Nothing has transformed the marketing of law firms in the last ten years more than the Internet. I was speaking at a bar association event recently when a gentleman asked, “Do people really look for lawyers online? I’m not sure people look for my kind of practice area on the Internet.”
Although there’s no guarantee that someone Googles your exact practice area every day, there are more than 11 million Internet searches for the words “lawyer” or “attorney” every month.
A growing number of law firms are turning to the Internet with hopes of boosting their revenues and increasing their leads. For some this has become a reality, but most are still in the experimental stage. This week, we’ll examine several of the best practices in becoming a rainmaker on the Internet.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the ongoing process of optimizing your website to be found on the search engines (Google, Yahoo!, and Bing are the big three) for the keywords and phrases people use to find you. The goal of SEO is to drive qualified traffic to your website. It does not include pay-per-click (PPC) or paid search. There are more than 30 different components commonly used by SEO experts to help your website rank well. Each of my posts this week will provide you with strategies to get you started.
Know the keywords people use to search for your services. There are many tools you can use to find out exactly which keywords and phrases people use. I recommend you start with www.wordtracker.com and Google’s Keyword Tool, which can be found at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. In most searches, there are three parts used: geographical location, practice area, and the word “lawyer” or “attorney.” For example, someone looking for a personal injury lawyer in southern California may use “Los Angeles personal injury lawyer,” whereas someone in Chicago looking to file for bankruptcy may search for “Chicago bankruptcy attorney.” However, people are starting to use more and more words to describe what they are looking for: “I was injured in a car accident in Miami and need an attorney.” This is known as long tail search.
Key Action Points: • Talk to your prospects and clients and find out what words and phrases they use to look for a lawyer in your practice area. • Research those keywords and find out how many other people use them. • Make a list of 20 to 30 words and phrases to use in your website.
Use keywords in your domain name. When possible, use the actual words that prospects likely use to find you. For example, Kevin Von Tungeln is a board-certified estate planning specialist in the state of California. His website address is www.estateplanningspecialists.com. Many law firms are still using the traditional method of naming their website the same as their law firm name, which can make it difficult to spell, harder to find, and does not assist their SEO efforts. However, be sure to check your state’s ethical requirements before settling on a new website name; some states do not allow lawyers to use any other domain name than their law firm’s name.
Key Action Points: • It’s okay to have multiple domain names. • Register your own name first, then register domain names with your keywords in it. • Use www.godaddy.com to register multiple variations. Even if you are not going to use them now, you may want them later.
Phoenix Legal Networking Group: Learn the 5 Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Action Plan (MAP) at our January 11 Meeting
At the January 11 Phoenix Legal Networking Group meeting, Stephen Fairley will make a presentation on How to Make This Year Your Best Year Ever! 5 Steps to Create Your Law Firm Marketing Action Plan (MAP). Join us next Tuesday to discover:
- The 5 critical components of a Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
- How to select the right marketing tools that will work for your practice and personality
- How to create a roadmap to make 2011 your Best Year Ever!
The networking event and marketing seminar will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 11 at Monti’s, 100 S. Mill Ave. in Tempe.
Cost is $20 per person if you register by January 7, $30 if you register by January 10 and $35 on the day of the event. This covers drinks, hors d’oeurves, the networking event and the workshop.
To register for our January 11 networking and legal marketing event, co-hosted by FindLaw, Attorney at Law Magazine, Coash & Coash Court Reporting and The Rainmaker Institute, visit www.therainmakerretreat.com/network/ or call 888-816-8935.