Clip This Now: Local Search How-To Guide

Yesterday, I posted on Local Search: Getting Prospects to Discover You.  This is a critical tool for legal marketing SEO and too many firms are unaware of the importance local search plays in how prospects find them on the Internet.

And today I ran across an incredible infographic from OptiLocal that is a brilliant “cheat sheet” on the steps you can take to dominate local search in your area.  I have posted it below and urge you to clip this graphic and get it in the hands of the person or people responsible for your law firm website SEO. 

Since some of it is a little difficult to read -- and it is really packed with useful information -- I am providing the most important text from the infographic that provides the exact steps you should be taking as your optimize your website for local search:

Google+ Local Page Optimization

  • Verify your local page.
  • Have your company profile 100% complete.
  • Use your exact Business Name (as shown on your website).
  • Create a detailed company description.
  • Make sure that the NAP (Name Address Phone) on your local page is consistent with the NAP on your company website (All of the web mentions of your business should be NAP consistent).
  • Have a physical address in the city you want to rank for.
  • If you list a mailbox or suite number, place it in Address Line 2.
  • If you are a lawyer, you can create separate practitioner’s local pages from the official company local page with your distinct phone number and working hours.
  • Departments within businesses, universities, hospitals, and government buildings can also have a separate local page if they have a separate phone line.
  • Select every relevant category you find for your business.
  • If you have a single location – link to the home page of your website.
  • If you have multiple locations – link to the location-specific page on your website.
  • Claim and delete all duplicate local pages of your business.
  • Encourage your customers to leave you local page reviews.
  • Regularly update your local page with images, videos, etc.
  • Report to Google spammy local pages in your industry to clear unfair competition.
  • Use a local phone number instead of a call center number.

Citations

  • Ensure NAP consistency between your citations, local page and website.
  • Select high quality sources for your citations.
  • Select niche specific (relevant to your industry) websites.
  • Select area specific (relevant to your service location) websites.
  • Claim and edit all citations of your business that have a wrong NAP.
  • Remove all duplicate citations of your business from the (major) data aggregators.
  • Select the most relevant business category when listing your company.
  • Before you create new citation on a website, check if your business has not already been listed there.
  • Add as much useful info when creating your citations as possible (add images, videos, company descriptions, etc.).
  • Check where your high-ranking competitors are listed and follow their lead.

Reviews

  • Encourage your clients to post a review on your Google local page.
  • Check which of the websites that host your business citations welcome customer reviews and encourage your clients to review your business there.
  • After completing a project, don’t forget to ask your client for a review.
  • Print out special handouts with visuals on how your customers could leave a review and where.
  • Try to attract top reviewers in your niche to review your business.
  • Reply to your reviews even if negative. Stay in touch with your customers.

On-Site Optimization

  • Ensure NAP consistency with your local listing and citations.
  • Create location specific pages.
  • Create unique content for your multiple service locations.
  • Describe specific local sights, attractions, history, festivals, events, etc.
  • Use local reviews as local specific content.
  • Write about your local company team.
  • Include contact details, directions, working hours, where to park.
  • Include photos and mention the specific location in their file names and alt attributes.
  • Embed a Google map associated with your local page on your location landing page or on your Contact us page (if you have a single location).
  • Optimize your site content, title tags, meta tags and urls for the specific location (if you cover several locations do not optimize for all of the locations throughout your website, but focus on the most profitable one instead).
  • Use schema.org to mark up your NAP, hours of operation, reviews.
  • Use location and a keyword in your location landing pages.

Inbound Link Profile

  • Get included in your local industry associations, business chamber, etc.
  • Pursue inbound links from bloggers who write about local news, events, etc.
  • Research your top competitors’ inbound links and borrow link ideas from them.

 

Local Search: Getting Prospects to Discover You

Here's an appropriate topic for Columbus Day:  how to get prospects to discover you.

There have been a number of law firm websites that have been affected by major Google algorithm updates (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird).  One attorney I was talking with recently said that after the last update, his business fell off a cliff because he got most of his leads off his website and whatever he was doing there, Google no longer liked it.  Panda focused mostly on rewarding sites with good quality content and penalizing those that were just publishing trash.  The Penguin update targeted low quality links and Hummingbird was a complete overhaul of how Google displayed search results to improve the user experience.

The thing you should really focus on is Local Search.  Local search is becoming increasingly important when trying to improve the ranking for your law firm website on Google and other search engines. After all, someone searching for an attorney in Scottsdale will not care about a lawyer in Scarsdale...and Google knows that. Google is all about delivering relevant search results to its users...hence, the importance of doing whatever you can to rank well for local search.

Here are some tips you can deploy to ensure your firm shows up well in local search results:

Find the right keywords. You must use the same keywords people use when they search online.  Research and use the right keywords for your target market.

Optimize your website and content with local terms. Your website should feature your full company name, address, phone number and a geo sitemap to help search engines find you. 

List your firm on Google+ Local. 

List your firm on local and legal directories.  You also need to get your firm listed on Yahoo Local, Bing, Citysearch and review sites like Yelp and legal review websites like Avvo.

Be sure listings are consistent. Use a consistent firm name, address and phone wherever these appear online – on your website, your social media profiles, your blog, etc.  Especially if you’ve been practicing for awhile and have moved a few times or changed firm names -- your listing must be exactly the same everywhere on the Internet to earn citations, which are critical to being found in Local Search.   

Get reviews. Reviews of local businesses are becoming increasingly important in search results, so if you’ve made a client happy with your service, ask them to submit a review or testimonial saying why they loved doing business with you. 

Optimize your social network profiles.  Every social media site that your law firm is on should include the firm’s name, address, phone and a link to your website.  Remember to keep it consistent across all networks.

Optimize for mobile. Be sure your firm website is fully optimized for mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

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How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear

Your price is too high! I can’t afford that.”

“Why should I hire you? I think I can handle this by myself.”

Have you heard any of these objections lately?

How did you respond?

What are the most effective ways to overcome these objections?

How do top Rainmakers reply?

If you’re like many attorneys you hear these objections every day…yet you aren’t sure your responses are effective. We can help you change that!

Over the course of this pre-recorded 60-minute webinar you will discover:

  • The top 5 biggest objections attorneys hear and how to overcome them
  • An easy 2-step process to effectively turn a “No” into a “Yes”
  • How to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
  • The #1 reason you are not converting more prospects into paying clients
  • How to get past “price” and uncover the prospect’s true objection

Click on this link now to access the How to Overcome the 5 Biggest Objections Attorneys Hear webinar now.

Writing Guidelines to Help Improve Your Search Ranking

Rumor has it that SEO is dead.  I suppose you could say the old way of doing SEO is most certainly guaranteed not to work -- no more keyword stuffing or irrelevant content, which will likely get you tossed to the bottom of search results instead of where you want to be, which is on the first page.

However, I would say that the death knell for SEO is a bit premature if you define it the way we do:  being smart about how you develop your content so that it is naturally attractive to search engines because it is attractive to the people searching for your area of expertise.

Earlier today, there was a post over at Hubspot.com with an infographic that lists 13 copywriting rules for obtaining better search rank results.  None of these, you will note, are aimed at “gaming” Google’s system -- rather, they are helpful in understanding the type of content that Google rewards.  We all need to know that.

For example, keywords are still important since they indicate the subject matter you are writing about, which Google uses to link your content to searches using those same words.  But the watchword here is “natural” -- you need to use your keywords in your content naturally, and sprinkle in some synonyms or related keywords that can expose your content to different search queries.

A hat tip to ContentVerve.com and atcore for aggregating this information: 

The Complete List of Google Ranking Factors

While most of our clients would rather watch paint dry than delve into all the information out there on Google’s algorithm, I do know a few attorneys who love to dig into the technical details to understand what will help their websites earn that all-important first page search ranking.  So this post is for them.

Digital marketing agency Single Grain and SEO company Backlinko scoured the web for mentions of Google ranking factors, then aggregated all their results in the nifty info graphic you can find here.

Just a cursory review gives you an idea of the complexity of SEO practice today. Brian Dean, Backlinko founder, provides his input on the 10 most important ranking factors:

  1. Keyword in the beginning of your title tag.
  2. Length of content (pages with more than 1500 words rank highest)
  3. Page loading speed
  4. Prominence and positioning of keywords
  5. Authority of your page (determined by links to and from)
  6. Domain authority
  7. Relevancy of your links
  8. How much time visitors spend on your page
  9. Responsive web design (optimized for mobile)
  10. Original content

Take a few minutes to read through all the ranking factors and I’ll bet you can find at least 5 things you can do right now to improve your SEO.

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NEW FREE REPORT:  How to Tap Into One of the Most Cost Effective Marketing Tools for Law Firms & 4 Steps to Get Started Today

In less than a few hours a month, you can produce an effective electronic newsletter, also known as an “E-newsletter.”

An E-newsletter is a customized electronic newsletter that is commonly used in business, but rarely in the field of law. If you are truly interested in the long-term success and sustainability of your practice, you need to learn how to leverage technology and the Internet to build it.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • 10 reasons an e-newsletter is necessary to your legal marketing strategy
  • The cost benefits of an e-newsletter
  • How to incorporate your e-newsletter with your social networking
  • How an e-newsletter supports your marketing efforts
  • How to get started right away with your e-newsletter

Click on the following link to receive your free report on How to Tap Into One of the Most Cost Effective Marketing Tools for Law Firms & 4 Steps to Get Started Today.

 

Google Says Size Doesn't Matter When It Comes to Search Results

If you are a small firm or solo, you have probably felt the frustration of battling against a bigger firm – their sheer size (and sizeable marketing budget) may seem to you an unfair advantage in the legal marketplace.

Last week, Google said that size doesn’t really matter, at least when it comes to the size of a website and search results.  Answering a question on the Google Webmaster blog, engineer Matt Cutts said that larger websites do not automatically rank higher on Google than small sites.

In fact, he said that smaller sites that are agile, dynamic, with a quick response time and frequent content updates can rank higher than the bigger sites.  The key differentiator is superior content and focusing intently on the user experience.

Cutts’ tip for small firms and solos is to concentrate on a small topic area and cover that topic really, really well – in other words, be a specialist and create stellar content that is relevant to users searching for that topic.  This will make you an expert in Google’s eyes.  And that’s how niches can lead to riches when it comes to SEO!

Here are three ways that solos and small firms can capitalize on their online agility:

1.  Designing a website that provides users with a superb experience – from the way they navigate the site to the information they find there.

2.  Developing high quality, relevant content for your area of practice that people want to read to help them solve the problems they would hire you for, populated with relevant keywords.

3.  Being an active participant on social media networks that your prospects and clients frequent, sharing all that great content you’ve developed for your website and your blog and engaging online with your target market.

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New Free Report: How to Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist

If you are taking every piece of legal business that comes your way with no regard for developing a specialization, you are killing your business.

Why?

Being a generalist makes it much harder to get referrals. If you are a generalist, other attorneys who might otherwise send referrals your way see you as a competitor!

When someone has a referral to give, they want to give it to someone who specializes in the kind of problem or situation that the referral needs. You want to specialize because it creates more credibility and more loyalty.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • 4 ways to position yourself as a specialist
  • Benefits of specializing
  • What to do about cases that don’t fit in your specialty
  • How other attorneys have successfully specialized
  • …And much, much more!

Click here now to receive the latest free report in our 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days series: The 4th Key-Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist.

8 Tips to Help Your Law Firm Stand Out in Local Search

The majority of people who need a lawyer look for one that is close to where they live.  This is why local search is so important when it comes to marketing your law firm online.  Here are 8 tips you can deploy to ensure your firm shows up well in local search results:

1.  Find the right keywords.  You must use the same keywords people use when they search online.  If you are a divorce attorney in Des Moines, then your main keywords should be: divorce attorney des moines.  Also divorce lawyer des moines.  Research and use the right keywords for your target market.

2.  Optimize your website and content with local terms.  Your website should feature your full company name, address, phone number and a geo sitemap to help search engines find you.  Your content should also reference your geographic location, but don’t overdo it – loading your content with keywords is a big no-no these days.

3.  List your firm on Google Places for Business and Google+ Local

4.  List your firm on local directories.  Tip #3 covers Google, but you also need to get your firm listed on Yahoo Local, Bing and review sites like Yelp and other review websites.

5.  Be sure listings are consistent.  Use a consistent firm name, address and phone wherever these appear online – on your website, your social media profiles, your blog, etc.

6.  Get reviews.  Reviews of local businesses are becoming increasingly important in search results, so if you’ve made a client happy with your service, ask them to submit a review or testimonial saying why they loved doing business with you.  One thing you should never do is fake a review or testimonial. If they sound too glowing or like you wrote them, it will do much more harm than good. 

7.  Optimize your social network profiles.  Every social media site that your law firm is on should include the firm’s name, address, phone and a link to your website.  Remember to keep it consistent across all networks.

8.  Optimize for mobile.  Be sure your firm website is fully optimized for mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute

One click of your mouse will take you to our website where you can see the current issue and subscribe to our complimentary monthly e-newsletter that will be delivered to your inbox every month. 

Each issue is chock-full of legal marketing information you can put to use right away and share with your staff to maximize the effectiveness of your legal marketing plan.  Click here now to subscribe to The Rainmaker Institute Law Firm Marketing Newsletter

Google Sticks a Fork in Guest Blogging for SEO

Last month, Google’s Matt Cutts, who heads up the search engine giant’s webspam team, wrote this on the Google Webmaster blog:

So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a link building strategy.

So should you halt your guest blogging efforts?  Well, in a word, no.  Because SEO is not the only reason you guest blog – either on other blogs, or hosting guests on your own blog.  Which is why Cutts later updated his original post to say this:

It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future.

Guest blogging used to be ONE way to develop quality links back to your own website or blog. Unfortunately, those trying to game the system with low quality content have made it – as Cutts says – a spammy practice.  Those that use guest blogging as their sole source of link building will now be out of luck and may even be penalized. 

But I would still recommend guest blogging as a way for attorneys to spread their authority to other audiences that may not have otherwise been engaged by your own blog or website.  It can also still be a great way for you to improve the visibility of your firm and, when shared on social media, can help your SEO efforts from that standpoint.

As this blog post and other recent developments at Google demonstrate, you can’t go wrong when it comes to SEO if you pay attention to these 3 things:

1.  Designing a website that provides users with a superb experience – from the way they navigate the site to the information they find there.

2.  Developing high quality, relevant content for your area of practice that people want to read to help them solve the problems they would hire you for, populated with relevant keywords.

3.  Being an active participant on social media networks that your prospects and clients frequent, sharing all that great content you’ve developed for your website and your blog and engaging online with your target market.

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On-Demand Seminar:  How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients

According to recent research…

58 million adults looked for an attorney in the past year

76% of them referred to the internet at some point in their search

While most law firms already have a website, the majority of them don’t produce new cases on a regular basis. Why?

Because they are doing it all wrong!

This seminar will teach you how to do it right.

Former Lawyers.com editor-in-chief Larry Bodine and Stephen Fairley join forces to deliver a compelling on-demand seminar on How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients; access this seminar now to learn:

  • 3 specific strategies that can immediately improve your website conversions
  • What elements you should and should not include on your website
  • How to effectively reach the 65% of consumers who like to gather information about their legal issue long before ever contacting an attorney
  • Ways to leverage top online attorney directories to control your online presence
  • Case studies on how top attorneys are using social media to attract more paying clients
  • Best practices for blogging and why Google loves them so much
  • The fastest ways to get to the top of Google

Click on this link now to receive the How to Leverage Your Firm’s Website to Win Clients seminar.

Why You Need to Integrate Video Into Your Legal Marketing Mix

According to the Pew Internet Project, 78% of adult Internet users watch videos online – on YouTube, their smartphones and on social media networks.  That’s almost everyone.

In fact, videos are one of the best ways to convert prospects into paying clients. We are visual beings and when we see someone talking on video we see their expressions, hear their tonality and can begin to feel a shared reality with the person we are looking to do business with.

People buy emotionally and justify logically, so the more emotion you can conjure on your website with videos the better.

You do not need to spend a fortune getting these done. An iPhone or simple Flip Camera will do the trick. The most important things to remember are:

1.  Make sure the audio is clear (while people will watch a less-than-perfect visual, they will NOT tolerate poor audio quality).

2.  Stand up when you record the video, you exude more energy and personality that way.

3.  Each video should be no more than 3 minutes (recording frequently asked questions is a great place to start).

4.  Be enthusiastic and compassionate in your videos -- people do business with people they know, like and trust.

Video also helps your SEO – you do know that Google owns YouTube, right?

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FREE "Top 10 Mistakes Attorneys Make and How to Avoid Them" E-book

In a newly revised e-book, legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley outlines 10 of the most common marketing mistakes attorneys make that can lead to the failure of their business, and provides specific strategies and proven principles for avoiding these deadly errors. 

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

Regardless of your specific situation, this free e-book will help you examine how you are currently finding new clients and recommend specific steps you can immediately start using to grow your practice. 

We have helped thousands of attorneys achieve their goals of creating a financially successful and personally satisfying legal practice. In this e-book you will discover specific principles and tools you can use to grow your practice, too.  

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve SEO

Yesterday in my post about how email marketing beats social media for client acquisition, I shared this chart from McKinsey & Co. consumer research:

You will note that the #1 channel for client acquisition is organic search.  And you can’t improve your organic search ranking without paying attention to SEO (search engine optimization). 

Thankfully for small firms and solos, SEO best practices have evolved past backlinking and coding to strategies that you have more control over – content marketing and social media participation.  Here are 5 things every law firm can do right now to improve SEO:

Optimize your law firm website.  You may want to hand this off to the experts, but you can actually do it yourself if you are willing to tinker under the hood a bit.  In fact, Moz has posted an excellent resource called The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 2.0, a free download that covers everything that needs to be done to properly optimize a website. 

Blog.  Search engines crave fresh, relevant, compelling content and reward you with a better ranking if you provide it. 

Guest blog.  Having guests post on your blog and vice versa exposes you to a wider audience and gets others to do some of the heavy lifting for you in promoting your content.

Social media participation.  Use your social media network to promote and distribute your blog content.  This provides important social signals back to your website that are important when it comes to SEO. 

Monitor online reputation.  Online reviews are also becoming more important for SEO, so it’s critical that you Google yourself and your firm on a regular basis to monitor what is being said about you online.  Be sure to let happy clients know how much you would appreciate their recommendation online.

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On-Demand Seminar: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm

We are now providing one of our most popular seminars – Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm – in an on-demand format, so you can watch and learn at your convenience, as many times as you wish.

Over the last decade we have helped over 10,000 attorneys market and grow their business. During this time we have identified many of the key characteristics of highly successful law firms.

One of the more consistent ones is that they track specific numbers and key indicators that give them instant insight into how their law firm is performing on a weekly and monthly basis.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the numbers that make your law firm run. By analyzing these critical metrics, partners and owners of law firms can easily determine whether they are on track to achieve their goals or if they need to retool and refocus their marketing and business development efforts.

In this fast paced seminar, you learn:

  • How to easily identify the 12 key metrics your law firm needs to track and measure
  • How to set up a system to identify these numbers
  • The 7 critical systems every law firm must have
  • CPL and CPC: the 2 most important numbers every attorney must know in order to succeed
  • How to avoid “paralysis by analysis” and being overwhelmed by too much data
  • Delegating roles and responsibility to your staff
  • Using software to track your KPIs

If you’re a spreadsheet and data driven individual then you will love this seminar! However, if numbers scare you or you tend to ignore them because you have a hard time making heads or tails of all the different data you see, then this seminar is a “can’t miss” event!

We cut through the clutter and give you clear and easy to understand guidance on which numbers really matter the most, how to track this information, and what to do with it once you have it!

To get this on-demand seminar, click on this link: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm

12 Reasons to Create Law Firm Press Releases

My company and many of the law firms I have worked with have had fantastic results with press releases. I have literally issued a press release at 9:00 a.m. and by 5:00 p.m. the release is already indexed by Google and is coming up in the top 10 or 20 positions, so this is very effective.

I recommend that you write at least one press release per month. If you are a growing practice, then I recommend that you write up to two, three, or four a month depending on how many you can get out.

If you’re looking for things to write about in hopes of gaining media coverage while improving your SEO through the use of press releases, you can’t do better than these reasons to write and distribute a press release to the media.

Write a press release to:

1.  Gain media exposure in hopes to increase…

  • exposure or public knowledge about your firm
  • practice areas
  • a positive image

2.  Promote a specific...

  • person
  • service
  • event
  • idea
  • contest

3.  Fundraiser

4.  Inform the public about...

  • an aspect of your law firm that is unique and stands out from the crowd
  • a new development in an ongoing project
  • a new project or unusual case

5. Start a campaign using your law firm’s services to...

  • help save or promote a cause
  • create an awareness about something important

6. Attract an audience to attend a...

  • speaking engagement
  • book signing
  • conference

7. Educate your audience – people who would likely need the services of your law firm...

  • do’s and don’ts in your industry
  • the “best of” or “worst of” lists

8.  Update the media or set the media straight about something they reported on

9.  Tie your law firm in with current news topics

10.  Showcase a particular unique service or event within your law firm

11.  Tie your product or service into a holiday theme

12.  Get answers to a law firm client survey, like what small business owners see as the greatest legal challenges, etc.

Whatever you do, don’t just say to yourself that these are good ideas but you don’t have time to get involved now. The key to improving your practice and developing the law firm of your dreams isn’t just knowledge; it’s knowledge accompanied by action. 

 

4 Steps to Improve Your SEO Now

1.  Content is king. Low quality content – article spinning and output from cheap content farms – will not only do your website no good, it will get you penalized by Google. Bad content really is yesterday’s news, and that is great news for those of us who spend a lot of time producing stuff that people really like to read.

2.  Content isn’t just words. A good mix of shareable content – sharp articles, videos, infographics, interesting photos and social media posting --- all counts in driving traffic to your website and getting some Google love. 

3.  SEO is no one-trick pony. Good SEO practices today consist of great content, link and citation building, site optimization strategies, social media participation and mining your date for insights. 

4.  Establish authority. Sites with great content that people visit time and again to get information on subjects of interest to them establishes those sites as authorities, which Google sees as a primary ranking factor. If you are not a great writer, hire one. But many attorneys are great writers, so this bodes well if you will make the effort to contribute regularly to your blog or website. Just remember your target market and go easy on the legal jargon. 

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

Feel like you don’t have time for marketing?  Let us show you how to make a plan that runs on “autopilot” – one that attracts new and lucrative clients while you focus on your practice.

Learn how easy it can be to create an effective law firm marketing plan that performs by getting our Free Guide: 5 Easy Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

After working with many ultra-successful lawyers we found five common threads in their marketing plans. This guide outlines these shared elements to provide insight into strategies that work and how to make them work for you.

Click here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!

5 Ways to Boost Your SEO Right Now

Yesterday I posted an interview that originally appeared on LawMarketing.com about the latest Google Penguin update and what it may or may not have done to affect legal websites.

John Jantsch over at the Duct Tape Marketing blog had a good post last week about the 5 ways you can boost your SEO right away, taking into consideration the latest Google search engine update:

1. Boost your social share. Google is giving a lot more juice to social share signals, so add the Google +1 and Facebook Like or Share buttons at the top of each page of your website or blog.

2. Use larger embedded images. This can help your blog posts you put on Facebook get shared more, and sharing is the name of the game right now. Facebook recently redesigned their posts to make images a lot more prominent; the new standard for images is 600 x 1200 pixels.

3. Zero in on long tail keywords. In a competitive category like law, going after the long tail keywords that people use to search for your services will help your SEO. Jantsch recommends using Long Tail Pro, a keyword research tool that is easy to use and inexpensive.

4. Use micro data with rich snippets. If you use WordPress for your blog or website, be sure to add the micro data plugin. Micro data is HTML code used by search engines to identify categories of text and Google uses it to understand website pages better. You can learn more about this on Google’s Webmaster blog.

5. Build relationships with authorities for your category. Just like it is important to build a good referral network offline, it has become increasingly important for you to do it online – it’s just known as building authority relationships. Find authors in your practice area that rank high in search and find ways to connect with them to foster a value-added relationship.

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New!  FREE Report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources

When it comes to the different kind of leads that attorneys can generate for new business, referrals are the gold standard.  They come to you prequalified and ready to “buy” from a source they trust – and with a trust transference to you that is built-in.

If you do nothing else with your law firm marketing, make it a priority to cultivate more referral sources.  Cultivating referral sources is low-cost and high-reward, and should be at the top of your list when it comes to new business development for your law firm.

This new free report by national law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley can get you started.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • How to identify the referral sources who have relationships with the people you want as clients.
  • How to start the relationship
  • How to build a referral network
  • How to make your referral network successful
  • …And much, much more!

Click on this link now to get your free report on Building Relationships With Strategic Referral Sources.

 

10 Free Keyword Research Tools + How to Use Them

An old friend – Google’s free Adwords Keyword tool – has gone off the grid for good, leaving in its place the new Keyword Planner. The Planner is a little more detailed, but still fairly easy to use and still free.

A recent post at the GroTraffic.com blog had a list of 10 free keyword research tools you will find useful, as well as a good infographic that provides step-by-step instructions on how to conduct keyword research:

Mergewords – especially useful for creating long tail keyword phrases which are critical to your SEO efforts.

Wordstream – will give you up to 30 free keyword results; after that, you have to subscribe.

SEMRush – the first 10 results are free; a subscription is required for more. Data analysis and keyword performance info is also offered on the site.

SEOBook – this site has a free keyword tool that requires free registration to access.

Keyword Eye – if you are more visually oriented, this site is for you.

KGen – if you use Firefox as your browser, this tool is available as an add-on and will rank keywords on any given website.

Bing Keyword Research Tool – part of the Bing Webmaster Tools.

Keyword Spy – lets you evaluate competitive websites for keywords they use.

Thesaurus.com – this website gives you synonyms for your keywords.

Ubersuggest – suggestion tool for more keyword ideas.

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New Free Report: Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist

Being a generalist is one of the deadly mistakes that attorneys can make!

Why?

First of all, it makes it much harder to get referrals. If you are a generalist, a jack-of-all-trades, what do sources of referrals see you as? A competitor!

When someone has a referral to give, they want to give it to someone who specializes in the kind of problem or situation that the referral has. You want to specialize because it creates more credibility and more loyalty.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • 4 ways to position yourself as a specialist
  • Benefits of specializing
  • What to do about cases that don’t fit in your specialty
  • How other attorneys have successfully specialized
  • …And much, much more!

Click here now to receive the latest free report in our 4 Keys to Becoming a Recognized Expert in 180 Days series: The 4th Key-Position Yourself as A Specialist, Not a Generalist.

 

The Buzz on Hummingbird, Google's Latest Search Algorithm Update

Google unleashed Hummingbird, the biggest change to its search algorithm in more than a decade, about a month ago. Did you notice? 

Google is drilling down past keywords to intent with Hummingbird, trying to suss out what people really want when they use longer sentences or more complex terms to search. Some SEO experts note that Hummingbird doesn’t really change the way Google searches the Internet, it just changes the results in an effort to be more precise. It is trying to get to your true intent to deliver the results you want.

So what does this mean for attorneys who have been banking on keywords to boost their search results? Keywords will still have relevance, but what will become key is trust. Attorneys who want to rank well in search need to position themselves as the prime provider of the answers to questions their prospects are searching for, identifying intent, needs and problems and providing answers and solutions.

Establishing trust means you need to anticipate these questions and provide answers across several different platforms, including your own website, blog and social media. You need to become a relevant source for the answers to questions that potential clients are asking.

Last week, Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineLand.com provided a great FAQ section about Hummingbird.  It is suggested reading for those who want to learn more about the latest updates to Google Search.

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FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

 

Google Ranking Factors for Achieving Best Search Results

Earlier this summer, Searchmetrics released a report on the ranking factors that are most highly associated with Google search results

I wrote a post about it in July at Social Signals Rank Highest for Best Google Search Results.

I just ran across an infographic that provides additional detail from this important study and believe it’s worth a share here:

2013 SEO Ranking Factors

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Sept. 18 Online Seminar: 6 Powerful Steps to Find More Clients & Close More Business

Every prospect you encounter goes through an internal decision making process before they decide to hire you.

You can either be a passive participant in this process (and lose them to a competitor) or you can become a guide and lead them through the logical process of earning their business and closing the deal.

Consciously taking the prospect through a powerful 6-step process can systematically lead them to decide that hiring you is the best choice they can make.

Join us on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT for this powerful webinar where you will discover:

  • A 6-step process to generate more revenue and referrals
  • How to identify your perfect clients
  • Ways to better position your services in a compelling way that demands higher fees than your competitors
  • When and how to get testimonials and how to use them effectively
  • 3 bulletproof closing techniques

If the timing of this webinar doesn’t work for you, don’t worry – go ahead and register online and you will receive a recording of the full online seminar so you can listen and learn at your convenience.

Click here to register online now for the 6 Powerful Steps to Find More Clients & Close More Business online seminar on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

 

How to Create SEO-Friendly Content

I’ve noted here many times how Google loves fresh content and their constant algorithm updates make having SEO-friendly content more important than ever to rank favorably in organic search results.

Here are five tips for creating SEO-friendly content on your website or blog:

1. Keep it fresh. Add updates to existing content and keep building page links from within your own site from external referral sites. Update headlines and enable comments on your posts, which refresh the content as well.

2. Be original. Cutting and pasting content from another site is not only plagiarism, it also is of absolutely no value to you whatsoever in Google’s eyes. You can rewrite content to create an original post, so if you see something you like, rewrite and repurpose it.

3. Size matters. When it comes to content contributing to SEO, less is not more. Strive to create posts or articles that explore a topic deeply enough that others will want to link to it as an authoritative source.

4. Be an authority. Creating authority takes time on your own, so while you are dedicating yourself to that, have others who are already recognized online authorities on your subject matter contribute to your blog or website.

5. Think local. Local search is becoming more important than ever because people generally search by geography... i.e., a “Phoenix divorce lawyer”, not just “divorce lawyer.” Include location references in your content.

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

Feel like you don’t have time for marketing?  Let us show you how to make a plan that runs on “autopilot” – one that attracts new and lucrative clients while you focus on your practice.

Learn how easy it can be to create an effective law firm marketing plan that performs by getting our Free Guide: 5 Easy Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

After working with many ultra-successful lawyers we found five common threads in their marketing plans. This guide outlines these shared elements to provide insight into strategies that work and how to make them work for you.

Click here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!

 

Social Signals Rank Highest for Best Google Search Results

A new study from Searchmetrics shows that of 44 ranking factors, social signals account for 7 of the top 8 most highly associated with Google search results,  The chart below shows the ranking importance for the top 22:

The top findings from the Searchmetrics Ranking Factors-Rank Correlation Study show the following SEO trends for 2013:

  • Keyword domains and keyword links are not nearly as relevant as in the past
  • Social signals directly correlate with better rankings
  • Good content continues to be key
  • The number of backlinks continues to be of high importance
  • On-page technology (URL length, keywords in page titles, page descriptions, H1 and H2 tags, etc.) is still an important basic

This latest study makes it clear that you can no longer ignore social media if you are interested in showing up in Google search results. 

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Get More Proven Legal Marketing Strategies FREE from The Rainmaker Institute
One click of your mouse will take you to our website where you can see the current issue and subscribe to our complimentary monthly e-newsletter that will be delivered to your inbox every month. 

Each issue is chock-full of legal marketing information you can put to use right away and share with your staff to maximize the effectiveness of your legal marketing plan. Click here now to subscribe to The Rainmaker Institute Law Firm Marketing Newsletter.

 

How to Boost Your Law Firm's Online Visibility

Here’s a marketing strategy that can mean some real money in your pocket: increasing the online visibility for your law firm. Some tasks you should consider undertaking in an effort to improve your online visibility include:

Review your website – approach your website as a client would and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the design appealing and professional?
  • Is it easy to navigate around the site?
  • Are all the links working?
  • Is my content relevant and fresh?
  • Are online tasks intuitive and easily managed?
  • Are my download times reasonable?

Be prepared to fix or update anything that doesn’t pass the test.

Fresh content – Fresh, relevant content is more important than ever since search engines like Google are now including real time search results in their search algorithms. This means that when you add new content to your site or update your social media pages – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – you will improve your online visibility. And now that Google places more weight on fresh, relevant content, it is more critical than ever to keep your site evolving and growing.

Social media – With the growing popularity of real time search, the impact of social media on your law firm website has increased dramatically. Social media is important for building relationships with clients but is now equally important for organic search optimization.

Landing pages – the use of landing pages as a destination for PPC campaigns and to drive traffic deeper into your site is also monitored by search engines. If visitors abandon your landing page without going further into your site and return to their search results, your site ranking may suffer. Landing pages need to enhance your site’s user experience as a relevant gateway to your site.

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Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line

At The Rainmaker Institute, we define a “7 figure lifestyle law firm” as one that allows you to have the lifestyle that you want to live!

It’s more than just money or achieving a million dollars in revenue.

It’s about creating a lifestyle where you do what you love and building a business around your core values and interests.

In this recording of an interview between Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, and nationally recognized attorney John Bisnar, Stephen asks John to share with us some of the secrets he has used to create a law firm that allows him to go into the office only one day a week and take, on average, 3 to 4 months of vacation every year - all the while managing a very successful, multi-million dollar law firm!

You will receive either a CD or MP3 recording, plus we will email you a pdf transcript of the interview.

This interview will help you discover:

  • The difference between a law practice and a business
  • How to identify superstar employees to help you run your business
  • The difference between an Office Manager and a Business Manager
  • The 7 essential systems your firm must have & how to implement them
  • How to micromanage the client experience
  • Critical keys to success
  • And much more!

Click this link now to order Secrets to Building a 7-Figure Lifestyle Law Firm: Proven Strategies from the Front Line.

 

Is Your Website in the Google Penalty Box?

I came across a great post on the KISSmetrics blog the other day about the reasons why Google penalizes websites.   The post listed 50 – 50!—reasons your site might incur a Google penalty and also explained how you can tell if Google is penalizing your site. Here, from the post, are the most obvious clues you’re in the penalty box:

  • Your website doesn’t come up in the top few search results for your own name anymore.
  • Your page 1 positions have slipped to page 2 or 3 of search results (you are tracking that, right?).
  • Your PageRank has dropped to a zero or a one.
  • Your website listing in search takes you to a page other than your home page.

If your website does not rank well in search for your most important keywords, please take a few minutes and review this list or send it on to your IT person for review. There are quite a few that are simple fixes – broken links, internal 404s, missing data – that could make a big difference in how your website shows up in Google search.

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FREE "Top 10 Mistakes Attorneys Make and How to Avoid Them" E-book

In a newly revised e-book, legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley outlines 10 of the most common marketing mistakes attorneys make that can lead to the failure of their business, and provides specific strategies and proven principles for avoiding these deadly errors. 

To get your complimentary copy online, click here.

Regardless of your specific situation, this free e-book will help you examine how you are currently finding new clients and recommend specific steps you can immediately start using to grow your practice. 

We have helped thousands of attorneys achieve their goals of creating a financially successful and personally satisfying legal practice. In this e-book you will discover specific principles and tools you can use to grow your practice, too.  

 

They Can't Hire You If They Can't Find You

If you’re an estate planning attorney in Chicago, chances are you’re not looking for clients in Phoenix. You are, as are most attorneys, a local business. Which means you need to optimize your website for local search, as well as employ other tactics to make your firm locally visible to those searching for your services.

LawMarketing.com Editor in Chief Cindy Greenway recently interviewed Chris Dryer, founder of AttorneyRankings.org, who describes the difference between Localized SEO and Traditional SEO and why lawyers who want to connect with clients specifically in their local city should be implementing local SEO tactics:

Here’s another bonus from LawMarketing.com: click on this link for a great free report on 15 Strategies for Attorneys to Increase Google Rank, Control Online Reputations and Maximize Content.

 

10 Tips for SEO Copywriting

Great infographic below from ContentVerve.com with 10 tips for writing content that will boost your website or blog ranking.  SEO is an ever-changing process, so strategies that may have paid off for you a year or two ago no longer apply (i.e., keyword stuffing).  Keep these in mind when you're creating content for your website or blog to help with your ranking:

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Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD Set

The Practice Made Perfect CD set and manual applies Stephen Fairley’s unique High Impact Marketing System to the practice-building challenges faced by solo practitioners and partners at small law firms.  

It includes dozens of specific marketing and sales recommendations that can be easily and quickly applied to your firm, including:

  • The only 7 sure-fire ways to get clients in your door NOW
  • Why advertising doesn’t work for most small law firms
  • The 7 reasons why people don’t buy from you           
  • How to market and sell with USP’s (Unique Selling Proposition)           
  • Using audio logos to attract immediate attention for your business
  • Using low-cost, high impact marketing strategies           
  • Strategies for achieving maximum results from all of your marketing efforts           
  • How to discover your Ideal Target Market
  • 3 critical factors to remember when looking for new clients
  • The NEW sales cycle for professional services
  • How to retain your best clients

Click here to order your Practice Made Perfect for Lawyers CD set and manual now.

 

A List of Google's 200 Search Ranking Factors

Google has said that it uses approximately 200 ranking signals in their algorithm, but I have never seen a list – until now. Digital marketing firms Backlinko and Single Grain have created an infographic with information they aggregated from a multitude of sources on how Google ranks pages and websites.

Click here to view this impressive infographic.

No matter how many times you look at it, it’s intimidating, especially for attorneys who know the value of SEO but certainly don’t have the time to learn what’s necessary to rank well on Google. Thankfully, if you concentrate on the following three factors, you will be covering the stuff that has the most effect on your website’s SEO:

Target keywords – target keywords in your title tags tell Google what your page is about.

Backlinks – building quality links back to your website help boost rank.

Social signals – getting people to share your content on social media sites is already important, and growing more so every day.

As I have said many times in the past, you have two choices when it comes to online marketing: time or money. Your can spend either your time or your money on becoming a law firm marketing expert. We can help you with either. 

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Seminar on Key Performance Indicators: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm Now Available On-Demand

We are now providing one of our most popular seminars – Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm – in an on-demand format, so you can watch and learn at your convenience, as many times as you wish.

Over the last decade we have helped over 9,000 attorneys market and grow their business. During this time we have identified many of the key characteristics of highly successful law firms.

One of the more consistent ones is that they track specific numbers and key indicators that give them instant insight into how their law firm is performing on a weekly and monthly basis.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the numbers that make your law firm run. By analyzing these critical metrics, partners and owners of law firms can easily determine whether they are on track to achieve their goals or if they need to retool and refocus their marketing and business development efforts.

In this fast paced seminar, you learn:

  • How to easily identify the 12 key metrics your law firm needs to track and measure
  • How to set up a system to identify these numbers
  • The 7 critical systems every law firm must have
  • CPL and CPC: the 2 most important numbers every attorney must know in order to succeed
  • How to avoid “paralysis by analysis” and being overwhelmed by too much data
  • Delegating roles and responsibility to your staff
  • Using software to track your KPIs

If you’re a spreadsheet and data driven individual then you will love this seminar! However, if numbers scare you or you tend to ignore them because you have a hard time making heads or tails of all the different data you see, then this seminar is a “can’t miss” event!

We cut through the clutter and give you clear and easy to understand guidance on which numbers really matter the most, how to track this information, and what to do with it once you have it!

To register online for this on-demand seminar, click on this link: Knowing the Numbers That Run Your Law Firm.

Local SEO for Law Firms

Local search is becoming increasingly important when trying to improve the ranking for your law firm website on Google and other search engines. After all, someone searching for an attorney in Scottsdale will not care about a lawyer in Scarsdale...and Google knows that. Google is all about delivering relevant search results to its users...hence, the importance of doing whatever you can to rank well for local search.

How to do this? The infographic below from The Search Ninjas lays it out for you:

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Get All the Law Firm Marketing Strategies You Need to Create A 7-figure Law Practice with Rainmaker In A Box: Volume 2!

Newly released! Rainmaker in a Box: Volume 2 includes:

8 Proven Steps for More & Better Referrals

Discover the proven step-by-step system used to double your referrals from current and former clients and how to build a network of strategic referral partners. Top attorneys have used this exact system to double their referrals in 6 months or less!

7 Strategies to Recession Proof Your Law Firm

Watch and learn as I walk you through the specific strategies top lawyers are using to increase their revenues in this tough economy-and it doesn’t include reducing their fees!

6 Keys to Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Social media has emerged as the fastest way to build a massive platform of prospects! I pull back the curtain and let you in on little known secrets of how attorneys are generating dozens of leads every month from social media.

5 Core Components for Highly Successful Websites & Blogs

My interview with nationally recognized personal injury attorney John Bisnar on how his law firm uses search engine optimization and internet marketing to drive tens of thousands of unique visitors every month to his 30 websites and 10 blogs. Discover proven techniques for converting website visitors into paying clients.

Data DVD: 
Includes all 4 PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations. We recommend you print all these off and take notes on them as you experience these information-packed DVDs!

***For Blog Readers, Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections – we are offering you a $50 discount for Volume 2 and a $100 discount for both Volume 1 and Volume 2 because of your social media presence with The Rainmaker Institute.

Click here now to order!

 

2013 Search Marketer Survey Ranks Social Sharing, Local Search as Top Priorities

The 2013 Search Marketer Survey just released from global Enterprise SEO company BrightEdge shows that social sharing and local search will be even more important this year than last year for page rank.

The study found that Facebook shares had the greatest impact on Google results, and also found that Facebook comments were also a highly ranked factor. This data correlates with a Searchmetrics study last year that found social signals accounted for 5 of the top 6 highest Google ranking factors.

The types of content leading search marketers are focused on in 2013 are reflected in this chart from the report:

And these are the top 10 key takeaways for SEO practices in 2013:

  1. Mobile and tablet search is the next frontier
  2. Local search is bigger than ever
  3. Video offers search and social opportunities
  4. It’s time to quantify and communicate SEO value
  5. ROI across multiple channels like search and social is what truly matters
  6. The C-level is paying more attention to SEO
  7. SEO metrics need to keep up with SERP changes as they happen
  8. Social for SEO is big; so is SEO for Social
  9. Content Marketing is back, and in a big way
  10. Page-centric SEO makes its mark

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FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

 

How to Make Google Fall in Love with Your Website

Although Valentine’s Day was two weeks ago, I just came across the great infographic below from Content Crossroads that synthesizes in plain English what you should be doing to make Google love your website.

Some of these things you can do yourself right away; some will likely require the help of your IT person or SEO consultant to be sure the architecture of your site is up to snuff. 

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FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal

One of the secret tools of Internet marketing for attorneys is the power of having a targeted blog. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with a blog generate 67% more leads per month and B2C marketers generate 88% more leads per month than those without a blog.

Here’s what you’ll discover when you read this report:

  • Why you must have a blog in order to stay relevant
  • 3 keys to successful blogging
  • 7 Guidelines for achieving ROI
  • Your 3 choices for managing your blog and social media efforts
  • And much more!

Click now for your FREE REPORT: How to Use Blogs as a Secret Weapon in Your Online Arsenal.

 

The New SEO Rules for Law Firm Marketing

This recent Mashable infographic demonstrates succinctly how the rules have changed when it comes to good SEO practices:

Good content and good SEO are no longer mutually exclusive entities; today, great content is the engine that drives SEO as far as Google is concerned, and since they are the 800-pound gorilla, anyone not complying is wasting their time.

SEOmoz CEO Rand Fishkin has outlined 5 best practices for law firm marketers looking to maximize SEO value through content marketing:

Create content that makes people want to share.

Know the keywords prospects use to search for what you have to offer so you attract quality traffic.

Make sure your blog is on the same domain/subdomain (use XYZlaw.com/blog instead of blog.XYZlaw.com).

Take a position that people can rally around and write about it often.

Keep your content consistent with your brand. If you’re an estate planning attorney, write about estate planning and nothing else.

Fishkin notes that to be successful at the SEO game, you need to deliver a great experience and build a robust online presence. No arguments here.

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

Feel like you don’t have time for marketing?  Let us show you how to make a plan that runs on “autopilot” – one that attracts new and lucrative clients while you focus on your practice.

Learn how easy it can be to create an effective law firm marketing plan that performs by getting our Free Guide: 5 Easy Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

After working with many ultra-successful lawyers we found five common threads in their marketing plans. This guide outlines these shared elements to provide insight into strategies that work and how to make them work for you.

Click here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!

 

The State of SEO in 2013

Just finished reading a great guest post over on the Duct Tape Marketing blog about the latest trends in SEO. Love what this guy has to say about:

Content as king. Low quality content – article spinning and output from cheap content farms – will not only do your website no good, it will get you penalized by Google. Bad content really is yesterday’s news, and that is great news for those of us who spend a lot of time producing stuff that people really like to read.

Content isn’t just words. A good mix of shareable content – sharp articles, videos, infographics, interesting photos and social media posting --- all counts in driving traffic to your website and getting some Google love. 

SEO is no one-trick pony. Good SEO practices today consist of great content, link and citation building, site optimization strategies, social media participation and mining your date for insights. 

Long live great writers. Sites with great content that people visit time and again to get information on subjects of interest to them establishes those sites as authorities, which Google sees as a primary ranking factor. If you are not a great writer, hire one. But many attorneys are great writers, so this bodes well if you will make the effort to contribute regularly to your blog or website. Just remember your target market and go easy on the legalese. 

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Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers

Based on Stephen’s highly successful seminar series by the same name, this 3-audio CD program covers dozens of practical recommendations and step-by-step sales and marketing techniques for solo practitioners and small law firms.

More than 8,000 attorneys from law firms all over the country have experienced powerful results from attending the Becoming A Rainmaker seminar. It has been sponsored by more than 22 of the largest state and local bar associations.

In this information-packed audio program, you will discover:

  • How to generate more leads by using education-based marketing
  • The relationship between credibility, visibility, tangibility, and consistency
  • How to position your small firm as an industry leader
  • The importance of being perceived as a specialist
  • Why most advertising is a waste of your money
  • What to expect from a Yellow Pages ad
  • The 3 marketing strategies that will produce 80% of your results
  • How to influence the Know, Like and Trust factors
  • Common marketing mistakes lawyers make and how to avoid them
  • How to answer the question, "Why should I buy from you?"
  • Specific ways you can set yourself apart from low-cost lawyers
  • What to do with the 15% of the population that always buys on price
  • Ways to attract your Ideal Target Market
  • The 6 stage sales process you must follow for maximum success

Click to order Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers.

 

How Facebook Graph Search Differs From Google Search

Confused about how the new Facebook Graph Search will differ from Google Search? Here is a simplistic look:

I would venture to say that this infographic may be a tad harsh with Google – for example, when I Google “best coffee shops” I did get some local listings for coffee shops in my area, but they were just coffee places close to me – not ones that I or anyone whose opinion I care about would necessarily say are the “best” coffee shops. Google also served up some articles from the Huffington Post and other publications for the best coffee shops in Houston and D.C., which I don’t care about.

What Facebook Graph Search is supposed to do for me when I type in “best coffee shops” is show me the places my friends like. That is an endorsement I can use.

See the difference?

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On-Demand Webinar: How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients

After paying your employees, the most costly part of your law firm is Lead Generation.

This year your law firm will spend almost 10 times as much generating new leads as it does servicing existing clients!

Generating leads for your law firm is very expensive, yet a common complaint of many attorneys is that they “need more leads.”

Lead Conversion is the most overlooked area at most law firms and it has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars this year!

How? By helping you convert more of those costly leads into more paying clients!

Get this on-demand webinar to learn:

  • 3 major areas to examine when analyzing your law firm
  • 5 numbers every law firm must track to increase their conversion rates
  • A simple diagnostic tool you can use to track your leads and fix your follow up
  • A proven system for converting more leads into paying clients

You can watch the How to Convert Leads Into Paying Clients webinar at your convenience by clicking here now.

 

How Consumers Choose an Attorney: Information Gathering

The new LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® Attorney Selection Research Study was just released yesterday and is something every attorney needs to review.  It is chock full of interesting findings from an in-depth look at how people look for and hire an attorney.

Over the next several days, I am going to post about those study results and provide specific action steps on what attorneys can do to capitalize on this new learning.

First, some numbers:

  • 110 million U.S. consumers have sought legal counsel at least once;
  • 58 million have looked for an attorney in the past year;
  • Of those who looked for an attorney, 57% hired one, 15% decided to use a DIY approach and 13% continued to search

The study found that 76 percent of consumers used the Internet to search for an attorney in the past year.  Most consumers used a four-stage process in their search for an attorney: gather information about a legal issue/case, find a lawyer, validate a lawyer and select a lawyer.

So what sources do consumers use on the Internet to gather information?  The study found:

  • 39% used online search engines, primarily Google
  • 34% visited online legal forums
  • 31% used online directories
  • 31% visited law firm websites
  • 29% visited legal blogs
  • 26% used social media sites

Translated into law firm marketing terminology, in order to be found by a consumer searching for an attorney in their first stage of search – the gathering of information – attorneys need to:

Employ skillful SEO tactics on their websites and blogs (see post on Law Firm Marketing SEO: Don't Forget The Basics)

Answer consumer questions on online legal forums (see post on The Do's and Don'ts of Answering Legal Questions on Avvo )

Beef up profiles on Avvo.com, Lawyers.com, etc. (see post on Social Media for Attorneys: How to Leverage Avvo's Marketing Power to Generate Leads)

Have a content-rich, SEO-compliant law firm website (see post on Transform Your Law Firm's Website into a Client Generating Machine)

Have a blog (see post on Law Firm Marketing: Top 10 Ways to Generate Leads From Your Blog)

Participate on social media sites, especially Facebook (see post on Social Media Marketing for Lawyers: How to Increase Your Facebook Fan Engagement)

Of course, we cover all of the above in-depth at our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.  There’s one coming up next weekend in Orlando and two others later in the Fall:

October 26-27, 2012 – Scottsdale, AZ

November 16-17, 2012 – New York City, NY

You can still get in on our Early Bird Discount for our upcoming Rainmaker Retreats, so be sure to register now to receive the $200 discount.  The Early Bird Discount for our Oct. 5-6 in Orlando ends this Friday, Sept. 28.

Go to www.rainmakerretreat.com or call 888-588-5891 to register now.

 

How To Find the Right Keywords to Get Found in Online Search

At our Rainmaker Retreat in Orange County this past weekend, I fielded several questions from attorneys about keywords – how to find the right ones and how often to use them.

Here are 3 steps to finding the right keywords for your law practice:

Step 1: Make a list of 5-6 words and/or phrases that best describe your practice.

Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and think about what words they would use to find you. Hint: it is not the name of your firm. Choose words or phrases that describe exactly what you do, in laymen’s terms: i.e., Chicago divorce lawyer, car accident attorney, etc.

Step 2: Choose your keywords or key phrases based on relevance and difficulty.

Competition for the word “lawyer” is about as fierce as it gets, which means it would be very difficult for your site to rank high in search results for that word alone. The smaller you are, the more specific you want to get, choosing keywords that have less competition. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to see what the search volume is for your keywords and key phrases. Look for similar words that have less competition, but are still relevant to your business. Then strike a good balance between relevance and difficulty. Don’t forget to include long-tail keywords – i.e., “Chicago divorce attorney specializing in child custody” – most people are using those for search these days.

Step 3: Use your keywords and key phrases throughout your website.

Choose the best 3-5 individual keywords and your top 10 key phrases and use them in the content of your website as well as in the page titles and metadata. If you can secure a URL for these keywords, use that as well. Be sure not to “stuff” your content with too many keywords – your site should still be written for a human being, not a search engine. 

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NEW Webinar Tomorrow, 9/18: Business Development Strategies for Litigators

Business development is especially difficult for litigators, who often work for months on a case and bring it to a successful conclusion, only to find they have a gaping hole of billable time to fill!

Are you or your litigators building the referral network you need to bring in litigation business?

Listen in on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. ET as nationally recognized business development expert Stephen Fairley and featured guest Larry Bodine, editor-in-chief of Lawyers.com, help you develop a practical plan to grow your litigation practice. Learn:

  • Which strategies you need to put into place in order to obtain repeat business from former clients
  • How to build a referral network to build your practice-even while you are prepping for a trial
  • How to get more referrals from mega-firms who are conflicted out of a case
  • How to identify small firm transactional lawyers who can send you litigation referrals
  • How to focus on the “hottest” areas of practice, as identified by market research
  • Methods our clients use to attract larger clients with bigger cases
  • How to ethically promote your “big wins” to the media and via the Internet
  • How to apply one of the most effective marketing techniques for litigators
  • How to position yourself as an industry expert that attracts highly profitable clients

If the scheduled webinar time doesn’t work for you, you can still get access to a recording of the live webinar to watch at your convenience.  Simply click here to register online for the Business Development Strategies for Litigation Attorneys webinar – everyone who registers receives access to the recording of the live webinar, so you can watch it again or for the first time!

 

SEO for Lawyers: How to Make a Great First Impression on Google

First impressions are lasting ones, not just in person but also online. So how do you ensure that a prospective client or referral source that is Googling you likes what they see? 

As the infographic below illustrates, most people – 94% -- only look at the first page of search results on Google. If they don’t find you there, you automatically lose credibility. 

See that stat that says only 2% of people own their first page of results? I happen to be one of those people. Google my name and you will find that the first page of results is made up of my websites and profiles, meaning that I am firmly in control of my brand online.

You want to own as much of the first page as possible, which means you not only need to have a website with relevant content and keywords, you also need to have profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ (the big 4), a blog, videos on Vimeo and YouTube and more:

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money!

Feel like you don’t have time for marketing?  Let us show you how to make a plan that runs on “autopilot” – one that attracts new and lucrative clients while you focus on your practice.

Learn how easy it can be to create an effective law firm marketing plan that performs by getting our Free Guide: 5 Easy Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

After working with many ultra-successful lawyers we found five common threads in their marketing plans. This guide outlines these shared elements to provide insight into strategies that work and how to make them work for you.

Click here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!

Internet Marketing for Lawyers: Top Tips for Local SEO

If you’re an estate planning attorney in Detroit, chances are you’re not looking for clients in Phoenix. You are, as are most attorneys, a local business. Which means you need to optimize your website for local search, as well as employ other tactics to make your firm locally visible to those searching for your services.

Here are some tips for optimizing your website or blog for local search:

Include local keywords in your content, URL and tags. If someone is looking for legal services, it is highly unlikely they will type the name of your firm into a Google search box. This is why I always recommend a URL with your location and practice specialty – i.e., www.FortMyersEstatePlanning.com. Location should be in your page title, header tags, meta tags and content as well, and you should also include long-tail keyword variations for your area.

Blog. Every time you add a new post to your blog is a new opportunity to get found using local search terms. Be sure your content discusses local issues and always add your location somewhere in your post – for example, instead of saying “We can help you...” write “Our Detroit estate planning law firm can help you...”

Optimize your site for mobile. Almost half of Google Map usage is on mobile devices, so you need to make your site mobile-friendly. To learn how, see my post last month on If You Lack a Mobile Website, You're Turning Prospects Away.

Local contact information. Be sure you have a real “Contact Us” page with your physical address, phone number and Google map.

In addition you should employ these additional tactics for getting good local SEO:

  • Add your firm to local directories like your local Chamber of Commerce, bar association and other business organizations.
  • Have a Google+ account.
  • Get reviews on Yelp! and other similar sites that profile local businesses.

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PI Attorneys: Register Now for PILMMA Fall Summit Sept. 21-22 in Las Vegas

Join me at the Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association (PILMMA) Fall Legal Marketing & Management Summit on Sept. 21-22 in Las Vegas, when I will be making a special presentation on 5 Proven Strategies to Double Your Referrals.

There are a host of other nationally renowned speakers who will be joining me for this prestigious summit, including:

James Mitchell Brown, author of the book Marketing for the Contingency Fee Law Firm, is the nation’s leading consultant for contingency fee firms. Brown has been an attorney since 1973.  He formed Attorney Consultant Inc. in 2004 and has been recognized throughout the country for his expertise in teaching marketing and business management skills to attorneys.

Mark Wolfe has been practicing in the area of personal injury litigation since 1987 with an emphasis on auto-negligence cases. He is a partner in the Mobile, Alabama firm of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe. He has tried over 200 car crash cases to verdict and handled over 3500 car crash claims or cases.

Patrick Anderson will share the strategies and results of successful PI attorneys who are using iPhone apps to bring in “winnable cases”. His Case Study documents a step-by-step marketing blueprint used by PI firms to generate thousands of legal app downloads in a few short months.

For those who are not already members of PILMMA, you will be able to attend this two-day summit and get two months of PILMMA Gold Membership rights at one all-inclusive rate. PILMMA members and non-members can register online -- simply click this link and learn how you can start snagging these big cases for yourself!

 

SEO for Lawyers: When It Comes to Keywords, Longer Is Better

Ever hear of long-tail keywords? Even if you’re new to the search engine optimization (SEO) game, you may have heard the term but are not really sure what it means. 

If you know what a keyword is – a search term that people use to find you on the Internet – then a long-tail keyword is just a more specific search term, like “Dallas DUI lawyer”. As this graphic illustrates, long-tail keywords now account for 70% of searches:

Long-tail keywords are usually at least three words long and deliver more targeted traffic to your website, which in turn means better conversion rates.   There is also less competition for long-tail keywords, so your site is likely to rank higher for those specific keywords than others that just use the term “lawyer” or “attorney”.

More and more people are using longer search phrases to find what they need – like “what to do if you are in a car accident” or “how to find a good divorce attorney in Santa Ana”. If your website includes these phrases, it is more likely it will appear near the top of search results for prospects you want to contact you.

This SEO tip and others are what we cover extensively during our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat. See below for more information.

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FREE Rainmaker Retreat Preview DVD – Learn Before You Go!

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then click here to receive a free DVD of your colleagues (and even your competitors) describing their experiences at our 2-day law firm marketing boot camp, the Rainmaker Retreat.

Upcoming dates for the Rainmaker Retreat include:

September 14-12, 2012 – Orange County, CA

October 5-6, 2012 – Orlando, FL

October 26-27, 2012 – Scottsdale, AZ

Instead of us telling you how these 2 days will transform your practice, listen to your peers describe their experiences in their own words by clicking here to order your complimentary DVD right now.

 

When It Comes to SEO, It's Important to Stay Local

When it comes to real estate, we all know it’s about “location, location, location.” If your practice depends on geographically local clientele (most do), when it comes to Internet search, the rules are the same – you want to be easily found.

Optimizing your website for local search is critical because search engines like Google have become one of the main ways people find products and services. To capitalize on this, the content on your website needs to be optimized for local search. Here’s how:

Geographical content. Include your physical address, maps and the town names in the area you serve. Add geographical meta tags in the head section of your web pages by using this handy Geo Tag Tool.

Use local keywords. Add a location to your product or service keywords. For example, if you are an estate planning attorney in Toledo, use “Toledo estate planning attorney” instead of just “estate planning attorney”.

Build a community-focused blog. Have your law firm marketing blog focus on events and activities that are happening in the communities you serve. Tie local news into posts that are relevant to your services.

Get locals to contribute. Find other non-competitive businesses that serve your same market and invite them to contribute content to your blog.   Feature local clients in success story videos and post them on your website.

Use rich snippets. Rich snippets are pieces of code imbedded in your site that help users find your site when it references a location. Google provides a good rich snippet tutorial that will tell you what you need to know to integrate this technology into your site and blog.

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FREE Law Firm Marketing Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor

It should be no secret that the Internet is one of the most cost effective lead sources for attorneys today. Even if a portion of your client base includes referrals, you can be sure that they are checking you out on the Web before they give you a call.

But how do you know you are going about it the right way?

Please give us a call at 888-588-5891 or click here to sign up for a free one-on-one Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor who will listen to your specific marketing challenges. 

The Rainmaker Advisors are hand-picked and trained to identify marketing strategies that you can implement to grow your practice.

 

Law Firm Marketing SEO: Don't Forget The Basics

There are eight basic SEO elements that should remain consistent on your website to achieve a high Google rank, no matter how many times Google tweaks its search algorithms – which it does at least once a day!

Summarized, here are the rules of the road to higher rankings:

Basic keyword SEO rules – including your target keywords in your URLs, meta tags, titles and descriptions as well as in your page content.

High quality inbound links – creating high quality, unique content that others will want to link to and reference can have a huge impact on your website ranking.

Authority – build authority for your site through participation in social media, providing commentary and links to other authoritative sources in your space and quality inbound link building.

Quality user experience – Google rewards sites that are well designed, easy to navigate, load quickly and keep visitors engaged (low bounce rates).

Fresh content – creating new content and updating old content regularly boosts authority and news ranking.

Content diversity – Google prefers diversity in format and content, so include photos, videos and presentations wherever possible.

Feedback – syndicate, promote and provide people with an easy way to share feedback via a blog hosted or linked to your website.

Browser compatibility – your site needs to be compatible with the latest browser versions, including mobile.

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FREE Law Firm Marketing Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor

Having an Internet presence is a must for attorneys who want to effectively market and grow their firms. 

It should be no secret that the Internet is one of the most cost effective lead sources for attorneys today. Even if a portion of your client base includes referrals, you can be sure that they are checking you out on the Web before they give you a call.

But how do you know you are going about it the right way?

Please give us a call at 888-588-5891 or click here to sign up for a free one-on-one Strategy Session with a Rainmaker Advisor who will listen to your specific marketing challenges. 

The Rainmaker Advisors are hand-picked and trained to identify marketing strategies that you can implement to grow your practice.

 

Law Firm Marketing: A Guide to SEO Made Easy

Most attorneys in solo or small practices are do-it-yourselfers, multi-taskers and wearers of all sorts of different hats. They almost have to be. When I see them at a Rainmaker Retreat or at one of my frequent appearances, they are the ones most intent on getting every possible drop of knowledge out of what is being presented. 

As I tell them, you have two choices about what you can invest in law firm marketing: time or money. After learning more about the intricacies of law firm marketing today, most choose to invest their money, usually on our done-for-you legal marketing services. 

There are a few, however, who want to master it on their own. This infographic is for them – and also for those of you who may have brought us or another legal marketing firm on board, but want to understand a bit more about what we do:

An Easy Guide to SEO

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Getting to the Top of Google: The Power of Link Building for Lawyers Webinar

Getting to the top of Google for any term related to the legal industry is highly competitive! Now you can get a recording of this recent webinar that will tell you how!

Attorneys spend millions of dollars every year on Pay Per Click (PPC) and banner advertisements, trying to drive more traffic to their website. Far too often it comes down to how much money a law firm has to spend on PPC to outbid their competition.

How are small law firms and solo practitioners supposed to compete when attorneys are spending $20 to $100 per click for keywords?

If you’re thinking, “there must be a better way!” then this webinar is for you!

You will discover a little known secret of how hundreds of attorneys are rapidly increasing their website rankings in 90 to 120 days through building targeted links back to their websites.

Join us and discover:

  • What an “inbound link” is and why Google loves them
  • One of the fastest ways to get your website blacklisted by Google (make this mistake at your own peril)
  • Link building on the low down-building links on a shoestring budget
  • The benefits of being at the top of the search engine rankings
  • The ongoing debate between “quality” and “quantity” links
  • Selecting the right keywords to go after with your search engine efforts
  • Which directories are worth paying for…and which ones are not
  • The top 5 questions you must ask before you hire any link building company

When you register, you will receive access to the recording of the webinar. Click on this Getting to the Top of Google linknow to register! 

Law Firm Marketing: How to Create SEO-Friendly Content

If you’re a regular reader here, you know that I’ve discussed many times how Google loves fresh content and their recent Penguin (why the name? search me!) algorithm update makes having SEO-friendly content more important than ever to rank favorably in organic search results.

Here are five tips for creating SEO-friendly law firm marketing content on your website or blog:

1. Keep it fresh. Add updates to existing content and keep building page links from within your own site from external referral sites. Update headlines and enable comments on your posts, which refresh the content as well.

2. Be original. Cutting and pasting content from another site is not only plagiarism, it also is of absolutely no value to you whatsoever in Google’s eyes. You can rewrite content to create an original post, so if you see something you like, rewrite and repurpose it.

3. Size matters. When it comes to content contributing to SEO, less is not more. Strive to create posts or articles that explore a topic deeply enough that others will want to link to it as an authoritative source.

4. Be an authority. Creating authority takes time on your own, so while you are dedicating yourself to that, have others who are already recognized online authorities on your subject matter contribute to your blog or website.

5. Think local. Local search is becoming more important than ever because people generally search by geography... i.e., a “Phoenix divorce lawyer”, not just “divorce lawyer.” Include location references in your content.

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Stop Wasting Precious Time and Money

Feel like you don’t have time for marketing?  Let us show you how to make a plan that runs on “autopilot” – one that attracts new and lucrative clients while you focus on your practice.

Learn how easy it can be to create an effective law firm marketing plan that performs by getting our Free Guide: 5 Easy Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

After working with many ultra-successful lawyers we found five common threads in their marketing plans. This guide outlines these shared elements to provide insight into strategies that work and how to make them work for you.

There are two versions: one for Attorneys in Solo Practice and one for Attorneys in a Small Firm.  Click here to download, and start using these proven strategies today!

SEO Basics for Lawyers: How to Be Found Through Social Search

If you want to obtain higher rankings for your website and blog on Google, Bing and other search engines today, there are some things you should be doing online to optimize your sites for social search:

Add original, high quality content to your blog and other social media networks.  As I’ve said many times, Google loves fresh content!  However, it’s not enough for it just to be fresh – it also needs to be original and relevant, and you need to post frequently, at least 3-5 times a week.

Add social sharing to all your online activities.  Adding a “Share” capability to your E-newsletters, website, blog and social networking profiles will help boost your visibility in social search.

Establish a Google+ Profile.  Set up a Google+ profile here and create links to all your social content.  You’ll need a profile on Google in order to use the new Google+1 button, which is Google’s answer to the Facebook “Like” button and is becoming more ubiquitous as awareness of its existence grows.

Use videos and photos.  Video and photo files are more likely to be shared online than text, so be sure your website, blog and social pages contain lots of these files.

Understand the importance of the now.  Google has decided that real-time information is more relevant and rewards content posted on real-time networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with higher search rankings.  If you are a Twitter user, activate your Twitter Location and use social check-ins on Facebook.

Google+ for Attorneys: How to Embrace the Review & Reap the Rewards

I blogged earlier this week on Search Marketing for Law Firms: Everybody on Board the Google+ Local...or Else, in which I discussed how Google’s integration of Zagat reviews and review system into search results and its migration of Google Places to Google+ Local shows exactly how seriously Google is taking social signals when it comes to search results.

The fact is, attorneys cannot ignore Google+ and here’s why: when it comes to Internet search, Google owns the playing field.

In the new Google world, social rules. To gain a top listing on Google, you are going to have to have reviews, and lots of them. Of course, you want positive reviews because, after all, the idea is to attract new clients, not put people off.

Attorneys are going to have to embrace the review to reap the rewards of showing up well in search and driving traffic to your website. Here are some tips for doing this:

Just ask.  Most people enjoy sharing their experience with service providers, especially if it’s been a good one.  Just the simple act of asking a client to provide you with a review lets them know what they think is important to you – which makes them feel good.  You can start by contacting your old (happy) clients and asking them to provide a review.

Create great client experiences.  Cultivating a culture of great client service is a must for gaining positive reviews. Think about the greatest customer service experiences you’ve had and try to emulate them in your firm.

Implement a process for getting reviews.  Attorneys need to create a process for making reviews happen. Always look for those moments in your relationships with clients to create a review opportunity – when you have won a case for a client, when you have helped someone avoid litigation – all opportunities for you to generate a great review.

Remember that before they can post a review, your clients must have a Google+ account. Make it easy for them to review you by providing them with information on how to create a Google+ account (they automatically have one if they use Gmail) and how to post a review on Google+.

 

SEO for Law Firms: How to Create a Great Law Firm Marketing Website

I am in Houston today for our long-anticipated Texas Rainmaker Retreat. We have a large, enthusiastic group of lawyers eager to soak in all the latest information on law firm marketing. Of course, social media and SEO are big topics of interest.

There are certain basic SEO elements that should remain consistent on your law firm marketing website to achieve a high Google rank, no matter how many times Google tweaks its search algorithms – which it does at least once a day!

Here are some basic SEO rules to follow to ensure prospects find you online:

Basic keyword SEO rules – include your target keywords in your URLs, meta tags, titles and descriptions as well as in your page content.

High quality inbound links – creating high quality, unique content that others will want to link to and reference can have a huge impact on your website ranking.

Authority – build authority for your site through participation in social media, providing commentary and links to other authoritative sources in your space and quality inbound link building.

Quality user experience – Google rewards sites that are well designed, easy to navigate, load quickly and keep visitors engaged (low bounce rates).

Fresh content – creating new content and updating old content regularly boosts authority and news ranking.

Content diversity – Google prefers diversity in format and content, so include photos, videos and presentations wherever possible.

Feedback – syndicate, promote and provide people with an easy way to share feedback via a blog hosted or linked to your website.

Browser compatibility – your site needs to be compatible with the latest browser versions, including mobile.

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FREE Webinar: How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle

When it comes to law firm marketing, it is truly a jungle out there! Mastering social media, SEO and Internet marketing strategies – and making sure your efforts align with legal marketing rules – can give even the most experienced attorney pause.

In his new one-hour How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle webinar, Rainmaker Institute CEO Stephen Fairley will lead you through the step-by-step actions you should take throughout the course of the next 12 months to substantially increase your revenues. You will learn:

  • How to target market to get your ideal client
  • Why your firm is not getting more referrals and how to change it
  • How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
  • Effective online and offline marketing strategies
  • How to create a financial plan to fund your marketing budget
  • The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
  • 4 ways to create a unique competitive advantage
  • What is critical to have in place today’s hyper-competitive online focused marketplace

This FREE webinar will also give you a preview of the 65 different marketing techniques and strategies taught at our 2-day legal marketing boot camp.

Upcoming webinar dates include:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Click on this link to register now for the FREE How to Attract Clients in Today’s Marketing Jungle webinar.

 

Meet Top Nashville Personal Injury Attorney and Former President of the Tennessee Association of Justice Phillip Miller: A Rainmaker Attorney Client Profile

It’s been said that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.  And what I love about my work is interacting with hundreds of bright, passionate attorneys like those I meet at our two-day law firm marketing intensive, the Rainmaker Retreat – people like Nashville personal injury attorney, trial consultant, and the former President of the Tennessee Association of Justice Phillip H. Miller.

Phillip practices personal injury law and we first met a couple of years ago when he attended a Rainmaker Retreat.  Phillip has a true affinity for personal injury law and for helping people from all walks of life.  He and his firm are deeply involved in the Nashville community, supporting the Tennessee Head Start program for the past 19 years, the Nashville Humane Society, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Phillip is an attorney who walks the walk. 

Phillip Miller was recently honored to serve on the faculty of a national program on trial advocacy at Harvard Law School, sponsored by the American Association for Justice.  He is one of only six attorneys on the faculty, and the only Tennessee attorney to serve as a faculty member for this prestigious program!

After attending our Rainmaker Retreat, Phillip became a member of our Attorney Mastermind group, which he says he found highly useful as a way to find out what other top rainmaker attorneys are doing, what works and what doesn’t work. 

We continue to work with Phillip designing, writing and sending out his e-newsletter to interested prospects, clients, and referral sources. Many of our clients have found a monthly newsletter is one of the most cost effective forms of marketing their law firm.

In addition, we have been working with Phillip on generating more business using Internet marketing and search engine optimization. As of last month, his Nashville personal injury website was on the first page of Google for 32 terms of which he was ranked in the #1 position for 18 of those terms!

If you've been reading our legal marketing blog for long, then you will recognize the importance of being found on the first page of Google for your key terms because 90% of people never look beyond the first page when searching for a service provider!

Being on the first page of Google for 32 of his top key terms, like “Nashville car accident attorney,” positions his website ahead of almost all of his competitors. Phillip Miller told us it has resulted in a significant increase in traffic to his website:  “It all comes together.  The link-building The Rainmaker Institute is doing for me raises my website in search results, which leads to more traffic, which has generated cases for my law firm as a result!”

If you are interested in learning how we can help you stay connected with prospects, clients and referral sources with a monthly newsletter or you want to get to the top of Google for your top key terms, then we invite you to give us a call and set up a complimentary Strategy Session with one of our Rainmaker Advisors. You can reach us at 888-588-5891.

We also invite you to learn more about our Rainmaker Retreats:

March 30-31, 2012 – San Diego, CA

April 27-28, 2012 – Chicago, IL

May 18-19, 2012 – Houston, TX 

Join us and learn why the Rainmaker Retreat is the one law firm marketing boot camp you cannot afford to miss this year!

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Free CD: Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices

Get your free CD on Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices by #1 Best-Selling Author And Nationally Recognized Law Firm Marketing Expert Stephen Fairley, and listen as he reveals A Proven System To Generate More and Better Referrals, Find New Clients Fast, and Fill Your Law Practice! Discover:

  • How 1 piece of simple technology in your practice will drastically increase your communication with prospects, clients and referral sources – resulting in a major revenue boost
  • 5 ways to market and position yourself as a recognized expert
  • How 2 Attorneys promoted their law firms to over 100,000 people for less than $100 in 2 hours
  • The 1 item you must absolutely have to create a Million Dollar Law Practice (hint: Not having this will almost guarantee your failure!)
  • 6 BIGGEST secrets to generating more and better referrals
  • How to create a proven network of 30 new Strategic Referral Partners in the next 90 days

To obtain your free CD, click here now.

 

Internet Marketing for Attorneys: SEO Makes Biggest Impact on Lead Generation

According to WebMarketing123’s 2011 State of Digital Marketing Report, which surveyed 500 B2B and B2C marketing professionals, SEO makes the largest impact when it comes to generating leads. 

53 percent of all survey respondents said SEO makes the largest impact on generating leads, followed by 28 percent for PPC and 19 percent for social media. Not surprisingly, 75 percent of the B2C marketers are most active on Facebook (75 percent), while B2B marketers are more active evenly across the three leading social networks – Facebook (34%), Twitter (26%) and LinkedIn (25%).

Here is an infographic outlining the findings from this survey:

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Want to Learn More Social Media Marketing Techniques for Attorneys? Attend a Rainmaker Retreat!

If you are interested in building a lifestyle law practice through effective law firm marketing, then come to one of our upcoming Rainmaker Retreats:

January 27-28, 2012 – Las Vegas, NV

February 10-11, 2012 – Orlando, FL

March 30-31, 2012 – San Diego, CA

April 27-28, 2012 – Chicago, IL

If you want to learn more about the Rainmaker Retreat and why it is a proven legal marketing system that has helped over 8,000 attorneys find more and better clients, then register now for one of our one-hour complimentary teleseminars:

Thursday, January 26

1pm PT | 2pm MT | 3pm CT | 4pm ET  

Thursday, February 2

12pm PT | 1pm MT | 2pm CT | 3pm ET

Wednesday, February 8

11am PT | 12pm MT | 1pm CT | 2pm ET

Join us and learn why the Rainmaker Retreat is the one law firm marketing boot camp you cannot afford to miss!

 

Internet Marketing for Lawyers: Why SEO is Critical

If gaining new clients is important to your business, then making sure your site is optimized is vitally important. If your site doesn’t come up on top when people are searching for keywords related to your services, you are missing out on getting new clients – and your competitors are likely picking them up.


Here is some important information that explains why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important to attorneys:

Validation: Potential clients may have already decided that they are likely to hire your firm or possibly a specific lawyer at your firm due to your existing reputation or based on a referral. However statistics and Internet studies show that now, more than ever, people are searching online to help establish trust and comfort before engaging someone’s services. They want to see pictures, read credentials and they also try to get a glimpse of your vibe and style from your website. They may search by an attorney’s name or the firm name, but they are also likely to search by keyword phrases like “family law attorney in Los Angeles”.

Searching is a habit: It has been noted that a lot of people (probably more than you think) use Google instead of typing in a URL. They often have Google set as their home page and find it easier to just search for a keyword phrase or your name or firm name, rather than type in a URL. Even though it is usually pretty easy to get ranked on your name or firm name, that isn’t always the case and they may not find you unless you have good search engine presence.

Hitting the Web before the pavement: Before going to physical office locations, consumers are using search engines to find service providers and doing research before calling or going for a consultation.

Local Search and Geo-targeting: An increasingly popular vertical of the search industry is local search, especially with the advent of smart phones and mobile Internet access. People are more often searching for region-specific products and services. We see more and more searches like “Los Angeles criminal attorney” and with geo-targeting, people no longer even need to type in the regional parameter. The engines can pinpoint your location to within 7 miles of where you are from your IP address (the exception to that is AOL, where it appears that everyone is in Virginia).  So a search for “criminal attorney” by someone in Los Angeles would turn up different results than the same search done by someone in San Francisco. Making sure you are optimized is important so your site comes up on top – especially if someone is searching on their Blackberry and looking specifically for a local office.

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Free CD: Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices

Get your free CD on Insider Small Law Firm Marketing Practices by #1 Best-Selling Author And Nationally Recognized Law Firm Marketing Expert Stephen Fairley, and listen as he reveals A Proven System To Generate More and Better Referrals, Find New Clients Fast, and Fill Your Law Practice! Discover:

  • How 1 piece of simple technology in your practice will drastically increase your communication with prospects, clients and referral sources – resulting in a major revenue boost
  • 5 ways to market and position yourself as a recognized expert
  • How 2 Attorneys promoted their law firms to over 100,000 people for less than $100 in 2 hours
  • The 1 item you must absolutely have to create a Million Dollar Law Practice (hint: Not having this will almost guarantee your failure!)
  • 6 BIGGEST secrets to generating more and better referrals
  • How to create a proven network of 30 new Strategic Referral Partners in the next 90 days

To obtain your free CD, click here now.

 

 

Internet Marketing for Attorneys: How to Keep Up With Changes in SEO Practices

At our Rainmaker Retreat last weekend, one attorney asked, “How can I stay up with SEO since it changes so fast?”

The answer is, unless you’re ready to change careers, you probably can’t.

There is an entire industry devoted to the practice of SEO and keeping on top of the changes in search engine algorithms that directly impact how websites are served up to searchers. To become adept at practicing SEO, you would probably need to abandon the practice of law. 

SEO takes time, and small firms and solos usually don’t have much of that to devote to something other than client work and running the business.  If all your time is taken up with focusing on what you can’t outsource, you should consider outsourcing your SEO to someone who can be just as effective at it – or more – than you are.

Before you do, however, be sure you have measurable goals if and when you outsource so you can see if you’re getting the bang you want for your buck.

Many solos and small firms have already decided that outsourcing is the best option for them. If you're in that group, then whomever you choose to outsource your SEO program to, just make sure they have experience working with attorneys. 

When you interview a legal marketing company, be sure they meet these criteria:

  • They can point to other attorneys they work with;
  • They have a written blueprint for how they intend to generate leads for your law firm;
  • They clearly integrate blogs and social media and see one as an extension of the other;
  • They charge a flat fee that’s reasonable based on results;
  • They have clearly identified strategies to track and measure actual results from your blog and social media. Having a written guarantee of results is even better.

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairly unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

  • How to determine the best source for your referrals
  • How to explain your ideal target market to a referral source
  • How to get referrals from other attorneys
  • Whether online directories are a good referral source
  • How to network effectively
  • And much, much more!

Click here to get your free report today.

 

Search Engine Marketing for Lawyers: Don't Forget The Basics

An excellent post today at SearchEngineWatch.com provides the eight basic SEO elements that should remain consistent on your law firm marketing websites to achieve a high Google rank, no matter how many times Google tweaks its search algorithms – which it does at least once a day!

Summarized, here are the rules of the road to higher rankings:

Basic keyword SEO rules – including your target keywords in your URLs, meta tags, titles and descriptions as well as in your page content.

High quality inbound links – creating high quality, unique content that others will want to link to and reference can have a huge impact on your website ranking.

Authority – build authority for your site through participation in social media, providing commentary and links to other authoritative sources in your space and quality inbound link building.

Quality user experience – Google rewards sites that are well designed, easy to navigate, load quickly and keep visitors engaged (low bounce rates).

Fresh content – creating new content and updating old content regularly boosts authority and news ranking.

Content diversity – Google prefers diversity in format and content, so include photos, videos and presentations wherever possible.

Feedback – syndicate, promote and provide people with an easy way to share feedback via a blog hosted or linked to your website.

Browser compatibility – your site needs to be compatible with the latest browser versions, including mobile.

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Sept. 28 Webinar: How to Answer the Question, "Why Should I Hire You?"

One of the toughest questions attorneys get from a potential client is, “Why should I hire you?”

When faced with this question, most attorneys fall back on talking about the quality of their services, their experience and the size of their law firm.

Prepare to have your eyes opened to the truth when you attend our one-hour How to Answer the Question, “Why Should I Hire You?”: Creating a Unique Competitive Advantage webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET:

  • Why quality does NOT matter! (Yes, you read that correctly, quality does not matter when it comes to closing a prospect)
  • The #1 reason why prospects “shop you on price”
  • How most attorneys completely miss the point when talking about their experience
  • The 4 biggest reasons to emphasize when talking with prospects
  • Overcoming common objections attorneys encounter
  • Winning over skeptics by focusing on the numbers of your practice
  • Case studies of how top attorneys respond when asked the ultimate question
  • How to overcome price objections even before you meet with a prospect
  • How to respond if someone says, “Your price is too high” or “That’s too much money!”
  • How to get potential clients to stop making price an objection once and for all
  • And 8 more effective ways to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”

To register online for the Sept. 28 webinar on Creating a Unique Competitive Advantage, click here

 

Why SEO Matters to Your Law Firm Marketing Efforts

Are you still trying to figure out why search engine optimization (SEO) -- the art and science of artificially boosting your website or blog to the organic results (versus paid advertising) for specific search terms – should matter to your law firm marketing efforts?

New research from the Pew Research Center shows that 92% of online adults use search engines to find information on the Web, and a majority of those use search every day:

So what SEO tactics are the most effective? SEO research firm MarketingSherpa featured this chart from their latest Search Marketing Benchmark Report-SEO Edition:

Keyword research, title tags, meta descriptions and a good URL structure are the “low hanging fruit” of SEO and should be done first. Content creation has the most impact, but takes the most effort.

If you don’t know how to integrate SEO tactics into your law firm marketing plan, then I invite you to attend a Rainmaker Retreat, our two-day law firm marketing boot camp where you will leave with a comprehensive marketing plan for your practice. Here are the upcoming dates:

October 7-8, 2011: San Francisco, CA

October 21-22, 2011: Livingston, NJ

November 11-12, 2011: Chicago, IL

December 2-3, 2011: Los Angeles, CA

Registration information is available by visiting the Rainmaker Retreat website, www.RainmakerRetreat.com or by calling 888-588-5891.

***NOTE: For those of you attending the State Bar of California Annual Meeting this week, drop by our booth (#504) to talk with us about your law firm marketing goals and challenges. We’ll be giving out complimentary marketing materials that I guarantee you will find useful!

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Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice

Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process.  Stephen Fairly unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report.  Read and discover:

  • How to determine the best source for your referrals
  • How to explain your ideal target market to a referral source
  • How to get referrals from other attorneys
  • Whether online directories are a good referral source
  • How to network effectively
  • And much, much more!

Click here to get your free report today.

 

Law Firm Marketing: 3 Key Reasons to Optimize Your Website Now

The old saying, “He who hesitates is lost” is more applicable now than ever when it comes to search engine optimization.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of artificially boosting your website or blog to the organic results (versus paid advertising) for specific search terms.  Optimizing your website makes it easier for prospective clients to find you, and for your site to rise above all the others that are clamoring for their attention.

Here are three key reasons why you need to optimize your website now:

More and smarter competitors.  More and more law firms are getting web savvy as they wake up to the fact that people use search engines today more than ever to find just about everything.  SEO is becoming a higher priority for law firm marketers who realize the intrinsic value of not just being found, but of being found first.

It’s a digital world.  Most of the communication taking place today occurs digitally via email or online via web chat.  Not only is digital a greener technology, it lets us communicate and gather information in the way we want: faster.  Our communication lives have changed forever and there’s no going back, only forward.

Growth of mobile technology.  Mobile marketing is growing at an explosive rate, so those who have already optimized online can make an easier transition as communication migrates to new mobile platforms.

Because of these three reasons, SEO is more essential than ever to the success of your law firm marketing program. 

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FREE "Top 10 Mistakes Attorneys Make and How to Avoid Them" E-book

In a newly revised e-book, legal marketing expert Stephen Fairley outlines 10 of the most common marketing mistakes attorneys make that can lead to the failure of their business, and provides specific strategies and proven principles for avoiding these deadly errors.

Get your complimentary copy online here.

Regardless of your specific situation, this free e-book will help you examine how you are currently finding new clients and recommend specific steps you can immediately start using to grow your practice.

We have helped thousands of attorneys achieve their goals of creating a financially successful and personally satisfying legal practice. In this e-book you will discover specific principles and tools you can use to grow your practice, too. 

 

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Internet Marketing for Law Firms: Are You Tracking the Competition?

If you have a lot of competitors who are SEO savvy or see the value in hiring an SEO expert, they may be working just as hard as you are to increase their rankings -- and only 10 of you can be on Google’s first page!

Savvy SEO people are constantly analyzing their competitors to find out what they are doing and what can be done to “beat” them in the rankings, especially for highly competitive practice areas in major metro areas like Phoenix.

SEO, like most marketing strategies, is always a function of time or money.
To win at SEO, you must invest in one or the other. Either you need to learn how to do SEO for yourself (invest a lot of your time) or hire someone to do it for you (invest your money).

If you chose to do it yourself, be prepared for a steep learning curve. I have personally invested tens of thousands of dollars hiring top SEO experts and going to industry conferences to learn what I know, but it is still a never ending struggle to stay with the pack, much less ahead of the curve! When you are looking to hire a link building expert, be sure they know the legal industry. It’s entirely different building links for a law firm versus a retail store or a hardware store or even an information product company selling books online.

Remember: you get what you pay for. Be very wary of anything that sounds too good to be true. Just today I came across a link building company that was offering 13,000 inbound links for $150 and they would do it all in 7 days! Two words: run away!

In SEO, you should always be skeptical if the price is too low. Top people who get results can and do charge a premium for their specialized skills, just like a top flight litigation attorney would command a fee near the top of the market. What's the worst that could happen? It is very likely that a company charging such low prices are using several techniques Google considers to be “black hat” (or illegal) and in all likelihood your website will be blacklisted by Google and perhaps even banned from the search engine!

Google has teams of PhD experts who look for unnatural linking patterns, like when a website suddenly gets thousands of inbound links over a brief period of time. Link building is best done slowly over time from a wide variety of websites.

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Get Rainmaking Marketing Strategies for Solos and Small Law Firms

Order the Rainmaker in a Box 5-DVD set and you will learn:

The 5 Immutable Secrets to Building a 7 Figure Law Practice:
How to create an automated marketing system to transform your law firm from a practice into a business. Stephen has studied best practices in law firm marketing and shares with you the 5 unchanging secrets they use to build a multi-million dollar law firm.

Secrets of Building a Referral-based Law Practice for Busy Practitioners:
Every lawyer wants more referrals, yet for many the steps to get there remain an elusive secret. Listen in and watch as Stephen lays out his 8 step proven system to triple your referral sources in 90 days or less!

The Top 6 Most Powerful Online Marketing Strategies for Attorneys:
Internet marketing is one of today's fastest growing and most powerful marketing tools for lawyers. Yet much of how to generate more business and attract more clients online is still a mystery. Watch as Stephen pulls back the veil and walks you through the core concepts and key principles every attorney must understand in order to dominate their competition online and build a powerful Internet presence on a shoe string budget.

Action, Accountability and Next Steps:
Knowledge is power. The most difficult part for most attorneys is putting that knowledge into action. In this DVD you will discover an 8 step system for creating your law firm marketing plan and how to take action immediately.

This program includes a data DVD which includes the PowerPoint slides for all 4 presentations.

To order this information-packed set click here.

 

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SEO Strategies for Attorneys: The Importance of Inbound Links

Ever wonder why your competitor’s website consistently ranks on the front page of Google for specific searches and yours does not? Are you frustrated that you can't seem to find your website online unless you either (1) type the domain name directly into Google, or (2) search for your personal name, or (3) search for your law firm’s name (and even then your competition often shows up)?
 
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of artificially boosting your website or blog to the organic results (versus paid advertising) for specific search terms. Google considers over 60 different variables when determining who gets on the first page. One of the most important ones is the number and quality of inbound links your website has. As many of you have personally experienced, when it comes to SEO, it doesn't get any more competitive than the legal industry! When you search for a major key term like “Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer” or “Phoenix divorce attorney” I can guarantee you the people you see in the first 10 results did not get there by accident! They have worked hard at it and most likely they have hired some high-powered SEO experts to help them.

One of the reasons why blogging has become so popular in the legal industry is because of how powerful it is in Google’s eyes. One of the ways that Google determines if your website is an authority is by how often you post new, relevant, unique content on your blog. For example, Joseph McDaniel is a Phoenix bankruptcy attorney who blogs multiple times every day at www.ArizonaBankruptcyBlog.info. As he puts more and more content on his blog, Google rewards him by improving his rankings. We will discuss specifics about blogging in future posts, but there's another strategy that most attorneys overlook when it comes to improving their rankings and that’s building inbound links.

Google loves inbound links!

An inbound link is where one website links to another website. You see this all the time on news websites where they link to a video, a blog post, a resource, or a story on another website. Google measures and weighs inbound links as a sign of your website’s relevance and credibility. In general, the more inbound links your website has -- and the better they are -- the more your website will rank above your competitors.

Good ways to harvest inbound links for your website include social media, writing and posting articles online, sending out press releases online, hiring a professional link building service and joining and participating on online legal directories like HG.org

Founded in 1995, HG.org was one of the very first online law sites, and developed the first self-listing directories for attorneys and law firms. Today, search engine results show the HG Law Firm Directory at the top for most states or countries when someone is searching for a law firm. HG.org is one of the most trafficked legal sites, with more than 850,000 unique visitors coming to its sites – HG.org sites and HGExperts.com -- each month.

For most attorneys, learning the nuances of power link building is not the best use of their time. You need to know the fundamentals so you don’t get taken advantage of, but if you are serious about generating more leads from the Internet, then you need to be on the home page of Google for the key terms your prospects search for online. The best way to do that is by working with a top-notch link building expert who knows the legal industry and has proven results.

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Becoming a Rainmaker Seminar in New Jersey on March 9

The Rainmaker Institute in coordination with the New Jersey State Bar Association and the Hunterdon County Bar Association present Becoming a Rainmaker: Practice Development Strategies for Small and Solo Law Firms on Wednesday, March 9 from 4-6 p.m. at the Historic Court House in Flemington, NJ.

More than 7,000 attorneys from law firms all over the country have experienced powerful results from attending the Becoming A Rainmaker seminar, which has been sponsored by more than 24 of the largest state and local bar associations.

The Becoming a Rainmaker seminar teaches simple techniques attorneys can take back to their offices and implement immediately.  Some of the tools and techniques that I will cover during this highly informative two-hour session include:

  • The 7 Ways to Find More Clients and How to Pick the Best Ones for Your Firm
  • How to Build a Network of over 30 new Referral Sources in the next 6 months 
  • Change Your Website from just an Online Brochure to a Money-making Machine 
  • Passive Versus Active Marketing and why you need both
  • Creating Client-generating Surveys: When to Use them and How to Leverage them 
  • Automating Your Marketing System
  • How to Ethically Position Yourself as a Specialist in Your Area 
  • How to Promote Your Firm to 150,000 people for $140
  • Avoid the Most Deadly Marketing Mistakes Attorneys make
  • Why Advertising Doesn't Work and what to do instead
  • Where to Find and How to Create Positive Media Coverage for your firm and your clients
  • The #1 Reason why Attorneys Don’t Receive More Referrals and how to overcome it
  • Using Visibility Events to Attract Highly Qualified Prospects to Your Firm

The cost for the two-hour Becoming a Rainmaker law firm marketing seminar is minimal: $77 for NJSBA or HCBA members and $97 for non-members.

Please call 888-816-8935 or click here for registration information.

 

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Live Webinar Feb. 16: Advanced SEO Strategies for Law Firms

Next Wednesday, February 16, I will be conducting a live one-hour webinar on Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategies for Law Firms, beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and science of artificially boosting your website and blog to the top of the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing). This no-nonsense webinar will teach attorneys and their staff advanced SEO strategies to help them achieve first page rankings.

High website rankings can help to increase your website traffic, and in turn, generate new business and referrals for your firm. If people can't easily find your website, then you are likely losing business on a daily basis.

Whether you are working on a new website, launching your first site, or want to take your current website to the front page of Google, you absolutely need to attend this webinar.

In this comprehensive 60-minute webinar, you will discover:

  • 7 critical components of Google's search engine ranking algorithm
  • The top 3 things attorney website companies don’t want you to know
  • How Google views your website
  • Why Google loves blogs and how to leverage this powerful technology!
  • The power of using video on your website
  • Why “long tail” search is better and how to apply this secret strategy
  • 3 ways to improve your website conversion rates
  • Does social media matter when it comes to search engine ranking
  • Questions to ask any law firm Internet marketing expert before you hire them

This event will be presented live by phone with a web connection available for those wishing to view the presentation on their personal computers. Internet access is not required for phone-only participants. A copy of the presentation and downloadable materials will be provided after the event.

Click here to register for the Advanced SEO Strategies for Law Firms live webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. ET.

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Phoenix Area Attorneys:  Get a Preview of the Upcoming Advanced SEO Strategies for Law Firms Webinar at February 10 Meeting of Phoenix Legal Networking Group

Join us at the Phoenix Legal Networking Group meeting this week – Thursday, Feb. 10 -- and learn some of the advanced SEO strategies that will help your law firm’s website achieve first page rankings.

Stephen will be previewing some of the information he’ll be sharing at next week’s live one-hour webinar (see above). 

The networking event and marketing seminar will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 10 at Monti’s, 100 S. Mill Ave. in Tempe.

Cost is $20 per person if you register by end of day today, $30 if you register by February 9 and $35 on the day of the event.  This covers drinks, hors d’oeurves, the networking event and the workshop.

To register for our February 10 networking and legal marketing event, co-hosted by FindLaw, Attorney at Law Magazine, Coash & Coash Court Reporting and The Rainmaker Institute, visit www.therainmakerretreat.com/network or call 888-816-8935.


 

 

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Why SEO is Critical to Your Law Firm Marketing Success

If gaining new clients is important to your business, then making sure your site is optimized is vitally important. If your site doesn’t come up on top when people are searching for keywords related to your services, you are missing out on getting new clients – and your competitors are likely picking them up.


Here is some important information that explains why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important to attorneys:

Validation: Potential clients may have already decided that they are likely to hire your firm or possibly a specific lawyer at your firm due to your existing reputation or based on a referral. However statistics and Internet studies show that now, more than ever, people are searching online to help establish trust and comfort before engaging someone’s services. They want to see pictures, read credentials and they also try to get a glimpse of your vibe and style from your website. They may search by an attorney’s name or the firm name, but they are also likely to search by keyword phrases like “family law attorney in Los Angeles”.

Searching is a habit: It has been noted that a lot of people (probably more than you think) use Google instead of typing in a URL. They often have Google set as their home page and find it easier to just search for a keyword phrase or your name or firm name, rather than type in a URL. Even though it is usually pretty easy to get ranked on your name or firm name, that isn’t always the case and they may not find you unless you have good search engine presence.

Hitting the net before the pavement: Before going to physical office locations, consumers are using search engines to find service providers and doing research before calling or going for a consultation.

Local Search and Geo-targeting: An increasingly popular vertical of the search industry is local search, especially with the advent of smart phones and mobile Internet access. People are more often searching for region-specific products and services. We see more and more searches like “Los Angeles criminal attorney” and with geo-targeting people no longer even need to type in the regional parameter. The engines can pinpoint your location to within 7 miles of where you are from your IP address (the exception to that is AOL, where it appears that everyone is in Virginia).  So a search for “criminal attorney” by someone in Los Angeles would turn up different results than the same search done by someone in San Francisco. Making sure you are optimized is important so your site comes up on top – especially if someone is searching on their Blackberry and looking specifically for a local office.

Phone books are big, heavy and not as convenient as Google: A majority of consumers now use Google instead of the phone book if they want to find a service provider. A survey earlier this month by Harris Interactive showed that nearly 7 out of 10 American adults rarely or never use the white pages phone book for looking up phone numbers and addresses for people or businesses, 87 percent support opt-in initiatives where they would receive the phone book only if requested, and 60 percent of online adults find the contact information they need through online channels (online directories -- 29 percent, search engines -- 28 percent or social networks -- 3 percent).

Our January e-newsletter talks about SEO for Attorneys: What It Is and How to Leverage It.  To access the newsletter, click here.

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Now is the time to create your Lifestyle Law Firm!

The Rainmaker Retreat is where we teach lawyers how they can have it all; increase the number of clients they have, double their income, and yet work less.  Build and create a 'lifestyle' law firm that is professionally satisfying, but allows you the time to do what is important to you.

Here are the dates for upcoming Rainmaker Retreats:

  • February 25-26, 2011 - Orlando, Florida
  • March 11-12, 2011 - New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • April 8-9, 2011 - San Diego, CA

If you take advantage of the Early Bird Special (only available when you register at least 2 weeks in advance of the event), you receive $300 worth of extra benefits!

Discount Pricing is available for multiple attendees from the same firm.

For more information please call: 888-588-5891 or visit www.RainmakerRetreat.com.
 



 

 

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Top Three Questions to Ask a Law Firm Internet Marketing and Optimization Firm

 

 

 

 

 

In the last blog, we reviewed some of the basics of search engine optimization and its role in law firm Internet marketing.

 The purpose of that information was to help make you a more informed consumer when it comes to optimizing your web site.

  

In this post, I’ve listed three questions you should ask potential law firm Internet marketing providers, and the answers you should look for.

  1. How long have you been performing search engine optimization? The answer should be three years or more. While three years of experience may sound like a short time to an attorney, search engine optimization (or SEO) is still relatively new. Three years is a reasonable amount of experience, provided they have a verifiable client list to support their claim.
  2. What are the first 3-4 things you would do to optimize my site? Organizing your site’s information should be in the provider’s top four. The information should be organized in a “site plan” that outlines in what order your pages will appear and how they link to one another. As good site plan is usually based on a pyramid structure with your home page at the top, and supporting pages listed below.

Creating a “backlink” strategy designed to increase your popularity with search engines should also be in their top four.

  1. How long will the work take? If the work will take more than two months, consider another candidate. An experienced law firm Internet marketing agency should be able to have a functional site up within eight weeks of start date.

In sum, use this information to ensure that your law firm Internet marketing provider has the experience and expertise needed to optimize your site and ultimately to land your site on the top or second page of search results.

Law Firm Internet Marketing: Solving the Mystery behind Search Engine Optimization

When you hear the words law firm Internet marketing, you are almost certain to hear the term “search engine optimization”. But what does it mean? 

More importantly, how does it affect your law firm Internet marketing efforts?

 

Put simply search engine optimization is the most basic tool used by law firm Internet marketers and web masters to increase the amount of traffic to your web site.

 

The first thing you should know about SEO is that your Web site must appeal to both people and search engines. If you remember to keep these two in balance, not only will potential clients come to your site, they are more likely to spend time there learning about why your firm is the best choice to meet their legal needs.

 

Below you will find the basic, working information you need in order to choose a law firm Internet marketing provider who can really help you.

 

Search Engine Spiders: A well-designed web site will appeal to search engine “spiders”. Search engine spiders (also known as web crawlers, web robots, and more) are the part of the search engine (such as Google or Yahoo!) that crawls the Internet in search of Web sites that match the “search words and phrases” that someone has typed into the search box.

 

If your site is a good match for the viewers search terms, your site will appear in that person’s search results.

 

What Search Engines Look for: Different search engines look for different things. Some things they all have in common is that they like popular, well-organized sites that make it easy to find the search words and phrases. Search engines like:

  • To find several instances of the exact keyword phrase it is looking for – optimally, the exact keyword phrase should appear 2 to 5 times per 100 words.
  • Bulleted lists
  • Bolded headings
  • Links from outside source into your site
  • Links from your site to outside sources
  • Very often, they like “metatags” and “alt tags” (key words in the “code” of your site)

Those are the basics regarding how search engine optimization works with your law firm Internet marketing approach.

 

To learn more about optimization and law firm Internet marketing where I will share the top three questions you should ask a law firm Internet marketing provider before making your selection.