According to Wikipedia, strategy is:

a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked. How a battle is fought is a matter of tactics: the terms and conditions that it is fought on and whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy, which is part of the four levels of warfare: political goals or grand strategy, strategy, operations, and tactics. Building on the work of many thinkers on the subject, one can define strategy as “a comprehensive way to try to pursue political ends, including the threat or actual use of force, in a dialectic of wills – there have to be at least two sides to a conflict. These sides interact, and thus a Strategy will thus rarely be successful if it shows no adaptability.

A Plan of Action Designed to Achieve a Particular Goal

Google recently released a new kind of visual search result called Instant Previews. Instant Previews are a small snapshot of the webpage Google is returning in it’s results. Here is an example of the AttorneySync website as seen through Instant Preview in the search results:


According to Google, they’ve found that people are 5% more likely to be satisfied with the result they click when they use the new feature. Here are a few more ways Google suggests Instant Preview might be used to help a searcher:

  • Quickly compare results – A visual comparison of search results helps you pick the one that’s right for you. Quickly flip through previews to see which page looks best.
  • Pinpoint relevant content – Text call outs, in orange, will sometimes highlight where your search terms appear on the webpage so you can evaluate if it’s what you’re looking for.
  • Interact with the results page – Page previews let you see the layout of a webpage before clicking the search result. Looking for a chart, picture, map or list? See if you can spot one in the preview.

What This Means For Your Firm’s Site

You’ll need to take a hard look at the aesthetics of your site and make sure things appear up to date. You are going to have to start earning those clicks with more than simply a high ranking.

Here are a few suggestions for getting the most out of your Google Instant Preview:
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As you may have heard, Google recently implemented what has been referred to as a “tectonic change”. The change, known as Place Search, has significantly altered the way the search engine serves up local results. While the change has several implications on law firm web strategy, one of the more immediate is the higher priority that you should give to obtaining citations. In Using Citation Building For Better Google Places Optimization, Dustin Rouge provides guidance on what citations are and how building citations plays a larger role in your firm’s search engine visibility:

Google goes beyond their initial claiming validation process and looks for other sources that help validate these listings. These third party sources, commonly referred to as citations, include other local listing sources such as Yahoo, Yelp, Bing, Best of the Web, Localeze, etc.


Great information from Dan Ross over on Bagel Tuesday on living in a content-centric world:

All this requires a new way of thinking about your online presence: It’s all about creating and distributing content. So the first step to a successful social media strategy is creating an engine of timely, relevant, differentiated content.

I couldn’t agree more. In fact, if I had to identify the two most critical components to an effective law firm seo strategy, I would say focus on developing valuable content and distributing that content to legal services consumers, professional colleagues, thought leaders, and those ready, willing, and able to link to and further publicize it.

The recent changes Google made to its search results, incorporating Google Places, represents a huge shift in strategy for law firms marketing online.

Your overall web strategy should now include traditional optimization for the search engines as well as local optimization efforts. Our friends over at SEOmoz have created an informative video discussing the basics of local SEO.

Local SEOmoz

Whether it’s for help with their injury legal matters or advice on estate planning issues, people are turning to the web to find local law firms. When people begin searching for local businesses in their area, they tend to do multiple searches. They might search for a list of law firms and then search for specific information about each. For example, they might try to identify which one has experience handling legal matters like theirs.

Last month, Google introduced Place Search, a new type of localized search result that sorts information around local places.

localresults2.jpgThese new results are marked with red pins, and contain relevant information and links from across the web. Now, local legal services searchers can see location and contact information right from the results page. In addition, searchers can see place information gathered from a variety of other sources all in one place.

In Technology and Ethics: Online Marketing and Networking, GPSolo Magazine October/November 2010, JD Supra Founder Aviva Cuyler, presents some excellent ethical considerations for legal professionals using online marketing tools and strategies.

Search, social media, content publishing, open discussion forums…each is an opportunity to grow your reputation and practice in th direction your passions lead.

Yet, this new transparency also carries with it the very real potential for the opposite: myriad opportunities (digitally documented) to run afoul of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Worse yet, missteps not only travel with lightning speed across the web, they remain forever archived.

Marketing your law firm’s professional reputation online must include careful considerations on professional ethics. Unethical, distasteful, and misleading representations of your law firm online are both bad for business and risky in terms of your standing with your state bar.

Recently, the American Bar Association released a formal opinion on lawyer websites. While the opinion may not be conclusive in terms of compliance in your state, it does provide some excellent guideposts for developing a law firm website that both serves public visitors to your site, as well as, meets some of the general rules of professional responsibility.

Spend some time considering what warning and disclaimer language makes sense for your firm. Be sure to include language regarding communications through your website especially as they pertain to confidentiality.

Welcome to our law firm web strategy blog. Since we advocate that our clients’ legal blogs have “purpose” it’s only fair that we spend a moment to outline our intentions for this blog.

Our intention in publishing this blog is to provide legal professionals with advanced web marketing strategy. While there are many legal internet marketing blogs that provide great information, when it comes to some of the more advanced strategies, there seems to be something lacking.

We hope this blog provides you some useful information in marketing your law firm online. Please feel free to submit questions that you might have or ideas for posts that you would like to see published here.

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