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Have You Been Googled? How To Market Your Firm Online In 2004

by Peter Boyd, Esq.

Having a web site will not drive clients to your firm. Odd that a web designer would write something that bold, but it is true. It is also true that simply advertising in an online legal directory is not enough. Neither is it enough to create a snazzy intro or plug in a few keywords into your web page, relax and wait for the clients to roll in.

However, you can generate new clients from the Internet using a combination of these techniques. Potential clients are looking for legal assistance online and the amount of people searching for a lawyer on the Internet increases each day. This brief article will detail how you can help clients find your firm instead of your competition through a variety of techniques. A more in-depth look at these strategies will be published next month on our web site and at TechnoLawyer.com.

Before we begin our article, we must first talk about the Google Algorithm. A change took place in late January with Google updating its algorithm that is used to rank web sites. Google provides 75% of all search results, so this is a major change. The bad news is that if your web site was once ranked well, it has quite probably fallen off the face of the earth due to this “update.” The good news is that there are still techniques that can achieve a high ranking and, rest assured, every search engine specialist out there is trying to figure out exactly what qualities in a web site the new algorithm likes or dislikes, which then translates into rankings.

While it is too soon to say what the secret is for the new Google algorithm, this is most likely an update of the November algorithm that changed how web sites were ranked in larger industries (insurance, hotels, travel, tickets, personal injury attorneys, etc.). The new algorithm has expanded to cover nearly all legal practice areas and all major geographic regions.

The recent changes in Google and other search engines prove that you should not put all your eggs in one basket, relying totally on search engine optimization as your only avenue of Internet marketing. While there are always fixes to get your web site ranked high again, it is better to have a steady stream of client inquiries from multiple marketing avenues.

1. Still Optimize
Despite the forewarning, your law firm can increase traffic to its web site by editing your Meta tags, creating reciprocal links, adding relevant content, and registering your web site. Search engine optimization works and your law firm can have a leg-up on the competition if you find a web designer who can do it properly.

2. Sign up to Directories
How good are legal directories? Very. Depending upon the legal directory, you can gain new clients and increase your overall web site presence. In fact, Google now relies on a lot of legal directories as its search results. With the new Google update you can increase your web site ranking and overall Internet presence by signing up with multiple directories (from small to large).

3. Create Newsletters
Your law firm should publish a quarterly newsletter. Even better, publish a monthly newsletter and you will see instant results. This form of marketing is great for generating repeat traffic to your web site and introducing new clients to your firm. Newsletters also boost your image with other attorneys because they can establish your firm as a go-to place for up-to-date information.

4. Create Affiliations
Affiliations are links with other web sites. All you need to do is find web sites that have related industries and request links from their web designer. Most web designers will be happy to reciprocate links with your web site, thereby raising your web site and their web sites ranking. You will be very surprised how people can find your web site. The most insignificant link can turn into a client.

5. Create Blogs
A blog is a web page made up of usually short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically, like a journal. The content and purposes of blogs varies greatly from links and commentary about other web sites to news about a company/person/idea, to diaries, photos, poetry, mini-essays, project updates, even fiction. In the legal field, you could promote your firm’s services, cases, clients, and other notable news in the blog. Blogs rank very high in the search results and provide a great way to spread the word about your firm.

6. Advertise - Pay per Click
If your firm does not wish to optimize the web site for search engine placement, you can buy your way to the top. Your firm may wish to consider an Internet marketing campaign with keyword buying on Google and Overture. This will keep your web site ranked in the top search results year-round and may even been less expensive than paying a yearly fee to a web designer to optimize your web site.

7. Write Good Content
Content is king. To attract visitors to your web site, your firm needs to offer useful content. If your firm offers authoritative information about your practice areas, then you will notice a dramatic increase in web site traffic and search engine placement. Having an online firm brochure that lists your firm's credentials, practice areas, and attorney biographies is a start. However, serious web sites place articles, newsletters, bulletin alerts, links, statistics, and other information that educates a potential client.


About The Author

Peter Boyd, Esq. at PaperStreet Web Design. Located in Miami, FL, PaperStreet Web Design has extensive experience developing, redesigning and optimizing law-related web sites. Our expertise can save you time and money while increasing your firm's business traffic.Contact us and we can easily redesign your web site to impress clients and get profitable results. Feel free to contact Peter Boyd at PaperStreet Web Design, peteboyd@paperst.com or 954.523.2181.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.


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