All posts by Jo

SEO For Attorneys

Attorney Search Engine Optimization (SEO) requires strategic planning, careful techniques and smart tactics to attract more prospective clients to your law firm.

If you’re unfamiliar if SEO, this is the standard practice of configuring both on-site and off-site elements of your website. The purpose of SEO for lawyers is to push their website to the first page of search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). This is important.

In this article, you will get some insights on SEO for attorneys while learning a few skills to improve your website and increasing the likelihood of finding more customers online.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ATTORNEY SEO

Before revealing some methods you can use to improve your website’s SEO, you should know a few things about the nature of search engines.

First, Google dominates the search engine industry. There are somewhere between 60 to 80% of searchers using their service. However, when it comes to SEO for lawyers, other search engines like Yahoo and Bing should be considered as prospective clients can be found there too.

Next, getting your law firm’s website ranked is both vital and challenging. Research on Google’s search results has discovered that about 91.5% of searchers make their choices based on what they find on the first page. Take a look at the remainder of the pages:

  • Page 2: 8%
  • Page 3: 1%
  • Page 4: 4%

There are paid methods of getting your website to the front page, (i.e. PPC lawyer campaigns), however to save on spending SEO allows you to drive more organic visitors to your website.

Did you know? Depending on your niche, industry and the keywords your web pages rank for, organic listings can receive up to 90% of clicks.

SEO FOR ATTORNEY: WHAT TO DO

 There is a critical thing to know about SEO for attorneys. Marketing online for lawyers and law firms must abide by the rules and regulations detailed by the state bar associations.

Careful considerations must be made when representing your law firm online. Performing ethical SEO will allow you to rank on the first page of search engines without any penalties. Here’s a few things you can do.

Lawyer SEO Keyword Research

Keyword research is always the foundation for any SEO strategy. You can optimize your website by focusing on keywords that have purchasing intentions. This means that you should use specific words people are searching for which will lead to them sign up for your services.

You will find that these search terms and phrases will have a high volume compared to others.

Also, slight variations in phrases can lead to a significant difference in the volume of traffic and click you receive. For example, if someone was searching for “NYC divorce attorney” they are likely to receive more searches than for “NYC divorce attorney.” The term “lawyer” tends to be used more frequently than “attorney.”

You can use Google’s keyword planner to get a basic understanding of which keywords are being used and which ones you should add to your website.

Here are some tips to guide your keyword research for effective attorney SEO:

  1. Make a list of terms related to your practice area (i.e. divorce lawyer, Family divorce lawyers, etc.)
  2. Compare multiple variations of your keyword phrases to find what people are actually searching for.
  3. Focus on high search volume keywords with moderate competition.
  4. Also, consider low competition keywords that can be easily targeted.
  5. Dedicate pages using phrases and terms that are related to your main keyword phrase (i.e. divorce lawyers in NYC, NYC divorce lawyers, etc.)
  6. Research the keywords your competitors are using and ranking for, then make better content that ranks higher.

Local SEO for Attorneys

Most law firms are operating from a single community which makes targeting prospective clients very competitive. In order to get your website noticed, local lawyer SEO allows you to target your website toward particular demographics in your area.

Here’s a few ways to improve your local attorney SEO:

  1. Sign up for Google My Business profile.
  2. Sign up for Bing Business Listings.
  3. Sign up for Yext and get your website listed on hundreds of local websites.
  4. Sign up for AVVO.
  5. Create a location specific page (i.e. Divorce Lawyer in NYC) using specific terms that get your page ranked.

Attorney SEO: Schema Markup

Schema markup is HTML code which makes the content on your website easily understood by machines. Schema’s are important as they allow search engines to figure out the real meaning behind the content being displayed on your website.

There is a dedicated set of schema you can apply to your website that lets search engines understand that your website is related to a law firm of legal profession.

You can apply this schema markup to content like:

  • Addresses
  • Attorney Biographies
  • Attorney Names
  • Client Reviews
  • Emails
  • Phone Numbers

Using schema is a great way to get your site to stand out in the search engines. When you use schema markup, your website will have additional visible features such as star ratings, business logo, and contact info.

SEO Attorney Strategy: Link Building

In 2016, Google announced that links were one of the major factors that influence how a page is ranked in the searches. To get your push your rankings toward the first page, you will have to dedicate a significant amount of time building links from other websites. However, not all links are the same.

You need to get your lawyer website on high ranking websites. For lawyers, these are websites like AVVO, Lawyers.com, Justia, Super Lawyers. Getting your website linked on these sites will add authority and can likely boost your rankings in the search engines.

Keep in mind, it takes more than one or two links to start seeing some changes. Getting quality backlinks is a tiresome and exhaustive effort. When building backlinks to your law firm, be sure not to put your links on too many bad sites. You don’t want your site to be penalize for unethical backlink marketing.

Summary of SEO For Attorneys

SEO for attorneys is a necessity in order to get your law firm or legal service to stand out in the search engines.

Start with researching the right keywords for your website. Once you have those, build pages and posts around those keywords. On a deeper level, add schema markup to help search engines understand what your website is all about. And finally, make as many high quality backlinks as possible.

PPC For Lawyers May Have Just Gotten A Whole Lot Tougher

The focus of a website is to receive the most clicks that provide a steady stream of traffic and leads to an increase in business and clients. The means that every business (and law firm) is fighting for the front page of Google.

Visitors arrive to your website in a variety of way. One way to receive free, organic traffic is by ranking high on search engines via keywords. The content you provide and the keywords included on your pages will be selected by search engines that best match the query.

An alternative to free, organic traffic is PPC (Pay Per Click).

PPC is a highly competitive advertising strategy that can place your website and business pages on the front of Google and other search engines. Due to the changing nature of the online world, PPC for lawyers is going to be much more difficult to come out on top.

What Is PPC?

Pay per click advertising is a method of attracting new clients to your law firm using specific and targeted keywords used by those seeking a lawyer.

Successful campaigns use a landing page that has a distinct message and a clear call-to-action. This means that whenever you advertisement is clicked, that person will be landing on a webpage describing a solution to their problem (i.e. call 123-456-7890 for a FREE CONSULTATION).

PPC campaigns can be set up in a variety of ways with specific ad groups targeting the following:

  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Business Lawyer
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Family Lawyer
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • Personal Injury Lawyer

Search engines like Google, Yahoo, Yandex, and Bing allow you to design text based ads that will appear when those keywords are entered into the search bar. The concept behind PPC is that you will only pay whenever someone clicks on your ad leading to your website or landing page.

There is potential to create some successful advertisements that allow you to discover new clients, however many of these keywords above are highly sought after by other law firms. In addition, the nature of PPC and how advertising is permitted on these search engines are constantly changing.

The Changing Nature Of PPC

Back in February 2016, Google rolled out a few changes to their some changes to the way they show ads in the search queries. They removed the longer text ads that showed in the right sidebar. This is a complete overview of the changes Google made:

  • No more text ads in the right sidebar of search results on desktop
  • Up to 4 text ads will be shown above the organic listings for “highly commercial queries” (before, up to 3 were displayed)
  • Up to 3 text ads will show at the bottom of the search results.
  • The maximum number of ads to be displayed will be 7 (before, there were up to 11)

Google defines “highly commercial queries” as the keywords that are in high demand in certain industries.

What Does  This Mean for Lawyer’s PPC?

 When you are choosing the right keywords  to setup a PPC campaign, there may be a highly sought after keyword that drives up the prices. Let’s saw for example, “New York Lawyers” is a highly searched keyword. Due to popular demand, you can see yourself paying tens to hundreds of dollars per click.


Consider this. “Lawyer” and “Attorney” are the most expensive keywords used on Bing. They cost over $100 per click when used with search queries like these: “personal injury lawyer” or “accident attorney colorado.” Your monthly PPC campaigns could cost in the thousands with a return of investment being entirely uncertain. Bing is known to be the cheaper advertising platform and Google is likely to be much higher.


With the changes made by Google, this puts increasing competition on keywords but also to a top ranking position in the search queries. Where before prices may have varied from a dollar up, the supply and demand can push your PPC campaign budget beyond its limits.

The Downside Of PPC Campaigns For Lawyers

 PPC offers a paid alternative to getting your website noticed by potential clients. However, these campaigns are based entirely on bids and competition for keywords. If there are a lot of advertisers bidding on the same keyword, the price goes up.

Unfortunately, PPC advertising does not guarantee that every click will lead to your next client. In fact, you could be losing a significant amount of money at each click when no one is contacting you for your legal services.

This document from Google detailing factors that influence your PPC viewability, claims that 56.1% impressions are not actually seen. This implies a considerable amount of loss and uncertainty when relying on PPC to find new clients and grow your firm.

Now, here’s something that you have to be aware of. Since you are not the only one competing for “high commercial queries” there are occasions of click fraud.

Click fraud is an extremely shameful marketing practice where one of your competitors will continually click on your ads until your budget is depleted. While Google does provide protection from fruad, there are still ways to get around this.

What Can Lawyers Do?

Paying $100 per click may not be a viable solution for small law firms.

As an alternative to pay per click advertising, lawyers can start their own blog and generate organic traffic to their websites. Although this too requires a significant amount of keyword research, time writing articles, and consistency with posting, the investment are for those seeking long term returns.

Having a blog can bring a flow to steady clients without having to spend thousands on advertising. By utilizing your knowledge and expertise in your field, you can provide solutions clients are searching for and direct them to a direct method of getting in contact with your legal services.

When combined with social media and other marketing strategies, blogging can be a relief to highly competitive and sometimes fraudulent ways of PPC campaigns.

How Much Do Lawyers Make A Month?

Law tends to attract a lot of people seeking high salaries, competitive jobs, and rewarding work. However, the amount of money a lawyer makes vary greatly and depends on the type of work you do, the organization you work for, you educational experience, and where you are located in the country.

Starting your own law firm has the potential to bring in much more money than a entry level position at a firm. There are a number of obstacles to overcome but if you have the right plan in place and a strategy to succeed, your salary can be whatever you make it.

Like any career, doing your own research will help guide you on the decisions you make for your legal career. Since the monthly salary for a lawyer has such a large discrepancy, make sure your expectations match reality.

Remember that law is constantly changing and  that some areas may become less needed than others. From a financial point of view, this can be significantly less profitable and result in lower monthly wages.

Now that you have an overview of the financial situation in the legal career path, let’s take a look at the finer details.

Average Monthly Salary For Lawyers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average annual salary for a lawyer in 2016 to be $139,880. This works out to be around $11,656 per month on average.

Some of the lowest paying salaries started around $55,870 per year. This is around $4,655 per month. When you look at the private, corporate sector, some lawyers are making up to $214,630 per year. This is around $17,885 per month.

Best Paying Industries for Lawyers

In the corporate sector, there are a few industries that provide lawyers with a generous wage. Those in scheduled air transportation were the ones who received an average of $17,885 per month. Lawyers working in Beer, Wine and Distilled Alcohol, were making around $17,125. Another nice paying industry is the Cable and Other Subscription Programming which had an average monthly wage of $16,272.

Here’s a look at the wages based on occupational industries:

Finance & Insurance $12,166
Federal Government $11,621
Legal Services $9,888
Local Government $7,661
State Government $7,335

Wages for Public Lawyers

In this stream of law, lawyers represent clients on cases ranging from traffic violations

to criminal felonies. In these situations, people may prove to the court that they cannot afford to pay the lawyer’s fees. Typically, these kinds of lawyers are paid by the government as a regular employee or case by case, as needed by the state.

Even though trial cases and patent laws tend to provide the biggest payouts, not all lawyers pursue a corporate career. Public lawyers can make a respectable wage with the starting wage typically around $4,166 to well over $8,333 per month.

Wages Based On Location

Lawyers practicing law along the coasts tend to receive a significantly high wage than those practicing law in the mainland. When you’re working in the big cities like New York and Washington, wage are competitively higher than places like Alabama and Kentucky.

Here’s a breakdown of monthly salaries for lawyers throughout various U.S. cities:

Coastal Cities

San Jose $17,000
San Francisco $14,000
Los Angeles $14,425
New York City $13,438

Nonmetropolitan Cities

Southwest Montana $6,244
Northeast Mississippi $9,600
Central Kentucky $5,146
Northern Vermont $9,385

 

Wages from: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes231011.htm

Wages for Solo-Practitioners

If you’re fresh out of law school or even a veteran in the field, you might have considered starting your own law firm. Doing so allows you to create a wage based on as many hours as you want to work. Of course, the demand for your legal services should also be factors in addition to your marketing plan and marketing success.

Nonetheless, starting your own legal service can see monthly wages ranging from $2,978 to $26,099 per month.

This incredible range may be due to the following factors:

  • Caseload / work demands
  • Location within a city
  • Location within the country
  • Marketing plan/strategy
  • Referral network
  • Online access (i.e. lawyers with a blog)
  • Legal Experience
  • Area of practice

The Wage And Workload

 While the upper paying salaries are are to get excited for, the amount of work required to receive it may not be as appealing. Many law firms hiring new lawyers can expect between 80 or 90 hours per week to show their dedication to their profession.

If you are unable to handle this kind of workload, seeking a lower-paying job within the legal industry may be more suitable.

The kind of work that will be required of you includes:

  • Advising clients (i.e. business transactions, claim liability, prosecutions or defense of lawsuits, legal rights and obligations)
  • Represent clients in court during summary cases to judges or juries
  • Collect and research evidence for defensive or offensive legal actions
  • Evaluate research and develop strategies and sound arguments to present in court
  • Analyze and interpret laws, rulings, regulations and other legal actions for individuals and business

Lawyers deal with situations where they must advise their clients on a specific course of action. They are responsible for the legal rights and responsibilities their client’s must take. In the business world, lawyers may provide counsel to corporate clients when making business transactions. As well, there are lawyers who work in the legal system and represent their clients in court actions.

There is a wide range of work required from lawyers, from contract litigations, criminal cases to patent contracts. The amount of hours required from a lawyer will vary month to month. Working at a firm will provide you with a stable monthly income, as detailed above. However, if you’re a self-employed lawyer, your monthly wage is likely to change depending on the number of clients coming in.

Overall, working in the legal system is a time-sensitive environment with extreme working demands. There will be long hours and extensive research to prepare for court cases and client situations. All these factors lead to the wide differences in how much a lawyer makes per month.

What Should I Name My Law Firm?

Whether you’re fresh out of law school ready to start your own firm or thinking about rebranding your existing practice, you might be wondering, what should I name my law firm?

If you find yourself legally ready to practice law, opening your own law firm may be in your best interest. You will have the freedom and flexibility to provide your legal services to a wide range. In addition, the name of your law firm will be an important part of growing your practice.

Or, you might want to boost your presence in your community by rebranding your current firm’s image. Maybe you recently brought on a new partner expert in divorce law while you specialize in family law. Naming your law firm should reflect this new change.

Whatever situation you find yourself, having the right name for your law firm can bring you new clients or turn them away.

Here are some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to naming a law firm.


PART 1: USING THE RIGHT NAME

PART 2: NAMES TO AVOID

PART 3: BRANDING YOUR LAW FIRM

PART 4: UNDERSTANDING YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY


PART 1: USING THE RIGHT NAME

Historically, law firms were named after their founding partners. You’ll often see names like, Smith & Associates, Davis Brooke & Cromwell Law Associates. While some firms still follow this method, the industry has adapted to new trends to try and grab the attention of potential clients.

When it comes to your law firm, choose a name that captures your practice in a way that connects to the people who need you.

Here are a few guidelines to choosing your law firm name:

  1. Use Family Surnames. It’s not uncommon to start a law firm with a family member. Doubling your names to represent your law firm would work for husband and wife partners, parents and children, or even between siblings.
  2. Use Partner Surnames. You can acknowledge all the partners in the law firm by putting their surnames into the new law firm name. If you were founded by 4, you might have a name like: Glaxo, Smith, Slate & Cline.
  3. Use Memorable and Catchy Surnames. Plain and common names like “Smith” might not stand out in you law firm’s name. If possible, use the catchy surnames first like “Glaxo” which may be more memorable.
  4. Order Of The Names. Be careful! When deciding the name for your firm, your partners (or even you) may want their name to go first. Often, the first two names of a law firm will be remembered if there’s more than two. Be sure to choose the most memorable names for those first two.
  5. Keep Names Brief. If you’re partnering with a large group of graduates, having a 10+ long law firm name will be a bit of a mess. Try shortening the name down to one main name and associates. This is also useful when it comes to creating name cards, signage, and other forms of advertisements. Addition note: don’t use names that are too difficult to pronounce (and remember).
  6. Double Check Your Acronym. There’s nothing more embarrassing than creating a name for your law firm that condenses into a less desirable word. If you’re partners are: Paul, Eric, & Emily Law Associates, you’ll end up with a short version off “PEE Law Associates.” Rearrange your names or restart with a fresh new idea.

PART 2: NAMES TO AVOID

Now that you have an idea as to how to name your law firm, there are a few distinctive don’ts you should also consider.

  1. Don’t use non-lawyers as your partner(s). You are not permitted to form a law firm with non-lawyers acting as partners.
  2. Don’t use misleading names. Choosing a name like, “New York Law Association” implies that you are state run law firm. You cannot imply any connections to public, government, or charitable legal services.
  3. Don’t use names of people already holding office. Having a name like “Trump & Associates” may be deemed illegal. You cannot use the name of a lawyer currently practicing law in a public office.
  4. Don’t claim false partnership. If you aren’t practicing with anyone else, don’t claim that you are. If you are sharing an office with another lawyer but you are not practicing together it would be misleading to use a name like, “Schuster & Smith Associates.”

Be sure to check whether you can legally register your name. You may not be able to register the name you want if it is already taken as every state has different restrictions.

For a complete understanding of how to legally name your law firm, please see the Rules of Professional Conduct

PART 3: BRANDING YOUR LAW FIRM

There are a few things you can do to make your name more memorable and your service well known. Here’s a few tips for branding your law firm’s name.

  1. Keep it short. Using a single word may be useful for branding and marketing purposes. For example, “Justice Legal Attorneys” could become known as the go-to lawyers for getting “justice.”
  2. Use your area of practice. If you’re a divorce lawyer, defense lawyer, corporate lawyer, or any other kind, put that in your name. This helps you differentiate from all the other lawyers can can be useful if you plan on putting your law firm on a website.
  3. Get a trademark. If you’re thinking of growing a large practice in your area, considering trademarking your name early. Do this if the branding associated with your law firm is original and distinct.

PART 4: UNDERSTANDING YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY

Getting a second opinion from friends and family can help you determine the best name for your law firm. Create a list of your top 3 and send them out in an email. Get the people closest to you to vote on a name that resonates with them.

In addition, you may want to do some research on your local community where you intend to practice. Selecting a name that has no negative associations will make for a better business.

Final Thoughts:

Take special consideration when considering the name for your new law firm. The name you choose can have an impact on your prospective client’s awareness. Choosing a name that is easy to remember as well as highlighting your area of specialty will be the ideal approach.

Should Lawyers Buy .law Domains?

If you are considering a website or a blog to showcase your legal services and expertise, there are many different Top Level Domains (TLD) to choose from:

  • .com
  • .gov
  • .org
  • .law

This article will examine whether lawyers should buy .law domain and briefly review a few methods to succeed online.

What are Top Level Domains (TLD)?

Without going too in depth about the concept of domain names, here’s a simplified version of what domain names are.

Domain names are the important piece of information that provides a readable internet address of your website. The ending of the domain name is what is known as a Top Level Domain with the most common being .com, .org, and .net.

Overall, there are more than 1000 TLDs available.

Is There Any Significance In Having A .law Domain Name?

Having a TLD can be useful in marketing, search engines, and website optimization. When you consider the most common TLDs like .com, .edu, and .gov, these are recognizable, popular, and rank well courtesy of their authority.

They is some speculation that having these TLDs do not provide measurable proof that you will get ranked higher (such as with .edu and .gov domains).

Also, according to Matt Cutts, new TLDs, like .law, might not receive a boost in the search rankings. Your .law domain will not be treated much differently than other domain names already available.

“Sorry, but that’s just not true, and as an engineer in the search quality team at Google, I feel the need to debunk this misconception. Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings.”

While Google may not rank a .law domain higher, from a personal point of view, there is significant value to be considered.

What Are The Benefits Of A .law Domain Name?

From a branding point of view, having a .law domain allows you to position yourself as a professional and a figure of authority.

Anyone who registers a new .law domain, must provide a phone number from the licensing of your agency or firm.

Having to go through this additional step during the registration process creates a trust factor for those searching for you.

Buying a .law domain name will provide an additional layer of credibility courtesy of the verification process required.

This is a summary of some the benefits you’ll receive when you buy a .law domain:

  • Brandable & Authority. Using this TLD allows you to create a strong and memorable brand. A .law domain can be descriptive and capture the core of your practice. When deciding on your domain name, consider using your own name, area of practice, or your target market.
    • Examples:law, NewYorkCity.law, StultzandBrinks.law, jones.law
  • Verified & Trusted. When you register your .law domain, you become verified and trusted by those seeking your services online. Only qualified lawyers can apply for this domain. Once approved, you will have a branded and trustworthy domain surrounding your legal profession.
  • Competitive & Professional. Your new .law domain will stand out amongst others. The .law is exclusive to lawyers and provides a distinct and official finish to your online presence.

If You Already Have Another Domain Name, Should You Transfer To A .law Domain?

As mentioned before, there may not be any considerable boost to your rankings in the search engines. If you already using a domain and it is working well, you may not want to transfer your website to the .law domain.

Consider .law as an investment in your practice but only if you don’t have a domain name already. When you transfer a website over to a new domain, you may lose traffic and potential clients.

Getting a new .law domain is an ideal choice for those starting a new website.

Aside From A .law Domain, How Can Lawyers Succeed Online?

A domain name is only one of many factors to consider when putting your law practice online.

One of the most critical areas of getting noticed and finding new clients comes from the content you provide.

Here’s a few things you may want to keep in mind:

  • Offer meaningful, relevant and original content. Most search engines approve of original content. However, they should be written in a way that’s natural and connects with your target audience.
  • Create backlinks on authority sites. When you have published quality content, try to get your site linked with .edu or .gov sites as these have authority. Read law firm SEO Tips hereNote: Never buy backlinks — you could be penalized.

As an authority on the web and a professional of law, you have a responsibility to provide quality content that is relevant and informative to your visitors.

This update from John Mueller on Google’s Webmaster Central makes it clear that content is crucial and the domain name is not given “artificial advantage in search.”

So, Should Lawyers Buy A .law Domain?

Getting a .law domain could be the strategic edge you need to have a competitive advantage online.

However, while a TLD like .law adds a professional touch your online service, providing good content that follows Google’s recommended practices will be much more powerful.

If you are preparing to settle on a .law domain name, remember to incorporate this into your website development:

  1. Publish high quality, original content on your site
  2. Provide relevant content to your potential clients and targeted audience
  3. Avoid SEO practices that could penalize your website (i.e. keyword stuffing, purchasing links, or other Google violations)

Achieving this will lead you to an authority site on the internet especially if you’re considering starting a blog.

What’s Better, In-Person Or Phone Consultations?

In today’s tech driven world, there is significant comfort and convenience using instant messaging. Since legal advice is not likely to be delivered in this way, what’s better, in-person or phone consultations?

There’s no denying that in-person consultations lead to stronger rapport, deeper connections, and easier conflict resolution. However, some people are just too busy to put aside a few hours to receive a consultation on the far end of town.

Which method will you use?

Ease of hiring an attorney

Almost everyone is looking for the quickest and safest route that answers their problems. Having access to your services can likely be best achieved by providing a place to find you online.

Your website may be the key place where you find new clients. Knowing precisely what you can offer (in-person or phone consultations) will make the ease of hiring an attorney that much simpler.

Also, if you have started a blog, you have likely already built a relationship with your prospective client and their phone call or message to schedule a consultation is the next step forward.

Overview Of Phone Consultations

There is a clear convenience for both you and your client when it comes to phone consultations. Whether you have a website scheduling appointments or a staff member taking your calls, providing this style of consultation may free up more of your time which you can devote to more prospective clients.

Consider the following:

  1. Will providing phone consultations affect the number of clients you receive compared to meeting in-person?
  2. Will providing phone consultations allow you to help more people?
  3. Will providing phone consultations led to more successful outcomes?

Phone consultations have the ability to start a relationship. There is some commitment to both your service and their legal needs that will be discussed over the phone.

Whether in-person consultations build stronger rapport or not, people seeking a phone consultations are looking for a solution to their problems and are likely unwilling to wait any longer to get that.

Features & Benefits:

  • Flexibility in scheduling for both you and your client
  • Provide urgent solutions for some clients
  • Attract more clients who don’t want to/can’t meet in-person
  • Convenient for clients with busy schedules
  • Expand your reach for legal services

Overview Of In-Person Consultations

There are somethings that can never be replaced by technology and that’s the level of intimacy that comes from face-to-face human connections.

Regardless of whether you decide to offer phone consultations or not, there will always be some people seeking to speak with you in person.

Perhaps this is your selling feature. You have established yourself as a respectable and impressive performing firm and clients are eager to walk in to sit in your offices to get your advice.

It could be the handshake, the assurance of your character, or simply the process of entering into your office that makes things “feel official.”

In-person consultations are irreplaceable.

In person consultations can give your clients the opportunity to engage in high stakes conversations. If you are addressing sensitive topics, providing this style of consultation is advised.

In general, there are simply some topics that should not be addressed over the phone. Any cases involved emotional situations like divorces, children, and death requires that human element to be handled well.

Features & Benefits:

  • Comfort in disclosing sensitive information (i.e. emotional cases involving children)
  • Access to traditional styles of consultations
  • Generally, more practical for elders (may have problems hearing over the phone)
  • More security and privacy for corporate clients

Consider Whether An In-Person Or Phone Consultation Is Right For You

If you are marketing your legal services well, you may be getting 20 to 50 requests for consultations per month. Perhaps you’re getting more and screening hundreds of calls and concerns.

Depending on the size of your law firm (i.e. individual practice vs. group of associates) you may or may not be able to handle the amount of consultations requests.

If you’re a small law firm, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Do you have the extra hours (100+) to provide all these consultations this month?
  2. Does your staff have the additional hours to handle the logistics (i.e. scheduling consultations, following up with those who don’t show up, etc.)?
  3. If needed, are you willing to put in the extra hours — working into the evening and weekends?
  4. How successful are you in these consultations? How often do they lead to your legal support?

If you have a high number of requests for in-person consultation, this can take up a significant amount of your time. If you have a website set up and it is capable of making bookings, you can save yourself a lot of personal struggles.

Investing in a lawyer website may be an ideal choice as it can alleviate the weight of calls coming in to request in-person consultations and direct prospective clients to book a phone consultation at their convenience.

Contrasting Consultation Styles

What if phone consultations led to a lower no-show rate? Convenience is key when people are seeking answers to their problems. Being able to get an answer over the phone rather than wait for an uncertain amount of time is what many people are looking for. People don’t want to wait.

This demand for immediacy can eliminate the need to “build rapport” for a relationship to build between client and attorney. The urgency some people are facing leads to people making faster decisions based on other sources (i.e. your website, reviews, etc.).

Imagine this, your legal office is empty. Can you be trusted to take on their case if you don’t have any clients that keep you busy? Your perspectives may not commit to you because you don’t appear to be very busy. And, if you aren’t busy, perhaps they may think that you are not very good.

However, if you are offering more phone consultations than in-person, it would be easy to believe that previous presumption.

So how should you value your time?

Phone consultations should be limited to lower-stake cases. These are great for clients who don’t want or need an in person conversation and they are much more flexible with their time.

What Does Research Say About Using In-Person Or Phone Consultations

Research by Heather Hewitt, Joseph Gafaranga, and Brian McKinstry examined the differences in consulting methods used by doctors: in-person or phone consultations.

They interviewed 18 professional medical practitioners and 65 of their patients.

Their results showed that phone consultations are capable of dealing with smaller, single issues and concerns. Whereas in-person consultations led to many more problems to deal with and discuss.

The phone consultations tended to be shorter while in-person consultations led to periods of silence. This research article suggests that it is during those moments of silence that new topics and problems are introduced.

One final point that was discovered, in-person consultations tend to elicit more concerns and questions from the doctor and phone consultations were more direct and focused at solving the problem at hand.

Their conclusion: Phone consultations take less time and focus on a single problem. In-person consultations involved more problem disclosure.

Knowing Your Consultation Style

So what’s going to be your style: in-person or phone consultations? There’s no right answer to this question and your decision should be based on the kinds of legal services you provide.

There are certainly some situations, such as bankruptcy and criminal defense, where providing phone consultations is the quick and easy solution for your clients.

Providing phone consultation can even give you the freedom and flexibility to work remotely.

However, the traditional in-person style is a standard in the legal world, especially for emotionally charged situations.

Whatever you decide, defining your consultation style allows you to provide legal services in a way that suits your client’s need, scheduling, and personal preference.

Should A Lawyer Have A Blog?

If you already own a website, why should a lawyer have a blog?

Nowadays, when people have a problem they immediately turn to Google and other search engines to find the answer. The way things work online, a few words or phrases are typed into the search bar and websites that best match it will show up.

For certain legal concerns, you may see searches like this:

  • Wife wants divorce
  • Can my brother sue me
  • What do I do if I get arrested?

In these situations, having a blog and writing about the legal perspective can bring more visitors to your website and potentially lead to new clients.

To achieve this, you will need to write articles with headlines like the following:

  • 7 Things You Must Do When Your Wife Wants A Divorce
  • What To Do When Your Brother (Or Family) Wants To Sue You
  • How Your Arrest Will Affect You And Your Family

Blogging is a powerful tool that takes time, commitment and a little online knowledge to make it work. Here’s a few things lawyers starting a blog should know.

Guidelines For A Lawyer’s Blog

You may not be a web designer, but there are a few things you should know if you intend to provide your thoughts, ideas, and professional advice online. A website is just like your office space: the way it is organized, the overall aesthetic, and the level of professionalism all play a part in whether people will stick around or click away.

Here are a few guidelines to consider when it comes to lawyer’s having an online blog:

  1. Create a responsive website. Many people are navigating the online world from a smart device. This means that your lawyer website has to be 100% responsive and mobile friendly. When it comes to the design elements on the page, keep it simple and keep it clean. And, don’t over complicate the language. People from all kinds of backgrounds will be reaching out to your online. Using simple, everyday language will be the best way to connect with potential clients.
  2. Have a clear way to contact you. There is a purpose to providing a website and this is amplified by adding a blog. Whenever you have visitors coming to your site, your contact information should be clear and distinct. Visitors should be able to send an email with ease or touch your number causing it to instantly dial. Reducing the level of frustrations on your website and in your blog will make the experience that much better in the palm of their hand.
  3. Educate your prospective clients. The main purpose of blogging is to exemplify your professional and answer any questions they may have. The information you provide is often the best place to begin a relationship with you. They can get to know who you are, what you offer, and how you think. Your blog is the place to build trust so that the consultation can happen without any doubts and uncertainties.
  4. Answer questions and solve problems. You might think that there is already a lot of information on the web and as a lawyer, it may be a waste of time to be blogging about it. Your competitors may be hundreds of articles ahead of you and you keep wondering why they continue to get more and more clients. Start blogging. This is an investment in your services and the easiest way to get started is by answering the most common questions your previous clients have asked you before. When people are coming to you online, they are hoping you have the answers to your problems, which the only way you can prove to them that you have it is by writing a blog.
  5. Add special offers. As a lawyer with a blog, this is a great opportunity to attract new clients. One of the best way to do this can be done by offering a free initial consultation. Inside your blog as well as on the side, you can create banners and advertisements that tell your visitors they can sign up for a risk-free, no obligation and no money consultation. Or, perhaps you are doing something special and offer flexible phone consultations.

 SEO Benefits Of Blogging

There’s a few things behind the scenes that lawyers should know about blogging. If you’re unfamiliar with how websites work and how Google shows your website to people searching you could be wasting your time blogging online.

Here’s a little summary of lawyer SEO and how a lawyer that blogs can benefit from it.

  1. More authority. There are elements of your website that determine your overall “web authority.” This is known as Domain Authority (DA) and is ranked on a 100-point-scale. Websites that provide more content will have a higher DA which boosts their rankings in the search engines.
  2. More web pages. Whenever you publish a new blog post, you are expanding the depth and details of your website. Each page URL gets indexed by Google and other search engines which increases your likelihood of being found and is supported by all other benefits found in this list.
  3. More Links. Links are an important variable that determines how well you are ranked. When you link out from your site to another authority site, Google recognizes this. However, when you link to other pages on your own website, this too is counted toward your overall ranking. Blogging gives you the chance to greatly enhance the quality of your site and give it that added boost.
  4. More trust. Many people are seeking solutions to their problems online. If you can position yourself in a way that provides online advice and trusted information, this too helps your ranking. Google tends to favor sites that give visitors trusted information that people actually need. Having a blog will provide that added trust that other websites lack.
  5. More traffic. Publishing regularly will allow you to generate significantly more traffic to your website, and ultimately, to your legal services. Google will often refer people using its search engine to sites that are active and consistently providing relevant and trusting content.
  6. More long tail keywords. Keyword stuffing (i.e. using a common keyword or phrase over and over again in an article) can lead to Google penalties. When you are blogging with quality, original content, you will end up with much more “long tail keywords” in on your website. Over time, this will increase your chances that you will be able to answer specific problems that prospective clients are seeking for online.
  7. More user experience. Google wants people to have the best user experience. To ensure this, Google expects websites to provide visitors with real answers and solutions to their problems. This will be measured by the amount of time people are spending on your website. If many people are leaving, you site is likely not the solution. However, that’s where blogging can help.
  8. More SEO. Blogging is content marketing. And, when you are blogging you are directing your content to a specific, target audience. In doing this, you are already creating the right SEO conditions to succeed online and the more you publish the more you can expect will return.

The Value Of Blogging As A Lawyer

Aside from the technical benefits your website receives with having a blog, there is considerable value when a lawyer blogs.

Take these into consideration:

  1. Save time and improves services. Imagine dealing with a client who didn’t do a background check and they continue to ask basic questions before even getting to a consultation. Having content in your blog is a quick and simple resource to redirect inquiries to the answers they are looking for. After they get the information they need, the next steps can be made with less hassle.
  2. You get noticed more. You already learned a little about the influence that Google has, however, if the information your provide is truly valuable, it’s going to be shared. When a lawyer has a blog and they can connect with the needs of people experiencing legal conflict, it’s quite common that they will share this advice with their friends and family.  Blogging allows you to share your experience and expertise as well as provide trust and support for those in a legal crisis.
  3. Perfect for advertising and announcements. Another great advantage for a lawyer to have a blog is that you can showcase your past successes. Perhaps your firm was featured in the news for a big case, or you were appointed an award in your community. Posting an update about this and sharing this online gives your website that dynamic edge and professional appeal.

There are all kinds of reasons for a lawyer to have a blog. However, as a final note, the most important reason for any lawyer to start blogging, whether you are a fresh our of law school, an experienced attorney, or a retired judge, is that you can continually develop and hone the legal skills as a lawyer.

Guide To Law Firm SEO Strategy

Having an effective SEO strategy for your law firm will not only keep you competitive but also give you access to more prospective clients. If you already reviewed our SEO Tips for Lawyers and advanced SEO methods, we put together any missing pieces to the SEO puzzle right here.

Understanding SEO

Ever wondered why certain websites appear on the front page of Google when you search, “Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida”?

This is made possible by SEO.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is simply increasing your visibility in search results. There are many different ways to improve your search rankings such as backlink building, decreasing website load time, and more.

If your website is currently found on the 27th page of Google’s search results implementing just a few of the ideas in this article could see a significant increase in your search rankings.

Keep in mind, getting your website ranked on the top pages takes consistent effort because there are likely other law firms competing for the same position. However, by implementing an SEO strategy for your law firm you can take advantage of getting free traffic from search engines.

SEO Strategy #1: Know Your Search Words

The first step to improve your website rankings in the search engines is to understand the words people are using in Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.

In a Google Consumer Survey, it was found that 96% of people use search engines to find legal advice. They also found that 74% of them would go to a lawyer’s website and take action.

This makes search words extremely important so that your law firm is discovered by people looking for your legal services.

How to Find Your Keywords

There are a few free and simple tools you can use to find the keywords being used in the search engines.

Tool #1: Google Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to find all the keywords people use which are related to your law firm. The insights you get from this tool includes keywords, ad group ideas, historical statistics, competition, keyword, trends, bidding and much more.

To use Google’s Keyword Planner, you need an AdWords account. Don’t worry, you won’t have to add your credit card or purchase any ads to use their free keyword planner.

If you’re unfamiliar with Google Keyword Planner, follow these steps to get started.

Step 1: After you sign in or sign up, you’ll arrive at the AdWord dashboard.

Step 2: Click on the tool icon in the top right corner.

Step 3: Select “Keyword Planner”.

Step 4: Enter your search terms.

Example:

Let’s use “Divorce Lawyer California” for our example.

The results show some important stats like Avg. Monthly Searches, Competition, and ad-related details.

You can use these results to put together keywords your web pages and blog content.

To improve the effectiveness and accuracy of your law firm’s keyword research, be sure to adjust the location and the date.

Adjusting the Location

Your law firm SEO strategy may be to attract more clients from your local area. To do this, you can use the location settings to find all the keywords being used from within your city or town.

Use the location search to be as specific or as general as you want.

Adjusting the Date

What if there were higher rates or accidents at certain times of the year? Or you’re a tax attorney and caseloads tend to increase at certain times of the year?

If adjust the date settings, you can see keywords that are used during certain seasons, recent searches, or an overview of keywords used throughout the year.

Even though Google’s Keyword Planner is meant as a guide for setting up your Google AdWords PPC, you can take advantage of the statistic for planning the keywords for your law firm’s SEO.

Tool #2: Keyword.io

Keyword.io allows you to find longtail and other related keywords. Longtail keywords are more detailed phrases (up to 3 words) which can be used to target a smaller demographic of people.

Instead of focusing all your effort on popular and competitive search terms, longtail keywords can be used to find prospective clients your competitors might be ignoring.

With Keyword.io, you can create a strategic list of keywords for any search engine including Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo.

You can use Keyword.io to research keywords for a PPC Campaign, SEO, or article writing (more about this later).

Example:

Let’s use the same search term from before, “Divorce Lawyer in California”:

With Keyword.io, you can see variations of how the keyword is being used in the search engines.

Combining these results with Google’s Keyword Planner, you can come up with a strong set of keywords to use for your law firm’s SEO strategy.

SEO Strategy #2: Write and Publish Quality Content

The purpose of your law firm’s website is to attract prospective clients. To achieve this, you should write and publish quality content.

Here are a few simple strategies to guide you toward effective SEO Content Strategy:

  1. Publish only compelling and quality content. You want to make sure that what you publish is both unique and useful to the people reading it. Ask yourself this, what value does your content give readers?
  2. Use keywords. You now know how to search for relevant and current keywords so put them into your content. Use different keywords for each piece of content you publish. This not only expands your reach but also prevents SEO issues with Google and other search engines.
  3. Share on social media. You’ll soon learn how popularity is important to improve your SEO. Start by sharing your posts after they are published and encourage others to share them as well.
  4. Keep your content fresh. When you are writing and publishing new content on your law firm’s blog, keep it fresh and up to date. Spend a few minutes researching current events and try to write something related to today’s trends.
  5. Obtain backlinks. You’ll learn all about this in SEO Strategy #3.
  6. Publish frequently. Don’t just publish one or two articles and think that’s enough. You have to publish frequently to remind the search engines that your site is live and your content is important.

To get started on your law firm’s SEO content strategy, you want to be optimizing content for discovery and conversion. This means using the keywords you found and writing in a way that turns website visitors into new clients.

Also, you also understand the intent of the search words being used in Google. If someone searches, “Divorce Lawyer Fees,” they are likely shopping around for the best prices. If that person chooses your website, which do you think would be more compelling?

Sample Content #1:

Our divorce lawyers fees start at $100 per hour. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sample Content #2:

We offer some of the lowest divorce lawyer fees in town. Contact us for a free consultation to get started.

Another example of keyword intent could be someone searching for, “My wife wants a divorce.” Here, the intent is for information, both emotionally and legally, that will help them handle their divorce. In this situation, you may not want to sell your service but instead, come across as a warm friend with helpful advice.

Remember this: when you write content for your law firm’s website, you should always put your audience first. Writing to satisfy the ever-changing algorithms of Google and other search engines could lead to a negative SEO. Instead, focus on providing quality content that comes from you and resonates with your current and prospective clients.

Implementing Longtail Keywords

Let’s take another look at the list of longtail keywords from before:

You’ll notice quite a few keyword phrases found that can be used to shape the type of content you create. Alternatively, if you’re out of ideas you can use this list of longtail keywords to write articles like:

  • 7 Reasons Not To Get a Divorce in California Without a Lawyer
  • Low-Cost Divorce Lawyer in California | YourLawFirm.com
  • 3 Simples Steps for Filing for Divorce Without a Lawyer

Creating Quality Content

You could have a blog talking about your thoughts and experiences as a lawyer or you could create content with a strategic plan and a specific goal.

Again, using the list of keywords you researched related to your law firm, you can create a long-term strategy to publish and share content related to the needs of your prospective clients.

For example, during the Christmas season, you may want to write a series on the consequences and outcomes of drinking and driving. Or, if you’re that divorce lawyer from California, you can write about divorce rates and actions to take if they’re considering divorce.

Take note of what Matt Cutts, Google’s software engineer, has said about creating content:

“You need to find some way to pull people in, to get them interested, to get them enticed to try to pick up whatever concept it is you want to explain. So I would argue, first and foremost, you need to explain it well, and then if you can manage to do that while talking about the science or being scientific, that’s great.”

SEO Content Calendar

Planning out your content in advance can make your marketing efforts significantly easier.

You should plan for one to two months in advance and prepare content that can be interlinked with each other. Interlinked content are pages linking to another page on your website (this adds SEO benefits and also keeps visitors on your website longer).

Once you have created an SEO content calendar, you can start to publish on your social media accounts, email newsletter and any other places you can think of. However, before you do, you should consider the best times to publish your content. Here’s what Hubspot recommends:

  • Facebook: 9 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm (with 1 pm getting the most shares) on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • LinkedIn: 7-8 am, 12 pm, 5-6 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • Instagram: 2 am, 8-9 am, and 5 pm on any day.

You’ll have to test your own content to see which times get you the most traffic and the best results. Ultimately, here’s a few tips to follow for your law firm’s SEO content calendar:

  1. Post consistently (i.e. three times a week)
  2. Use multiple social channels
  3. Choose times that get the most engagement with your target audience

SEO Strategy #3: Build Your Backlinks

By now, you may notice that your law firm’s SEO strategy is quite complex. However, to keep things simple, the ultimate goal of SEO is to improve your popularity.

In order to boost your law firm’s “popularity” and get prospective clients coming to your website, you have to build backlinks from various online sources.

Search engines like google are looking for law firms with relevant and authority links pointing to its website. The way authority websites are measured is also based on the amount of traffic coming to that website.

Steps for Build More Backlinks

Building backlinks to your law firm’s website can be challenging. There are some methods you can try, but they could get you in a lot of trouble. For example, if you decided to purchase backlinks from an unreputable source, Google may put a penalty on your website which can block you from the search results.

To ensure your website doesn’t get blocked, here’s a few steps for building quality backlinks:

1. Publish quality content. If you’re producing great content that connects with the people who read it, there’s a great chance that they will share it with their friends and family. This is the best way to introduce your legal services to new people.

Take note of these blogs rated by the American Bar Association to be the best law blogs:

Clio offers incredible law firm management software and they use their blog effectively to share their knowledge and expertise.

Verdict is a magazine blog provided by Justia (an online resource where you can sign up, add your website, and find prospective clients) which has a blog full of content on every aspect of the law.

Overlawyered is one of the oldest law blogs exploring the American legal system. Take a look at the bottom of this blog, notice the comment section? Here is a great way to contribute to the discussion and sometimes share a link your website:


2. Network and help others. Expecting people to link to you is unthinkable. You have to reach out to others and show off your expertise. You should join various forums and online groups to meet new people and offer help when you can. Here are some examples:

Quora is an active community of people asking and answering questions. After you set up an account for your law firm, you can search for relevant questions related to your legal services. Here’s an example using our California Divorce Lawyer:

If you had an article titled “Low-Cost Divorce Lawyer in California | YourLawFirm.com” you could insert a link into your answer. Quora is an authority website and not only can you use it to send new visitors to your website but it’s also effective for your backlinking efforts.

Reddit is a community of news enthusiast sharing and reading the top stories in America. Before you start sharing your content here, you should know that direct marketing is often frowned upon by its community members. There are various discussion boards where people are seeking answers to their problems, however, the website uses a rating system to rate anything posted and commented. So, be careful.

In this example, you can see that people are sharing their experiences getting or considering divorce in California. Here’s your chance to make direct connections with a potential client by offering content related to their situation and sharing your insights in a response.

When selecting which posts to comment, choose the ones with more points as these are receiving active engagement and interest.

LinkedIn Pulse is one of many social channels you can use to publish your content related to law firm’s blog. Here’s an example of a law firm using LinkedIn to share direct links to their blog:

LinkedIn may not be best place to find new clients but it’s a great way to build links and increase your website’s authority.

Want more ideas for marketing your content? Read 30 Law Firm Content Marketing Ideas

3. Become an online authority. If you’re publishing great content consistently, you can expect people to start writing and linking back to your website. You can’t expect your online authority to change overnight. By following the previous two steps and consistently engaging with people online, you can start to see more of your links getting shared online and you may even get featured on top news channels (links from these sources carry a significant authority that can boost your website’s search rankings).

Summary

Creating the perfect SEO strategy for your law firm starts with knowing which words prospective clients are searching online. Once you research these terms and create incredible content, you can start to share links to authority websites to grow your online presence and increase exposure to your legal services.

7 Simple SEO Tips For Lawyers and Law Firms

You don’t have to be a computer programmer to understand the fundamentals of marketing your law firm’s website. To increase the number of clients inquiring about your legal services, there are a few easy steps to take. Let’s get started by laying a foundation for the basics of law firm SEO.

Some SEO Advice from a Google Expert

If you plan on getting your website on the front page of Google, it is important to know about Matt Cutts, an SEO Specialist and Engineer with Google.

To stay on top of your website’s optimization and attract new clients, here are a few tips from Google’s search engine expert:

As you can see in the video above, how your website is structured, the quality of your backlinks and the authority (or the importance) all play a part in whether your website shows up in the search results.

Now, let’s see if your attorney website is search engine friendly. Here are 7 SEO tips for lawyers and law firms:

SEO Tip #1: Improve Site Speed

Your website’s load time has a direct impact on both a visitors experience and your search engine rankings.

Think about this: a one-second delay in page load time could:

  1. Reduce page views by 11%
  2. Increase visitor dissatisfaction by 16%
  3. And, reduce client acquisition by 7%

The speed of your website can have a dramatic effect on your business. Prospective clients searching for a lawyer may not be patient to wait for your website to load before jumping back on Google to find a faster loading lawyer website.

To put this into perspective, Google has performed some research on the average site speed for websites in the United States:

To check the performance of your law firm’s website you can use Google’s free Page Speed Insights Tool. If we take one of the top search results for “California law firm” and put it into this tool, here’s what you’ll see:

Marshall Law Firm has a good score for the desktop version of their website and offers suggestions to improve its performance.

You may want to talk to your web developer to make the appropriate adjustments to your law firm’s webpage load time (i.e. reducing web coding and server response time).

However, according to Yahoo 80% of your website’s load time comes from the different images, videos, and design style to that page. If you can reduce either the size of these files or minimalize your site design, you can improve the performance of your load times.

SEO Tip #2: Focus on Visitor Experience

Google and other search engines want you to focus on user experience and site design. Their goal is to offer the best websites to provide only the best experience.

Your law firm’s website should be responsive which means it can be viewed on both a desktop and a mobile device. Since so many people are using their smartphones to find information, you don’t want to lose potential clients to a competitor staying ahead in the digital race.

Another feature about user experience includes the content on your pages. All your pages should have text and a few images, this is what search engines use to determine what your pages are all about.

Think about some of the best websites you enjoy. That’s the kind of experience you want to provide when someone visits your website or reads your law firm’s blog.

SEO Tip #3: Use Words People Search For

Understanding which words are being used in search engines is the most important part of your law firm’s SEO strategy.

Keywords, the words or phrases used in searches, should be used throughout your website and blog to increase your website’s search engine rankings and help you attract potential clients.

There are a number of free research tools you can use to find exactly which keywords people are using. Here are a few you can start using now:

  1. WordStream
  2. SERPS
  3. Google Keyword Planner
  4. Keyword.io (for longtail keywords)

SEO Tip #4: Create Keyword Specific Pages

Once you have discovered the keywords related to your law firm, the next step is to start building pages or blog posts with them in it.

Be sure to use specific keyword phrases and don’t be afraid to create pages from keywords that have low competition. For example, if a keyword phrase like “low price divorce attorney” only gets 10 to 50 searches per month, yours may be the only website specific enough to answer their questions (and potential business inquiries).

SEO Tip #5: Avoid Penalties

No one fully understands how a website is ranked by search engines, however, there are a few known penalties that can affect you. Here are a few you should know about:

  • This penalty occurs if your website is showing full content to Google and partial content to your visitors. For example, if you force users to sign-in, register, or log-in to see the full content.
  • Hacked Site. If your website has been hacked and its redirecting visitors to spammy sites, search engines like Google will quickly pick up on this and flag it. The results can lead to your website getting buried in the search engines.
  • Keyword Stuffing. From time to time, using keywords in your law firm’s blog is how search engines know which content to offer their searchers. However, if you use the keyword too many times, known as keyword stuffing, your website can be penalized for it.

Getting a penalty on your website can dramatically damage your standings on the results pages of search engines. Here, the best SEO tip for lawyers is to avoid these penalties and use search engine webmaster tools (such as Google Search Console) to monitor your website. If there’s ever a problem with your website, for example, if it gets hacked, Google Search Console will send you an immediate notification.

SEO Tip #6: Add Your Law Firm’s Website to Google My Business

Google My Business is extremely important to your website’s search rankings as it affects your local SEO. After you sign up, you have to wait for a postcard to be sent via mail to verify your business. As soon as you get it, verify your website so you can show up in localized and map searched.

Other search engines have their own local listings and directories which you should add your website to:

In addition to these popular business directories, you should also put your website up on these lawyer specific listings:

SEO Tip #7: Use a Strong CTA

Of all the lawyer SEO tips to help improve your website’s search rankings and attracting more visitors to your website, this is the one tip that matters most.

A call to action is a unique and noticeable statement telling visitors what to do when they arrive at your website. When potential clients are coming to your website you should have a dedicated page with a contact box, location, and other ways to reach you.

Additionally, you should think about how to make your number and contact information pop-off the page. Or, consider offering a free consultation if they schedule an appointment online. Whatever you do, after putting all this work into getting people to your website, contacting you should be obvious and easy to do.

Your Ultimate Guide to Getting More Referrals

How do I get more referrals?

Wow, what a question. It’s the single most important question you’ll ask when starting and growing your law firm.

Fortunately, I’ve got the answer. Below, I’m giving you the ultimate guide to getting quality referrals for your law firm. Even if you’re a complete beginner, here are the best tips to growing your law firm through word of mouth marketing. Let’s get started.

Network

play-stone-1237497_640Network with anybody you can get in front of. This includes fellow attorneys for sure, but also expands beyond your colleagues.

Consider networking with other small business owners in your area, too. These small business owners have access to a wide group of customers along with their own friends and family.

If you’ve niched down and offer specialized services, consider reaching out to businesses within that industry. Establish relationships with them. For example, if you specialize in prenups, you should cozy up to wedding planners. It’s a congruent relationship that makes sense.

Join groups online and in person, too. LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to start. But you can also contact your local chamber of commerce to find out about area events and social hours where you can mingle.

If the word “mingle” gives you the hives, I get it. Believe me, I get it. But if you want more clients, you’ve got to put yourself out there and be personable. Putting yourself out there is quite frankly the only way to get more exposure and earn referrals.

Here’s a list of networking tips to help you get more referrals.
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Make Customer Service a Top Priority

Even if you’re a one-person-shop, your customer service should be second to none. It doesn’t cost anything to smile, be friendly, and respond in a prompt and professional manner. And it doesn’t cost much to hire someone else to do it for you, if you find that you’re too busy to answer phones, make coffee, and meet with prospective clients.

When you make the client a priority and go out of your way to offer outstanding service, you’ll find that your current clients are more willing to recommend you to their friends and family.

Be a Referrer

It sounds counterintuitive— you want to get referrals, not give them. But there’s so much truth in the old saying, “scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” If you find yourself with a client that’s not the right fit, don’t hold onto them— that’s not going to serve them or you. Instead, send them to someone who’s right for them.

This will do 3 things:

  1. It will free you up for a client that makes more sense for your law firm.
  1. It will build trust with that referred client. He may not need your services now, but he’ll definitely remember you if he needs your services in the future. Plus, you’re demonstrating that on the scale of trustworthy to money-grubbing, you’re leaning way over to the trustworthy side. You’re not just taking them on because you want the money. You’re passing them on to the right person.
  1. You will ingratiate yourself to your fellow attorney you sent the client to. Now, the attorney will be in your debt, and much more likely to send you clients, too.

Woo Your Current Clients

When you have a client, he or she is worth his weight in gold. Not only are they willing to pay you for your service, they’re also have the potential to advertise yours services to their own circle of influence.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to groom them as potential referrers.

And, not just when they’re in your office. Keep in contact with your clients throughout the year. Keep it simple and send a card to commemorate birthdays, holidays, or anniversaries. Make yourself a part of their family. This will keep you at the top of your clients’ minds, so that when the time comes, they’ll be ready to pass your name to their friends and family.

Simply Ask Your Clients

Although I recommend nurturing your clients, there’s no shame in simply asking your clients to refer you straight out. The best time to do so is after successfully rendering a service. This is the time when they’re happy with you and willing to evangelize on your behalf.

Be Specific With Your Ask

When asking for referrals, don’t be vague. Be clear about what type of client you want. For example, if you’re interested in finding musicians to represent, ask your network if they know that specific type of client.

Thank Referrers

Don’t forget to thank those who’ve referred clients to you– this way, they’ll do it again! Whether clients, fellow attorneys, or others that you’ve networked with, send them a small token of your appreciation. Food gifts (cookies, cupcakes, dave and harry pears, omaha steaks, you name it) are always great. It’s a folksy way of saying thank you.

Take Advantage of Avvo

avvo(1)Image Courtesy of Avvo

Avvo is a crucial part of marketing yourself online. As we discussed in our ultimate guide to Avvo (that you can read here), many prospects turn to Avvo to research potential attorneys. Users rely heavily on Avvo’s review system to decide which attorney is right for them.

As you see, Avvo can serve as both an advertiser and a referral source for you.

Be Social

Believe it or not, social media can work as a superstar referral agent for you. Think about it: you’ve got access to a whooping one billion members through Facebook alone.

Use paid ads to extend your reach on social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.

If you don’t want to pay for ads yet, you can still make it through organic reach on video channels like YouTube and, to a lesser extent, Vimeo. Make a video to attract clients (we show you how here), and then enjoy the influx of social referrals who would’ve never known about you otherwise.

Buy Radio and TV Spots

if you can afford it, why not go for the gusto and pay for a radio ad, a tv commercial, or both? Depending on your market, it may not be as expensive as you think. For example, a radio ad in Miami, FL may be $1500, but one in Pensacola, FL may only be $250.

Also, prices vary based on what time you’d like for the ad to run. A rush hour spot may be much more expensive than at mid-evening.

The benefits of running radio or TV ads are that you will open yourself up to your community at large. It’s another level of market saturation that can positively impact your referral efforts.

Final Thoughts

Referrals are the bread and butter of most law practices. Use these tips to build up your referral network and bring in more clients. If you’d like ongoing advice on getting clients, and growing your law firm, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

Here’s a list of networking tips to help you get more referrals.