A Cheap Website Could Cost Your Firm Millions of Dollars

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Lawyers know the value of hiring an experienced, successful lawyer for representation. An inexpensive lawyer that has a small, inexperienced staff and lack of resources may cost less initially, but the long-term results could be disastrous.

Web marketing is the same.  While cheap websites are plentiful, the return on investment (ROI) will be minimal since the cheap website will not compete favorably with the large number of Internet competitors.

Is low-cost Web design really a bargain when the Internet is outpacing every advertising medium in growth?  Below are some examples and considerations.

The Cheap Website Looked Like a Pretty Good Choice

Consider a typical, small Personal Injury practice we talk to on a daily basis. Let’s call it “Sample Law Firm.” The marketing director at Sample Law Firm researched website developers and selected what he thought was a good deal. The contract terms probably appeared to offer quite a bargain: maybe the low-bid vendor waived a few “standard” fees and set up the website for low or no cost, based on an annual contract of $2,000 per month for maintenance and SEO services.

A year or two later, Sample Law Firm has seen a $6,000 monthly return from the new, inexpensive website. The budget-minded marketing director celebrates his success, feeling like he made a rather smart investment.

And it would be hard to argue, right?

ROI Matters When Considering Your Firm’s Website

Let’s consider how Sample Law Firm might look today if its decision-makers had considered investment ROI when deciding on a Web vendor.

A competing legal Web marketing company with a strong reputation in the industry counseled Sample Law Firm to devote a larger budget to develop a more robust, more compelling Web platform that included many additional methods of obtaining clients. The catch was, “doing it right” required a $5,000- to $12,000-per-month additional investment for search marketing and audience development initiatives via social media, strategic paid advertising, public relations, outreach, and community involvement.

After the first year, as Sample Law Firm invested $5,000 to $12,000 per month, their average monthly return was $60,000 to $200,000 above their investment.

the high cost of a cheap website

Choosing the cheap website, Sample Law Firm garnered about $4,000 per month profit on its $2,000 outlay. In contrast, had the firm’s leadership taken into account the ROI potential of a tightly targeted but higher monthly expenditure, the firm would have netted $127,500 each month on its $8,500 investment, depending upon the competitiveness of the market, aggressiveness of the campaign, and other factors.

The “inexpensive” website cost the firm $123,500 per month, or $1,530,000 over the course of a year.

inexpensive law firm website

Law firms achieve a strong investment return on their websites when they give Web visitors an immediate sense of trust in the firm. A well-designed website establishes trust by revealing that the firm is professional, credible and experienced, and has a human touch. Highly talented legal marketing vendors have the experience to make sure a site delivers this experience and converts visitors by immediately earning their website visitors’ trust.

What Does a Bigger Website Investment Buy Me?

Many Web vendors “sell” their service but do not back the sale up with support.  They provide template reports and periodic brief meetings, but do not provide the proactive marketing assistance that is needed to be successful; there is no long-term plan in mind.

Most people researching legal issues online—your potential clients—will visit more than three or four law firm websites before they select one to contact. A strong site engages its visitors through great design, high-quality videos and photography, and overall user experience. Ideally, the site’s users will be greeted by a knowledgeable, compassionate receptionist in the form of a chat operator.

Reputable Web vendors excel at search marketing, making sure that your firm is represented on the first page of search results, which is a time-consuming and ongoing investment. Investing enough and investing it wisely will earn visibility in organic, local, and even pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

Let’s not forget the mobile experience. In some market areas, 30 to 50 percent of Web visitors use a mobile device.  Good Web development incorporates responsive design to convert clients on mobile devices, just as they do for desktop users. Prominent legal marketing companies will include mobile development, which is lacking in cheaper alternatives.

The Internet is rife with competing lawyers. A firm needs not only to invest enough to build a high-quality website, but to invest marketing funds wisely. As mentioned above, the best campaigns incorporate creative search marketing solutions with long term growth in mind by developing great assets for content marketing, scholarships, webinars, podcasts, and special campaigns that give the firm a quality “unique value proposition” (UVP). A low investment simply cannot fund the type of marketing efforts needed to rise above the competition.

An experienced law firm Web marketing company will tie together all the requirements for a successful legal website. Good keyword rankings, backlink profiles, local presence, citations, and strong technical SEO will increase search visibility. Compelling listings—good titles and meta descriptions—are fundamental.

A well-designed site connects with prospects when they land on the page, conveying trustworthiness, professionalism, ability, care, and concern. The successful website offers a good experience to the user, flowing smoothly between subjects and providing helpful information that instills trust in the knowledge, expertise, and abilities of the attorneys at the firm.

The Importance of Conversions

After all that, a page must move the client to contact the firm, and then the intake process must be handled smoothly, quickly, and efficiently so that the prospect feels cared for and well served from the beginning of the relationship.

Finally, a successful Web presence will foster loyalty and renewed business from clients and will include social interaction and positive online reviews—the word-of-mouth of the 21st century.

Every step in the process, from connecting with prospects to the ongoing relationship with clients whose cases have been resolved, requires technical expertise. The best legal Web marketers have a talent pool of expert staffers and vast resources to ensure that each step is handled professionally. Web development is a complex process that requires a team of specialists.

A single high-dollar case justifies a considerable investment in a high-quality online marketing strategy, which is relatively inexpensive compared to many traditional marketing vehicles. If your firm does not land that lucrative case, your competitor (who is doing everything right on the Web) will.

Successful law firms know the difference between a $4,000 and $200,000 ROI and they make marketing decisions accordingly. You do not want to leave millions of dollars on the table because of a “bargain” that looked too good to pass up.



5 Ways to Boost Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Right Now

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On October 21, I posted an interview that originally appeared on LawMarketing.com about the latest Google Penguin update andwhat it may or may not have done to affect legal websites.

John Jantsch over at the Duct Tape Marketing blog had a good post last week about the 5 ways you can boost your SEO right away, taking into consideration the latest Google search engine update:

1. Boost your social share. Google is giving a lot more juice to social share signals, so add the Google +1 and Facebook Like or Share buttons at the top of each page of your website or blog.

2. Use larger embedded images. This can help your blog posts you put on Facebook get shared more, and sharing is the name of the game right now. Facebook recently redesigned their posts to make images a lot more prominent; the new standard for images is 600 x 1200 pixels.

3. Zero in on long tail keywords. In a competitive category like law, going after the long tail keywords that people use to search for your services will help your SEO. Jantsch recommends using Long Tail Pro, a keyword research tool that is easy to use and inexpensive.

4. Use micro data with rich snippets. If you use WordPress for your blog or website, be sure to add the micro data plugin. Micro data is HTML code used by search engines to identify categories of text and Google uses it to understand website pages better. You can learn more about this on Google’s Webmaster blog.

5. Build relationships with authorities for your category. Just like it is important to build a good referral network offline, it has become increasingly important for you to do it online – it’s just known as building authority relationships. Find authors in your practice area that rank high in search and find ways to connect with them to foster a value-added relationship.

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Need Ideas for Your Legal Blog? Here's a Bunch

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If there is one thing I hear over and over again from attorneys when it comes to blogging, it’s this:   “What do I blog about?”

The reason to have a blog is to establish your authority as an expert in your field of practice. You must keep your target market in mind at all times when writing a blog – it needs to be about topics your clients and prospects are interested in, providing good in-depth information on each topic (now more important than ever for SEO) that they can’t find anywhere else.

Still, the creative juices do run dry at times. Which is why it’s so great that the LexisNexis Law Marketing blog has started highlighting monthly events, anniversaries, holidays and observances that have a legal connection.

Here is their list for October/November, categorized by practice area:

Civil Rights Law:

  • October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
  • October is Gay and Lesbian History Month
  • Oct. 14: Native American Day
  • Oct. 17: United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
  • Oct. 20-26: Freedom from Bullies Week
  • Oct. 21-27: Freedom of Speech Week
  • November is National American Indian Heritage Month

Corporate Law:

  • October is National Crime Prevention Month
  • October is National Cyber Security Month
  • October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
  • Oct. 16: National Boss’s Day
  • Oct. 16: Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day
  • Nov. 3-9: International Fraud Awareness Week

Education Law:

  • October is National Bullying Prevention Month
  • Oct. 20-26: Freedom from Bullies Week
  • Oct. 21-25: National School Bus Safety Week

Elder Law:

  • October is Health Literacy Month
  • October is Long-Term Care Planning Month
  • October is National Organize Your Medical Information Month
  • Oct. 15: Medicare open enrollment begins
  • Oct. 20-26: National Save for Retirement Week
  • November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
  • November is National Family Caregivers Month
  • November is National Home Care and Hospice Month
  • November is National Long-Term Care Awareness Month
  • Nov. 1-7: National Patient Accessibility Week

Environmental Law:

  • Oct. 18: Forty-first anniversary of the passing of the Water Pollution Control Act

Estate Planning:

  • October is Long-Term Care Planning Month
  • Oct. 20-26: National Save for Retirement Week
  • November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Family Law:

  • October is Antidepressant Death Awareness Month
  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • October is Gay and Lesbian History Month
  • October is National Bullying Prevention Month
  • October is National Organize Your Medical Information Month
  • Oct. 17: Get Smart About Credit Day
  • November is Military Family Appreciation Month
  • November is National Adoption Month
  • November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
  • November is National Family Caregivers Month
  • Nov. 1: National Family Literacy Day

Health Care Law:

  • October is Antidepressant Death Awareness Month
  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • October is Health Literacy Month
  • October is Long-Term Care Planning Month
  • October is National Organize Your Medical Information Month
  • Oct. 15: Medicare open enrollment begins
  • Oct. 17-24: Food and Drug Interaction Education and Awareness Week
  • Oct. 24-31: Prescription Errors Education and Awareness Week
  • November is National Home Care and Hospice Month
  • November is National Long-Term Care Awareness Month
  • Nov. 1-7: National Patient Accessibility Week

Insurance Law:

  • October is National Crime Prevention Month

Intellectual Property Law:

  • Oct. 29: 44th anniversary of the creation of the Internet

Labor Law:

  • October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
  • Oct. 16: National Boss’s Day

Personal Injury Law:

  • October is Antidepressant Death Awareness Month
  • Oct. 21-25: National School Bus Safety Week
  • Oct. 24-31: Prescription Errors Education and Awareness Week

Real Estate Law:

  • October is National Crime Prevention Month

Who’s Afraid of Website Data Migration?

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Does the phrase “data migration” send chills up your spine? Would the fear of moving content from your old website to a new one hold you back from pulling the trigger on a website project?

If you nodded “yes” to either of those questions, you’re not alone.

The topic of data migration can be scary for marketers. Simply put, trained communicators are not database jockeys, and the prospect of ones and zeros flying back and forth can cause discomfort. But comfort level aside, should the fear of data migration warrant the keeping of a crummy website?

What can go wrong?

Everything, right?! There’s a chance that data could get lost, or content could end up in the wrong places, causing countless hours of aggravation for the marketing department…

Or not.

Professionals who do this all the time are well practiced in the art of handling the various challenges associated with data migration. But how can marketers be assured that their migration won’t go awry

How to do data migration

Data migration is not rocket science – or magic. At its simplest, it can be summed up as matching database fields from the old website, with the new. The actual act of migrating data (also called “data mapping”) can vary in its level of difficulty, depending on the condition, structure and size of the firm’s current website database. But irrespective of how old your website is or how it was built, the basic steps involved are the same.

Here’s a simplified version of the process that we use at Great Jakes:

  1. Analysis: The first step involves requesting a “data dump” of all the text content of the website and of the headers for each data table. We analyze the data to determine how much of the migration can be automated.

    We also investigate whether it would be more practical and/or cost efficient to not automate the migration and instead configure a “data-entry” website to have the data manually moved from the old website into the new. It’s not as hard as it sounds, and it’s not unusual that we end up recommending a combination of automated data-migration and “data-entry” website methods. It all depends on how the old website’s data are formatted.

  2. Transfer setup: The next step involves planning the “field-mapping” – writing the appropriate scripts necessary to move the data into the proper fields of the new website.
  3. Migration: A month prior to delivering a finished website, we migrate the data from the old website to the new, using data from a second data dump that contains all of the most current content (text, photos, PDFs, videos, presentations, audio files, etc.).
  4. Testing: Finally, we rigorously review the data migration results to ensure that everything moved as planned.

Better the devil you know – right?

While the steps outlined are straightforward, data migration is a time-consuming but doable process. Consequently, larger websites with more data will require more time to analyze, set up, migrate and then test.

So, the best way to ensure that everything goes smoothly is to take a peek under the hood. Have a pro examine your existing website. They might find some issues, like embedded tables or miscellaneous image files tucked in strange places. You’ll probably need to make some decisions about how to migrate these items. But most likely, they’ll probably find that the hurdles to moving the content are a lot lower than you might think.

Don’t let those two little words “data migration” keep you from advancing your firm’s business goals! There’s too much to be gained from having a properly conceived website.

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10 Free Keyword Research Tools + How to Use Them [INFOGRAPHIC]

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An old friend – Google’s free Adwords Keyword tool – has gone off the grid for good, leaving in its place the new Keyword Planner. The Planner is a little more detailed, but still fairly easy to use and still free.

A recent post at the GroTraffic.com blog had a list of 10 free keyword research tools you will find useful, as well as a good infographic that provides step-by-step instructions on how to conduct keyword research:

Mergewords – especially useful for creating long tail keyword phrases which are critical to your SEO efforts.

Wordstream – will give you up to 30 free keyword results; after that, you have to subscribe.

SEMRush – the first 10 results are free; a subscription is required for more. Data analysis and keyword performance info is also offered on the site.

SEOBook – this site has a free keyword tool that requires free registration to access.

Keyword Eye – if you are more visually oriented, this site is for you.

KGen – if you use Firefox as your browser, this tool is available as an add-on and will rank keywords on any given website.

Bing Keyword Research Tool – part of the Bing Webmaster Tools.

Keyword Spy – lets you evaluate competitive websites for keywords they use.

Thesaurus.com – this website gives you synonyms for your keywords.

Ubersuggest – suggestion tool for more keyword ideas.

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Promising #1 Rankings is Unacceptable for Legal Online Marketing Vendors

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Every reputable search marketer will tell you that a Web vendor promising number one rankings is blowing smoke. Google’s Matt Cutts warned about vendors that promise number one rankings as far back as 2008, then again in 2012.  Despite these voices, many companies still guarantee number one search engine spots – which raises the question: “Is promising number one rankings really that bad?”

Vendors who promise number one rankings for their law firm clients set unachievable standards for themselves, their clients and the legal marketing profession. Occasionally these damaging black-hat SEO tactics work for a few weeks or months — until Google catches up with them. When that happens, all the money invested into creating your Web presence is wasted.

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You can safely bet that Google’s algorithm will constantly change as the search engine giant places increasing emphasis on user experience. Strategies that may secure top rankings today might be the same strategies that hinder a site tomorrow. No company can be certain as to where their client’s site will rank next, and it is misleading for any company to indicate they do.

A legal online marketing vendor must also account for the fact that high rankings for a law firm website do not necessarily equate with an increase in newly signed clients. Websites have a shelf life. Many factors can affect conversions. If your design is dated or stale, you might need an upgrade before users are attracted to your site again. An outdated site conveys a lack of concern for the firm’s Web presence and image, almost as if you hadn’t refurnished your visitor’s lobby in 20 years. Additionally, a website that does not have calls to action and is not designed for conversions will hurt your ability to convert visitors to clients.

A guarantee of a number one ranking may lead a law firm to have unrealistic expectations of its Web marketing company. A vendor that works incredibly hard to stay abreast of search engine marketing trends, takes preemptive measures to protect their client sites and keeps lines of communication open sets the standard. But even that exceptional vendor cannot, and should not, guarantee top search engine spots. What they can and should do is promise to work tirelessly on a campaign to make it the best it can be. All sorts of factors, such as investment levels and client involvement, will affect a site’s ability to outrank other sites. Those factors are not entirely controlled by vendors, even the exceptional ones.

At the end of the day, what you really want is to be able to convert qualified leads into clients and grow your practice. You may not necessarily need number one rankings to accomplish this goal. What you need is a Web marketing vendor who is just as committed to your firm’s success as one of your partners. If the company handling your firm’s Internet marketing campaign is dedicated, then your campaign will be a success – whether your site occupies the first or fourth spot on a search results page.

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A Law Firm Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide to Understanding Your Website’s Rankings

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How Long Will it Take My Site to Rank?

The world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a lot like the Wild West.  You have the barkeeps and the bandits.  The barkeeps work hard and earn an honest living for a long time (unless they are gunned down by a bandit).  The bandits steal and earn money quickly but are more than likely to be gunned down themselves during their next heist.  If you haven’t gathered already, the barkeeps are white hat SEOs and the bandits are black hat SEOs.  Their earnings are derived from your rankings.

seo search engine optimization

Many search marketers work very hard to stay on top of the latest trends and work tirelessly to create a place that people want to go and hang out (the bar).  They will tell you the truth about where you are and how long it will take you to get where you need to be.  There are others who really have no real talent or resources other than the ability to sell you on quick wins and a fiverr.com account where they can buy a truckload of easy links that may make your site rank in the short term before it gets penalized for spammy practices.

In order to create value for your visitors and for you as a law firm, you have to know where you are and form a plan to get you where you need to be.  So let’s start with the basics.

What Are the Basics That I Need to Know as a Lawyer About SEO?

Pay Attention to Your Design

First, you need a well organized site that is visually appealing and applies current design trends so that your visitors do not feel like you stopped caring about them years ago.  It is normal to redesign a site every 2-3 years, especially if your ROI or conversions have dropped. (Pro Tip: WordPress makes it easy to redesign a site by just building a new theme instead of rebuilding each page.)

web design website internet technology

A skilled law firm Web designer thinks about how the visitor goes through the site, what they are most interested in and what will compel a visitor to contact the law firm. Designing for your visitors is critical and is the foundation of good search optimization.

Make Your Content Easy to Understand

Google has to crawl (basically download and parse) and understand the pages on your site.  Your visitors need to understand your site as well as how it is organized.  Relevant content is a must for your law firm website.

Many times companies build sites around their business structure instead of their visitor’s needs.  This is so common it is alarming.  If your firm’s focus is car accident cases, you need to have an obvious link on the homepage that encourage visitors to click for more information on car accident cases.  Build that page to be better and more useful than the page of any of your competitors.

Don’t make visitors hunt for information.  Use a content outline to help plan and organize your site so that it is logical (for search engines) and easy to find (for visitors).

Don’t Sell, Be Useful

This is a pet peeve of mine.  I have never been to a law firm’s website and not known that it is a law firm’s website.  It is obvious.  There is no need to tell people in the content that you can handle their case.  Instead, provide what they seek.  Add value to their visit.  Use social proof (testimonialsreviews) judiciously, show some cases you have won, but above all tell them what they need to know and answer their questions.

Be Interesting and Authoritative

If you do not have the time or resources to write high quality content, pay a top notch writer to do it for you.  Google analyzes content for relevance and readability.  Google has the world’s largest testing platform for Web pages.  Their goal is to return a result that answers the question entered and that the searcher finds interesting enough to stay and read.  This is commonly called time-to-long-click.  If a searcher finds your content and immediately returns to Google to pick another Web page, they have told Google that your content was either not relevant, informative or unhelpful.  Next time someone searches for that query, Google is less likely to show your content in the results.

What Are the Factors that Drive Rankings?

How Google ranks websites is a closely held secret.  If anyone tells you they have the magic formula, they are not being truthful.  However, there are several things that we do know.  A list of the top factors that Google has announced as well as from our experience include:

  • Authoritative links are huge.  Links from trustworthy sites that are on pages which are relevant to the content on your site they are linking to is one of the biggest ranking factors. For example, a scholarly website discussing car accident causation factors that links to your car accident infographic is a successful and powerful link.
  • The number of different high quality domains that link to you is highly correlated with good rankings.
  • Have a physical location in the city where you want business. All of the searches that have keywords indicating a business (lawyer, law firm, attorney, etc.) will return local listings at the top of the results 90% of the time.

google reviews

  • Reviews on Google (as well as other trusted rating sites) increases your visibility and chance of a prospect contacting you with their case.   If you put yourself in your potential client’s shoes and do a search for “Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer,” would you pick the attorney with no reviews or the firm with ten five-star reviews?  This is also highly correlated with rankings.
  • Brand and business mentions help search engines know who you are.  Google used to return EMDs (exact match domains) for certain keywords because it had difficulty distinguishing the difference between a keyword and a brand name.  If you search for Rackroom Shoes, you probably want rackroomshoes.com.  Google uses brand (co-citations/co-occurrence) along with instances of your business name and address found on quality sites to understand the strength and trustworthiness of your brand.
  • Having well-written, properly organized, and properly optimized site content is also critical to rankings.  No one wants to click on a search result that just says “Home – mylawfirm.com”.  Google will probably display a better (more relevant) title for you anyway but you get the point.  The title and description of your page are important elements that tell Google and the visitor what your page is about.
  • There is also some early evidence that having active Google+ profiles can be very helpful in gaining rankings for your site.

What Is the Amount of Time That it Will Take My Law Firm’s Website to Start Ranking?

This is a very difficult question with several variables, but I will do my best to lay this out.  Your search vendor is not a black box that drives traffic and conversions.  The vendor is a partner that magnifies what you already do to put you in the best position to get the cases for which you are looking.

In my experience, law firms that are active in the community (online and off), have good relationships and actively promote their brand are the ones who experience the most success with their websites.  This is because Google uses many factors to determine rankings, not just links.

For now, high quality, relevant links are still a primary factor in determining rankings and should be sought. If you have a new site with no links and your top competitors have established sites with hundreds of sites linking to them, you should obtain a similar amount in order to be competitive.  Remember to follow the tips above on the type of links to target.

If you take the number of linking sites that your competitors have; let’s say 200, then you will need to get close to that mark in order to be in the ballpark to start ranking with them. But one thing to keep in mind: not all links are created equal.  One link from a university website can be equal to a hundred blog articles or directory links.  So, it really has to do with the quality and number of links that you acquire that will enable you to compete with other firms’ rankings.

It is possible to buy thousands of links in a month to rank for what you want, but with the advent of manual penalties and Penguin filters from Google, we highly recommend against this.  Instead, go the slower route of convincing people to link to you.  This can be done in the following ways:

  • Create content that people want to link to.
  • Do promotions that people will share and link to.
  • Ask people you know for links.
  • List your company in authoritative directories.
  • Share quality blog posts with non-competing blog owners.
  • Write a glowing article about another business or organization.
  • Ask a business if you can put a testimonial on their site in exchange for a link.

There are many, many other ways to build links in a quality way.  Finding a strategy that works for your firm can be a process of trial and error when first starting out.

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Your overall Web strategy also needs to be considered when planning your firm’s link building plan.  One of your practice areas may be extremely competitive and have very established competitor sites.  Instead of starting with that area, it may be a better approach to shoot for a slightly less lucrative practice area or location with less competition in order to rank more quickly for terms that can drive results.

The reality is that, depending on the amount of competition in a particular location and practice area, it can take a year, or years, to get to where your competition is.  Your competition may have spent tens of thousands of dollars on their Web presence.  Keep in mind that your competition did not stop what they were doing just because you entered the game.  You will have to catch up to where they were, plus how much they did while you were catching up.

What Can Law Firms Do to Help Speed Up the Process?

The really cool thing about Google is that they want to reward brands, trustworthiness, and authority.  There are some easy shortcuts that law firms can take to help their vendors help them while still sticking to white hat tactics.  Here are the top five:

  • Share relationships that you have that can lead to great link opportunities.  Several of our clients who were on the boards of organizations and have bio pages on those websites.  There is nothing wrong with asking for a link to your website or to your bio on your website.  Another example – if you have a good relationship with a local newspaper, see if you can get a great story written and posted on the paper’s website about something you did or an opinion you have.
  • Get reviews!  Reviews influence rankings as well as conversions.  People love social proof and use it to make decisions.  If your law firm has none or only one or two reviews on Google, Yelp or Avvo, you are missing the boat.  Your Web vendor cannot do this for you.
  • Read your content.  If you do not feel comfortable sharing a new blog post on your personal Facebook account, then it is probably not interesting enough for anyone else to want to share or link to.
  • Participate in your community.  Hold an event.  Sponsor a charity.  Create a charity or scholarship.  Give away free legal counseling for students at your alma mater.  These things get natural links and brand mentions because people like to share great things that others are doing.  Keep your vendor in the loop and they can do outreach to leverage these offline activities online.
  • Share what is important to you.  Share your knowledge: videos, resources, papers and important changes to laws.  Visitors to your website are determining whether to choose you or not.  Help them know what makes you different.

Well, if you have made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. To close, I think it is important to say that some sites take months and some take a year to start producing results.  It really depends on competition and how new you are to the Web.  Being new to the Web is not such a bad thing these days, contact us to ask why.

The most important advice that I can give is to make sure that your Web vendor actually reviews your site before suggesting a strategy.  There should be clear expectations and goals established for your site.  Your vendor should have regular meetings with you and partner with you to create a plan for success (even if takes longer than you would like).  Remember that a high-quality vendor will tell a potential client the truth even if it is not what they want to hear.

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