Promoting Your Law Firm in Spanish

A couple of recent conversations with law firms that deal with Spanish-speaking clients has got me thinking about the need for firms to be prepared for this market. If you open up your practice to those who speak Spanish, you could tap into an entirely new market. You might double the size of your practice. Who knows? Of course, something like this is easier said than done. But to get you started, I am going to give you a bare-bones strategy for promoting your law firm to the Hispanic market.

1. If you are going to promote your legal services to people who speak Spanish, you probably need to actually be able to talk to them. So someone on your staff is going to have to be fluent in Spanish, unless you are just going to refer all that business to another firm. But even then…don’t you need to be able to understand what is being said?

2. Perform Spanish-specific keyword research using Google’s external keyword research tool. The seed keywords should also be in Spanish:

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

3. Create pages for your web site, or create a new web site altogether, written in Spanish and optimized for the Spanish language keywords. Caution: do not use software or a web site to do your translation! There is a high likelihood that the language will get mangled, which will damage your reputation. If you’re going to do it, do it right.

4. Generate keyword links to your Spanish language pages just like you would your English pages. SEO is still SEO, regardless of the language.

English language SEO is time consuming and has many moving parts. Shifting to a language that you are not familiar with adds to the complexity. If you are already fluent in Spanish, then you’ve got a big advantage over the rest of us.

Another consideration is whether you are promoting to a broad, global Spanish-speaking market or to markets in particular countries or to specific groups of people. There are many variations of the Spanish language, and what works and is acceptable language to one group may not be understood or even considered rude by another group. In general, the best strategy is probably to take a high level, global perspective and try to avoid using language that is specific to any particular group.

So preparing yourself to do business with Spanish-speaking people will require some effort and resources, but it will open your firm up to a whole new market.

Content Research Using Amazon.com’s Look Inside Feature

Content distribution as a search engine marketing technique has many benefits: it spreads your brand, it establishes your credibility, it generates keyword links (thus helping improve search engine rankings), and it even drives some direct traffic. The downside is that it can be a real drag. You, as the reader of this blog looking to promote his own legal web site, have a real advantage over me, the Internet marketer charged with writing articles on dozens of different subjects. You already know a lot about what you are writing about. However, that does not mean that it is never necessary for you to do some research, especially when trying to crank out articles for marketing purposes. So what follows is a strategy that will help anyone research topics and find material that can be used to write articles quicker.

The first place most people start is by searching Google. But you definitely have to wade through a lot of irrelevant (or just very poor) material like that. However, we’ve recently discovered that Amazon.com can be an excellent research tool.

The key is to use Amazon’s Look Inside feature. Look Inside allows you to search for and read passages from books in the Amazon catalog that contain specific keywords. You are only allowed to use this feature if you are a registered user on the site with an order history. So sign up for an account and go buy yourself something nice. Then you’ll be good to go.

Start by doing a book search based on your primary keyword. Then, scroll through the list of returned results and find a book that has the “Click to LOOK INSIDE” logo on top of the book cover image. Those are the books that you can search. Click the book cover.

On the next screen, you will see a search box labeled “Search Inside This Book.” Type your keyword in that box and perform another search. You will now be returned a list of links to passages in the book that contain the keyword. If you are a registered user with an order history, then clicking on the link will show you that passage.

Searching through a book like this will provide you with all kinds of information about a keyword from a real book written by a real expert, rather than marketing material written by amateurs.

Anyone can be a successful writer of online content for distribution if he takes the time to do his research. This process can be tedious, but using the best sources of information will make the process a whole lot easier. Content distribution is an outstanding law firm Internet marketing strategy that you should begin incorporating into your marketing plan today.

More Control for Less Money

The question of the day: do you have control of your web site? Do you really? Can you change your page titles at will? Can you change your web page copy? Can you add new pages? Can you add links to those pages?

How about this…if you decide you want to move your site to a new server or hosting company, can you repoint your domain name?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then you do not have control. You are at the mercy of whatever company set up your web site and content management system. And if you lack control, then you can forget about being able to do the things that will cause your web site to rank highly in the search engines. Success in search engine marketing cannot be left to chance.

We recently became aware of a practice used by at least one of the big companies in this industry. Apparently, depending on what kind of relationship you have with the company, if you want to point the domain name elsewhere, they require THREE MONTHS to do it. Three months for something that should take about a day. Now that is lack of control.

So what can you do? First off, avoid working with companies that tie you into a content system that is very restrictive. Avoid long-term contracts. Avoid letting another company have control of your domain name (as in the example above). And avoid hiring a large company that is already working with hundreds of law firms, many of whom may be your direct competitors.

Think small law firm marketing company that will give you a high level of personal service and let you keep control. This kind of situation will not only serve you much better in terms of having a web site that will generate leads for your firm, it will probably cost less. More control for less money. Now that’s a good deal.

Word is Getting Out

I think word is getting out about the unethical practices of some of the bigger companies in the legal marketing industry. Part of it has to do with companies such as ourselves that do our best to try and educate legal professionals about this situation, and part of it is law firms finally realizing that they are not getting what they are paying for.

We have a client we are working with that has a site that was built by a large legal marketing firm, and we have been locked out from doing many of the things that we REALLY need to do. We also got contacted by another firm that knew of the first firm (this firm also has a site built by the same large company) and wanted to hire us as well. We turned the second firm down because it would have been in conflict with our first client (promoting the firms for the same markets and practice areas), but just the fact that the firm sought us out is evidence that the tide is turning.

It is almost 2010. Law firms are getting more savvy about what they are paying for in terms of Internet marketing. That bolds well for companies such as ours that operate in an ethical fashion and work like hell to get our clients’ sites to the top of search engine rankings. The giants are falling…and for that, we can be thankful.

Everybody have a great Thanksgiving!

Don’t Get "Locked Down"!

Due to some difficulty we are having getting started with one of our client’s web sites, I wanted to take this time to reiterate the following:

Do not hire a search marketing company that does the following:

> Requires a ridiculously long-term contract that is basically for nothing more than putting the site up.

> Is promoting many of your competitors.

> Does not give you full control of the site.

Our client, who has a contractual web site obligation with one of the big companies in the legal marketing industry (initials “F.L.”), has been told that the ability for him to modify his web site’s page titles and meta tags has been “locked down.”

So…you’re not going to promote the site (you might say you are, but come on…), and you’re not going to let me do the things I need to promote it?

That is a bad deal. Look, avoid the temptation to take the easy road by just hiring a company because you have heard the name or because the specialize in the legal industry. Hire a REAL SEO firm that knows what it is doing and will do everything it can to get YOUR site to the top.

Welcoming Some New Clients to Work Media

Work Media would like to welcome a couple of new legal clients into our family: Clark & Clark, criminal defense lawyers based in New Jersey, and USA Hurt, a personal injury firm based in Chicago.

Clark & Clark is also presently a client of the large company that provides Internet marketing for so much of the legal industry (initials “F.L.”), and some of the things we have been told about the way the other company operates are ridiculous. I’ll say this one more time: ask how many competing firms your SEO firm is representing! Do you really expect them to have you as a priority over their other clients in the same market?

USA Hurt is also a client of our friends at Joseph Media Group, who specialize in creating outstanding television commercials for law firms.

Work Media has a chart in our office with every metropolitan statistical area in the country. MSAs where we have a client are highlighted. It is our goal to have one client in every major market. Because when you are a Work Media client, you are our number one priority, and it is our intention to help you DOMINATE your market. Can your existing Internet marketing company say that? Call us today at 888-299-4837