Watch Out for Bad Comments

I’m gonna admit it. We at Virtuoso Legal Marketing are bad about watching for comments. Time is tight. You’re probably in the same boat. We do everything we can to post to some of our blogs as often as we can, but we don’t have time to sit around and look at every little detail.

Well, just today we noticed a strange spike in server activity for this very website. This site has some nice search engine visibility and gets some good traffic, but not enough to cause the massive flood of traffic the stats showed. As it turns out, for about the last month, we have been getting hammered by spam comments. But to make matters worse, we had the site wide open, so any comment got automatically posted without our approval. Big mistake.

Don’t let this happen to you in your law firm SEO campaign. This can cause several undesirable effects. For one thing, it can make you look bad (do you really want sex ads on your law firm website?). It can also drain your server resources, causing your website to slow down and possibly run up extra charges. And it can damage search engine rankings. That may be the worst part of all.

So watch your comments, if you use a website platform like WordPress that allows for comments. All comments should be moderated before appearing on your site. If you don’t have time to mess with it, just turn commenting off. Spam comments are likely going to far outnumber legitimate comments anyway.

There are a lot of little pieces to running an effective law firm marketing campaign, and comment management is definitely a little piece. But it’s a little piece that can make a major impact. Don’t let bad comments ruin your website!

Law Firm Marketing Success: Measurement is the Key

So how do you know what marketing strategies you should be using to promote your law firm? You have many options. You can do paid search and SEO (both of which I highly recommend), TV advertising, radio, newspaper, Yellow Pages, and the list goes on. You might start by finding out what marketing methods are working for other successful firms in your market.

One problem is that the strategies used by your competitors may not be the same that work for you. If you really want to find out what works, the only sure-fire way is to try different strategies and carefully track the results of each. You need to make a direct connection between the leads you generate and the marketing that generated those leads. You can measure performance by using a special URL with different advertising campaigns. For example, a print ad in a newspaper might display a URL like “www.myfirm.com/special”. Then checking your web site stats for traffic to that URL will give you an idea of how effective the ad is.

There is one flaw in this technique. Some viewers of the ad will not use the full URL, instead just typing your root domain name. This is at least a starting point. Displaying a different phone number for each ad is a more accurate way to generate data. Then you can tell which ads are working by how many calls come in for different phone numbers. It’s pretty cheap to do and there are quite a few companies that can provide the service. Just a couple to check out are callsource.com and capturethecall.com. Just search Google for “call tracking” to find more.

Yes, this is a lot of work. But finding the right marketing mix can mean the difference between success and failure for your marketing. And if you’re going to promote, you might as well do it right.

To learn more about online marketing for law firms, check out my book The Law Firm Internet Marketing Book on Amazon.com.