Lawyer Website Marketing 101

If you didn’t get a chance to read my previous post regarding lawyer marketing, please do so now.

For the sake of everyone we will assume that you have begun doing lawyer marketing through certain venues such as phone book and/or email marketing. You are now in a position to put together a website for your practice. I would like to first make a recommendation. I think it is extremely important prior to doing legal advertisement through various different methods you develop a website for your firm. The reason I believe this is important is because people regardless of your advertisements expect you to have a website. Even those that use the phone book will look at a website prior to making a call into a law firm. If you don’t have a website address on your advertisement there is always a chance they will look past your ad and move onto one that does.

Before moving into how to get your website to show up on the search engines, lets talk about the three most important factors when designing a site. The first is exposure.

Exposure – means your ability to get your website found on the internet. There are really only two ways in which a lawyer can be found on the internet (assuming the prospect has never heard of your firm). The first way is through directory listings. There are many different directories on the internet, some cost money, while others are free. These directories include both legal and public directories. I will supply you a short list of just a few for both. By having your site listed in a directory you are doing 2 different things. First you are increasing your chances of someone finding your site when they land on the directory and second you are getting an incoming link to your site, which ultimately helps your pagerank (we will discuss pagerank later) for the major search engine.

By increasing your pagerank you are ultimately increasing your chances of being found on the major search engines. To you this means increasing your rank on a google, msn or yahoo search for a specific search term or topic. This is more of a topic for search engine optimization which will also be discussed later. Before you begin linking into just any directory it is important that the directory is refutable and you are placing your link in the right location, such as a place for lawyers and attorneys and not automobile services. Placement obviously plays a big part in being successful when speaking about directories.

Presentation of your site – Look and feel is also very important because once you have captured a prospect on your site you want to keep them reading. Have you ever landed up on a site that was just horrible looking? You probably spent a few seconds and jumped out. While look is very important so is navigation. Navigation is the ability to seamlessly flow through a website without having to search for information. You need to make it as easy as possible to present the correct information in the right location and present alternative pages that flow with the content presented.

I often talk with attorneys and they tell me I’m showing up on the first page of google and I’m not getting any calls from my website. When I open up their site I find that the site has a lot to be desired and it’s also very hard to navigate. After opening up their website traffic reports you can see people are landing on their sites through organic searches but they are spending less than 30 seconds on the site. This is directly related to the look and feel of the lawyer website. As I talk with these attorneys I often ask them why their offices look so nice? How come when I came through the door I felt like this firm was extremely successful? The answer is always the same. We want to make sure our clients are comfortable and we are here to impress. This ultimately turns our prospects into clients even before we have our initial consultation. My reply is always the same, “Don’t you think people are gaging how professional and experienced you are based upon the look and feel of your website.” The look and feel of your website is directly related to why you are not successful marketing your firm on the internet.

After I review their traffic reports the majority of their visitors are spending less than 30 seconds on their website. The object to the game is to keep them on your website for as long as possible and lead them to your contact page, so they will pick up the phone and call.

Content – Have you ever heard the term “Content is King”? Well, content is king and I will explain. When a search engine goes out to find a website for a search term one of the things they are looking for is relevant content. Content that best meets the search criteria. If you have relevant content on your site you chances of showing up for a search increases. Content on a lawyer website is probably the single most important part of search engine marketing (there are other things you will need to do and we will discuss this at a later date). Without relevant content your chances to having maximum exposure significantly decreases.

When writing content you must consider the following: Write the content in a way that it easily flows but also write it in a way that the search engines can find it. The best way to write content is keeping in mind of something called “keyword density.” While many SEO experts think “keyword density” is over-rated my experience is just the opposite. Keyword density is the ability to repeat keywords throughout one page of your website. There are percentages that you must keep in mind and there are free tools on the internet that can tell you what your keyword density is for each page of your site. I will tell you what the recommended density for each page is later.

In closing I would recommend that prior to paying for advertising you create a website so you can list it on your advertisement. This will increase your chances of acquiring new clients. Also keep in mind the three most importance factors when setting up your website is exposure, presentation (look and feel) and content. If you implement these three factors into your attorney website, you will increase your chances of being found on the internet.

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34 Responses

  1. This is another great article. Can you provide me with the contact information of the person that wrote this article? My email address is posted here. I have a few questions as I’m trying very hard to get my site found.

  2. Our law firm is currently in the market for a professional legal website. We have several practice areas that we handle. I have suggested that instead of purchasing one large site, we break out the practice areas and create mini sites. For instance we have several lawyers that practice personal injury law while others practice family and criminal law. Would it be a good idea to create a website for each practice area?

    Are there pros and cons to each?

  3. My evaluation of this article and right on cue. I think that this article is very specific and more importantly correct. I would like to add one additional topic to this post. The importance of incoming links to specific pages of your content. While keyword density is very important in getting the search engines to find your site, equally or possibly more important, is incoming links from articles and directories.

    We have tested this theory with several websites at my law office and the sites that have the most amount of incoming links, seem to be working the best for our attorneys.

  4. Don’t forget incoming links from lawyer blogs and other attorney websites. This will also increase your chances of being found on the internet. I have found that many attorneys throughout the country have gotten together to create somewhat of a link farm from site to site. Google won’t penalize these so called “link farms” because they are relevant links.

    There is a reason why they have formed alliances. They provide and outgoing link on their site for an incoming link on another site.

  5. I agree with the presentation factor. The attorney I work for has great exposure on the internet but never seems to get calls. I told him it was because our website is horrific looking. This pretty much validates my point.

  6. Who wrote this article and how can I contact him or her?

  7. Chris and Craig, I forwarded your email address over to him. However, I’m not to sure he is taking on more clients at this time. I asked him to posts these as a favor to me. Although he probably won’t do the project, I’m sure he will contact you and answer any questions you may have regarding these posts.

    If anyone else would like to contact him just email me and I will forward the messages onto him. rcartwell@yahoo.com. If you have questions I’m sure they will be answered on future posts so stay tuned.

    Ed, I will forward your question onto him and have him respond later.

  8. William I’ve been seeing the same thing. Can you send me a list of the attorneys if you have the list? Also, how can we add our site to this website?

  9. I would also like to have the opportunity to link my website to this site as well. What do I need to due to get you to link to my site? I’m an attorney.

  10. Rich asked me to comment on this post tonight. I’m glad you all have showed an interest in lawyer marketing on the internet. Rich has passed along several contacts for me. I am currently overbooked and will contact you all shortly. It was my intention to share with the group different ways on how to successfully improve your marketability using the internet.

    Over the next several months I will be creating a stream of information on improving your exposure on the internet and ways to increase rankings. I do understand that some people are impatient and need information sooner than later. I will do my best to answer your emails in a timely fashion.

    For the time being please forward your questions to Rich for now and he will pass them along to me. I will either email you back and in some cases your questions will be answered over the next several posts.

    Enjoy!!!

  11. T.B. – Thank you for keeping us lawyers updated with the latest and greatest SEO and lawyer marketing strategies. I’m sure you’ve had something to do with the success of this site. I have forwarded my information to Rich. Please contact me when you have time to discuss future projects.

    Regards

  12. Guys if you are interested in linking to this site you need to contribute to the site. You can submit a legal article https://legalcatch.wordpress.com/linking and check out this link as well prior to submitting https://legalcatch.wordpress.com/lawyers-blog. I am probably going to open up a contributor directory and add additional bios of our main contributors. I haven’t decided mainly because I don’t know the best way to approach this for now.
    If you don’t want to submit articles but still want to be listed in the directory, I will probably require some sort of reciprocal link or one of my feeds on your site. I haven’t decided.
    I will probably decide this in the next week or so.

  13. The attorney in my office purchased a lawyer website from a very well known company almost two years ago. We have received very few calls from the site. When a new sales representative came back he told us in order for this to really work we would need to upgrade to a custom site. This would require paying an additional $500 – $600 dollars a month.

    The sales person that sold us the site guaranteed us we would get business from the site. It has never happened. Can you tell me what is wrong with our site? I would rather not post our site on this forum for obvious reasons, so I will email you.

    Thank you
    Darlene

  14. I am having the same problem with my website. I was told to expect a large amount of traffic and the leads would come. Unfortunately I’ve wasted over $750.00 month and haven’t received more than 2 cases. I’ve had the site up and running now for almost 2 years.

    The sales person promised me the moon and its been cloudy ever since. Also, I’ve decided this will be the last year and I’m going to take the site and place it somewhere else, perhaps an SEO company, any recommendations?

  15. T.B. can you discuss the benefits of linking? Article and website linking to be more specific.

  16. I would be interested in knowing what lawyer website marketing companies are the best. I receive dozens of calls a week from sales folks guaranteeing me they can generate business through their internet services. Can someone here provide a list of companies (affordable) that specialize in these types of services?

    The good, the bad and the UGLY….

  17. I’m a paralegal and I built our own site. We looked at several companies and decided it wasn’t worth the money. Most of the companies don’t give you control to do updates and if they add additional pages they charge you a premium. We looked at lawyers.com, findlaw, justia and einstein law.

    My recommendation is try to build one yourself or have someone in your office build one. This will allow you to continue to add additional information as it changes. Based upon this article, the information provided to you in this thread will help you get on your way.

  18. We have a lawyers.com site and findlaw site. We get some calls but not enough to justify our monthly costs. I am seeing more and more of my competitors on the internet thus making it very hard to get our share of the leads. When we first got into these services it worked well but now that everyone has a website our leads have all but stopped.

    Lawyers.com allows you to add content while findlaw charges you an arm and a leg for their so called “Practice Centers” and “legal directory”. We have now considered hiring an intern to build us a site alleviating these steep monthly costs.

  19. We have advertisements mainly in the phone book an the attorneys said the are gong to spend less next year. Probably because they are getting a website.

  20. We have a findlaw site and it works well. We spend about $1000 a month on it and we get about 2 cases each month from it.

  21. FindLaw is the one to go with if you want new business as they understand the need for well written content and search engine optimization. Check out the search engines, their sites dominate search list results.

  22. I purchased a findlaw site last year. I was told that we would get all this new business from the web and we haven’t seen a thing. I can see we are getting visitors to our site but they are certainly not turning into clients. I have fielded a total 5 or less calls that resulted into nothing. The site we purchased was their mid tier site. When I told my sales rep that I wasn’t getting business from the site he didn’t believe me. He explained “In order for this thing to really work, I would suggest upgrading to a custom site.” Because we signed a two year agreement I am unable to get out of the contract.

    The only good thing is after the two years I will get the content. I will probably host it somewhere else.

  23. I’ve had a great experience with my findlaw site. I guess one of the reasons that probably contribute to my success is lack of attorneys on the internet in my area. In any event, it has been well worth the investment.

  24. I use lawyers.com and the only traffic I get is from their directory. I wouldn’t suggest their service if you are looking for a more findable website. I have one other site that is doing much better in the search engines but I keep my lawyers.com site because it works for their directory.

  25. I would consider justia.com. They have been building websites for attorneys for years. They built our website and we have been able to secure dozens of new clients.

  26. Most people are looking for content. Give them what they want. Also get them to sign up for your newsletter and send out regular news letters.

    Legal Eagle says “We have now considered hiring an intern to build us a site alleviating these steep monthly costs.”.

    Get a pro. Want traffic off the internet spend the money for Search Engine Optimization.

    I can see from the posts here there very well maybe a need for someone who understand the market for Lawyer to aid in getting them traffic.

  27. CLP while most people are looking for content, I think the question is; How do you get them to find your content? There are many companies within the industry who make promises that they can’t back up. Yes, if I spend 2K a month perhaps I will grab 2 new clients a month. But is it really worth the risk or the investment?

  28. If you are looking to list your law firm or website in a directory you can check out http://www.lawyerarchive.com . I’m going to start paid advertising so you should get a fair amount of links through it. Hope this helps! Good luck.

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