Net Marketing Basics

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‘Net Marketing Basics

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Every law firm has a web site. But with a little extra effort, you can get huge results though a complete Internet Marketing campaign. So how do you make your web site stand out and attract more clients? Listed below are seven basic techniques.

1. Pay Per Click Advertising

If you do not have the time or cannot produce results from search engine optimization, then you can always “buy your way to the top.” A pay per click ad campaign enables you to list your site at the top of the search engine results (or on the side in some search engines, such as Google).

As the name indicates, you are only charged a fee when someone clicks on your ad. These fees can range from a nickel per click to over a dollar per click. Despite the fact that each click will cost your firm money, not even “Bob” in accounting can gripe about the fact that it cost ten cents to find a new client.

The three main providers of pay per click programs are Google AdWords, Overture, and LookSmart. The account setup process is relatively quick and easy for each: you select your keyword phrases, create your ad/listing, and set your budget.

It should be noted that Google, Overture, and LookSmart provide ads to different web directories and search engines. Thus, you may want to consider advertising on each. Each provider also has a slightly different pricing structure, content requirement, ranking algorithm, and listing/ad setup.

2. Banner Advertising

We have all seen the X-10 hidden camera and wondered if it really works. Well it does. [Editor’s note: please consult your lawyer before installing or using the X-10 camera]. Or at least the ads for it do, with sales reportedly in the millions.

While text ads are slowly taking over (due to low cost, ease of maintenance, and great results), banner advertisements are still quite useful. In fact, with the invention Action Scripting and Flash, banner advertisements can be a powerful form of interactive advertising. The key to creating powerful banner advertisements is prompting, formatting, targeting, and interacting.

Your ad must prompt the user for action, such as “Click here” or “Visit our Site” or any other keyword that will draw the user’s attention.

To draw the user’s attention, your banner ad needs to stand out from the other clutter on the web site. Bright colors and contrasting colors are great, as long as they stay professional and do no detract from your firm’s image.

Targeting your audience is an important aspect of banner creation. Do not try to create an advertisement that focuses on the whole nation and all practice areas. Focus on your geographic market or specific practice area.

Interactive banners have higher click rates. Animating your banner advertisement can be done through the use of animated graphics, scripting, adding forms, buttons and Flash. Of course, much of this is dependent upon the web site where your banner ad is displayed.

3. Search Engine Optimization

Optimizing your web site to gain a top-ten placement in the free search engine results produces amazing client traffic.

Sure, you will always receive a few random inquiries from a listing on “” or from some other obscure search engine/ directory.

However, a well-targeted targeted optimization campaign for a search term such as “florida trademark lawyer” can produce at least one new client inquiry per week. An optimization campaign for a search term such as “trademark lawyer” can produce one per day. This is obviously better than one inquiry per year you probably get through your current web site.

Optimizing does not mean that you simply submit your web site to Google or “1000+ other search engines,” sit back and wait for new clients to come to your web site. Instead, as explained in our previous newsletters, you need to correctly optimize your web site. This includes rewriting your copy text, editing your Meta tags, creating reciprocal links, and then registering your web site with various directories and search engines.

You should target your efforts on optimizing your web site for a top-ten listing in Google. Why? Google is responsible for 75 percent of all search engine traffic to web sites, through its own web site and content syndication to Yahoo! and America Online. Quite simply, if you don’t rank well with Google, then you are out of luck.

4. Newsletters

Your law firm should publish a quarterly newsletter. Even better, publish a monthly newsletter and you will see instant results. This form of advertising . . . err. . . providing information is great for generating repeat traffic to your web site and introducing new clients to your firm.

Newsletters work because they remind your existing clients about your firm, which can lead them to send new projects your way, and they also provide relevant information to potential clients. The more they know, the better decisions they can make … which of course would lead them to select your firm for the job.

Newsletters also boost your image with other attorneys because they can establish your firm as a go-to place for up-to-date information.

5. Blogs

A blog is a web page made up of usually short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically, like a journal. The content and purposes of blogs varies greatly from links and commentary about other web sites, to news about a company/person/idea, to diaries, photos, poetry, mini-essays, project updates, even fiction.

In the legal field, you could promote your firm’s services, cases, clients, and other notable news in the blog.

Blogs are great because of their ease of use, low cost, audience reach, and high search engine visibility. For $15 a year your firm can have their own blog related to its practice area. While I would not recommend sharing client details or information about your fabulous dinner at Sizzler last night, I would recommend posting relevant information about your specific practices and ongoing events.

If your blog is informational, you will quickly see that the blog will raise your overall presence on the Internet and your search engine rankings will increase. Again, this will lead to more traffic and more clients.

6. Reciprocal Links

Creating reciprocal links with affiliates, clients, partners, and any other web site is a great idea.

We are not talking about setting up your own Casino affiliate link whereby you plaster “” on your web site to earn a 10 percent commission. Instead, your firm should create an affiliate directory section of your web site and request links from clients, partners, affiliates, directories, and other web sites that are related.

By creating reciprocal links with other directories you can increase your search engine rankings. This will of course, help drive targeted traffic to your web site.

7. Directories

Many search engine databases such as Teoma, AltaVista, Yahoo!, FAST, and Inktomi require a yearly subscription to be listed. For your yearly subscription, your web site receives the great honor of being included in the search engine results.

These results are provided to their own web sites and larger web sites, such as MSN,, Netscape, AOL, iWon, Lycos, Excite, and many more. Note that your listing fee does not guarantee that your web site will be ranked No. 1, or even in the top thirty results. Rather it just guarantees that your web site will be indexed. Thus, optimizing your web site is always critical to ensure a top-ten ranking.

In addition to search engines, people use the Yellow Pages to find products & services. Your web site should be submitted to all major directories, including: AnyWho (AT&T), SBN, Yahoo Yellow Pages, AOL Yellow Pages, MSN Yellowpages, Info USA, Lycos Yellowpages, QuestDex, Switchboard, US Yellow, SuperPages (Verizon) and InfoSpace.

Finally, if you want to promote your web site even more, list it in the variety of online legal directories, such as WestLaw’s or Martindale-Hubbell’s directory. Of course, each of those latter options will charge you a steep directory fee per year.

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How We Can Help

PaperStreet Web Design has extensive experience developing, redesigning and optimizing law-related web sites. We also are adept at creating and executing entire Internet Marketing campaigns that include various advertising options and individualized newsletters.

Our expertise can save you time and money while increasing your firm’s business traffic. Contact us and we can easily redesign your web site to impress clients and get profitable results.

Feel free to contact Peter Boyd at PaperStreet Web Design, or 954.523.2181.

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