Whats in and out in Legal Web Marketing

The Law Marketing Portal has a good article entitled "Marketing Technology: Hit the Jackpot". The article offers some highlights of a recent conference on business development, sponsored by Thomson’s Findlaw.

The panel focused on small and medium size law firms, and discussed what’s "in" and what’s "out" in online legal marketing.  Here are some examples of what’s in and out and my comments.

IN: Search engine optimization: "If you have a great website that no one can find, do you exist as a business?" asked MicroLaw’s Kodner (The implied answer is "no").

"If a prospect Googles your firm and you don’t show up on the first hit page, you’re invisible. If a prospect Googles your area of practice and your location and you don’t show up on the first hit page, you’re not getting hired or ever considered.

*** I have been telling lawyers this for years now, that its very key that your site be found in the search engines and that if you don’t come up, then its like you don’t exist on the web.     Also that’s it key that you be found by your firms name, key partners name and of course by your geographic location and main practice areas. 

Search engine optimization is no longer optional, it’s absolutely essential, says Kodner. "The object is to skew hits to your site. Your firm needs a professional search engine optimization consultant if you expect to get top results in your promoted practice areas." 

*** I would agree that search engine optimization in a must these days for law firms. My company has been helping lawyers for a over seven years now optimize and promote their legal web sites.

OUT: Tweaking metatags and other coding tricks. Search engines have gotten wise to all the behind-the-scenes coding tricks and don’t pay attention to them any more, reports CLASS’ Jackman.

Coding tricks include standard techniques such as beefing up title and metatags in a website’s HTML code, and sneakier ploys, such as hiding keywords in invisible text (like black text on a black background), automated software services that spam search engines with information, buying links back to your site on link farms, or creating mirror or gateway sites to your site.

*** I would agree with all of this except that to point out that the Title tag on each page is still very important.

Pay-for-performance search advertising. Overture, Google and other online companies sell key words that people use when conducting online searches. When a person uses a keyword your firm has reserved, a listing for your firm appears at the top of the search results.

"Clients are searching for your services," says Stevens. Pay-for-performance-search helps lawyers attract clients cost-effectively, he asserts. "A lawyer, as the advertiser, will know whether the reserved keyword is working. It is the perfect marketplace for the little guy," he said.

*** Pay per click is very in and I’m surprised not to see more attorneys utilizing it.  Ive been assisting attorneys with pay per click campaigns for many years now and its a great way to drive additional focused and qualified traffic to your web site.

Sometimes you can find some great keyword values that drive a lot of traffic for a very little investment.  Its just a matter of staying on top of it and adjusting your bids.


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