Archive for the ‘Law Firm Marketing’ Category

Could Anchor Text Become Irrelevant?

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Each time Google updates their algorithm, the process by which they rank web pages is altered in some way, whether slightly or in a more significant manner. The latest change in the algorithm saw quite a few websites which were previously ranked fairly high, drop down by a number of places. Although this phenomenon does not appear to be a penalty of any type, the only common characteristic between these sites seemed to be that their rankings leaned heavily on anchor text rather than on site optimization. Some SEO experts believe this to be the biggest flaw in Google’s latest program, while others feel it is about time.  While the goal of all search engines is to consistently show the most relevant and trusted websites at the top of the search results, Google feels that anchor text has little connection to trust for most all search queries due to misuse in the form of paid links full of keyword-stuffed anchor text.

Is Anchor Text Overused?

Google’s algorithm theorizes that just because a site may have thousands of anchor text links using a keyword such as “solar” doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a relevant search result for those who query “solar.” It is generally believed that there are two types of site rankings for commercial queries. The first one is the sites which rank due to the trust factor of their incoming links, meaning their links consist entirely of newspaper websites, quality blogs and such, and the second are the sites which rank highly due strictly to thousands of paid links with anchor text full of keywords. It is these sites Google is targeting, attempting to discount those paid links with competitive keywords anchored in the text.

No “Click Here’s” Please

If you are using the phrase “click here” as your anchor text link, shame on you! This technique is not only old-fashioned, but is just downright lazy. The goal of your anchor text is to include words which specifically relate to your website, the service you are offering, the idea you are promoting or the product you are selling. As a general rule you should keep your anchor links under sixty characters in length, and avoid at all costs using the same anchor text over and over in the same article or page content. This technique not only appears unprofessional but you also risk a rap on the knuckles from Google. And spider bots aside, do you really want to risk boring your reader to tears by repeating anchor text?  Research your keywords, and experiment on various search engines to see which are the most effective.

Think Like Your Readers

Diversify your links, and strive to make them as professional as possible. Avoid stuffing anchor text on any single webpage, article or blog post as it could be regarded as spam. Two or three highly relevant backlinks are really all you need to get your readers to trust your site, and search engines to recognize you. Once the search engines pick up your site based on the successful use of anchor text and careful search engine optimization, it should be ranked by your chosen keyword. Once you are ranked, the site will get more and more traffic, become more popular, and move quickly up the rankings. Never forget that there are real human beings out there reading your website’s content. If it appears to your readers that your site is simply anchor links and SEO, they will quickly click elsewhere, looking for a more trusted, professional website.

Google has made it crystal clear that if they judge a site to be stockpiling links in a way they don’t approve of–simply for the purpose of moving up the rankings—they will penalize the site. While relevant links from other sites can go a long way in helping your site move up the search engine rankings, violate Google’s rules regarding anchor text and you may see your site virtually disappear overnight from the search results. So, use anchor text judiciously, but cautiously, working it into your overall SEO plan.

Social Media + Search Engine Marketing = a Successful Law Firm Marketing Plan

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Most legal firms are well aware that social media has made dramatic changes to old-school marketing techniques; in the past you may have felt like your marketing efforts boiled down to your lone voice shouting out to an ever-increasingly distracted crowd, attempting to entice them to your firm. While there are some similarities between old-school marketing and the newer social media marketing, social media marketing takes away your lone little voice, replacing it with people who are telling others about your firm; they’ve been there, done that, loved it and want to pass along the news. Social media marketing, can take your law firm to heights you never even imagined in the grand marketing scheme.

Plan for Success

To make sure your social media search marketing efforts are highly successful, you must begin with an overall plan. Ask yourself who your audience is, and what your primary objectives for your marketing campaign are. Once you determine you audience and objectives, think long and hard about what strategy you will use to achieve your objectives, and what tactics will make your strategy a rousing success. Never forget that the goal of social media marketing is to influence potential clients to use your legal firm, therefore your goals should include increasing the number of connections, comments and re-postings.

Give to Get

Social Media Marketing requires that you encourage people to your site and your services rather than browbeating them to purchase. Offering free reports which give great, useful information is a great motivator as is constantly updating your website with information your potential clients will absolutely want to read and changing your blog frequently using the same criteria. Remember that simply taking your “regular” marketing or advertising campaign and putting it into Facebook will likely backfire, even possibly getting you banned should your messages be too overtly commercialized.

Always Be Upfront and Honest…But Realize You Can Never Absolutely Control the Message

You always want to strive to create honest yet professional social media to ensure that you don’t alienate the very people you are attempting to establish relationships with. In turn, your satisfied readers will tell others about your social media leading to excellent, yet responsible marketing strategies. Never lie or come across as fake; some examples of this include starting fake blogs which are populated only by employees. This type of practice can permanently harm your legal firm’s vital reputation.  In old-school advertising you were totally in charge and could control the message completely. In our new social media marketing world, however once something hits the Web, people are free to adapt, change and interpret as they see fit—making honesty on your part even more important. Even though you need to protect your brand to the extent possible, you must know that controlling information on the Web can be next to impossible.

SEO….Yes, Again!

You may have the hottest legal website around, have a legal blog that is truly unparalleled, or sending out the greatest Tweets imaginable, if no one knows you exist, none of these things will matter at all. Search engine optimization is key to your success, and you must give it the seriousness it deserves. Remember that three out of four adults in the United States use the Internet for legal advice and information—only six years ago that was hardly the case. Today’s Internet is the biggest source of legal information in the United States, leading the number of people who currently ask friends and family for legal advice in a decline of over 35%. Think about it—why ask anyone else for advice, when Google is only a few keystrokes away? This means that the challenge of having your website and blog found, easily and consistently is an incredibly important one, and legal SEO is, at the end of the day, what makes it happen.

Don’t Forget….

You should encourage participation and feedback from your clients; if a client posts something about your legal firm on Twitter or on your website, do your best to get back to them with a response, letting your clients know you really are listening. This fairly simple exercise in paying attention can build your client relationships in incredible ways. Although you must post on a regular basis, don’t over-post. If you truly have nothing new and valuable to share with potential clients, then don’t share at all as it could cost you followers and fans in the long run.

FREE ADVICE offered by experienced law firm Internet marketing experts – not sales people. Call (769) 218-6099 for free advice today!

Mobile Laterals Present New Opportunities and Challenges For Law Firms

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Janet Ellen Raasch is a writer, ghostwriter and blogger (www.constantcontentblog.com) who works closely with professional services providers – especially lawyers, law firms, legal consultants and legal organizations – to help them achieve name recognition and new business through publication of keyword-rich content for the Web and social media sites as well as articles and books for print. She can be reached at (303) 399-5041 or [email protected]

Not so long ago, a young lawyer would join a law firm as an associate, advance to partner and stay with that law firm until retirement. Times have changed.

Today’s lawyers are much more mobile. If their law firms are not providing the support they need to grow their practices and flourish as professionals, they will look for greener pastures – and keep looking until they find the right place.

Even before the most recent round of layoffs, which further weakened loyalty, lateral moves by partners were trending up – from 2,153 in 2006 to 2,775 in 2009 (American Lawyer magazine). A second wave of defections is taking place in 2010.

“Savvy law firms with well-thought-out plans are conducting strategic ‘land grabs’ – scooping up entire offices and practice groups from their competitors,” said Craig Brown. “Mid-tier regional firms, in particular, are gobbling up disgruntled and displaced big-firm talent.”

Brown discussed “what laterals want” at the monthly education program of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association (www.legalmarketing.org/rockymountain), held Sept. 14 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Denver.

Brown is a lawyer and founder of Motivera (www.motiveragroups.com), a Southern California-based business development consulting firm. A large part of his practice is helping lawyers use their strengths to build relationships that lead to strong books of business.

What law firms want

“It costs approximately $1,920,000 to bring on board a lateral partner with a $2 million book of portable business,” said Brown, citing an article by Richard Gary in Law Firm Inc. An acquiring firm does not break even until the third year.”

“In the 2007 land grab, law firms were gobbling up available lateral partners and practices — often without proper due diligence,” said Brown.

“In 2010, we see a second wave of lateral acquisitions,” said Brown. “This time, the acquiring firms have changed from gobblers to picky eaters. Due diligence has tightened up and the packages being offered are less generous. Generous financial incentives are being replaced by loans that will be forgiven if a lateral partner lives up to his or her marketplace potential.”

According to a recent NALP Foundation report, law firms consider four factors when deciding whether or not to hire a lateral partner or practice group:

  • Can the lateral develop new business?
  • Can the lateral strengthen a particular practice area?
  • Does the lateral present a possible conflict of interest?
  • Is the lateral a good cultural fit with the firm?

“Considering that 16 percent of laterals hired during the first wave moved again within two years,” said Brown, “finding the right laterals can be a costly proposition.

“Considering the time, effort and cost that go along with hiring a lateral lawyer or group, you would think that acquiring firms would do everything in their power to help the new lawyer succeed — but often, they do not,” said Brown.

What lateral partners want

Law firms are not the only ones exerting more care with lateral acquisitions. Lawyers, too, are becoming pickier about their choices when they make a lateral move.

“In 2007,” said Brown, “laid-off attorneys were panicked. They were primarily concerned about finding a new position and paying their bills. They didn’t take the time to do their research. As a result, many ended up in firms that were a bad fit. In the current wave of lateral movement, lawyers are being much more careful.” (more…)

Guaranteed Success in Legal Marketing Using Your Law Firm’s Website

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

According to American Lawyer Media statistics, the largest 100 legal firms spend an estimated $9-10 million dollar annually on business development and marketing for their business. The second 100 largest companies spend nearly $3 million per year. It is not unusual to see some of our nation’s smaller law firms with six-figure investments into the development and marketing for their legal business. These days a substantial amount of that budget is allocated to your legal firm’s website—and for good reason.

Your Budget/Your Team

Some in the business will tell you that you need one full-time marketer for every thirty or so attorneys in your firm, or that you should allocate from 2-6% of your gross revenues to business development and marketing, and, in general, these can be good guidelines. The reality, however, is tied less to the size of your firm or your budget, and more to where your firm sits when it comes to market share. Keep in mind that “lawyer marketing” is really just marketing—for lawyers. You must learn how to read your market and establish an effective marketing plan, most especially when dealing with the Internet and your firm’s lawyer website.

Market Factors

If you are wondering just which market factors you should consider when building the business development and marketing plan for your firm, the following are good, basic, guidelines to consider—both for internet websites and non-internet marketing as well:

  • How long has your firm been in business? While most of us expect we will spend more on marketing in the first few years in order to get the law firm up and going, the reality is that it takes money to make money, and where law firms are concerned your marketing budget will likely go up proportionately each and every year.
  • Who is your market? Personal injury, family and criminal laws spend considerably more money on development and marketing costs. This rule translates into website planning as well.
  • Is there something new in your firm that you’d like to announce to the world? How about a new partner, a new practice group, a firm merger, or a decision to target a particular industry? A website blog, or a Facebook or Twitter page is the ideal way to spread the good news.
  • Where do you envision your firm being in five years? Your firm needs to have a goal, a path, and a plan.
  • And perhaps the trickiest of all—look around—what is everybody else doing? If whatever you are doing is working fabulously—keep it to yourself! And unless you see another business that is wildly successful—ignore everyone else. It can be counterproductive to religiously peruse other law firm’s websites looking for that elusive, magical formula that makes instant success. Study your own business and hire great people. Spend the necessary amount of money, but make sure you get the right amount of bang for your buck.

Thank goodness the stigma associated with attorneys actively generating media coverage has all but disappeared. Legal publications abound, and legal reporters at newspapers and business magazines are practically stalked by law firms of all sizes seeking media attention. There are plenty of internet attorney directories online; do your research and make sure you are spending your online dollars productively.

Your Law Firm’s Website

In order to achieve a dominating presence across the internet, you need to become recognized, through your website, as an authority within your particular area of the law. The internet has changed everything about marketing attorney services, and as such has become incredibly competitive. In order to rise above your competition, you will need to create not only a dynamic website, but one that is chock-full of unique content. Lawyer website marketing is a completely different animal than it was even five years ago. Changes come quickly, and you must stay on your toes to be competitive.

Website Design

The ultimate website design will be geared toward increasing the chances that your firm’s ideal client will contact your law firm first. Your attorney website should be presented in a professional way that conveys experience and reliability. The bottom line on your website is whether or not your potential client takes action after surfing your site. You only have one chance to make a lasting impression on your law firm’s website, and most people will make a decision regarding whether or not they want to continue on your website in the first few seconds—never forget that presentation is everything.

Free lawyer website coaching calls available by calling (769) 218-6099 hassle free assistance.

WordPress iPad Application Review For Lawyer Blogging on the Go.

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Custom iPad capable blogs

Today we downloaded the free WordPress iPad app (application) and here is our take on lawyer blogging using mobile computing devices like the iPad. This application is a must download if you want to be able to access and blog using your iPad since Apple’s Safari browser will not allow you to use the WordPress web based program.

For starters the iPad WordPress app is extremely simple and pared down to the most important festers such as managing posts, pages and comments, etc. Also included is the ability to add photos directly from the iPad’s photo library. This feature is very time efficient and simple. In fact there are only 3 icons on the main blog writing page.

One icon is for setting your blog post status, date and auto picture resizing which is a really nice feature. The second icon feature the picture selection menu. Again, very pared down to only the very essential and basic features.

The third icon on the write page on WordPress for iPad is the preview page option. This allows you to view the layout of the blog post prior to posting it on the website or blog.

When the user is on the write a page or post page, the options available are title, tags, categories, status, and the body text area.

This WordPress iPad application is perfect for getting new content on your lawyer blog while you are at the local coffee shop or waiting for a table at your favorite restaurant. Again the features are limited to only the essential features like comment management and creating, editing or posting blog posts and pages.

What we liked about the WordPress app for the Apple iPad is the ability to quickly get in and start blogging. Unlike the WordPress on your PC or Mac this application is very fast and is almost instantaneous which really supported our need to be able to launch blog copy while on-the-go.

We also loved that your could easily add multiple WordPress blog accounts in to the application. it also saves your passwords which again supports the need for speed and convenience for professional legal bloggers.

The one real sticking point though is the lack of some of the more commonly used features that would make this application perfect. The lack of being able to make text links without having to code is an issue for novice bloggers. However you are able to drop in HTML code while typing out your content with is pretty helpful for more advanced bloggers.

Another fairly burdensome functionality issue is the lack of the ability to go from one app back to WordPress without having to close out the application. When you leave WordPress, it closes and then reloads when you return. In other words, if you wanted to copy and paste something from another app or the Internet, WordPress closes out and then you have to go back in to the post you were editing all over again.

Also you can forget about this app if you want to create or launch a WordPress blog. This app lacks all of the Plugin, Settings, and other programming features that are in the full version WordPress program you typically run on your PC, laptop or Mac.

Again, this app just focuses on allowing you to access, create and edit your content at the very basic level. Does that have value? Yes. For those who just want to be able to quickly get their ideas out to their potential clients and want to turn spare time in to lead generation productivity this is your answer and it is better than nothing at all.

The best alternative is to be able to access the full version via Safari or to download a different browser to your iPad to access the online version of WordPress.

This blog post is the first post in which we used the iPad solely for blog content creation. Total elapsed time for this blog post – under 10 minutes. In fact it took less than 45 seconds to learn where all the features were and how to use them.

This is ideal for the lawyer who wants a fast, portable and convenient way to publish new information on his or her blog while on the go. If you travel by commute or by mass transportation this the city, you will be able to turn that spare time in to lead generation time.

Call LawyerSuccess.com if you are interested in designing a blog for your law firm. blogs are extremely effective for creating new leads from the search engines. Call (769) 218-6099 for free attorney blogging tips, ideas and advice or to have one of our designers create your custom blog.

What is the best way for a solo practicing lawyer to advertise for new clients?

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

I am located in the Philadelphia area and I am trying to seek any clients to represent. What is the best resources and avenue for a young attorney to market themself to get new clients?

James Greenier (Law Firm Marketing Expert): Excellent question as I am sure this is on the minds of many attorneys fresh out of law school, or experienced attorneys starting a new law practice due to the changes in the economy.

My advice to lawyers is to spend their time wisely and not try to do everything to market themselves. You will wear yourself thin trying to stay organized and you will have poor results. I see this mistake all of the time. Many attorneys will try one idea then move on to another and repeat this process without making any great strides in client development. The point is you should find 3-5 different marketing strategies that are proven to work and stick to them.

What works in lawyer advertising?

When a lawyer beings a new practice or is starting a new year it is very important that you do not fall into the HYPE TRAP. Social networking is a great example of that. I have been marketing our company on many of these sites and have wasted a ton of time. I wish I had spent my time more wisely on the proven techniques I am about to cover.  Is social networking a complete waste of time? No, but it shouldn’t occupy a significant part of your time investment in advertising your law practice.

Law Firm Marketing Plan

Determine a short term and a long term strategy. Your law firm marketing plan should cover ideas and strategies you can do each day to:

#1 drive new business in the door today.

#2 build a huge lead generation machine for tomorrow.

Short Term Law Firm Marketing Ideas:

1. Pay Per Lead Services for Lawyers offer the best way to make the phone ring instantly. The price is typically around $40 or so dollars for a lead. Make sure the Pay Per Lead programs are designed to have the client call you directly to avoid fee sharing issues. The price is actually pretty good considering the cost of advertising on search engines is about $15 or more for a click and it often takes several clicks to generate one call.

2. Law Firm Article Marketing – Writing and submitting articles to websites such as Law Firm Articles and other article websites is a great way to generate leads because the content is positioned within the search engines, the articles typically get indexed very quickly, the articles stay on the site for as long as you want, and best of all it is free. I recommend submitting at least 1 article per day.

3. Law Firm Directories – Law firm directories are really great opportunities if you can find the directories that have great exposure and few attorneys listed.  I recommend typing in a few different key phrases such as (I will use Dallas, Texas DUI as an example) “Texas Lawyer” “Texas Attorney” “Texas DUI Attorney” “Dallas DUI Lawyer” etc… Look for websites that are showing up multiple times. Visit the sites and see how many attorneys are listed. If you find 5 or fewer paid attorneys you are in luck and should inquire about pricing.

4. Pay Per Click Advertising for Lawyers – An Adwords campaign on Google or a Paid Inclusion program with Bing or Yahoo will generate new business for you instantly. I recommend performing a lot of key word research to obtain the best keywords to use. You want to start with at least 500 key phrases to keep the overall cost per click down. You are going to want to review your clicks each day to see which clicks are converting into leads. Set up a web page with a specific telephone number dedicated to your Pay Per Click campaign to measure results.  Keep in mind it takes about 30-50 clicks to generate a good lead for your law firm.

Long Term Law Firm Marketing Ideas:

1. Get a Real Lawyer Website! – Your website has the potential to generate the most leads for the dollar. Let me say that again… YOUR WEBSITE has the potential to be the best lead generation strategy. The biggest mistake I see is a law firm going cheap on their website. They use the cheapest website designer or get one of the low cost or free websites from Yahoo or Godaddy.com. Trust me, you are going to ruin your domain forever by doing this.  After about 1 year, the average law firm has their website address on over 100 different items such as Bar directory, newspaper ads, letterhead, advertising, business cards, brochures, etc.  It is such a mess when you make the mistake of building a “business card website.” Do not do it.  The cost of damaging your domain with the search engines and losing the ability to rank it high in the search engines is by our estimates between $350,000 and $1 million dollars in legal fees.  DO – wait until you can afford or are ready to develop your law firm website with an expert who understands SEO and content development.

2. Begin a Practice Specific Blogs – Blogging has been around for many years but there seems to be a lot of misinformation about how lawyer blogs work, the type of content you should write and how to generate business off of a lawyer blog. A custom lawyer blog, if design and search engine optimized correctly, can generate very high searhc engine positioning and generate enormous volumes of leads. We set up and teach our clients how to run a successful lawyer blog to generate leads for their law firm. We also help write their content as well.

3. Hire a Legal Content Writer. Hiring an attorney to write content for your website on a frequent basis is a very cost effective way to generate leads for your law firm. Adding regular articles and FAQs to your blog or website will generate new clients for a fraction of the cost of TV, Yellow Page ads, or Pay Per Click. Visit LegalContentWriters.com.

At Lawyer Success, Inc, we generate substantial business from our website(s) without spending a lot of money. Our website generate 10-20 calls per day from highly qualified prospects. This is done through our website solution service.  If you want to do it right for a few hundred a month and generate the same results call us at (769) 218-6099.

Common Personal Injury Lawyer Advertising Mistakes to Avoid

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Personal injury lawyers spend a tremendous amount of money on advertising but is that enough to really generate the volume of cases needed to keep a personal injury law firm a float?  The average personal injury firm needs about $40,000 per month to stay in business.  This blog post will provide you with a few basic but important marketing tips to improve your personal injury marketing and advertising effectiveness. Although these are not our “top lawyer advertising secrets” these are very common mistakes that I see everyday when consulting with personal injury lawyers through out the U.S..

Here are our top most common mistakes lawyers make with their personal injury advertising:

  1. Their law firm ads look like all the other personal injury law firm ads,
  2. Their law firm advertising does not differentiate your firm from your competitors.
  3. There is no focus or consistency in design, message or impression throughout the marketing materials.
  4. There is no strategic marketing plan tied to a specific budget.
  5. There are no financial goals or metrics measured for each individual marketing implementation.
  6. Each marketing implementation is not tracked or tracked individually to measure trends and effectiveness.
  7. Each marketing implementation should be tied to a cost per call or cost per case metric.
  8. Procrastination and indifference due to a fear of failure.
  9. Lack of buy-in by partners, associates, and staff members to the marketing strategy.
  10. Lack of a law firm marketing plan, understanding the goals of the firm and an elevator pitch used throughout the firm.

Although these may seem rudimentary, these common marketing mistakes lawyers make are huge missed opportunities in revenue and lead generation. These issues tend to run rampant in the legal industry which is understandable as the practice of law is mentally draining and demanding.

If you have any questions or recognize that your law firm needs help in creating a more cost effective strategic marketing plan, then call us today at (769) 218-6099. We have helped over 3,500 law firms generate more revenues and worked with 7 of the top 10 legal brands. We can help!

Free Lawyer Advertising | Free Legal Advertising | Free Attorney Advertising

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Lawyer Success, Inc launched a new free lawyer advertising website a few months ago and it is already having an immediate impact financially for the attorneys that have been submitting law firm articles to the website. The website is called Law Firm Articles (www.lawfirmarticles.com) and it is one of the top ranked law firm article websites on the web.

The benefits are amazing for the small law firm looking for free attorney advertising. The following are just a few of the benefits of writing quality articles and placing them on LawFirmArticles.com.

  1. It is free.
  2. Only attorneys are allowed to post articles.
  3. You are allowed to link to your website.
  4. You are allowed to add you contact information for potential clients to contact you.
  5. There is no advertising or siphoning of leads from your articles.
  6. Every article is reviewed and activated within an hour of submission.
  7. 1 articles generates on average 75 page views per month.
  8. The articles you submit stay on the site as long as you want.
  9. The articles increase your credibility.
  10. The articles show up on page 1 in Google increasing your exposure!
  11. and many more positive benefits. Besides its free.

We recommend writing quality articles about the specific legal issues you resolve for legal consumer. Also, it is always a good idea to explain your fee structure to better pre-qualify your leads unless you are flexible.  So if you are interested in free legal advertising for your law firm, visit LawFirmArticles.com for the very best in article marketing for lawyers.