3 Tips for Lawyers looking to hire a SEO Professional for a Website Audit

As an attorney, your website is one of the most valuable assets you have that will increase your client base and grow your practice. If you have noticed that activity on your site has dwindled, it is time to evaluate your SEO and website as a whole.

According to an article in PC Magazine, about analyzing and reviewing your website, most websites that use an analytics tool use Google Analytics to obtain their traffic data. This data can help you figure out where your site is lacking and excelling.

Below are some details you can find out about your site by using Google Analytics:

  • How many visits your site has received
  • How many pages have been viewed
  • How long each visitor spent on your website
  • How many new users are visiting your website
  • A geographical summary of area where your visitors are located
  • How much of your traffic is organic traffic

There are so many other tools that an Attorney can use to review their website.

Some other SEO tools besides Google Analytics are:

There are so many SEO tools available it will make your head spin. Here is a great collection of SEO tools from Backlinko if you are looking for more tools.

It is very useful to use tools such as Google Analytics and others to find out what is working for your business and what is not. On the other hand, there could be road blocks along the way if you are not familiar with website optimization and the terms used in the field.

You can spend hours, days or even weeks collecting data and changing things around on your site, but you may still not receive the amount of visits to your website that you need to grow your law firm.

Even using all the tools I’ve mentioned above, you still may not be able to get the results you want.

It takes a lot of time to research and learn the ins and outs of SEO and website analysis. Doing so can take you away from the important tasks, such as focusing on your current clients and the details pertaining to their cases.

If you are using every tool you can think of, trying to manage your own website, pouring over analytics data at home, maybe it’s time to hire a professional. In many cases, if not all, a good SEO specialist can get you your SEO investment back within months.

Maybe you’ve thought about hiring someone to help with your SEO, but have heard so many horror stories from other people you don’t want to take the risk. Honestly, it can be scary to put your website’s future in the hands of someone else. I have the same fears when I work with a web developer for the first time.Especially, with SEO, where it can take months or years to see real results. (Many factors can play a part such as your budget, keyword competitiveness, etc.)

Especially, with SEO, where it can take months or years to see real results. (Many factors can play a part such as your budget, keyword competitiveness, etc.)

Hiring an Attorney SEO professional who is experienced in reviewing and analyzing websites can be beneficial, not only to relieve the stress for you, but to give their website the best optimization possible.

 

3 Things to Consider before Hiring An SEO Professional to Review your Website

What SEO issues are addressed in the analysis?

Find out if the developer you are considering offers an SEO analysis of the most popular pages and landing pages for your website. Will they offer you direction as to how to improve your SEO on those pages? Will they be giving you an auto-generated SEO report or will they be physically reviewing your website?

Will they be giving you an auto-generated SEO report or will they be physically reviewing your website?

Make sure they will be reviewing all the On-Site Technical SEO areas such as: broken links, meta tags and descriptions, on-page optimization problems, and overall site-wide issues that could be costing you visitors.

What is their Track Record?

Ask to see a previous report for a client.

Ask them for some client reviews.

 

Are there any extras included?

Does the web developer you are considering offer any extra input in addition to the report, such as a video overview of the analysis? A short video such as this, can give the attorney better insight as to what the developer is talking about in their report. You can see directly what pages and issues they are referring to, so adjustments can be easily made without confusion.

 

Conclusion

Each attorney must decide for themselves what is best for their website. In essence, learning the scope of SEO and website optimization is like learning another job. Most lawyers definitely don’t have the extra hours in the day to accomplish this task. Lawyers go to school, Doctors go to school, SEO specialist go to school. This is where it most likely will be the best decision to leave the work up to the SEO professionals.

If you would like to find out more tips and advice about working with a web designer, check out these articles: When Should You Have Someone Else Manage Your Website? and 8 Helpful Tips That Will Make Working With A Web Designer A Breeze.

How Lawyers Can Use Social Media Without Giving Advice

Due to ethical concerns, attorneys know that setting limitations on social media interaction are a must.  There is a fine line about what can legally be posted and what cannot and each state has its own laws which govern this.

Giving specific online advice to an individual can create an attorney/client based relationship. You can provide a general answer, but you should not give exact advice on the details they provide. You can suggest recommending that they consult with a local attorney in their area, to avoid crossing any ethical boundaries.

 

Let’s take a look at some beneficial ways lawyers can use social media:

 

Regular (High Quality) Blog Posting

Attorneys that post regular content to their blogs, have the potential to grown their client base by leaps and bounds. Provided that optimal SEO and content are applied, viewers will be able to easily find the law firm on search engines.

A recent survey states that 8% of attorneys currently post on a blog for their law firm and 39% of lawyers have gained new clients by using a blogging platform.

Regular blog posts on interesting topics will make visitors want to return to read the latest news.

Article content can range from industry news, recent law changes, or information about the particular niche that your law firm specializes in.

 

Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook

The blog posts mentioned above should be tweeted or posted on Facebook or LinkedIn to gain new visitors to your website. Sharing your knowledge with others will help you obtain more followers and some of those will hopefully turn into clients.

The ability to follow other experts on these two platforms will give you the opportunity to discover new content that may spark ideas for your own posts. You may also connect with others in your field with whom you can develop a referral system.

Consider Twitter and Facebook as tools that will help you grow your client base. There is unlimited ability to expand your audience. Make your tweets and posts sound interesting so more people want to click and read more of what you have to say.

 

Add A Personal Touch & Break the Internet Barrier

You don’t want to come across as just a lawyer, you need to present yourself as a “real person” as well. Doing so will make your audience feel like they know you better and will feel more confident in you as a person, as well as an attorney.

Avoid posting updates on your family details, but instead mention your favorite local businesses, restaurants, or local events that are happening in your area that you may be interested in. This not only promotes others, but they may return the favor, which will benefit you as well.

It is not recommended to combine your personal and legal accounts, but give a peek of your true self on your professional page.

 

Conclusion

By using online platforms, you can help build your credibility and become more familiar to potential clients. Integrating and cross promoting on all of your social media accounts will create a strong online presence.

Consider hiring a professional to improve your site’s SEO and maintain your blog updates and plug-ins. Concentrate on practicing law and leave the technical details to someone else.

If you don’t have the time or patience to write the content to include on your blog, there are resources online that can do that for you. At LuckyFish Media I work with a team of excellent content writers who can ghost write articles for your blog.

You can eliminate adding something to your to-do list and build your credibility at the same time by providing interesting articles and information.

Check out these articles to read more on how to use the internet to expand your law practice: How To Get Your Law Firm Optimized On Google Maps and 3 Of The Best Search Engine Optimization Tips For 2015.

How To Write Content To Attract Local Residents

Learn How To Write Content That will Attract Local Residents to your Law Firm

The primary goal of your law firm’s blog, should be to attract local residents and ultimately obtain new clients. In order for this to be successful, the content not only needs to be interesting but also relevant to the region where your law firm is practicing. It’s always the best marketing strategy to start local.

 

Below are several tips to consider when adding content to your legal firm’s website:

 

  • You can gain a wealth of content material from the local and national news that is currently trending.

Major court rulings, local tax hikes, and other issues that are in the media can be discussed in an article. Doing so will demonstrate professional expertise in the subject matter. Since the information is current and relevant, it will be searched for frequently, increasing the number of hits your site will receive.

 

  • List questions and answers to some of the most common cases that your firm handles. People who are investigating an attorney always have a lot of questions and if your firm can answer them, your chance of gaining them as a client is greater.
  • Another way to spark interest in your content is to turn your written article into a video. It is much more personal and potential clients will get a feel for your personality as well, which will build trust before you even meet them face to face.
  • Webinars are very useful in discussing common issues that your potential clients may have, such as divorce and child support questions, malpractice, etc. Think about what questions your clients ask you in your consultation and provide a resource for the public through your webinar.

 

Let’s take a look at other ways to gain exposure in local areas:

 

Keywords and SEO

Be sure to include relevant keywords that pertain to the content you are posting. In addition, include the names of the surrounding cities and towns that your firm services.

It’s very important that the wording of your posts should sound natural and not like it is stuffed with keywords. Use your target words wisely and place them where they flow smoothly into the subject of the article.

Along with mentioning the specific location in the article, it can also be placed into the meta-data tags and category fields as well.

If your article’s main focus is about a particular region, including the name of it in the title is another way to boost visibility and gain a higher ranking in the Google search engine.

 

Frequency & Lenth of Posts

Posting content to your website on a regular basis keeps your page fresh and up to date. Content that is focused on current events or client Q&A are the simplest, yet most effective way to accomplish this.

Viewers are more likely to come back to see what new information has been added if there is always something new to see while on your site.

The more posts and interaction that your website receives, the higher you will be in the rankings when people are searching for an attorney in your area. 

Google really likes post that have substantial content and are longer than 1000 words. Having 2 very long posts jammed with great content will do much more for your legal firms SEO ranking than 10 really short posts.

 

Social Sharing:

Social interaction increases ranking. By sharing your posts on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest, you can gain followers and regular readers of your material.

Once you share your posts, the capacity for others to share it increases, driving more traffic to your article and boosting your ranking as well.

A benefit to posting your content on LinkedIn, is that you can target a local audience who would be interested in the topics of your posts.

 

Press Releases

Press releases are another way to attract local residents in your target market.

Contact local newspapers and media sources with your articles to be featured in their publications. This is another means for exposure and a potential traffic builder. You can also take advantage of some press release distribution websites such as e-releases.

 

Conclusion

Keep your website’s content fresh and add interesting articles and videos pertaining to current events to  create return visitors. Always make sure you include SEO in your posts and pay attention to your keywords.

If you find that you do not have time to manage your website content on your own, consider hiring a professional to do it for you.

For further reading, be sure to check out: 8 Tips That Will Make Working With A Web Designer A Breeze and 3 Content Ideas for Your Facebook Business Page.

Why Using Real Photos Is Important For Law Firm Web Design

Using Real Photos For Legal Firms Website is a must if you want to start making connections with your visitors.

Your website is the first impression of your law firm for potential clients. Using real photos in the design of your site is extremely important to be authentic and build a sense of trust before these clients ever walk through your office door.

Clients want to be able to put a face with a name. Sometimes credentials won’t make a person feel as confident in their choice as seeing the smile and wisdom on the face of who may be representing them.

 

Benefits of Using Professional Photos on Your Website

Stock photos are easily recognizable and visitors may feel like your firm is not legitimate if their attorney’s are pictured as posed models wearing suits. Even if someone is not extremely familiar with the internet, they may notice how stock photos tend to look like advertisements instead of “real people”. They will question the integrity of the firm and you will not come across as trustworthy.

When a professional photo is used of each lawyer, potential clients can get a sense of their individual personalities. The image of each attorney can be portrayed in their stance, smile, dress and confidence shown in their photo. Visitors will be easily able to relate and be more apt to choose the one they feel most comfortable with.

Clients often share very personal and private information with their attorneys. There needs to be a sense of security that they receive when they look at the photo. It is natural for people to judge someone based on their photo, so you want to make sure the image you project is strong and wise, as well as compassionate.

 

Keep in mind the ideas below when planning your photo session:

  • Avoid clothing that has patterns. A solid color is much more professional and pleasing to the eye. Patterns can be distracting and take away from the face.
  • Dress as you would for court. Show visitors how well you present yourself during a trial. Be sure your hair and/or facial hair is well-groomed.
  • A group photo of the entire team shows the unity and combined knowledge in the law firm. This will give a sense that everyone in the office is there to support their client’s needs. Gather all employees in front of your sign, building, or in an attractive area of the office space.
  • Photos of each attorney need to be included in the bio section of the website. These photos can show the attorneys in candid professional shots, such as speaking with a colleague. Photos such as these appear natural and show more personality.
  • Images do not have to be general, straight on head shots. Have the photographer take photos from various angles. Photos taken from a higher angle will give an interesting and unique perspective.
  • The natural light of the outdoors is also a nice touch when adding photos to the website. It presents a more casual feel to the photograph and gives a little diversity from the office shots.
  • If office shots are being taken, be sure to remove any paper stacks and files that may be on desks or on the floor. The office should appear completely clean and tidy.

 

Conclusion

As a law firm, you want to be recognized as genuine and trustworthy. By using real photos on your website, people will feel like they are getting to know your attorneys before they meet them. Avoid stock photos at all costs and invest in a professional photo session.

Once the photographs are taken, you may need assistance with adding them to the website. Contact a reliable law firm web designer to get the job done for you, so you can focus on your clients and their cases.

For further reading on how to improve your attorney web site, check out: 3 Easy Tips For Captivating Your Website Visitors and 3 Website Mistakes To Avoid.

 

How To Get Your Law Firm Optimized On Google Maps

Learn Why your Law Firm Should be on Google Maps

Obtaining the most traffic on your law firm website is of utmost importance when building a solid clientele.

With the increase in mobile use, businesses are consistently using new tactics to increase their client base and increase their ranking on Google. Optimizing your brand on Google Maps is another way to boost your rankings and get more visitors to see what your attorneys have to offer.

 

What exactly is Google Maps?

Google Maps is another means for users to locate your law firm online. Not only are your location and directions shown to the viewer, but also your website link and other important business information such as hours of operation and phone number.

 

Before we look at how to implement Google Maps, let’s look at a few statistics to show the importance of mobile optimization as a whole:

This study also reports that as of January 2014:

  • Ninety percent of adult Americans own some type of cellular phone
  • Thirty-two percent of adult Americans own some type of e-reader device
  • Forty-two percent of adult Americans own a tablet device

 

Now that you are familiar with the necessity for website optimization, follow the steps below to optimize your Google Maps listing:

 

Google +

Get a Google + listing for your law firm. You will have to create an account, but it is simple and well worth the few minutes that it takes to set it up.

Once your listing details have been completed, you will be required to verify your business. This is done by Google sending a postcard to the address listed on your account with a code that is entered online.

Verification can also be done over the phone in a much timelier fashion.

 

 

Google + Local Page

The next thing you want to do is completely fill out the pertinent information about your law firm.

You will need to include the address, phone number, hours of operation, website address, and a thorough description. This is crucial to your listing.

  • A Google study reports that seventy percent of searchers utilize the click to call feature on their smart phone after finding the website online.
  • If no phone number is linked with their search result, forty-seven percent of mobile users will look for another brand.

 

Logo and Images

Your logo makes your brand recognizable. This is very important to include in your listing.

Another way to let viewers get a feel for your law firm, is include images of your attorneys, office space, and building. It is very simple to upload the images and makes the listing stand out from the rest.

 

Maintenance

Once your listing has been created and published, be sure to bookmark it and visit it regularly to see if any changes need to be made.

All information needs to be current, such as hours of operation and phone numbers. Descriptions may need to be updated if attorneys are added to the firm or if there are any other important changes.

 

 

Add Content

Adding interesting content to your Google + page will gain followers and possibly new clients.

Infographics and other images are quick and easy to post and will more likely be shared than just a text update. Include information about the type of cases your firm deals with to further establish your brand and gain followers.

Infographics can be easily designed by using Canva, or you can hire a professional to handle it for you.

 

 

Conclusion

With the expansive use of smartphones and the popularity of Google Maps, it is extremely important to be visible and up to date.

Ensure that your images and details are enticing, so when the next searcher finds your listing on Google Maps, your law firm is the one they choose.

The Benefits of a Mobile-Responsive Website

It Makes Sense For Law Firms To Have Mobile-Friendly Websites

A law firm’s website will not be fully beneficial, unless it incorporates responsive web design.

The ability to access website content through mobile phones, tablets and computers, will ultimately increase the number of potential clients for your law firm. Users need to be able to view the elements of the website easily and in an organized fashion, no matter what device they are using.

By incorporating responsive web design, visitors will find your website to be pleasant and user friendly.

 

Statistics On Mobile Use

Here are some recent statistics on mobile internet usage

Below are some additional interesting facts from the same source:

  • In 2014, smart phone use increased by 45 percent.
  • Mobile data traffic globally increased by 69 percent in 2014.
  • In 2014, 497 million mobile devices and connections were added.

 

Taking into consideration the statistics above, it is only obvious that your site must be mobile friendly to accommodate the vast amount of traffic it can potentially receive.

 

Having a Mobile Friendly Website will…

Increase your Google Rankings

As stated on their blog in April 21, 2015, Google began it’s mobile update.

If a search for a mobile friendly website has been linked to a mobile device, Google will now increase it’s rankings. On the other hand, if the website that was searched for is not mobile friendly, it will be penalized.

Of course there are other considerations when your site is ranked by Google, but increasing your ranking by becoming a responsive website will only help get you closer to the top of the search.

We all know the closer to the top the website is, the more traffic it will receive and hopefully more clients as well.

You can learn more about the percentage of traffic the top 3 websites usually get vs. the rest of the search results page.

 

“You’re Looking Good”…

You don’t want your website to turn away potential users…do you?

When a website is not mobile friendly and is viewed on a tablet or smart phone, it will often be difficult to navigate. Text will generally be too small for users to easily read and images may not load properly or may not appear in the right location.

Also, when sites are not responsive, the layout will often be compromised, giving a choppy and unprofessional look.

On the contrary, when a site is mobile friendly, the pages are ordered in an easy to read fashion, while keeping the original theme of the website. The different pages can be easily swiped on tablets and phones and images are re-sized to fit the screen of any device.

 

Increase Your Website Conversion Rates

When a visitor to a website has difficulty accessing the desired content and is not able to navigate the different elements of the site, they will generally become frustrated and look for another website to help them find what they are looking for.

If the information can be easily accessed, conversion rates are much higher. Users can contact you through the site or read about the services you offer. You have just gained a potential client while the next guy did not.

Don’t lose clients simply because your site is not responsive.

 

Conclusion

Obviously, the mobile market will continue to grow and it will be necessary for all websites to become fully responsive in the future.

Don’t give your potential clients a headache when they visit your site for answers or to contact your office. Let their first interaction with your firm be a smooth and positive experience.

If you want to increase your Google rankings and conversions, and ensure that your website is mobile friendly, consider hiring a professional design team to assist you. Alleviate the stress and time of trying to figure it all out on your own.

Leave it to the experts and let your law firm reap the benefits of a responsive website.

 

For further reading, be sure to check out: When Should You Have Someone Else Manage Your Website? and 8 Tips That Will Make Working With A Web Designer A Breeze.

How To Use Case Studies To Answer Client Questions

Case studies can give us a deeper insight and validity to the strength of a law firm and their capability to win cases. Proven statistics will demonstrate the success rate of attorney lawsuits and client satisfaction.

Case studies are a way in which your visitor can connect with you on a more personal level, and it allows them to see how you have helped others in their situation.

Presenting evidence of the attorney’s hands on victories will build confidence in their character and work ethic. Clients will be persuaded by the findings and the firm will continue to grow.

 

Determine Client Base

To successfully build your brand, you need to determine the primary client base for your law firm.

Once you have established who your ideal client is, you want to prove your expertise with case studies in those specific areas or industries.

 

State The Facts

The Houston Chronicle reports that using case studies of successful defense cases and testimonies of past clients will build a sense of leadership in that particular specialty of practice.

Be sure to include studies ranging from high dollar cases to smaller, low key cases. Cover potential clients across the board in all economic levels to gain as much exposure as possible.

In each study, you will also want to include a description of the client, the situation at hand and the challenges they are facing, along with the resolution to the problem and how your law firm solved it.

This information will give a sense of security to readers and they will be more likely to follow through with contacting the attorney. Websites who do not list case studies will miss the opportunity to make the connection with a possible client.

 

Benefits To Client

The internet makes it possible for the general public to do their own research on just about any product or service under the sun. Searching for a law firm is no different.

Stand out from the rest of the law firm sites and present an inside look at the success rate and efficiency of your business.

Potential clients want to know what the usual outcomes are for the cases that you and your attorneys represent. They want to know if the resolution to the cases are personally satisfactory and if they would be pleased with a similar outcome.

Having a collection of various case studies on the attorney website will show a combination of versatility and continuity at the same time.

 

Conclusion

By using case studies, you will gain the interest of potential clients who will want to connect with the attorney personally. Let the studies show how your law firm can help them as it has helped past clients in similar situations.

Prove your value by stating statistics of successful cases and how you can assist them in avoiding large settlements and expensive courtroom trials. Let your firm’s performance history speak for itself.

With the expensive costs of advertising, using other methods such as case studies to prove the value of your law firm is a must. It is just another example of experience and success that will show the worth of your services.

Besides using case studies, there are other methods of gaining new clients through your website. Be sure to read the following articles for more information: When Should You Have Someone Else Manage Your Website? and How To Choose Your Target Audience For Facebook Ads.

It is also necessary to work with an experienced professional marketing team to ensure sufficient exposure and top notch service.