Why is Legal Blogging a Necessary Part of a Smart SEO Strategy for Lawyers?

Once upon a time, search engine optimization (SEO) was about stuffing web pages with key words and hiding links. Lawyers and other businesses flourished, bringing in tons of business through a few quick online searches.

Unfortunately, those days are over. Google has caught on to these ‘tactics’ and penalized (ab)users by dropping them off the top of search results. These days, securing page 1 search engine placement takes, in part, a refined and strategic approach centered on fresh, original content that provides value to visitors. Is your legal blog in line with this new way of online business development?

Is Content Quality that Important?

Yes, the quality of the content that your legal blog provides is crucial to your blog ability to drive new traffic to your website! Creating content for today’s SEO world means for more than traditional SEO practices (like on-page keyword optimization or link building).

Websites that offer visitors valuable content on a regular basis are going to be looked upon more favorably by Google, and will, in turn, appear higher in the search rankings.

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Content Marketing is Key for Lawyers Looking to Their Optimize Online Presence

We’ve been saying it for a while and the statistics are in: Content marketing is one of the most effective ways for a law firm to differentiate itself online these days. With the sheer number of lawyers ‘blogging’ (some of the stuff we read should not qualify as such), it is more important than ever that included in your law firm’s business development plan is a content marketing strategy. By this we mean the production of quality, unique content (or blog posts) that the search engines and your potential audience (new clients, media, etc…) will adore.

A few interesting stats about legal blogging:

  • 90% of consumers find custom [legal] content useful
  • Companies that blog drive 55% more traffic to their website (all the more reason to be sure the content you are putting out is relevant to your practice areas. You want quality leads.)
  • 62% of businesses outsource their content marketing (lawyers: make sure that whomever is writing your content is intimately familiar with your state bar’s rules)
  • 58% of consumers trust editorial content (is your legal marketing team publishing your articles in the top legal periodicals?)
  • Social media and blogs reach 8 out of 10 Internet users
  • Interesting content is one of the top 3 reasons people follow businesses (such as your law firm) on social media
Want more reasons why you need to start blogging? Read on…
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10 On-Site Page SEO Tips for Your Legal Blog

With legal blogging for business development all the rage, it’s important for lawyers to remember that the goal of the blog is twofold: educate (the public) and encourage (new clients to call). Many lawyers, and those who write content on their behalf, are so concerned about ‘building content’ or/and ‘increasing SEO’ that they dismiss quality — in both the content and the on-page search engine optimization.

Content quality cannot be overlooked for obvious reasons (namely, your State Bar, which frowns upon inaccurate or misleading content). Quality on-page optimization is one of the easiest ways to rank for keywords in search engines. Of course, we do not suggest that you law firm sacrifices readability and appearance for the sake of optimization, as this will affect your potential client’s experience and if they aren’t encouraged to call you after reading your blog, what’s the point of blogging? Or paying someone else to do it?

Read on for the top 10 factors that your law firm should consider when writing content and constructing an optimized layout for your legal blog.

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Google Update: Keywords, Links Lose Favor for Marketing

Times, they are a changin’. As many lawyers who employ SEO companies to increase their search results rankings are learning, Google can’t be bought. Panda and Penguin, two updates for the much-discussed Google algorithms for determining search result placement, brought down many law firms last year when the updates started to penalize companies that purchased links, spammed key words, or created invisible white pages for clients in the hopes to increase their online visibility. Not only are these practices shady, but they no longer work. WebPresence, Esq. saw a number of law firms disappear from the first page of a Google search thanks to these updates.

Unfortunately for many more law firms, Google is at it again. This time, Google is going after over-linking and over-keywording and the search engine marketers that engage in these practices. This is great news for those of us who provide quality legal content for blogs — our unique, information content will be rewarded with higher search engine rankings.

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The Value in Smart Social Networking for Lawyers

If you’re a practicing attorney, you’ve likely been approached by a legal marketing company that promises to help you build your Social Network. And while having a large number of followers can be important, in the legal word, it is about quality not quantity. In order to be effective, your marketing team must be aware that the ways in which attorneys should interact via social media are different than for professionals in any other industry. At WebPresence, Esq. we are attorneys-turned-social media professionals and we approach each of our client’s Social Media campaigns with the ABA Model Rules, State Bar rules, and the uniqueness of the legal services industry in mind.

Using Social Media the Right Way

For lawyers, Social Media must be used as the starting point for a dialogue and not as a tool to initiate specific legal advice. This might seem obvious, but what the ABA and/or your State Bar considers legal advice can be broad. Make sure your legal marketing team is distinctly aware of what is and is not putting your law license at risk.

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How Lawyers Can Use Halloween to Get New Business

Think that kids are the only ones benefiting from Halloween? Think again.

While Halloween is not a popularly searched topic for most of the year, beginning September, and blowing up in October, Google is bombarded with Halloween-related search inquiries. Not surprisingly, last week in October, boasts about 100 times more Halloween-related search requests than any other time of the year.

So how are you and your law firm capitalizing on this potential new business bonanza?  If you aren’t already, start incorporating Halloween into your firm’s marketing, public relations, blogging and social media efforts. Use this holiday as an invaluable opportunity to raise your law firm’s Web Presence and see the benefits online, in the media, and in your firm’s expanded reach.

While Halloween is supposed to be good, old-fashioned fun, there are quite a few legal issues tied to the scariest holiday of the year. For example:

  • Getting Festive. While a fun family activity, decorating one’s home for Halloween can also be dangerous. Lawyers can remind homeowners that they face possible liability if a trick or treater falls and hurts themselves on their property.
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Top BigLaw Firms on the Social Web

Social Media is not just for tweens. From properly managed blogs to Twitters accounts breaking legal stories and YouTube channels teaching potential clients about their rights, Social Networking is enabling law firms of all sizes to connect with potential clients, referral sources, and expand their reach.

In today’s competitive legal market, it’s not enough to just ‘be.’ Your law firm’s Web Presence is a crucial part of the business development process. If your firm, or one of your top attorneys (you?), are looking to stand out and develop your brand (yes, lawyers and law firms are considered ‘brands’) then you need to be in front of your target audience. Whether that audience is journalists, future alleged criminals, yet-to-be-harmed plaintiffs, or other legal professionals, you will reach them through the Internet.

And don’t think that BigLaw hasn’t caught on to this. Here are a few well-managed, strategic Social Media accounts by law firms:

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Why Providing Useful, Unique Legal Content is Necessary

Recently, the web has been abuzz with Google’s algorithm updates. These ever-so-powerful algorithms essentially determine your website’s placement in a Google search and at WebPresence, Esq. we’re happy about the changes. Along with cuddly code names (“Panda” and “Penguin”), these algorithms will be giving more weight to our clients websites, which we fill with useful,…

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Google Plans to Penalize Over-Optimizers

Are you over-optimzing? Probably. Many “legal markerters” promise results to clients, lawyers just like you, with blog posts that are over-linked and ‘over-optimized.’  According to Google, the world’s largest search engine, such behavior will land your law firm’s website in the dugout: Google is working on a search ranking penalty for sites that are “over-optimized” or “overly SEO’ed.”  In other words, if you are paying a marketing or SEO group to buy tons of links on link-building sites or spread your links across non-ranked/unverified blogs, Social Media accounts, and online directories, Google will hold it against you.

Google has been working on this penalty for months and plans to roll it out in the near future. The penalty’s goal is to “level the playing field” and give sites that have great content a better shot at ranking above sites that have content that is not as great but do a better job with SEO.  Make sure that you and/or your legal marketer is contributing relevant, educational, and informational content to your blog — and not only for ethical reasons.

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, said about over-optimization:

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Legal Blogs for Business Development

Still questioning the impact of Social Media, specifically a ethically-sound, informative blog on your legal practice?  Wonder no more… According to Hubspot’s The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing, blogs and LinkedIn (a fabulous tool for disseminating your blog posts) are the top two online media accounts for generating new business.  The report shows that 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from it — it’s time to bring your law firm into the realm of new media and countless business opportunities.  Of course, you must keep in mind that a legal blog needs to be educational and provide accurate, relevant information.

As with any marketing tool, consistency is key. Common sense dictates that the more often a law firm updates its blog, the more likely it is to generate a new client from the blog (or speaking appearances or increased exposure in a certain space, for example, and depending on the blog’s aim).  Several updates a week is ideal, but don’t despair: 2/3 of businesses who blog weekly found that the blog generated new business. Your Web Presence matters.

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