There is a "killer app" that will greatly improve the likelihood that potential clients will find you in a Google search. Research confirms that it is online video, and many lawyers have gotten the message. Just pay a visit to the LawyersDotCom channel you YouTube and check out the 500+ lawyer videos.
This is an interesting post by Brian Farrell, one of LexisNexis' Law Marketing Specialists, that includes helpful information to get you ranked higher in your name's search results.
In the following post, Stephen Fairley, author on The Rainmaker Blog, describes how using social media can accelerate the referral process.
Social media has become a fundamental shift in the way we communicate and find information -- or rather, the way information finds us.
When you consider the overwhelming number of people who are now using social media, the question you should be asking is not, are my prospects, clients, and referral sources using social media? The question you should be asking is, which network are they using most often?
A survey last year by the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center found that 56% of attorneys are already using a social network. This means for you skeptics out there, if you are not maintaining a presence on at least one social network you are already behind the curve. Of those networks, LinkedIn is the most popular, followed by Facebook – however, Facebook is still the social site favored by prospects.
For attorneys who are looking to connect with consumers (versus business owners), like criminal defense, personal injury, bankruptcy, estate planning, and family law just to name a few, Facebook should be your primary focus because of the sheer number of people that can be found there (over 950 million registered users and growing).
Depending on the demographic of your clientele, you may have more success with one social media platform compared to another -- but it is important that you have a presence on them all. For example: Business oriented attorneys, like business litigation, securities, and intellectual property, should focus more of their efforts on LinkedIn. However, LinkedIn also has the highest number of attorneys who use the network so it's a little more difficult to stand out as compared to Facebook or Twitter.
What many people fail to understand is how people are starting to use social media. Social networks are more and more being used as personal search engines mainly because Google has become too generic and they often don't trust what they find there.
This trend is especially true in the under-30 age group. In fact, many social media experts are starting to point to Facebook as the new Google! Tens of thousands of searches are conducted every day on Facebook for resources and reviews of products, services, and service providers.
The long-time phenomenon of asking your friends and colleagues for a referral has simply gone viral and online. Social networks are quickly multiplying the number of connections a person can ask when seeking a referral to a trusted advisor.
Read about Stephen on his bio.
Time is running out to register for our new, free webinar, “Keywords to Success: How to Generate More Business for Your Law Firm with Search Engine Optimization” to be broadcast on this Tuesday, December 6, 2011. We are applying for CLE credit for the program.
You can register at www.lexisnexis.com/webinar
I’ll present the webinar and will describe how your law firm can focus its online search marketing strategy generate leads and new business. The program will show you how to optimize your website to promote the areas that matter most to your clients and prospects.
At a time when more and more consumers are searching online before meeting with a lawyer, this seminar will show you how to make your website more visible to prospects searching for the areas of law you practice.
You will learn:
• How keywords and search engine marketing works
• The difference between organic links and paid links, off-site and on-site optimization
• How to promote specific business initiatives at your firm such as entering a new market and targeting new types of clients.
There’s no charge and no obligation. You can register at for free at www.lexisnexis.com/webinar.
The infographic below from Mashable describes:
- What's an e-reputation.
- Why your online reputation matters.
- What potential employers are looking for.
- What you can do about it. While there are companies like Reputation Defender out there to help you manage your online reputation, there are still plenty of things you can do on your own. Feel free to check out my PowerPoint slide show "How to Monitor & Enhance Your Reputation on the Internet as a Lawyer."
Here's my latest article in Law Technology News:
I know we've been together for about five years, but I think it's time we start connecting with new people. Facebook, I appreciate that you've reconnected me with all my old girlfriends who still criticize my opinions. You've also hooked me up with people from high school that I've deliberately had nothing to do with for 20 years. And your security issues drive me crazy.
Twitter, I have trouble understanding you because you speak in only 140-character blurts. I've unfollowed your most irrelevant messages, but you still jumble my day with noise. I don't have enough bandwidth for you.
It's true. I've found someone new. Yes, I'm a "plussie." I've fallen for Google+.
With G+, lawyers can follow a client, send messages to chosen recipients, and collect information on any topic and share it for business development purposes.
For me, it's a social media do-over. I get to pick the people whose messages I follow by placing them in a Circle (without friending them or getting permission). Being a lawyer, I separate my circles into "clients," "potential clients," "colleagues," "friends," and "family." I can send a message to clients and it's like a business newsletter. When I address it to "public," it's like a blog entry. When I address it to "my circles" it's like a tweet. Lawyers like control and G+ offers it.
Facebook is one of the ten most hated companies in America. Yes, 750 million people use it, but a survey conducted by ForeSee Results found that Facebook ranked near the bottom for customer satisfaction. In contrast, 20 million people joined Google+ over the first three weeks in July. ..."
For the rest of the story visit Adios, Facebook and Twitter ... Hello, Google+
Now there is a way to find out what keywords your competitors are using in their Google Adwords campaigns: SpyFu based in Scottsdale, AZ.
- Enter a URL and you'll see the top 10 keywords the domain website is using in their pay-per-click campaigns.
- It will also show you every keyword the company has bought on Google Adwords, the company's daily Adwords ad budget and how each keyword ranked in organic search results.
- Enter a keyword into the search box and you'll see the top 10 domains that are using it in their pay-per-click campaigns during the last few months.
- Click on a colored box for a month, and it will display the advertisement connected to the keyword or URL.
- A chart will display the cost per click, the clicks per day and cost per day.
It's online competitive intelligence that provides a detailed picture of their "secret marketing formulas." If you are paying for an Adword campaign, you can steer clear of dead-end keywords, spot hot buttons that drive clicks and mimic ad copy that is working for big-budget advertisers.
For example, if you've been using the keyword "executive compensation" you may discover that potential clients are searching for the phrase "wrongful termination." Once you know which keywords convert into sales or clicks, then you can put those words onto your website and can get organic search results from them.
Lead generation scams have spread across the Internet and can affect your law firm. You need to know this because one of the scammers may be using your law firm name and address as their location in Google Local or on Yelp.com.
I just ran a search for a lawyer in New York and unexpectedly discovered a fake Google Place page. Clicking the link referred me to a law firm in another state.
Back on the Google search results page, I noticed there was a link I had never seen before on Google, asking: "Is this accurate?" I clicked it, completed the online "Report a Problem" form and reported that the link misdirected me.
Here's how the scam works: A "lead-gen" company, as they're known in the biz, collects leads from consumers needing services. They do this be creating hundreds of phony Google Local places and Yelp businesses listings online. A potential customer will conduct a search such as "lawyer in Seattle" and will view a selection of law firms with supposedly local name, address and phone number, all pinpointed on a local map.
However, when the customer clicks the displayed hyperlink or calls the number, they'll reach a phone bank -- sometimes in other countries -- which will refer the caller to a business that has paid to receive leads from that city, state or zip code. The scam is so widespread, the New York Times ran an article about it on July 10.
Many of the lead-gen scams will use the name and address of an actual business or law firm to steal leads that should rightly be coming to them. To see a video of how the scam has spread like a plague in the locksmith industry, watch Consumer Alert! on YouTube.
It was amazing to see the brazen audacity of the phony Google Places listing for the New York law firm I was seeking. The fake listing showed a picture of the real lawyer, his address, phone number and location on a Google map. But the link to the firm directed me elsewhere.
What you should do if it happens to you
- Google your firm name, address and telephone number immediately and determine if all the search results are legitimate.
- If you find a fake listing, click the "Is this accurate?" link provided by Google.
- Find the "Edit This Place" link in the fake listing, and next click the link "You can report a problem."
- Contact Gabriel Stricker, the Director of Global Communications & Public Affairs at Google Inc, at 650.253.0139 or email@example.com.
Follow @LarryBodine "Mass over-distribution of Yellow Pages has degraded our environment and blighted our neighborhoods," said San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, the lead sponsor of a law banning the unsolicited distribution of Yellow Pages.
For years I've been annoyed with the dumping of various yellow pages on my lawn, like so much trash. The delivery people don't even both to hang it on my door knob. I use Google instead as does the rest of the world, and I use the yellow pages only for seat cushions and door stops.
For years I've advised lawyers not to advertise in the money-wasting yellow pages. I think the San Francisco mayor and the Board did lawyers a favor, by demonstrating that the yellow pages are considered to be composting matter. Under the law, which won't go into effect for a year, companies cannot leave the directories at the front doors of residences and businesses without prior permission.
Overall U.S. yellow pages revenue declined 11.8% in 2010. The industry’s revenue slide continued in 2010 as the transition from print to digital products continued, according to Simba Information. This marks another year of continuous, multiyear double-digit losses in revenue from the major publishers.
National yellow pages spending is projected to decline an additional 12% to $1.47 billion in 2011. Simba believes that the current environmental challenges are a “ticking time bomb” threatening the industry with increased government-imposed controls and “do not deliver” lists scattered around the 50 states.
Cancel that #*$%! expensive yellow pages ad. This was the clear advice I gave to attendees at our conference "Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan" in Chicago. I repeated the advice at the Chicago Bar Association technology conference. You now have permission to save yourself a small fortune.
Fewer people are reading the Yellow Pages every day. It's last century's marketing. Instead, they are using the Web to find attorneys. Take the money you save and plow it into your online presence. People now use Google to look up phone numbers, addresses and law firms.
Ask yourself -- when was the last time you personally opened that thick, hard-to-read yellow directory? It's been a long time, hasn't it? There are multiple yellow page directories anyway -- which one did you use?
By advertising in the yellow pages, you are doing what thousands of other lawyers are doing. You are simply making yourself more like the competition, not distinguishing yourself. There's no way to break from the clutter -- there are hundreds of lawyer yellow page listings.
Besides, most yellow pages ads are written by their salesmen. That's why they all look the same. Save your budget while you still can. Get out now.
It's well-known that people look up phone numbers, business addresses and restaurant menus on Google Local. Just type in the Google box "Mexican Restaurant Lisle Illinois" and you'll find my favorite local restaurant in position "D."
I highly recommend that lawyers also list themselves in Google Local, because you know that potential clients will type something like "Property Tax Appeal Chicago" in the Google search box and you'll want to be in the top 10 (A through J). So how do you get into Google Local's Top Ten list?
- Sign up for Google local listings at http://bit.ly/2QUU
- Have “category” keywords that match the phrases you anticipate potential clients will type. Do not “stuff” (place excessive) keywords. You can get penalized for that.
- Obtain links (referred to as citations) from local sources. Unlike incoming SEO links, citations do not need to be relative (e.g., law firms, legal associations.) Citations indicate that your client is, indeed, a local firm. They are similar to receiving endorsements.
- Obtain links in directories such as Superpages, infoUSA, YellowPages, Localeze, Yelp, InsiderPages, Niche Industry Sites (BBB, Vertical Directories), Acxiom, Yahoo, Citysearch, the Chamber of Commerce. You will have to pay for some of them. Search engine placement is not inexpensive in 2009.
- Obtain numerous client reviews.
- Insure that a local address and phone number are listed on the Website.
"Do not enter your Website numerous times. This can cause penalties," Dale said. "It takes work and monitoring, but we have had great success following these steps. Note: Findlaw nor any other vendor 'owns' positioning in Google."
Dale's advice was first shared on the LawMarketing Listserv. If you like to see marketing tips like these, I invite you to join the LawMarketing Listserv and become a member at http://www.lawmarketing.biz/