How to Write Irresistible Calls to Action That Make People Click on Your Attorney Internet Marketing

Calls to action may very well be the last thing on your mind. What with writing concise email content, engaging blog articles, and creative social media posts, crafting those little phrases should be at the bottom of your to-do list, right?

Think again. Strategic calls to action can act as some of the most powerful weapons in your attorney marketing arsenal; they can convince people to click and provide their contact information so you can build your email list.

They can transform potential clients from cold leads to warm leads. They can lead traffic to your website and build a blog following.

If all of that sounds appealing, read on to learn how to write irresistible calls to action that make people click on your attorney internet marketing.

Appeal to Their Curiosity

Calls to action like “learn more about ___________” are great attention-grabbers. They appeal to a reader’s curiosity and desire for more information about a topic that interests them. Simple, yes, but often more effective for your attorney internet marketing than you may think.

“Learn more about why Houston voted us Friendliest Bankruptcy Law Firm!” is one example that could push website visitors to go from looky-loos to warm leads.

Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)

Minimize the Risk Factor

Just because people are perusing your website doesn’t mean they’re ready to take the plunge and pick up the phone. Minimizing the risk factor can take the pressure off and increase the probability of potential clients moving forward in the sales process. For instance, a “Try now!” call to action is nonthreatening because it implies no obligation, merely the chance to find out if your legal services are a good fit.

Give Them Something for Free

Something for nothing—talk about a great deal! That’s how prospects will see the term “free” when it’s included in calls to action on your website. For example, a criminal defense firm could implement a call to action reading “Receive a free consultation from our compassionate legal experts now!” This text could be in a website sidebar, at the bottom of blog posts, within a web pop-up, or even on an eye-catching but unobtrusive Hello Bar at the top of their site—the attorney internet marketing possibilities are endless!

Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)

Start a Conversation

Simple phrases like “Talk to us” or “Our team is here to listen—contact us now” sound friendly and attentive, and can push website visitors to click on that live chat button, send you an email, or even call.

Like all inbound marketing, this attorney internet marketing strategy forces the potential clients to come to you, saving your firm time and money. All your attorney team has to do is monitor the phones, email, and live chat to be ready with a friendly voice whenever prospects can’t resist that call to action.

We’ll help you create a sophisticated attorney website that works.  Ask about our affordable website design services now!

Why Do I Need Website Content?

Getting a website to rank well on Google takes time and effort. Many lawyers in competitive areas don’t have the patience or commitment to improve their ranking the right way.
In short, they want a magic bullet that will let them jump ahead of competitors with better websites and a bigger web presence.

Can Google Be Tricked?

Yes. Google’s ranking algorithm is sophisticated but not flawless. Unscrupulous web marketers regularly find ways to exploit the system. These techniques are called “black hat” after the preferred headgear of villains in old Western movies.
Google wants to deliver the most relevant results to their users, so when these flaws are discovered, Google improves its ranking system. Google’s code is updated 10 times a week by some estimates.
There is a certain pattern that has emerged over time:

  1. Spammers find a way to trick Google.
  2. Their sites rank well for a while.
  3. Google changes the algorithm, and the offending sites drop.

There are dozens of “search engine optimization” techniques that were once the next big thing but are now virtually worthless. These include:

  • Meta keyword tags;
  • Stuffing keywords in image alt text; and
  • Linking to your site from blog comments.

What Methods Have Lasting Effects?

Through it all, there have been two methods that have consistently been rewarded by Google:

  • Posting high-quality content on your site; and
  • Getting reputable sites to link to you.

These are not the quickest or easiest methods of improving your site’s ranking, but the effort you put in now will pay dividends for a long time to come (as opposed to black hat methods that could stop working tomorrow).

4 Tips for Building Effective Attorney Marketing Landing Pages

Landing pages are targeted promotions that enable you to be more focused with your online marketing efforts, translating into higher rates of conversion. These are designed differently from your homepage and are distilled to hone in on a specific service that your firm offers such as a work permit, a temporary resident permit, or a study permit.

1. Use Attractive Headlines.

Demonstrate to visitors how your law firm’s services can solve their problems. Address the purpose of the page specifically and concisely, as headlines are the first thing your audience sees.

For example, the headline “Sponsor Your Spouse to Canada” is simple, direct, and has performed better than a variant that read: “Long Distance Relationships are hard; Sponsorship Should Be Easy”.

2. Be Simple.

Do not give your audience too much to read or too much to click. Home pages are for navigation; landing pages are for generating leads for a specific service that your firm offers. Highlight a few key points that describe the service and how your audience can benefit from it.

It is wise to play around with different titles and formulas for your landing pages to see what elicits the most responses. Templates from websites such as Unbounce are excellent guidelines for how you should build your landing page.

3. Transmit Trust.

Displaying a privacy policy, embedding videos describing your law firm, and adding a face to your landing page are all effective trust-building mechanisms that will distinguish your firm as a legitimate practice offering an important service. It is especially important to add a privacy statement to clearly establish that your firm has no intention of sending your visitors spam or selling their email addresses.

4. Design Compelling Calls-to-Action.

Assessment forms are an excellent way to generate leads and will save your firm time by delivering the essential information you need to evaluate potential clients.

A well-designed call-to-action button is necessary in order for these forms to be completed. Make your button big, use contrasting colours to distinguish it from the rest of your page, and place your form where viewers do not have to scroll down to see it. Deviate from the generic ‘submit’ button by using urgent language that conveys exactly what your audience will gain from your service.

The Anatomy of a Compelling White Paper

One of the many legal marketing pieces that can establish you as an expert within your legal niche, a white paper is an educational piece that presents solutions to a reader’s pain points or problem. When written well, white papers can be incredibly effective at engaging audiences and positioning you as an expert in your legal niche. The information below outlines the anatomy of a compelling white paper and gives you a template to use.

Attention-Grabbing Title: Draw the Reader In

Like the subject line of an email, the title either draws the reader in or pushes them away, so be sure to quickly address a pain point or tease an irresistible topic. One example of this with a personal injury firm is “What You Need to Know About Medicare When Your Medical Bills Are Piling Up.”

Underneath the title(s) is the author byline, which is an opportunity to credit your firm and brand the piece.

Abstract and/or Introduction: Explain Further to Ensure Reading

An abstract is a brief paragraph that presents the value of your white paper, highlighting findings in an attempt to convince people to read. An introduction is like a watered down version of an abstract—it reviews the reader’s pain points, outlines the purpose of the white paper, outlines a brief strategy for addressing the problem at hand, and most importantly, catches the reader’s attention.

An abstract isn’t strictly necessary but it can help increase readership. Try featuring one in a legal marketing email to convince recipients to provide an email address for access to the full paper, for instance. Always include an introduction before jumping into the body content of your white paper.

Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)

Body: Solve Their Problem
The “meat” of a white paper should cover a few key elements:

  • The reader’s problem or pain points
  • The value of addressing this issue
  • The solution to the problem

Here are a few strategies for hitting all of these elements in an organized, efficient, and compelling manner.

  1. Make an outline with sections, subsections, and descriptive headers

Dividing the white paper into sections provides structure so readers can more easily internalize important points and want to keep reading.

  1. Employ statistics and quotations

Statistics and formal research can be particularly powerful within legal white papers, and quotations from attorneys within your firm can’t hurt either. Just don’t forget to credit all sources.

  1. Present a clear solution

Don’t make readers work for it. Use graphics and images if necessary to simplify complex information.

Conclusion: Reexamine and Summarize

The conclusion should wrap up everything presented in previous sections, such as the reader’s pain points, the objective of the white paper, and most effective solutions. This is also the perfect time to tell readers where they can find further resources—your website and blog! Just don’t go overboard on the legal marketing and push your services too hard here; let the value of the white paper speak for itself, convincing readers that you are the best resource to help them with their problem.

Stay in touch with former and existing clients, and increase referrals. Contact us now to learn about our custom email marketing services!

Ideas to Freshen Your Online Legal Marketing

Marketers are always looking for the next big trend, and never more so than at the beginning of a new year when they’re outlining their annual strategy. Producing great content still reigns supreme this year in terms of branding your practice, engaging audiences, and establishing yourself and your firm as experts, but there’s also room to spruce up your online legal marketing plan. Don’t miss out on these two big ideas making waves on the marketing scene.

Episodic Content

Episodic content capitalizes on readers’ love of suspense and the power of scarcity. Instead of releasing content all at once, episodic content focuses on producing content in multiple parts. This keeps readers anxiously awaiting the next installment.
To take advantage of this strategy, write an elongated post and break it into smaller parts, releasing one each week. Or, explore a different element of a multi-faceted topic every week. For instance, a bankruptcy law firm could create a series on understanding the different types of bankruptcy and which is best for the reader. A divorce and family law practice might want to explore the ins and outs of childrearing in separate households including parenting plans, visitation schedules, and best practices for conflict management.

When employing this legal marketing tactic, remember to:

  • Tease upcoming articles
  • Hyperlink to past articles in the bodies of later posts
  • Mention promotions or special offers within relevant posts
  • Encourage readers to sign up for your email newsletter to receive more great content
  • Include “share to social media” buttons: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter

Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)

Interactive Marketing

This legal marketing approach is a way of communicating directly with individual consumers based upon their specific actions and preferences. Ideally, it promotes a constructive conversation between law firms and clients, and creates a much more powerful relationship than traditional marketing geared toward a wide audience.
Interactive legal marketing could take many forms, such as:

  • An interactive website for a large, multi-service law firm that funnels visitors to the right contact information or portion of the website depending on their needs, e.g., a visitor clicks the “personal injury” tab and then is prompted to click either “injured on the job” or “injured outside of work,” followed by further questions and prompts such as “injured within the past month” or “injured more than 1 month ago,” etc.
  • An interactive blog page that pops up article suggestions based upon the posts read by each particular visitor

How to Create Content for Every Stage of the Marketing Funnel

On any given day, there are several different types of prospects that will visit your law firm’s website or stumble upon your content: comparison shoppers looking for the right legal practice, information-gatherers, and people who are still deciding whether to pursue legal action. If you’re only producing content for one kind of prospect, you’re missing out on building relationships with everyone else.

Don’t sabotage your chances of converting more prospects into clients. Learn how to create content for people in each stage of the marketing funnel, below.

The Inbound Marketing Funnel

There are four stages of the legal marketing funnel:

  • Top of the funnel (TOFU) is the awareness stage, where your prospects realize that they have a problem or challenge they would like to address. For instance, let’s say that Jane was in a car accident—she was rear-ended and broke her arm, which resulted in significant hospital bills and rehabilitation costs. Financially and physically crippled, Jane turns to the internet for advice.
  • Middle of the funnel (MOFU) is the consideration stage where prospects have decided to address their problem or challenge and are trying to decide which solution is best. For example, Jane is considering a consultation with a personal injury law firm but isn’t sure whether she would have a strong case. She decides to read blog articles and case studies from several personal injury law firm websites.
  • Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is the decision stage, where prospects are committed to a certain course of action and are comparing firms. For instance, Jane has flagged two personal injury law firms as very promising and is comparing reviews and services to determine which to move forward with.
  • There is also a fourth stage of the attorney marketing funnel that often receives less attention than the main three: the retention, or delight, stage. This stage focuses on engaging past clients in order to promote your law firm’s reputation and encourage referrals. Because referrals can be a very effective and inexpensive way to garner more business, your law firm should focus just as much on stage 4 of the funnel as the other three stages.

Top of the Funnel: Provide Insight    

At this point, prospects are all about gathering information; it’s too early for your law firm to push a consultation. Focus on being the most helpful resource possible by creating informational marketing materials like:

  • Blog posts (which should be shared on social media)
  • Videos
  • E-books
  • White papers
  • Studies
  • Reports

These resources should concentrate on topics, questions, and keyword phrases that your audience would search for online. In the example of Jane the car accident victim above, this could be “injured in car accident,” “medical bills from car crash,” “rear-ended in car accident expensive medical bills.”

Your personal injury law firm doesn’t have to use these exact keywords—simply use them as a jumping off point for brainstorming resources that prospects would find helpful. 

Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)

 

Middle of the Funnel: Help Them Determine Whether Legal Action is Appropriate   

Your prospect has done some research, maybe even opted into your law firm’s email list to access an e-book, and is now considering whether they should pursue legal action. What can you do to qualify the lead, help them make the decision to consider legal action (if appropriate), and nurture them down the funnel?

Consider content like:

  • Webinars and videos answering the question “Do I have a case?”
  • Free consultation
  • White papers
  • Expert guides
  • Drip email campaigns

Remember, this stage is about building relationships with prospects and guiding them toward the best solution. If the optimal solution for Jane is to pursue a personal injury case, for instance, then you have already built rapport with her and therefore have a better chance of winning her business compared to the competition. 

Bottom of the Funnel: Demonstrate That Your Law Firm is the Best

Prospects at this stage are deciding which law firm to consult. Your job is to be there at the right place and time to convert them into your client. Feel free to employ:

  • Written or video testimonials
  • Positive online reviews
  • Comparisons to competitors in your niche and local area
  • Case studies
  • Free consultations 

If you’ve done the work of building a relationship with the prospect from the bottom of the funnel and through the middle stage—like providing information to Jane and then demonstrating why pursuing a personal injury case is right for her—then extending the right offer or differentiating yourself from the competition could close the deal.   

After the Funnel: Choosing to Refer

Going silent on clients after case close is not going to win you any fans. Stay in touch with valuable connections through:

  • Requests for online reviews and testimonials (with the James Legal CRM, clients like Jane will automatically receive a request for a review after case close)
  • Thank you cards
  • Email newsletters
  • Holiday cards
  • Interesting blog articles
  • Promotional items
  • Referral incentives
  • Social media contests

Demonstrate that you always value their business—not just while they’re an active client—and you could be rewarded tenfold with referred business, which means more cases with less money spent on attorney marketing.

 

How to Give Your Attorney Blog Some Personality

When it comes to online marketing, most experts will agree that having a blog is a key component of a successful strategy.

Blogs give you visibility, they help establish your expertise and, because the search engines love them so much, they can even help improve your organic ranking.

But just having a blog is one thing; making that blog engaging and entertaining is quite another.

Here then, are a few ways to give your blog some personality.

Ditch the Lawyer-Speak

I spent years drafting pleadings and motions and contracts, so I’m well-versed in just how “exact” legal documents need to be. Nothing is left to interpretation, everything is defined in explicit detail and there’s always plenty ofheretofores, whereas-es and legal terminology peppered throughout.

And that’s just the nature of the beast… the law is nothing if not thorough.

But the rest of the world doesn’t talk that way. And while your clients certainly appreciate your ability to use that legalese when drafting their documents, they’d rather not have to decipher it in your daily communications.
And the same is true with your blog.

The fact that you’re discussing complex legal matters doesn’t mean you have to use complex language to do it. Yes, include terminology if it’s relevant, but then explain that terminology in a simple, no-nonsense kind of way. Help your readers not just come to the conclusion that you know your stuff, but also actually understand the stuff you’re telling them.

Use Stories

As a freelance writer, I’ve written on a number of topics, but all my most popular articles – regardless of subject matter – have one thing in common: they resonate with the reader.

And the easiest way to do this is to tell a story.

Stories transform legal concepts into situations and circumstances that could actually happen. Instead of just reading about specific laws that stipulate how retirement accounts are affected during a divorce for example, the reader suddenly understands how those laws are likely to play out in real life.

And if you’re worried about violating attorney-client privilege, don’t be… you don’t have to use stories from your own cases. Celebrities provide plenty of material that can be parlayed into an example that’s blog-worthy and you’ll likely get some extra traffic just because you included the celebrity’s name.

You can also use hypothetical stories to illustrate your post, giving you the ability to craft the story the way you want it to go. You’re not reporting news or fact at this point – you’re simply giving your readers a visual representation of the concept you’re trying to convey.

Get Personal… and Personable

For most people, choosing an attorney is much like choosing a healthcare provider: you want someone who’s good of course, but you also want someone you like. Granted, that second requirement might go right out the window in an emergency, but if given the chance to shop around, most people will follow the chemistry.

And it’s up to you to create it.

Your blog is a perfect opportunity to let your readers see the other, not-so-legal sides of you. An adventurous spirit, a love of travel or a wicked backhand are all pieces of the puzzle that is “You” and whether you realize it or not, all those pieces help to influence the way you run your business and the way you practice law.

Sharing some personal experiences or your thoughts on current events allow you to connect with your readers on a very personal level… and connecting with your readers is the quickest way to turn them into clients.

How To Keep Your Content SEO Safe in Google’s Unsafe World

Until recently, most website operators looked to Google as a trusted friend. Google was only there to help; to make sure your optimized website and blog were indexed and found on their search engine.

Then seemingly overnight, Google rolled out algorithm updates that turned a cold shoulder to sites that had long been showered in Google love. Millions of site rankings dropped, some sites fell off the index charts completely, and SEO practices that had once worked wonders for a site were now hurting it—leaving lonely web operators to ponder what went wrong.

In a flash, once-trusted SEO techniques and content methods for boosting a site’s Google ranking have forever changed. To ensure that your lawyer website’s placement stays as safe as possible against the next round of updates (and they’re coming), here are some SEO tips to weather Google’s algorithm storms.

For Starters, Why Did Google Change?

There was a time when SEO operators figured out how to game the system. By manipulating backlinks, spinning duplicate content, keyword stuffing, cloaking sites, and engaging in other spammy tactics, operators were able to feed misleading information to Google to boost PageRank on their sites.

These black hat operators started on the down low, but became so overwhelming that Google’s search engine wasn’t functioning the way it was intended: to provide folks with quality search results. That’s when Google called in the algorithm police.

Google’s algorithm police (Google Panda and Google Penguin, respectively) may seem like cruel operators, but they’re not. These algorithms simply make sure that sites getting Google’s attention rightfully deserve it—and that Google users don’t have to filter through top-ranked sites packed with spam and other unreadable, unusable, Internet junk.

What Sites Are Affected By The Updates?

Sites that are most affected by Google’s algorithm updates are sites that practice unethical SEO techniques. The list is many, but some black hat practices include:

  • Paid links
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Keyword link text
  • Duplicate content
  • Duplicate URL’s

If a lawyer website uses these, Google’s algorithms will mark the site as low quality, and decrease the site’s rankings at best, or de-index the site and remove it from their search base, at worst.

Note: It’s important to clarify that a website can be positively affected by Google’s updates. Just as sites that practice spammy, black hat techniques will be penalized, sites that engage in white hat SEO are likely to see a PageRank boost.

How Do I Keep My Site Safe?

No matter what algorithm updates Google rolls out next, the key to keeping your site’s rankings safe is providing valuable, quality content on your lawyer website, blog, videos (Google loves videos), even your social media pages. Link to quality sites, update your content at least 3-4 times a week (daily is preferred), and create a site that not only readers will return to, but so will Google’s search bots.

Put Your Content on Medium

If your attorney internet marketing plan includes your law firm blog, posts on LinkedIn Pulse, and maybe even a few guest blog articles, your strategy is nearly complete. There’s just one more platform you should be taking advantage of in order to build an audience and promote your practice: Medium.

Medium is a different kind of publishing platform that users are flocking to… which presents a huge opportunity for your firm. Keep reading for three big reasons why you should give Medium a try, as well as tips for making your law firm’s posts more attractive.

Why Your Firm Needs to Be on Medium

  1. Good content takes center stage so small firms can make a big splash

Medium prides itself on being “a beautiful space for reading and writing—and little else.” While you can add images to your posts for clarification or appeal, that’s about it. The simple editor will automatically adjust each piece’s design so you don’t have to worry about aesthetics and instead, can focus on “storytelling” (Medium refers to posts as “stories”).

The better the storytelling, the greater the post’s visibility.

  • Users have the option to Recommend posts using a designated button at the bottom of each article.
  • The number of people who Recommend each post as well as the ratio of people who read it after seeing it, all help to essentially rank the article among everything posted on Medium.
  • Readers also have the option to share each post by Twitter, Facebook, and email.
  • Higher ranked articles are promoted based on the idea that the more people recommending the content, the greater its value.

Why does all of this matter to your firm and its attorney internet marketing strategy?

Because you don’t have to be a tech genius or huge law firm with unlimited resources to make a splash on Medium. As long as you’re producing good legal content that provides value to your clients (prospective, past, and current) and the legal community, you have as good a chance as any big name law firm to gather a following on Medium.

  1. Your audience is out there

Roughly 25-30 million visitors use Medium monthly as of January 2016, and the audience is continuing to grow. Some big names jumping on board are The Gates Foundation and The White House. Because anyone can make an account and read and write about everything from technology to politics, there’s a built-in audience out there that would be interested in your legal content.

Medium is a great way to determine what types of articles rank highly among your audiences—clients and the legal community—so you can hone your writing direction and consistently improve your attorney internet marketing. 

  1. Publishing is easy, with a high potential ROI

Medium’s editor interface is very user-friendly. They’ve stripped away unnecessary customization options so you can copy and paste text right in, add an image, post tags, and even videos from your YouTube channel or Tweets from your practice’s Twitter account, and then publish. If you prefer to get a bit more feedback before publishing or want to build relationships with other bloggers or law firms, Medium enables you to easily collaborate with other users.

Overall, the experience is quick and painless. It only takes a few minutes to post and you can experience a great payoff on minimal investment.

Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)

3 Tips for Publishing Great Articles on Medium

There are several things you can do to make your attorney internet marketing more effective on Medium. 

  1. Integrate your legal blog with Medium

For those law firms concerned with the SEO impacts of posting on Medium and their own law firm blogs, have no fear—you can integrate your WordPress blog with Medium using the latter’s integration tool. This means that in terms of ranking, your blog site will act as the primary source for content. Basically, the content on Medium will be cross-posted from your blog so there’s no SEO hit from posting identical content on multiple platforms.

  1. Hyperlink back to your blog and website

Whether or not you’re able to integrate your website blog with Medium, one best practice for attorney internet marketing is to include hyperlinks to other blog content within articles. This creates more links back to your site and provides further resources for readers to access.

For example, consider hyperlinking back to a post about the most common field sobriety tests in a post about DUI checkpoints during the holidays.

  1. Use calls to action and tags

Calls to action should already be an essential element of your attorney internet marketing strategy. Be sure to continue the trend here and include a call to action within Medium posts to prompt readers to action. Publishing a post about Social Security disability benefits? Try a call to action like: “Our attorneys fight for hardworking people like you to receive the Social Security disability benefits they deserve. Request a free consultation about your case today!”

Additionally, be sure to take advantage of the three tags allowed on every Medium post. “Bankruptcy,” “credit card debt,” and “bankruptcy attorney” can help a bankruptcy firm’s posts reach the right readers.

Market Your Law Firm Using Press Releases

Despite all the arguments out there that text-heavy marketing pieces are dead due to social media and our fast-paced lifestyles, evidence suggests that press releases can still pack a punch for your law firm. They remain one of the best avenues for reaching prospects and clients, and branding your practice both online and in print.

Read on to uncover what you need to know about marketing your law firm via press releases and including why customization is a must-do in today’s media scene.

Valuable Press Release Statistics

According to PR.co’s analysis of 50,000 press releases, the majority of press releases are published on Tuesday through Thursday—53%—and 61% of press release viewership occurs on Monday through Thursday. Additionally, these valuable statistics can help to guide your law firm’s press release and marketing strategy:

  • Media consumers read the most press releases on Wednesday; 16% of all press release views occur on this day
  • Another quarter of press releases are read on the weekend
  • Friday is the slowest day of the work week in terms of publishing and viewership

What This Data Means

Viewing the data above, it may seem counterintuitive to suggest that your firm push press releases and pitch them to journalists over the weekend. After all, if most businesses are publishing on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, they’ve got to be doing it correctly, right?

Wrong. When marketing your law firm using press release, take advantage of the dearth of media communication over the weekend. Because there’s less press release competition, journalists may just pay more attention to the articles you’re sending on Saturdays and Sundays, particularly if they involve breaking legal news.

Customizing Press Release Campaigns and Pitches

Customizing press release campaigns is key to their success. In general, smaller, more personalized campaigns receive higher open rates and viewership than larger ones. For example, according to research, an email campaign sent to 20 people experiences an average click rate of 14% and open rate of 38%, while a pitch sent to 100 recipients sees an 8% click rate and 29% open rate.

A tailored message sent to a handful of the right people can do much more for your firm than a mass distribution that may annoy journalists and damage cherished media relationships. Therefore, when marketing your law firm via press releases, take the time to determine the top 5 to 15 media contacts that would find your press release most valuable to their features. This could be an editor of a local metropolitan publication or a feature writer forThe American Lawyer.

Then, send out a personalized message. Address journalists by name and explain how your press release will appeal to their reader demographics. For instance, an announcement about the affirmative verdict of a recent wrongful death case spearheaded by your firm against a local hospital could be an interesting piece for readers of a local newspaper or online medical news forum.

Sure, this process will take longer than cookie cutter messaging, but your firm will receive a higher payoff for time spent.
Learn how to make the most of press releases and SEO for your practice!

The Power of Teaching

When you teach in your marketing, you are looked upon as a trusted and valuable expert instead of a huckster. If you answer legal questions on your website, in your emails or newsletter, and on your videos, you are seen as someone caring and helpful rather than someone focused on his or her income.
If you educate thoughtfully in your marketing, you can (1) draw a legal consumer who does some self-screening before calling, (2) reduce the number of times you have to answer the same basic questions, (3) obtain clients with a higher level of formal schooling and income.
This is not hard to do.

For Articles

  1. Write down the 10 questions you are most frequently asked by new clients.
  2. Add the 10 questions you aren’t but should be asked.
  3. Write a 300-400 word article answering each question, tackling one or two each week.
  4. Place your target keywords in the headline and first and last paragraphs of each article.

For Videos

  1. Answer one question on each video.
  2. Use “video” and your targeted keywords in each video’s title.
  3. Post one video per page.

Once you are used to creating text and video content, you will find that it is not difficult. If you keep a file of ideas, then, when you have time to create, you will not waste time trying to think of good topics.

I have a blog–now what?

It’s pretty common for new businesses jumping into the world of online marketing and Web 2.0 to hear the advice “Start a blog.” In this new age of search engine optimization and social media, blogs are crucial tools that can be used to drive traffic to your site, communicate with your customers, and improve your search rankings. But that advice too often forgets to answer the obvious follow-up question, “What am I supposed to put on my blog?” Starting a blog is easy; maintaining it is less so.
It might be tempting to just create a static website with a few pages containing all the information you think you should have, and trust that those pages alone should be enough to generate readers. But what you think is important to users and what search engines think are important to users are not always the same. For example, sites that are updated more frequently tend to stay higher in the rankings than sites that remain static for months or years on end, and content specifically tailored to your customers and toward terms that users are likely to search for can improve your search rankings and draw more traffic.
Having a custom blog can go a long way toward convincing both search engines and readers that your site is informative and that your services are valuable, and that’s where our team of custom content writers and bloggers comes in. We write custom blog posts tailored to your field and specialty and designed to improve your search rankings, giving your readers useful information and reasons to keep coming back to your site. It may seem like the same thing could be accomplished with a single web page, but we’re confident the results speak for themselves.

5 Ways To Increase Press Release SEO

Your communications team may be dedicating a significant chunk of your law firm’s web marketing resources toward writing and distributing press releases in order to garner local and national attention. Yet, if you have not addressed the topic of optimizing your press releases for SEO purposes, you may not be experiencing the full return on your investments.

Consider the following press release guidelines and best practices, and then assess: are you making the most of your law firm’s web marketing?

Start with Keyword Phrases

SEO is all about increasing traffic to your law firm’s webpage by appearing on search results pages. Typically, the higher up your website is on search results pages, the more traffic it will experience. So how does your law firm land toward the top? By including relevant keyword phrases designed to appeal to your audience and receive the most search traffic.

Do Your Homework

Some research may be necessary to determine the best keyword phrases. First, brainstorm a list of basic keyword phrases and use that as a jumping off point. For example, if your law firm specializes in criminal defense, it makes sense to begin with “criminal defense” as a core keyword phrase. Then, enhance the base phrase with geographic details and qualifiers like “Orange County criminal defense lawyer,” “Orange County criminal defense law firm,” or “award-winning criminal defense attorney in Orange County.”

Check Out What’s Working

A good practice is to search these phrases using Google and other popular search engines, and examine the results. Do your competitors or similar local law firms appear on the search results pages? If so, you may have uncovered a powerful keyword phrase to utilize as part of your law firm’s web marketing strategy.

Strategically Place Keyword Phrases and Links

Google’s algorithms consider keyword phrases included within the first 100 words of a press release, particularly within the headline and subheading, to be more significant than phrases inserted further into the article. If possible, find a way to include your law firm’s chosen keyword phrases within this optimal real estate.

However, remember that it’s more important to word press releases naturally so that keywords flow with the text than to shove keywords in where they don’t belong. This philosophy applies to links as well; stick with inserting one hyperlink every 100 words or so.

Measure Your Return on Investment

Trial and error is often a great way to find the keyword phrases and press release processes that work for your law firm. After spreading press releases to a variety of appropriate channels like newswire platforms and online publications of local newspapers and magazine, examine your ROI—return on investment—using tools such as Google Analytics. If your law firm isn’t experiencing ideal or increased ROI, tweak your law firm’s web marketing strategy and analyze again.

Try Out New Trends

The beginning of a new year is a great time to try on fresh legal marketing trends for size and determine whether they work for your firm. Who knows—you could discover an innovative way to reach your ideal audience and make this year your best one yet.

>Guest bloggers beware

The Matt Cutts blog post on guest blogging bears revisiting. Google’s chief algorithm engineer posted an update to clarify his views during the past week. As you review your firm’s link building strategy, bear his amendment in mind. Mr. Cutts seems to be back peddling a little in his addition, so focus on the quality of any postings your lawyers may have made on other sites.

Matt Cutts explains why you should not use article directories to build links

Search Engine Journal covered a video issued by Matt Cutts addressing a topic that is closely related to guest blogging – article directories. The article features the video, which shows that Google really seems to be focusing on adjustments to their ranking methodology with respect to content. If you post legal articles for widespread download and integration in other sites, you better pull them.

After Guest Blogging…What’s Left for “Safe” Link Building?

The people at Search Engine Journal put their thinking caps on for alternative content strategies. This article covers the concept of “link earning” as a replacement for “link building.” This is a difficult concept to grasp, but put it to the board of partners when suggesting changes to the firm’s linking strategy.

Three Ways to Build Quality Backlinks Without Guest Posting

One more SEJ article. This one suggests ways your law firm can increase the quality of its content to attract more links and improve rankings.

4 Content Marketing Strategies That Still Build Links

This article from Search Engine Land covers sggestions for quality content to improve rankings. This focuses on ideas such as creating “deeper” content. For example, create ebooks, post them on your own site, and then encouraging other sites to link into them. Putting this into a law firm’s context, you might write PDF guides for your target clients explaining some of the issues in a particular legal situation, such as divorce, or selling a business.

Building a CRAP SEO Content Strategy

Search Engine Watch’s guest blogger (oops), Grant Simmons has come up with a scatological acronym for his recommended strategy on content. This is a long article and quite in depth, so if you an independent lawyer, you would be better off reading this one out of the office, rather than trying to pick it up between meetings.

Content Targeting

Rand Fishkin raised an interesting point in last week’s Moz Blog Whiteboard Friday seminar. That point was about the appeal of Web content and its impact on a business’s target audience. This roundup of SEO news from the past week expands on this theme to look for recommendations from the SEO news sites on creating and assessing content for your law firm’s website. These articles currently appear on the Search Engine Journal, Moz Blog and Search Engine Watch news sites.

Know What Your Audience Wants Before Investing in Content Creation and Marketing – Whiteboard Friday

This is the Rand Fishkin seminar, mentioned in the introduction of this roundup, which discusses the issue of content suitability. Fishkin begins with a scenario in which a website owner racks his brains to come up with an idea for an article on his site. He puts in a lot of work and is pleased with the result. The article, however, wins him no traffic. No one is interested in the posting. This happens a lot in the world of Web content and it is an error that everyone makes. This pitfall is particularly a danger for the legal profession. A lawyer with specialist knowledge may sometimes find topics of law interesting, but those themes have no interest at all to the general public and will not win customers. Fishkin explores avenues and methods to get out on the Web and research the interests of the target market in order to tailor content to attract clients.

6 Degrees of SEO Separation – From Data to Content Performance

BrightEdge founder, Jim Yu, outlines his tips for assessing content through data analysis in this Search Engine Watch article. As a busy lawyer, you might find this approach too time consuming to take on. Yu’s tips include a number of links to more detailed explanations of the six techniques he outlines. If you have the time, these methods are worth learning – statistical analysis is considered essential for website optimization, so it is a good idea to get started on studying methods to improve your content’s appeal. Previously posted articles that attracted a lot of visitors to your site will point the way to themes that will win you clients.

Are Keywords Relevant to SEO in 2015?

The field of search engine optimization is a bit tribal. Some consultants focus on keywords as the key to success, while others say they are completely irrelevant. This article explains the way Google uses keywords and suggests how they should be implemented in the content you post on your site. Google doesn’t just look at the words appearing on a page, but also logs synonyms for those words. In the past “keyword density” was a vital metric for any text on the Web. This factor inspired SEO gurus to demand repetition of a particular phrase throughout an article. This requirement sometimes resulted in artlessly phrased prose designed to contextualize the same phrase over and over again. The search for synonyms means you can vary your text because, for example, “law firm,” “legal practice” and “lawyer’s office” now count with Google as the same phrase.

How To Dissect Your Organic Traffic By Intent & Funnel It Into Sales

This article by SEO guru, Neil Patel develops the issues raised in the article above. SEO is all about attracting people to a site by getting a good ranking on search engine results pages – specifically on Google’s results. Google ranks your site for relevance to keywords. However, now it uses synonyms, you don’t need to repeat the same phrases over and over in your website’s content in order to rank for specific search terms and gain visibility to your target audience. This factor has developed the field of keyword relevance into the concept of “intent.” This just means that you can vary your “keywords” to cover a general theme and target your law firm’s potential clients without posting content that reads like it was written by a robot.

SEO Advice for the SMB

Although this article focuses on “keywords” for SEO, rather than “intent,” it does contain a good example you can run through to look for themes for your content that will reach your target audience via search engine result page rankings. Usefully, the writer uses the phrase “personal injury attorney” in his example, so you won’t have to steer too far from this walk through in order to implement this advice for your law firm.

If you have posted lots of articles, advice and information on your law firm’s website, you are engaging in content marketing, and that’s a good thing. However, how do you let people know all of that great stuff is there? Surely you don’t just sit there and wait for people to chance upon all that important information. You don’t. There are many ways to promote your site’s content and this roundup will cover SEO news stories from the past week that cover this topic.

The SEO news community has been a little unfocused over the past week and only two sites have been able to come up with anything useful: Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Journal and the Moz Blog. Fortunately, these two sites have posted tons of interesting articles over the week.

Is Your Content Credible Enough to Share?

This Moz Blog article makes the point that there is no point going to the effort of promoting your site’s content if that content is a load of rubbish. Above all, the article focuses on a checklist for establishing credibility in your content. As lawyers, this advice might seem obvious. However, there are a few tips in there that highlight credibility-establishing factors that you may have overlooked.

If You Can’t Diversify Your Content, Diversify the Length

In a similar vein to the Moz Blog article above, this Search Engine Journal article suggests some ways to prepare your content to make it more palatable to different audiences. Shorter pieces would be helpful for the man in the street, longer, more detailed pieces would be of more interest to your legal counterparts.

Why and How to Maximize Your Content Shareability

Now you have your content brushed up and suitable to share, this article gets down to the brass tacks of how to go about it. You will find a good table in the article detailing which platforms are better for talking to customers and which are suitable for communicating with your law firm’s business contacts. 

How to Identify a Bad Guest Blogging Site with Eight Questions

You would have read about Google’s sudden turn against guest blogging here at the James Attorney Marketing Blog at the beginning of the year. Therefore, you should proceed with caution if you or any of your partners are invited to post items to blogs on other sites. This article gives tips on how to pick between the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Google to Remove Author Images from Search Results

This Search Engine Watch item covers a topic that all of the SEO news sites picked up, and its subject left all of them speechless. Since last year, Google has been showing a small picture of the author of an article next to its entry in search results pages. The search engine aimed to encourage accountability and promote author authority by identifying the writer. This strategy is a double bonus for lawyers who write for their sites. Not only does it accumulate authority, which flows easily towards lawyers, but also establishes familiarity, making it easier for first-time callers to make an appointment and talk to a well-known lawyer. Now Google is stopping this practice.

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