syndicate.pngA component of any well developed law firm internet strategy should include the production and syndication of practice specific, professionally written content. Posting content directly to your website or blog should serve as the foundation of your strategy. However, taking advantage of syndication networks such as JD Supra, Avvo, or ExpertHub can get your content in front of a bigger, more widely read audience. This can be beneficial in driving more traffic to your site, building a larger blog readership, exposure for the firm and attorneys, and increased phone calls.

That being said, it’s important to understand what steps to take when syndicating your content so that the search engines know you are the original creator of the articles. Ignoring these steps can result in sites you’ve syndicated your content to outranking your original articles. While these steps aren’t guaranteed to be foolproof, it will help to ensure you aren’t sending mixed signals to the search engines.

1. Your Syndicated Content Should Link Back To Your Original Article

Once you have brainstormed a list of relevant keywords and prioritized them by search volume and competition, the next step is getting these keywords onto your web properties. This is referred to as “on-page optimization” and is part of the signaling that tells search engines like Google what your web pages are about.

There are certain parts of your web pages that play a very large role in communicating the subject matter of a web page to a search engine. The most important of these is the page’s title tag.

We see many law firm websites and blogs that use a lawyer’s name or law firm name in the title tag. While this may make sense in terms of branding the firm, only using an attorney’s name of law firm’s name greatly limits the information that is being communicated to the search engines. While sites that implement title tags like these are likely to rank well for those names, they are unlikely to rank as well for much else.

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Web marketing has become a much more decentralized process. It used to be that your online presence would consist of a static website and nothing more. The goal was to drive visitors to your website where they would be converted into leads. However, the process and strategy is changing.

As my colleague Gyi Tskalakis points out in his article The Distributed Web:

When it comes to marketing a law firm online, the concept of the distributed web is especially important. It is more important to get your content in front of your targeted audience than it is to drive them to your website.

I first came across the term inbound marketing from our friends over at HubSpot. Inbound marketing is essentially the process of getting found by people that are searching for your services. This is in contrast to outbound marketing which is blasting your message out to the masses in hopes of capturing someone who might have interest (ie: television, radio, email blasts to purchased lists, etc)

In a thoughtful post Hubspot wrote on the subject of inbound vs outbound marketing, they tell us that:

Rather than do outbound marketing to the masses of people who are trying to block you out, I advocate doing “inbound marketing” where you help yourself “get found” by people already learning about and shopping in your industry. In order to do this, you need to set your website up like a “hub” for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through the search engines, through the blogosphere, and through the social media sites. I believe most marketers today spend 90% of their efforts on outbound marketing and 10% on inbound marketing and I advocate that those ratios flip.

As you may have heard, links to your website are like votes for your website in search engines. And as you almost might know, not all links are created equal. So how do you get more quality links to your website? The first step is to prioritize link targets.
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As Jeff discussed over at AttorneySync’s lawyer marketing blog, a recent embarrassment for Google has prompted an algorithm change that may have consequences to your law firm’s local positions and your local web strategy.

On Mihmorandum, David Mihm talks about how this incident may impact Google’s use of reviews in its algorithm:

Thing is, Local Search experts have long speculated that the valence of reviews has had an extremely low, if any, impact on rankings, whereas the volume of reviews has always been considered one of the strongest factors. Many of us have noted how puzzled we were that this was the case but this bias (or lack thereof, I suppose) has been pretty obvious for awhile.

Search engines have completely changed how we research, learn, collaborate, and find things online. According to the local search experts at GetListed.org:

Today there are well over 10 billion unique searches done each month, and that’s just in the United States! Of those searches,

40% of queries have Local intent (1)

Any law firm SEO campaign should be measured in a number of different ways. Rather than simply focusing on your ranking for a particular keyword, you should understand how those rankings are producing targeted traffic. How that traffic is converting into leads and finally how many of those leads are becoming new clients. This is the only way to truly measure the effectiveness of a campaign and understand the return you are getting from your investment.

One of the important factors mentioned above includes understanding the make-up of the traffic visiting your website. For search engine traffic, it’s important to understand the keywords people are using to find your site. This helps us to better understand how our rankings for certain keywords are effecting our actual site traffic.

Non-Branded Keyword Searches

As reported by Natalie Waddell in Save your money. Claim your own Facebook Place:

Five hundred dollars to have a third-party consultant claim your Facebook Place on your behalf because it is “complicated to do if you don’t have experience”?!

Give me a break. This is absolutely outrageous; but true. It is what is being charged by a high profile seo company located in Vancouver.

copy.jpgWriting content for your law firm’s website requires a different approach than most other mediums. The content needs to be informative and helpful. However, you are faced with the unenviable task of explaining, in layman’s terms, very complex subjects while at the same time facing the fleeting attention of your site visitors.

I want to address writing content from the standpoint of engaging your visitors and helping to increase contacts from your site.

4 Tips On Writing Good Content For The Web