaster. You may have heard of a little nuisance (or quality control measure) called Panda. This search engine algorithm change was an effort to pinpoint and penalize websites with duplicate content. Even websites with common phrasing and slightly related content have been punished.
In addition to risking search engine rankings, creating a bunch of microsites can be deceptive to online users. Unless ethically branded and uniquely developed, microsites often take on a different image. Some act as “legal resources,” but ever resource links back to the same law firm website. Other microsites might solely be a landing page, offering no value at all to the user.
If your SEO company proposes the idea of microsite optimization, it may be time to shop around. Strong Internet marketing companies have the capabilities and resources to optimize a website as it is, without resorting to these “gray hat” practices. They understand that duplicate content reduces credibility among search engines and their users. For a service oriented law firm, the repercussions can cripple a brand.
In summary, we recommend consulting with a website marketing firm with experience handling SEO campaigns for law firms. These SEO providers typically offer powerful link building resources and professional SEO copywriting services. This can bring the most impact to your SEO efforts, and ensure that your content is unique and credible.continue...
Lawyers are well aware of the importance of attaining online search exposure. A high organic listing in the search engines can result in an influx of new cases. Many legal professionals are keen enough to realize that such results are achievable in-house, and without the help of a SEO company.
Even for those attorneys who are slightly adept in the how SEO works, realizing better search rankings is no mystery. To help get the ball rolling, below are some basic, yet essential press release optimization techniques that work ideally for law firm web marketing.
Most lawyers know that press releases are essential, but what some fail to realize is that they do not need a Public Relations firm to do it for them. Just about anybody can publish a press release, and when “optimized” correctly, these forms of content can do wonders for SEO.
Press releases that contain the right verbiage and are presented in such a way that offers meaning to readers have tremendous SEO value. Such press releases can end up being found through Google News and other related search outlets. This can result in both better brand awareness and more visitors to your website. If you and your staff can publish a weekly press release, this is one easy way to promote better visibility in the search engines.
Submitting press releases and online articles (otherwise known as “content marketing”) is an effective method to build inbound links to website – which can have an immense impact on SEO. More links pointing to a website deems it more popular, and thus credible, in the search engines.
What brings the most impact to a link is both its source and its anchor text (or “link name.”) Some publishing portals are free, whereas others require payment. Typically, the content publishing portals that are paid-for-use offer heavier link weight. In addition to more powerful links, these portals often allow users to customize the anchor text of links.
Having the ability to customize the anchor text of a link (in virtually any link building context) is huge for SEO. This enables users to use keyword phrases as link names, and thus making the link’s destination more relevant to that phrase.
For example, a law firm plans to publish a press release about Intellectual Property law that has a link pointing to its webpage about I.P. legal services. If the anchor text of that link contains the words “intellectual property,” the link will have greater SEO value, making that webpage more relevant on keyword targets of I.P. law. Furthermore, if the firm was located in Atlanta, Georgia and was pursuing a local search engine optimization strategy, the anchor text “Atlanta intellectual property lawyer,” or a related keyword variation, would serve ideal.
Use the strongest syndicates for your press releases and overall content marketing efforts. Some of the most powerful portals for press releases include PRWeb.com, Marketwire.com, BusinessWire.com, and PRNewsWire.com. Through these online news outlets, you can publish content that contains high quality inbound links.
High authority press syndicates can charge anywhere from $200 to $600 for membership, so choose carefully before investing. In addition, take advantage of any “premium-based” press release submissions these sites have to offer. Often, the better the publishing features, the more options users have in tailoring SEO-oriented press releases.
With these tips, law firms and lawyers alike can have an in-house SEO tool of their own. Many firms that implement consistent press release publishing practices see improvements in search engine rankings and overall website traffic.continue...
On the premise that each law firm is unique, Consultwebs.com's Marketing Director, Tanner Jones says that the same principle should apply for law firm web marketing campaigns.
This is why Consultwebs.com Inc. offers law firms the option to choose which online marketing strategies and related products and services they deem ideal for their unique goals and budget.
Tanner Jones describes this creative strategy as an “a la carte” approach to law firm online marketing. Because there are a large variety of methods used for online advertising, the ability to pick out what their law firm needs ultimately makes it more personalized and cost effective.
Offering a great deal of flexibility, lawyers can exactly pick out specific strategies that will address their needs as they see it. Jones simplifies it by explaining that "one firm may only want to focus on enhancing its social media marketing, while another firm may only want to redesign its website and improve its content". The law firm internet marketing agency, Consultwebs.com Inc. offers a wide range of web marketing strategies to choose from. Some of the more popular include:
Referring to this particular development, Tanner Jones says, "We work with law firms to pinpoint their goals and to select the best products and services that will meet those goals while staying at a cost that's within their reach."continue...
Whether through Pay Per Click advertising or Organic SEO, the legal profession is one arena that has taken full advantage of Internet marketing opportunities - however only a few firms are taking advantage of the benefits of Google AdWords Express.
Google AdWords Express is an automated version of AdWords and is designed to make Internet advertising easier for locally-focused small businesses. Simplified to match the needs of entrepreneurs with limited online advertising experience, AdWords Express offers a number of advantageous. The core benefits are that it costs less than a dollar per click and can substantially increase local search visibility for a website.
Buts it’s not just simplicity that small businesses are appreciating in Google AdWords Express. In this platform, local businesses can incorporate their Pay Per Click ads and Google Places page. These add-ons can help a website's search listing stand out even more, which is especially valuable for law firms targeting keywords in competitive practice areas. Instead of representing one of the many red pins in the local Google Map results, a firm could stand out from the crowd with blue pin.
Offering the utmost simplicity from ad creation to measurement of results, AdWords Express provides everything a local business needs to start advertising online.
The legal profession is a highly competitive, even from a local approach. Google's AdWords Express offers an attractive option to maximize a law firm’s web presence with minimal costs and excellent results.
Formerly known as Google Boost, AdWords Express made $28 billion for Google in ad revenues for 2010. In the first two quarters of 2011 it generated $32 billion, declare it a success in the Google books.
With users coming from all across America, it initially targeted just two markets; small businesses like local law firms and those that do not have the time or money to take a larger leap in search engine marketing. The potential that AdWords Express offers to local law firms is immense, particularly for those with limited or non-existent experience in online marketing. Even for those with online marketing program, Google AdWords Express ads can be a great enhancement.continue...
Building back links (or links that point back to a specific website) is one of the best strategies to achieve better Google search engine rankings. The link building process is more labor-intensive than it is talent-intensive; however there are a few tricks of the trade that can make a big difference when it comes to SEO.
In the legal profession, building links can have a momentous impact on your organic search engine rankings. Especially when optimizing for local areas and specific practice areas, the advantages of link building are significant. Rankings are often based on link popularity. Google’s search engine algorithm ranks websites according to:
These are just the link building basics. Expand upon your strategy with these SEO link building tips for lawyers.
The best link pages are found on the home page of a related site. But how will you be able to achieve this?
So you got the tips down, but know you might be wondering where to start on your link building endeavor. This can often be the most challenging part. Some websites that appear ideal for your links may not be willing or able to accept them. As a result, sometimes you have to be creative, build relationships, or perhaps invest a little capital.
Below are some sound techniques to build the best links:
Perfectly formatted inbound links are essential to get high search engine rankings for your law firm website. It has become the core driver to search engine optimization, and should never be overlooked in any website optimization strategy.
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.
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.
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.
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.continue...
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.
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.
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.continue...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.continue...
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
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.
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.continue...
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