Search engines determine the success of law firm websites by deciding how many clients and potential clients they refer to the site. Earlier this year, Google started penalizing sites that push out spam content and rewarding sites that publish original content. For years, marketers focused on keyword and link building to drive SEO and dominate…
Lately, there’s been a bunch of noise about dangers of “ghostwritten” legal blogs. Apparently, no one is safe and practicing attorneys are supposed to stop focusing on their practice to take time out to write informational, educational blog posts, engage on social media, and otherwise not bill out for their time. After weeks of reading about this, particularly rants by an individual who profits from having attorneys ‘write’ their own blogs, I decided to share my own thoughts on this matter, as both an attorney and the founder of a company who writes legal content on behalf of lawyers.
Argument #1 – Bad Content
If you are a regular reader of our blog, or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook or Google+, you know just how important Google+ and Google Authorship is for lawyers looking to increase their online presence. One of the perks of Google Authorship is the avatar (i.e. your headshot) that shows up next to links associated with your Google account, which means instant facial recognition, increased search engine rankings, more clicks, and on and on… But if you have Googled yourself lately, you may have noticed that your Google+ photo (and other identifying information) has disappeared from the search results.
So what’s happening? Read on to learn how to regain your powerful online presence.
For lawyers who are interested in capitalizing on the fact that prospective clients use the internet to find an attorney, search engine optimization, or SEO, is key. The goal of search engine optimization is to get your website to the top of the search engines for your target keywords; a process that takes time, a savvy understanding of what really works, and a consistent effort.
Among those efforts is content marketing optimization, or CMO. CMO is the practice of creating fresh, relevant content for search engines to pick up (generally through the use of a blog). SEO and CMO go hand-in-hand. If your web marketing team tells you otherwise, be very wary.
Read on for 4 tips to capitalize on your CMO and increase your SEO.
These days, if you want to be competitive online, and relevant offline, content is king. If you follow our blog, you know that we say that a lot over here, and not only because we offer legal blogging services, but because it’s a fact. According to Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, “we try to…
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.
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
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.
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.
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: