Legal Marketing: What is Link Juice?

December 30, 2010

link juice

Link Juice is a term used to refer to the ranking of your website in Google. Every website needs link juice in order to gain more viewers because it is how Google determines which site is “better.”

It sounds silly, but link juice is very important. It’s similar to search engine optimization (SEO), in that every website needs link juice in order to gain more viewers. The more link juice you have, the higher  your listing on a Google search. So instead of having your firm’s website on page 5 of Google’s search for “law firms specializing in employment law,” you can be on page 1 if you have enough link juice.

Link juice is how Google determines which site is “better.” For example, if your law firm’s site is linked to popular sites like Legal Marketing Reader and/or Law.com, and your competitor’s site isn’t linked to any other sites, your site will be higher in the rankings due to its link juice.

This is important for every social media network you use at your law firm as well. Make sure you are linking your site to your YouTube videos and the other way around too. Make sure your Facebook page has your law firm’s website linked to it. Also, another great way to gain more link juice is to comment on LinkedIn discussions. Make sure your comments are linked to your LinkedIn page–BUT don’t spam!

Note: Google also uses SEO or “keywords,” in addition link juice, to determine rankings.

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Legal Marketing: 10 Tips When Writing for an Online Audience

November 27, 2010

Book Stack

Writing effective online articles requires a much different approach than any other type of writing so leave the “legalese” for your legal briefs; here, your words should be short and your message clear and direct.

Online readers scan quickly for content and move on if they don’t quickly see  information of direct relevance to them. Your copy must be concise, easy to scan and objective.

This type of writing may seem simple but is harder than it looks. Remember these 10 tips when writing for an online audience:

  1. Brevity is key. Readers want to find information quickly, get the facts and get out. Don’t you?
  2. Your post should be information rich. “No frills” writing will allow you to create a substantial amount of information into a few paragraphs.
  3. Keep headlines short, simple and focused on the point of the article. Include key words that will help get your article picked up by search engines.
  4. Sum up the main point of the article in the first paragraph. This lets the reader know exactly what the article is about and what knowledge they can expect to take away at the end.
  5. Readers will be turned off by promotional writing, so don’t sell. Blogging is a much more subtle type of marketing – the purpose is to establish yourself as a thought leader in your area of specialty by sharing your expertise. The minute you talk about your firm’s benefits, readers lose interest.
  6. Use meaningful sub-headings (not “clever” ones)
  7. Highlight keywords (hypertext links serve as one form of highlighting; typeface variations and color are others).
  8. Use bulleted or numbered lists. Readers love them.
  9. Keep your articles within 350 to 450 words, or about 3 to 4 short paragraphs.
  10. Include at least one high quality graphic.

Legal Marketing: Use Twitter to Gather Competitive Intelligence

September 21, 2010

spying

Use Twitter to get the inside scoop on competing law firms in your practice area.

These days everyone is using Twitter, whether it’s to jump start a business or just catch up on the latest legal news. Something legal marketers have overlooked, though, is that Twitter can be used to get an advantage over other law firms.  Most everything on Twitter is public domain, so use this treasure trove of information to learn about your competitor’s marketing strategies and followers.

If you want to know what the law firm across the street is doing, follow them on Twitter.

I came across a great article by Kristi Hines called, “7 Sneaky Ways to Use Twitter to Spy on your Competition,” and it opened my eyes to a whole new side of Twitter:

  1. Follow your Competition on Twitter. Like I said above, following your competitors will give you the inside scoop on their marketing strategies. If you don’t want your competitor to know that you are following them, create a private Twitter list that is only visible to you.
  2. Monitor their @replies. Search for your competitor through their @replies. This will show you what other people are saying about them – not just what they are saying or tweeting. You can even save this search to make it easier for you to “spy.”
  3. Analyze their Followers. Look at who is following your competition. These people are their clients, employees, etc.
  4. Check out their Toolkit. See where your competitor’s tweets are coming from. Every time your competition tweets you can see what time they tweeted that information and if they used a tool, such as HootSuite, to tweet it. If these tools seem to be working for them, then you can assume they will work for you too!
  5. See what they do on other social networks. Most people and companies using Twitter also showcase other social networks they use. If you are monitoring your competitor’s Twitter account, then you can see if they are using Facebook, YouTube, and/or have their own blog account. This is just another way to learn about their marketing strategy so you can sell against it.
  6. Keep up with their blog posts and articles. Blogging is a great way to connect with clients and gain even more loyalty. Not only do I recommend that your law firm has a blog account, but you should also look at your competitor’s.  Look at the articles they are talking about and use that to your advantage. If your competitor doesn’t have a blog yet, make sure you are one step ahead of them and start one for your firm!
  7. Get their score. Use Twitter Grader to find out your competitor’s rating for their Twitter site. Rate yourself too and figure out what you’re missing compared to your competitor’s Twitter account.

Check out the article by clicking here. “7 Sneaky Ways to Use Twitter to Spy on your Competition.”


Legal Marketing: Celebrate New Clients

July 22, 2010

Balloons

No matter where new law firm clients come from, it’s important to celebrate each one and recognize the originator.

Getting new clients is tough. Especially in this economy. Whether your firm has a full-time business developer, or if new business is brought in by each attorney, getting new clients is nonstop hard work and often goes unnoticed. But it’s vital for the growth of your firm, so it’s important to stop and take the time to celebrate each new business victory.

Here are 5 reasons to celebrate your law firm’s new client wins:

  1. It gets your law firm focused on the future. Reminding your attorneys that new business is the lifeblood of your law firm is a good thing.
  2. It creates buy-in for your law firm’s new business process. Your new business pipeline needs to be a well-oiled machine, a process that creates a consistent flow of new potential clients. Consistency is key, and recognizing wins will make others want to be a part of the process.
  3. It provides an opportunity to recognize everyone who contributed to the effort. Oftentimes, the staff doesn’t realize who was responsible for the initial lead, so make sure the originator gets recognized and feels appreciated for their efforts. Even if the new business comes from unlikely sources, like your receptionist or intern, encourage them and recognize their efforts.
  4. It breeds a positive attitude among the staff and creates excitement about the firm.
  5. It builds a reputation that your firm is on a hot streak and draws the attention of other prospective clients. There is a natural curiosity that comes to those who break out of the pack among their competitors.

Law firms often fall short on internal communications, so I thought I would pass on some ways to communicate wins and control the message so that your staff isn’t hearing about new business for the first time around the “water-cooler.”

  • Have a celebration with the entire firm.
  • Provide a monetary payment to the staff member who provided the initial referral.
  • Build buzz with a press release. Include “appropriate” photos from the celebration.
  • If your firm has one, communicate new business wins through your firm’s newsletter.
  • Share information about new business, if appropriate, via your social media outlets.
  • Add new clients to your Website, along with a copy of the press release too.

If you would like to share some of your law firm’s new business wins here, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.