Juris Digital https://jurisdigital.com Lawyer SEO Marketing is Now Juris Digital Wed, 22 Jul 2015 20:27:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Mistakes You’re Making While Checking Your Rankings https://jurisdigital.com/mistakes-youre-making-while-checking-your-rankings/ https://jurisdigital.com/mistakes-youre-making-while-checking-your-rankings/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 16:36:22 +0000 https://jurisdigital.com/?p=3796 Several times a week I have conversations with clients regarding their keyword rankings. If it’s a new client I usually hear things like “I’m already doing very well since I’m #1 for Car Accident Lawyer”, or a similar statement. As the conversation usually progresses I am told that although they think they’re ranking well they are not getting the expected influx of new clients.

This is a common scenario and Google can kind of “trick” you into personalizing your search results. The problem is that Google displays different results for different searchers depending on their geographic area and logged in searching history.

The Rankings You’re Checking Are Wrong

In some cases the rankings you’re checking are wrong. Google is always aiming to provide the best user experience for the searcher. You are the searcher and your patterns differ from other searchers. Therefore if you’ve used your browser to search for your company before and clicked on the result repeatedly, Google can learn and will assume you like that website. In this case it will then prioritize this search for you personally.

New clients on the other hand are doing research and have likely not done a lot of this searching before.

In addition to this, Google displays rankings based on your geographic area. Someone searching in one city will see different results than someone in another city.

You Need to Check Your Rankings Unbiasedly

While there are cool tools out there like Whitespark for checking local rankings by geographic area without the click through bias, you can also do these searches one at a time yourself using a method I outlined below.

This method works pretty well and you can also replicate this on mobile as well.

 

How To Check Your Own Rankings

  1. Start by opening Google Chrome. If you don’t have it yet you can download it here.
  2. Once you’ve opened the browser, navigate to the top right corner and click the three line drop down as shown below. You’re looking for the option: New Incognito WindowChrome New Incognito Widnow
  3. The Incognito window will not save your browsing history and it acts like more of a clean search assuming you’re not logged into Gmail or a Google Application in the incognito window. From here you can simply surf to Google.com
  4. Now that you’ve reached the Google search page you need to consider how you want the results to display. For example if you’re traveling in California but want to check the results of your New York based firm’s rankings you might type: “New York Personal Injury Lawyer”, however these results could vary depending on whether you’re searching from New York or LA. In addition to this you will probably find that potential clients are actually typing it in without the geographic modifier since they’re already located in the area they’re searching. They May just type in “Personal Injury Lawyer”. So how do we get these results in a similar fashion as a local searcher? Simple!The first step is to click the search tools link from the search results page as shown below:

    Search Tools

  5. Once you click the search tools you will notice the location Google detects you in will auto populate as in the example below. Simply click this area and enter the city and state where you want to replicate the search from.This is your location
  6. Once you have your location set you’re ready to search. You can simply use the search engine normally at this point without fear of logged in or geographic ranking bias.

 

A Couple of Ending Thoughts

There are a few things I want to cover about this technique. First, you have to realize that while this is an effective tool for viewing your rankings the client is the real centroid. In some searches a searcher typing a query on one side of the city would differ from someone typing the same query in on the other side of the city.

It’s a good idea to run a few searches yourself and see where you rank for accountability purposes. If you’re not ranking where you want to, talk with your SEO company and set goals and KPI’s that will help you achieve the desired results.

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Selecting The Right Budget for Your PPC Campaign https://jurisdigital.com/selecting-the-right-budget-for-your-ppc-campaign/ https://jurisdigital.com/selecting-the-right-budget-for-your-ppc-campaign/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:04:49 +0000 https://jurisdigital.com/?p=3610 In the initial stages of making the decision to advertise on paid search one of the decisions to make is to determine what your paid search budget should look like. A number of factors would need to play into this decision.

To start you would need to develop a rough keyword list. Once this list is developed you are able to load those keywords into the Google Keyword planner that you can find under the Tools header in the Google AdWords system:

Tools in Google Adwords

When in the tool you will have a number of options. This tool can help you build your keyword list to generate an estimated spend, or you could take the list you generated and run it through the “Plan your budget and get insights for keywords” section of the tool. In this section you would enter the keywords or upload a file, adjust the targeting elements and then click the button “get forecasts”.

plan-budget

So now what? You get the estimate back but it could be astronomical. Remember that these estimates are based on the geography you entered, competition on those keywords and what it takes to be in position number 1, which is not always necessary.

Once you have this data though – you do have an idea of what the CPC’s look like for the keywords you think are relevant to your campaign. Based on this CPC data you can then determine your budget. So for example if the average CPC is $10 a click and you budget $500 a month, that equates to 50 clicks a month which would average out to 1.644 clicks a day. In this scenario you are hit and miss. With only 1 – 2 clicks a day how can you ensure effectiveness of your campaign? What if those two clicks are done before your office doors even open?

So now what? In this scenario if the estimate for the targeting you set indicates that it could deliver 50 clicks a day in the top position for those keywords, then you at least need to try and budget for a 1/3rd of that estimate to even see if the campaign can be effective. This is taking into consideration that you will likely add a lot more keywords prior to launch and during the first few days / weeks of the launch and that you’re bidding may not be in position 1. So the recommendation would be: 17 clicks a day at $10 per click = $170 a day or $5,168 in adspend a month.

Key takeaways

You need to know the average CPC that it will cost for the top position on Google
You need to at least be at a 1/3rd of that traffic to ensure enough data collection to determine whether the campaign is effective or not.

Scale up or down based on the scenario above, but at the end of the day if the estimate comes out to only a couple of clicks a day I would recommend you invest your dollars elsewhere because you will not be giving search an opportunity to flourish as it can.

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A Review of FindLaw’s SEO Offering https://jurisdigital.com/findlaw-seo/ https://jurisdigital.com/findlaw-seo/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 10:21:22 +0000 https://jurisdigital.com/?p=611 #wpcf7-f3584-p611-o1 input[type=submit] {margin:0px 1%;padding:22px 0;}
FindLaw provides SEO and website design services to thousands of law firms across the nation. We have talked to dozens of lawyers who have had nothing but positive experiences with them. There is no question that they have some happy clients.
 
At the same time, we have enough first hand experience helping law firms move on from FindLaw to understand the aspects of their SEO practices and their business operations that law firms ought to beware of.
 
This blog post is not meant to “bash” FindLaw. What we care about is informing you, the lawyer who is considering either hiring FindLaw OR leaving them, about the common issues that we see, and the critical items that you should be aware of before you hire or leave them. Toward that end, and before we get into to our formal review of their SEO services, we invite you to download a free copy of Moving on From FindLaw.
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FindLaw Website SEO Audit

Below we have documented the results of an audit of a $5,000/mo FindLaw website. We haven’t included any SEO factors that were being done well, because frankly, we think it’s reasonable to expect that all important SEO factors should be done well when the firm is paying $5,000 per month for SEO services.

Note: In celebration of launching our 10 Point SEO Audit solution, we’ve performed this audit in that same style.

1. No Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools

Typically we begin our SEO analysis’ with a look at the Google Analytics data for the site so that we can understand how the site has performed in organic search historically, how it is currently performing, and what the major areas of opportunity are.

In the case of this site, there is no data to analyze because Google Analytics was never installed on the site. 5k a month and you don’t even get any Google Analytics data? Ouch.

Note: In fairness, FindLaw does have their own proprietary website traffic analytics software. The problem is that, when you stop paying FindLaw, all that data goes bye-bye.

The other primary tool we rely on for analyzing the site’s performance at a high level before we dig into the specifics is Google Webmaster Tools. This is a free service from Google that 100% of qualified SEOs recognize as a fundamental SEO tool.

Again, we can’t use historical data from Google Webmaster Tools, because, in over a year, it was never set up.

2. URLs Use Capital Letters and File Extensions

One of the issues that we see with the URLs on this site is that they contain capital letters, and complex file extensions:

URL Example

The capital letters and file extensions in the URLs are by no means a major SEO issue, but they are emblematic of FindLaw’s SEO offering in general; it is imperfect. Great technical SEO is all about being the least imperfect.

3. The Content is Nothing But Generic Sales Copy

There is almost no substance to any of the pages on this site. Most of the content on the site is little more than sales copy. Here is an example from the “Bankruptcy” page:

Bankruptcy content example

From a strictly SEO perspective, the problem with this type of content is that it is not truly unique. Half the bankruptcy attorneys in the country likely have very similar text to this on their site. Why should Google rank this page higher than any of those? FindLaw is not providing anything here of unique value that deserves to rank highly. For $5,000 per month, we would hope that the content on the site would be of substantially higher quality.

4. Single Pages Optimized for Multiple Cities

The cities that the content is optimized for is randomly inserted into the content. Clearly, FindLaw does not have a good grasp on how to properly optimize for local search queries. Here is an example from the firm’s “Workers Compensation” page:

Bad Geo Target Example

5. No Google Local Page for Second Location

The firm has two offices; one in Denver and one in Avon, CO. While FindLaw was marketing the firm’s services in both locations, they failed to create and verify a Google Local page for the Avon location. Without creating a Google Local page it is not possible for the firm to rank in local search results in Google. So, rather than having a roughly 12 month head start on this work, they are just now getting it started. It will likely be at least 6 months until their local page for Avon begins showing up in local search results for relevant queries.

6. Blogging Strategy = Digital Ambulance Chasing

One of the primary tasks that FindLaw was performing for this client was monthly blogging. However, rather than blogging on evergreen topics which addressed the needs and questions that potential customers might have, they instead simply reported on recent horrific accidents (we refer to this as digital ambulance chasing).

Even if you have no moral opposition to this type of technique, it is simply not effective as an SEO strategy. Even if these posts manage to attract some traffic in the days after they are published, they will not provide any long term SEO value because they are not relevant after a certain period of time. Not to mention the fact that their contents don’t help anyone.

Here are some examples of the kinds of topics they were blogging about:

Ambulance Chasing 1

Ambulance Chasing 2

Ambulance Chasing 3

7. Page Titles: Too Long, Keyword Stuffed, Generally Awful

The page title is perhaps the most important on-page SEO ranking factor. It is the place that Google’s crawler looks to understand what the page is about. FindLaw did everything wrong with this firm’s page titles.

Over 80% of the site’s page titles were too long:

Page TItles Too Long

Multiple locations were being targeted in singe page titles

Geo Stuffed

Keywords were being stuffed in page titles:

Keyword Stuffing

8. Images Missing Alt Text

Image alt text is where Google looks to understand images. Ensuring that all images on important landing pages contain alt text which describes the image is SEO 101. On this site, over 65% of the images on the site were missing alt text:

Missing Alt Text

9. Bleeding Link Authority with Site-Wide Footer Link

FindLaw likes to advertise on your website, even though YOU are paying THEM. They do this in the form of a site-wide footer link, which essentially bleeds link authority from every page of your site:

Stealing Link Authority

10. FindLaw Couldn’t Be Bothered to Write Unique Content

FindLaw has this habit of using the exact same text on several of their client’s websites. This is even the case when you are paying $5,000 per month.

Duplicate Content

We aren’t perfect either

While we have criticized FindLaw’s SEO product here, we are not trying to claim that we have never made a mistake for a client, or overlooked a basic SEO issue. We aren’t perfect either.

What we want to make clear here is that FindLaw’s SEO process is fundamentally flawed. Stuffing keywords, creating pages with no real value, optimizing for multiple locations, writing blog posts about horrible accidents – these tactics simply don’t work in 2015. $5,000 per month is a lot to pay for a process that doesn’t work.

Our Review of FindLaw’s SEO Offering
We have talked to a handful of FindLaw clients who are satisfied with their SEO offering. We have also talked to dozens more who are not satisfied, either with the results of the SEO work, or the level of customer service, or both. Based on the audit here, we feel that FindLaw’s SEO services are generally over-priced for the quality of the optimization.
Reviewing: FindLaw’s SEO Services
Date published: 06/25/2015
Rating: 1 / 5 stars

Download Our FREE Guide to Moving on From FindLaw

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]]> https://jurisdigital.com/findlaw-seo/feed/ 9 Questions To Ask Before Switching SEO Companies https://jurisdigital.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-switching-seo-companies/ https://jurisdigital.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-switching-seo-companies/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 16:12:31 +0000 https://jurisdigital.com/?p=3492 Recently I have been helping new customers switch from other providers or website hosting companies. Sometimes the way clients are held hostage is frustrating and unethical.

Just the mere thought of switching SEO or marketing companies can be a bit dreadful. If you’re not tech savvy it can seem like a daunting task especially considering there can be downtime if you don’t make the switch smoothly. Website downtime can hurt your business and if it’s not done correctly the results can be dramatically worse.

Since this is such an important decision for attorneys to make, I have compiled this list of questions to ask before switching SEO Companies along with some reasons as to why you should be concerned.

Questions to ask before switching SEO Companies

1. What is your cancellation period?

Over the past year we have been working on migrating a lot of Findlaw customers from their platform to a WordPress based platform. Usually by the time they’re ready to jump ship they want out in a hurry. But not so fast! While almost every company will have a cancellation period in their contract, the Findlaw terms of service typically indicate that you need to provide a 90 day written notice before cancellation.

That’s just one example. Keep in mind that if you’re switching to a new company you should expect something a little less, maybe around 30 days. This is up to you, but be prepared to wait if your contract says so.

2. Will I Own My Website?

Did your SEO Company build your website? About twice a week I hear a story where a law firm is ready to jump ship with their provider only to learn that they don’t even own their website design. In 2015 I can’t think of a good reason why you shouldn’t own your own website outright. This is usually a red flag if you see this as the only on-going costs for just having a website are typically website hosting ($5-$100 depending on your server hosting) and your domain name registration ($15 a year or less). If you wan’t to leave the company you’re with but don’t have a website you could be in a bad position. It’s important to plan properly for these situations.

3. Is My Website Linked To A Proprietary Content Management System?

If you’re switching providers and you’re not staying on the same platform you can expect some back end changes. Some lawyer SEO companies like Scorpion Design and Findlaw use proprietary back end systems. This is not a problem unless you’re switching your website away from them as you won’t have the same back end login and access your’e used to.

This is another reason why we advocate WordPress. If you have a WordPress website hosted with one company you can easily move that to another provider. The software stays the same and you’ve learned something you can keep using.

4. Can I Host My Website Anywhere?

This one is more of a personal preference for me. While we do host some of our clients websites we typically recommend a hosting provider other than us that they use. The hosting is where your website resides on the internet. We like to make sure our clients own this and always have access to it, no matter what. Giving up control of your hosting makes situations more difficult if relationships go sour.

5. Is Your Email With Your Current SEO Company?

How do you check your email? Do you pay for a service like Google Apps or was it just setup by whoever setup your website? Before making the leap to your new company make sure to ask about your current email situation. If you’re not sure how it’s setup a quick MX record check will show you where your email is likely hosted.

Make sure your new company knows about the email you use. If you end up switching your email as well it’s good to coordinate this with your IT person.

6. Do I Own My Domain Name?

A domain name is your www web address like www.JurisDigital.com. In some cases your current provider may own your domain name. It’s important that you always OWN and have control of this. If you work on building a brand it’s difficult to switch domain names and in some cases it’s very expensive to buy it back.

Always own your brand and own your domain name. You can register one at GoDaddy for about $12 a year.

7. Can I Keep My Current Website Design?

There are really two parts to this question. Not only should you find out if you can keep your current website design, you should really ask yourself “Should I Keep This Design?”? First off, if you’re switching CMS’s like I mentioned above it can require a lot of extra work to turn your current design into the same looking design on a new CMS like WordPress. So before you take up the effort you need to ask yourself if you should.

What do I mean by this? I see a lot of websites and while sometimes clients are happy with the look and feel of them it’s important that you make a data driven decision. If your website is not converting, do you really want to keep it? If there are better changes that can be added like adding trust signals more prominently, wouldn’t it make sense to change if it’s going to result in more contacts?

Each situation is different so it’s important to talk to an expert about this.

8. Do You Own Your Content, or Are You Leasing It?

Another very frustrating practice by unethical companies is that they lease content and in some cases duplicate content. You should own your content once it’s on your website as it’s an asset for you. Make sure to ask if you own the content if you’re not sure.

9. Do You Provide Google Analytics Access? Webmaster Tools Access?

This is a basic question but an important one. Sometimes companies use proprietary analytics software to track website visitors and their behavior. While this is fine you should find out if you will still have access to that data before you leave or whether or not you can take it with you.

Even if a company is using a proprietary system you should ask to have Google Analytics installed where you can have the data reviewed or audited as necessary. Also, Google Webmaster Tools tracks a lot of important data like the health of your website and whether or not you have a manual penalty. It’s a good idea to get setup on email alerts so you’re always aware of your websites health.

Switching Providers Sounds Complicated, But It’s Really Not

With the items I outlined above you might be scared to switch a website, but don’t be. If you hire experienced professionals you don’t have anything to worry about. At the same time it’s important to be educated on these issues to prevent any possible issues in the future. If you’re looking to give another SEO company a shot at your website make sure you vet them first.

If you’ve had a horror story or an issue moving providers before I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

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Is My Website Penalized by Google? https://jurisdigital.com/is-my-website-penalized-by-google/ https://jurisdigital.com/is-my-website-penalized-by-google/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 22:24:02 +0000 https://jurisdigital.com/?p=3486 Did you know that Google penalizes websites that operate outside of their terms of service? A couple of years ago Google was actively penalizing a lot of law firm websites who were going after links in unnatural ways. But penalties are not just limited to law firm websites. In fact today, Thumbtack.com (A company who’s biggest investor is Google) was penalized for unnatural backlinks. This is very interesting if you consider that many lawyers actually purchase leads from this website.

Having been actively involved in the SEO industry for 10+ years now, iv’e seen, worked with, and been apart of some very nasty penalties. Iv’e seen first hand what they can do to a law firm’s case intake and also seen the joy they receive when getting out of a mess like this. This whole journey is part of our story and why we’re ethical white hat marketers. Unfortunately uneducated marketers may not even know how to diagnose a penalty or realize that they’ve been in one.

If you’ve ever hired an internet marketing company, built links, or participated in shortcuts it’s probably a good idea to run an analysis to see if your website is under a Google Penalty.

What Type of Penalties Can You Get?

To learn what types of penalties you can get let’s first talk about Type of Penalty and then we can get into the causes of penalties. Not all type’s of penalties are created equally. Here is a brief run down of the types and how they can affect you.

Manual action penalty1. Manual Penalties 
Manual actions are actions that members from Google’s Webspam team took against some or part of your website. In these cases someone from their quality team physically reviewed your site to come up with the decision to send you into a penalty.

With manual penalties you will be notified in Google Webmaster Tools via the message center and can also check it by visiting: Search Traffic > Manual Actions. (You can see an example of this to the right side of the screen)

On this page any manual penalties will be listed along with more information about the penalty. We will get into this a little bit later.

With manual actions there are two sub types you can get hit with:

A. Site Wide Action
Site wide actions indicate that the problem is affecting every page of your website and none are immune to the penalty.

B. Partial Matches
Partial matches are penalties that impact individual URL’s. It will be limited to the individual pages or sections on the site which the action applies to.

Watch this video from Google’s former head of Webspam Matt Cutts to learn more

2. Algorithmic Penalties
In addition to getting a penalty that was manually assessed by a Google Employee, you can also get what we call algorithmic penalties. Have you heard of the dreaded Google Updates named after animals such as Panda or Penguin?

These updates the algorithm are meant to take out people trying to manipulate Google’s search results unnaturally at the algorithmic level. Since there are so many violators this is a way they can assess quality in much greater volume based on trends of spam based websites.

So What Types of Activities Does Google Penalize?

Since people are constantly trying to manipulate search engines you can can safely assume that there are a lot of ways a website can be penalized. I’ll go into all of them briefly below but the most common ones I see are link penalties, Content Penalties, and Hacked sites. More on this in a bit.

Unnatural links
How To Remove It:
 Manually remove bad links and create a disavow file. Submit reconsideration if it’s a manual penalty.
This is a big one that is about as common as SEO companies sending you emails trying to sell you SEO services. One of the problems with unnatural links is understanding trends and being able to make corrective actions. If you have ever paid for a link or participated in a scheme for the purpose of getting a link then you have violated the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Remember how I mentioned Thumbtack.com earlier? They were penalized by giving away “points” in exchange for a link to their website. Google is a corporation and can make their own rules so it’s important to stay in the loop with them.

In the law space here are the most common things I have seen Webmaster’s participate in that has gotten them penalized.

  1. Using unnatural anchor text – While they didn’t use to crack down on this they have done so heavily over the past few years. Anchor text is the clickable part of a link. If every website linking back to you links the same way, it may seem unnatural. This is specifically the case when the anchor text is a keyword you’re trying to rank for. If you did this in the past and you didn’t keep it in check, it’s time to address it.
  2. Creating a blog network – Did you buy into the idea of creating a lot of websites and linking between them? This can be a big no no.
  3. Using Automated Link Software – Links are easier when they’re automated right? WRONG! If you did this you probably have a SERIOUS problem that needs to be addressed.
  4. Spammy Guest Blogs – Guest blogging used to be an acceptable tactic. The problem is that once people saw that it worked they reached out to other like minded attorneys and created low quality guest blogs. If you have a lot of these with spammy anchor text you’re in double trouble.
  5. Article Marketing – Article marketing has been around for a long time. Just like spammy guest blogs people used to create low quality articles for the purpose of a link. This is terrible.

Even if you didn’t participate in any of the above tactics you need to be checking into this. In some cases your SEO company may not have told you what they participated in. In others you could be a victim of negative SEO where potential competitors or other shady goons are building unnatural links to your website.

Thin content with little or no added value
How To Remove It: 
Create good substantial content and get the pages re-indexed.
If you’ve familiarized yourself with Google’s best practices or commonly read internet marketing blogs then you must have heard how bad duplicate content is. Duplicate content won’t help you rank in the search engines.

In addition to this, thin content won’t help you either and also puts you in a very tricky situation with a looming penalty. Thin content could be pages with just a few words or it could also be doorway pages.

In 2008 I saw a lot of law firms create multiple city landing pages with little or no unique content. In these cases I also noticed them copy and paste these to different pages optimized for different cities while replacing just the city name.

If you did this get rid of it ASAP. That’s just asking for it if you’re still getting away with it.

Hidden text and/or keyword stuffing
How To Remove It: 
Remove keyword stuffing and clean up your content
Back in early 2000’s someone figured out that search engines were remarkably less sophisticated back then and relied heavily on the number of keywords used on the page. You may have heard the Keyword Density Myth. If you’re hiding black text keywords on a black background you will need a time machine to succeed.

Although I joke about this, it’s sad because I still see it from time to time. However more commonly I see keyword stuffing as a problem. How do you know if you’re keyword stuffing? Just ask yourself if it reads naturally. If not, you may have a problem.

Things like this make me puke: “Do you need a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to help you with your Los Angeles personal injury case?”  ~ and you can get MUCH worse than this. 

Hacked Websites
How To Remove It: Remove spam or hacked issues. Submit reconsideration request.
This one is actually pretty common and unless you’ve seen the notice you might not know. Hacked websites are pretty common because hackers are constantly finding vulnerabilities in platforms and plugins.

Pro Tip: Be careful about the WordPress plugins you install. Some can cause vulnerabilities.

Spam
How To Remove It: 
Remove spam. Submit reconsideration request. 
Thankfully spam reasons are not as common as anything else I see. Typically if you get a spam warning you know you did something wrong and that you need to fix it. As a rule of thumb don’t do anything unnatural such as using spammy structured markup or participate in cloaking and you’ll be ok.

Want to know more about penalty types? Here is some further reading from Google on Manual Penalties. (Source: Google Search Console Help)

Does Your Website Have A Penalty?

Now to the meat of this this post. Are you wondering if your website has a penalty? At this point I’m assuming you’ve already checked to see if there is a manual penalty associated with your website. If you haven’t, here is what you need to do.

Checking For A Manual Penalty
**Note: You must have Google Webmaster Tools Installed

  1. Visit Google Webmaster Tools at: http://www.google.com/webmasters
  2. Click on your website property
  3. Click on “Search Traffic” on the left side
  4. Click on Manual Actions in this list
  5. Review any messages here. The only message you really want is: No Manual Actions as shown below.

No manual actions found

 

If you do have a manual penalty it’s best to consult a penalty recovery expert for further advice. I am working on a penalty recovery guide for attorneys which will be published soon.

Keep in mind that link based penalties will take dedication to remove and can be more complicated than most others.

Checking For Algorithmic Penalties
Checking for algorithmic penalties is a serious business. The problem with algorithmic penalties is that unlike manual penalties there are no notifications. In addition to this, algorithmic penalties may only affect a page or a small section of your website.

Learning how to read between the lines here and figure out whether or not your penalized is best left up to experts. However there are some things you can do to get a good idea if you were penalized or not. One such method is by using a free tool called Panguin by Barracuda Digital. This tool requires you have Google Analytics but will connect to it and align known updates with your analytics data.

A quick tutorial on how to use this is below:

    1. Start by visiting Panguins site here.
    2. Select the Log-in to Analytics button. This will redirect you to login to your Google Account if you’re not already logged in.
    3. From here you need to select one of your analytics profiles
    4. Once you’ve linked your data you are taken to the interface as shown below.

      Panguin Tool

    5. Your goal here is to analyze your traffic drop offs (if any exist) with an update.

This tool is a very powerful tool that allows you to comb through organic traffic data and get a clear picture pretty easily. The problem is that identifying you have a penalty due to a traffic drop off on a certain data requires different work to remove it.

If you do see major traffic drop offs with these changes you need to develop a plan to see which specific pages were affected and how you can go about removing the penalty.

What Should You Do If You Suspect A Penalty

First relax and take a deep breath. Your situation may not be as bad as you think. Honestly it just depends on how far in the hole you are with Google. Penalties mean Google has lost trust in your website to some extent. Determining the extent to which the trust was lost is important as is figuring out a plan to help you get back where you were.

When your website was penalized it was receiving some sort of artificial boost from your activities. Not only do you want to remove the penalty, you want to gain back the trust naturally and in a white hat method.

Penalties suck and since I’ve personally seen some of the worst I would be happy to talk with you about your current situation. Simply give me a call or feel free to email me direct at cmeraz (at) lawyerseomarketing.org. I can also advise you on do it yourself options.

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Offline Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients https://jurisdigital.com/lawyers-offline-marketing-ideas-get-more-clients/ https://jurisdigital.com/lawyers-offline-marketing-ideas-get-more-clients/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 21:18:20 +0000 https://jurisdigital.com/?p=3454 Everyday I’m talking about, speaking about, or writing about digital marketing ideas for attorneys. The internet is so broad and there are so many ways to generate new clients online through having a website, being listed in the right places, paid options, and more. One area I don’t cover too much about is offline marketing.

In my opinion the most successful law firms have generated multiple channels to get potential case leads from. Having worked in and outside of law firms I constantly advise them on a wide variety of marketing techniques.

In today’s article we’re going to look at some offline marketing methods you can use to generate new clients. Everything I mention here has been proven to work if done correctly.

#1: Have A Local Operator Deliver Marketing Materials and Donuts

What? Really? Donuts? Yep thats right! We know a law firm that is very effective at building their referral network when they do this the right way. Have someone from your office act as a good will representative and visit corresponding offices delivering your marketing materials, books, and most importantly donuts.

For personal injury clients & family law clients of ours that could mean going to chiropractors offices, body shops, tow truck shops, and beauty parlors with these materials.

If you do this be sure to bring your marketing materials, spend some time talking about what you do, and do it occasionally.

Delivering Donuts and Creating Relationships Works

#2: Direct Mail with Handwritten Notes

Direct mail can be effective with the right focus. It’s important to relate to the client and create a connection. One way to do this is to personalize the direct mail with a hand written sticky note.

It seems old school but we know law firms who have used this to sign some pretty big cases. Some feedback also indicated that it was a reason potential clients called their firm as opposed to another firm.

You should mine your client database and send a direct email once a month to these clients in addition to the appropriate holiday cards. Birthday and Christmas cards are a good start and show that your law firm really cares.

Handwrite notes to clients and you'll get a more emotional connection

#3: Write & Publish a book

You can do this offline or online but it will not only help establish you as a credible source, it will also help you generate new clients. The trust from book publishing can go a long way.

Start with picking a topic relevant to your practice area. If you need help writing it there are ghost writers out there that you can pay to write the book for you. Once it’s written you can sell it on Amazon.com through Createspace.com and other channels such as Apple Store, Barnes & Noble, etc., via a service like Direct2Digital.com.

Once you have your book you can promote it online as a trust signal but also bring it to networking events.

Become an author

#4: TV Commercials

How many hours a day do you watch TV? Many attorneys are still having great success with TV Commercials on prime time TV. One of the more common TV commercial types that are working well with potential clients are client testimonial videos.

A law firm that had previously done a lot of TV advertising noticed a 30% uptick in conversions when switching to high quality client testimonial videos.

If you do TV advertising make sure to track your ROI closely. Some attorneys mention that turning off the ad’s in December is a big money saver.

#5: If You’re Still Using Yellow Pages, At Least Bring In A Consultant

Now while I’m not one to recommend the Yellow Pages as they’re dying in most areas, I do know some attorneys who are being successful with them still. If you find it’s worth your investment in your area it’s time to bring in a Yellow Pages Consultant. These guys can help reduce huge budgets and save you a lot of money.

On the other hand if you don’t have proven success doing this, I don’t suggest you start now.

Bring in a consultant

#6: Increase Referrals By Calling Clients Once A Month

Even though it seems Millennia’s can be afraid of the phone, this still works for generating more referral traffic. Some of our attorney clients call our clients once a month to provide a status update on their cases.

After doing this they tracked a noticeable increase in referrals. Make sure to send Thank You Follow up’s within 24 hours of getting one.

Being Successful Takes Hard Work

It can take a lot of work to be a successful law firm. Make sure you’re tracking your results heavily. Invest in the things that are working and get out of what’s not. Don’t make emotional marketing decisions. Make data driven marketing decision. You can be tactical in this sense and make sure you’re getting the highest ROI by analyzing your data.

What Offline Or Non Traditional Methods Have Worked For You?

Four ways lawyers can get more clients

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How to Blog as a Lawyer https://jurisdigital.com/how-to-blog-as-a-lawyer/ https://jurisdigital.com/how-to-blog-as-a-lawyer/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 02:26:52 +0000 https://jurisdigital.com/?p=3392 How to Blog as a LawyerIf you’re like most attorney’s I’ve had the opportunity to speak with, you’ve probably been told you need to blog. But about what? Whether you’ve been advised to keep the blog on your law firm website, or on a separate domain, you need to produce the right content.

In the past we’ve talked about mistakes to avoid with your legal blogging, and we’ve looked at a simple legal blogging strategy that any attorney can execute. Today, I wanted to get practical and discuss blogging strategies you can use to drive productive traffic which results in new clients on your firm’s books.

First, we need to figure out why you’re blogging. Different types of blog posts will produce different results.

Why Are You Blogging?

Let’s start by taking a look at a few different practical goals you want to achieve by blogging:

  • New Client Acquisition
    Although there are other ways to get new clients through a strong content marketing strategy like creating FAQ pages that show your expertise, you can also create a blog for the purpose of getting new clients.
  • Link Earning
    You may have heard about this before referred to as link bait. Sometimes you create unique content for the purpose of virality and getting linked to.
  • Announcements
    Maybe you received a new large settlement and you want to let the world know. You can do this through an announcement. 
  • Expertise Building
    You’re an expert in your field but maybe not enough people know it. You can create content for the purpose of showcasing why you’re an expert by what you’ve accomplished.
  • Networking
    If you’re trying to generate referral business you might be creating content to network with other attorneys. You can catch their eye and potentially get more business.

Pro Tip for Lawyer Blogging

You need to define the purpose of your blogging before going into the planning phase. If you’re writing just to write because someone told you to, you could be missing the boat or event hurting your website.

Once You’ve Defined Your Purpose, Identify the Key Performance Indicator and Measure It

Measure your success
I can admit it. I’m a data nerd. One of the things I like about getting insights from books like Lean Analytics is that I learned more about the importance of tracking everything. You are literally just wasting time if you don’t have a way to measure success.

After all, the goal here is to blog for a purpose. You can’t scale and grow things that work if you don’t track what’s working for your law firm. Success can come in many different forms:

  • Social shares on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Number of page views
  • 1st page rankings for relevant search queries
  • Links earned
  • Email address collected
  • New clients signed (I like this one)

Whatever your metric of choice is, make sure you or your SEO company can implement and track it to measure success.

A Good Content Checklist

Make sure your content is following a set of guidelines that’s widely accepted as good. Take these into consideration when drafting a new blog for your website.

  1. Does it serve a purpose (like we mentioned above)?
  2. Is it unique content?
  3. Is the content at least 300 words?
  4. Is it well organized?
  5. Does the content reflect your brand and the writers voice?
  6. Does it have a compelling headline?

Repurposed News… Without a Purpose. Don’t Do This.

Back when I was working with law firms in 2008 we created a strategy where we were writing 1-3 blog posts per day on recent news stories. These were short blog posts at about 200 words and covered news that others were already reporting on. We used stock photos and linked heavily to our internal content. For a long time it worked and generated tons of traffic. However now its 2015. Do you want to guess what happened to those short blog posts?

Over the years they slowly declined in popularity. They didn’t have a purpose. Although they didn’t contain duplicate content they were thin and not really that useful. When we re-audited the site we had to ask the question… what purpose were these serving? After analyzing the data we found that 99.9% of them had no social shares, very little traffic, no comments (interaction), or links.

Once we looked at the data we learned our lesson and purged them strategically. This also fixed a keyword dilution problem which is a reason you don’t write blog posts just for the sake of it. Sadly however this is still very much a thing that law firms like to do.

Now let’s look at some post types you can do that will be useful for your firm’s blog.

Examples of the Different Types of Legal Blog Posts

Example Post Type #1: News Posts: Bad Types & Good Types

First, a Bad Example:

There are some types of content that just drive me crazy when I see. They drive me crazy because these types of pieces don’t generally rank well or provide much purpose other than diluting your website like I talked about above.

generic-blog-post-lawyer-blog

Based on some of the analysis we did before, let’s see if it meets any of the guidelines we talked about. While we don’t know the authors intent, the only reason a piece like this should be created would be to inform potential clients. Here are the issues I see with it:

  • It’s 150 words or so which is under the recommended length
  • If you copy and paste the title its not ranking in Google on the first page (bad sign)
  • Its just a bad example of re-creating news
  • It earned no social signals or link signals

Second, a Better Example:

The Wilshire Law Firm is known for their industry performance in California. Through this relationship they’ve fostered media relations over the years. One of their most recent articles was a piece of news that every news outlet covered. In this case it was the Bruce Jenner Car Accident.

So what makes this different from other news types? Specifically it’s the method they took while creating the content. Yes the first part is a bit generic but as you proceed through the article you see the actual attorney’s point of view along with him being interviewed by ABC.

You can see the example of this below:

Bruce Jenner Accident Details

While I don’t suspect any lawyer is the go to person for a news station, there are some lessons to be learned here. First, why would you write a news piece unless you’re sharing valuable information from a lawyers perspective. As an attorney you can blog about a case and include your opinion, possible case facts, or an analysis of the facts in the case.

In this small example they did earn a few backlinks.

Example Post Type #2: Write a roundup article for links and viral lift

In this example a California Law firm created this piece titled “12 Unbelievable Courtroom Moments Caught on Tape”. In this piece they do what we call a round up article where they rounded up some interesting court room videos that had a lot of views. Content like this would apply to most people who like to watch funny moments just like those silly TV shows.

But as you can see in the graphic below, it had a major social impact. It’s not very often that you see a law firm blog generate the following metrics:

  • 542 Facebook Likes
  • 127 G+ Shares
  • 4,753 Total Facebook Shares
  • 154 Tweets
  • 85 Pins on Pinterest
  • 2984 Reddit Shares
  • 39 Good Backlinks
  • And it ranks for keywords like: unbelievable courtroom moments

Social Lift and Links

Getting a lot of social shares and links is a metric you can use to see how successful your blog post was. This is a good example of one.

When writing a piece like this that is not representative of the attorney’s personal brand I generally recommend making sure it’s not published under the attorney’s name. However pieces that actually come from the attorneys voice should be published under their name.

posted-by

Example Post Type #3: Answer Questions Your Clients Are Asking

Chances are that if I got pulled over for a DUI I would be researching the heck out of my situation promptly after I got out of jail. While some attorney’s answer client questions via their practice area pages you will find that there is a never a shortage of questions you can answer on your blog.

Pro tip for lawyers. Find out which questions your assistants are being asked the most.

If you are answering questions potential clients might be searching for you need to make sure that you’re creating high quality content. Good content has the following characteristics for this type of post.

  • Be authentic and useful – Don’t just answer the question in a sentence. Answer thoroughly.
  • Use your voice – Potential clients are going to find this work of yours. Give them a taste who you are and how you work,

A good example that I found online is this law firm from Virginia in his blog post, titled “WILL YOU GET ARRESTED IF YOU REFUSE THE ROADSIDE BREATH TEST?”.

This type of query is something that a potential client might be typing into Google. In addition to this, it actually ranks for a variety of keywords.

answer-questions

While a piece like this might not generate a ton of links it will help find potential clients which is the articles purpose.

Key Takeaways

  • Don’t just blog to blog.
  • Define a purpose for your blogging.
  • Define the KPIs for your blogging and measure them.
  • Different types of blog posts serve different purposes.
  • Write blog posts that best serve your purpose.
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Is Avvo Paid Advertising Worth The Money? https://jurisdigital.com/is-avvo-paid-advertising-worth-the-money/ https://jurisdigital.com/is-avvo-paid-advertising-worth-the-money/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 18:41:29 +0000 https://jurisdigital.com/?p=3370 Google is continually in the business of helping authority websites rank higher in search results. Over the past year we’ve seen some dramatic changes in local search including the rise of popular lawyer directories like Findlaw in AVVO in search results.

For example, a quick search in Google for “Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney” generates local and organic results. The number two organic result is Avvo as you can see in the graphic below.

Search results for PI Attorney in AVVO

Today we’re going to look at Avvo and see if there paid advertising is worth the investment. But first, I want to educate you on why they might be important and the service options Avvo offers.

You can’t hide from AVVO in a lot of search results. There are a couple of different ways to show up on AVVO. First and foremost you should know that AVVO attorney profiles are free listings. By being an attorney you can get listed for free and show up in search results. Your placement depends on several factors including your rating and whether or not you’re paying for advertising. They also offer a paid advertising option which will increase your visibility for a fee.

What Advertising Options Do They Offer

Avvo offers a variety of services some of which are free and others which are paid.

The free options they offer include:

  • Avvo Profile – Free listing for attorneys on the AVVO main website.
  • Legal Q&A – Avvo offers a free legal Q&A section on their website where you can
  • Legal Guides – You can create free legal guides to share with consumers and  show your expertise in an area.

 

I always like free stuff :) and getting an opportunity to put yourself in front of potential client is a no brainer. I always recommend free exposure and thus I suggest you take advantage of contributing to these areas as time permits. Today however we’re more focused on the paid advertising options they offer.

Avvo currently offers two paid services for generating more case leads.

The paid listing offers include:

  • Avvo Pro – The pricing for this service starts at $49 /month
  • Avvo Advertising –The pricing for this service starts at $99 /month

Avvo Subscription Packages

What Is Avvo Pro?

Avvo pro is a paid subscription service by Avvo that can enhance your Avvo profile. Some of the things the Pro designation allows you to do are:

  • Create a personal introduction for each practice area
  • Remove competitors ad’s from your listing
  • Optimize and highlight preferred client reviews
  • Include a link to your blog feed
  • Track analytics in your profile 

In addition to this you are given a pro designation on your profile listing which may affect click through rate. You can see this in the example below.

Avvo Pro Profile

 

What is Avvo Advertising?

Avvo advertising is a service they created specifically to get more visibility to your Avvo Profile. Through this service they offer paid advertising for those searching in your geographic areas and practice areas. Its similar to a Google Pay Per click in that sense but less expensive.

A couple examples of how these advertisements appear are below.

Sponsored Listing Example

Second sponsored listing example

In the above example notice how Joseph does not have a 10.0 Avvo Rating like the rest of the advertisers. This is because if you do not have  a 10.0 rating and you advertise with them using a paid method, they will hide this information.

One thing to consider before you decide to advertise on Avvo is what your rating is and whether or not you have client reviews. If you have client reviews they can showcase these instead of your Avvo rating.

Now Let’s Look At Some Data

I have managed many Avvo paid campaigns over the years and have seen the data come and go. The example we will be looking at is similar and very typical to all experiences I have had with Avvo’s paid advertising services. In all of these cases the law firms were solicited by Avvo’s outbound calling team and decided to sign up for their services under the promises that the ad’s will help them generate more cases.

Case Study: Colorado Based Personal Injury Law Firm
This law firm has been advertising with Avvo for over a year using this service. Although the service has generated very low traffic you have to take into consideration that this particular firm is a personal injury firm where case values are high.

Here are the stats for the past year of Avvo advertising:
Website Visits from Avvo: 100 ~ these are visitors who clicked from the AVVO profile to the clients website.
Email Contacts from Avvo: 5 ~ these are emails sent via Avvo.com to the client
Calls Generated: 7 ~ these are calls tracked from the Avvo Call Tracking number.
Cases Signed: 1

The data below is over the past 30 days and was pulled from Avvo’s back end analytics. It is just tracking the actual contacts and not the visits.

Colorado Avvo Analytics

Analysis Of Efforts:
In this case you have to remember you get what you pay for. At $100 – $200 a month it would have been worth it for this client if they signed at least one case, which they did do. While the ROI worked out for them in this case you can see that it’s probably not effective for someone who wants a quality volume approach. There is also no way to separate which of these visits were “free” visits vs. which ones were paid visits which can make a big impact.

There is no saying that consumers did not find their profile via a free search and then click through to the clients website. One of the frustrating things is that they do in fact show profile visibility history for the past 30 day date range but it does not show which channels resulted in the contacts. I suspect this is on purpose and you can see this in the example below:

How many times was the profile viewed

Since Avvo hides some of this data it’s difficult to say how effective ad’s are being vs the free profile listing. This is something to consider when deciding whether or not to purchase paid ad’s from them.

Conclusion: Should You Use Avvo’s Paid Ad’s To Sign More Cases?

Drum roll please… Avvo is a great resource and tool for lawyers, there is no doubt about this. Here are the key takeaways in my opinion:

  • DO Take Advantage of Avvo’s Free Services
    Potential clients do research before hiring an attorney online. Even if they’ve already found you elsewhere they might type your name into Google and find your Avvo profile. Having a strong listing with good reviews and one that is optimized is essential to your success.
  • DO Continually Optimize Your Avvo Profile & Contribute
    Want that higher 10.0 rating? Want to stay at the top and generate more cases for “free”? Keep at it and keep contributing. You can learn more about how to get that Avvo 10 rating here.
  • DO NOT make Avvo Advertising Your Primary Choice For Immediate Stream Of A lot of Cases
    Like we saw in the examples above, Avvo can work for you depending on your per case value and your goals. But it’s unlikely to generate a stream of cases overnight or in the short term.
  • DO Realize That Active Lawyer Profiles Will Perform Better
    If you do decide to use the paid advertising please do not just pay the bill and assume everything is good. The attorney’s with the highest scores, most reviews, and most participations will benefit most from the paid ad’s. It’s not a set it and forget it service.

What has your experience been using Avvo’s paid services? Please leave your feedback in the comments below. We’re interested to hear what you think.

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5 Law Firm Website Mistakes You Need To Fix https://jurisdigital.com/five-law-firm-website-mistakes-you-need-to-fix/ https://jurisdigital.com/five-law-firm-website-mistakes-you-need-to-fix/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 18:03:11 +0000 https://jurisdigital.com/?p=3327 Simply being a lawyer is not enough to gain business these days. Your site is in competition with the world, not just your local firms. Typically we like to share tips on how you can be better than your competition. But at the same time there are common mistakes that I see every day looking at legal websites. Don’t make these mistakes.

1. Having A Website That’s Too Generalized or Too Broad

The worst thing that you can do as a lawyer is to try to seem general. Potential clients are going to be hiring you for a reason. You have to showcase what your firm does front and center. Do you want to field calls from people who are window shopping, or do you want to do business with clients who understand that you can help them immediately?

Also, potential clients are always wanting to hire the best lawyer. Have you ever heard of the phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none?”? If you market yourself as a lawyer that does literally everything, you might lose trust with potential consumers. Instead, make sure to highlight your speciality and show why you’re the best.

We do everything great!

2. You’re More Concerned About Snacks Than Conversions

I recently met with an attorney who was dead set on displaying social channel feeds, video feeds, forums, and other 3rd party plugins on his site, yet his purpose was to convert visitors. If you create a website that has more ways to leave your website instead of guiding them down a conversion funnel, then you’re mistaken.

Other attorneys make this same mistake by making their website busy and overbearing. Somehow, they believe, this will make people believe that the firm is smarter than the competition. This cannot be farther from the truth. The best law firm sites are simple and to the point. The sales funnel technique that works for selling socks also works for selling your firm’s services. Give your audience a single path to follow, and make sure that they know exactly where they are going. Answer any questions they might have with great content.

The best law firm website

If your website looks like this you have issues

Latin Lawyer Book

3. Your Content Is Written for Other Lawyers, Not Clients

You do not have to showcase your knowledge of Black’s Law Dictionary, especially since your client base probably does not know what Black’s Law Dictionary is. This is a mistake that newer lawyers make; they are fresh out of school and they want to make an impression. Unfortunately, showing off using verbose language will only turn people away. Save it for the judge and for your opposition.

The exception to this is if you’re marketing directly to other law firms online.

4. You Website Uses Bad Photos

Pictures say 1000 words. Sometimes when newer law firms are launching a new website they take shortcuts. Photos is one place where you shouldn’t take shortcuts. Having professional photos really says a lot about you and who you are. It shows that you care about details and can instill confidence in prospective clients. In our experience having bad photos will break your website and having good photos can help increase conversions.

An example of a bad attorney photo

5. Having a Non Mobile Friendly Website

Now that we’re well into 2015 I’m sure you’ve heard that you need a mobile friendly website. Back in February I wrote how you need to have a mobile friendly website before April 21st, 2015 which has now come and gone.

Now that the dust has settled I can say with confidence that you still need a mobile friendly website. If you’re websites does not pass this test, then you’re visibility is now limited in mobile searches. Competitors who have mobile friendly websites are now ranking above your’s simply because they kept up with technology.

This is even more relevant now since Google announced on May 6th, 2015 that mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches overall. This means your clients are doing research on their mobile devices. If you don’t show up, you’re losing business.

Need Another Set of Eyes?

Looking at your website day in and day out becomes useless after a while. You get too focused or trained on one thing and start ignoring the obvious. If you need a trained set of eyes to give you a second look on your website, give us a call. We’re happy to help.

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Turn Client Stories Into Strong Practice Area Pages https://jurisdigital.com/turn-client-stories-into-strong-practice-area-pages/ https://jurisdigital.com/turn-client-stories-into-strong-practice-area-pages/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 21:29:38 +0000 https://jurisdigital.com/?p=3322 If you’re like me you probably get tired of looking at business card websites for lawyers that are cookie cutter websites.  I’m talking about the ones with just the business name, about us page, practice area pages, and other pages that every lawyer has. While I’m not ragging on on the importance of having these things, I am harassing websites that all have the same practice area pages.

Ever since SEO became popular, the thought process has always been to create a practice area page for each type of case you handle. That’s fine and I encourage this, but I encourage you to be different.

Take the example below as an example. They created a practice area page that basically has the minimum number of words and it’s highly geared towards those who have been injured in a bicycle accident.

A website with just basic text

The problem with this particular example is not that it doesn’t serve the need for some, the problem is that it could be converting higher with more thought, more resources, and a story to guide the website visitor along.

What Are We Talking About Here?

It’s my job as a marketer to figure out what information actual clients might be looking for when making a hiring decision. This means I need to know things like the search terms they’re using, the on page factors, they’re looking at, and what emotions they’re feeling when they visit page on a website. This is a never ending process.

User behavior varies greatly depending on intent, age, the emotional situation they’re in, and many other factors.  Appealing to these audiences is not an easy task. Some will make the decision to contact you on the first visit to your website and others will do their due diligence before hiring you. No matter the path they take, it’s important to be prepared to guide them where they want you.

What’s The Problem?

One of the problems I commonly see with law firm websites is that they create practice area pages that are really no different than any other law firm’s. Whether you think about this from the Google Bot perspective or a User Perspective, how is this better? Honestly, how is your practice area page better than Bob’s Car Accident Lawyer page?

Visitors who find your website want to draw an emotional connection to you. A lot of this has to do with visuals which we know about already like:

  1. Trust Signals – Pictures from awards and accolades the attorney has earned.
  2. Client Reviews – Reviews from existing clients
  3. Case Results – Results from actual verifiable cases
  4. Human Pictures – Pictures of the actual attorneys instead of stock photos
  5. Videos – Maybe testimonial videos or firm overview videos
  6. Clear Calls To Action – This is the biggest problem I see

All of these features are important and can invoke human emotion on different levels. But what if we could take this a step further? What if we could rank for longer tail keywords related to specific incidents?

A Crazy Idea: Use Existing Case Studies for Unique Content

Depending on your practice are this idea may not work for you. Some items are sensitive and shouldn’t be publicly published. Other cases are sealed by courts and can’t be promoted. However if you’ve created client testimonial videos for your website you may already be sitting on a gold mine you can repurpose.

Let’s take these attorneys from The Reeves Law Group as an example to set this up. If you have time, watch the video below:

The video is professionally made, invokes emotion and has more gold in it than you might think. In this video we have a client testimonial, trust signals, human pictures, a case result and client reviews all in one video.  The client already consented to be on video which means they’re more likely to be OK to be listed elsewhere on the website. What if we we turned this into a new type of practice area page and converted it to text?

Relate To Clients With Amazing Landing Pages

Let’s say that I was in a car accident on the Freeway. Using San Diego as my area of search I might be expected to type in a variety of phrases like:

  1. San Diego Car Accident Attorney
  2. Rear ended on I-5 in San Diego, what should I do?
  3. My neck is hurting a few hours after a car accident, should I go to Urgent Care?
  4. Went to ER after car accident and can’t afford the bills

What if you could get long tail traffic from tons of queries like this by creating case study pages from actual cases.
Your overall goal with doing this is to create a unique, yet substantial page of content that covers many different personality types of potential clients. Those who want the front loaded information can still get it and the clients who want to learn about the whole process can read the experience.

  • Include a brief narrative of the scenario and outcome at the top of the page. For those that are in a hurry and make decisions without research you can appeal to them by making the facts stick out first.
  • Include a picture of the client with a review blurb
  • Include a video above the fold (like the video listed above)
  • Tell the whole story, broken down so it’s easy to read.
    • Include where it happened (if you can disclose this)
    • Include the clients age
    • Show the monetary outcome and the case as won
    • Include details to pickup long tail phrases
    • Tell the story of how you helped
    • Include your value propositions and how easy they made it
    • Show how doctors helped the client recover
  • Link to supporting documents and FAQ’s like:
    • How long will my case take
    • How much will it cost me
    • How much money have you recovered for your clients?

 

Where Can You Put These Pages?

Depending on your overall strategic goals you have to figure out if these will be your main practice area pages or sub topics of your practice areas. Each will require a case by case analysis but it’s important to get consumers to the right information. As landing pages these can help rank for less searched long tail keywords like business names where accidents occurred, bar names near DUI checkpoints, reasons why someone won a child custody matter, or the process of an actual bankruptcy.

These are tough topics that your clients have questions about. If you can show them the process, how smooth it was, and back it up with client results you might find yourself signing more cases.

Make Sure to Test, Test, and Test Again

While Iv’e seen this work in cases I always encourage making decisions based on data. If your practice area pages are neither ranking or converting, what do you have to lose to test this? Don’t take my work for it though. Test it and make your final decision off of the data. If you don’t decide to use these as practice area pages you will still end up with great content that will set you apart from other law firms.

 

 

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