4 Ways to Increase Your Traffic

If your law firm’s website is generating leads for you, selectively increasing its traffic should result in a proportionate increase in lead flow.

Thus if your site produces 20 leads per month and you in proper fashion bump visitor count by 20%, lead flow should increase to 24 leads per month.

Here are four ways to obtain that traffic boost:

  1. E-blast regularly

By far the most effective law firm digital marketing technique is email. At minimum, you should be collecting email addresses, and plugging them into an auto-responder which sends educational material regularly.

But the big benefit comes from partnering with organizations who have email lists containing good prospects. You send blasts for them to your email list and they do the same for you. You each maintain possession and control of your email lists, and minimize frequency so that your lists remain intact.

For example, an estates attorney could seek eblast partnerships with a:

  • Fee-only financial planner
  • Disability insurance broker
  • Corporate formation service
  • Commercial real estate broker

Done properly, and with multiple partners, this cross-eblasting can deliver a material boost to both your site traffic and, if you offer an attractive lead magnet in exchange for contact information, to the size of your list.

  1. Sharpen your niche

All of your law firm digital marketing will pull better if you can precisely define the benefit you deliver and that definition matches a common legal consumer pain point. Here are some possibilities that could be highlighted in your marketing:

  • Bankruptcy: Repair Your Finances
  • Business Litigation: Efficiently Resolve Your Dispute
  • Criminal: Stay Out of Jail
  • DUI: Keep Your Driver’s License
  • Family: Separated? Get Your Life Back on Track
  • Personal Injury: Don’t Let the Insurer Take Advantage of Your Inexperience

Expand upon your chosen theme throughout your copy, and in exchange for contact information offer an educational booklet that:

  • Details the several routes you will select among to deliver your advertised benefit
  • Lists the pitfalls facing the inexperienced and unrepresented legal consumer
  • Explains the attributes of clients that you look for
  • Presents several representative case studies with positive outcomes
  • Finishes with a description of your approach and the resources you will bring to the matter

Then have an effective closer contact everyone who downloads your booklet and seek an appointment with every prospect who is qualified.

  1. Optimize smarter

If your practice is local, as is the case for most lawyers, the bulk of your initial efforts should be focused on getting into Google’s 3-pack for a variety of keywords. The two primary ways to do so are (a) build citations and (b) obtain positive reviews.

  1. Build citations. Citations are simply online profiles. Every profile needs to be identical, which is not the case with most law firms because the task has been handled manually by different people.

To avoid that problem, we use software when creating citations for law firms. You can ensure uniformity at a reasonably-high percentage if you provide a model that is to be religiously followed.
We recommend law firms start with profiles on the following online directories:

General

 

google.comyellowbook.comlinkedin.com
facebook.comangieslist.comsuperpages.com
yahoo.comwhitepages.combbb.org
kudzu.commapquest.cominsiderpages.com
foursquare.comyellowbot.comyelp.com
chamberofcommerce.comyellowpages.compowerprofiles.com
citysearch.comdirectorycentral.com

Legal

 

AVVOFindLawMartindale
HGJustiaLawyers
Duke LawWallethubLawinfo
LawGuruUSLegalILRG

For our local search clients, we build citations on 78 legal directories and several hundred general directories.

The keywords you use when building citations are important. Keyword selection is a large topic which has been covered in many articles, but essentially you are seeking to rank for phrases that have solid local search volume with medium competition.

Here are a couple less-obvious examples for each of a variety of specialties:

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy lawyers near me
Chapter 7 means test

Criminal

Assault charges
Suspended license

Disability

Social Security disability appeal
Disability claim

Family

Father’s rights
Custody lawyers

Immigration

Deferred action
Green card lawyer

Landlord/Tenant

Landlord tenant rights
Eviction help

Personal Injury

Wrongful death cases
Car wreck lawyer

Probate/Estate

Trust attorney
Will lawyer

<p style=”padding: 20px; margin: 20px; border: 1px dashed #707070; text-align: center; font-weight: bold; background-color: #ffffff; font-size: 18px;”><a data-sumome-listbuilder-id=”f96212be-3e8d-46e6-855c-25e02cb058c0″>Facing challenges with your law firm digital marketing? Click here to get our solutions to common problems faced by law firms.</a></p>
b. Obtain positive reviews. In their 3-pack of local lawyers, Google will provide a star-ranking, if one is available, and display the phone numbers, address, and hours of operation.
To obtain a star-ranking, you must have 5 reviews on Google+. As you can imagine, if your competition has a star-ranking and you don’t, the typical prospect is going to first call the lawyer with a high ranking, not the lawyer with no ranking.
In addition to obtaining reviews on Google+, you should pursue reviews on other legal sites, including several of the following:

Positive reviews on those sites are taken into account by Google’s algorithms when they determine which lawyers to display in the 3-pack.
Because reviews are so heavily used by consumers in selecting vendors, including lawyers, but are so hard to obtain manually, we use software to obtain reviews for our law firm clients.

  1. Improve your web content

Effective content that draws traffic starts with keyword research. Every article and blog post should contain your target keyword phrase in its web address, meta description, headline, and first paragraph.
If you are in a local market with light competition, you can target short phrases. If in a densely-populated and competitive market, you should aim at longer phrases. Here are a few examples highlighting the difference:

Long-tail vs. short-phrase keywords

  • Left-turn intersection auto accident attorney / Auto accident attorney
  • Child custody dispute resolution / Child custody
  • Assets retained in bankruptcy / Bankruptcy assets
  • DUI penalties second offense / DUI penalties
  • Denied long-term disability claim / Disability claim 

Each chosen keyword phrase should be targeted in only one article or blog post, otherwise you are competing with yourself.
Frequency and length

With one keyword per piece of content, the more articles and blog posts you write the more keywords you can target and are likely to rank for. At minimum, you should add a piece of keyworded content to your website every other week. Weekly is better.

There was a time when short articles of 500 words could be effective traffic draws, but those days are gone. 1,000 – 1,500 helpful words are needed today.
Provide visual aids for the skim reader; frequent subheads, bulleted lists, and short paragraphs all help. Most important, provide valuable guidance not available elsewhere. That is the key to long-term traffic growth.

Our president, Travis Hise, can explain these techniques in more detail, evaluate your current efforts, and provide personalized marketing recommendations. To schedule a 15 or 30-minute appointment with him, click below.

Tell me more about how my firm can improve lead quality and flow

5 Tips to Land in Google’s Answer Box and Generate Web Traffic

When it comes to law firm digital marketing, you probably hear a lot of advice about how to organically rank higher on Google search engine results pages (SERPs), since landing in the #1 spot can drive huge amounts of traffic to your law firm’s website. But did you know that appearing in Google’s Answer Box can be even better than grabbing the top spot on Google SERPs?

Google’s Answer Box: A Brief Overview

The Answer Box is the square that appears above organic search results, providing a blurb of information (and sometimes an image) without requiring searchers to click on a website.

 

Because the Answer Box is very visible on SERPs and pushes organic search results lower down the page, it offers law firms a great opportunity to reach internet users and to showcase their expertise on legal questions that these users would ask.

However, the box is a double-edged sword. If your competitor’s material is featured in the Answer Box, that means that more potential clients are funneling to their site even if you’ve worked hard to land in the #1 spot on Google SERPs.

In either case, understanding how to compete for Answer Box real estate is essential. Here are 5 quick tips to increase your odds of appearing above organic search results.

1. Understand how the Answer Box works

Google’s Answer Box is powered by the Knowledge Graph, which is basically a compilation of relevant information featured on the side of a SERP. If you search for Avvo, for instance, you will probably see a Knowledge Graph that features company data like the headquarters location, CEO, founders, and even social media profiles.

The information in the Knowledge Graph is pulled from reputable, popular sources such as Wikipedia or government websites. (Because of this, law firms can influence the Knowledge Graph by optimizing their Google My Business page—Google considers this information to be reliable.)

With regards to the Answer Box, the Knowledge Graph’s “rating” system means that the more helpful, relevant, and reputable your content (and the greater the authority of your law firm’s website), the greater your chances of displaying in the box.

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

2. Don’t waste time trying to rank for out-of-reach terms

Like strategically choosing keyword phrases for better organic SEO, getting into the Answer Box requires you to carefully examine where you have the best chances of ranking. For instance, a divorce lawyer probably won’t be able to rank for something like “common causes of divorce,” which results in an Answer Box like this:

As you can see, marriage-related advice sources such as Divorce Magazine will take the cake here. However, rephrase this to something more legal-specific like “what are the legal grounds for divorce,” and a divorce and family law firm will actually have a chance at landing in the Answer Box.

All in all, successfully squeezing your way into the box comes down to first choosing legal-specific, high-interest keyword phrases/questions that your audience will be searching for. Explore the queries that potential clients are typing into their search bars and what kinds of Answer Boxes already exist. Then, start brainstorming where you can compete for eyes.

3. Write helpful content that gathers backlinks

The more traffic and backlinks to your law firm’s blog post about the legal grounds for divorce in the U.S., for instance, the greater its value in Google’s eyes and the greater its chance of appearing in the Answer Box. The reasoning behind this is simple: if people are reading and sharing your article, they must have found it helpful—and others probably will, too.

When creating content, focus on being incredibly helpful. Answer the question in laymen’s terms (remember that your audience doesn’t consist of other attorneys) but provide as much detail as possible. Go above and beyond what anyone else is producing, blow away the competition, and earn traffic that will organically push your content to the top.

4. Optimize titles and meta descriptions

Be sure to include the phrase that prospective clients are searching for within the article title and meta description (the 160-character snippet that describes what a webpage is about).

5. Format with the Answer Box in mind

Wikipedia information is often pulled into the Answer Box because the content is well-organized, easily understandable, and concise. Take a page out of Wikipedia’s book: utilize numbered or bulleted lists when appropriate. For example, if you were to write a blog post about the top 10 reasons that people pursue personal injury cases, format the article as a numbered 1-10 list rather than a series of paragraphs.

Additionally, pay attention to the data structure of your content in order to increase your chances of placing in the Google Answer Box.

Lastly, when formatting, don’t forget about driving traffic to your site. If the entire answer is displayed in the answer box on a SERP, most visitors will get what they came for without routing to your attorney website for additional information. Therefore, if you are creating numbered or bulleted lists, try to come up with at least 8 list items while preserving conciseness; most of the time, Google will abbreviate the information with a “More items” link, which will prompt readers to click through to your page.

How Great Content Can Boost Your Website Traffic

Content isn’t king, great content is king. Attorneys need to face reality: content marketing is the new SEO.
In case you missed it, here’s a recorded version of our recent Attorney Webinar: How Great Content Can Boost Your Website Traffic

 

 

Organic Traffic Versus Paid: Create the Perfect Attorney SEO Mix

Organic traffic to your law firm’s website, or visitors who naturally reach your site from a search engine, is the holy grail of law firm digital marketing. Generate enough organic search traffic and with the right legal website, you can exponentially increase your odds of landing more clients—all without spending a dime on web traffic.

However, with so many attorney websites out there, generating organic traffic is harder than you may think. That’s where paid search strategies, such as investing in Google AdWords, come into play. These search engine marketing (SEM) strategies can leverage your marketing budget to drive more traffic to your website while also increasing your law firm’s SEO to grow organic traffic as well.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to balance organic and paid search strategies without spending a fortune on attorney marketing.

How to Build Organic Traffic

Focus on Attorney SEO

When searching for an attorney, many potential clients will search around their local area. They might ask friends for recommendations, or more commonly, they’ll search for something like “bankruptcy attorney near me.” In fact, online “near me” searches doubled in 2015, according to Google.

Focus on local SEO (search engine optimization) to organically guide these online searchers to your website. For instance:

  • Fill in your law firm’s Google My Business page with your practice’s name, phone number, address, hours, and business category
  • Build a strong legal website with keywords that are relevant to your practice, such as “patent law attorney in Orange County,” spread throughout page headings and website copy—don’t forget about a responsive mobile site!
  • Build backlinks (citations from other sites) to your website in order to cultivate authority and improve attorney SEO strength
  • On your website, craft plenty of blog articles and other valuable content that include the keyword phrases you’re trying to rank for (Tip: Discover more strategies to make your online content more SEO-friendly here.)

Expand Your Pool of Positive Online Reviews

All other factors equal, Google is much more likely to promote websites that are highly rated by clients and reviewers than websites without many reviews or with poor ratings. Moz reports that when it comes to local SEO, reviews comprise about 13% of a website’s ranking.

Therefore, your law firm could see a huge uptick in website traffic and/or consultations with potential clients just by increasing the number of positive reviews displayed on:

  • Facebook
  • Avvo
  • Yelp
  • And more

In fact, personal injury lawyer Loren Etengoff, a client of James Attorney Marketing & Attorney Marketing, more than doubled his caseload—due in large part to generating more positive online reviews and managing negative ones through the proprietary James ORM (online reputation management) tool, which makes it easy for attorneys to automatically solicit testimonials while “parking” damaging words.

Try the James ORM today and automate review-gathering so you don’t have to spend time soliciting testimonials ever again. 

Integrating Paid Search Without Breaking the Bank

First, Decide Whether Paid Search is Actually the Answer

Before investing in paid search strategies, it’s important to note that you must have the organic search elements down pat; without these foundational elements, paid search tactics are only going to do so much.

For instance, you could drive tons of traffic to your attorney website, but if the site isn’t user-friendly and doesn’t load quickly, you will miss out on converting a lot of that traffic into clients anyway. Therefore, decide whether paid search strategies are your answer or if you should first focus on organic search traffic tactics before expanding into paid search. 

When You Have a Strong Organic Foundation, Explore Google AdWords  

Perhaps the most popular paid search tactic for attorneys is PPC (pay-per-click) ads, and the biggest PPC player out there is Google AdWords. Although Google AdWords can be complicated for some attorneys who are new to the system, it is still among the best and most effective ways for law firms to break into the paid search game.

Simply put, AdWords operates on auction-style, with users setting their bids to determine how much to pay per click. After the auction is over, users land a specific ad spot associated with the price that they paid. Your law firm can then target a specific audience demographic, write tailored ad copy, and determine how your marketing dollars will be spent (what is your budget cap per day, how long you’d like the campaign to run, etc.).

In order to run a successful AdWords campaign, your law firm should focus on a few key elements. *

  • Choose the right keyword phrases. Use Google AdWord’s Keyword Planner tool to see which keywords receive a lower amount of traffic (and are therefore less expensive) while also providing the greatest value.
  • Write concise ad copy with a strong call to action. Google AdWords doesn’t allow a lot of space to get your point across.
  • Track campaign performance and calculate your cost per action, or CPA. This is basically how much your law firms pays to attain a client. Adjust your bid, keywords, audience targeting, and ad copy if results aren’t ideal for your particular budget. You’re in the driver’s seat. 

*Note: There is an unlimited number of ways to tailor an AdWords campaign and dozens of factors that can influence its success. However, for the sake of simplicity, we just mention a handful of influential factors in this article.

Organic and Paid: A Balancing Act

Today’s world of online attorney marketing and search engine marketing involves a big balancing act, but combining organic search tactics with paid ones becomes easier with practice. Establish a strong foundation with attorney SEO, website design, and content management, and then build on it with paid search strategies like PPC ads through Google AdWords. The results will be worth the hard work.

Before you set out to explore paid search, get a free audit of your marketing spend.

Schedule an appointment with Travis Hise, CEO for a customized assessment today!

(Hint: You may be overspending on attorney marketing by hundreds or more!)