- Site optimization for SEO.
- Compliance with W3C.
- SEO user friendly URL’s.
- XML site map creation.
- Site submission to search engines.
- Meta tags and title optimization as per keywords.
- Relevant content building.
- Optimization of web site as user friendly.
- Advise on optimization of web design, so when users land on web site create a lead/inquiry instead of leaving web site.
- Blog creation.
- Submission of site in domz.
- Press release submission per month in free directories and in paid directories (client provide press release, we guide clients on how to write up and we optimize it before submission)
- Article submission per month in relevant article directories and in paid directories (client provide us with article, at least 600 words and we optimize it before submission)
- Directory submission + submission to social book marking sites.
- videos submission (client provide us with video/s)
We provides with couple of progress reports per month to show client how website is doing in search engines, reanalyzing SEO strategy on performance basis and change in plans for hard areas.
Analysis, Research and Consulting
Off-Site SEO/ Deliverables
Website Reporting & Analytics
ore than 60 percent of those looking for professional services begin their search online. Telephone directories, such as the printed Yellow Pages, are dying a slow but steady death.
Search engine optimization is an essential part of any website.
Firms cannot simply build a website and expect that clients will find and hire them any more than they can expect to develop clients solely by hanging out a shingle. Careful branding, search engine optimization (SEO), and strategic website development are all necessary to ensure that a firm’s website reaches prospective clients, that the branding and messages resonate with website visitors, and that the firm’s site produces revenue as visitors become (or are “converted” to) firm clients.
Odds are your law firm spends a good chunk of revenue to keep its Web site up and running, so you may want to review what it takes to get your site noticed and highly ranked by Google, MSN, Yahoo, and other search engines. Indeed, how effective is your site as a marketing tool if clients and prospects can’t locate the URL with a simple search?
In the early days of the Internet, all it took to get noticed on the Web were a few well-placed HTML META tags. Today, however, your firm’s Web site will not land a top slot with this antiquated tactic. Indeed, the Web-savvy will tell you that META tags have never been a surefire way to garner a top ranking with crawler-based search engines, like Google and Yahoo.
• Google’s search engine optimization guide (google.com/support/webmasters) is a useful place to begin learning how to optimize your site’s search rankings.
• Forrester Research predicts that by 2012 companies will be spending nearly $9 billion annually on search engineoptimization.
• Search engines are now reading audio, video, and images, making it necessary to apply optimization techniques to news releases, podcasts, and other formats.
• SEO: Search Engine Optimization Bible” by Jerri L. Ledford (Wiley, 2007) is the recommended textbook for learning the science and craft of optimization.
• Companies are increasingly making search engine optimization an in-house project rather than something they take to an outside agency.
Here’s where search engine optimization (SEO)-generally defined as tweaking a Web site, pages, and links to improve visibility, rank, and relevance in the crawler-based listings of search engines-comes into play. SEO, as you or your firm’s Web master likely knows, has sparked a cottage industry for companies that promise to get your law firm’s site noticed by prospective clients.
How important is search engine optimization? “Law firm Web sites are the single most effective marketing tool employed by corporate, transactional, and defense firms,” according to the recently released 2006 Law Firm Marketing Effectiveness Survey: A National Survey of Corporate, Transactional and Defense Firms, conducted by Alyn-Weiss Associates, Inc. The surveyors further note that “20% of firms [surveyed] employ formalized search engine marketing, and 8% say they get cases as a result.”
Most interesting, perhaps, is that the data suggest these numbers will grow considerably in the next two years.” Why? The report surmises, and LOMAR wholeheartedly concurs, that “purchase patterns for legal services are clearly shifting, [and] Internet inquiry and research, whether a personal referral occurred or not, is increasingly commonplace for counsel and executives.”
In a recent article on the new data, Bob Weiss, president and founder of Denver-based Alyn-Weiss and Associates, explains that “follow-up calls to firms about the change confirmed that most of the 20% of responding firms who had employed formal search engine marketing techniques-key phrase optimization, geotargeting, and click-through campaigns-had received a steady flow of case inquiries.” He adds (surprisingly) that “these techniques are well-known and widely accepted in the contingent-fee world, but are used much less commonly by hourly fee-based practices.”
Suggestions for SEO. The good news for law firms who lack the resources to hire a so-called search engine optimizer is that there are a range of things they can do to get their firm’s Web site a higher ranking on Google and make it easier for clients and prospects to locate. Below are a handful of basic SEO tactics to consider:
1. Set aside funds in your marketing budget for SEO. It is, after all, now part of any sound marketing strategy that will go a long way toward ensuring your firm’s Web site attracts the “right” caliber of visitors and gets good conversion rates and a return-on-investment.
2. Update your site regularly with substantive content. This is clearly a commonsense tactic, but many firms overlook the need to keep these sites fresh with up-to-date information and helpful resources. Sites with high-quality content inevitably get more hits and traffic than those without. Plus, the better the content, the more likely your site will be exposed to search engines and search spiders.
3. Use keywords prudently. Keywords alone won’t boost your firm’s ranking, but relevant keywords should not be overlooked. Remember, search engines will penalize you for including keywords that have nothing to do with the content of your site.
One interesting thing about keywords: One Web-savvy source says that in some instances changing all your singular keywords to the plural form may significantly increase hits to your site.
4. Spread the word about your law firm by submitting press releases and other PR to online news services like Business Wire and PR Newswire. There’s a chance that members of the press won’t pick up your releases, but they’ll certainly be picked up by search engines. Remember: Use optimized keywords in your headline, subheads, and the body of your press release so it will rank higher in key word searches.
5. Make optimized keywords an active link in e-mail correspondence, like press releases and blurbs sent to the outside world, so readers are directed back to selected areas of your law firm’s homepage. Be careful, however, to limit this suggestion to a select group of recipients so that those who are “invited” to the Web site are truly interested in finding out more about your law firm.
6. Buy Google AdWords, the pay-per-click program of advertising on Google, where the ads appear on the right hand side of the Google Search page on keywords/key phrases that you choose.
7. Do your homework. Below are resources (all of the books noted are available on Amazon.com) that can help you learn more about SEO:
– The ABCs of SEO, by David George
– Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Marketing Handbook: Low Cost Strategies to Attracting New Customers Using Google, Yahoo & Other Search Engines, by Boris Mordkovich and Eugene Mordkovich
– Search Engine Visibility and Just Google It!: Hidden Powers Inside the Tool, by Shari Thurow
– Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day, by Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin
– Search Engine Optimization for Dummies, by Peter Kent
– Marketing Through Search Optimization: How to Be Found on the Web, by Alex Michael
• Online resources:
– Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (www.sempo.org)
– Search Engine Forums (www.searchengineforums.com/apps/searchengine.forums)
– Search Engine Watch: The Source for Search Engine Marketing (www.searchenginewatch.com)
• Conferences: Search Engine Strategies Conference, Miami, July 10-11; San Jose, August 7-10; Paris, Nov. 28-29; Chicago, Dec. 4-7. Contact: www.jupiterevents.com/
For more insights on SEO, see the accompanying sidebar.
Easy Ways to Get Your Firm Noticed on the Web
1. Use keyword-savvy “page titles” and strategic and proper META tagging on all pages.
2. Allow search-engine robots easy access throughout your site via text links, alt-tagged navigation icons, or a site map.
3. Register your URL with major search engines, directories, specialty sites, and select paid directories (such as Yahoo).
4. Use strategic homepage content (keywords in context in HTML text).
5. Use hyperlinks to add weight to in-text keywords.
6. Encourage in-bound links to your pages from other relevant sites.
7. Add an integrated blog.
8. Avoid Flash-based opening homepage screens, improper META tag code, and any schemes meant to “trick” search engines.
(Source: Amy Campbell; blogs.law.harvard.edu/amy)
Law firm marketing and client development via the Internet constitute a whole new world for practice builders to explore. This new world runs most every conceivable gamut. We can do anything and everything in it–or basically nothing. (I cringe when I come upon a “nothing” site–a firm many years ago put up a template Internet page and has ignored it from then until now.) Leading law firms hire professional Web designers and pay for Web development and site optimization services. “Don’t try to do it yourself” is oft-repeated advice from large firm marketing professionals.
It’s certainly good advice for large firms. If you’re a solo or small firm lawyer, though, with only a shoestring budget for the development and maintenance of a meaningful Internet presence, you might just as easily fly to the moon.
There are things you can do to improve the online impact of even a rudimentary law firm Web site or blawg. They entail two necessities: 1) providing solid, valuable content and 2) understanding how prospective clients are likely to find you on the Internet.
I used to assume the “if you build it, they will come” adage applied to Web sites, blogs and social media projects. That was to say, if I put up (what I considered to be) usable, high-quality content, people around the world eventually would find my content–and find me, and buy into my various endeavors.
Perhaps in its early years, the Internet actually functioned something like that. No longer. With the growth of the Net, today there is far too much usable, high-quality content for anyone to digest. A word search that yielded 10 good hits a decade ago may yield 10,000 today. With so many choices and so little time, Web searchers often shake their heads and just click on the most likely entry they see at the top of the results list that Google shows them. They assume Google and other search platforms have figured out which sites are the “best” and prioritize them highest.
Don’t lose heart. If you can’t justify the expense of a Web artist and marketing guru for your practice, there are some basic things you can do to inform the world–and, more relevantly, your local community–about your professional skills.
It requires only time and thought. There is no cost beyond the ordinary fees you pay for a service provider and Web hosting service.
Content, Content, Content
During the 1990s, when lawyers and other business professionals were figuring out how to leverage the Internet for profit, an initial concern was to avoid “giving away the store”–that is, publishing actual legal knowledge and insights (“content”) on their Web sites. A law firm might post archived and otherwise easily obtainable material (magazine articles its lawyers had published years earlier, news items about cases in which it was involved, emerging government laws and regulations relevant to the practice area, etc.), but little of individual value to any prospective client who showed up online. Mostly, what they publicized were their credentials–their attorneys’ 600 years of cumulative expertise, awards, prominent clients and photos of their office facilities.
The thinking by 2000 had changed: Do give away a bona fide slice, at least, of “the store.” Show Web site visitors that you understand specific issues that are weighing heavily on their minds at the moment. Let them know there’s a lot more help available at your “store” that may be of great value to them in their crises.
Jay Fleischman, in his Legal Practice Pro blog (www.legalpracticepro.com), emphasizes that content should be the basis of a law firm’s online marketing strategy. By posting useful content, you aren’t giving away your business; you’re attracting new clients. In a recent discussion titled “Online Legal Marketing–11 Reasons Why Content Is King,” he wrote that his own content strategy for the past five years has “paid off in myriad ways: People come to me with more information under their belt, a sense of confidence in my abilities and, to a large extent, a level of preparation I’d never seen before I started marketing my law firm with content. More to the point, they’re pre-sold on my services–I don’t need to quibble over legal fees or convince them that I’m the right choice.” (See www.legalpracticepro.com/online-legal-marketing-11-reasons-why-content-is-king.)
Actual law-related content–as opposed to brochure-style fluff–can demonstrate the depth of your knowledge of your practice area and attract good clients. By the same token, it turns away less likely prospects. As Fleischman puts it, “someone reads your stuff, they realize the solution you offer isn’t for them, and they move on without wasting your time or theirs.”
Position, Position, Position
If “location, location, location” are the three keys to success in the real estate business, “position, position, position” are the keys in Internet marketing, whether we’re selling toys, tunes, togas or legal services. Marketing pros remind us again and again that if our Web site or blog doesn’t appear on the first page of a prospective client’s search results, we won’t be discovered.
I believe there’s much truth in that–but not absolute truth. Frankly, I’ve grown into the personal habit of ignoring the entries at the very top of any search results page because I suspect, rightly or wrongly, that those positions have been bought. I’m sure I’m in the minority, but unless I see exactly what I want in my first page of search results, I’ll go to pages 2 or 3, or 10. Frequently, in fact, I begin my results survey by clicking a results page randomly from the Google page list; it might be Page 20.
Since most searchers don’t proceed that way, positioning truly is important. Good positioning calls for search engineoptimization (SEO). C.C. Holland, in an article for Law Technology News in July 2008 (www.law.com/jsp/lawtechnologynews/PubArticleLTN.jsp?id=1202423253023), defined SEO as “the process of building and editing your Web site to make it as attractive and visible as possible to search engines, thus increasing site traffic. SEO can apply to coding, to the structure of the site, to content or to all three.”
Google, as everyone knows, is the search engine we hope will “optimize” our online pages and projects. Most Web searchers, casual and dedicated alike, think of “Google” as much a verb as a noun. Yahoo, AOL and dozens of other search tools collectively don’t equal its popularity.
A simple example of search engine optimization, from the content provider’s perspective, is to take time to craft engaging titles for your Web articles and blawg posts. Many readers scan through blog feeds very rapidly. They have to, because they get scads of returns; if a title doesn’t attract their immediate attention, there’s little chance the item will be read. Likewise, when they click to a law firm’s Web page, they may give it only a precursory glance to determine whether it really is worth visiting; if no item on the page instantly stands out, they’re gone.
Try to work keywords from your text into the article title. Search engines index words and phrases; conspicuous keywords help searchers find your material. Some marketing analysts encourage the employment of sensational, even controversial wording in the title. The content of the article itself may be mundane, but a brow-raising title can bring readers. (I personally disagree with that tactic. I frequently go for alliteration and always look for a humorous hinge when writing titles, but twisted drama in a headline, to me, is no more respectable now than it was 120 years ago.)
A piece of timeless wisdom I’ve seen repeated by journalists and marketers over the years is to revisit your title (and the article itself) a day or so after you write it. A capstone that seemed to ring brilliantly in your brain at the time of writing may fall with a thud when you’re in a different frame of mind and read it afresh. You also might realize that although you derived the title from the text of the article and it seemed to connect beautifully, it actually implies to a stranger virtually nothing about the subject; you were too close to the material when you came up with the title. Substituting, inserting or deleting a single word in a title can make the difference between a strikeout and a homerun.
Interestingly, legal marketing specialists observe that some lawyers have become so obsessed with search engineoptimization that they’ve stopped providing meaningful material online. They lose sight of the purpose of online publication efforts–the focus on content.
Bear in mind there are other ways to get your interesting, useful content in front of potential clients. Social networking was recognized as a promising vehicle five or more years ago by law firm marketing pioneers. Today, thousands of firms can be found on Facebook and “followed” on Twitter.
It Isn’t About Promoting Ourselves; It’s About Attracting Clients
It’s essential, in developing Web content, that you try to place yourself in the role of a prospective reader who’s a stranger to you and to the law. You obviously know what you’re doing and can talk about your practice area and its subcategories forward and backward in your sleep; that doesn’t mean your Web site and blawg visitors are on the same page. You’ve put careful thought into your Web article texts and titles–but have you thought about how they might come across to timid readers who understand little or nothing of the subject matter? You take pride in your work and know you have excellent legal advice and representation to offer–but site visitors, especially the ones who are shopping for a lawyer, will need to be persuaded by more than your curriculum vitae; they’re much more interested in what you’re willing to tell them up front about the matter that’s gnawing at their guts. If they don’t find much information about it at your place . . . competing lawyer sites beckon.
Don’t post articles about yourself, or for your own interest; always post for your readers. Don’t focus on your qualifications, the law school you attended or the organizations to which you belong; focus on your practice area and provide details on subjects about which your readers want to know.
Finally, as you write, consider the keywords a prospective client might use in searching the Internet for a lawyer who fits your description.