Archives by Month: January 2014

Of Writing Legal Blogs, Court Cases & Pedestrian Safety Tips

When I was in college, my layout and design class was the first to switch to Adobe and away from old-school pagination. We got high-speed Internet in the dorms at The Ohio State University in 2000 (about the same time OSU went to court to formalize that ‘The’ in its name). We were cutting edge, and among the first places in Ohio to have it (high-speed Internet, not Proper articles of grammar).

During my first year at my first newspaper job — Mansfield News Journal — we got our first website. So you can say I started working in newspapers before they had websites, if only by a changing of the seasons.

Old-school newspaper paste-up pagination to Adobe, dial-up Internet to smartphones, yellow pages to a robust Internet marketing strategy being vital to the success of law firms large and small.Legal Marketing

A dozen years, give or take.

I’ve now been writing legal blogs since 2006, or more than 7 years, which likely dates me as among the oldest law firm website writers still going…and going…

Which brings me to my recent post Evolution of Legal Blogs Continues to Impact SEO, and how what we do today resembles very little of what we were doing in the dark ages of 2009.

Pedestrian safety tips are no longer going to cut the mustard. We made the change several years ago but so many writing legal blogs continue to do the same old thing, while expecting positive results.

It’s the rest of the world that has moved on.

An old associate doing SEO work in Miami called this morning to say as much. He was looking for court cases and other shareable content. He wants what Google wants, which is to provide his client with something worthwhile to say. In some cases, that might include a mainstream health and safety study, or information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And it’s not to say basic safety advice — from Halloween to Fourth of July — is not still a sharable, viable interaction with your audience. But it does mean that telling me a motorist is ACTUALLY 23 times more likely to get into an accident while distracted EACH AND EVERY year, is likely, blessedly, mercifully, dead on arrival.

Today we use Justia US Law, Google News Alerts and other resources to stay abreast on the latest topics of use to our clients and their audience. It’s what we want, it’s what our client wants and it’s what Google wants. Because if you’re going to write, you should first start out by having something to say.

When it comes to hiring professional legal blog writers and website content writers, just look for the LawFirmGhostWriter

For legal blog topics, check out our topic roll!

Evolution of Legal Blogs Continues to Impact SEO

I had a chance to compare some of our legal blogs published in 2009 v. 2014 and the comparison is startling.sample legal blog

When we started in 2007, you could publish a legal blog and see it three times on page 1 of Google — the blog, the homepage and the blogfeed often all returned as separate results.

Ahh, but those were the good old days.

Looking back, those blogs often said very little and did very little, other than to unabashedly plug the firm. While confidentiality and duplicative content issues keep me from republishing those blogs here, you can see by the screen captures to the right that the old-school blogs contained relatively little text and had half-a-dozen links back to the firm.

By contrast, today’s blogs and articles produced by our legal blog writers are 500-750 words, Copyscape tested at least 85 percent original, and focus on informing the reader as a way to bring traffic to the firm.

People always ask us: “How do we show up in Google search results?” And we always say: “Post regular content updates to your site and have something to say.”

Cheap website content for lawyers is not hard to find. We can point you toward several resources where it’s as little as $10 page. If you have a $10 law firm, we suggest you buy $10 legal content.

In other cases, a law firm gets a quote for $25 or $30 legal blogs and inquires about whether we will match those rates. 2014lawblog On at least three occasions, they have sent me samples from these content farms, and I have tested them only to find they are being sold word-for-word to multiple law firms. In other words, law firms are paying for content to improve SEO, and the discount writing houses are selling them duplicative content that will be ignored by search engines and may even result in their site ranking being reduced!

And these are the blogs these companies are sending to lawyers as sample work product!

Again, people always ask us: “How do we show up in Google search results?” And we always say: “Post regular content updates to your site and have something to say.”

If your legal blog writers are busy plagiarizing themselves, why in the world would a search engine choose your firm’s “content” as desirable to display to their customer, who is conducting a web search in the hopes of finding worthwhile information?

If you want to know you are getting what you are paying for — if you want Internet marketing results you can count on in 2014 — look for the 

Internet Legal Marketing Still the "Wild West"

Top executives from Facebook, Ford and Adobe met in Las Vegas this week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. The interplay offered a fascinating look into the dynamic growth of the marketing industry in the digital age.

Those using 2014 to get serious about their law firm Internet marketing efforts can take heart from the general consensus: Despite a decade of rapid expansion and forced change upon the more traditional mediums of print and television, online marketing remains in its infancy — a wide-open opportunity with significant growth and return on investment for those who continue to invest and innovate.

The conversation among the three executives and Fortune Magazine was particular interesting. Carolyn Everson of Facebook, said the company has barely scratched the service of revenue possibilities. Specifically, “multi-touch attribution,” or credit for brand recognition or other benefits of Facebook content or advertising that, in conjunction with another advertising platform, such as television, induces customers to act. Meanwhile, Ford’s Jim Farley and Adobe’s Ann Lewnes, spoke about the challenges of transitioning to digital media. Even Adobe, which has long been a technology company, has struggled in finding the proper personnel and online marketing strategies for the 21st Century. Legal Marketing

Internet Legal Marketing Requires Comprehensive Approach

Multi-touch attribution is of interest in Internet marketing for lawyers for a number of reasons and is something we often counsel attorneys about when developing marketing plans. Historically, firms would use metered phone numbers in yellow page or billboard advertising and track calls back to the firm. Google analytics and other advances have changed the Internet legal marketing landscape and often show potential client traffic from legal blog writing or website content, even when an attorney is unsure of positive results. Billboard advertising, for instance, may help with name recognition in search results. Or a client may see a commercial on television and use a law firm’s website as validation before calling for an appointment. Is that potential attributable to billboards or the Internet?

The answer, of course, is both.

Ford’s Farley brought up another important point, according to CNN Money: Brand managers too often want to play it safe when introducing a new product, and so rely heavily on TV buys and other traditional forms of media. They know the DVR and other media advances make those buys worth a fraction of their former value. But they also know it’s the safe play and so the resulting marketing plan is inferior and return on investment lags as a result.

When it comes to your Internet legal marketing effort we are here to help. Just look for the 

2014 Internet Legal Marketing Goals and Objectives

Welcome to 2014. Glad you made it.

It’s the 5th anniversary of the Internet surpassing yellow pages as the number one referral source for clients who select a firm via advertising. What are you doing about it? What are your legal marketing goals?

There are several reasons why law firms have been so slow to move legal marketing resources online, but confusion and misinformation top the list. Legal Marketing

Attorneys are rightfully confused, as they continue to be bombarded with (sometimes) well-meaning Internet legal marketing “experts.” Lately, it seems as though everyone is offering SEO for attorneys, legal blog writing and social media marketing. I know attorneys who have built firms and added partners with a $3,000 website and firms that have spent $30,000+ on website and it’s a secret because they are nowhere to be found in search results.

Another primary reason too many small and mid-sized law firms lag when it comes to Internet marketing is because lawyers are often decent writers, and so websites sit empty through an endless string of promises to add content pages or to begin regular legal blogging. In some cases, they have bought arguments against ghost blogging. Let me tell you something: The law firms dominating search results in your market are not worried about using ghost bloggers. And something else: I don’t want to hire an attorney who has that kind of time for blogging and website advertising efforts.

In still other cases, attorneys are reticent to shift money away from more tradition forms of legal advertising, like billboards and yellow pages. We still like billboards (they increase name recognition, which is critical search-result click thru) but yellow pages are Dead on Arrival. I have a friend who still spends $700 a month on a quarter-page yellow-page ad. I have another who has built a DUI defense firm in a major metro market using virtually nothing but our $200-month starter package and a Justia blog site.

In 2010, some scoffed when we said attorneys should do no marketing before spending the first $20,000 a year online. We think little has changed, although $25,000 to $30,000 might be more accurate today.

Often attorneys are overwhelmed with the options. We are here to help. Law Firm Ghost Writer works in 22 of the nation’s 25 most competitive metro markets, with blog writing packages starting at just $200 monthly. We never use long-term contracts and most of our clients have been with us for years. The proof is in the results.

Just look for the